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

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on Canada-People’s Republic of China RelationshipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Madam Speaker, when it comes to issues of environmental rights and human rights, Canada will always stand and work within multilateral institutions and, obviously, have conversations directly with any government where there are externalities occurring in their economy and their industry that are spilling over into the environment and impacting negatively any of our citizens, including impacting our indigenous peoples.

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on Canada-People’s Republic of China RelationshipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, I must admit that I am having a hard time following my colleague's logic.

He quoted Joe Biden, who said that silence is complicity. He talked about all of the human rights violations in China, censorship and the Uighurs. That is why I do not understand his opposition to creating this committee. Given that this is exactly what the committee proposes to study, among other things, I find that somewhat inconsistent.

Does my colleague have anything to say to that?

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on Canada-People’s Republic of China RelationshipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

Canada will always stand for human rights and environmental protections across the world. We have committees here on Parliament Hill, such as the foreign affairs committee and the international trade committee, that can deal directly with these pertinent issues. There is also, I believe, a human rights subcommittee that can look into these issues. We have great members of Parliament on these committees, doing great work, day in and day out, and if they so decide, because a committee is the master of its own domain, they can pursue the studies they wish to pursue, including ensuring that human rights are protected around the world, and that where there are abuses of human rights and environmental rights, they will be called out.

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on Canada-People’s Republic of China RelationshipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, I feel it is like a watershed moment this week between the NDP and the Conservatives. We saw the Conservatives actually stand up for the first time in a decade to fight against the big banks on merchant fees, something that we have been fighting since the late Jack Layton and my good friend from South Okanagan—West Kootenay did. We saw the Conservatives stand up to call on the government to roll out mental health transfers, something the New Democrats have been calling for. We are hoping for a triple crown; we are hoping the Conservatives are going to stand up to force the government to do something about the toxic drug supply crisis that is killing Canadians, which the government is doing nothing about.

One thing I want to bring back to this speech that we do agree on is combatting foreign interference from China and other state parties here in Canada, including Russia, and I am banned from Russia, so I am sure the bot army is going to get out and come after me. Will the government commit to bringing forward legislation to combat foreign interference from China and other state parties, like Russia, here in Canada?

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on Canada-People’s Republic of China RelationshipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Madam Speaker, first of all, any state interference, and that by an authoritarian state even more so, in the domestic affairs of our country is completely unacceptable. I share the concerns of the member for Courtenay—Alberni about the opioid crisis in Canada that has been going on. Literally thousands of Canadians have died. I know our government is seized with this issue. We are working with our provincial partners, our municipal partners and all levels of government on this issue. Too many Canadians are dying via the opioid crisis, and we need to ensure we are assisting those families and these individuals, so they can get the help and so that it does not continue.

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on Canada-People’s Republic of China RelationshipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

We are here today to talk about the creation of a parliamentary committee to look at the relationship between Canada and the People's Republic of China. This is a very important issue, given that China is a major player, to say the least, both economically and in terms of national security, the environment, and so forth. That is why we want a parliamentary committee to look into this.

Why should such a parliamentary committee be created? A parliamentary committee is independent from the executive. This makes it independent from the Office of the Prime Minister, which can give orders to his members. In a parliamentary committee, all members are theoretically independent from the executive.

Some may be wondering why we are using an opposition day to talk about this. The reason is that this is how to go about creating a committee. We could have come to an agreement with the government party to create this committee, but unfortunately, the government party refuses to create it.

The Conservative Party believes that this is important. The way to create this committee is to have a vote in the House. Every member will be able to vote freely. We shall see what the result of the vote is, but we assume members will vote in favour of creating a committee.

I remind members that the proposed committee will study many matters presently affecting Canadians: the economy, national security, the environment and the supply chain. The issue with supply chains directly affects our producers and our economy and has a direct impact on inflation, which affects all Canadians. We support creating this committee, which will address issues that affect or are of concern to all Canadians.

I also remind members that this committee already existed in the former Parliament, that is before the Prime Minister very arrogantly triggered an election in the midst of the pandemic. The committee met over 30 times to hear from more than 100 witnesses. The committee tabled three reports after studying matters that were damaging for China, but very important to Canada. I—

Opposition Motion—Special Committee on Canada-People’s Republic of China RelationshipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Order. I must interrupt the hon. member, who will have eight minutes after question period to finish his speech.

Before we go to Statements by Members, I would like to ask the hon. members in the House, but also and especially in the courtyard, to please keep quiet so we can hear what is being said in the House. It is very difficult right now, so I would ask, if possible, to quiet the noise in the courtyard. I thank the members.

The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.

International Nurses DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise virtually. This is May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, hence the focus on nurses and nursing this week. I want to mention that Florence Nightingale, in the 19th century, was a leader. If she had been a man, she would have been known as the father of public health science and as one of the trailblazers in the use of statistics, but the misogynistic lens of history does not end there.

Fast-forward to 2022, and our nurses are struggling. The website of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions states, “nurses and health care workers are experiencing a silent mental health crisis. Short staffing, punishing workloads, widespread violence—these are everyday realities”. That is not good enough.

I know all parliamentarians in this place would like to join me in saying thanks to all the women and men in the nursing profession. We thank them, we stand with them and we owe them so very much.

DispersaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Annie Koutrakis Liberal Vimy, QC

Madam Speaker, we have some wonderful, talented women in Vimy.

Dispersa Inc. is a woman-led company that focuses on biosurfactants, which are biodegradable and ecofriendly products for cleaning and personal care.

Since being elected in 2019, I have seen Dispersa grow and gain recognition for the incredible work its team is doing to make our homes greener.

This week, Dispersa was selected as one of the top five global chemical start-ups to watch in 2022. I want to personally congratulate Nivatha Balendra and the Dispersa team for this amazing recognition and for showing young girls across the world that women scientists are leading society into a more sustainable and greener future.

I congratulate Nivatha and hope she keeps up the good work. She is making all of us, including our Tamil community, very proud.

Foreign Interference in Canadian ElectionsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, this House needs to take seriously the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party to undermine our democracy and, in particular, target and pressure Canadians of Chinese descent.

Experts from McGill University and the Digital Forensic Research Lab have sounded the alarm over a disinformation campaign launched by the Chinese embassy during the last federal election. Several members of Parliament were targeted, including the former member for Steveston—Richmond East. It sought to spread disinformation to the Chinese Canadian community and physically intimidate Canadians on our own soil.

As members of Parliament, we have the duty to protect our elections from foreign influence. Canada must adopt a foreign influence transparency scheme similar to those in the U.S. and Australia. A failure to do so will only allow foreign intimidation to continue. Canada must reject a culture of appeasement and stand up to the rise of authoritarianism within and beyond our borders.

International Nurses DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brendan Hanley Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honour International Nurses Day and the thousands of nurses in this country who dedicate their lives to care for Canadians.

My own family has been blessed with two nurses. My mother was a young nurse in World War II London. I am also deeply proud of my sister Fiona Hanley, who is a devoted environmentalist and nursing instructor at Dawson College in Montreal.

At 50% of our health care workforce, nurses form the backbone of our health care system. Let us be frank; this is a workforce in crisis. Two years of a pandemic have worsened the strain nurses were already experiencing: long hours, staffing shortfalls, lack of supplies and resources, and stress. Today, 45% of nurses experience symptoms of burnout, and half are thinking of leaving their job.

Today is a day to celebrate nurses and honour their critical work, but we must deliver on providing the support nurses need in order to stay and to thrive in their jobs to support the health of Canadians. For today, I thank Fiona, Meghan, Sean, Brooke and all the nurses of the Yukon and of Canada.

Community Organization in BeauportStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline Desbiens Bloc Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a big year. It is the 40th anniversary of a terrific organization in our riding called Le Pivot.

Today I join with my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou to pay tribute to Le Pivot and to highlight the enormous contribution this organization makes to our beautiful region of Beauport. Every day, regardless of the circumstances, dozens of generous volunteers pitch in to support people in their community by distributing food, running the thrift shop, looking after children at the drop-in child care centre, preparing income tax returns or helping out with one of the many other services. Le Pivot is quite obviously the beating heart of the Beauport community.

I would like to commend the executive director, Ginette Faucher, for her hard work, friendliness and empathy. Ginette is a true inspiration for the next generation and has been with Le Pivot since the beginning.

I thank Ginette for those 40 years. I also thank the board of directors and, above all, the volunteers at Le Pivot who freely offer their love and support.

I hope Le Pivot keeps going for many more years. The world needs more of this kindness.

ESTim AwardsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Soraya Martinez Ferrada Liberal Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, I had the great pleasure of attending the 34th edition of the ESTim awards gala last week.

I would first like to congratulate the entire team at the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Montreal on this event. After two years of pandemic, the gala was finally able to take place in person with more than 500 entrepreneurs, organizations and businesses in attendance. This gala recognizes the determination, leadership and innovation of entrepreneurs, businesses and community organizations in the east end of Montreal. The people of eastern Montreal are proud people with a strong sense of belonging to the region.

I salute all of this year's winners, especially those from my riding. Congratulations to Dermadry Laboratories, winner in the manufacturing category; Annie Martel, of Terre à soi, winner in the women's leadership category; and the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve community kitchen, winner of the Orchidée Organisation award.

The ESTim awards recognize the talent and innovation of all these extraordinary people who contribute to the development of Montreal's east end.

Brian FranklinStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to celebrate the life of Mr. Brian Franklin, who sadly left us all too soon after a brief battle with cancer. He was a pillar in his community of Deloraine, and he was known far and wide for his public service and his love of hockey. Brian was a teacher for 36 years and was one of the best math teachers in the province of Manitoba. He served as a town councillor, and then as mayor of Deloraine for 16 years. He brought people together and was always willing to listen to those who needed help.

My greatest memories of Brian were seeing him at the hockey rink or on the golf course, and I was thrilled when he became the president of Hockey Manitoba. I was incredibly proud of how he led the organization and helped shape the future of so many players.

I consider him a friend, and I know that all who knew him are grieving his passing. My heart goes out to his wife, Val, and his children, Tony and Carrie, as they celebrate his life. May he rest in peace.

Fibromyalgia Awareness DayStatements By Members

May 12th, 2022 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fonseca Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. We join the millions who are participating on this day by holding various events to raise awareness of fibromyalgia, an invisible and debilitating chronic condition.

In my riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville, Ms. Susan Monaco has been a strong voice for those affected by fibromyalgia. After being diagnosed in 1986, Ms. Monaco suffered quite a bit, just like more than 1.5 million Canadians, mostly women, who suffer from the fibromyalgia syndrome. Today, Ms. Monaco leads a local support group for all those suffering from fibromyalgia. I hear that the most frustrating thing for those suffering is that on the outside they look just fine, but in reality fibromyalgia can severely limit a person's ability to carry out ordinary daily activities.

In honour of the 30th anniversary of the International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, I am pleased to share that the City of Mississauga Civic Centre clock tower will light up purple.

I would like to give a big shout-out to my constituent Susan Monaco and her Mississauga fibro group for their tireless advocacy to bring awareness to fibromyalgia.

Jewish Heritage MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ya'ara Saks Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me share some names of people who are an important part of the fabric of this country: Léa Roback, social activist and feminist; Moshe Safdie, architect; Rosalie Abella, Supreme Court justice; William Shatner, actor and now astronaut; Geddy Lee, Leonard Cohen and yes, even Drake, all musicians and creative people.

The month of May is Jewish Heritage Month across Canada. It is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity, creativity and contributions of Jewish Canadians that have been woven into the fabric and history of Canadian life. Jewish Canadians have shown leadership in academia, law, medicine, music, sports, theatre, literature, community service and so much more.

Jewish leaders have been our teachers, our neighbours and our friends. They have advocated for and inspired us to pursue peace, equality and inclusivity in the Canada we share today, and they have often done it in the face of unspeakable discrimination and anti-Semitism. Through their dedication and allyship, they have shone the light on what is possible, for the better, for everyone.

That is why this month is about celebrating those I have mentioned and many more. I encourage all Canadians to take some time to learn and celebrate the heritage and accomplishments of Jewish Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

International Nurses DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Brock Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, on International Nurses Day, I rise to pay tribute to nurses across Canada and the world who selflessly serve their communities, often at a great personal sacrifice.

I would particularly like to honour one of my constituents, who has tirelessly served her community throughout the entire pandemic caring for COVID-19 patients at the Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington. She is a hero who came home with goggle marks imprinted on her face, tired after over twelve hours on her feet in full PPE and putting her own health at risk to care for hundreds of Canadians who needed it most. She is a hero who, despite the challenging conditions and understaffed hospital, woke up every day and went to work, her eyes smiling to her patients above her mask. She is a hero who, above all, is the most amazing mother to our two daughters.

Most of all, my wife Angela, who is on the Hill today, is my hero. I love her.

International Nurses DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I really like these S. O. 31s. These statements are awesome, but I have to remind folks not to acknowledge the presence of somebody in the gallery, although I am glad she is here.

The hon. member for Niagara Centre.

Lyme Disease Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, May marks Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Families across Canada have their lives turned upside down because of Lyme disease, like the Peters family in my riding. This family has two daughters who have battled chronic Lyme disease over the past eight years, with debilitating neurological symptoms.

Like many Canadians, the Peters family does not know when, where or how they were bitten by a tick and acquired Lyme disease. The Peters sisters did not have a bull's-eye rash, similar to many other people who get Lyme disease, but there are difference instances where we would know we have Lyme disease.

I encourage all members of the House to educate themselves on the experiences of individuals with Lyme disease and to visit canlyme.com to find out more and get more information.

Health CareStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Clifford Small Conservative Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, NL

Mr. Speaker, 7,500 health care professionals were promised for rural Canada by the Liberals in the 2021 election campaign. Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, like much of rural Canada, is in a health care crisis. My constituent, 40-year old Preston Pardy, who happens to be in Ottawa today, spent five days on a stretcher in an understaffed hospital after suffering a heart attack. Weeks later, he was transferred to Ottawa, where he finally received his triple bypass surgery.

Constituents of mine like Preston do not want to hear the Minister of Health give them COVID stats from the U.S.A., or talk about the wonderful relationship that the NDP-Liberal government has with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The government and the Prime Minister have broken their promise to rural Canadians like Preston, and it is time for them to address this crisis and put the care back into health care.

Health CareStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Of course, as always, we recognize and are happy that people are joining us here in the House of Commons today.

The hon. member for Saskatoon—Grasswood.

Vaccine MandatesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Mr. Speaker, it has been more than two years since COVID arrived in this country, and public health experts across Canada have been abundantly clear that we will live for years with COVID.

Vaccination rates in this country are incredibly high, and the fourth dose of vaccinations are being rolled out. Transmissions, hospitalizations and deaths are all down significantly from the peak, and Canadians want to get their pre-COVID lives back again.

Most of the provinces and territories across this country, including mine, the province of Saskatchewan, have lifted all mandates. It is time for the government of Canada to join the provinces and remove mandates from all areas within the federal jurisdiction.

Asian Heritage MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wilson Miao Liberal Richmond Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the month of May marks the 20th anniversary of Asian Heritage Month. This year we celebrate the theme of “Continuing a legacy of greatness”.

I am honoured to represent Richmond Centre, a riding with a predominantly Asian population that has helped shape Canada into the great, diverse nation it is today. I want to thank the generation of Asians who have chosen to call Richmond their home and who share their unique culture, religion and history with all of us.

Despite the unfortunate rise in anti-Asian sentiment during the pandemic, Asian Canadians have continued to show their strength through their resilience and activism. I hope we can all work together to build a more peaceful and multicultural community.

This month, let us celebrate the legacy of greatness that Asian Canadians have contributed across Canada. Happy Asian Heritage Month.

Community Futures Network of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the Community Futures Network of Canada and the excellent work it is doing to diversify, support and strengthen economies in rural and remove communities.

The Community Futures Network of Canada works to support communities by providing small business loans, tools and training to people looking to start or expand their business. In Ontario alone, during 2020-21, the Community Futures Development Corporation recruited over 1,000 volunteers, issued over $7.5 million in business loans and created over 6,000 jobs. In addition, the CFDC has provided over $116 million in business loan relief and helped maintain 8,500 jobs.

In Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, many entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the services provided by CFDCs, more specifically those of Waubetek, East Algoma, Superior East, Nord-Aski, LAMBAC, North Claybelt and Sault Ste. Marie, whose team members are dedicated to making northern Ontario a business-friendly destination. Today, I say thanks.

Women's RightsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the pandemic is coming to an end, the annual pro-life demonstration has returned to Parliament Hill. People who oppose women's rights and safe abortions of course have the right to demonstrate, and Parliament Hill is the most appropriate place to do so. It is certainly more appropriate than intimidating young women outside clinics.

The Bloc Québécois has no problem with the religious right gathering on the lawn outside Parliament. We do, however, have a problem with religion being brought into Parliament, into a Canadian Parliament in which the official opposition is funded by churches, into a Parliament in which 40 Conservatives consistently vote in line with the anti-choice right, into a Parliament that just voted to continue praying every day before we start our daily business.

In the context of the Parliament that I just described, the Bloc Québécois wants to let Quebec women know that it will stand up for their rights. We will not accept any erosion of these rights.