House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-11.

Topics

TransportationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, zero-emission vehicles are where the rubber hits the road, for Canadians who want to reduce emissions and get off the roller coaster of high gasoline prices. In fact, the third quarter of 2022 saw the highest EV registration on record, with almost 9% of sales. Canada is well positioned to be a leader in making the vehicles the world is looking to drive. However, we need to increase production while ensuring that vehicles are available for purchase here in Canada, which is why we have set a mandatory target of 20% of vehicle sales to be zero emission by 2026, 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.

HousingOral Questions

March 9th, 2023 / 3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jake Stewart Conservative Miramichi—Grand Lake, NB

Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the current Prime Minister rent and housing affordability costs have doubled. Canada's housing affordability is in a crisis, and it has not been this bad in 41 years. Average monthly mortgage rates now cost Canadians more than $3,000 per month. In my home province it is no secret that Greater Moncton currently has the worst housing crisis in the country.

When will the Prime Minister stop his Liberal inflationary spending, get rid of municipal gatekeepers and make housing affordable for all Canadians?

HousingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Pascale St-Onge LiberalMinister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives say that they feel empathy for Canadians who are struggling right now due to inflation and higher interest rates.

However, real empathy also needs to be shown when it comes time to vote on measures that actually help Canadians. Unfortunately, the Conservatives vote against them every single time.

When we offered a $500 top-up to Canadians struggling to pay rent, the Conservatives voted against it. When we decided to put in place a series of measures to help Canadians purchase their first home, the Conservatives votes against them.

Instead of just complaining, they could propose solutions that we could implement.

HousingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I do not know what is going on right now.

As we get closer to the end everybody seems to be talking to each other. It is not even heckling. It is just talking, and it is just kind of a rising hum. I am just going to ask everyone to pay attention to the questions and the answers, and they might be surprised.

The hon. member for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex.

HousingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Lianne Rood Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the current Liberal Prime Minister, rent and mortgage payments have more than doubled, and the dream of home ownership for young people is fading. I spoke to a young homeowner from Strathroy who told me that he is skipping meals just to pay his mortgage payment and that the bank is about to foreclose on his home. He is not alone. This is happening everywhere, thanks to the Liberals' reckless inflationary spending.

Will the Liberal government take responsibility for the reckless housing crisis it has created, stop its inflationary spending and remove the gatekeepers, or get out of the way and let Conservatives fix this?

HousingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault LiberalMinister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is really pretty rich coming from the Conservatives, who got out of the way entirely and thought that housing was not a federal responsibility at all. This is an opportunity to celebrate something we did today with the Government of Alberta: $27 million from us and $27 million from the Government of Alberta for 600 new affordable housing units across the province. This is a good day for Alberta, a good day for Canadians and a good day for affordable housing, not that the Conservatives have anything to do with that.

HousingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dominique Vien Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, paying their rent has become a headache for Canadians. The monthly cost of a two-bedroom apartment has doubled in the 10 largest Canadian cities since 2015. This phenomenon was created by this Prime Minister with his out-of-control spending, which has impacted inflation. Young families are giving up on their home ownership dreams. Others have resigned themselves to living in their parents' basement.

Will the Prime Minister finally accept responsibility for the crisis he has created?

HousingOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Pascale St-Onge LiberalMinister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, our government is well aware of the difficulties Canadians are facing. Over the past seven months, inflation in Canada has remained stable or decreased. Although Canada is in a good economic situation at present, we continue to help people and to provide support to those who need it most because we know that rents are high.

What we do not understand is why, every time that we want to help those in need, the Conservatives vote against it.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, since August 2021, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan have been subject to the rule of this brutal terrorist group. They have had their rights and freedoms stripped away from them. Women and girls have been subjected to misogynistic laws, discrimination and now even prevented from attending school. Canada has continued to provide humanitarian assistance, immigration services and aid, because that is what Canada does.

Can the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on how the government intends to continue support the people of Afghanistan?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Marco Mendicino LiberalMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the relationship between Canada and Afghanistan is deep and abiding. That is why, after Kabul fell, we introduced a program that would resettle 40,000 refugees. That is a goal we are approximately 30,000 into, and we will continue to do that.

We cannot forget about the women, the girls and the religious minorities who have been systematically targeted by the Taliban. That is why, today, we introduced Bill C-41, which would reduce barriers and would allow us to deliver the humanitarian aid, the food, the shelter and the clothing they need. By doing so, by passing this law, and hopefully with the support of all opposition parties, we will be able to get that support to them as quickly as possible, while at the same time tackling and pushing back against the Taliban.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, when veterans, advocates and VAC workers come together to say the same thing, the minister must listen. They want the contract of $560 million given to a company owned by Loblaws cancelled, because it is not working. It has been delayed, service providers are still unable to provide services, and veterans and their loved ones are being left behind.

Will the minister stop ignoring veterans' concerns and cancel this botched contract?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's concern about veterans, but this rehab contract provides 14,000 veterans with access to over 9,000 professionals located in 600 areas right across the country. There is absolutely no one falling down between the cracks. What we are doing as a government is to make sure we provide for veterans, where they need it and when they need it.

TaxationOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Green

Mike Morrice Green Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, at committee yesterday, grocery store giants like Loblaws claimed they pay their fair share of taxes, but we know that is not true. While regular Canadians struggle with the rising cost of living, the wealthiest corporations in the country are busy avoiding $30 billion in corporate taxes, as they report much higher book profits, which is what they report to shareholders, than they pay in taxable income after exploiting loopholes.

The U.S. already has a minimum tax on these higher book profits. Will the governing party follow suit in budget 2023?

TaxationOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Randy Boissonnault LiberalMinister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government has worked, since we formed government, to close tax loopholes and to ensure everyone pays their fair share. We brought in the Canada recovery dividend and increased taxes on bank profits and on those of insurance companies. We continue to work with OECD partners to make sure there is a minimum tax that is in place. These are concrete steps and the work continues.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I wish to draw the attention of members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Brad Johns, Attorney General and Minister of Justice for the Province of Nova Scotia.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I would also draw the attention of members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for the Province of Manitoba.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the traditional Thursday question, where the government House leader updates the House as to the business for the rest of this week and for the week after next.

Next week, of course, is a constituency work week, and I would like to wish all Canadians of Irish heritage, and those who enjoy being Irish for the day, a happy Saint Patrick's Day, which will take place on the Friday of next week. Being someone of Irish descent, I will be celebrating with my friends and family.

I also want to point out to the government House leader that the last time the House leaders were given a House calendar, there two days next week that he had not informed us of what the business would be. I hope he can inform us today of that Thursday and Friday.

I would signal to the government House leader that, were the government to table legislation to establish a registry for agents working on behalf of a hostile state government, the official opposition would look upon that very favourably and work to facilitate the passage of such an act. It has been months since the Prime Minister has been briefed on the threat that poses to Canada and our democratic institutions, yet they have done nothing. I hope the government House leader will take advantage of those two days and bring forward legislation that protects Canadian democracy.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Ajax Ontario

Liberal

Mark Holland LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I will start with joining the member opposite in wishing all who are recognizing Saint Patrick's Day a very happy Saint Patrick's Day. I can say that, with some roots of mine that come from Tipperary, I will join them in celebrating that day.

Also, I hope all members have the opportunity over the constituency week to be with their constituents and their families. I hope that it is productive for them, and I look forward to seeing all members back in this place.

With respect to the question on hostile state actors, the member opposite knows of our shared commitment to repel such forces, and I look forward to working with him. I appreciate his very helpful suggestions as to where that might fall on the calendar, and I look forward to fruitful discussions as to what might take place on those two mysterious days.

However, I can say that tomorrow we will begin the debate at second reading of Bill C-33 concerning port systems and railway safety.

I would like to inform the House that Monday, March 20, and Wednesday, March 22, shall be allotted days.

Finally, on the Tuesday of that week, we will resume second reading debate of Bill C-23, the historic places of Canada act.

The House resumed consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate on Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, and of the amendment.

Online Streaming ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Ferreri Conservative Peterborough—Kawartha, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise in the House and represent Peterborough—Kawartha.

I will start by saying that art is subjective. Art is in the eye of the beholder. What may be amazing to me and what may be amazing to members is completely subjective. How in the world could we ever allow bureaucracy to dictate what is art? That is a question I would ask as we look into Bill C-11.

There is nothing more inclusive than the Internet. It does not matter where we live or what we look like, there is a place for us online, for now, but Bill C-11 jeopardizes this freedom. It jeopardizes this free market.

I can remember walking into a room with online content creators, mom bloggers who had created a community that literally saved the lives of women who were suffering with postpartum, who were suicidal, who were struggling with their mental health. These women were extreme introverts, meaning they otherwise would not have been able to create this medium if there were not able to flip open their computers and write something online that connected them to hundreds, thousands and millions of people, built a community and allowed their voices to be heard.

If we go to the Canadian government website, it states this about competition: “Competition pushes individuals, firms and markets to make the best use of their resources, and to think outside the box to develop new ways of doing business and winning customers. This not only drives productivity up, it also improves our own standard of living.”

Bill C-11 would go after a competitive market that needs zero government interference. Online content creators are making their own destiny. They are building communities. They are raising money for not-for-profits and charities. They are connecting people all over the world. It is a major concern when the government wants to interfere, dictate and control what it thinks people at home should be watching.

Artistry and creation are not a choice. If we ask artists, they will tell us they did not choose it; it chose them. They have to create. It is what fuels them. It is simply who they are.

What someone values as art or great content is completely independent of the consumer. I may love Cat and Nat, two Toronto-based “mompreneurs” who built an empire by creating an online space for moms. They were, for the record, turned away by countless broadcast agencies and had the door slammed in their face multiple times, but because of the free market of the Internet, they were able to build an empire and connect millions of moms. They are from Toronto, Canadian content creators.

What about “Train with Joan”, made by the 70-year-old Cobourg-based woman who transformed her life using physical fitness and now reaches millions of people online? She is the inspiration so many of us need to know that it is never too late to change our mind and body. Would she have been given an opportunity on a broadcast station? Would she have been given the same opportunity that the Internet allowed her to reach the people she reached?

It is called choice. It is called the freedom to find and choose what to watch. Why in the world would we ever want the government to decide what is worthy of being seen and what is not? This is what Bill C-11 would do. It would give the Liberals the control to decide what we see and watch online.

In the online world, we often hear of a term called “organic reach”. This is the ultimate goal for a content creator. A creator puts content online and the free market decides if it is worthy of liking, sharing and commenting. We have already seen organic reach being meddled with by Facebook and other platforms because of paid reach tactics, a play-to-play system, which has caused problems, so why in the world would government want to meddle even further with this system? Why in the world do we want the government to decide what we watch and see?

Jim Morrison said that those who control the media, control the mind. I really want people to think about what this legislation is and why it is being tabled. Famed Canadian author, Margaret Atwood said it best, saying that this is not a problem that needs fixing. She said, “It is creeping totalitarianism if governments are telling creators what to create.”

The approach of how this bill has been managed is awful and simply undemocratic. In the House, for those who do not know, a bill must be approved at all three readings before it is sent to the Senate to be approved and given royal assent. The Senate should be a safeguard for Canadians when major concerns are raised. There were 26 amendments put forth by the Senate. This is a very high number and speaks volumes to the fact that this bill should be thrown out.

What is the point of the Senate and expert testimony if the Liberals refuse to listen? How is this supposed to build trust with Canadians when people are silenced? When people are silenced, that is censorship, and it is our job as elected officials to bring balance to this room, to find the common ground, to listen to both sides.

I will tell the Liberals, as somebody who has a background in broadcasting, the Broadcasting Act one hundred per cent needs to be updated, but this bill is trying to regulate a free market space of the Internet, and there is no place for the government to do that.

Simon Wiesenthal, a famous Nazi hunter and fighter for human rights, said, “Freedom is not a gift from heaven. One must fight for it every day.” The Tour for Humanity bus was here on Parliament Hill yesterday. I had the opportunity to tour it.

Censorship does not work. History has shown us this over and over again. The Liberals have refused to make the policy direction to the CRTC on how the legislation would be implemented public until after the bill is passed. Let us think about that for a second. The Liberals have refused to make the policy direction to the CRTC on how the legislation would be implemented public until after the bill is passed.

If the Liberals main intention is to promote Canadian content, why in the world would they ask us to sign first and ask questions later. This is so sketchy. Why not just tell Canadians now? What are they hiding? Why are they not being transparent?

Critics are furious, and so they should be, because the heritage minister announced a complete rejection of the senators' work that excluded user content from CRTC regulation after he said they would not. Somewhere right now there is a quirky, talented, gifted content creator who has not discovered that they fit somewhere. They have been told no. Maybe they have not found their community. Maybe they have not found their tribe. However, they hit the upload button, and all of a sudden, their world changes and so does that community's world.

There is much that is great about the Internet. For better or worse, it is here. I have to be honest, I am absolutely shocked that the NDP does not see the value of independent, free market content creators who are doing so much good for social justice and all the things they fight for in the House. It is shocking to me that we are having this fight when we are here to elevate voices of Canadians, to give them the freedom to use their voice for good. It makes no sense to me why we are fighting this bill.

I came here with an open mind, with optimism that we are here to elevate voices. This bill is censorship. It makes no sense. I appreciate and agree a hundred per cent that the Broadcasting Act needs to be updated, but this bill is not achieving that. Its intent is to control online content.

I will end with this: Enough is enough. Stop with the controlling legislation, and please, kill Bill C-11.

Online Streaming ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is the Conservative members of Parliament who are spreading misinformation to Canadians. In no way and in no clause is there anything that would infringe on the rights and freedoms of Canadians. That is nowhere within the legislation, and yet we get a member of Parliament from the Conservative Party who is quite content to spread misinformation. I cannot use the word lies, so I will not say that, but the member is spreading misinformation.

Online Streaming ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I was distracted, but if I may interject before the hon. member for Calgary Rocky Ridge says anything, I want to remind hon. members that they cannot do indirectly what they cannot do directly in the House. I do not know if that covers it. It is a rookie mistake.

I will let the member continue.

Online Streaming ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

It was a rookie mistake, Mr. Speaker. I apologize, wholeheartedly.

The point is that there is nothing at all within the legislation that would infringe upon a person's rights and freedom, and yet the Conservative Party members continue to go out and spread information that is not accurate and it is causing a lot of anxiety in our communities.

Could the member cite something specific within the legislation that clearly says that it is an infringement on a person's rights or freedoms?