House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judge.


Judges ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, as much as I do enjoy being engaged in debate on the floor of the House of Commons, I would have been more than happy to surrender my time to debate if I had a sense that we could actually pass the legislation at second reading so that it could go before a committee.

However, over the last number of months, I have seen the behaviour of members of the official opposition in particular. It seems they have taken the position that unless a bill is under time allocation, we can anticipate a long debate on virtually all pieces of legislation.

Maybe I am being a little unfair to my Conservative colleagues, but I firmly believe that if the Conservatives wanted this bill to pass, we would be very much open to having it pass second reading, at the very least, so that it could begin committee stage.

Judges ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Winnipeg North mentioned a few times the disconnect between what we see the Conservatives do and what we hear the Conservatives talk about. These are things like being soft on crime, when the Conservatives are supporting illegal blockades and the Liberal Party is working to bring in better law enforcement.

We have gone a long way since the patronage appointments of Stephen Harper. I am thinking of Vic Toews: Less than a year out of cabinet, he was appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench in Manitoba by Stephen Harper. Now, we are doing an independent review of appointments of judges.

Could the member comment on how far we have moved things along to restore the public trust in our judicial system, and how Bill C-9 will help us to go even further?

Judges ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question, but I am reflecting more on some of the other comments the member made reference to. He talked about Liberals being soft on crime. Not that long ago, on Wellington Street, which was open at the time and has not opened since, a rally took place that shut down downtown Ottawa due to all the activities that were taking place. The Conservative Party of Canada members, like the member for Carleton, were doing very little, if anything, and maybe even encouraging the occupation to continue. On the other hand, they say we are the ones who are soft on crime. That is a side issue that I wanted to throw in.

Bill C-9 is the reason I started by quoting the chief justice, who recognizes that there is a need for us to change the system. They are very much following the legislation. This is not something that was done overnight. It has taken a while. We believe we got it right, and that is why I say we should send it to committee if there need to be some changes. It would reinforce public confidence, which is what the member is getting at in his question. We want to reinforce public confidence in our judicial system because unfortunately, at times and in a limited number of cases, a judge will say the wrong thing and it is likely because something inside needs to be changed, maybe through an educational program or something of that nature.

We have recognized it in the past. Let us recognize it today and see if we can get the legislation passed.

Judges ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, throughout the discussion, I have heard from the other side the importance of moving through this legislation with due dispatch. However, it is also important to have due diligence. The last time I asked a substantive question, I did not get an answer, so I am going to attempt another substantive question just to prove once again that even the government does not know what it is passing.

Can the member comment on the difference between the executive director screening it versus a designated officer?

Judges ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the member went into the legislation and picked something out. What we are debating at second reading is the principle of the legislation. If we agree on the principle of the legislation, then we send it to committee. In committee, there will be all sorts of opportunities to get the detailed answers that the member is specifically looking for. If he wants an answer before it goes to committee, the minister is right across the aisle from him. He can drop him a note or raise it with the parliamentary secretary, who has already spoken on the issue.

The principle of the legislation is good, solid, sound and necessary, and it will help put more public confidence in our judicial system. Why would the member not recognize it for what it is and allow the legislation to pass, at the very least, so we can get it to committee?

Judges ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I will have to cut off the next speaker about five minutes into his speech for Statements by Members.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Northumberland—Peterborough South.

Judges ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am actually going to go through the substance of this bill. I agree with many parts of it. I would say this is one of the least contentious pieces of legislation that we will go through and that we have discussed. However, I do believe that our job, for which we are very well compensated by Canadian taxpayers, is to make sure we understand any legislation that goes through the chamber as it will all have an impact our country. After all, that is why we were sent here by our constituents and that is why we are paid by the taxpayers.

Some members of the government party do not seem to have a substantive grasp of this, as my last two questions pointed out. They were unable to answer even simple questions over the substance of this legislation.

Let us start out on our journey of what happens in a disciplinary procedure. I actually had the privilege of sitting on another body's disciplinary committee and found it to be very important and critical. Just to put this into context before we walk through the process, it is by weeding out those poor actors who are not living up to the expectations of the community that we improve the profession. I must say that, by and large, our justices are amazing people doing great work. They are keeping our cities and our streets safe. They are working to rehabilitate those who have gone off course, and I truly applaud their work. It is not many jobs that place the fate of individuals in one's hands and have that type of stress, so I would like to start by giving my thanks to the justices.

There are those justices who go off course, for whatever reason. They are unable or incapable of performing the duties that they are required to by law. It is incredibly important that when we have those folks off course we either bring them back on course or, in very severe circumstances when their careers simply cannot be salvaged, take them off the bench. For the most part, our justices are great, but it is incredibly important that we keep everyone accountable, from the House to the judges across our country and to the highest offices of the land.

The first step is the issuance of a complaint. Under the old system, the executive director of the Canadian Judicial Council would screen them. Now, they are putting in place a screening officer. It would be a lawyer's job to have those complaints come in and to initially screen them. Having sat on a professional disciplinary board myself, often complaints are just vexatious. They might be from litigants who got a decision they did not happen to like, but the judge did nothing wrong. When someone is in a decision-making capacity, they cannot make all the people happy all the time. Unfortunately, some of that bubbles up into complaints.

I believe that having a professional at the screening desk whose full-time job, as I understand it, is to review these complaints is a great step. I am sure the executive director was doing a good job, but they have multiple other tasks as well. Having a professional screening individual, who is a lawyer, review complaints is, I believe, a great step.

The next step is a very important one. After the initial complaint has been issued, the judge who is the subject of the complaint will get a notification of that complaint. I assume it will be a written notification. They then get the ability to respond with written submissions. At that point, that could be reviewed to see whether it is a legitimate claim or not. That claim could be dismissed on the grounds of the written submissions of the justice.

Once again, this is important. I like this part of the process. As I said, it is incredibly important that we hold everyone accountable so that if there are justices who are behaving inappropriately, we pull them off the bench.

Also very important is that we make this as painless as possible for justices who have done nothing wrong, but are the subject of vexatious or unnecessary complaints. This is obviously a very stressful job to begin with, so if there are vexatious claims it is incredibly important we get them voided and annulled as soon as possible. Throughout this new process, there would be multiple off-ramps where multiple individuals could review a claim and say whether something was a real claim or whether it should be dismissed.

One critical point in the initial review of the complaint by the screening officer is that discrimination and sexual harassment complaints could not be dismissed. I really like that, too. If we look at the numbers, the math and the history of our country, unfortunately sexual harassment claims have been way too often dismissed out of hand as “she said, he said” or otherwise. This would put an absolute right for those complaints to continue on, ensure they are not dismissed out of hand and that they do get a hearing, which is novel.

I have not seen this in other professional disciplinary boards. It may exist, but I have not seen it and it is a great step. One of the lowest prosecution rates we have is for sexual assault and for discriminatory crimes. Putting that in place would put in another safeguard to make sure that where there is discrimination and sexual harassment going on, that claim, if submitted, would always get a hearing. Other claims that may be lesser in nature could be dismissed out of hand, and I support that. This makes a lot of sense.

I also want to bring up that Conservatives agree this legislation needs to be reviewed.

After we get to the screening officer and the reviewing member, the next step would be the review panel. After there has been a complaint, the screening officer has said they believe something is legitimate and the justice has written their submissions back that they still believe this deserves to be heard, it would go to a review panel that would include a member, a judge and a layperson. It is nice that a layperson has been included in a number of these bills. Sometimes it should not always be the profession judging the profession, especially when it comes to judges, because the impact of a judge is well beyond the legal profession.

When it gets in front of the review panel, the review panel would consider the substance of the complaint, any related documents, observations provided by the viewing member, written submissions provided by the judge at issue and those of the chief justice. This would be a new addition in proposed section 99.

The review panel would have the ability to do one of three things. The panel could refer the case to a full hearing, which should be done if it believes the removal of the justice is a potential outcome of the offence: The offence is serious enough that it could warrant the removal of the justice. Another option, or another off-ramp, if the review panel does not believe this is a legitimate concern is to dismiss the complaint. Once again, if a person is innocent, it is another opportunity for them to have their innocence expressed and to have an off-ramp.

The next is to impose alternative sanctions short of removal. At this stage and level, the review panel could put in sanctions and penalties. This does not happen under the current system. It actually needs to be kicked back to the Canadian Judicial Council, which would then decide. This step would be taken away, which would expedite the process and make it that much more efficient.

I will quickly go through the list of possible sanctions that the review panel could put in.

It could issue a public or private expression of concern, a warning or a reprimand. From my experience working with a professional disciplinary committee, I know that oftentimes, if we can get to someone early, someone who may not be a bad person but may have made a mistake, then the opportunity to counsel them, educate them and put them in the right direction is far more productive. They may go on to be a fabulous justice, and this was just one indiscretion, one mistake along the way that they learned from. I think we need to give people, including justices, a second chance where it is merited.

The review panel could order a judge to privately or public apologize or take specific measures, including attending counselling or continuing education. We are in a mental health crisis, and I do not believe that justices are completely immune to it, particularly given the stress of their job. Perhaps counselling is a solution. We may have an extremely talented person who has been going through a difficult time. As a community, we want to do everything we can to help them with whatever issues they may have. Also, they are an extremely valuable part of our community, being a justice, so we want to see the investment rewarded with a great, long career.

The review panel could take any action that it considers equivalent to the above options. With a judge's consent, it could also make an agreement, which is great too because not everything is one size fits all. Overly prescriptive legislation, in my opinion, can often be challenging, so this would give judges the ability to sit with members of the review panel and decide and agree on some steps going forward so that we can get their career back on a path that makes sure they are dispensing justice in a way that the community would be proud of.

With regard to the review panel, if one of the sanctions I talked about was put in place, there would be a review process or an appeal process, which is a little confusing in the legislation, called a “reduced hearing panel”. I would have named it the “appeal panel” for the sanctions or put the word “appeal” in there somewhere, but that is effectively what this is. The justice would have the ability to call for a review of the sanctions that are less important than removal.

I will leave the step about a full removal for the second part of my speech because I do not want to continue with that, but I will note that the reduced hearing panel has an interesting part to it. Judges could go from getting sanctions to being put in a full panel hearing, which could actually lead to a worse circumstance. I have some questions about that and will raise them later on in my speech.

FirearmsStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Arif Virani Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, gun violence is a reality in every community. My riding of Parkdale—High Park is no exception. As my staff have heard repeatedly from my constituents, we must do everything in our power to combat gun violence.

To date, we have banned assault-style weapons. We have cracked down on illegal trafficking. We have committed $250 million to address gang violence.

With Bill C-21 we are going further. We are implementing a national freeze on the sale, purchase, transfer and importation of handguns. We are responding to the pleas of women who are victims of intimate partner violence, which often turns lethal simply because of the presence of handguns in the home. We are responding to pleas of racialized and religious minorities, who have asked that red flag laws, which enable firearms to be removed by court order, protect the anonymity of those targeted by hate. We are responding to the pleas of mental health advocates, who contend, rightly, that handguns in Canadian homes result in increased deaths by suicide.

The only pleas we are ignoring are those of the gun lobby, who would criticize us for working to keep Canadians safe.

Italian Heritage MonthStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Anna Roberts Conservative King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today in the House to recognize Italian Heritage Month. Over 40,000 Italian Canadians live in King—Vaughan, and I am a proud ancestor of an Italian Canadian.

In the 1950s, my grandfather immigrated to Canada and worked as a bricklayer for many years to support his family. He came to this nation with nothing but the clothing on his back and a few dollars in his pocket. My grandfather and numerous other Italian Canadians became entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders, and as a result of their hard work and devotion, they had a desire to achieve.

Italian Canadians make an important contribution to this country, and they continue to make the riding of King—Vaughan and our entire country better every day.

[Member spoke in Italian]


Health Care WorkersStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Jenica Atwin Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to recognize and show my immense gratitude to health care workers. With the summer days among us and the possibility to finally rejoice together, the echo of the sounds of pots and pans showing support for health care workers may have dissipated, but in our hearts we must continue to be thankful and recognize the essential importance of their work.

Consider the nurses who are working in indigenous communities and remote communities, the family physicians who are accompanying us at every stage of our lives and those in long-term care who have faced the tragedy of the pandemic head-on. I thank them for their sacrifice and dedication.

Words will never be enough. Much work needs to be done, and we must commit to improving working conditions and solidifying our system. We can only achieve that by making sure that every decision focuses on the well-being of health care workers themselves.

I encourage all members in the House to join me in celebrating their heroic efforts. I thank them. Woliwon.

World Elder Abuse Awareness DayStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It is a time to remember the importance of paying attention to the suffering that some seniors are experiencing.

Elder abuse is insidious and unacceptable, but it is unfortunately still all too common, whether it is a slap on the face, belittling comments, or financial fraud. We need to raise awareness of this social problem, and encourage people to recognize it and prevent all types of abuse.

However, beyond abuse, more and more organizations want us to focus on caring. In order to have a more caring community, incomes need to be higher. While COVID‑19 has amplified the isolation and financial stress felt by seniors, rising inflation is hardest for those on fixed incomes, many of them seniors.

To help them stay in their own homes, old age security needs to be increased without creating age discrimination. Health transfers also need to be increased, with no strings attached.

Seniors have the same rights as everyone else, and we need to allow them to age with care, kindness and dignity.

Orleans Plasma Donor CentreStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Marie-France Lalonde Liberal Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, on June 6, I had the great pleasure of visiting the brand new plasma donor centre in my community of Orleans.

The state-of-the-art donation centre is located in Place d'Orléans Shopping Centre. Donated plasma can be given to those in need of a plasma transfusion or to create plasma protein products such as immunoglobulins, which can be used to help Canadians in need. Currently, there is an increased need for plasma, as more and more conditions are being treated with immunoglobulins.

Anyone who is eligible can donate plasma as often as every two weeks. I would like to thank all the residents of Orleans who have already used this facility. I encourage all eligible individuals to consider making an appointment to donate plasma by visiting the Canadian Blood Services website.

Mariposa Folk FestivalStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Adam Chambers Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have a back-row special for members today.

The Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia has been an iconic cultural event since its first edition in 1961 and has grown into a cultural highlight of summer in Simcoe North. This year's festival will be a celebration of the return of the festival, of live music and, yes, of the community.

In the last 60-plus years, a who's who of folk legends have graced Mariposa's stages: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte-Marie and many more. The Mariposa Folk Festival will take place from July 8 to 10 in beautiful Tudhope Park on the shores of Lake Couchiching in Orillia. It celebrates the past while bringing in diverse, contemporary folk music to new generations.

I would like to thank the Mariposa Folk Foundation and all of the volunteers for their continued work in the promotion and preservation of folk art in Canada through song, story and craft.

I invite all who see this message to come to visit us in Orillia this summer.

Calgary Arab FestivalStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


George Chahal Liberal Calgary Skyview, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge a very special event that I had the honour of attending in Calgary. The seventh Calgary Arab Festival was an extraordinary event showcasing live performances, folk shows, cultural tents and delicious foods from across the globe. The celebration was especially meaningful this year because of the recent recognition of Arab Heritage Month. I thank my hon. colleagues for supporting Bill C-232 and providing over a million Arab Canadians with another opportunity to showcase their cultures.

I would like to say a special thanks to Mirna Khaled, Mohamad Awada, Alaa Hamadan, Mohammed Hamden, Bridges for Newcomers and all the volunteers who put this festival together.

Bike the CreekStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, summer is right around the corner and so is Brampton's annual Bike the Creek event, coming up on June 18. Bramptonians of all ages have a chance to bike through the beautiful valleys, trails and landmarks in Peel. This year marks the eighth annual ride.

I want to thank all BikeBrampton board members, volunteers and organizers, and I send a big shout-out to David and Dayle Laing and Kevin Montgomery for their leadership.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is so important, and it is amazing to see how biking can help us reduce our carbon footprint and stay active. Cycling can improve our heart, lungs, circulation and mental health, and it is a great way to explore our communities. Let us all get pedalling this weekend and discover the joy of cycling.

Beef LabellingStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Fraser Tolmie Conservative Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, SK

Mr. Speaker, I once asked my youngest daughter what her favourite colour was. Do members know what she said? It was “bacon”. We cannot get more Canadian than that.

I love bacon too. What does bacon go great on? It is the iconic bacon cheeseburger. Every part of that sandwich represents a different part of Saskatchewan agriculture, and agriculture is under attack.

Now the government wants to slap a warning label on Canadian ground beef. Be it the Liberals' carbon tax, rampant inflation or now warning labels, the government wants to starve Canadians. Adding a warning label on beef is yet another attack on Saskatchewan. It will hurt our beef industry and raise costs for already-struggling families.

Why will the government not stop interfering and let us eat our bacon cheeseburgers in peace?

Retirement CongratulationsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Jenna Sudds Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, a warm smile is the universal language of kindness. Have members ever met someone whose smile just pulled them in, whose smile radiated kindness?

I rise today to recognize my constituent and team member Joanne Sass-Williams, as she begins her retirement next week. Joanne has one of those smiles, instantly earning trust and comforting those around her. Her quiet confidence, giant heart and dedication to the constituents of Kanata—Carleton over the last seven years have been incredible. A void will be left in our office as she leaves us next week. However, I know her husband Lloyd, kids Laura and Kurtis and especially her grandbabies Addie and Melody will be overjoyed to have more of her time.

Joanne reminds me that kindness is a silent smile, a friendly word, a nod of encouragement. Kindness is the single most powerful thing we can give to each other, and Joanne has given it in spades. I thank her.

Foreign AffairsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Madam Speaker, on Sunday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said it was unacceptable for a high-level Canadian official to attend a Russia Day celebration. “The buck stops with me,” she claimed.

As a former Canadian foreign services officer, I can personally attest that at Global Affairs, we only do what we are told to do. Orders are given and we are expected to execute them without question. Nowhere is this more clear than with the top diplomat, the minister herself.

If the direction came from the minister, it is a continued reflection of the Liberal government's approach to foreign policy. It is careless, thoughtless and reactive, and it starts with our foreign minister.

The minister owes it to Canadians and to our ally, Ukraine, to explain why a Canadian official attended this celebration. It is an affront not only to democracy, but also to diplomacy.

Flood ProtectionStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, last November, B.C.’s Fraser Valley experienced a massive flood. Thousands were evacuated as the Nooksack River in Washington state sent floodwaters pouring into Canada. Sumas prairie, the heart of Abbotsford's agricultural industry, suffered catastrophic losses of livestock, crops and buildings.

This week, city council approved a plan for long-term flood protection at a price of close to $3 billion. The goal is not just to rebuild old dikes, but to construct new flood-resilient infrastructure to 21st century standards. Modern engineering will not only keep us safe; it will avert billions of dollars in future economic losses.

In fact, hundreds of constituents have written to me asking the Liberal government to fund this infrastructure. Today, I will personally deliver those letters to the Deputy Prime Minister. I plead with her to listen to our cries for help and deliver the support we have asked for.

Ontario Hockey League ChampionshipStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Irek Kusmierczyk Liberal Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, two of the hardest-working hockey teams from two of the hardest-working communities faced off in game seven of the OHL championship. The Hamilton Bulldogs and our own Windsor Spitfires gave hockey fans one of the most thrilling championship series in memory.

Although we came up short, I rise today to say congratulations to the western conference champions, the Windsor Spitfires, on a great season and thank them for giving our community and our fans an unbelievable and electric playoff run.

I would also like to say congratulations to the Bulldogs, the city of Hamilton and their incredible fans that showed class and grit throughout the series. I wish them good luck in Saint John. Let us bring the Memorial Cup back to Ontario.

I say to Spitfires coach Marc Savard and the Spitfires players that today we stand Windsor proud. We will be there when the season starts to cheer the boys on all the way. Go, Spits, go.

Summer Festivities in Algoma—Manitoulin—KapuskasingStatements by Members

June 16th, 2022 / 2:10 p.m.


Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are looking forward to summer activities and seeing everything this wonderful country has to offer.

If anyone is looking for a top-tier tourist destination, look no further than Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing. Kapuskasing will be throwing its biggest party of the year as it hosts a Saint-Jean festival this weekend.

The Iron Bridge Music Fest has a great line-up of musicians. Everyone should be sure to add Manitoulin Country Fest and St. Joseph Island’s Go North Music Festival to their schedule.

People can learn about indigenous culture by attending National Indigenous Peoples Day events or the many powwows, including the Wiikwemkoong 60th Annual Cultural Festival.

There is also a host of Canada Day and Pride festivities. People should not forget White River's Winnie the Pooh Festival.

Are engines music to people's ears? They can get revved up at the North Shore Challenge Drag Race or the Smooth Truck Fest.

People who love the outdoors can put their line down at the 40th annual Wawa Salmon Fishing Derby.

People who love food can drop by the Espanola Poutine Feast or Little Current’s ribfest.

We can see that Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing has something for everyone. Come join us.

Governor GeneralStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, no matter what anyone says, representing the monarchy must make for a rough life.

Consider the 100,000 bucks for in-flight catering. This does not include hotel or restaurant expenses during the trip. The in-flight catering alone cost $100,000 for nine days. I do not know what they ate, but I hope it was good. One must have no shame and no sense of responsibility to use people's money like that, to use taxpayer money to treat oneself and one's entourage to such a feast.

One thing is certain. While the Governor General's role is largely symbolic, the expenses involved are anything but. Not only do we want to hear the Governor General's ridiculous excuses, but we want our colleagues from the other parties to explain why they care about the monarchy, because, for us, it is clear that the monarchy is an antiquated, undemocratic institution that serves no purpose and costs way too much money.

JusticeStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Larry Brock Conservative Brantford—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, six years ago, in 2016, the government conducted consultations on reforming the judicial complaints process. After inexcusable delays, we are finally starting to debate Bill C-9, which has the potential to increase confidence in the judicial system. This is long overdue.

This bill would replace the process through which the conduct of federally appointed judges is reviewed by the Canadian Judicial Council and would enable a judge to be removed from office for reasons including infirmity, misconduct or failure in the due execution of judicial office. By modifying the existing judicial review process, a straightforward process for complaints serious enough to warrant removal from office would be established.

Our justice system needed this piece of legislation to be implemented years ago. Canadians must be assured that our judges need to be held accountable and perform their duty in the best interests of our society and our country. I urge all members in the House to support this bill.

Italian Heritage MonthStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Lisa Hepfner Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is Italian Heritage Month and my riding of Hamilton Mountain is home to a vibrant Italian community 12,000 strong.

One of my constituents, Alfredo De Luca, learned the art of cooking from his mom back when he was a child in Calabria, Italy. There he learned how to perfect his sauce, make the handmade pasta he uses to craft his lasagna, and find the perfect spice for his meatballs. Today, Alfredo, his wife Tania and son Alfredo bring those traditional recipes to the people of Hamilton Mountain at Alfredo’s Place on Fennell Avenue East. He opened the restaurant after an accomplished career at Stelco, and his mouth-watering fresh dishes now draw crowds. Family-run traditional businesses like Alfredo’s are at the heart of what makes Hamilton, well, Hamilton. I am thankful to Alfredo and his family for sharing their traditions with all of us.

Happy Italian Heritage Month to all who are celebrating.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.


Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, never in the history of this country have the people been so poorly served by a government.

Everything the Liberals touch goes wrong, and Canadians are paying the price. If they want a passport, they have to stand in line. If they want to travel by plane, they have to stand in line. If they travel to the United States without a smart phone, they still have to have ArriveCAN. If they have a problem with employment insurance, they have to wait months to get a cheque. Now it is their turn to stand in line.

Which minister will stand up and take responsibility for this chaos?