House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debate.

Topics

Passport CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Richard Lehoux Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government has pulled off a hat trick, managing to destroy a trifecta of services: immigration, employment insurance and passports. Everything is a complete disaster.

My constituents are sick of sitting on hold or waiting weeks, or even months, to get answers from the officers handling their files.

Did the government not anticipate a surge in passport renewal applications after two full years of no travel? This government is always in reaction mode. When will it take action and reduce wait times for passport renewals?

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. As I told the House, we are seeing an incredible increase in demand for passports.

That being said, Service Canada is working very hard to ensure that Canadians get their passports before their travel date. Just this past weekend, we opened 12 Passport Canada and Service Canada centres on Saturday to help process passport applications.

Our employees are working at night and on the weekends to make sure that Canadians get their passports on time.

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not looking to stir up trouble, given that I am not a member of the Bloc, but the majority of Canadians are starting to return to in-person work after two years of a pandemic.

However, certain federal workplaces are still largely shuttered, and Passport Canada is no exception. Visits are by appointment only, but if anyone wants to make an appointment, they had better be ready to spend hours on the phone.

Canadians deserve better service. How is it possible that we members can work on site, when that is not the case at a Passport Canada office?

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I have good news. Passport Canada and Service Canada will be opening nearly all of their service centres this week.

We have spoken with unions and the employees, who are already working long hours, even at home, for the specific purpose of serving Canadians. We know that it is important because there are many people who want to travel right now. Services will be available in offices across the country.

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Ferreri Conservative Peterborough—Kawartha, ON

Mr. Speaker, poor planning has resulted in unacceptable wait times for Canadians to get a passport. The Liberal government is profiting from Canadians' desire to travel yet offering less service. It knew this need was coming yet clearly was not prepared, and now Canadians are paying the price. Passport Canada is charging a $45 transfer fee, plus an additional $110 fast processing fee. All these unnecessary processing fees are making a 10-year adult passport $315 instead of $160.

Why are Canadians paying for the Liberals' inability to plan?

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, as I have said numerous times in the House, we are experiencing an incredible increase in demand. For the past two years, many Canadians followed the advice of government and did not travel. Now they are looking forward to travelling again, and therefore there is a big increase in demand.

That being said, Service Canada and Passport Canada are doing everything they can to meet this unprecedented surge in demand. Just this past weekend, we opened 12 centres on Saturday to assist. Passport officers are working day, night and on the weekends to meet the demand. We will continue to provide the best service possible that we can to Canadians, understanding the—

Passport CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

The hon. member for Fredericton.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Jenica Atwin Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, eliminating all remaining long-term drinking water advisories on reserve is a priority for the government. To accomplish this long-awaited aspiration, it is indispensable that first nations communities need to access reliable funding for their water and waste-water services over long periods of time.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services inform the House on how the government is working in partnership with first nations at every step of the way to ensure sustainable access to clean drinking water in first nations communities, specifically in Atlantic Canada, a territory governed by the peace and friendship treaties?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Centre Ontario

Liberal

Vance Badawey LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, access to clean drinking water is fundamental. That is why budget 2022 will provide $173.2 million to support the transfer of services in 17 communities to the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority. Recently, Chief Ross Perley stated, “It gives us self-determination on drinking water”.

We will continue to work with all communities to find and support indigenous-led solutions to strengthen water management on reserve.

TaxationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Tony Baldinelli Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year's budget raises more questions for Canada's wine industry than it answers. Last year's budget dedicated $101 million over two years in support of a trade legal excise exemption replacement program, an amount the industry says falls way short of what it needs. This year's budget now forecasts the government generating $135 million over that same two-year period.

Where is that extra $34 million in forecasted revenue going? Will it be given back to the wine industry to support its needs? Which is it? You promised to make them whole. Will you do so?

TaxationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I will remind the member about the usage of “you”.

The hon. minister.

TaxationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as we announced in last year's budget, we will be providing more than $100 million to support wineries in adapting to ongoing and emerging challenges. The program is expected to open for application intake this summer.

As I am sure the hon. member knows, Canada had a WTO dispute with Australia. We settled that dispute in July 2020, and our settlement required the repeal of our exemption by June 30, 2022.

HealthOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ziad Aboultaif Conservative Edmonton Manning, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have followed public health measures and have made tremendous sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Provincial health officials have followed the science to remove vaccine and mask mandates.

With all the provinces and most countries moving on from pandemic restrictions, why will the Prime Minister not follow the science and immediately end all federal vaccine mandates and restrictions on Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Milton Ontario

Liberal

Adam van Koeverden LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague is well aware, Canada is a really big country and public health advice can vary across the country due to local epidemiological situations in various provinces and territories. I would also like to say that out of all the other countries named in the House lately, we have the lowest death rate. We should acknowledge that our very low death rate is due to the very high vaccination rate and the strict adherence to public health guidelines throughout the ongoing pandemic that we are all experiencing. We all want this pandemic to be over, and by following the public health restrictions, we will make sure that it is over soon.

SeniorsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, record inflation under the government affects not only Canadian seniors but their children too. With two children in university, an all-too-familiar Alzheimer's diagnosis forced a family in my riding to dip into their meagre retirement savings to support their loving father in his time of need. This is a reality that far too many Canadian families are experiencing.

Informal caregivers are the backbone of this care economy. What specific measures will the government be introducing to help young families care for their aging parents?

SeniorsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Dartmouth—Cole Harbour Nova Scotia

Liberal

Darren Fisher LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. colleague for the question.

When it comes to supporting Canada's seniors, budget 2022 provided great news, including $5.3 billion over five years for dental care; engaging with experts on creating a career extension tax credit; creating an expert panel to study the idea of an aging at home benefit; doubling the qualifying expense limit of the home accessibility tax credit; $1.5 billion to extend the rapid housing initiative, creating at least 6,000 new affordable housing units; and, finally, $475 million to provide a one-time $500 payment to those, including seniors, who are facing housing affordability challenges.

Diversity and InclusionOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, prejudice, barriers and discrimination are a daily reality for too many Canadians, including Black, racialized and indigenous people.

As Canada's largest employer, the federal government has a responsibility to lead by example in addressing these challenges.

Can the President of the Treasury Board tell us what concrete measures have been taken to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the public service?

Diversity and InclusionOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mona Fortier LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question and for the hard work he does in his riding of Vaudreuil—Soulanges.

We will continue to take concrete measures to eliminate discrimination within our institutions. We created the Centre on Diversity and Inclusion, launched programs to remove barriers to recruitment and promotion, released disaggregated data and amended the Public Service Employment Act.

Discrimination has always been entrenched in society. Eradicating it will require a constant and unrelenting effort.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Mohamedou Ould Slahi spent 14 years in prison in Guantanamo Bay despite being innocent. During his wrongful detention, he faced extreme conditions, including torture. He has filed a lawsuit with the Federal Court alleging that, while living in Canada, Canadian authorities shared false information that led to his unjust arrest. CSIS monitored him and passed along incorrect information about Mr. Slahi.

Will the public safety minister admit that, once again, our national security agencies were complicit in the detention and torture of an innocent person?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Marco Mendicino LiberalMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, in line with our values, which are enshrined in the charter, Canada, of course, condemns all forms of torture. Canada has a duty to uphold fundamental rights and freedoms in all instances, and, of course, it would be inappropriate for the government or any member of this chamber to comment on matters that are before the courts.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is this: How is the government ensuring that with new publicly-funded plutonium technologies and so-called SMR reactors, we are not increasing the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons undermining global treaties?

The experimental Moltex salt reactor in New Brunswick is being built by a company that has never done it before, of course, because no one has. However, the British company, Moltex, has admitted through its CEO that there is a risk. He said the company had to ensure that it has “got the risk of weapons proliferation managed and sufficiently low”.

What on earth is “sufficiently low”, in an era in which Putin is sabre-rattling nuclear weapons?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

May 2nd, 2022 / 3:10 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, small, modular reactors are under development in several countries around the world, not simply Canada. We can look to the United States and to the United Kingdom.

As the hon. member knows, nuclear energy plays an important role in Canada's current energy mix. In the recent budget, we provided resources for the independent Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to focus on readiness to regulate SMRs. Going forward, Canada is committed to ensuring its nuclear industry continues to comply with all existing international obligations.

Royal Military College Officer CadetsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and I believe if you seek it, you will find the unanimous consent of the House for the following. I move:

That this House mourn the tragic loss of four officer cadets on Friday, April 29, 2022, and express its deepest condolences to their families, their friends and the Royal Military College community during this very difficult time.

Royal Military College Officer CadetsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

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

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

Hearing none, the motion is carried.

(Motion agreed to)

Following discussions among representatives of all parties of the House, I understand that there is an agreement to observe a moment of silence in memory of the four officer cadets who lost their lives in Kingston. I will now invite hon. members to please rise.

[A moment of silenced observed]

The House resumed from April 29 consideration of Bill C-8, An Act to implement certain provisions of the economic and fiscal update tabled in Parliament on December 14, 2021 and other measures, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.