House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was guns.

Topics

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Fayçal El-Khoury Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, the G7 culture ministers concluded their first meeting to discuss issues and challenges related to culture and media. This was a very important meeting, allowing the G7 countries to work together to protect and promote our cultures and democracies.

Could the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us how Canada is a world leader on these issues?

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

3 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, that is a great question and was far better than any of the questions from the opposition. I congratulate my colleague on the excellent, or even extraordinary, work he is doing. I am happy to hear that the opposition appreciates him.

Our G7 allies are very interested in what Canada is doing in matters of culture and democracy, especially with respect to Bill C‑18, which would require that the web giants compensate Canadian journalists. Countries around the world are experiencing the same problem. The web giants use our journalists' content and often do not compensate them. This needs to change and we will make these changes with our allies.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, there can be little doubt that there was political interference from the Prime Minister's Office and the then public safety minister's office because of the handwritten notes by Darren Campbell, a superintendent in the RCMP in Nova Scotia. In his notes, he wrote, “The Commissioner said she had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office that the RCMP...would release this information.”

To release information in an active investigation could have jeopardized the investigation. Who in the Prime Minister's Office, and who in the public safety minister's office, authorized Commissioner Lucki to speak to the RCMP?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalPresident of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the answer is no one. Second, perhaps the member opposite is not aware that the Commissioner of the RCMP is the Commissioner of the RCMP and does not require any authorization from anyone else to speak to her own organization. What is also clear, and what the commissioner has made very clear to the Mass Casualty Commission, is that no pressure, no direction and no orders were given to her by any member of this government about doing the job of running her organization.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is not funny, because in his notes, in particular, the Nova Scotia RCMP superintendent said that Lucki had accused them of disobeying her instructions to include specific information about the firearms used by the perpetrator. In his notes, Campbell also wrote that he had told the RCMP strategic communications not to release information about the perpetrator's firearms out of concern that it would jeopardize the investigation.

The RCMP commissioner said that she had received instructions from the Prime Minister's Office and Mr. Blair's public safety office—

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, they were from Mr. Blair's public safety office to interfere—

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

When it happened once, we brought it up, which is nice. However, when it gets brought up again, I understand that drama is good for TV, but it is not good for this chamber.

The hon. minister.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalPresident of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, it is very apparent that the House leader of the opposition is more interested in drama than in truth.

There is a fact here. The commissioner has confirmed that no direction and no pressure was given by me or by any member of this government to direct her in any way. This is a line of which I am most familiar, and no direction on an operational matter was given to the commissioner of the RCMP by me or any member of this government. She has confirmed the truth of that.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry, but this is not drama. This is about a police commissioner actively—

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do apologize, but this is not drama. This is about direction to a commissioner of the RCMP to actively be involved in a case, an ongoing investigation in Nova Scotia, from the Prime Minister's Office and the then public safety minister's office.

That is the accusation that has been made in this case, so this is a serious matter. The police were actively investigating something, and they were being told by the Prime Minister's Office and the public safety minister's office that the commissioner was to interfere. Who told them?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalPresident of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times already today, and I will say again, no one told the RCMP commissioner or gave her any direction or exerted any pressure.

The conversations that the commissioner has with her subordinates in her organization is entirely independent of government, and the commissioner is doing her job, but she has already confirmed for the Mass Casualty Commission, a public inquiry intended to get to the facts of this matter, that no such direction was given by any member of this government.

International TradeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Chad Collins Liberal Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a trading nation and a strong proponent of the international, rules-based, multilateral trading system. That being said, Canada is always driving forward to find solutions, even at a time when global trade is facing unprecedented challenges, especially at the World Trade Organization and with Canada's leadership with the Ottawa Group.

As the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development just returned from the WTO last week, could she give us an update on the outcome of the 12th ministerial conference?

International TradeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Markham—Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Mary Ng LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, Canada is indeed a trading country. One out of six jobs depend on international trade.

I just returned from a historical ministerial conference at the World Trade Organization, where we reached several multilateral agreements with all 164 member countries unanimously. I will give members a couple of highlights.

We worked to adopt a response to the COVID-19 pandemic so that the WTO can be more resilient in future pandemics, including reaching a consensus on the TRIPS waiver. We also reached an agreement so we can work on the impasse of the appellate system, which Canada and our companies depend on so much.

This is multilateral trading at its best, and it is a good day for—

International TradeOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Leah Gazan NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal's failure to fund a single new shelter or transitional home since announcing their violence prevention strategy in 2020 is putting indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people at risk. This inaction is costing lives. We need oversight.

Call for justice 1.7 of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls calls for an independent ombudsperson and tribunal to ensure accountability. When will the minister implement this call for justice?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Sydney—Victoria Nova Scotia

Liberal

Jaime Battiste LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Mr. Speaker, addressing the ongoing violence against indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ+ is a whole-of-government approach that requires living up to our goals as a country and all the calls for justice. That is why budget 2021 put $2.2 billion over five years to address the violence toward missing and murdered indigenous women.

We will ensure our initiatives are trauma-informed and focused on those who are still suffering in silence, as well as those who are courageously speaking out to put an end to this tragedy.

HousingOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Blake Desjarlais NDP Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government says that housing is a human right, but in my riding of Edmonton Griesbach, the lack of housing is an emergency. In the last three years alone, 453 people have died on the streets of Edmonton because they did not have shelter, many of whom were indigenous.

Under the Liberal government, the issue is getting worse. The Liberals are more interested in big developers' profits than putting a roof over people's heads. People in Alberta Avenue and across my community are not seeing results. When is the government going to drop the talking points and build homes for people who cannot afford them?

HousingOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's concern on this issue. We have invested in the rapid housing initiative, for example, a program that is aimed at the most vulnerable. The member's city of Edmonton has actually benefited, to the tune of hundreds of permanently affordable new homes for the most vulnerable through our investments in the co-investment fund and our expected investments through the housing accelerator fund. We are even bringing future money to this year to get more money out the door, to the tune of 22,000 new affordable homes for the most vulnerable.

There is more work to be done, but we have made a lot of progress.

Hon. Member for Portage—LisgarOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It being 3:14 p.m., pursuant to an order made on Monday, June 20, 2022, there is an agreement between the parties to have some brief statements at this time.

The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.

Hon. Member for Portage—LisgarOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am truly honoured to rise today to say a few words in the House about our leader, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and leader of the official opposition.

The Winnipeg Free Press has described her as, “Arguably one of the hardest-working MPs in Canada”. Without a doubt, she is one of the hardest-working MPs in Canada. That is exactly why the member for Portage—Lisgar successfully rose to the challenge of interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, as the short leadership race began that will allow members to choose a new leader on September 10.

The member for Portage—Lisgar has shown us that she is not only a hard worker, but that she is a principled woman of values who knows how to listen to others and, above all, knows how to make decisions while respecting the differences of each of the other members of the team.

It was no accident that Candice was able to take up the responsibilities of leader of the official opposition with such ease. Over the years, she has gained experience that few of us on either side of the House will ever get the chance to match, no matter how much we want it or how skilled we are.

Candice was elected as the member for Portage—Lisgar in 2008, after being a Conservative Party supporter for years. She is a principled woman, as I mentioned earlier. One thing that made her get into politics as a supporter was the then Liberal government's spending spree. It is funny how times never change. She chose to take the bull by the horns and became the Manitoba campaign manager for the leadership bid of the man who would become Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Hon. Stephen Harper.

She did not want to sit on the sidelines. She had a desire to serve the people in her riding and all Canadians. As I mentioned, she was elected in Portage—Lisgar in 2008 by an overwhelming majority. Not only did her constituents and the people of Manitoba choose a strong voice to defend their interests, but Canadians quickly came to know her and, more importantly, to recognize her as a woman with an infinite amount of love for the great Canadian family.

In 2011, she was appointed as the parliamentary secretary to the then minister of public safety, the Hon. Vic Toews. In her role as parliamentary secretary, she had the opportunity to work alongside the minister of public safety, notably on Bill C-19, the ending the long-gun registry act, which came into force the following year, 2012.

In 2013, the Right Hon. Stephen Harper recognized the undeniable talent of the member for Portage—Lisgar and, most importantly, her immense compassion for Canadians who were suffering and needed a strong voice to represent them. Candice became the hon. member of Parliament for Portage—Lisgar and entered cabinet as minister of state for social development. During her tenure, she worked hard to improve Canada's efforts to combat homelessness, as well as provide better support for people with disabilities.

In September 2016, Candice broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman in the history of the Conservative Party of Canada to hold the role of House leader. Conservative leader Rona Ambrose recognized her as a strong woman who could make quick decisions and a team player who could organize the work of the official opposition to ensure that the voices of all Canadians would continue to be heard and relayed in the House of Commons.

She does her job brilliantly. The Liberal government's first years were not a walk in the park, far from it. Candice was able to use all parliamentary options to make the government understand that it did not have carte blanche to turn the House into a tool to do its bidding.

The new party leader, the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, also recognized the spirit and talent of the member for Portage—Lisgar, and asked her to continue serving the country as the House leader of the official opposition. With all this experience, it is no surprise that she became the deputy leader for the member for Durham, the leader of the Conservative Party. All our party leaders under whom she served her country as an MP entrusted her with important responsibilities because she is a woman who can be trusted.

In February, the Conservative caucus also recognized her ability to bring people together. We knew she was a true-blue Conservative. Most importantly, we knew she was capable of taking the helm following what had certainly been a tumultuous time.

Having watched her work so hard for so long, her peers elected her to serve as official opposition leader. Let us not think of her as a temporary or interim leader. She is the interim Conservative leader, but she has never, ever taken the job for granted. From day one, she set to work fulfilling her mandate, which is to lead the Conservatives during a leadership race, present a strong and united opposition to the Liberal government and speak on behalf of every single Canadian.

On behalf of all my colleagues, I am confident in saying that she has succeeded across the board. She really is the leader of all Conservatives and she has made us all forget her interim status.

Now I would like to talk about Candice as the woman who rallied Conservatives during tough times. I have to admit that, before I began spending time with her on a daily basis, when she gave me the tremendous privilege of serving alongside her as deputy leader, I was aware of her talent as a politician and her skill as a parliamentarian, but I did not really know the reasons for her success.

I have been in politics for almost 25 years, and I was intrigued by the path of my colleague from Manitoba. Today, I will share a secret with Canadians. The secret to the success of the MP for Portage—Lisgar, the leader of the official opposition and the Conservative Party, can be summed up in three words: respect, values and principles.

Candice is a woman of faith and the youngest of eight children. She grew up in a family with Mennonite roots.

As the baby of the family, she surely had to learn at an early age to listen to others. She has applied the lessons her family taught her throughout her life, both personal and professional. She believes that every member of the caucus deserves to be heard and that all points of view deserve to be considered.

I truly believe that she sees the caucus as her family. She understands and accepts differences. She may tolerate some misbehaviour, but she will do everything she can to keep the family together at all times. Where conflicts may arise, she will build bridges. She will push each member of her caucus to use their skills for the good of the team. Like the family values within her, she wants to instill in each of us the conservative values that unite us and make us who we are.

She does not give in to every little whim. She will defend her principles and her convictions tooth and nail, while recognizing that her colleagues might have opinions that differ from her own, and that is one of her greatest qualities. She is not afraid to take a stand, even though that can be hard at times, because she relies on her convictions and values in doing so. She will work to find whatever unites people, rather than trying to be right at all costs. She asked us, her leadership team, to demonstrate the same openness and to listen to our colleagues, and she did so with an iron will.

She is a strong and proud mother who wants the best for everyone in her family. I truly believe that she considers each of us as part of her extended family. I think I speak on behalf of all my colleagues and all members of our party when I say this: Thank you for accepting us as we are. Yes, we do have some faults, but we also have all our good qualities.

Before I conclude, I have to mention one important part of our leader's life. She is very proud of the family values that were instilled in her by her parents, including her mother Anne, whom she regularly visits in Morden. Her children are a big source of inspiration for her and will always come first. Luke, Delaney, who is here in Ottawa, and Parker can be unbelievably proud of their mother. She is unbelievably proud of them.

I do not think that Candice, the mother, would mind my saying that she is also the proud grandmother to two grandchildren, Arcaydia and Lance, whom she loves a lot. There is also her husband, Michael, her partner on this great political adventure, who sometimes joins her in singing and playing music as a form of relaxation and, perhaps, to offer an occasional reprieve from the little squabbles that can come up within our political family.

I thank Michael and Candice's children and grandchildren for sharing her with us.

I think I speak for all members in the House when I say that the leader of the official opposition is an extraordinary person.

She is respected. She has devoted much of her life to public service, to defending the people of her riding of Portage—Lisgar and to wanting to improve the future for all Canadians.

On behalf of all my fellow Conservatives, I want to thank Candice for leading our party and caucus in a strong yet gentle way, showcasing everyone's strengths and respecting everyone's opinions. Candice showed us that we can be proud of who we are. She gave us back the pride of being united as a team. She taught us the pride of being Conservative in 2022.

The House will soon rise for the summer, but I would like to tell the Liberals one thing: Candice is still our leader until September 10, so they should not expect to have a quiet little holiday before Parliament resumes this fall.

Thank you, Candice, for having trusted us.

Thank you for your hard work on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Hon. Member for Portage—LisgarOral Questions

June 21st, 2022 / 3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is always a privilege for me to rise in this House to speak, and today it is on behalf of the governing benches and the Liberal Party about a woman who has my appreciation.

I know that my colleague across the aisle was elected back in 2008 for the very first time, and she has served her riding of Portage—Lisgar ever since. It is actually not that long ago that the same member and her party occupied the seats on this side of the House. The member for Portage—Lisgar served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and then went on to serve as Minister of State for Social Development.

Then in August of 2016, I was honoured to be named as the first and, to this day, only woman to serve as government House leader, and nearly a month after, the member for Portage—Lisgar was named the official opposition House leader, as the member for Mégantic—L'Érable shared, the first Conservative woman in this role named by one of the many former opposition leaders in this House, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle. I, for one, cannot remember which sequential leader, interim or otherwise, he is, as since 2015 alone, the Conservative Party has gone through so many leaders, but I do know that he is one of many, as is my colleague and friend from Portage—Lisgar.

Though most would not know this based on my deliberations or debate with her in this place or in the media, and though our politics do not align and though we often agree to disagree, and to be fair even our initials are opposite, but all of our differences aside, I can say that she has served our country with conviction. I, for one, know that she respects this institution, because when two women were involved in running this House, the Order Paper was cleared at the end of the session. I, for one, can say that I knew this member and her work before she took on the very esteemed role of the interim leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition.

While I believe that my colleague across the way, rightfully, was honoured by this responsibility and all the glitz and glamour that it comes with, I, for one, can say that I may not have been as eager to move into Stornoway as perhaps she was. However, now with this experience, I would welcome her thoughts and any additional insights on public or government-funded housing.

I cannot say I miss her as an adversary, as she was a formidable one, but I know that even despite our differences, we will continue to work towards the same goal, and that is leaving this place and our country better off. I know that she has worked hard for her constituents, her family, including three children who never stop making her proud, and her two grandchildren whom she loves unconditionally. From this side of the aisle, I know that Liberals look forward to seeing what comes next, and we know she will serve well in whatever she continues or takes on.

To my colleague and friend opposite, I thank her for her service to Canadians during her time as interim leader of the official opposition. We thank her family for sharing her time and talents, and we wish her all the best in her endeavours. Keep well and safe.