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

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

St. Catharines Ontario

Liberal

Chris Bittle LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, for some reason, the Conservatives have decided to abandon our culture and our artists.

The objective is the same. We want platforms to contribute to Canadian culture. We heard the concerns that were raised about social media, we got the message and we fixed them.

We are making it extremely clear. Users and their content will not be regulated. The bill makes platforms contribute. That is it. It is written in black and white in the bill: platforms in, users out.

SeniorsOral Questions

May 12th, 2022 / 2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Shelby Kramp-Neuman Conservative Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, seniors across this country are calling in to my office and pleading for parliamentarians to help alleviate the debilitating effect that the cost of living is having on them. Their dollar is not going as far as it was before, and it keeps getting worse. Many seniors on fixed incomes cannot make ends meet and they have lost hope.

Our seniors deserve better and our seniors need better. When will the government take realistic steps to lower the inflation that is devastating Canadian seniors?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalMinister of Seniors

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Conservatives, who actually prolonged the age of retirement for seniors, from 65 to 67, on this side of the House we have been delivering for seniors, whether it be the increase to the GIS that has actually helped over 900,000 single seniors or, of course, during the pandemic when we took action to provide for seniors who needed support with special tax-free payments and a GST top-up. Of course, this summer, we are delivering on our promise to increase the OAS by 10% for those seniors 75 and up.

Seniors know that we have got their backs and we are going to continue to deliver for them.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Shelby Kramp-Neuman Conservative Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has its hand in their back pocket, perhaps. For nearly eight months, we have been asking the government to take substantive action to ease the crippling cost of living for our seniors. Dental care in two years will do nothing to lower food prices today. A one-off, one-time payment last year does nothing to lower the cost of medicine tomorrow.

As a nation, we have relied on our seniors for their sacrifices, and now they are relying on us. Our seniors have been neglected. How can this Liberal government be comfortable with that?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalMinister of Seniors

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we on this side of the House have been delivering for seniors since 2015.

This actually allows me to talk a bit about budget 2022, which has made sure that seniors are supported. This includes $5.3 billion over five years for a dental care for Canadians program for seniors aged 65 and over with an income of below $90,000, as well as an additional $20 million for the New Horizons for Seniors program. We are also doubling the qualifying expense for the home accessibility tax credit. On this side of the House, we are delivering for seniors, and we are going to continue to make sure that we have their backs.

SeniorsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is more misinformation.

I was speaking with a senior from Kelowna—Lake Country who said she and her husband had to go back to work part-time just to pay for basic necessities. She said she had her electricity bill in one hand while she was looking at her empty pantry, and they had to make the decision whether to pay the electricity bill or purchase food.

Inflation numbers do not capture all the costs that are increasing for people. Seniors on fixed incomes are some of the hardest hit. Can the minister tell us what specific actions the NDP–Liberal government is explicitly taking to reduce inflation?

SeniorsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalMinister of Seniors

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning, our government has been delivering for seniors. One of the first things that we did was restore the age of retirement back to 65 from 67. We have enhanced the CPP. We have raised the GIS for single seniors, which has helped over 900,000 seniors.

This summer, we will be increasing the OAS by 10% for those aged 75 and over. We are making high-speed Internet more affordable for seniors. In budget 2022, we announced the creation of a dental care program for low-income seniors. Seniors know we are delivering for them, and we are going to continue to do just that.

HousingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Frank Caputo Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, the only thing they are delivering is less prosperity.

When it comes to housing, the housing minister likes to talk about what he has invested. What he does not like to talk about, though, are results. Why is that? It is because there are none, when housing prices have doubled over the last seven years. If this housing minister had a radio show, it would be entitled “All Talk, No Rock”. Will the housing minister admit that his and his government's strategy has been an abject failure, with all talk and no rock?

HousingOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

Mr. Speaker, we are dead set on making sure that we continue our investments in housing. Budget 2022 has prioritized affordable housing investments, help for first-time homebuyers and doubling the housing supply. We are making sure that, through the national housing strategy, we work with developers, the private sector, non-profits, municipalities and provinces to get the help Canadians need so that each and every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, gas prices are hurting Quebeckers and our businesses, especially in rural areas. In the meantime, oil companies raked in record profits in the last quarter: almost $3 billion for Suncor and $1.1 billion for both Imperial and TC Energy.

What is most infuriating is that regardless of these profits, the federal government is giving Trans Mountain $10 billion in loan guarantees. There was $2.4 billion for carbon capture in the budget.

Does the government agree that it is embarrassing to be subsidizing oil companies instead of helping people who are being bled dry?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is important to point out that inflation is a global phenomenon caused by the pandemic, Putin's illegal war in Ukraine and China's zero-COVID policy. However, we understand that the cost of living and the cost of gas are a problem for Canadians. That is why our budget includes dental care for Canadians, doubles the first-time homebuyers' tax credit, establishes a home renovation tax credit and provides for a one-time $500 payment to people facing housing challenges.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, dirty oil producers are double-dipping. Consumers are paying twice, once at the pumps and a second time through the taxes that fund the subsidies that the federal government pays to these oil companies, which are sitting on piles of money, like Scrooge. The simple fact is that the middle class is seeing all of their hard-earned money go to oil billionaires.

The oil companies do not need this money. Will the Deputy Prime Minister stop sending them public money and instead provide support for those most affected by the increase in gas prices?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, allow me to talk about carbon capture, which goes beyond the oil and gas sector. Steel, concrete and aluminum, for example, are important industries in Quebec and are crucial to Canada's and Quebec's economies. These are other industries that need to reduce their emissions. Carbon capture will help these industries as well.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, fuel prices are catastrophic for entrepreneurs in farming, fishing, trucking and the taxi industry.

These people are on the verge of bankruptcy. Entire industries in Quebec are suffering major losses without the least bit of support from the federal government. Meanwhile, the oil industry is reaping record profits and continues to be heavily subsidized.

When will the government stop showering our public money on oil companies and instead fund the victims of fuel prices and the energy transition?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, I want to talk about the importance of carbon capture. We need carbon capture to meet our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Enhanced oil recovery is excluded from this tax credit. This will create good jobs in the technology sector and support the energy transition. It will also benefit Quebec's concrete, aluminum and steel industries, among others.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Ellis Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is Mental Health Awareness Month. Everyone in the House can agree that the mental health of Canadians is a very important issue. Well, maybe not everyone can.

During the election, the government promised to invest $4.5 billion in funding mental health services through the Canada mental health transfer, including $250 million in 2021-22 and $625 million in 2022-23. However, there is no mention of the funding timeline in the federal government's budget 2022.

Why did the government break its commitment to fund mental health?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Sherbrooke Québec

Liberal

Élisabeth Brière LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government has made historic investments in mental health, including $5 billion to the provinces and territories through ongoing bilateral agreements. We are also engaging with provinces and territories to inform the development of a new mental health transfer, building on the principles of the Canada Health Act, and sharing data on indicators and outcomes. We remain fully committed to the additional $4.5 billion over five years to ensure mental health care is treated as a full and equal part of Canada's universal public health care system.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, while it was trying to get elected, the Liberal Party used the words “mental health” 66 times in its platform, but we are losing 11 Canadians every day to suicide, and we still do not have a three-digit suicide prevention hotline. We are losing 19 Canadians every day to a raging opioid crisis that continues to worsen, and now the Liberals have broken their cornerstone mental health commitment from an election campaign fought just months ago.

Can the minister explain to Canadians struggling with their mental health why her party broke the commitment it so solemnly made to help them when it was looking for their votes?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Sherbrooke Québec

Liberal

Élisabeth Brière LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, our government is working to implement this crisis line as quickly and as effectively as possible. While the CRTC is completing its process, PHAC is working concurrently to ensure there will be capacity for the new line to connect people to the most appropriate support in the most appropriate way. We are also working closely with U.S. Admiral Levine, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon and their team to learn from the ongoing American crisis line implementation process, which started back in 2018.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, that did not even come close to answering the question we actually asked.

We have asked consistently very fair, straightforward questions on the issue of the Canada mental health transfer. Last week, the minister dismissed them as “annoying” and “despicable”. If the minister is annoyed with anyone, perhaps it should be with her own Prime Minister, who has put her in such an awkward, indefensible position by breaking a clear promise to the most vulnerable Canadians. If anything is despicable, it is that.

Why did the Liberal government break a clear commitment on one of the most critical issues facing Canadians today?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Sherbrooke Québec

Liberal

Élisabeth Brière LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his question.

We are conducting a thorough process. The CRTC has reviewed the comments received during recent consultations and it is working to ensure that every call is routed efficiently. This will require significant changes to the Canadian telecommunications system, including converting telephone switching stations across the country.

We have also invested an additional $3.7 million of a total $50 million commitment to support distress centres across Canada.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals just approved a new $10-billion loan guarantee for TMX. Instead of supporting workers in the transition to the green economy, the government is continuing its failed approach and handing over billions to big oil.

The Liberals should never have bought the pipeline. Their own watchdog confirmed they should expect to lose money when they sell it. Now they are putting even more public dollars on the line for this financial boondoggle. How many more billions is the government willing to risk for a pipeline that is fuelling the climate crisis?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government understands how important it is for us as Canadians to get our resources to market and to get a fair value for them. We do not intend to be the long-term owner of the Trans Mountain pipeline. A divestment process will be initiated once the project is more advanced, de-risked and, essentially, consultations with indigenous people are completed.

EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, a “carbon bomb” is any new fossil fuel project that would plunge the planet dangerously past the 1.5°C limit into a climate crisis. That is why the International Energy Agency has said there simply cannot be any more fossil fuel projects, so let us talk about the billions the government has put into the carbon bomb it owns, the TMX pipeline.

It can spare us the talk about an emissions cap. This is about burning an extra million barrels of oil a day. Given what is at risk, why did the environment minister decide to act as a sock puppet for the big oil lobby?

EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my hon. colleague that we have decided to go after pollution. That is exactly what we are doing with our plan. In fact, as oil production increased in 2019, pollution went down, and the New Democrats should be happy about that. Production went up; pollution went down. What else do they want?