House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay will now lead us in the singing of the national anthem.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Municipal Officials in OttawaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Chandra Arya Liberal Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize and thank several City of Ottawa officials who are not seeking re-election in the coming fall election.

Our mayor, His Worship Jim Watson, with whom I worked on the board of Invest Ottawa, has promoted affordable housing, tourism and the knowledge-based sector in Ottawa. Councillor Jan Harder has contributed tremendously to the development of present-day Barrhaven. Councillor Keith Egli, as the chair of the Ottawa Board of Health, has played a key role during the pandemic. Councillor Scott Moffatt, with his family’s 200-year history in his ward, has always been an influential voice for our rural population.

I want to thank them all for their co-operative relationship with me during the last seven years. On behalf of the residents of Nepean and Ottawa, I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.

Retirement CongratulationsStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to rise in the House today to pay tribute to three retiring firefighters from my riding. Chief Paul Lijdsman from the Oyen Fire Department, Chief Glen Durand from the Special Areas Board and Captain Randy Haugen from the city of Camrose have dedicated much of their lives to keeping the residents of Battle River—Crowfoot safe.

These rural Alberta professionals have served east central Alberta for decades. Their actions include running into burning buildings, responding to MVAs during inclement weather, caring for the sick and injured when needed and helping during times of disaster. These community leaders were there day and night when duty called.

The residents of Battle River—Crowfoot owe Chief Lijdsman, Chief Durand and Captain Haugen a huge debt of gratitude. The courage they have displayed daily serves as an inspiration to the young and old alike.

From the House of Commons, I share my thanks for these gentlemen's tireless dedication to our communities. May God bless them as they enter a much-deserved retirement.

Community Leader in York CentreStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ya'ara Saks Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, June is Italian Heritage Month. I would like to honour a leader in our Italian community in York Centre, Amneris Cristofoli. This year, she celebrated her 80th birthday, but to see her we would not know it.

Amneris is a dedicated and energetic pillar in our community who runs the Grandravine Women’s Fitness Club. With over 75 members, they get together and participate in health and fitness activities and social events led by Amneris. She has been teaching this group for over 35 years, with participants aged from 60 to 90 years old and over.

The fitness club is more than just an exercise class; it is a family. These ladies share stories of love, marriage and christenings, and are there for each other through the joyful and challenging times. COVID was difficult for this group, but Amneris made sure to call each lady every week to check in and make sure they were okay. I am pleased that they are back and as strong as ever, gathering for fitness and sharing their amazing cooking.

I thank Amneris for all that she does for our community.

[Member spoke in Italian and provided the following translation:]

I wish you well, full of health, love and success.

Kabyle PeopleStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Beaulieu Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that Ferhat Mehenni, a pioneer in the decolonization of the Kabyle people, is visiting Ottawa. He used song as a peaceful means to gain recognition for the Kabyle language, identity and culture. He is a founding member of Algeria's human rights advocacy group and president of the provisional Kabyle government, which has made international claims to the right to self-determination for its people.

He has always advocated a non-violent approach, as has Kamira Nait Sid, co-president of the World Amazigh Congress, whom I have had the honour of meeting here in Parliament, but who is currently a prisoner of conscience in Algeria, as are 500 other people, mainly Kabyles.

That is why Rachid Bandou has launched a petition to ask the Canadian government to condemn the Algerian government's detention of hundreds of prisoners of conscience.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to express my solidarity with the Kabyle people in their struggle for freedom.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country GraduatesStatements by Members

June 15th, 2022 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Patrick Weiler Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate graduates in West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country and across Canada.

As they mark this important milestone with their classmates, friends and families, I hope they will be proud of their achievements and their hard work. High school is a very special time during which people can grow and develop, and we hope that they will carry with them the knowledge, skills and experiences that will help them chart their course into adulthood.

Whether they opt to pursue their studies or dive directly into the job market, this is the perfect time for them to find their passions and explore their path to happiness and success.

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2022. As they embark on the next chapter of their lives, I wish them and their classmates tremendous success in their future undertakings.

Community TrailsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, for years, alongside constituents in my riding, I have been working to build the trail that runs all the way from Calgary to Banff and Lake Louise, and we have made great progress. Despite the Liberals cancelling construction of the section from Banff to Lake Louise, we have still managed to get some large sections built, including the Glenbow Ranch Trail between Calgary and Cochrane and the Legacy Trail connecting Canmore and Banff.

During the month of June, Cochrane has a bike-a-thon fundraiser to help build another stretch of this trail, completing the full connection from Calgary to Cochrane. The mayor of Cochrane, Jeff Genung, and I are even in a friendly competition to see who can raise more money. I encourage everyone in our communities to join us in supporting this important project, whether they collect sponsorships and get out for a ride or make a pledge to the Cochrane to Calgary trail.

I want to thank all involved, including community leaders Dan Kroffat, Alex Baum, the rotary club, the Kiwanis club, Bike Cochrane, Sport for Life and Big Hill Cycle. Get out, be active and support the trail.

National Indigenous History MonthStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, June is National Indigenous History Month. Each year, my team and I select a book written by an indigenous author to read together throughout the month of June to further broaden our understanding of indigenous issues, cultures and history and as a form of recognition, celebration and reconciliation.

This year, we have selected Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley, available at the Oakville and Burlington public libraries and A Different Drummer Books in Burlington. I encourage everyone in my riding to join us in reading and participating in a conversation with Grand Chief Sky-Deer of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake to discuss the Jay Treaty.

Incorporating indigenous perspectives, history and culture into all spaces as we move forward in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, while acknowledging the harms of Canada’s past and present, is imperative to ensuring a future for our country that is equitable for everyone. We must listen, learn, unpack and be guided by the voices of indigenous people.

Canadian Music Hall of Fame InducteeStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Coteau Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to recognize a great Canadian who was just inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The platinum record-selling artist Deborah Cox is the first Black Canadian woman and the first from my neighbourhood, Flemingdon Park, to be honoured with this award.

Although Deborah is recognized and embraced today, back when she first started, she was passed over by almost every major music label in this country. It was not until she made her way into the United States that her career took flight and she became an international star. Known for her many number-one billboard hits, the rhythm and blues legend not only has left a mark on the music industry, but has excelled as an actor on the stage. Her 2004 Broadway debut was very well received and led to various roles throughout her career.

Deborah Cox's worldwide success makes us proud as Canadians, but I am especially proud because she is from the neighbourhood where I grew up, Flemingdon Park in Toronto. It is an honour to speak in the House today to let everyone know about the success of this great Canadian.

Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps 344Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, “Expect No Warning” is the motto of the HMCS Victoria, the namesake for the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps 344. On June 16, the cadet corps will be meeting for the first time since the pandemic to recognize with medals three deserving cadets: Chief Petty Officer Jayden Traimany, Chief Petty Officer Pablo Silva and Petty Officer Miguel Sharif.

For over 20 years, this cadet corps has been making an impact and will once again be on military inspection and parade ceremony. I want to recognize cadet instructors leading these fine young cadets, including Navy Lieutenant Geoff Kneller, Navy Lieutenant Buchanan, Sub-Lieutenant Jolliffe, Acting Sub-Lieutenant Lajtaka and their instructor Glen Ellaschuk. The cadet program offers youth an opportunity to gain leadership skills and build confidence in their abilities and teaches them the value of discipline. A career in the navy is a worthy life's pursuit.

I give a big congratulations to the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps 344, to the deserving medal recipients and to the families that make this program possible. While they are cadets today, there are oceans of opportunity to trade up the uniform for the navy’s motto “Ready, Aye Ready”.

Flooding in Thunder Bay—Rainy RiverStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcus Powlowski Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr Speaker, I recently visited the area around Fort Frances, which is experiencing flooding. In fact, Rainy Lake water levels are currently half a metre higher than they were during the 2014 flood. There are many houses and cottages on Rainy Lake or adjacent waterways, like the Seine River. Many people have spent the last month either sandbagging or pumping in order to try to save their homes, but unfortunately not all have been successful.

I am very proud to represent these people. They really represent the best of Canadians. They have worked hard, and by “work” I do not mean the kind of thing we do here in Parliament.

Neighbour helped neighbour, and despite all the hardship, many people retained their sense of humour and expressed the fact that they were more concerned about others than they were about themselves. In fact, one guy, Bob Feshuck, while standing ankle deep in water in his living room, told me that whenever he starts feeling sorry for himself, he turns on the television to see what is happening in Ukraine. Now there is a real Canadian.

Birthday CongratulationsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lianne Rood Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, my grandmother, Helen Jamrozinski, was born 90 years ago today in eastern Europe. She is a survivor, escaping one country after another while fleeing the dictatorships and the brutalities of World War II. Eventually, she made her way, alone, at the age of 19, across the ocean to call Canada her new home. During her lifetime in Canada, she has worked hard building a successful business and raising her family.

She never expected handouts and has taught her family to work long and hard to accomplish their dreams. She left a legacy for us by teaching us to care about what we do and to contribute what we can by helping others. She has been an inspiration for me and for all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She holds a very special place in my heart. I am thankful for all her wisdom and all she has taught me. She encouraged me to follow my dreams.

I wish a happy 90th birthday to my babcia. She made it, and I love her.

Financial Regulators in CanadaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the little guy is losing his shirt. Where are the regulators? House prices doubled in six years, and now they are crashing. Why did regulators not slow the out-of-control growth in mortgage credit? Why did they not stop banks from mortgaging 95% of the value of an asset that had doubled or tripled?

Last year, the New York state attorney general banned Bitfinex and Tether from New York's financial markets and fined them. She said they were each a lie and a fraud, but it took regulators here six months to ban Tether, and Bitfinex has never been banned. Now stable coins and crypto are collapsing.

Why did regulators not protect ban these frauds and Ponzi schemes? Where are OSFI, CMHC, Finance Canada and the Ontario Securities Commission? Where are Crown prosecutors, attorneys general and law enforcement? Where is the government in protecting the finances of ordinary Canadians?

Summer in Glengarry—Prescott—RussellStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Drouin Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to welcome the return of festivals and agricultural fairs in Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Tourism season is back, and our local businesses are ready to welcome visitors. We are kicking off the season with the Maxville agricultural fair this weekend, and other summer festivities include Canada Day celebrations throughout the region, the western festival in Wendover, the Glengarry Highland Games, agricultural fairs in Russell, Vankleek Hill and Riceville, and last but certainly not least, the Popsilos circuit, a project that combines art and agriculture.

Everyone is invited to come and enjoy some local beer at one of our five microbreweries and try the local wine at one of our vineyards.

Summer 2022 has plenty to offer in Glengarry—Prescott—Russell. I invite everyone to come and spend some time with the good folks of my region.

Summer in Glengarry—Prescott—RussellStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

If I could have the attention of members, please.

I would like to remind everyone that statements are very important to individual members and their communities, and I am starting to hear some conversations. It is nice to see everybody talking to each other, but the rumble in the background is really drowning out the person who is speaking.

The hon. member for Vancouver East.

Care WorkersStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, migrant care workers are primarily women who come to Canada, leaving behind their families, to take care of children, the sick and the elderly.

The Conservatives unfairly imposed high requirements for permanent residency for caregivers, such as passing the English language test at level 5, which is higher than what is required to obtain citizenship; a 24-month work requirement; and additional education accreditation. Even though the Liberals have said publicly that these requirements are too onerous, they made no changes and reimposed them, which closed the door to many.

Meanwhile, the IRCC processing backlog is now at over two million. An access to information request exposed that almost no caregiver files have been processed since 2019. This is wrong. Caregivers feel they are being pushed to the back burner. They feel neglected and unimportant.

Caregivers should not be treated as second-class citizens. They should be given landed status on arrival. The NDP is demanding status for all now.

Pierre BruneauStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yves-François Blanchet Bloc Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the end of an era. Tomorrow, Pierre Bruneau will host his last newscast, after 46 years as anchor at TVA.

Since 1976, Pierre Bruneau has been the face of the news, delivering the information essential to public life with his trademark soothing tone and rigour. He has also been the embodiment of compassion for 32 years as a spokesperson for the Charles Bruneau Foundation, which fights childhood cancer.

As an avid consumer of news and politics, I will be among the many Quebeckers who will feel unsettled welcoming another face and voice to the five o'clock news. I will feel even more unsettled at the next leaders' debate, as I will miss that same soothing voice as someone else inherits the delicate task of refereeing.

After five decades and 23 Artis awards, meaning he was chosen by the public 23 times, and after receiving the Ordre national du Québec and the Order of Canada, Pierre Bruneau definitely deserves to feel a sense of accomplishment.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois and myself, I wish Mr. Bruneau the best of luck for the future.

Violent Crime in LakelandStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, violent crime is rising in big cities and rural regions alike. Rhonda owns a country store in a community of 10 people. Since 2019, she has been the victim of three armed robberies: one with a knife, one with a machete, and one with a gun. She says, “I live alone and my house and store are attached. My fear is always with me. I can't go home and forget. I see a therapist to help me get through it all and just as I start to get my life back, I get robbed again.”

Rhonda wants tougher sentences to stop repeat offences and better enforcement of court ordered restitution, instead of victims being forced to relive their trauma and chase cases through civil courts. Rhonda is in a wheelchair now because she fell and broke several bones during one attack. She says, “I live in fear every day, but I won't sell my store. If I give up, the criminals will have won. I can't let that happen.”

It is appalling that her experiences are becoming common in Lakeland. The NDP and Liberals should have her back, but instead they are reducing penalties for the very crimes against her. At least Conservatives stand with brave, innocent victims and all law-abiding Canadians like Rhonda. We will keep fighting for them.

Bilateral Trade RelationshipsStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Serré Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marks Peru's 201st anniversary of independence. Canada has eight free trade agreements in the hemisphere. They are with Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Mexico and the U.S.

Peru is Canada's third largest bilateral trading partner in Latin America and one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, with an annual growth rate of 5.5%. Since its launch in 2020, the Peruvian Canadian Institute, through Huntington University, aimed at developing economic ties and bridges between our two countries.

I encourage all parliamentarians to take part in the ParlAmericas activities to strengthen our bond with Caribbean and Latin American countries. I invite members and senators to attend a meeting this evening in West Block in honour of the ambassadors and high commissioners. Canada plays an important role in fostering relationships with member countries of ParlAmericas when it comes to addressing climate change, gender equality and open government.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Emergency Preparedness told the committee that law enforcement never asked for the Emergencies Act, which is yet another contradiction of the Minister of Public Safety. Nobody is backing him up, not even his own colleagues.

It is clear the Minister of Public Safety has been misleading Canadians for months. Will the Prime Minister remove him from his portfolio? Yes or no?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, allow me to be very clear with Canadians. Police do not grant themselves extraordinary powers; the government does that. Parliament debated it and voted on it.

As Commissioner Lucki said, the Emergencies Act gave the police the powers they needed to get the job done. Municipalities, provincial leadership and police told us they needed more tools to bring these illegal blockades to an end. That is exactly what we did, and it is exactly what they did when we gave them more tools with the Emergencies Act.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Safety has misled Canadians several times. He said protesters started fires in an Ottawa apartment building. That was false. He said foreign money was funding the protest. That was not true. He said law enforcement asked for the Emergencies Act. That was also false.

Does the Prime Minister agree that Canadians deserve better than a minister who repeatedly and overtly misleads them?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what we see right now is the Conservatives desperately trying to distract Canadians from the fact that they stood with these illegal blockaders. They encouraged them. They continue to make apologies for these people having shut down communities, hurt our economy and cost people jobs, at the same time as police were trying to do their jobs.

Police asked for more tools. We granted them more tools with the Emergencies Act, and we were able to get things back to normal in this country. People are free to protest legally, but not illegally. That is what Conservative politicians do not seem to understand.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the only people whose actions are being scrutinized right now are those of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Safety. In fact, as the committee's investigation into the government's use of the act continues, it is clear the legal threshold was not met to justify its use. It is clearer by the day the Emergencies Act was used for one thing and one thing only, and that was to get the Prime Minister out of hot water.

It looks like the reason the Prime Minister is not firing the Minister of Public Safety is that the minister is helping cover for the Prime Minister. Is that not the sad but real reality right now?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for three weeks, our communities here in Ottawa were facing illegal blockades. The work on Parliament was disrupted. Supply lines were challenged. Border crossings were interrupted. People were losing their jobs and factories were closing. Conservative politicians stood with them, encouraging these illegal blockades.

We worked with police to give them more tools, and when they asked for even more tools, we delivered the Emergencies Act, which allowed things to get back under control. There are open and transparent inquiries into that, and we are working with them on that.