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.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Mélanie Joly LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my great colleague and friend from Scarborough—Agincourt for her fantastic work.

Canada is a friend to the Armenian community, and we know also that Armenia needs support for its democracy.

I would like to thank special envoy Stéphane Dion for his important report. We welcome his recommendations and look forward to putting these recommendations in place as concrete steps.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Adam Chambers Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the day that the government finally releases its secret plan to fight inflation. It is so secret that there are no new measures in the plan, just a re-listing of programs that are already indexed to inflation. Curiously absent is any relief from one of the key drivers of inflation: gasoline and fuel prices.

Why does the government continually ignore calls to provide immediate relief to Canadians by lowering the taxes on fuel and gasoline?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault LiberalMinister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government has made sure that we index programs to inflation, particularly because we know that in this inflationary cycle in the world economy, it is an important policy to make sure that Canadians have the money they need to pay their bills, buy their groceries and afford their gas.

When it comes to gas, the Conservatives have not fully studied their own policy, because we know from evidence that when we take tax off at the pumps, the prices actually do not change.

We are going to put money in the pockets of Canadians so that they can afford the goods they need, and we are not listening to half-baked policies from the Conservative opposition.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Adam Chambers Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if the hon. member believes that there is collusion in the gasoline price market, but that would be a very serious accusation.

I get that this government does not want to listen to ideas from this side of the House, but perhaps it might be persuaded by the former Bank of Canada governor, who said that in order to tame inflation, we need to get oil prices down.

Various taxes account for almost 60¢ per litre of gasoline. How much higher does gasoline need to go before this government realizes there is a problem?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault LiberalMinister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we understand that inflation is on the rise. It is a global phenomenon caused by the illegal war by Russia on Ukraine, by supply chains opening up after the pandemic and by China's zero-COVID policy. That is why our government is taking this whole-of-government approach and that is why our budget includes a dental plan for Canadians making less than $90,000 a year and a doubling of the support provided through the first-time homebuyer's tax credit. We are increasing the basic tax amount once again this year, and with the Canada worker benefits of $2,400 per couple and $1,200 for a single worker, three million Canadians will have more money in their pockets, and that does not does not even include the Canada job benefit, which the other side voted against.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Eric Melillo Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents cannot afford to fill their gas tanks. They are concerned that rising interest rates are going to push them out of their own homes. Inflation is skyrocketing, and this government has no plan to address it.

Conservatives have proposed to suspend the carbon tax and the GST paid on fuel, and we are calling for the government to rein in spending to control inflation.

Given the fact that we are in an affordability crisis, why is the government so opposed to these pragmatic measures that would support Canadians?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault LiberalMinister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question, and we too are preoccupied by inflation, which we know is on the rise around the world. It is on the rise to a lesser degree here in Canada, but we understand that the price at the pump is going up and we understand the pressures at the grocery store, which is why, with our price on pollution, eight out of 10 Canadians receive more money. Let us talk about Ontario, the hon. member's province, where people there will get $745 more in their pockets than they paid. In my own province, it is almost $1,100.

We are focused on affordability and we will continue to be focused on it throughout this inflationary cycle.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Marty Morantz Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, MB

Mr. Speaker, while Canadians find themselves having to choose between putting gas in their cars and food on the table, and while this government is stoking inflation with continued deficit spending, the Prime Minister says, “Let them eat cake”, while the wine flows liberally aboard Can Force One on the taxpayer's dime.

When will the government finally sober up and start putting Canadians first?

The EconomyOral Questions

June 16th, 2022 / 2:50 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, this government is putting Canadians first, and we are always putting Canadians first. In fact, in that member's province of Manitoba, we signed an early learning and child care agreement whereby families, on average, are going to save $2,600 a year. That is real money in the pockets of families, and that is in addition to the Canada child benefit, which could provide families with children under six with up to $7,000 a year.

This government is there for Canadians, Canadian families and Canadian children. That is real money in their pockets that is helping every single day with the high cost of living.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Institute for Research on Public Policy is an independent, bilingual, pan-Canadian organization that nobody could suspect of harbouring separatist sympathies.

However, in a recently released study, the organization says that the new Official Languages Act will not slow the decline of French. To slow the decline of French, Bill C‑13 must be compatible with Quebec's Charter of the French Language.

Does the minister understand that the only way to protect French in Quebec is to make it so that only Quebec's language laws apply in Quebec?

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

We recognize that French is in decline in North America and, yes, we recognize that French is in decline in Canada. That is why we went ahead with a new, more robust version of the bill. We will ensure that the federal government does its fair share of the work and that we are doing everything we can to address this situation.

I hope my Bloc Québécois colleague will work with us so we can get this bill passed as quickly as possible.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, regurgitated talking points are not an answer.

The author of the study, economist Mario Polèse, said that equality between the two languages is no longer sufficient because the two languages are not equal in their ability to attract newcomers or in their importance, period. This means that French needs to be prioritized.

The problem with Bill C-13 is that the minister continues to put English and French on an equal footing in Quebec, when in fact, only French is under threat.

Putting both languages on an equal footing means stomping on my language with both feet.

Official LanguagesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, either my hon. colleague is trying to mislead Canadians, or he has not read Bill C-13.

If we look at the new version of Bill C-13, what we have is special legislation for federally regulated private businesses to ensure that employees can work in French, and people can be served in French and live in French.

I really hope that my colleagues from all opposition parties will work with us, because this bill is very important. It is currently before a parliamentary committee, and I hope that the opposition members will stop playing politics.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Laila Goodridge Conservative Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, AB

Mr. Speaker, after more than two years, the pandemic is no longer an acceptable excuse for poor service. Canadians are being forced to line up for hours outside Service Canada centres in order to simply get a passport on time. Meanwhile, it has been reported that 70% of Service Canada employees are working from home.

When will the minister show leadership and bring these employees back to work?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I take issue with the member's question, because let us be clear that when people are working from home they are still working.

The first point is that the numbers she is quoting are for the entire 29,000-person Service Canada workforce. When it comes to people who are in-person and in-office Service Canada passport officers, almost 90% of them are back in the office. Those who are working from home are doing so for medical reasons, but they are still able to support the delivery of services.

It is important to get the facts right here.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Perkins Conservative South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, clearly the number of Service Canada personnel working from home is not working, and the fishermen in my riding cannot work from home.

People living in rural Canada cannot get food like pizza delivered from our favourite restaurants. We must pick it up. No business charges for pickup, yet Immigration Canada demands that Service Canada charge a $20 fee to pick up a passport, which is causing a lot of complaints. This is nothing more than a Liberal tax grab.

Why is the Liberal government making Canadians pay for its failures?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I feel the Conservatives need to understand that throughout the pandemic people in the private sector and the public sector worked from home, and they were working. The vast majority of Canadians who were working from home were working very hard, and Conservatives owe those employees an apology.

When it comes to the fees, those should be waived. That has been the directive. I will reinforce that with my department. However, people who work from home are still hard-working.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, up until last week, people had to bring a lawn chair with them to the passport office. Now they have to bring along a tent, because they have to camp out all night just to get a passport. That is outrageous.

When we ask the minister questions, she tells us that there are far more applications now than there were last year. That is not true. There are currently fewer applications than there were before the pandemic. The minister is telling people to call our offices, but even our staff have to wait five or six hours to get answers from the government.

Why does the government not resolve this problem by asking or ordering employees to go back to work instead of staying home?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I understand Canadians' frustration, but the Conservatives misunderstand. They are not talking about the same people. Service Canada has nearly 30,000 employees nationwide and provides various services. The people meeting the needs with respect to passports, including the need for in‑person service at Service Canada, are already back at work.

It is a question of volume. We can process 2.5 million to five million passport applications in a year. We normally receive them over a period of 12 months. We are currently receiving that amount all at once. It is a question of volume, but we are responding and ensuring that Canadians receive their documents.

PrivacyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Viviane LaPointe Liberal Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, we need to ensure that Canadians have confidence in our country's privacy and data protection measures if they are going to take full advantage of the digital economy and prosper. Canadians have never been so reliant on the digital economy, but the existing privacy legislation was last updated before the advent of technologies like social media and smart phones.

Could the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry update us on how the modernization of these laws will benefit Canadians?

PrivacyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question, for her excellent work and for her leadership.

As my colleagues will attest, there is a lot of enthusiasm for what we did today. Earlier, I introduced the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022, which will give people more power to protect their personal information and their children. This is how we are ensuring that Canadians can take advantage of the latest technologies and be confident that their personal information is protected and secure and that companies are acting responsibly. Security and trust are key words in the digital age.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Conservatives will always stand up for our arts and culture sector, but in the dead of night, the Liberals rammed through dozens of amendments to Bill C-11 without debate or explanation. In fact, the Liberal chair of the committee would not even allow Canadians to know what was being voted on. Not one amendment to clearly exclude user-generated content was approved. Canadian—

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am just going to interrupt. The noise is getting to a level that I am having a hard time hearing the question. I am going to ask the hon. member to take it from the top and we will see if we can hear it.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals do not want to hear the truth, but the truth is that Conservatives are the ones standing up for digital-first creators. It is Conservatives who are standing up for free expression online so that new technology and new experiences can be used and explored, not only here in Canada but can find success around the globe.

In the dead of night, the Liberals pushed through amendments and rammed through amendments, without a single amendment that would support excluding user-generated content. Why was there all the secrecy? Why was there the disrespect to Parliament? What is the government hiding?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that the Conservatives, when they wake up in the morning, think about filibustering. When they go bed at night, they think about filibustering. What do they do in between? They filibuster. That is what they do.

The Conservatives have abandoned the creators. They have abandoned our artists. They have abandoned our culture.