House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hybrid.

Topics

Interruption to Proceedings—Speaker's RulingPrivilege

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am now prepared to rule on the question of privilege raised yesterday by the member for Calgary Centre.

The member contended that the decision taken by unanimous consent to adjourn the sitting of June 21, 2022, constitutes a breach of his privileges. He noted that due to the technical difficulties with our video conferencing system, he was unable to participate in the proceedings of the House when this decision was made. He equated this matter with previous situations where members were prevented from physically accessing the chamber and asked that the Chair find a prima facie question of privilege.

I thank the member for raising this matter. As I indicated in my statement yesterday, the sitting of June 21, 2022, was suspended due to a connectivity problem external to the House of Commons

It is clear to the Chair that there was no deliberate attempt to interfere with the member's ability to participate in the proceedings. When it was brought to the Chair's attention that there was a widespread outage preventing members from participating, the sitting was suspended. Once it became apparent that it would not be possible to resolve the matter quickly, following discussions with representatives of all parties, the sitting was resumed to allow a motion to adjourn to be presented. The motion was adopted with the unanimous agreement of all members present.

The Chair recognizes that the member was not able to provide his consent for that decision. It was specifically because some members could not participate that the House agreed to adjourn early. The decision was made with the express intent of protecting the rights of those members participating by videoconference. Continuing to sit in those circumstances would have been more problematic for the privileges of members than making a decision to adjourn,

Therefore, the Chair cannot find that this matter constitutes a question of privilege.

I thank all members for their attention.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to five petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

While I am on my feet, I move:

That the House do now proceed to orders of the day.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The question is on the motion.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

The hon. opposition House leader.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #169

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:45 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I declare the motion adopted.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:45 a.m.

Ajax Ontario

Liberal

Mark Holland LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, in relation to the consideration of Government Business No. 19, I move:

That the debate be not further adjourned.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period. I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places or use the “raise hand” function so the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in this question period.

Given the number of members who wish to participate, I want to make it very clear that I will not be recognizing members party by party. I will actually scan the House. However, if the same person is getting up all the time from the same party and others have not spoken, I will be going to those who have not spoken.

The hon. opposition House leader.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Madam Speaker, if this were not so sad, it would actually be funny, but it is not.

What the government House leader is proposing is that we return to a hybrid system in the fall, when no other legislatures in Canada, provincially or territorially, and no other legislatures around the world, are doing it. Not even the mother Parliament, which returned to an in-person, non-hybrid sitting last July, is doing what the government House leader is doing, and complicit is his NDP partner, the NDP House leader.

There is no reason we cannot revisit this in August or September. If there is a need to go back to a hybrid Parliament, then we can agree to do that, but we are precluding this now.

I have heard the argument from the government House leader and the NDP House leader, who, by the way, must think they are doctors. Dr. NDP House leader and Dr. government House leader are predicting that some sort of variant is coming in the fall. Obviously, they are the world's pre-eminent immunologists, virologists and epidemiologists, because public health officials in this country are saying that we have to return to normal.

There is no reason for doing this. Why are the Liberals forcing us back to a hybrid Parliament when there is no reason to do it? It is because they want to hide. That is all this is. They hide from accountability and hide from transparency. They want to hide and not be accountable to Canadians, the voices that sent us here.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, the angrier somebody gets, the more it reflects on their position as opposed to the circumstance we are debating.

Let us take a step back for a second regarding the measures the member is talking about. If he is opposed to them, he and his colleagues do not have to use them. If they want to not use the hybrid provisions, then they can do so.

I am sure that when the vote happens later today, we will see all Conservative members here in the seats. I am sure all members will be voting in person. After that impassioned speech about how terrible these measures are, I am sure that in question period today we will see every single member of the Conservative Party here. We are going to see every vote taken in person, because of course this is a terrible affront to democracy, right? The anger is real, and because the anger is real, we are going to see them all here.

Here is what happened. At the beginning of the pandemic, of course we had no idea what was going to happen. We developed provisions that would give us the flexibility—

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order. I have indicated how I would do this, and I would just ask members to please give their respect to the parliamentarian who has the floor. There is 27 and a half minutes for questions and comments left, and I would just say there is plenty of time for others to ask questions or make comments.

Members can please hold their voices until then.

The hon. government House leader, if he could wrap it up, I can get to the next question.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, I am sure there will be many more questions, so I can come back to this.

I will say that, instead of debating this again and again, what we would give Parliament is stability for the next year, and we would give PROC, the procedure and House affairs committee, the opportunity to look at what may or may not be used beyond that. That would provide stability and clarity, and give us an opportunity to look at what worked, and that is the right way to go.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Again, I am still hearing voices, and I should not be, so please hold off on that.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Montcalm.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Thériault Bloc Montcalm, QC

Madam Speaker, I have not heard very many arguments from the government House leader so far.

What I do not understand is why this government is in such a rush to decide about a hybrid Parliament right now, when health measures have been completely relaxed for public transit, precisely where there could be the most problems. I do not understand why we need to decide on this today, when there has been no spike in cases.

I think that we could make this decision when the House resumes, but apparently that is not possible. It seems to be urgent that we decide today on whether to continue with a hybrid Parliament, when that is not the type of work we should be doing here. This is the people's House.

I do not understand. I would like to hear the reasons behind this. I have still not heard any from the government House leader, apart from the fact that he wants to accommodate his team.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, this week, with the situation as it is now, many members have come down with COVID-19. The only way they can participate in the parliamentary debates and vote is through the hybrid system. The pandemic is ongoing. People are dying every day, unfortunately. This is a very serious situation.

This flexibility would give members the option to use the hybrid system. If things improve over time and members no longer want to use the hybrid system, then that will be up to them. They are not in any way obligated to use it.

However, if something changes, like with what happened with the omicron variant, we will need to be flexible and adapt. That is exactly what the motion would allow us to do.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, it is crazy, the over-the-top opposition by the Conservatives to what is a good, common-sense measure, given all the things the government House leader has said about the importance of actually having parliamentarians be able to participate. Even if members are sick with COVID and even if they are unable to be in this House, their constituents would not lose their voice and their constituents would not lose their vote. Those are important things, but we saw last night the unfortunate spectacle of the Conservatives monopolizing the entire debate on this issue, refusing to hear from any other party and refusing to yield the floor so that others could speak on this issue.

I would like to ask the government House leader if this measure today is, in part, because the Conservatives have been so selfish in trying to monopolize all of the House time and refusing to allow other voices to speak on this important motion.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Again, I seem to have the same offenders over and over again and they keep heckling and yelling. I would just say, if it is not members' time to speak, then they should not be speaking.

The hon. government House leader.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, I think we all need to take a step back here. What is being talked about is continuing something we have had for the last two years, which has given us incredible flexibility to represent our constituents, as people have been ill. Just last week, we had five members who had COVID, and we have many members this week, and they are continuing to be able to represent their constituents.

This would be for a year. If people are really against it, and I am hearing some people who really do not like it and that is fair, the procedure and House affairs committee is going to look at whether we would use these provisions outside of the pandemic or inside it, but it would be for a year. We have a committee that is going to be looking at all of the concerns. People are very passionate about this, saying that it should be used outside of a pandemic or that it should not be used outside of a pandemic. We need a parliamentary process to adjudicate that and to look at its relative merits, but how upset folks are getting is just not in line with what is here in front of us today.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, as I have listened to this debate, the Conservatives have obviously expressed their concern that this is somehow a deficit for democracy. However, as I watched the vote, there were a number of Conservatives who were using the tools that have been made available to us.

What I have not heard, and I would be interested to hear from the House leader on this, is any constructive proposals about how we can balance using virtual tools and also making sure that opposition members feel there is a legitimate ability to hold the government to account, which arguably is already there. They have some concern, but there has been no constructive debate. I presume this is something that can go on at PROC. We have been able to use these tools, but at the same time, if there are ways we can continue to make sure that the government is accountable to all parliamentarians in this place, then that is the place to do it.

Can the member elaborate a little on how he sees that process playing out?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, my hon. friend and colleague is absolutely right.

The first point I would make is that, in talking with all opposition parties, I have been clear from the outset that I am open to any ideas on how to improve on any concerns they have. Unfortunately, what came back was nothing, just that there was opposition to it. We are going to continue to ask for ways for this to be improved in the near term as we continue to try to have flexibility in a pandemic.

We are an enormously large country, and we do not want members who are sick to be in a position where they have to make the choice of whether they represent their constituents or whether—

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

We have a point of order.

The hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, regarding the statement that the government House leader just made on receiving no feedback from opposition parties related to hybrid Parliament—

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

That is not a point of order. That is a point of discussion and debate, and I would ask the member to rise to ask that question should he need to.

The government House leader needs to wrap up.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, when I am talking about feedback, let me be very clear. When members just tell me they are opposed, I get that. They are opposed to it. There is going to be an opportunity at PROC to talk about the reasons they are opposed to it, on an ongoing basis, and we will have a vigorous debate. However, I am interested in specific, concrete examples of what could be done to improve. I have heard nothing on that front, but of course I would welcome that.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Green

Mike Morrice Green Kitchener Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, my understanding is that right now we are not actually debating the motion, but the closure on the motion. I understand that we are also on the last day of the standing orders of our current approach. I would appreciate hearing from the government House leader a reasonable explanation of why he feels closure is necessary at this time.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, there are a couple of reasons. The first is that we have to make a determination on this so that we can move forward with stability for Parliament. The motion asks for a year, and it would also give the opportunity for PROC to take a look at it and examine the relative merits of it.

Also, we have debated this ad nauseam. I see the hon. former House leader across from me for the Conservative Party and think of how many conversations we had leading into sessions, and how many conversations I had with the current House leader on this. Every time we try to open this place, we spend weeks talking about this, and what gets reported to the media is the discussion of “Will Parliament have hybrid or will it not?” Instead of talking about the critical issues of the day, we have this protracted debate on whether or not hybrid is something we should use in the middle of a pandemic.

All I am saying is to give it a year. Let us make sure that, while we have this uncertainty, we have a stable system in place, and then let us use the parliamentary committee to evaluate its utility, or lack of utility, outside of a pandemic circumstance.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Conservative

Lianne Rood Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Madam Speaker, what I see from the Liberals is that they want to hide from accountability and transparency behind computer screens. We hear public health officials telling us that we are moving out of the pandemic, and the rest of the world has moved back to working like normal.

We have an institution here. We have been in this place for over 150 years, and we have been able to keep Parliament going when people had other illnesses, or worse, for many years. Why do the Liberals want to continue to hide from democracy and hide behind a screen instead of being here in person in this place, where people from my riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex elected me to be? We should be in this place. When we have rural Internet connectivity problems in places like my riding, where we have unstable Internet, it does not work.

We need to be in this place. It has worked for over 150 years, and we need to keep being here.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, we hold the institutions of Parliament incredibly dear. I know that every single person here has a profound regard for our democratic processes and systems and wants them to be successful. I can go back to the beginning of the pandemic, to how constructive the conversations were with all parties on the need for Parliament to adapt and provide additional provisions. Now, as we continue to be in a pandemic, and as we do not know where that pandemic will go, none of us being clairvoyant, this provides us stability.

If the member opposite thinks that some element is not as accountable as some other element, then there is going to be an opportunity to debate that. That is not an opinion that is shared universally. How a question is answered, I understand, is a concern for the member opposite, but so is members not being able to participate in debate because they are sick, and so is members not having the opportunity not to have to make a choice between representing their constituents and coming in sick, potentially getting others sick and then having that sent all around the country, or working virtually and—

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Drummond.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, judging from the questions and answers, this whole exchange is meaningless. Implementing hybrid measures to keep Parliament going during the pandemic was a good idea, but only for the duration of the pandemic. We are gradually making our way out of the pandemic. It seems likely that, as the months go by, we will leave it further and further behind.

Of all the subjects we could be debating, the one monopolizing our work today, the one that matters most to the government, is extending the hybrid Parliament for a year. That is something we could deal with when the House returns in the fall, once we see how the situation evolves.

I get the sense that some of our colleagues found it very convenient to remain in the comfort of their own homes because they live far away and can eat chips during parliamentary sessions, but that is not a good reason.

I would like to hear one actual good reason why we are currently talking about extending the hybrid Parliament for a year when we could quite feasibly do it when we come back in the fall and we know what the situation is. That would be the right thing to do.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, clearly, everyone wants the pandemic to be over. However, that is not the case. The pandemic is ongoing. That is our reality today.

We must therefore remain flexible, because it is really important that all members be able to represent their constituents. That is why we need a system as flexible as the hybrid system.

According to the hon. member opposite, the House would normally have finished its work yesterday. Today is therefore an extraordinary day. It is a wise thing that we are using a day that does not normally exist to finish this debate so that we can continue our work in the fall without any distractions.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Leah Gazan NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, we have discussed this a lot in the House, and one of the things I have often heard is that people who are working online are not working. I have heard this from the Conservatives, yet as I work online today, I see a number of Conservatives online. I am wondering if they are calling out their own members for the same.

We have worked hard during the pandemic. Particularly for women, this is an opportunity to get more women into politics. This is also an opportunity to do our part to tackle the climate crisis by ensuring that members do not have to travel back and forth. We are in a climate emergency.

I am wondering if the hon. House leader could comment on that.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, I am glad that members have the opportunity to utilize these provisions. Obviously, we are learning from them. Today, there are many Conservatives using these provisions online. As we have a vote later on today, there will be many Conservatives who are using that application. All members have, in some form or another, used these provisions and continue to use them today.

It is clear that within all caucuses there is a variety of opinions about what does or does not work about this. That is why we should use this extraordinary day. This is a day when Parliament normally does not sit. Normally, we would be home in our constituencies. We are here longer than we usually are so that we can adjudicate this and give ourselves a year, and so that this impassioned debate on both sides can appropriately take place at PROC, in terms of whether we use these provisions outside of the pandemic circumstance.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Frank Caputo Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Madam Speaker, the hon. government House leader wants to have dialogue, so here is some dialogue. This is supposed to be predicated on COVID, and what we see on this side of the House is that being used as an excuse not to be here. We see people who are here in the morning, on video in the afternoon and then here the next morning. After question period, we see those members on the front benches especially rush out in order to vote remotely. Where is the respect for this place that they cannot even vote from their seats after having been here for question period?

If the hon. government House leader wants a suggestion, how about this? If members have a concern about COVID, they should stay home and work remotely. If it does not have to do with COVID, why are they not here?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, perhaps the member could ask that question of members of his own caucus who are participating virtually today and will be voting virtually today. He could ask that question of members in his own caucus: why they are using it and why they find it useful. Perhaps he could level those criticisms at his caucus—

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo and the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader for the Senate are going back and forth. I would ask them not to. If they want to have conversations, they can step out to have those conversations.

The hon. government House leader.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, I would reiterate that I understand that passions are very high on this on both sides. We all care about representing our constituents. We all care about this place. We all have a deep love of democracy that brings us to this place and has us make great sacrifices in the name of serving our constituents. Some believe very passionately, as the member opposite does, that they do not want to see this to continue. I certainly do not want the pandemic to continue, and we are certainly in it, but this gives us the stability over the next year to remain flexible and for members to use these provisions or not, as they wish. It also allows a parliamentary committee to look at this hereafter.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Madam Speaker, I feel both a little sad and disrespected this morning in the House.

Today is June 23, the day before Quebec’s national holiday, and because of the Liberal government’s incompetence in managing its agenda, along with the Conservative Party’s obstruction attempts, most Quebec MPs will not be able to be in their ridings today to celebrate their national holiday.

Also, I get the impression that, for the past few weeks, I have been rising more often in the House to debate how we are going to debate rather than to truly debate measures and bills that will help Canadians.

I am truly very sad, and I feel disrespected today as a Quebec member of Parliament.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, that is rather odd because the calendar was set a year ago.

At the time, the Bloc Québécois chose to sit today. It is not an extra day and it is not at all a surprise. If it is a problem today, on June 23, why was it not a problem for the Bloc Québécois when the calendar was decided? That seems odd to me.

The Bloc Québécois is upset that the House is sitting when it is supposed to.

The House is supposed to sit, folks.

That seems odd to me. I do not understand that argument at all.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bonita Zarrillo NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I have to say that this is such an ableist debate we are having. Even yesterday, some of the ableist language was just gut-wrenching. I wonder what this debate would look like if 338 of us were immunocompromised, had comorbidities or had children or family members who lived with us in our houses and were going through stem cell transplants, chemotherapy or any kind of critical life illness.

I have been in rooms with people I know whose spouse has been going through stem cell transfer. They have been forced to arrive in this place because they are staff people. We are in here in our ableist space expecting those who support us to come here and do this work. The last thing I would want to do as an MP, if I was sick or someone in my family was sick, is to come to this place and make a staff person sick who was dealing with some sort of critical life illness at home.

This has been really disappointing. As the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra, I have a number of people in my riding who would die if they caught COVID-19. They deal with this ableist language all the time. I am just so over it. Maybe the member—

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. government House leader has the floor.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, the member opposite makes an excellent point. There are many members of Parliament who have different statuses of health. I spent over three years as a former whip, and there are a couple of things one learns. The first is how hard it is to be a human being. There are so many stories we do not hear about what others are going through, and I have tremendous sympathy for all members of Parliament and the sacrifices they make. Second, there has to be an opportunity for those who are ill in a pandemic, or have other illnesses or are immunocompromised, to have the circumstances to continue to represent their constituents. The hon. member is absolutely correct.

I will make a last point on this question. I see a child in the chamber, which I love. Not long ago, when I was elected in 2004, that would have been considered abhorrent. Having a child in the chamber would have been considered disrespectful to this place. Members would have talked in the lobby about how disgusting and disrespectful it was to have a child in the House. I heard that. People were saying they would never allow that, and that somebody talking about it is disrespectful to the place and destroys it.

Our institutions evolve as our compassion and understanding for one another evolve, and that is what this is about.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Laila Goodridge Conservative Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, AB

Madam Speaker, while I appreciate some of the comments made and the flexibility of sometimes being able to bring my infant into this chamber due to the long hours we work and some of the struggles we have as parliamentarians, the fact that this is being rammed through in the last couple of days of the parliamentary session without any real opportunity for debate is abhorrent. It is not okay.

If the members opposite truly want to fix things, let us actually have some conversation. Let us not just band-aid this across. Let us have some serious conversations in September so we can fix the problem rather than just create more band-aids, because that is all this solution does.

Every other parliamentary system in Canada has already gone back to meeting in person. There are so many wins that can be had by having these conversations all over. I really think that what we are doing right now is hurting democracy, because we have not had adequate debate. While there are some very good arguments, we have not been able to have the time to actually study this and make sure we are doing the best thing for Canadians.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, first of all, I am very glad to see the member opposite be able to bring her child into the chamber. I am very glad we have provisions that recognize the responsibilities of being a parent are extraordinarily difficult and are the most important functions we ever will take on in our lives. There has to be primacy to that, and I respect that she sees that and that all members in the House, whether they have a child or do not, feel that way.

We, of course, have been debating this for two years. Every time a session of Parliament began, we had an opportunity in the media, in the House and in the Board of Internal Economy. We had extensive debates. Exactly what I am saying is let us take a year, while we are still in a pandemic, to hold these provisions and then have a separate debate about what is going to happen.

I want to point out one thing that is confusing to me. In the last vote on orders of the day, 66 Conservative members voted remotely and 44 voted in person.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Madam Speaker, I learned something today.

According to tradition, Quebec’s national holiday is celebrated on June 23 and 24. It is true that Parliament usually does not sit on June 23 except in the case of an emergency, which has only ever happened a few times. June 23 is set aside for emergencies.

This motion could easily have been moved sooner, since the government had all the time it needed. The Bloc Québécois has always been ready to collaborate, especially in the case of Bill C-14, for which it set aside two days to allow Parliament to adjourn on Wednesday and Quebec members in the Bloc Québécois and other parties to celebrate with their constituents.

Our request was legitimate. The government vehemently rejected the fact that Quebecers have a national holiday to celebrate this evening and tomorrow. We asked either not to sit on Thursday or to sit with a Friday schedule so that we could leave the House earlier to celebrate Quebec’s national holiday with our people back home. The government refused. Would the same thing have happened if we had to work on June 30?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, a year ago we had the opportunity to review the calendar, and that included June 23. There was no objection made whatsoever about June 23 being included. At that point in time, the calendar was approved, with unanimity, to have us sit all of those days. There is nothing that promised we were going to leave early. I never said to my constituents that this was the calendar, but maybe we would not fulfill the calendar. Most of us can have hopes the calendar will not go to the end, but if there was a serious problem, why—

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order. The hon. member for La Prairie asked a question, but he seems to be in the process of debating with someone else. I am sure that he would like to hear the answer.

I would ask the hon. government House leader to finish his answer before I give the floor to someone else to ask a brief question before the expiry of the time provided.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, I would simply say that this is the first that I have heard that the 23rd was a problem. It is literally the first time that I have heard that. I would just say that, for future calendars, if the Bloc sees this as a problem, it should not agree for the day to be set.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Greg Fergus LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board

Madam Speaker, I will just ask a very quick question, or a series of quick questions.

Can the hon. House leader tell us this: Is the pandemic over? Does the hon. member have the ability to determine whether the pandemic rates are going to go up or go down? Is this really just an insurance policy to make sure that the House has the flexibility to ensure that all members of Parliament can continue representing their constituents in this place?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax, ON

Madam Speaker, yes. Of course, the pandemic is not over. In fact, I will just point to what happened in November and December. The Conservatives, at that time, were demanding an end to hybrid sittings. They said the pandemic was over and that there was no need for these provisions: they were a waste of time, we were making up something and there could be the possibility of something else. Then, of course, omicron hit.

When omicron hit, we all, of course, had to use the hybrid provisions and move back to a different state. That is exactly what this flexibility allows. Nobody is forced to use these provisions. They are more than welcome to not use them, if they wish—

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I am sorry. The time is up.

It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time to put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

The hon. member for Kelowna—Lake Country.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to request a recorded division.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #170

Order Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from June 22 consideration of the motion.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to continue on this very important debate, although unfortunately under different circumstances than we had last night. Obviously the government, by invoking closure on this motion, is really looking to limit any further debate on this and censor members of Parliament, who have been elected to this place. There are millions of voices on this side and 119 members, yet in just a couple of hours of debate, we are going to determine the continuation of a hybrid Parliament into the fall.

Just to recap what I said last night, there are no other legislatures in this country, provincial or territorial, or around the world, not even the mother Parliament in Great Britain, that have a hybrid system. They all have in-person sittings at this point. In fact, the mother Parliament went back to in-person sittings last July.

We would be the only outlier, not just within the Commonwealth, but globally, in using a hybrid system. Why are we at this point? The government House leader and his partner in the NDP, with their coalition agreement, have decided this is the direction we are going in the absence of any science, evidence or form of decision-making we should be taking. They are just arbitrarily and unilaterally deciding this is the direction we are going to go.

I have heard the argument from both of them that somehow, as I said earlier, there is this southern hemisphere variant coming in. The doctor government House leader and the doctor in the NDP suggest that somehow they know more than public health officials. Here is a news flash: Public health officials in governments across this country have eliminated mandates. They have eliminated mask mandates, and they have also returned to normal within their legislatures.

Why are we an outlier? Perhaps the most world-renowned epidemiologists, virologists and immunologists, the doctor in government House leader and the doctor in the NDP, have figured out that we are different in this place than those in the rest of the country.

It comes down to one simple thing. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many in our caucus, they have complete contempt for this place as an institution. They have complete contempt for Parliament. They see it as a nuisance. They see it as something that gets in the way of their ideological agenda.

Certainly, the government has proven over time that it has shown contempt for Parliament. There have been various motions that have been presented. I remember the start of the pandemic. One of the first orders of business coming into the pandemic was the proposal of a piece of legislation by the government that would have given it entire spending powers and taxing powers until January, 2022. Members can think of the consequences of that.

The government was effectively going to seize control of this place to make the opposition parties, and the millions of people who elected members of Parliament to represent them in this place, irrelevant at that point. It was going to seize complete control of Parliament, giving itself complete taxing and spending powers. If it had not been for the opposition, for the voices of millions of Canadians and the media at that time calling into question the government's motives, we might have been in a situation where it would have seized entire control of this place.

This is how little respect the Liberals have for Parliament. This is how little respect they have for our democratic institutions, and there were other cases as well.

Members will recall Motion No. 6 in the last Parliament. The government tried again to seize the operational control of this place, making the opposition irrelevant. Motion No. 11 was another one where we effectively had Conservatives debating Conservatives in extended evening sessions. The government did not even participate. The Liberals say it was to extend debate, but how can it be about extending debate, when they were not even participating in the process at all? Then of course, there is Motion No. 19, with which the Liberals would once again seize control of where this place will be in September and how it will operate.

Just a couple of weeks ago I sent a letter to the government House leader and the other House leaders, a letter the Speaker received as well, with what I thought were very reasonable and practical solutions on how this place can get back to some sense of normalcy. If we are not signalling from this place to Canadians that we are getting back to normal, then what type of message are we sending?

One of the reasonable and practical solutions that I proposed was to look at this in August or September. If some southern hemisphere variant is going to be here, as the government House leader and his partner in the NDP are suggesting, then why not revisit this in August and September? We have proven over the last couple of years that we have the tools, that we can flip the switch if we need to.

The government's argument is that we need certainty. Well, there is certainty. There is certainty in the land right now, because we are seeing the lifting of public health guidelines, masking mandates, vaccine mandates. I do not know what evidence or science the Liberals are looking at, but it is certainly nothing that they are sharing with us, our colleagues in the Bloc or any other parties so that we can make an informed decision. It is just an arbitrary method to completely seize control of this place, as is the pattern they have shown in the past.

As I said, it is really diminishing the value of our democratic institutions. This is a government, quite frankly, that does not want an opposition; it wants an audience.

The Prime Minister has shown his contempt for this place. He has shown his contempt for institutions and he has shown contempt for the opposition parties. There is no greater example of that than some of the scandals that have gone on, including the current scandal, with the lines of differentiation be damned between the executive branch and the government and our institutions that are supposed to function independently of government and the executive branch.

The government has proven time and time again that it is going to interfere in the institutions that Canadians hold so dear. We are seeing a diminishment in those institutions and we are certainly seeing a decline in our democracy.

As I said last night, even the pundits are suggesting that it is time to get back to normal here. Even the pundits are saying that this is done, that this is over. We need to return to normal to signal to the rest of Canadians that we are returning to normal, and if that is not the signal from this place, then what signal are we sending? We cannot live in perpetual fear. We cannot live in a state where the government is inciting this fear among its citizens. Let us look at where we are in September and make a decision then.

This week we could have been dealing with many other issues. I am going to suggest that this is a country in chaos right now, when we see what is happening with inflation and the affordability crisis that is facing Canadians, when we look at the passport situation and the fiasco that is going on there, when we look at other factors, not the least of which is what we are hearing out of Nova Scotia about the government, the Prime Minister's Office and the public safety minister's office interfering with an active investigation, not to mention the scandals that have gone on in the past. We could have been dealing with many issues other than the speculative issue that the government House leader and his buddy in the NDP predict may happen. We could have been dealing with and seized with these issues. We could have been providing solutions so that we can help Canadians who are facing this affordability crisis right now.

I would suggest the Conservatives have done that many times in the past. Over the course of the last several months, we have proposed solutions like lowering taxes, lowering gas taxes and getting rid of the carbon tax to make life more affordable for Canadians, and every single time, those proposals have been rejected by the government. We have proven time and time again that we want to find solutions and work to help Canadians, but in that time that the government has rejected our proposals since the coalition agreement between the NDP and the Liberals has taken effect, the NDP voted 95% of the time with the Liberals to reject those proposals.

This is a party that used to stand up for working families. The NDP used to stand up for principles. There were members in the party who actually had a moral compass system. They had values, and they stood up for what was right or wrong. Now they are standing up every single time with these Liberals, and they do that because of promises. This is a government that cannot deliver even the most basic services in this country, yet the NDP signed a deal with this government that proposes to bring about dental care and pharmacare. Now, let us think about that. The government cannot even deliver the most basic services, yet the NDP is depending on it to implement complicated systems. Boy, have they been sold a bill of goods.

As well, they have sold their values and their morals, the things they used to stand for in this place. They used to stand up for what was right and against what was wrong. They have sold those values on a wing and a prayer.

I have news for the NDP members. If this government cannot even deliver basic services to Canadians, how can it be expected to deliver on its promises in this deal as a coalition government? Canadians will be waiting a long time for that.

However, in the meantime, what we see from the NDP in question period is gross. The NDP is asking this government questions on accountability issues, yet supporting the government on every aspect of what it is doing at least 95% of the time. It is actually gross to see. The NDP could have followed the people before them, like Tom Mulcair, who used to stand on values and principles in this place and who used to actually act like an opposition, and others like Jack Layton and Tommy Douglas, who fought for working Canadians. Where has that NDP gone?

I will make a prediction right now that the NDP is heading into an abyss of irrelevance because of this deal that it made with the Liberal government that it continues to prop up. The NDP will continue to prop up the government on all of the issues of corruption, on all of the issues of cronyism, on all of the issues of political interference, on not fulfilling its promises and on not living up to what it promised Canadians, not the least of which was electoral reform. That should have been a signal to this government.

He does not like what I am saying, so he—

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. parliamentary secretary is rising on a point of order.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I have no problem debating this issue with the member; however, what we are debating right now is a hybrid Parliament, and for the last five to seven minutes at least, the member has been off talking about a relationship between the—

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member's earpiece is too close to the mike, which is hard for interpretation.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I apologize to the interpreters for that.

The member, for the last seven or eight minutes, has not been talking about this motion. I am wondering if perhaps you could gently encourage him to get back on topic.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I do want to remind members that there is some flexibility when it comes to debate, but I do also want to remind members that they should be talking about the matter that is before the House and I am sure that the hon. official opposition House leader will bring it back to the topic at hand.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Madam Speaker, it is very relevant. It is not lost on me that every time any member on this side—and even in the Bloc Québécois, for that matter—starts saying things that the member does not like, he jumps up on a point of order just to disrupt the interaction. That is too bad. If he does not like what I have to say, too bad.

I want to focus as well on a couple of other things that are critical in this debate on whether we return to a hybrid system in the fall.

What is not being taken into account, and I know Madam Speaker is fully aware of this, is that there have been increases in injuries within the interpretation bureau. We have received numerous reports over the last several years that there has been a ninefold increase in injuries among those people who work so hard to ensure that we have world-class interpretation in this place, and when I say “world-class”, I mean it is unlike any other around the world.

We are seeing increased workplace injuries. We have been told that those workplace injuries are going to continue as long as we continue with a hybrid system here in the House and at committee. Why the government and the NDP are proposing to jeopardize the health and safety of our interpretation bureau is beyond me, especially since the warning signs and signals have been sent.

We are seeing a diminishing pool of interpreters, for which these workplace injuries are not the least reason. That puts the bilingualism component of our Parliament at risk for all of us, especially those who are francophone in this place and those who listen in who are francophone, and calls into question the future of bilingualism and the ability of interpreters to relay what is going on to francophone Canadians. I think that needs to be strongly considered as we consider moving into this hybrid Parliament format.

It is no surprise to the House that we want to signal to Canadians that we are getting back to some sense of normalcy, but there is no reason, no science, no evidence and no rationale as to why we are dealing with this in the waning hours of this session of Parliament, all because the government House leader and the NDP House leader do not want to return to normal. That is the only alternative. They want to continue the decline in the relevance of this institution by allowing ministers and members to not be here. It is sad.

I wear this bracelet around my wrist. It says, “Lest we forget”. I have said this before in this place, because I often think about the lives that have been lost and the families that have been decimated by war. Those who have defended our country in faraway lands to allow us all the privilege to sit in our symbol of democracy did not fight so we can sit on Zoom. They did not fight so ministers can hide from accountability. They did not fight to see a decline in our democracy. They fought to strengthen our democracy and to ensure that it was sustainable for years to come, but what the government is proposing is limiting and diminishing our democratic institution.

I know the government is going to argue otherwise, but we have seen it. We have seen a lack of accountability and transparency. We have seen the government hide using these tools. We saw it with Bill C-11. We saw the chaos that ensued at committee when the chair was sitting in her living room trying to manage and deal with a complicated and substantive bill with hundreds of amendments.

It is done. It is over. Its time has come. It served a purpose at the time, but it serves a purpose no longer when no other legislatures in this country, provincial or territorial, or around the world, are using a hybrid system. It is done. It is over.

In the time I have left, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Fundy Royal, that the motion be amended:

(a) in paragraph (i) by deleting all the words after the words “motion is adopted” and substituting the following: “or adopted on division, provided that precedence shall be given to a request for a recorded division followed by an indication the motion is adopted on division”;

(b) in paragraph (p) (i) by adding after the word “videoconference” the following: “provided that members participating remotely be in Canada”, (ii) by adding after the words “resources for meetings shall be” the following: “subject to the provisions of paragraph (j) of the order adopted on Monday, May 16, 2022”, (iii) by adding after subparagraph (vi) the following: “(vii) any proceedings before a committee in relation to a motion to exercise the committee's power to send for persons, papers and records shall, if not previously disposed of, be interrupted upon the earlier of the completion of four hours of consideration or one sitting week after the motion was first moved, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the motion shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment”; and

(c) in paragraph (q) (i) by deleting all the words in subparagraph (ii) and substituting the following: “members participating remotely shall be in Canada and shall be counted for the purpose of quorum”, (ii) by adding after subparagraph (v) the following: “(vi) any proceedings before the committee in relation to a motion to exercise the committee's power to send for persons, papers and records shall, if not previously disposed of, be interrupted upon the earlier of the completion of four hours of consideration or one sitting week after the motion was first moved, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the motion shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate and amendment”.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Concerning the amendment proposed by the House leader of the official opposition, the Chair is of the opinion that there are two sections that affect the use of powers granted to the committees. Specifically, it describes a procedure to allow the committees to use the power conferred on them to send for persons, papers and records.

In the Chair's opinion, these provisions are foreign to the substance of the motion, which is to regulate the conduct of hybrid proceedings both for the chamber and for committees. Accordingly, I unfortunately have to rule the amendment out of order in its current form.

We will now proceed to questions and comments. I thank the members for their attention.

The hon. member for Kings—Hants.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, I listened to the hon. opposition House leader's remarks today, and I have a couple of reflections and a question for him.

I would have much more sympathy for the Conservative position on this if I had seen 121 members sitting in their seats when the vote took place this morning. That did not happen. I would have more sympathy if I looked over during question period and saw every member of the Conservative caucus being a part of the debate.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

We have a point of order from the hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, as you have referenced quite a number of times in this place, one cannot do indirectly what they cannot do directly. I would simply ask for your guidance.

We have heard the government House leader and a number of other members from the government side reference that members have not been present when they are engaged in certain virtual aspects of the rules that have been adopted by this place. I would refer to the motion that was adopted. It says members are able to use virtual Parliament in full status as members of this place. To somehow suggest that some votes are more important than others, or to note the presence or absence of a member, is contrary to the rules and orders of this place. I would urge that this sort of conduct not be allowed in the context of this debate.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

On both sides of the House, we have had this argument. Members of the official opposition and of other opposition parties, and members within the government, have mentioned that not everyone is in the House. Members should not do indirectly what they cannot do directly, but hon. members are not specifically indicating who is and who is not in the House. If they were specifically indicating who is not in the House, that would be different.

I want to remind members to try to avoid using those lines. The hon. member is quite right that anybody who is participating virtually is considered to be in the House.

The hon. member for Kings—Hants has 30 seconds to finish his thoughts.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, I think this is extremely relevant for the debate about virtual Parliament. Objectively, all recognized parties in the House have used the tools that have been made available over the last number of months.

There are two distinct periods. There is the COVID period, which we are not completely out of. Then there is one when we look at how the tools have been used to modernize Parliament.

Does the opposition House leader believe that there are some elements to what we have done over the past two years that are helpful for modernizing Parliament? Why is he so against having a study to examine that in full, including ways in which the opposition can get its point of view across on how best it can hold the government to account?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Madam Speaker, the fact is that constitutionally Ottawa is the seat of power. It is the seat of Parliament, and this is where people are expected to be.

Do I think that going hybrid during COVID served a purpose? I explained very well in my discourse last night that at the height of the pandemic, yes, it did serve a purpose because there were many unknowns at that point. There were agreements among all the parties to move, and I give full credit to the administrative staff.

However, in terms of what we are dealing with today, we are normalizing this process of a hybrid Parliament in the fall when no other legislatures around the world or even in this country are doing it. Why are we dealing with this now? If we want to talk about how to modernize Parliament, we can do that, and the procedure and House affairs committee is the proper venue for it.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the leader of the official opposition for his speech.

I would like to hear his thoughts on the leader of the government's comments about the Quebec nation, which I felt were condescending.

This evening is when we would normally be celebrating Quebec's national holiday in Montreal, Quebec City and elsewhere. We leave June 23 on the calendar for any emergencies we have to deal with, such as the passport situation. Was this motion that urgent? I do not think so.

I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on the following. The House is governed by two things: rules and practice. The rule is that we sit on June 23, but in practice we do not sit, as a matter of basic respect. The leader of the government will rise in the House in a few months to ask for unanimous consent to finish earlier so the Liberal members can attend the Liberal convention.

How is the Liberal convention more important than the Quebec nation?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Madam Speaker, this discussion came up a couple of weeks ago in a House leaders' meeting. The leader of the House for the Bloc Québécois made it explicitly clear to the government House leader that this was important, just as it is for our members from Quebec, because this is a holiday of great importance within Quebec. At the time we talked about it, there was no indication that we were going to be dealing with Motion No. 19. In fact, what the Liberals did was put it on notice Monday evening knowing that the debate would eventually roll into Thursday, with the vote scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

I want to assure my hon. colleague that we have done everything we can to ensure that the vote happens as early as possible, with an understanding for not just Bloc Québécois members but our members from Quebec, who understand how important the fête nationale is in Quebec. I am just sorry that the Liberal government House leader does not realize or understand how important it is. Basically, what he did—

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

We need time for other questions.

The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

NDP

Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, listening to the opposition House leader for the last 20 minutes or half an hour has truly inspired me to nominate him for a Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

As 119 MPs have ultimately become irrelevant because they are wrong on this issue and on every issue, I can understand the bitterness of the member across the way. However, if we were to listen to him and his objection to the NDP fighting for pharmacare or dental care, which are things that will help Canadians, and if we accepted the Conservatives' outdated arguments, we would never have progress in this place. We would not have achievements on child care, health care or LGBTQ rights.

My question is simple. With his members hosting convoy organizers on the Hill, how can Canadians take the member and his party seriously?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her understanding of how deep the abyss of irrelevance will be once the Canadian electorate gets a hold of the New Democrats in the next election after they made a deal with the Liberals. The Liberals were sent here with 32% of the vote. It was only because the Prime Minister did not receive a majority government that he decided to invite the NDP to be a coalition partner.

If these things become true, I will eat my words. Promises were made by the Liberal government to the NDP, but the Liberals have never lived up to a promise they have been able to keep. The country is in chaos and calamity. Even the most basic services are not being delivered. If the New Democrats think they are going to get their way out of this, they are sadly wrong and they will be irrelevant in the next election.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to join this debate. I have been listening intently over the last hour or so to what has been discussed in the House, and I heard the government House leader say that we will be able to look at this at PROC in the fall. However, the rule is going to be in place until June 23, 2023. I do not know where the Liberals come from, but where I come from, we do not make a rule and then study it to make another rule when it has already been put in place.

Their argument here is irrelevant. If they want PROC to study this in September, why are they putting in this piece of legislation now so that the rule stays until June 23, 2023?

It does not make any sense, so I would like our House leader to explain it to us.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Madam Speaker, I sat on PROC when we studied this at the beginning of the pandemic. The concern was always that this was going to become more permanent in nature, and I believe it is the goal of not just the Liberal government but its partners in the NDP to make this more permanent.

There were other concerns as well. Members may use this not to come here so that in close ridings they can perpetually electioneer. I suspect that this is probably going to be the case for the NDP and the Liberals.

As I said last night about somebody who wants to be in their community, this is a transcontinental country, and the expectation is that when we get elected here, we are going to come to Ottawa. If members want to be in their riding, they can run for mayor, run for council or run for public school trustee. They should not run for MP, because the expectation is that they will need to be here.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, with all due respect to the hon. official opposition House leader, COVID is not over. My husband is at home right now extremely sick because he tested positive for COVID. I tested myself this morning and the test came up negative. I do not want to put people at risk.

We can look casually and google for scientific advice right now, today. The hon. opposition House leader tells us that there is no scientific evidence, but he is willfully blind. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is saying that it fears another outbreak. There is what is happening right now in Portugal. There are warnings from Dr. Zain Chagla at McMaster and from Dr. Isaac Bogoch, whom we have been following very carefully. He says to look at the waste-water data.

This is a virus that mutates. That is what it does. It does not mutate to milder and milder; it sometimes mutates milder, sometimes worse. What I have seen in this place since March 13, 2020, when we adjourned because of COVID, is that every measure to adapt has seen a big parliamentary fight, so deciding this now saves us time in the fall.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Madam Speaker, the only way I will respond is to note that other legislatures around the world, such as the U.S. Congress and our mother Parliament, have all resumed to normal, in-person sittings. Why should they be any different from us?

I would be glad to take a question from the member for Kingston and the Islands.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I am sorry, but we have to resume debate.

We have a point of order from the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I believe if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for one more question to be taken by the member for Barrie—Innisfil.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Is it agreed?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (Senate)

Madam Speaker, I am wondering if the opposition House leader can try to clarify something for me.

When we had a motion this morning to move to orders of the day, 66 Conservatives voted remotely and 44 voted in person. This is public data available on the website. When we voted on the motion for closure, 52 Conservatives voted remotely. That means 14 Conservatives were within a 10-minute walk of this place and were able to get over here, as they had previously voted remotely.

Can the opposition House leader please explain to the House how the Conservatives can be so dead set against this technology when they are routinely using it?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to show how little respect I have for this member: I will take the next question now.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Order, please.

I am recognizing a point of order, and it is not the one from the parliamentary secretary.

The member for Saanich—Gulf Islands is rising on a point of order.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I know I do not need to point this out to you, but Standing Order 18 says that “No member shall speak disrespectfully” of another member. That is not just using foul language or calling someone a name; it is also saying, as the hon. member just said, he has so little respect for the member that he is leaving. I am sorry, but that violates Standing Order 18.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I appreciate the point of order from the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands. I want to remind members to please be respectful to each other. We are at the end of the session and today is the last day, and I am sure the Clerks are going to be happy to have a bit of a break, as all of us will.

I ask members to please be respectful to each other, and to allow the hon. member for La Prairie to have the floor at this point.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to start by saying that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Joliette.

Once again, we are debating a motion aimed at extending hybrid parliamentary proceedings. Let me make one thing clear: Hybrid Parliament is not a cure-all. There are a number of problems with the format. It was supposed to be temporary, and I hope that is still the intention.

First, there are the interpretation problems. On several occasions, the interpretation has stopped working or interpreters have fallen ill for various reasons. This format is extremely demanding on our human resources. We must be aware of that.

Second, there is the matter of accountability. The government is hiding behind a two-dimensional format. It is always easier for ministers to hide their incompetence behind a screen than in person. It is a little less embarrassing. That is one of the reasons the Liberal Party likes the hybrid format so much. It is a way of dodging accountability. As we know, this government does not like Parliament. It does not like to talk or negotiate. It would rather impose its own law.

This was a minority government. Thanks to the NDP, it became a majority government and, thanks to the government House leader, it is now an authoritarian government. There are no more negotiations, but the extension of the hybrid Parliament is something that should be negotiated by common agreement or consensus. We are changing the way Parliament operates. That is a big deal. I am not wrong in saying that it has changed.

Democracy requires that ministers and members be present. That way, we can do more parliamentary work and discuss current files and future committees. We can do that when we are here in person. This is a government that likes to run away. Considering all of the disasters Quebeckers and Canadians are going through because of this government, the reason is obvious. This government is just plain incompetent.

The day before yesterday, June 21, we ran into problems with the hybrid format. That shows just how fragile it is. The Bloc Québécois wanted to be able to continue to do our parliamentary work during the pandemic, but we would have liked to have more of a discussion about extending the hybrid Parliament, instead of having it imposed on us like the government is doing today. It was not urgent.

Lastly, we hope, and in fact we know, that the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs will be looking at the extension of the hybrid Parliament to determine what will happen next. They should be able to see that it is not going too well. There are a number of problems.

What do the other parties think?

As I mentioned, the Liberals do not want anything to do with Parliament. They do not want to hold discussions, so they like the idea of continuing in hybrid format. The government's position is as follows: less time in Parliament and more virtual answers, which is far easier. If the Liberals had their way, Parliament would stay hybrid until the end of time.

Why are we talking about a hybrid Parliament?

We are talking about it because of the pandemic, and yet, when we ask the New Democrats why they want a hybrid Parliament, they do not even mention the pandemic. They talk about improving work-life balance and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The NDP government—because, yes, the NDP is now part of the government—agreed to the Bay du Nord project and to increased subsidies for the Trans Mountain pipeline, and now the NDP members come along and tell us that we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

As the House leader of the official opposition said, the truth is that the New Democrats want to stay home because they live far away, and flying hurts their ears. That is their position. They like to participate, but from a distance.

The reality is that elected members of Parliament are accountable. We have responsibilities and obligations towards our constituents. Sitting in Parliament is the primary responsibility. Hiding behind a screen will not make us work any better. No one here believes that, but that is the position the NDP government has taken.

The Bloc Québécois believes that the virtual mode should not be the norm, it should be the exception in a context of COVID-19. People should be able to participate virtually if they have the virus or if they have been in contact with someone who does. Virtual mode should be used only in those cases. There are several members we have barely seen for two years. Why is that? Do they have eternal COVID? Did they dive into a little pool full of COVID? Did they make friends with two viruses and start going around with them all the time? That is the reality. I will not name any names, but we know who they are and, above all, we know which party does this.

If we want to make this about work-life balance, if we want to use less gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, then it will be up to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to discuss it and to decide if we will have a permanent hybrid Parliament.

With respect to the NDP members' thinking, the pandemic is not the real reason for this. They want a permanent hybrid Parliament, and we do not agree with that.

Why are we talking about this on June 23? We have been co-operating with the government for more than two weeks so that we could rise for the summer today. Remember, Parliament voted to recognize the Quebec nation. Saint-Jean-Baptiste festivities are taking place today and tomorrow, and we do not understand why we are being forced to sit when this almost never happens. I think it has happened four times in the last 40 years.

We asked the leader of the government to postpone this discussion until the fall for three reasons. First, that is how it has been done since forever. The start of the session is when we determine how the House will operate. Second, there is no rush, because we are going back to our respective ridings. Finally, it would allow us to gather more information.

The Liberals said earlier that we are in a pandemic and we do not know what the future holds. All the more reason to wait and gather information for three months, in order to make more informed decisions, but they are talking about extending the hybrid Parliament for a year. Would we still need a year or six months? Perhaps by September, we would have had more answers, and more intelligent ones, to our questions. The Liberals clearly do not care much about intelligent answers. Just look at the passport situation.

We therefore suggested that we postpone the discussion until the fall because we have some problems with the hybrid Parliament model. As I said earlier, we view this model as an impediment to democracy and do not think it should be the norm. I am repeating this, because it is important. The hybrid model must be an exception.

Looking back, there is one point I want to bring up. I know that the member for Kingston and the Islands enjoys making lists of who votes and who does not vote. He is not concerned about his own party, but no matter. When Bloc Québécois members were not in the House, it was usually because, with few exceptions, they had caught COVID‑19 or had been in close contact with someone who had it. We always viewed hybrid Parliament as an exception. We are trying to set an example. We believe in walking the talk. The government's recognition of the Quebec nation cannot be all talk. It needs to take action. Once again, the government has failed to walk the talk.

For all these reasons, the Bloc Québécois will vote against the motion.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:50 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, last week, I was unable to participate here on the floor of the House of Commons because I had tested positive. Fortunately, now I am testing negative, so I did have a bout of COVID-19. I was able to participate here by using hybrid Parliament. That was just last week. I had the opportunity to address a number of issues on the floor. It also enabled me to vote.

To try to wish away the pandemic is highly irresponsible. Believe it or not, we will continue to have the pandemic over the next couple of months at the very least. What we are doing is affording members of the House the chance to demonstrate leadership to their constituents by not having to go into a certain environment. I would not have wanted to come in here, having tested positive, to deliver a speech or to vote. That demonstrates leadership, and that is the type of leadership we should be demonstrating to our constituents.

Does the member not agree that it was the responsible thing for me to do to be here by the hybrid method, as opposed to being here in person, because I tested positive last week?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Winnipeg North says that that demonstrates leadership. I thank him for that. He demonstrated leadership because he is an exception.

As I explained, we support the idea of members who have COVID-19 not coming to the House in person but still being able to do their work. If my colleague had listened more carefully, he would have understood that I support that way of doing things, and so I commend him for his actions.

Yes, the member for Winnipeg North is often in the House. We are well aware that. When I noticed last week that he was not physically present in the House and was participating virtually, I knew something must have happened, and I figured he had COVID-19. No one could ever say that he does not do his job in Parliament.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Mr. Speaker, we talk about responsibility and we talk about tradition. I just wonder what the member thinks about the message when we talk about leadership. I think the message we are sending to Canadians when we say “If you're sick, you still need to come to work” is quite a regressive approach. Should that be the message we are sending to our constituents?

I often talk to my nephew Andy about the importance of leadership. Is it not real leadership to set an example that when people are sick they should stay home and get better? Then we could use the traditions of this place, like pairing, so that members can recover with the support of their parliamentary colleagues. Is that not a better approach, instead of the usual practice that we have come to see of people hiding from Parliament, hiding from accountability and using this virtual Parliament option to dodge their responsibilities?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is somewhat related to what I was saying. Of course, during a pandemic, people might get COVID-19 and be contagious. In such cases, it is appropriate for them to be able to continue working virtually.

That being said, when the pandemic is over or becomes much less severe, will we still need a hybrid model, or will we be able to just go back to the approach my colleague mentioned?

There needs to be a discussion among the leaders, across party lines, to determine the best way to proceed. We need to have healthy discussions that will keep the parliamentary spirit alive in Parliament. That is what Quebeckers and Canadians expect of us.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:55 p.m.

Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Lauzon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Rural Economic Development

Mr. Speaker, we know that summer is approaching and that today is a busy day. We also know that some of our colleagues have had COVID‑19 these past few days and weeks.

I attended an activity this week during which I was seated at the head table. Yesterday, the participants received a call telling them to get tested, because several people had contracted COVID‑19 during some of the week's events.

We know that we are still at risk. We are still in a pandemic, and our government was careful and instituted a hybrid Parliament. All summer, we will be mingling with our constituents at events.

I would like to ask my colleague whether he agrees that the activities we are attending this summer will do nothing to lower the number of COVID‑19 cases that we might see on our return and that it is therefore reasonable to make this decision today.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

12:55 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague wants to know whether it is reasonable to make this decision today. How would waiting until September to make this decision change any of his rhetoric? It would not change a thing.

On the contrary, let us wait and see whether COVID‑19 continues. If it does, we could extend hybrid Parliament for another year. However, if we see that the pandemic is fading away, we could extend the hybrid mode for just six months. We will have some decisions to make, but we have all summer to gather the necessary information to make the best possible decision in September.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, June 23, and tomorrow, Quebeckers will gather to celebrate. I invite everyone to proudly celebrate our national holiday. The large celebrations in Quebec City and Montreal will be held tonight.

In my riding, we will be celebrating this evening in Joliette, Saint-Charles-Borromée, Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Rawdon, Crabtree, Saint-Michel-des-Saints and Sainte-Marcelline.

After two years of the pandemic, this national holiday is a very good occasion to get back to proudly celebrating together our love for Quebec and for our national language.

The 188th celebration will bring people together and inspire them. This year's theme is “One Language, a Thousand Accents”, which refers to the immense richness that our beautiful language contributes to Quebec culture and identity. Quebec society is vibrant, innovative and open to the future. We want our nation to develop in French. In that regard, I want to quote Michel Tremblay from today's edition of the Journal de Montréal:

I looked for a new argument to warn against the danger to the French language in Quebec. It seemed to me that everything had already been said and repeated. Then I remembered the last verses of Émile Nelligan's Vaisseau d’or: What has my heart become, thus set adrift at sea? Alas, that ship has sunk in an abyss of dreams! We must not let the French language sink in an abyss of dreams; we must make it flourish, we must make it prevail.

I would also like to take a moment to quote Gilles Vigneault, who was also published in the Journal de Montréal:

Language is like a country, both nomadic and sedentary!

Words, like its inhabitants, travel around the world.

If you recognize them, if these are your words,

They are your passport; this is your country!

Everyone's country is a strange thing

That sleeps through the long winter, like a rose in the garden, only to wake up in the spring, after I'd nearly forgotten about it

Creating a garden that is both numerous and singular

It is, simultaneously: house, garden, ship,

The ocean, the fountain and the tree and the paper.

No sooner had these words come off the pen

Than I heard the wind. A tacking sail

Is inviting me to prepare for a long journey...

What do words offer to the entire planet,

In space and time, where borders don't matter...

Should we leave at night or at daybreak?

The smallest window becomes a mirror in the dead of night

And reflects back to me the words I need to know myself.

At dawn...we have to believe someone is waiting for us, somewhere. Lutetia, Athens, Rome...are they part of my history?

The word LANGUAGE, immense and deep territory, will tell me where I come from, where I'm going...so I'm off!

Before I quoted those two giants, a few moments ago I said “we will be celebrating” in my riding. However, I probably cannot include myself in that “we”, because we here in the House are likely to be sitting late again tonight.

The thing is, in Quebec, local, national and federal elected representatives usually attend the celebrations. It is a perfect opportunity to meet the people we represent. I will not be able to do that this year. We will not be able to do it after two years of a pandemic. We asked the government to wrap things up earlier this afternoon by adopting the Friday schedule, but it refused. The Leader of the Government had zero interest in accommodating our request. Why? Because we have to debate this motion.

The government wants to extend the hybrid Parliament by a year. It seems to think this is a pressing issue that we cannot just discuss when we come back at the end of the summer. This government and its leader stubbornly opted to prevent Quebec members from celebrating our national holiday with our constituents. That speaks volumes about the Liberals' respect for Quebec. That is how Canada recognizes the Quebec nation. We will remember this.

Throughout the spring, the government has been ramping up the number of gag orders to get bills passed quickly. The House did not have to sit late tonight. However, the government and its leader do not care about my nation. I think it is best to describe this government with bird names, which is about all it deserves: mockingbird, cuckoo, woodcock, dodo, cuckold, chicken, tufted tit-tyrant, little bustard, horned screamer, smew, turkey and vulture. I will stop there, even though it is deserving of more.

Their insensitivity is not unrelated to the fact that this session has been marked by a clash of values between the federal government and Quebec, as well as by the ineptitude of a Liberal party that is struggling to keep the government functioning at the most basic level. The Prime Minister has made it official: He intends to attack Quebec's Bill 21 on state secularism, as well as Quebec's Bill 96 on the protection of French.

He introduced a bill on official languages that does not protect French in Quebec but instead protects the right to anglicize federal workplaces. He condoned reducing the political weight of the Quebec nation in the Parliament of Canada.

This government embodies the clash between the values of Canada and Quebec on every issue. We in the Bloc Québécois will continue our work, which is now more essential than ever, to defend and promote Quebec's interests.

This session made it clear just how incompetent the federal government is. If governing means looking ahead, the passport crisis paints a picture of a worn-out government caucus that is struggling to provide even basic services to Quebeckers.

The number of Liberal ministers who have been in the hot seat at the end of this session because of embarrassing mistakes is worrisome. This government is incapable of being proactive. It would rather make grand gestures in front of the camera than ensure the sound day-to day management of the country's affairs.

What is more, the Liberals seem to have knowingly lied to Quebeckers and Canadians about the greenhouse gas reduction targets and invoking the Emergencies Act at the request of police.

We asked for more powers for Quebec in the area of immigration from an unwilling government.

We noted the resistance of federal parties to state secularism when we proposed abolishing the prayer in the House.

We raised the debate about ideological criteria being imposed on funding for scientific research, which the government refused to consider.

The Bloc Québécois voiced the concerns of Quebeckers on gun violence, in particular by introducing Bill C‑279 to create a list of criminal organizations when faced with a federal government that has a lax approach to gun trafficking and organized crime.

We also advocated for the environment in a Canadian Parliament that, in the midst of the climate crisis, supports the Bay du Nord oil project.

We also continued to fight for increased funding for health care and the abolition of two classes of seniors by increasing old age security for people aged 65 and over.

If the Liberals wanted to convince Quebeckers that they have everything to gain by looking after all their public matters themselves, they would not go about it any other way. They used the artificial majority they gained with the NDP's support to oppose Quebec. Quebeckers have taken note. We will remember.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

NDP

Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talked about events in his riding that he will not be able to attend now because the House is sitting. However, I would argue that this is the beauty of a hybrid Parliament, that members would be able to attend and also do their job here in the House.

I was impacted by that, as June 6 was the first anniversary of the death of the Afzaal family in London, Ontario. I was able to go and be with my community, mourn with my community and commemorate this incredible family, yet I was also able to give a statement in the House to commemorate them via hybrid Parliament.

Maybe the member could talk about the actual realities and the incredible opportunities that this provides us as members of Parliament to be able to do both jobs, in our communities and in the House of Commons.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her remarks, but I do not agree with her assertion.

The Bloc Québécois believes the hybrid Parliament is for when people have COVID‑19 or are in contact with people who have it and could be contagious. We can use the hybrid model until the pandemic is over. We see no urgent need to adopt this motion today, June 23, when everyone in Quebec is celebrating our nation.

When there are important events to celebrate in our ridings, the hybrid model certainly enables us to be there, and my heart goes out to my colleague regarding the events she mentioned. However, what we are talking about right now is every single MP from Quebec, who should all be in their ridings.

It is important to distinguish between rules and practices. The rule says we must sit, but common practice is to adjourn early or not sit at all. The Leader of the Government has no desire at all to accommodate the Quebec nation. We will remember that next time he asks us to be accommodating so the Liberals can adjourn early for the Liberal Party convention, as is the practice.

We will remember that the Liberals are no more important than the Quebec nation.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (Senate)

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the member for London—Fanshawe for pointing out the rich hypocrisy with respect to the argument from the Bloc. Yes, those members could be in their ridings and, using hybrid Parliament right now, could still participate.

More importantly, if this member and his colleagues would just stop speaking, I am sure that we would see a vote on this, and we would be done. I am not aware of any other government business, so he could be home in time to participate in the festivities that he has planned. The only people who are really talking about this right now are the Conservatives and the Bloc. In the interest of allowing us to get to a vote, would the member be willing to stop talking so that we can do that?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, he says that while standing up, taking the time to ask a question and prolonging the debate. Then he calls us hypocrites. It is unbelievable.

That is it, cut the debate short. There is nothing else to say.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am completely flabbergasted that the government member does not want to have a debate. That is the antithesis of what we are supposed to do here. He must have misspoken, and I am certain he will stand up, apologize and withdraw his words.

I liked the member for Joliette's comments, as always, but not all of them. I found his Captain Haddock approach of attacking people by calling them bird names a bit strange. I have nothing against birds, but I am not sure why he was using bird names for people who, in my opinion, do not deserve that much respect.

As a Quebecker, as someone who has to celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, how does it feel to be here in the House of Commons today?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yes, we would have preferred to be in our ridings to celebrate our national holiday, but as elected representatives, obviously we have a duty to be here in Parliament to debate.

We would have preferred that this debate on extending the hybrid model take place at another time. There was no need to rush this motion through. We could have had this debate in the fall, especially since the work was going smoothly.

The less debate there is in the House, the better off the government is, because it is not held to account. However, that is not why we are here. As for the bird names, they are often considered insults in French.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Denis Garon Bloc Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the party of the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands throws a motion in our face on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, while also saying that if the debate goes on too long, it will be our own fault because we talk too much. I would like to know whether the member for Joliette would prefer that the member for Kingston and the Islands speak a little less once in a while.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, but I do not share his opinion. I think that, despite his verve and bombastic style, the member for Kingston and the Islands has a lot to offer to this House.

We are in favour of having debates in the House, but perhaps not on the eve of Quebec's national holiday, when everyone in our ridings is celebrating.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Since no one else wants to speak, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day.

Have a great summer to members who may not be here later on.

Is the House ready for the question?

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

The question is on the motion.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.

Consideration of Motion ResumedOrder Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #171

Order Respecting the Business of the House and its CommitteesGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I declare the motion carried.

National Day of Remembrance for Victims of TerrorismStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Chandra Arya Liberal Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, 37 years ago day, Air India Flight 182, operating on the Montreal-London-Delhi-Mumbai route, was blown up mid-air from a bomb planted by Canadian extremists. It killed all 329 passengers and crew members, including 268 Canadian citizens. The bombing of this Air India flight is the largest mass killing in Canadian history. It was the deadliest act of aviation terrorism in the world until 9/11.

Canada is a pluralistic country, and we honour the fallen. In this National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, my sympathies are with the families of the victims, who still experience pain.

Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in CanadaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal Humber River—Black Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I want to acknowledge the tremendous work of representative Winston Wen-yi Chen, the tenth representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada since it was established in 1992. He is a friend of many parliamentarians.

Representative Chen assumed his duties in Ottawa four years ago, and it has been a fruitful partnership ever since for both Canada and Taiwan. Representative Chen is now assuming a new post, and I would like to thank him for his friendship and his dedicated work in nourishing and promoting Taiwan-Canada relations.

Representative Chen has been serving in various roles in Canada for over 10 years. He helped launch the exploratory discussions on the Canada-Taiwan foreign investment promotion and protection arrangements. He also facilitated timely and generous donations of masks and gowns from Taiwan to Canada in response to the pandemic. These are just a few highlights.

I know that for representative Chen, Canada has become more than a job. It has also become his family. He was married in Canada, and his children were born here. He fell in love with both our land and country.

I thank representative Chen on behalf of all of us, as part of the friendship group, and wish him the best of success and many more years of service to come.

Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in CanadaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to pay tribute to trade representative Winston Chen from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada. He is leaving his post after four years. We will all miss his dedication, thoughtful ideas and sense of humour.

Mr. Chen worked hard to strengthen the already robust ties between Canada and Taiwan. In addition to over $6 billion in bilateral trade every year, Taiwan is a democratic country that shares many of the same values and goals on the world stage. In an increasingly unstable world, developing closer ties with like-minded peoples is all the more important.

Mr. Chen really came through for Canada during the pandemic when he and his team helped with the donation to Canada of over 500,000 masks from Taiwan to Canada. His dedication to Taiwan’s participation on an international level was impressive, as well his work on establishing more resilient supply chains. These will serve both our countries, as well as many others, in the years to come.

We thank Mr. Chen for his hard work improving the relations between Canada and Taiwan, and we wish him all the best in his future career.

Zhù ni wèilái hao yùn.

Youth in Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—MatapédiaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge and congratulate all of my young constituents in Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia on the end of their school year. On the eve of Quebec's national holiday, thousands of students are filing out of school for a well-earned vacation. Their heads are filled with new ideas, and their hearts are filled with magnificent plans.

High school graduates can finally celebrate together at prom to mark the end of this important chapter of their lives and the beginning of something even better.

I encourage these dear friends to savour every moment. Their worlds are opening up, and opportunities abound. I want them to have new experiences, live life, show off their new knowledge, be proud of who they are and, most importantly, of where they come from. Our beautiful region is bursting with all kinds of talent. I want them to keep doing us proud, as I know they can.

I wish them a happy national holiday and a great summer vacation.

Mark FishmanStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sameer Zuberi Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to an important leader and friend who will soon be leaving our community.

Rabbi Mark Fishman has served as Beth Tikvah's rabbi since 2013.

Our synagogue in Dollard is home to one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in Canada, a community I am honoured to serve. Whether he was organizing family fun programs, such as the Purim carnival, bringing the synagogue's hanukkiah to the homes of the celebrating, delivering sermons and programs online during COVID, or recently travelling to Poland to assist Jewish refugees fleeing Ukraine, Rabbi Fishman's contributions and legacy are numerous.

I would like to thank the rabbi for his service to the West Island Jewish community and society at large. Our community is losing a great leader. I am looking forward to working with his successor, but I will miss our thoughtful conversations.

I thank him for his years of service, and I really wish Mark and his family the very best.

Fundy Royal GraduatesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, there is cause for celebration in my riding of Fundy Royal this week as our communities come together to congratulate the class of 2022. I want to extend my sincerest congratulations to all of the graduates as they celebrate this milestone with their friends and family.

They can proudly reflect on the last few years they have spent learning lessons both within and outside of the classroom. These lessons have formed a strong foundation for them to now build their futures upon. From here, they will take what they have learned and go off to make their mark on our communities, our province, our country and indeed the world. I look forward to seeing their many great accomplishments.

I send my congratulations once again to the class of 2022.

Zero-Emission Buses in Durham RegionStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

Mr. Speaker, whether supporting homeowners to retrofit their homes, get into an electric vehicle or ride an electric bus, working together at all levels to green our lifestyle will save us money, build a stronger economy and protect the planet we cherish.

Last week, I was ecstatic to hear that Infrastructure Canada’s zero-emission bus strategy is reaching my community. An MOU was signed by the Canada Infrastructure Bank and Durham Region that will see as many as 100 battery electric buses purchased by 2027. This investment of $68.2 million is repayable low-interest financing and builds on the previous investment by our government of $43 million to fund the rapid bus transit route to better connect our region. The replacement of the current diesel-powered fleet will reduce operating costs and save 8,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

To date, the Canada Infrastructure Bank has invested over $1.5 billion toward more than 5,000 zero-emission buses across Canada. That is progress.

Retirement CongratulationsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Surrey—Newton, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate an amazing run of 32 years for the City of Surrey’s manager of culture Liane Davison, who retired earlier this year.

As Surrey has grown from a rural community to one that will soon become British Columbia's largest city, Liane's dedication and passion were at the heartbeat of the city’s arts and cultural landscape. Our population has grown dramatically over Liane’s tenure, and whether it was exhibitions of local artists, presentations of innovative and interactive art, or the acquisition of significant works from artists across Canada, she has left an indelible mark.

I thank Liane Davison for her contributions in enriching all of our lives in Surrey.

Bill C-21Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Eric Melillo Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again, the government is bringing forward firearms legislation that will impact lawful gun owners and not do nearly enough to address gun crime. The arbitrary handgun ban in Bill C-21 will do nothing to stop gun smuggling, nor will it prevent gang violence.

However, there are some measures of this bill the Conservatives support, such as the provision to keep firearms out of the hands of those who have committed domestic abuse. Despite the Conservatives' efforts to fast-track these pieces of the legislation, the NDP-Liberal coalition teamed up to block it, which I believe revealed their goals to be political rather than practical.

On this side of the House, our approach will always be to stand up for common sense measures to ensure that Canadians are safe and that guns are out of the hands of our criminals, instead of the soft-on-crime approach from the government.

Hockey in CanadaStatements by Members

June 23rd, 2022 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kody Blois Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, hockey is a Canadian pastime that bring us together and makes us proud, particularly when our national teams represent our country on the international stage. That is exactly what happened this month when the national women’s under-18 team won a gold medal in Madison, Wisconsin, beating our arch rivals, the Americans, in a back-and-forth three-to-two game. I am sure I speak on behalf of my colleagues in congratulating all the players, staff, and management involved in winning the world championship.

As a Nova Scotia member of Parliament, I would highlight that we punch above our weight in hockey talent with players such as Olympic gold medalist Jill Saulnier, Blayre Turnbull and NHL stars Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon, who are truly some of the best players in the world.

I want to celebrate our next generation of stars: Avi Adam, a forward who lives in Wolfville, and, Lucy Phillips, a goaltender originally from Fall River. We are proud of their hard work in making the national team and for their dedication to bringing home a world championship gold medal to Nova Scotia. Well done.

Constituency Office StaffStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg McLean Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is failing on so many basic matters. It is failing to provide passports to Canadians. It is failing Afghan refugees, who assisted our brave men and women in a war zone. It is failing to process immigration applications. There are now millions of files that are behind. Frontline government employees are now simply resorting to telling their frustrated clients to call their MPs, just as the minister for Service Canada has recommended. One can imagine the significant increase in call volumes to our offices. Our caseworkers are doing their utmost to fill the void.

The people of Calgary Centre and I are extremely lucky to have Shaney Pap in my office. There is not a week that goes by that I do not get glowing comments about the invaluable assistance she has provided. The volume of files she handles is immense and broad. While the government is working at half speed, often from home, Shaney has stepped in to ensure that people who need essential services are getting them. Today, I join my constituents in thanking Shaney for all she does for us.

SeniorsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, starting this July, the NDP-Liberal coalition is taking its first step to increase the retirement age to 75. The decision by the NDP-Liberal coalition to practise age discrimination by creating separate classes of the aged in the amount paid out for old age security has made seniors' worst fears realized.

The socialist coalition is shifting the financial burden onto the backs of seniors to pay for Canada's excessive debt. Seniors see this age discrimination as an effort to force Canadians under 75 to remain in the workplace and continue paying taxes for the “tax, borrow and wasteful spending” Liberal policy of high inflation. It is robbing seniors of their lifetime savings for what should be their golden years.

Inflation erodes the worth of savings. This is a massive societal shift. People are being forced to work longer and are needing to work longer. The socialist coalition needs to be held accountable for left-wing inflation policies that are robbing Canadians of the retirement they have been dreaming of.

National Day of Remembrance for Victims of TerrorismStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Taleeb Noormohamed Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. Thirty-seven years ago today, Air India Flight 182 was blown out of the sky, which killed 329 innocent souls. These were 268 Canadians, including moms, dads, grandparents, friends and 82 children, who would never come home.

To this day, this remains the single largest act of terrorism perpetrated against Canadians. It was the result of a conspiracy conceived, planned and executed in Canada. Despite the advocacy of the victims' families, who have battled racism, discrimination and indignity, few Canadians know about this tragedy. We do not learn about it in schools. We hear little about it in the media. It cannot be this way. This is, and must always be, remembered by the House and all Canadians as a Canadian tragedy.

As we remember, let us reflect on the words carved into memorials for the victims from Vancouver to Bantry, Ireland:

Time flies. Suns rise and shadows fall.

Let it pass by. Love reigns forever over all.

May love always reign forever over all.

Refugee Mental Health SupportStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees provides mental health counselling, specially trained interpreters and culturally appropriate trauma services. Ukrainians fleeing Putin's war have been arriving on Vancouver Island, and many are understandably traumatized.

While the federal government is providing settlement services, there is no funding for mental health support. These victims of war should be covered by the interim federal health program. Organizations such as VICCIR were already responding to increased demands, and now are providing mental health supports without funding.

In addition, there is a serious issue with clinical counsellors in B.C. not being able to register as providers with the interim federal health program, no matter how qualified and experienced they may be. The IFHP needs to provide consideration for professional equivalencies. These issues negatively impact refugees who struggle to find providers.

I want to say a huge thanks to the counsellors, the interpreters and the staff at VICCIR. I thank them for their incredibly important work.

Co-operative in RacineStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Andréanne Larouche Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am awfully proud that one of our wonderful homegrown organizations has gained recognition outside Quebec. At the annual Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada awards, La Brunante won the small co-operative of the year award, which recognizes the unique impact of a co-operative on a community.

Established in 2003, La Brunante is a fantastic model of a solidarity housing co-operative for seniors in the village of Racine in the Eastern Townships. The model has gained momentum. Over the years, La Brunante has forged an international reputation, even giving three presentations on seniors and aging to the World Health Organization.

I had a chance to visit the co-operative, where I witnessed how well the “aging in place together” model works. Seniors there have opportunities to share their knowledge and know-how. By helping one another, seniors continue to feel useful.

I have to hand it to two of La Brunante's founders, Gaston Michaud and his partner, Mariette Bombardier. They have enabled so many seniors to grow old with dignity. I heartily congratulate them on this well-deserved award.

Government AccountabilityStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we will soon rise, let us recap what we have learned. A Canadian diplomat attended a party at the Russian embassy and embarrassed our country, but the minister says it is not her fault because her staff do not check their emails.

We learned that the Emergencies Act was not used at the request of the police, but the minister falsely claimed otherwise.

The Liberals do not get a pass on passports. People camp out for hours every day, but the minister points to a spike in demand. We will learn that this was not true.

We have chaos in our airports, but the minister blames rusty travellers.

Inflation is out of control, but the minister says it is not her fault, despite injecting $100 billion of stimulus that makes inflation in the lives of Canadians worse.

We found out that the commissioner of the RCMP promised the PMO and the public safety minister to help them achieve their political objectives after a horrible tragedy. In response, the former minister tried to shift the blame onto an RCMP superintendent for doing his job with integrity.

The Prime Minister was a schoolteacher. He knows one cannot pass students who do not do their work or take responsibility. He should flunk them, but he will not. At the very least, he and the lot of them should spend their summer at remedial school. The Canadian people deserve better.

Quebec's National HolidayStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Soraya Martinez Ferrada Liberal Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, my riding of Hochelaga, like the rest of Quebec, is celebrating our national holiday. This year's theme is “One Language, a Thousand Accents”.

With its French language, Quebec is a strong nation with a unique identity, a large artistic community, and a resilient and inspiring entrepreneurial and community-centred culture. We are celebrating an open, inclusive Quebec. We are celebrating a Quebec where everyone is welcome, regardless of their French accent.

Quebec nationalism is for all Quebeckers. Pride in being a Quebecker is about more than political parties. It is the belief that Quebec's future is intimately entwined with its ability to carve a place for itself in Canada and the world, that Quebec is an example of language protection and immigrant integration.

There are millions of immigrant Quebeckers who speak French, with thousands of different accents. That is not a trivial or minor fact, let alone an anecdotal one. We should be proud of it and focus on our similarities and shared goals to create a unifying message that respects Quebec's uniqueness.

Happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

PassportsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, promises and more promises, but never any results: That is the hallmark of the Liberal government.

The minister knew for months that Passport Canada was headed for disaster, and yet what did she do? She went full steam ahead anyway.

People were told yesterday that they could wait in line to get a number, so they would be able to get a passport. People waited in line all night in the rain to get a number. What happened? There were no numbers left this morning. That is their new strategy.

We have learned that it takes 15 weeks to train a new employee. The minister is going to say that she has hired lots of people. This is truly appalling. Who is going to take responsibility for this monumental Liberal fiasco?

PassportsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I understand Canadians' frustration with the passport situation.

We implemented a new strategy as of yesterday. We saw the lines of people forming outside of the Saint-Laurent, Laval and Guy-Fravreau offices, so they received tickets and appointments.

Today, 250 people who were outside the Laval and Saint-Laurent offices spoke with managers and got appointments. There are 10 or so managers in each office who are organizing people into 12-hour shifts to ensure that everyone can travel on time.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us just think about this for one second: This government is so out of touch that it cannot even provide basic services to the public. It waited until today to start talking to people who are waiting outside. The minister assured us that the government has installed toilets outside, which does not bode well for the rest of the summer. We anticipate that this is going to be a very long summer.

Every Canadian is affected by the cost of living, which is going up faster than ever. The inflation rate is the highest it has been in 40 years, when there was another Trudeau in power, incidentally. Every responsible country is lowering their gas tax. Why is this government refusing to do what is right for everyone?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we understand that the cost of living is a major concern for Canadians, and that is why we have taken concrete steps to help the most vulnerable Canadians.

We increased the Canada workers benefit, so a family of three will get $2,400 more this year. We increased old age security by $815.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, no one is listening anymore because no one believes this will change anything now.

The Minister of Public Safety has no problem misleading Canadians to justify political decisions. The former minister of public safety has no problem interfering in a police inquiry into a tragedy to use that information for political purposes.

According to RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell, the RCMP commissioner said that she had promised the then minister of public safety and the Prime Minister's Office that the RCMP would release the information.

My question is simple. Does the Prime Minister believe RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have never criticized, and will not criticize, a serving member of the RCMP. I was not a party to the discussions that took place between the commissioner and her subordinates. We have made no comment on that discussion, but I will reiterate that there was no interference in this matter, and the commissioner of the RCMP confirmed in her statement on Tuesday that there was no interference or pressure brought to bear by the government.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Ellis Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, there are handwritten notes confirming political interference during the active police investigation in Portapique, Nova Scotia in 2020. These notes are from a well-respected and experienced RCMP officer. Instead of honesty, we hear this minister doubling down on his rhetoric, disrespecting Parliament and Nova Scotia and blaming other people.

Given the gravity of the situation, will the minister admit the political interference and stop this shameful performance?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, of course I will not because it would not be true. There was no interference in this matter.

I would also take the opportunity to remind the House that there is currently an independent public inquiry taking place in Nova Scotia: In the Mass Casualty Commission, these very matters are being addressed. Witnesses will be called to testify under oath. The work of the Mass Casualty Commission is important to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy and important to the people of Nova Scotia. We intend to support the commission in doing its important work.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Ellis Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the ongoing disinformation spawned by the former minister of public safety is revictimizing families and all those affected by the events in Portapique. The clear notes provided by Superintendent Campbell implicitly implicate the minister in peddling political pressure on Commissioner Lucki. Certainly, we all know from the comments of other officers that Superintendent Campbell is an exemplary officer.

If there is truly nothing to hide, will the minister submit to an in-depth investigation, yes or no?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have absolutely no doubt that Superintendent Campbell is an exemplary officer, and I do not question his integrity in any way. I would simply remind this House that the fact is that there was no interference in this matter and the commissioner of the RCMP herself issued a statement on Tuesday, in which she said very clearly that there was no interference and no pressure brought to bear. Those are the facts.

I would also remind the member opposite that we have initiated an independent public inquiry that is examining these very issues, and that work will be very important to the families of the victims of this tragedy.

PassportsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's management of passports is so incompetent.

The solution is not appointment tickets, as the minister is proposing, it is not fifty-fifty draws, and it is not a Hunger Games. The only solution is to open offices seven days a week. The people in line are there seven days a week.

Tomorrow is Quebec's national holiday. The minister has no right to let Canadians who do not get an appointment today sleep outside for another four nights until Monday. That is inhumane.

When will she understand that the offices must be open seven days a week and have longer hours?

PassportsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Montreal is truly unacceptable. That is why, since yesterday, teams of 10 managers have been going down the line to ensure that everyone gets a chance to have a conversation and get an appointment ticket.

Service Canada offices will be open until midnight today to serve people. We have a new strategy in place, and people lining up today who will not be travelling in the next 12 to 24 hours will receive an appointment for Friday or Saturday.

PassportsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should go and ask the people who are waiting in line in Quebec if they are happy with the answer that this is unacceptable, that the government needs to do better and that it is working hard.

The government needs to open the offices seven days a week with extended hours until there is no one left in line. People are waiting day and night in the rain. They have been completely abandoned. Tensions are rising. People are getting angry. People are breaking down in tears. They are the victims of federal incompetence.

Seriously. Is the government finally going to start governing or do we need to call in the army?

PassportsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, Service Canada employees are already working 12, 14 or 16 hours a day. They are there first thing in the morning. They are serving Canadians. They are also working Saturdays to process passports.

They receive applications during the day. At night, they process them and print the passports. They are working extremely hard in this extraordinary situation that is happening in Montreal.

HousingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the cost of living is hitting Canadians tremendously hard. New Democrats have shared stories about the Canadians who are suffering right now, who cannot afford groceries and cannot afford gas. On top of that, CMHC has put forward a report that we are three million homes short of ensuring that Canadians can find affordable homes, and in fact people will not be able to find a home they can afford.

Given how serious things are, the government is just waiting to see if it will go away. It is not going to go away on its own. The government must act to help people now. When will it act to support families who are in need of help?

HousingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York South—Weston Ontario

Liberal

Ahmed Hussen LiberalMinister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

Mr. Speaker, we are very aware of the need to build more housing supply in Canada. That is why we have introduced the housing accelerator fund. That is why we are investing $4 billion that will go directly into municipalities so that they can build more housing supply and so that they can do it faster. We are the only government in Canadian history that has taken the step of creating systemic change to produce more housing supply. In addition to that, we are also investing in more supply through the rapid housing initiative, more investments in co-op housing and more investments in the co-investment program.

HousingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jagmeet Singh NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the cost of living is on the rise and is hitting families hard. It is increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for many families across the country to make ends meet.

According to a recent report, if the government does not take action during these tough times, some people in Canada will not be able to find housing. Knowing all this, when will this government take swift action to help families weather this crisis?

HousingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we understand that the cost of living is a very important and difficult issue for many Canadian families. We understand that housing is one of the biggest challenges, and that is why our budget targeted the very complicated housing issue.

We are going to invest in housing and build homes for Canadians. We are going to give those who are struggling the most an extra $500 for housing.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Perkins Conservative South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Nova Scotia inquiry revealed that RCMP Commissioner Lucki chastised the lead investigator: “The commissioner then said that we didn't understand, that this was tied to pending gun control legislation”. Also quoted in these documents was the RCMP communications officer, who said, “[I]t was all political pressure. That is 100 percent [the minister] and the Prime Minister.”

Why will the government not believe that investigating officers are telling the truth?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the member that I have already stated unequivocally that there was no interference in this matter, and I would refer the member to the commissioner's statement, in which she also stated unequivocally that there was no interference or pressure.

Canadians, including those who were directly impacted by this terrible tragedy, have expressed concerns about when and how the RCMP shared information with the public, and that is precisely why the government specified in the order of reference that the Mass Casualty Commission examine the communications approach taken both during and after this event. The work of the Mass Casualty Commission is important.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Perkins Conservative South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister opposed the creation of the inquiry, and it is shameful how the Liberals are trying to evade accountability for this outrageous political interference.

The minister continues to quote a supposedly independent statement from Commissioner Lucki, a statement that was likely cleared by the public safety minister's office before being issued. In essence, he is quoting himself and impugning the integrity of the investigators.

When did the Prime Minister's Office and the Minister of Public Safety's office approve the commissioner's statement that the minister is now using to defend himself?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the member may not be aware, but the commissioner of the RCMP is independent of government and there cannot be, in law, any interference with her work.

I would remind the member that, on Tuesday, the commissioner issued her own statement, in which she stated unequivocally that—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am going to interrupt the hon. minister. I am about 20 feet away from him, and I am having a hard time hearing him.

I would ask the minister to continue, and if this continues, we will have to start from the top.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was referencing for this House the statement that the commissioner released on Tuesday, in which she said, “I take the principle of police independence extremely seriously, and it has been and will continue to be fully respected in all interactions.”

That is the truth, and there was no interference in this matter, as there has been no interference by this government in any police operation.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious and appalling situation. Darren Campbell, a senior RCMP officer, has said that there was partisan political interference in the Nova Scotia tragedy. This is both appalling and disgusting.

A lot of people trust Mr. Campbell, including us. The Globe and Mail quoted former RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson, who said that Darren Campbell “is one of the best investigators in the force and a highly reliable officer with tremendous integrity”. Why does the minister not believe Mr. Campbell?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. I am not in any way questioning the integrity or the honesty of the superintendent. I know former commissioner Paulson very well, and I take him very much at his word when he commends the officer for his integrity. However, I will just simply remind the House that, in this case, there was no interference in this matter and, second, that the commissioner has issued a statement in which she also says that there has been no interference in this matter. Those are simply the facts.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Here are the facts, Mr. Speaker. A minister claims he did not interfere, but a senior RCMP officer, Mr. Campbell, says that there was in fact political interference. Who is telling the truth?

Some very serious people say that Mr. Campbell is telling the truth. Peter Lepine also told The Globe and Mail, “I've followed Darren Campbell since the day he was a recruit. He's an extremely competent police officer and extremely well trained in the world of major investigations.” If we have to choose between the minister and Mr. Campbell, the Conservative Party chooses Mr. Campbell.

Why does the minister refuse to acknowledge the truth?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, again, as I understand it, Superintendent Campbell referred to a conversation, to which we were not party, that he had with his commissioner. I am not in any way questioning the man's integrity. My understanding is that he is an exemplary police officer.

Let me be very clear: There was no interference in this matter, and the commissioner has confirmed that in the statement she released on Tuesday.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Jake Stewart Conservative Miramichi—Grand Lake, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has hit a new low to ram through legislation.

Superintendent Campbell noted that Commissioner Lucki told the RCMP that she had promised the Minister of Public Safety and the Prime Minister's Office that the force would disclose the types of firearms used in the mass shooting because it would advance the government's pending gun control legislation.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he used the suffering and death of Nova Scotians for personal political gain?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, that statement is absolutely false. In fact, I would remind the House that our government promised Canadians in the summer of 2019 that we would strengthen gun control and that we would ban military-style assault rifles—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am going to have to interrupt.

The hon. minister can start from the top, please.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I said, unfortunately, the member's comments are absolutely false. In fact, I would remind the House that in the summer of 2019 we made a promise to Canadians that we would strengthen gun control and ban military-style assault rifles.

When the Prime Minister appointed me public safety minister, he placed, in my mandate letter, a direction to ban military-style assault rifles. We made that promise to Canadians, and we kept that promise to Canadians.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Dane Lloyd Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, during the April 28 meeting with the RCMP commissioner and Superintendent Campbell, there were notes handwritten that stated that the commissioner promised to release information about an active criminal investigation to support a pending announcement on gun control. The Minister of Emergency Preparedness has been standing in the House saying that there was no interference, but the Prime Minister just said there was no undue interference. The story is changing.

The commissioner was working with the government to advance its political agenda. Does the minister deny this?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Before we go on to the answer, there are two things: I want everyone to respect each other, and when we are making statements in the House, please be very judicious on the words you use accusing someone of being something. I am hearing names from one side and other absolute terms from the other. I just want to remind everyone to be judicious. We want to leave on a nice note before the summer.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, perhaps it would be helpful if I read the entire statement that the RCMP commissioner issued Tuesday.

The commissioner writes:

It is important to note that the sharing of information and briefings with the Minister of Public Safety are necessary, particularly during a mass shooting on Canadian soil. This is standard procedure, and does not impact the integrity of ongoing investigations or interfere with the independence of the RCMP.

She concludes by stating:

I take the principle of police independence extremely seriously, and it has been and will continue to be fully respected in all interactions.

There was no interference.

PassportsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the passport crisis comes as no surprise to anyone.

The union warned the government in January. This was foreseeable. Since 2018, the government has cut 450 jobs in passport offices. In the midst of a crisis, the 600 new hires the minister is talking about do not represent an increase in service. Those hires just bring the number of staff back up to prepandemic levels. We are in the midst of a crisis, and that requires crisis-level effort.

When will the minister deploy enough staff to keep the offices open seven days a week?

PassportsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, passport offices are open weekends in the busiest urban centres to make sure that people who urgently need their passport can get it.

We have hired 600 people since January and we are in the process of hiring 600 more. We are reassigning hundreds of employees from Service Canada and other organizations, including the Canada Revenue Agency, Statistics Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

We are making every effort to resolve this situation, which is truly unacceptable for Canadians.

PassportsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not what is happening; the union is looking for those 600 people. It found five at the Guy‑Favreau complex. So much for that.

The union projects a return to normal only in October. The chaos cannot last another four months. The minister can bring people out of retirement to help. She can transfer resources from other departments. She can create a training blitz for the new employees. At the very least she can let in the people who are sleeping outside and ensure that they are treated humanely, even if that means renting rooms. That is how to manage a crisis.

What is the minister waiting for?

PassportsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, we have already done all of those things that my hon. colleague is calling for. It takes 15 weeks to train a passport officer. This has already been going on for months. The first class of passport officers starts on Monday. This is not something that changes overnight. It is already in place.

The situation in Montreal improved today. In Laval and in Saint‑Laurent, everyone was given an appointment. At the Guy-Favreau complex, everyone is working to ensure that the hundreds of people there get their appointment.

We will continue to prepare and do everything we can to serve Canadians.

PassportsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Chabot Bloc Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a discrepancy between what we are hearing and what we are seeing. The passport crisis is not just an administrative fiasco. People are standing out in the rain at their wits' end. People are missing their parents' funerals. People are losing contracts. The minister's message to them? “Your call is important to us.”

When will the people standing in line truly feel their situation is being taken seriously?

PassportsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, we are taking the situation very seriously. That is exactly why we adjusted our approach in Montreal. The situation in Montreal is exceptional. It is not like anywhere else in the country.

Every day for the past seven days, between 1,500 and 2,000 people have lined up outside passport offices. Each person in line today got an appointment card for either today, tomorrow, Saturday or even Sunday, because we want to make sure they get their passport.

That is what we want, and that is what we are doing.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Emergency Preparedness politically interfered in a mass murder investigation to advance his own party's political agenda. RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell witnessed this interference first-hand, but the minister is claiming he made this all up. Former RCMP commissioner Paulson said Superintendent Darren Campbell “is one of the best investigators in the force and a highly reliable officer with tremendous integrity.”

Why should Canadians believe the minister over a well-respected RCMP officer?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have absolutely no doubt Superintendent Campbell is in fact an exemplary officer and I have absolutely no intention of questioning his integrity. However, I also want to make it very clear that there was no interference in this case for any reason.

With respect to the prohibition of assault rifles, it was something we were deeply committed to. The vicious murder of 22 Canadians using firearms deepened our resolve to make Canadians safe and to keep our promise.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise to hear that the minister and the Prime Minister pressured the RCMP commissioner into doing their bidding. Let us remember that the Ethics Commissioner found the Prime Minister guilty of political interference when he pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to do his bidding, but she got fired because she said no.

Now the minister is accusing Superintendent Darren Campbell, who has a stellar reputation, of just making up a story. How can the minister expect Canadians to believe his unethical, scandal-plagued government over a stellar RCMP officer?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the only thing being made up is his criticism of Superintendent Campbell; I offer none. I am absolutely certain the man is an exemplary police officer and a man of integrity, and I have no criticism of him. What I am advising this House, however, is that there was no interference in this case. There was no pressure brought upon the commissioner for any reason, and the commissioner has—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Order, please.

I am going to stop the member for a second, again.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Melissa Lantsman Conservative Thornhill, ON

Let him start again; it's good.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I will follow the advice of the hon. member and let the hon. minister start again.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am happy for the opportunity to dispute a false statement, frankly, by my colleague across the aisle.

I have not, and will not, criticize. I offer no criticism whatsoever to Superintendent Campbell, who I believe to be, based on all of the evidence, an exemplary officer. I am not questioning his integrity.

However, it is important for me to be very clear: There was no interference in this case. There was no pressure brought to bear on the RCMP commissioner, and in fact the commissioner has confirmed that there was no pressure in a statement that she issued on Tuesday.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Grande Prairie—Mackenzie, AB

Mr. Speaker, Lia Scanlan, director of communications for the RCMP, said this of Commissioner Lucki: “She went out and did that. It was all political pressure. That is 100% [the] Minister...and the Prime Minister. And we have a Commissioner that does not push back.”

The minister has said that he trusts these RCMP members. He says he stands behind the commissioner. The question is this: Who is not telling the truth?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, histrionics aside, I would direct the members to the commissioner's statement from Tuesday, in which she makes it very clear that there was no interference.

However, I remind this House that Canadians, including those who were directly impacted by this tragedy, expressed very serious concerns about how and when the RCMP shared information with the public. In response to the concerns expressed by the victims and families in this terrible tragedy, our government specified in the order of reference to the Mass Casualty Commission that it examine the communications approach taken both during and after this event. That commission will hear testimony under oath, and its findings will be important in providing accurate information to the families in this terrible tragedy.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, families who lost loved ones in the worst mass shooting in Canadian history want answers. That a government would compromise this investigation is unacceptable. Nova Scotians have suffered enough. There are very serious allegations of interference in the RCMP's investigation for the Liberals' political gain.

Yesterday the minister questioned the accuracy of these allegations, but the integrity of the claims is supported by a former RCMP commissioner.

Will the minister be transparent in explaining what role the PMO played in this investigation?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am happy for the opportunity to explain to the member that neither the Prime Minister's Office nor the Minister of Public Safety's office had any role in interfering or pressuring the RCMP to make any operational decisions with respect to the investigation or with respect to RCMP communications around the investigation.

We did hear very serious criticism and concern by the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy and by Nova Scotians across the province with respect to the communications that took place during this event and after, and that is precisely why we have tasked the Mass Casualty Commission with looking very specifically at the communications that took place both during and after this event, because those families deserve—

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, health experts are raising the alarm. According to the Canadian Medical Association, our health care system is collapsing around us. Health care workers are dealing with severe burnout and leaving the profession. Patients are being treated in cars. They wait months for diagnosis and are suffering without care. Despite this, the Liberals are missing in action.

Will the government call an immediate meeting with provinces and territories to address the health care staffing crisis and provide significant, stable and long-term federal funding for health care to Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to be able to speak to that matter. We have had many discussions and a lot of action in the last few weeks and months with my health minister colleagues.

It is true that our health care workers are very burdened physically and mentally with COVID-19 and many other serious issues. In fact, I am speaking again this afternoon with my health minister colleagues on that topic and many others.

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Tim Louis Liberal Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, while many Canadians struggle with mental health issues, certain groups in Canada are more likely to face disproportionate challenges to accessing mental health supports. Recently, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions announced $8.6 million to support community-based programs related to mental health promotion. This will increase health equity, help to address the underlying determinants of health and improve supports.

Can the minister inform the House of the funding our government announced to support the mental health of Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Kitchener—Conestoga for the question and for his hard work and advocacy on mental health, but also on the importance of music and the arts.

We are committed to addressing disparities and promoting positive mental health. This funding has created comprehensive support systems for people in need of them. Investing in these community-led projects that address the mental health of children, youth, refugees, newcomers and their caregivers is an integral in our holistic approach to healing.

We will continue to support projects that have the potential to improve health outcomes, and will support mental health and address substance use of people across the country.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Eric Melillo Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, at 7.7%, inflation is at another record high. The price of gas this week in Dryden is $2.15 a litre. It is $2.20 in Kenora, and over $2.30 in Red Lake and Sioux Lookout, yet the government is the only one in the G7 that is not considering a plan to provide immediate relief at the pumps.

When will the government get serious about the affordability crisis we are facing and provide a real plan to address inflation?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, Canada is focused very much on two elements of this. The first is addressing the affordability challenges facing Canadians. That is something that is critically important for all government members on this side of the House. My colleague, the Minister of Finance, went through a number of initiatives that are under way to try to address the affordability issue for Canadians.

We are also working internationally to address the energy security crisis by increasing production of oil and gas alongside our American counterparts, our Brazilian counterparts and others to ensure that we are actually stabilizing global energy markets and bringing prices down.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this week, Canadians received even more devastating news caused by the government. Inflation rose to 7.7% in May. This included a 12% rise in the price of gasoline and a 9.7% increase in the price of groceries: basic necessities for working families in my riding.

When will the Liberal-NDP government finally acknowledge that their plan to pour gasoline on the fire with their out-of-control, excessive spending is actually hurting Canadians?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives really need to pick a lane when it comes to economic policy. Half of the time we hear them proposing tax expenditures, and then the other half of the time they accuse us of spending too much money to support Canadians.

During COVID, we did support Canadians and that was the right thing to do. We had a policy that was relentlessly focused on jobs recovery. It has worked, because 117% of jobs were recovered compared with just 96% in the U.S.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, that comment is completely out of touch with what people are going through.

The last time inflation was this high, my parents were buying our first family microwave, we had a prime minister with the same last name as the current one and Joanie Loves Chachi was the new sitcom. Our 7.7% inflation is not just a number. An Ipsos survey found more and more Canadians believe that their standard of living is decreasing. A dad in my riding said his family of five is now spending $400 a week on food, and he goes without meals so his kids can eat.

When will the government stop making excuses, stop blaming others and do anything to tackle inflation?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we absolutely understand that the cost of living is a real challenge for Canadians. I would start by pointing out that having a job is the single most important thing for most Canadians when it comes to affording the cost of living. That is why an unemployment rate at 5.1% is really important, and it is something we work together to achieve.

I also want to say that I know Canadians are smart and I know that Canadians understand inflation is a global phenomenon. This is Vladimir Putin's inflation, and Canadians know it.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, inflation might be over 7% nationally, but it is over 8% in British Columbia. These levels have not been seen since the last Trudeau was in office. Families in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon are struggling to put food on the table. They are struggling to pay $2.30 for a litre of gas and they cannot even afford to get to work, yet this government refuses to act.

Last week, Scotiabank's chief economist came out and basically said, “Government of Canada? Rein in your spending.”

If the Liberals will not heed the advice of the Conservatives, will they at least listen to one of Canada's top economists and stop screwing over Canadians?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Order.

I want to remind hon. members to use language judiciously, as though they were in a classroom talking to students. I am sure nobody would want to hear language like that in a classroom. There are children watching this program, so let us try to keep it clean.

Order.

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government absolutely understands that fiscal restraint is an important part of our fight against inflation.

That is what we put forward in the budget in April, as recognized by S&P with our AAA credit rating. In fact, Canada is tied with the U.S. for the fastest rate of fiscal consolidation of debt and deficit reduction in the G7.

I know that the member opposite ran in the election last year and I would like to remind him that on the campaign trail, they actually proposed more spending and a bigger deficit than we did.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is stealing $350 million that it had promised to the municipalities for their green infrastructure and public transit in an agreement signed with Quebec. The federal government went back on its word and pocketed the cash.

The Bloc Québécois has already denounced the situation, and now the Union des municipalités du Québec and the mayor of Montreal are calling for the agreement to be respected. When the money promised in a signed agreement is not paid, that is theft. Will the government finally hand over the $350 million we are entitled to?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Marco Mendicino LiberalMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's question.

Of course, we remain in contact with the Government of Quebec on a number of priorities, including the federal fund that the hon. member referred to. We will confirm and finalize the details of that federal agreement so as to build on all the success and achievements of our collaboration with the Government of Quebec.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Xavier Barsalou-Duval Bloc Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago in committee, the minister said that Quebec would not get one cent of that $350 million. Today, other people are saying that they want that money.

Not only did Ottawa steal $350 million by reneging on the deal, it also unilaterally moved up the deadline for submitting infrastructure projects.

Consequently, Quebec has just nine months left to hurry up and submit all potential projects in order not to lose the $4 billion to which it is entitled. If it does not, Ottawa will do the same thing: pocket the rest of the money and abandon municipal infrastructure and public transit projects to fight climate change.

My question is the following: Will the government give us the money to which municipalities and Quebec are entitled?

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Pickering—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

Jennifer O'Connell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Madam Speaker, let us talk about the agreement. The agreement that Quebec signed actually agreed to put forward the projects that it wanted to see us support and make a priority. We would love to see the infrastructure dollars identified for Quebec get out the door.

Is the member opposite actually suggesting that there are no infrastructure needs in all of Quebec over the next three years? I would suggest that there are significant needs that Quebec could put forward that Quebeckers would love to see us contribute to. We hope that the Quebec government will honour its agreement and put forward those priorities so that we can get these funds out the door and—

InfrastructureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

The hon. member for Banff—Airdrie.

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, the apple does not fall far from the tree. The last time inflation was this high, the Prime Minister’s father was in office.

A recent Ipsos poll reveals that 72% of Canadian families with kids are worried about putting food on the table, and Food Banks Canada is already reporting that 23% of Canadians are eating less than they should be due to rising food costs. There are many great family traditions, but making Canadians poorer should not be one of them.

When will the government learn from the past and fix inflation before it gets worse?

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we absolutely recognize that affordability is a real challenge for many Canadian families. That is why we are so glad that in this year's budget and in last year's budget, we put in place affordability measures that are coming on tap now, that are supporting Canadian families today in meaningful ways.

Let me talk about the Canada workers benefit. This is for our most vulnerable working poor, with $2,400 arriving, starting in April.

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, as my father always said, “Trudeau times were tough times back in the eighties.” We have the highest inflation rate since 1983, at 7.7%. We have heard the tired old talking points and we know the finance minister's only solution is to increase spending and raise taxes. That is simply not working. Now, more than 72% of Canadians are finding it hard to make their paycheque last until the end of the month.

The government cares only about its rich friends and elitist donors. It is really out of touch with the realties of families across Saskatchewan. Is that not the truth?

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when I was growing up, the saying was actually “Tory times are tough times”, and that is what Canadians in the Prairies understand. I want to tell colleagues what is out of touch. What is—

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am just going to interrupt. I am having a hard time hearing. I have speakers on all sides of me here and it is very tough to hear. I am just going to ask everybody to calm down. By the sounds of it, everybody wants to get back to the part of the country that they come from so that they can be with their constituents. Let us see if we can get this done peacefully and nicely so that we can all go off and say goodbye for the summer.

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

The EconomyOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me tell colleagues what is really out of touch. What is out of touch is not to understand that the single most important thing for the vast majority of Canadians is to have a job. That is why we will never apologize for a relentlessly jobs-focused approach to the post-COVID recovery, with 117% of jobs recovered, compared to just 96% in the U.S.

Government ServicesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Melissa Lantsman Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals want to make inflation about international events beyond their control. They blame Russia for the rising costs of food and gas. They blame travellers for their airport mess. They blame Canadians for waiting too long to renew their passports. They blame individual complexities for the immigration backlog. Skyrocketing housing is not their fault either. The government is quick to take credit when things are good and blame everyone else when Canadians are struggling.

Can anyone on the other side answer a basic question and at least tell us when they plan on bringing people back to work to fix their chaos?

Government ServicesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Karina Gould LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite owes the hard-working public servants an apology, because when it comes to Service Canada, they have been back in the office for months serving Canadians. These are the same people who delivered—

Government ServicesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ServicesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I am going to have to wait a moment. Please let me know when we can continue.

I think we can continue.

The hon. minister.

Government ServicesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Karina Gould Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite owes the hard-working public servants an apology, because they have been working day in and day out to serve Canadians. I understand that Canadians are frustrated. There are a lot of challenges right now and this government is working hard to serve them.

The only thing that I can conjure up from that member's response is that, unlike hard-working people across this country, when Conservative members of Parliament were working from home, they were not working.

Government ServicesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ServicesOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Once again, I know tensions are high and that everybody is looking forward to getting out of this place, but let us please be judicious when we use our words.

The hon. member for Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year, planting season was stressful and filled with uncertainty for our farmers. The increase in the cost of inputs limited our producers' ability to invest in their operations.

Given this particular context, can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food inform the House of the most recent measures implemented to help our farmers?

Agriculture and Agri-FoodOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

Marie-Claude Bibeau LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I have good news for farmers today.

I am announcing that we will be increasing the interest-free portion of the advance payments program, for a total of $61 million for over years. The interest-free portion will increase from $100,000 to $250,000.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Lianne Rood Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, RCMP Superintendent Campbell's notes reveal Commissioner Lucki told the RCMP that she had promised the former minister of public safety and the Prime Minister's Office the force would disclose which firearms were used in the mass shooting to advance the government's pending gun control legislation. Former RCMP commissioner Paulson says Superintendent Campbell is “one of the best investigators in the force and a highly reliable officer with tremendous integrity. You won’t find a practicing police officer who will speak ill of Darren Campbell.”

Does the minister believe Superintendent Campbell?

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, I strongly believe we will not find a former police officer who speaks ill of him either, and I am not speaking ill of him in any way.

I would point members to the commissioner's statement, in which she said, “It is important to note that the sharing of information and briefings with the Minister of Public Safety are necessary, particularly during a mass shooting [event]”. She also said, “I take the principle of police independence extremely seriously, and it has been and will continue to be fully respected”. There was no interference in this case.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, RCMP Superintendent Campbell is an honest officer with a solid reputation. Former commissioners, deputy commissioners and other RCMP veterans from across Canada are speaking up to defend the man's character.

Campbell's notes show that his team of investigators was under political pressure and interference from Brenda Lucki on behalf of the Prime Minister and the former minister of public safety, but this Ottawa gang has denied it meddled in the most tragic crime in Nova Scotia's history. It is never the crime; it is always the cover-up.

Someone is lying and it is not Campbell. Is it Lucki, the Prime Minister, the former minister or all three?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we make no comment whatsoever on a conversation between the commissioner and her subordinates. I have no reason to, and I will not question, and have not questioned, the superintendent's integrity.

I would remind my colleagues that there is an independent public inquiry currently under way in Nova Scotia, the Mass Casualty Commission. The issues of how communications were done are being addressed, and witnesses will be called to testify under oath. The Mass Casualty Commission and its work are important to victims' families in Nova Scotia, and we support its important work.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, what do Mark Norman, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Darren Campbell all have in common? They spoke truth to power and their reputations were attacked, but not before the Liberals gaslit Canadians about their underhanded role in manipulating the criminal justice system. In Campbell's case, the Prime Minister, the former minister and the RCMP commissioner are staying true to form. They have all lined up a fall guy, but Canadians will not buy it this time.

When will the good guys stop paying the price, and when will the Liberals stop manipulating the criminal justice system to suit their crass political self-interests?

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would state that any criticism of Superintendent Campbell is crass political self-interest from the member opposite. There has been no criticism of Superintendent Campbell, just a simple statement of fact. The simple statement of fact is that there was no interference in this case. The commissioner has confirmed it. There was no interference, no pressure, no promise.

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Once again, I would like to remind hon. members that, when they are accusing someone, I can hear the shouting. It is easy to narrow that down to about three or four voices, and one in particular. I do not want to hear that accusation again.

The hon. member for Richmond Hill.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Majid Jowhari Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a long and proud history of welcoming newcomers with open arms. There are several amazing organizations in my riding of Richmond Hill that provide support services to help people settle into their new community. It takes immense bravery to move to a new country. While this choice is typically made by adults, we know that newcomer children and youth can also be deeply impacted.

This is especially the case for young people who arrive to Canada as refugees. Can the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship tell us what actions are being taken to ensure that newcomer children and youth have access to culturally sensitive mental health supports?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalMinister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, who, I would note, is a champion for mental health and has been since the day that I met him.

Children who are fleeing war are among the most vulnerable people in the world. I am so pleased to share that, earlier this week, I was able to announce that through a partnership with the Kids Help Phone it going to be providing services in Pashto, Dari, Ukrainian and Russian for newcomers from Afghanistan and Ukraine who are seeking services and need mental health supports in our communities.

I am so proud because this is part of a $2-million project. Over the next couple of years, it is going to see the Kids Help Phone expand its services into over 100 different languages to serve Canadians and newcomers to our communities. I am so proud of this investment. Once again, I want to thank my colleague for his advocacy for mental health, in particular for refugee children in Canada.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals should never have bought the Trans Mountain pipeline. It threatens our climate and our coasts, and now the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the government's own watchdog, has confirmed it will lose money. Unbelievably, the Liberals promised to use the profits from TMX to fight the climate crisis. What is their excuse now?

Losing money is not a plan to fund climate action. This pipeline has always been a lose-lose for Canadians and a failure for the Liberals. Therefore, why does the Prime Minister keep doubling down on this economic and environmental boondoggle?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians, we know how important it is to get our resources to market and to get fair value for them. Russia's war in Ukraine is yet another reason Canada needs to be concerned about energy security for ourselves and for our allies. The government does not intend to be the long-term owner of this project. A de-investment process will be initiated once the project is more advanced, de-risked and, critically, when consultations with indigenous peoples are completed.

The EconomyOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Independent

Kevin Vuong Independent Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, fuel costs continue to soar. Inflation and food prices are at their highest in 40 years. With Canadians facing unprecedented struggles to get by, the government reverts to reannouncements of programs. Government smoke and mirrors will not pay the mortgage or rent, nor will they put food on the table.

Will the government eliminate its disgraceful triple-dipping tax on gas? President Biden has asked for a three-month federal gas tax holiday. Has the government clued in on this? Is it going to do anything?

The EconomyOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question because it gives me a chance to talk to Canadians about the measures we have in place to help them with affordability. This year, there will be a $500 payment to help Canadians who are facing challenges with housing affordability because we know that is a real challenge for many. This year, the OAS is going to increase by 10%. That means seniors 75 and older will get an additional $815.

Air India Flight 182Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Following discussions among representatives of all parties in the House, I understand that there is an agreement to observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of Air India Flight 182. I now invite hon. members to rise.

[A moment of silence observed]

The House resumed from June 22 consideration of the motion that Bill C-21, An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms), be read the second time and referred to a committee, of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Pursuant to order made on Thursday, November 25, 2021, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the amendment to the motion for second reading of Bill C‑21.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the amendment to the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #172

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I declare the amendment to the amendment defeated.

The next question is on the amendment.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

The hon. government whip.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish all Quebeckers a happy national holiday tomorrow. I believe that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to apply the results from the previous vote to this vote, with the Liberal members voting against.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives agree to apply and will be voting in favour of the motion.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois agrees to apply the results of the previous vote and will be voting against.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP agrees to apply and will be voting nay.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Green Party agrees to apply the results of the previous vote and will be voting against.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Independent

Kevin Vuong Independent Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply the results of the previous vote, and will be voting against.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #173

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I declare the amendment defeated.

The next question is on the motion.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

The hon. government whip.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, warm best wishes to you and all colleagues.

I believe that if you seek it, you will find agreement to apply the result from the previous vote to this vote, with Liberal members voting yes.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives agree to apply the vote and will be voting against the motion.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois agrees to apply the results of the previous vote and will be voting in favour.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP agrees to apply the vote and will be voting in favour.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Greens agree to the application of the vote and will be voting yes.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Independent

Kevin Vuong Independent Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply the results of the previous vote and will be voting in favour.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #174

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I declare the motion carried.

Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, you will be glad to know, and I am sure the pages will be glad to know, that I am cleaning out my desk—

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Order.

We are all very excited to go back to our constituents, but the hon. opposition House leader has some very important questions to ask, and we want to make sure that we all hear them.

The hon. opposition House leader.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I said, you will be glad to know that I have been cleaning out my very messy desk and I am sure that the pages will be glad to hear that as well.

Before my Thursday question, I just want to say, on behalf of our entire Conservative family, how great it is to see you after what you went through. Your health is returning and your strength is returning, and certainly your voice is returning, which is good. We are glad that you are on your way to much better health.

I also want to thank your deputy and your assistant deputies as well, along with our clerk's staff, the Clerk himself, our administration staff and everyone who supports the work that we do here in Parliament.

I know that it has been a difficult couple of years, but I do want to say thanks to the cleaners, the cooks, the bus drivers, the PPS—everybody—for doing such a great job. Our thanks go to all of them.

Allow me some time to personally say thanks to my constituency staff back in Barrie—Innisfil, my Hill staff here, and also our House leader staff.

I took over this position at the beginning of February. I want to thank all of my staff in my House leader's office for supporting me and the work that we can do on behalf of our colleagues.

We simply could not do this without their help and certainly we could not do this without their guidance.

Here is my question for the hon. government House leader: Can he tell the House and tell Canadians what the business of the House will be?

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Ajax Ontario

Liberal

Mark Holland LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me wish my colleague opposite and indeed every member of the House a very joyful and safe summer. I hope that everyone is able to spend time with their families and recharge, spend time with their constituents and people they love and spend time in the relationships that they care about. I hope that we come back rested and recharged to work with one another in the fall.

Mr. Speaker, let me echo the comments of the opposition House leader in saying how wonderful it is to see you in such fine form. I hope that you as well will enjoy the summer. I want to thank you and your entire team.

Similarly, I want to thank the Clerk of the House for his work, as well as the Table officers, the interpreters, the pages, the people who work in the different branches of House administration, the Parliamentary Protective Service and all of the staff who so ably serve this place day in and day out to make sure that we can do our jobs. We are incredibly humbled by the work that they do.

I want to thank, on our side, the incredible teams that support me, the whip, the whip's office and the House leader's office. I want to thank the incredible staff we have, and indeed all the staff who support every member of Parliament and the functions that we do. We all owe the staff who work for us an enormous debt. We know that it is an incredible sacrifice they make for all of us each and every day.

Finally, I move that pursuant to the order made Monday, May 2, the House do now adjourn until Monday, September 19.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

The hon. member for Wellington—Halton Hills.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, I request that it be adopted on division.

(Motion agreed to)

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until Monday, September 19, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful summer. Hopefully they spend it with family, friends and their constituents. We look forward to seeing members again in September.

Thank you very much, everyone.

(The House adjourned at 3:41 p.m.)