House of Commons Hansard #168 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ports.

Topics

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Pickering—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, that could not be further from the truth. Let me reiterate that we trust our public servants and the national security community. Do members know what the national security community said? That it was Canadians, and Canadians alone, who determine the outcome of our elections.

While the Conservatives have already identified that they see this as a partisan issue, we do not. We are working incredibly hard to support our national security community to ensure that our institutions are robust and that only Canadians determine the outcome of our elections.

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Madam Speaker, the national security community told the Liberals about foreign interference and briefed Katie Telford and the Prime Minister weeks before the election. About 48 hours before the nomination deadline, CSIS urged them to rescind the nomination of a Liberal candidate. Foreign operatives funded their candidates, and the Prime Minister did nothing. The Prime Minister and his bench continue the cover-up. In law, one cannot stand in judgment of oneself, yet that is exactly what the Prime Minister wants to do to cover up his own scandal.

When will the Prime Minister call for a public inquiry?

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Pickering—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, I am glad the member opposite talked about this issue again because I find it a bit rich. The Conservatives seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouths now. The Leader of the Opposition allows his MPs to cozy up to far-right members of foreign governments. They supported the convoy, which we know involved foreign funding, and then they grandstand about the impacts of foreign interference without actually condemning it among their own benches. If members care about Canadian democracy, they should call it out in their benches.

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, with many leaked reports on ways Beijing has interfered in our democracy, politics and government, the Prime Minister first denied, then deflected and then decided to turn toward a committee. This committee is completely behind closed doors, with secret meetings, witnesses, testimony and conclusions. It is a committee with no openness or transparency.

Why are the Liberals hiding the truth from Canadians?

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oakville North—Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Pam Damoff LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, I am extremely upset about the way that NSICOP is portrayed by the opposition. It was created by an act of Parliament. It was debated at committee. It was passed in this House. It has members from all parties. They are privy to top secret information, which keeps our country safe. That is why they are not allowed to divulge it. To portray it as a secret committee is wrong, and it is misleading Canadians. It was created by Parliament, and I am very proud of the work that it does.

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Tracy Gray Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, this committee is not independent. It reports to the Prime Minister. There are serious interference allegations. There is the $200,000 donation from Beijing influences to the Trudeau Foundation and what The Globe and Mail called an “orchestrated machine” of Beijing's influence to elect Liberals and defeat Conservatives. Nothing is covered that will not eventually be revealed.

Will the Prime Minister do the honourable thing and call for a public inquiry?

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Oakville North—Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Pam Damoff LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, the committee is independent. In fact, two members of the official opposition sit on that committee, as well as members of the Senate and other opposition parties. While the report is given to the Prime Minister, I would remind hon. members that it is also tabled with the public safety committee annually. We review it, and in fact, the legislation says that if the Prime Minister asks for any changes to that report, this has to be reported to Parliament.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, far-right ministers in Israel are celebrating horrifying attacks on Palestinian civilians. They are engaging in dehumanization, threatening democratic institutions and calling for violations of international law. Thousands of Israelis are on the ground, right now, protesting the actions and the rhetoric of their government. Here, JSpace Canada is asking the government to take a firm stance against these comments and actions. It is not enough to merely condemn the remarks. The government must listen to this group.

Will the government ensure that no Canadian officials legitimize extremists, like Smotrich or Ben-Gvir, by meeting with them?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Brampton East Ontario

Liberal

Maninder Sidhu LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, we are appalled by the reprehensible comments made by Minister Smotrich. We unequivocally condemn these remarks. We stand firmly against all incitements to violence and condemn all acts of violence and terrorism.

Those responsible must be held accountable, and measures must be applied equally and applied consistently. We call on Israeli officials to denounce these comments. We call for an immediate de-escalation of tensions to restore calm. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the recent violence.

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, in April, Canadians will see the biggest tax increase in 40 years on beer, wine and spirits. Last week, I spoke with Jorg and Anette Engel, constituents who own a small distillery, who are worried about what this tax means for their livelihood.

We are in an affordability crisis, and a tax hike this large will make things worse. The Liberals escalator tax on beer, wine and spirits is going to cost small business owners tens of thousands of dollars.

Will the Liberals fix this tax, and stop this tax hike to help Canadians already feeling the squeeze?

TaxationOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.

Liberal

Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, our government supports small craft brewers from right across the country. Most of us probably have small craft brewers that are in our ridings. That is why we have decreased taxes on small businesses, not once but twice, including reducing the rate of taxes for small businesses from 11% to 9%. Last year's escalator equated to about one penny for every five cans of beer sold.

We will continue to work with the brewers in the craft brewing sector to make sure that they are supported and that their businesses continue to grow.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Marcus Powlowski Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Madam Speaker, indigenous people in Canada often face challenges in accessing health care, particularly finding a doctor or finding nurses in rural and remote areas. In addition, first nations, Inuit and Métis should, like all Canadians, be able to receive health care without encountering prejudice or racism.

Can the Minister of Indigenous Services update the House on what our government is doing in partnership with indigenous communities to improve their health care?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario

Madam Speaker, I have heard, and I am certain that my colleague has seen in his practice over many years, the experiences that indigenous people have in our health care systems, every single day, that are rife with racism and with systemic discrimination. That is why I am so pleased that the Prime Minister announced a $2-billion indigenous health equity fund that will help to end the systemic discrimination that members of our communities all across the country are facing, like Joyce Echaquan.

I want to thank the Prime Minister for this inclusion, and I want to thank the member for his work in this space.

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Frank Caputo Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Madam Speaker, in July 2020, Katie Telford, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, testified before a House of Commons committee on the We Charity scandal. In May 2021, she testified before a House of Commons committee with regard to sexual misconduct. Now the Liberal government is preventing her from again testifying under oath before a House of Commons committee.

When will the Liberal government end its filibuster, and allow the Prime Minister's chief of staff to testify on Beijing's foreign interference?

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Pickering—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, as I have said before, the work that PROC is doing on this file has included recalling witnesses, ministers, public servants and members of the national security committee, all to talk about this very important issue because we take it so seriously.

It has already been confirmed in the House that the leader of the opposition sees this as nothing more than a partisan issue. While we are focused on ensuring that our institutions are strong, Conservatives continue to play games at committee and to take political cheap shots, instead of doing the work that Canadians sent them here to do.

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Madam Speaker, the chief of staff is the nexus for sensitive communications in the Prime Minister's office. She came to the finance committee to testify on the Prime Minister's WE Charity scandal. She came to the defence committee on former general Vance's sexual misconduct because the Prime Minister would not. Even if she missed the CSIS briefing on Beijing's interference into election scandals, she would have been advised by the national security advisor.

Will the Liberals end their filibuster and allow her to come to committee?

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, it is very clear that we have had apolitical, professional civil servants, who have made it very clear to all Canadians that the outcome of the 2019 and 2021 elections were not influenced in any way by international interference. In fact, if we take a look at what we have done, in contrast to what the Conservatives have done, we will find that the Conservative government failed in its responsibilities, while we continue to live up to ours.

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, the cold winds of election interference have been blowing in Canada, and the Prime Minister has been caught up in their wintery blasts. The Greek storyteller, Aesop, tells about a contest between the wind and the sun. Who was stronger? Who could remove the traveller's cloak? In the end, the sun won and was able to expose the traveller.

The Prime Minister needs to open the shutters, allow the sun to remove the cloak of secrecy and to expose the truth of Beijing election interference. Will the Liberals end their filibuster and let the Prime Minister's chief of staff testify on Beijing election interference?

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

March 10th, 2023 / 11:50 a.m.

Pickering—Uxbridge Ontario

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, I have a fairy tale to talk about, as well, on this issue. This week, the Leader of the Opposition said that of course the previous Conservative government did nothing about foreign interference, because it was not to its partisan advantage to do anything about it.

While the Conservatives have clearly demonstrated that they want to play games and to not take this seriously, we feel that their actions are reckless, when it comes to national security. That is why we are going to do the serious work, at committee and in the House, to ensure our institutions are strengthened.

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, when it comes to interference in Canadian elections, this Prime Minister's trust is somewhat selective.

He says he trusts the parliamentarians sitting on the secret special committee that will prepare a secret report. However, when asked to let his chief of staff, Katie Telford, testify before a public parliamentary committee, he refuses outright.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to let his chief of staff, Katie Telford, testify?

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Oakville North—Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Pam Damoff LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, I would remind the House again that the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is not a secret committee. I would also provide this House with a list of some of the things we have done.

We appointed an independent panel to review the 2019 and 2021 elections, and it found that both of those elections were free and fair.

The Prime Minister announced that he is going to appoint an independent expert as special rapporteur, to review the elections and to see if there were any gaps that we need to fix.

Today, we announced that we would have a foreign influence registry—

Democratic InstitutionsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member for Jonquière.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Madam Speaker, on March 1, Paper Excellence got its hands on Resolute Forest Products, a forestry industry giant that controls 25% of Quebec forests.

If a buyer were to revitalize Resolute, which was investing very little in modernizing its facilities, that would be a good thing. However, an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which includes CBC/Radio-Canada, gives us cause to doubt.

Paper Excellence has ties to Asia Pulp & Paper, a corporation with dubious practices that is financed by the Chinese government.

We want to know if the government did the necessary checks to ensure that the Chinese government is not indirectly controlling one-quarter of Quebec's forest resources.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Halifax Nova Scotia

Liberal

Andy Fillmore LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation

Madam Speaker, the member opposite knows full well that all foreign investments are reviewed under the Investment Canada Act, and this transaction is no different.

In the case of Paper Excellence's takeover of Resolute, it was subject to a national security review process. Not only that, the member will be pleased to know that, as part of that review process, the investors committed to maintaining existing Canadian patents, to maintaining facilities in Quebec and to adhering to Canadian employment and environmental laws.

Due to the confidentiality provisions of the Investment Canada Act, we cannot comment further.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not the issue, but all right.

Better forestry development, increased processing and new products to replace oil will be key to having a prosperous and renewable carbon-neutral economy.

However, that is not the business model of Asia Pulp & Paper. It does as little processing as possible and sends kraft pulp directly to China. The jobs and value added are in China.

What conditions did the government impose on Paper Excellence to protect our paper mills and to ensure that Quebec's forests generate profits in Quebec, and not in China?