House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee, of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert had three minutes and 25 seconds remaining when his speech was interrupted.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, I was saying that we are experiencing four major crises in Canada, and I was talking about the housing crisis. I was explaining that there are some measures in the budget that we find a bit dangerous, particularly with regard to speeding up the construction of housing with the municipalities.

In my riding, La Halte du Coin is an organization for the homeless with high acceptance rates. It was set up during the pandemic when there was an outbreak in downtown Longueuil. I want to recognize Nicolas Gildersleeve, the director, and the entire team at La Halte du Coin for the incredible job they do.

All of Longueuil pitched in to make this organization a reality. The homelessness and housing sector in Longueuil is extremely good. Some people have been working in that field for 25 or 30 years. They are experts, very committed and empathetic individuals. I love them and I learn something new from them every time I see them.

Last Thursday, I left here to participate in a fundraiser for La Halte du Coin. Longueuil's entire housing sector was there already. It was remarkable. I wrote down a list of everyone who participated and I thought I would have a chance to name them all, but I really do not have enough time left.

The last time I went to La Halte du Coin, at the beginning of April, the organization was in need of volunteers. Like many such organizations, they need more people. I went by and spent two hours around suppertime serving meals.

That is unique and it is what I wanted to talk about. La Halte du Coin is located in a church on Sainte-Foy Boulevard in Longueuil. The organization serves meals during the day and has 30 beds at night. Around 6 p.m., they ask everyone to leave so that they can get the beds ready. About 50 people had a meal and then went outside to smoke while they waited. That evening in early April was cold and rainy.

After helping to serve supper and set up the beds with the people who were there, I went outside. There were 50 people waiting. It was very upsetting to see because there was not going to be enough room for everyone. Fifty meals were served but there were only 30 beds inside. Those who were unable to get a bed slept on the ground outside the building, in the parking lot or in the ATM vestibule not far from there.

It is terrible. We are unable to house all those who need it in this country. There are many causes for homelessness, including mental health issues and addiction. Homelessness is a complex issue.

I was talking to the people who were there, the homeless. I had the opportunity to talk to them at suppertime. I got the feeling that these are very proud people and that they are not happy about having to rely on a resource for homeless people. They wanted to tell me that soon, in one or two months, they would be able to find a place to live, that they were happy, that they had a job lined up and that things were going to work out. Sometimes that does not happen, but I got the feeling that—

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I have to interrupt the member because his time was up a little while ago. I am sure he will have an opportunity to say more during questions and comments.

Questions and comments, the hon. parliamentary secretary.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:30 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the member is talking about housing. It is important for us to recognize that there is a need for strong leadership on the housing file because it is not only Ottawa that plays a role. The provincial governments, municipal governments and different stakeholders all have a role to play.

I think what we have seen from Ottawa over the last number of years is very strong leadership, whether through the first-ever national housing strategy, the historic amount of public dollars being invested in housing or the support of programs such as housing co-ops.

I am wondering if the member would reflect on the importance of the role that the three levels of government in particular need to play to increase the housing stock in Canada.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, let me begin by apologizing for contradicting my colleague, but when he says the federal government has led by example, that is not true.

According to a report published two or three months ago, the government has built only 35,000 units since 2017. In the budget, the government promised to build 100,000 units. We do not even know how that is going to work.

In a newspaper interview a few days ago, the director of the National Housing Council, the organization that was created as part of the National Housing Strategy, said that the strategy had met the needs of only 4.8% of households with urgent housing needs. The point of the strategy is to help the most vulnerable, but right now, it just is not cutting it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, with respect to the budget implementation act, I know one issue that I have been following very closely is the issue of direction and control. Unreasonable regulations exist in the context of charities law. The budget finally recognized there was a problem with this, but at the same time there are some concerns about whether the solution offered is adequate.

We need to fix these regulations. We need to work across party lines to get this done, because right now they are piling millions of dollars' worth of red tape every year onto charitable organizations. I wonder if my colleague has a comment about the need to reform these regulations and remove red tape so that charities can do their work unencumbered.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, I am not really sure I understood the question. In any case, one thing is certain: When I speak with representatives from community and housing organizations, especially those in my riding, the issue of red tape comes up often.

It is important to understand that the housing sector, much like all community sectors in Quebec, has limited means and is short on employees. Moreover, the labour shortage affects them dramatically. There is a reason why Halte du Coin was asking for volunteers. It is because they do not have enough employees and they cannot pay $150 an hour. The salaries they offer are lower than public service salaries, so they have trouble retaining people with specific expertise. They all mention the red tape and paperwork, especially for grant applications.

I think there must be a way to harmonize all levels of government so that the criteria are more straightforward and the focus is on helping people, as it should be.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Bonita Zarrillo NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the member so much for the advocacy he is doing here, but also for the advocacy he has mentioned in the past that he does in his riding.

I want to ask the member about government loans for municipalities and cities. What are you hearing in Quebec about access to operating funds from the government for housing in cities?

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I will not tell her what I am hearing, but I am sure the hon. member for Longueuil—Saint-Hubert is able to do that.

I want to remind the member to address her questions through the Chair and not directly to the member.

The hon. member for Longueuil—Saint‑Hubert has one minute to respond.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, there are indeed programs in Quebec. One of them was created after the federal government pulled out in 1993. It is called AccèsLogis Québec, and it is a very good program. Unfortunately, there is some uncertainty right now as to whether it will survive. Like everything else, it lacks funding.

At the federal level, we should focus on programs that really work, such as the rapid housing initiative, the RHI. There are some interesting programs that work but that do not have a big impact on affordability. The RHI is a very good program. The problem is that there is not enough money in it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay.

It is an honour to rise in the House to speak to a bill to implement certain provisions of our 2022 budget.

Before I get into my speech, I want to acknowledge my family and express my gratitude to them, to my husband and best friend, and to my daughter Ellie, who, although she might not know it, motivates me to speak to the issues important to me, such as gun control, affordability, the environment or our fight against climate change.

My family has not seen me much since the House resumed in January. I was in Ottawa, either in the House of Commons or in my office, fulfilling a long-time dream of mine to work on drafting a federal budget.

We set ourselves an objective to draft a budget focused on affordability and that was also fiscally responsible and would enable Canada to maintain its favourable fiscal position, with the lowest net debt in the G7 and the smallest deficit among G7 countries.

I would like to take a moment to pause and note that the statistics I just mentioned mean that we, as a federal government, went from spending very much in an emergency context to support small businesses and Canadians through the pandemic to very quickly adjusting once that period of emergency was behind us in order to be fiscally responsible and to ensure that our spending would go down as global inflation was rising.

What is also interesting is that this pivot was not only done successfully, but it is also causing experts, including experts at the IMF, to predict that our growth here in Canada will be the highest among the G7 countries this year, as well as next year.

This is first and foremost a budget that addresses today's specific needs in the areas of housing, the environment, reconciliation, inclusion and equity. It also had to address needs arising from the current geopolitical context.

I am someone who believes that one of the federal government's roles is to ensure the sovereignty of its territory and its national defence. It must ensure that the country is prepared for any eventuality.

That is why our budget includes historic investments in defence, to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom and democracy, including our own.

The war in Ukraine is also causing ripple effects in economies throughout the world. Energy prices in particular have soared as a result of the war, and food prices as well. Canadians are feeling this at the pump and the supermarket. This is a period of global inflation. That is why our government has taken unprecedented steps to ensure we were putting money back into the pockets of Canadians. I think often of the Canada child benefit because it is not only a cheque that is received every month by families, but also a program that has lifted over a million Canadians out of poverty, including 300,000 children.

There are many other programs, and this budget provides many other proposals, including a one-time payment for Canadians having difficulty finding access to affordable housing and subsidizing dental care. These are programs that are going to help Canadians meet the rising cost of living.

It is also why this budget proposes the creation of a historic number of new homes, and we are making it easier for people to buy their first home through a tax-free first home savings account, as well as through doubling the first-time homebuyers' tax credit, and many other measures as part of this historic housing program we have put in place.

This budget also tackles the climate crisis by implementing our ambitious plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and get to net-zero by 2050.

To achieve this, we will establish a national network of charging stations and ensure that 100% of vehicles sold will be zero emission by 2035.

We are investing more to protect more of our land and oceans, and providing funding to Environment and Climate Change Canada to fight plastic pollution.

There are so many aspects of this budget that I would like to discuss. I touched on housing and the environment. I could speak at length about the importance of ensuring that more and growing small businesses would have access to our 9% small business tax rate, a measure in this budget that I care so deeply about. There are also incredible measures in this budget in order to ensure a bold and successful immigration plan, which would help us bring newcomers to Canada and also deal with the labour shortage we are experiencing.

In the short amount of time I have left, I would like to reflect on our history. During the First World War, Canadians fought bravely and played an instrumental role in the Allies' victory. We have all heard the stories of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Hundred Days campaign. Canadians showed their strength, time and time again, in the face of the enemy. Just 21 years later, we found ourselves in the Second World War, and Canada once again played a vital role in ensuring victory against the fascist Axis Powers.

Yesterday was Victory in Europe Day, which celebrates the surrender of Nazi Germany and the liberation of Europe. As I walked to Parliament today, I saw beautiful tulip bulbs everywhere. I saw those red tulips on every corner of our capital city. I thought of the role Canada played in liberating Europe, and this beautiful yearly offering from the Netherlands to honour the role played there by our Canadian men and women in uniform. As we all know, following the Second World War, Canada played a leading role in the establishment of the United Nations and its all-important peacekeeping force.

If we do not know our past, we cannot know our future. Canada has always played an outsized role in setting the world aright again. We do so today with the provision of support, particularly the provision of weapons, for Ukraine, and Canada was among the first, ensuring our initial deliveries of weapons arrived before the invasion.

The current war also makes clear that we must continue to strengthen NATO. I believe that Canada must and will continue to be a leader among nations, and I am encouraged and look forward to welcoming Sweden, Finland and, yes, hopefully and ultimately, Ukraine into NATO.

We know that this decision rests with the entire membership of NATO, and that consent to join NATO has to be unanimous. However, I feel it is important, considering that I have personally been sanctioned by Russia, to continue to make my view known publicly, both here in this chamber and elsewhere.

As a member of the foreign affairs committee, I have been deeply engaged in Canada's response to the illegal war begun by President Putin. As the ambassador-designate of Ukraine, my new friend recently arrived in Canada, told us just a few days ago in response to my questions in committee, what Ukraine needs now, first and foremost, is weapons. This is not to diminish the crucial and important role that humanitarian aid plays and the diplomatic support that Canada has been providing.

However, when Ukrainians are staring down a tank that is poised to hit a school, a shelter or a residential area, what they need are anti-tank missiles. When Ukrainians are fighting by night, what they need are night-vision goggles. When they fight by day, what they need are weapons. Our budget includes $500 million to continue to support their fight.

I hope that all members in this House will support our budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, I agree with many of the things my friend and colleague said, at least with respect to our needed engagement in the world.

Respectfully, the government was a little behind. I recall the first throne speech the government came out with in 2015 talked about the need for “a leaner military.” We have been pushing the government, prior to this invasion, to do more in terms of sanctions and weapons supplies.

I hope the member will continue to urge her government to do even more, because I think she put her finger on the right point in terms of the critical importance of supplying weapons.

The member spoke about the issue of debt at the beginning of her speech. Sometimes we make the mistake of comparing Canadian federal debt to other countries' federal debt, when actually in Canada we need to take into consideration the total level of government debt. Canada has very high total government debt when we consider the fact that many of the services that are provided in our country are actually provided by other levels of government.

Federal debt has more than doubled in the time the Prime Minister has been in office. I would submit that, if we are so far in debt that we would not be able to afford to lead anymore, is the member concerned about the debt levels and the impact as interest rates rise?

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Madam Speaker, there was much in that question. I would like to thank my colleague for recognizing the work that Canada has done to continue to support Ukraine. I would also like to thank my colleague for his work at our foreign affairs committee. However, I do believe that it was former prime minister Harper who cut the most from our national defence investments. I believe that we need to continue investing in our defensive capabilities, and this budget goes a long way in order to do just that.

With respect to the economic aspect of his question, I would point him to the consistently falling net debt-to-GDP ratio in our budget. I would point him to the statistics I mentioned on having the lowest deficit in the G7. This is ensuring that our economy continues to function well and to grow, and that we continue to attract foreign direct investment at unprecedented rates, which we are.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.

I would like to hear her thoughts about immigration and resources, particularly when it comes to temporary foreign workers.

I am a bit disappointed that there is not much about that in Bill C-19. There are a few general measures on economic targets, but they will not really affect Quebec, because Quebec makes its own selections in the economic classes. What we need is significant resources to process applications.

Again this morning, I spoke to an asparagus farmer in my riding who had asked to have his workers by April 23. He was so worried he would not get any workers at all that he was prepared to pay them to sit around and do nothing until May 10. Tomorrow is May 10 and he is still short six workers. That is a loss of $100,000.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

I completely agree that we need to invest more resources in our immigration system. Members from across the country and I are also getting calls. I know that there are major delays, but there is also work to do in partnership with the Government of Quebec.

We set federal immigration levels, and Quebec set other immigration levels, which unfortunately are lower.

I think that everyone here in the House is capable of working together to ensure that we have enough workers in the country so that our small businesses and farmers can be as successful as we all know they can be.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

May 9th, 2022 / 3:50 p.m.

NDP

Bonita Zarrillo NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I note that in the budget speech there was no mention of health care workers and no mention of the very important care economy. With this week being National Nursing Week, I wanted to ask the member about this. There is a top-up in the budget for health care, but the health care workforce is at a crisis point. Will there be additional investments made by the government to make sure that the labour shortages in the nursing profession are addressed?

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Madam Speaker, I sincerely appreciate this question. I would point the member to the fact that we, as the federal government, must respect the jurisdictions of different layers of government, and health care is provincial jurisdiction. We are absolutely interested in sitting down with provinces and territories to come to an agreement, but, as I am sure she is aware, we would need the provinces to take the lead on such a matter.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, I am happy to rise here to speak to Bill C-19, the budget implementation act.

This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for many Canadians, and now we have a housing crisis, rising inflation and a labour shortage, which are all adding to these difficulties. Our health care system has come close to a breaking point on several occasions. Thousands have died. Millions have been seriously ill. Doctors, nurses and all health care workers have been under unbelievable stress and physical exhaustion. I want to say a personal thanks to all of those who cared for us and our loved ones over the past two years and more.

Businesses and workers suffered through a series of lockdowns. Nine million Canadians found themselves out of work, without income and with no way to pay their rent, their mortgage and their grocery bills. Companies were in similar dire straits. Fortunately, this House came together to pass measures that kept people financially afloat and measures that allowed businesses to keep employees on the payroll. However, last year, we learned that still over half of Canadians were only $200 from insolvency at the end of every month, and that was before the housing crisis reached another level of unbelievable house prices, monthly rents and rental availability.

The NDP is focused on helping Canadians, making sure they get the health care they need no matter where they live or their level of income, making sure they can find a home they can afford, making sure they have the means to live out their senior years in dignity, and making sure that those Canadians who did well through the pandemic, some of whom made billions of dollars in profits, pay their fair share.

This is the first budget after the Liberals and the NDP announced their confidence and supply agreement, so I would like to highlight some of the gains that we achieved in this agreement by using our power here in the House of Commons to help Canadians.

It is fair to say that the big gains have come in creating a stronger health care system here in Canada. When we created the universal health care system that we are so proud of, several aspects of health care were left out. At the top of that list is dental care, so I am proud that we will be bringing dental care coverage to all Canadians who need it, through this agreement. It would start with free dental care for all children without coverage this year, and by the third year we would have dental care for everyone with a household income of less than $90,000 who does not have coverage now.

I have already spoken in this House about the impact this would have. It would be literally life-changing for so many lower-income Canadians, who would have access to dental care for the first time, access that so many other Canadians just take for granted. It would not only change people's lives, but it would save our broader health care system millions of dollars. Alex Munter, the CEO of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, has told us that dental restoration is the most common surgery carried out in that hospital, restoration that is needed because of the lack of preventive care. This program would keep kids out of hospital. I have to remind Canadians that both the Liberals and the Conservatives voted down this exact initiative less than a year ago, so the NDP is very proud that it would move ahead to change lives for the better.

Similarly, the confidence and supply agreement ensures that universal pharmacare would be added to our health care coverage. Canada is the only country with comprehensive health care coverage that does not include prescribed medications in that coverage. This program would not only save lives, as 10% of Canadians simply cannot afford to fill their prescriptions, but it would save the Canadian economy more than $4 billion a year through the power of a single buyer when we purchase medications. More savings, over $10 billion per year according to some estimates, would accrue by simply keeping people out of hospital and keeping them healthier through proper medication.

I recently spoke here about the crisis in long-term care, so I will not go into detail, other than to say that one of the other points in our agreement was to bring a safe long-term care act, which would go a long way toward ensuring that our seniors can live in dignity.

The issue that is critical for many Canadians, certainly in my riding, is housing: the impossible cost of buying a house, the ridiculous rental rates and the extreme difficulty in even finding rental accommodation. My riding has an unenviable combination of high housing prices, with the average house price in my riding running at about $1 million, and low incomes. The average single income in my riding is around $30,000.

In our agreement with the Liberals, the NDP won an extension of the rapid housing initiative, which would add $1.5 billion in funding to build more than 4,500 affordable housing units.

We have also made the government's rental construction financing initiative actually work for renters across the country. Previously, this program, which is the biggest CMHC program for rental housing, was doing little or nothing to provide affordable housing. It was giving money to developers to build rental units that were then being rented at an average of 50% above the average market value, so we were giving out taxpayers' money to help developers charge excessive rent. The NDP has fixed this, to ensure that 40% of these units will be rented out at below 80% of average market rent. In my riding, that means the production of units that will be offered at $900 per month, compared to the former Liberal rates of $2,000 per month.

We still have more to do. The NDP has pledged to build half a million units of affordable housing over 10 years, to make up the effort lost over the past 30 years, after successive Liberal and Conservative governments got out of the affordable housing game. We will continue pressing the government to make these necessary investments so that all Canadians can have a roof over their head.

I will briefly mention that I am disappointed that this budget seems to do little for the fight against climate change. In particular, I have real concerns that billions of dollars will be given to highly profitable oil and gas companies to try to implement carbon capture technologies that will likely delay rather than hasten our shift to a cleaner energy future.

When balancing budgets, governments too often forget the revenue side of the equation. During the pandemic, most Canadians have suffered financially, while a few in the 1% have made extraordinary profits. The NDP had called for an excessive profits tax, as well as a wealth tax of 1% for those Canadians who have assets over $10 million, to make sure the costs of the pandemic are borne more by those who can afford it rather than have the burden fall on the majority of Canadians who have suffered.

While the Liberals did not agree to our reasonable request, they have agreed to levy a one-time excess profit tax of 15% for banks and a permanent 1.5% tax increase for banks. These two measures will recoup over $6 billion in taxes over the next five years. The NDP would have preferred that the excess profit tax be extended to big corporations such as big oil companies and big box retailers such as Walmart, which made a $3.5-billion profit in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone. We are also disappointed that these taxes are not included in this budget implementation act.

I will finish by mentioning one small victory in excise tax reform that stems from my private member's bill, Bill C-267, which would remove the alcohol excise tax from low-alcohol beer. Low-alcohol wine and spirits do not face this tax. None of Canada's trading partners charge this tax. My bill was meant to make a common sense change to the excise tax to level the playing field. The beer industry was paying more than $1 million every year in excise tax on low-alcohol beer. The beer industry and millions of Canadians who drink low-alcohol beer, and myself, are all happy to see this bill incorporated into this budget implementation act.

I was disappointed to see that other issues stemming from the changes to the Excise Act were not dealt with in this budget. Many wineries in my riding will be paying excise tax for the first time, since their exemption was eliminated after a challenge at the World Trade Organization. Wine Growers Canada has been calling for permanent trade legal support for the industry to match the supports provided by other major wine-producing countries. The government has offered temporary 18-month support, but I was hoping for a more long-lasting measure that would really make a difference in this important industry.

The NDP will continue working to make life better for Canadians. I believe this bill is a step in the right direction, but we have a long journey to go.

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

4 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I look at the budget from a holistic approach. There are many things within the budget one can talk about. When I reflect on the last federal election, Canadians did send a message that whether one was in government or in opposition, the expectation was that people would take their roles in a very responsible fashion.

Part of what we have witnessed over the last number of weeks and months is that there seems to be a higher sense of co-operation and recognition that by working together we can be more effective at getting things done for Canadians in all regions of the country. That does not limit an opposition party to work with the government and at the same time be a critic of the government. Could my friend provide his thoughts on that?

Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1Government Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, I would agree with the member for Winnipeg North. Most Canadians and constituents I talk to want politicians to collaborate and act collegially to create the best for Canadians and to make sure we are working here to make lives better for Canadians.

That is what the NDP has been concentrating on. We were very happy to work on this agreement with the Liberals because they agreed to put forward several pieces of legislation that we have been putting forward and they have been voting against. However, they have agreed to do that because we know it will make life better for Canadians.

Yes, we still have plenty to criticize the Liberals for, and we will continue doing that, but I think this is what Canadians want to see.