House of Commons Hansard #290 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hamas.


Opposition Motion—Canada's Actions to Promote Peace in the Middle EastBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I cannot express what a sad day this is. Never did I imagine I would have to rise in the House to condemn an attack as brutal and deadly as the one perpetrated by Hamas on innocent Israeli civilians on October 7. Never did I imagine I would have to rise in the House to condemn the inhumane bombing of defenceless populations, yet that is what we must do today.

I want to begin by saying that the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of this motion for one very simple reason. Most of the points in the NDP motion have already appeared in previous Bloc Québécois statements. We will remain consistent and vote in favour of the motion.

Since that was what started everything, I would like to go back to the brutal, barbaric attack by Hamas in Israel against innocent civilians on October 7. After the attack, the leader of the Bloc Québécois said that “the violent and terrorist provocation by Hamas must be unequivocally condemned. Aside from the Israeli victims and hostages, it exposes Palestinian civilians in all regions to horrific reprisals.” Tragically, the Bloc Québécois leader's prediction proved true. To date, there have been more than 30,000 casualties in the Gaza Strip, half of them women and children. Over 70,000 are said to be injured, while health and hospital services are completely overwhelmed and in disarray.

We are talking about a considerable population displacement; 1.5 million out of Gaza's 2.2 million people have been displaced and are currently living in extremely crowded conditions. Gaza's population density was already one of the highest in the world. Now, people are literally crammed into the Rafah region, where Israel is threatening to launch a ground strike. It would be nothing less than a massacre, if what is going on right now cannot already be described as one.

Some will point out that those numbers come from the Hamas ministry of health, so they must be taken with a grain of salt. However, the UN has been increasingly corroborating the number of deaths and the level of destruction in Gaza. Now famine is threatening the people of Gaza. The humanitarian situation is appalling, so much so that there are fears of outbreaks of diseases and epidemics in Gaza. The WHO has described the health situation in Gaza as inhumane, with only seven out of 23 medical centres remaining partially operational. That is totally unacceptable. Today we learned that Israel is bombing Gaza's largest hospital.

Allegations of war crimes committed by Israel, led by Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right government, are mounting. South Africa has asked the International Court of Justice to look into the situation, arguing that genocide is taking place in Gaza. Although the court has not yet ruled, it has demanded that Israel take a series of measures to prevent genocide. Such measures include punishing members of the government who advocate genocide or war crimes. Instead, Israel has denounced the intervention of the International Court of Justice, which indicates that it has absolutely no intention of complying.

The Israeli government is also trying to obstruct humanitarian aid by waging a diplomatic offensive against UNRWA, the United Nations agency responsible for most of the humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip. Because UNRWA hires employees locally, it is likely that some of them are Hamas sympathizers. That is most likely the case, but is it any reason to describe the UNRWA as a terrorist organization, like the Leader of the Opposition did?

If that were the case, we would have to consider the implications of the fact that some individuals who identify as Proud Boys are serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. Does that mean that the Canadian Armed Forces should be considered a terrorist organization? Obviously, that would be completely ridiculous. For the same reasons, I think that it is safe to say that the Leader of the Opposition's statement that the UNRWA is a terrorist organization is absolutely ridiculous.

As I was saying a few moments ago, in response to our Conservative colleague's intervention, Israel has rejected any plan that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state, and it has put forward a plan that would have the Israeli army occupy the Gaza Strip. Civil administration of the area would be handed over to officials chosen by Israel. Meanwhile, settlement expansion in the West Bank is ramping up, including with the authorization of 3,500 additional housing units. Settlers are receiving logistical support from the Israeli government and are stepping up attacks on Palestinians. Negotiations are currently under way for the release of the remaining hostages in exchange for a six-week truce, but Israel categorically refuses to establish a long-term ceasefire, while Hamas, for its part, refuses to release the hostages as long as Israeli troops remain in Gaza. It is a deadlock.

Since the parties on the ground clearly cannot see eye to eye, the international community needs to intervene. That is what the motion moved by the NDP today is calling for. Let us look at the items of this motion. It calls for “an immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages”. On March 15, the CBC reported that Benjamin Netanyahu had approved the Rafah offensive. An offensive on Rafah would lead to an even greater humanitarian crisis than the one we have now, as Israel well knows. Minister Benny Gantz actually said, “to those saying the price is too high, I say this very clearly: Hamas has a choice — they can surrender, release the hostages, and the citizens of Gaza will be able to celebrate the holy holiday of Ramadan”. In other words, he is saying that either Hamas surrenders or there will be a massacre.

Simply put, Israel categorically rejects any talk of a ceasefire until it has destroyed Hamas and taken control of the entire Gaza Strip. Even the option of a ceasefire in exchange for the hostages is being rejected by Israel. As if that were not enough, Hamas has also refused to release the hostages as long as Israeli troops remain in Gaza, as I was saying.

On November 6, 2023, the Bloc Québécois called for a ceasefire and the presence of an international force to ensure that the parties to the conflict were prepared to move. There is a consensus in the House when it comes to the release of the hostages. We all agree that the hostages must be released. However, we need to be realistic. A ceasefire is very unlikely at the moment, so the international community must intervene.

The motion also calls to “suspend all trade in military goods and technology with Israel and increase efforts to stop the illegal trade of arms, including to Hamas”.

The Bloc Québécois supported suspending arms sales to Israel because the Israeli attack is disproportionate and intended to inflict maximum damage in the Gaza Strip. The federal government actually confirmed that it suspended all military exports as of January 8. According to Global Affairs Canada, this particular NDP request was partially fulfilled over two months ago.

Alone, Canada has no clout. Its military exports are minimal, which significantly weakens the impact of such a measure. It should be noted, however, that military exports, especially in terms of technology, have gone up since October 7.

During the first two months of the conflict, Canada exported $28.5 million worth of arms to Israel, more than in any previous given year. In 2021, it exported approximately $26 million worth, a record at the time. That was $26 million in a whole year, compared to $28.5 million worth of military equipment sold to Israel over a two-month period. We have been told that, for the time being, Canada is selling only non-lethal weapons, such as night vision goggles and civilian drones, to Israel. The thing is, if these non-lethal weapons are being used to identify targets, are they really non-lethal?

Under its Export and Import Permits Act, Canada cannot issue military export permits if there is a substantial risk that the weapons would be used to commit a serious violation of international law.

For years, the Bloc Québécois has been calling for the free trade agreement with Israel to explicitly exclude products originating from illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and possibly in the Gaza Strip, if it is annexed and settled. This measure would more strongly convey to Israel our disapproval of its conduct of the war. Other countries might be tempted to follow Canada's lead and stop funding settlements through trade agreements.

Today's motion also urges the government to “immediately reinstate funding and ensure long-term continued funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and support the independent investigation”. UNRWA says it has reached a breaking point in Gaza after major contributors froze its funding. Furthermore, Israel has never provided a shred of evidence that UNRWA members contributed to the October 7 massacre.

Canada and several other countries, including the United States, suspended funding to UNRWA, which thought it would have to shut down its operations by the end of February, but Canada, Sweden and others announced that they would restore funding on March 8. Australia followed suit on March 15. In actual fact, Canada had already paid for the first quarter of 2024. In other words, Canada never really stopped funding UNRWA. In fact, the only real impact that Canada's announcement had was that we did not respond to UNRWA's urgent funding requests.

The motion also seeks to have the government “support the prosecution of all crimes and violations of international law committed in the region, and support the work of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court”. The International Court of Justice is currently investigating whether there is a genocide occurring in Gaza.

It may be too soon to determine whether it is indeed genocide, but many influential members of the Netanyahu government literally support a plan of genocide. South Africa submitted many quotes from Netanyahu government ministers as evidence of the genocidal intentions of the Israeli government. Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide sets out the acts that could constitute genocide. One of those acts is “physical destruction”, including the expulsion of a group from a given territory.

That is exactly what we are witnessing right now. Israel's finance minister talked about voluntarily expelling almost the entire population of the Gaza Strip, saying, and I quote, “If there are 100,000 or 200,000 Arabs in Gaza and not two million Arabs, the entire discussion on the day after will be totally different.” In other words, the Israeli government would like to see the Gazan population drastically reduced, so as to better manage the situation. Two million is too many for Israel, so the Palestinians are being encouraged to leave.

It should come as no surprise that the neighbouring countries are very reluctant to welcome Gazans, partly because they want to avoid taking in potential terrorists, but also because they know full well that once Palestinians leave their homes, they can never return, as we have seen since 1948. The neighbouring countries are very aware of this. Twelve ministers in the Netanyahu government also took part in a rally calling for the resettlement of the Gaza Strip. It should be noted that these voluntary expulsions are being carried out by making life totally impossible for Gazans and by making their living conditions absolutely miserable, both through physical destruction and by hindering humanitarian aid. Making living conditions inhumane constitutes genocide according to the genocide convention, which makes “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” one of the criteria for determining whether genocide is occurring.

Several images have shown indiscriminate artillery bombardment of built-up areas in the Gaza Strip, which constitutes a war crime. Organizations helping Gazans, such as Doctors Without Borders, have also been targeted by Israel. It is too early to say that the Israeli government has indeed committed genocide, but the fact remains that several ministers have clearly stated that this is their intention. At the very least, Canada must support the efforts of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court to clarify the issue.

The NDP motion also suggests that Hamas, which committed a massacre on October 7, in addition to rape, kidnapping and hostage-taking, must also be tried for its crimes. While the October 7 attack is no longer top of mind for many people, we must not forget the atrocities committed by Hamas. The Bloc Québécois fully supports the idea that all Hamas leaders must be held accountable.

Another part of the motion asks the government to “demand unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza”. Canada's Minister of International Development believes that humanitarian aid to Gaza is “down to a trickle”, that more border crossings need to be opened, and that a ceasefire should help with the delivery and distribution of aid.

On Tuesday, the World Food Programme suspended its distribution of aid in northern Gaza. Since most convoys have to go through Rafah, they have to cross the entire Gazan territory, which has been completely destroyed and is still a battle zone, in order to deliver humanitarian aid. Israel has created safe zones in the south, but it is systematically preventing any humanitarian aid from reaching the northern part of the country.

From the start of the conflict, Israel asked everyone to move to the south, while many residences were bulldozed to create a buffer zone. Now, it is preparing to attack that zone, where the people of Gaza have gathered.

The motion also urges the government to “ensure Canadians trapped in Gaza can reach safety in Canada and lift the arbitrary cap of 1,000 temporary resident visa applications”. Here we can see the humanitarian concern underlying this request, but I do need to point out that, as I was just saying a moment ago, everyone is afraid of exactly the same thing, namely that the Palestinians who leave will never be able to return. We have to prioritize the repatriation of Canadian citizens and family reunification.

The motion also calls on the government to “ban extremist settlers from Canada, impose sanctions on Israeli officials who incite genocide, and maintain sanctions on Hamas leaders”. I think that speaks for itself.

Lastly, the motion calls on the government to “advocate for an end to the decades-long occupation of Palestinian territories...and...officially recognize the State of Palestine and maintain Canada's recognition of Israel's right to exist and to live in peace with its neighbours”.

The Bloc Québécois has always been in favour of a two-state solution. The Netanyahu government categorically rejects this possibility, believing—as we have seen and as our Conservative colleagues have reiterated—that such an arrangement would reward Hamas. A number of Israeli government ministers dream of driving out the Palestinians.

The United Kingdom, Spain and Belgium are considering recognizing the state of Palestine, but the Israeli government wants to divide the Gaza Strip into areas of occupation, and some Israeli ministers are openly in favour of resettling Gaza following the Palestinians' voluntary departure. However, by maintaining the Gaza blockade and choking off humanitarian aid through UNRWA, the government will likely seek to render regions like northern Gaza uninhabitable for Palestinians, thereby forcing them to leave.

Other than these countries that are considering recognizing the Palestinian state, 78 others began to recognize Palestine as early as 1988. By 2023, 139 countries recognized Palestine, including nine G20 member states.

Therefore, we must also move forward with this motion to enable a breakthrough on the ground.

Opposition Motion—Canada's Actions to Promote Peace in the Middle EastBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Lisa Marie Barron NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, given that the right of people to self-determination is enshrined in legally binding treaties to which Canada is a party, including the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, could the member speak more to his party's position on the importance of recognizing a Palestinian state after 75 years of occupation?

Opposition Motion—Canada's Actions to Promote Peace in the Middle EastBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the State of Israel has signed a number of treaties with several Arab states, claiming that this would lead to a calmer situation in the region. Obviously, with this brutal, barbaric offensive against Gaza, some negotiations are now on ice, and certain treaties are being undermined. The reason is simple: Israel needs to sign a treaty with the only people through whom lasting peace can be achieved in the region, and that is the Palestinian people. The Israeli government is refusing to do this, but it is the only possible solution, because it is the only way to put an end to the permanent state of war in which both Israelis and Palestinians have to live. No people can live for such a long time in a permanent state of war.

Opposition Motion—Canada's Actions to Promote Peace in the Middle EastBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, the UN has called for an end of arms sales to the State of Israel. Specifically, it has called out Canada for fuelling this crisis with military trade. The International Court of Justice made a ruling to prevent genocide. For years, New Democrats have called for an arms embargo. We are also calling on the government to do more to stop arms smuggling to Hamas.

The member spoke about the increase in military trade that has happened since this conflict started. It is not enough, as the minister said, to go export permit by export permit. We need an arms embargo. Canada must do more to prioritize human rights, international law and peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

Could the member speak to how horrific it is that the government is still allowing military trade to the State of Israel?

Opposition Motion—Canada's Actions to Promote Peace in the Middle EastBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Montarville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I could not agree more with my colleague, especially since the Netanyahu government is a hardline government. It wants the war to go on, so it needs weapons.

The reason the Netanyahu government wants the war to go on is very simple. It knows that its political survival depends on the war continuing, because once the war is over, then it will have things to answer for. It will have to explain to Israelis why it promoted the illusion that creating a cordon sanitaire around Israel would be enough to ensure peace. It will have to explain why security services failed to anticipate October's attack. It will have to explain why it encouraged the creation of Hamas in order to weaken the Palestinian Authority and prevent negotiations on the creation of a Palestinian state.

Community LeadershipStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Ryan Turnbull Liberal Whitby, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight an exceptional role model for youth in Whitby. Cohen Lane, fondly known as Coco, epitomizes community service.

In 2022, he started “Coco's cocoa for kids”, a creative idea to turn Christmas lawn decorations into a hot chocolate stand to support SickKids hospital. Motivated by a life-changing treatment his 16-year-old cousin received at SickKids as an infant, Cohen set out to raise money for SickKids.

Recognizing his friends' eagerness to contribute, Cohen established the “Coco crew” to acknowledge dedicated volunteers. With the support of the Coco crew and with his relentless dedication, Cohen's idea yielded an impressive $6,130. The following year, in just 10 days, Cohen exceeded his $7,500 goal by raising an astounding $14,512.

Cohen's approach stands out for his fundraising talent, his inclusivity and his kindness. Today, let us all applaud Cohen, a young philanthropist whose passion serves as an inspiration to us all.

Seafood IndustryStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Chris d'Entremont Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the seafood industry is a top contributor to Nova Scotia's economy, and my riding of West Nova is home to some of the most productive fishing grounds in the world.

The lobster industry is a major employer in many coastal communities, supporting thousands of good local jobs. Everything that has been built in our communities over the years has been done thanks to the strength of the lobster stock and the entrepreneurial spirit of our incredible fishers. Unfortunately, lobster catches are continually declining, while the cost of living is going up, making it extremely difficult for fishing families to make ends meet.

The primary responsibilities of the DFO are to provide science, conserve and protect resources, and working with all stakeholders. However, the department has turned a blind eye to the out-of-season, unregulated and unreported fishing that has been taking place in lobster fishing area 34 over the years.

For the safety of all fishers and to preserve the sustainability of the stocks, the government must do better to protect this industry for future generations.

International Women's DayStatements by Members

March 18th, 2024 / 2 p.m.


Leah Taylor Roy Liberal Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, March 8 was International Women's Day, a day celebrated by women here in Canada and around the world. Originating in the decade from 1910 to 1920, with women fighting for better working conditions, for the right to vote and for peace, it has since been observed to celebrate women's achievements and the fight for equality.

From across York Region, women and our allies gathered at the LiUNA training centre in Richmond Hill, with our Liberal York Region MPs joined by our Minister for Women and Minister of Labour. There, we heard from amazing community members and women trailblazers in non-traditional roles. I thank LiUNA, the York Regional Police, the Central York firefighters and the Richmond Hill firefighters, as well as Blue Door, ELLA at YSpace and CYRSS for making this a fantastic celebration.

We all recognize the need to keep working together to advance gender equality. This year's theme underscored this. We must invest in women to accelerate progress and we must not let regressive forces push us back. Happy International Women's Day.

Paul HoudeStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Sébastien Lemire Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 2, a unique figure in Quebec's arts and media landscape passed away. Paul Houde left us much too soon, at the age of 69.

He was a man of many talents, an outstanding orator and a walking encyclopedia who left his mark on all of Quebec with his vast and varied knowledge and his mastery of the French language. His multifarious career took him from radio host to quirky reporter on La fin du monde est à 7 heures to the role of Fern in Les Boys. This unlikely ambassador for the Chicago Blackhawks on Quebec soil was also universally appreciated for his kindness and generosity.

Our sincerest condolences go out to his entire family, his loved ones and the countless other people who loved him. He had a phenomenal memory and left a lasting mark on all those he crossed paths with. Even Nostradamouse could have predicted that.

No one is about to forget him either. Paul Houde has not left us for good. No, his game has just gone into overtime.

Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food OfficeStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, just recently, I was in the Philippines with the Minister of Agriculture. We actually opened the very first ever Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office. No government in recent history has done more in terms of enhancing trade opportunities. This office is going to serve over 40 countries, and it is going to be located in metro Manila.

When we think of agriculture, we can think of $30 billion in 2023. We can add another $70 billion when we think of the agri-food industry. We think of the potential that has for the creation of jobs and for food security in the world. There is so much more that we can do, and this is a government that believes in trade, getting agreements and getting the job done.

Public SafetyStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Marc Dalton Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC

Mr. Speaker, after eight years under the current Prime Minister, crime, chaos, hard drugs and disorder rage in our streets. Adnan Polat has owned Gold Rush Jewellers in Maple Ridge for decades. Because of rampant drug crimes and threats, he is closing his store to go to a new location.

In British Columbia, over 2,500 people, a record, died last year from overdoses, and over 40,000 have died since the Liberals came into power. The Liberals' and NDP's dangerous safe supply experiment has ruined the lives of countless Canadians and devastated communities.

In a Prince George drug bust, the RCMP discovered more than 10,000 morphine and hydromorphone pills coming from the government's safe supply program. They got into the hands of drug dealers, who prey upon and destroy the most vulnerable.

Common-sense Conservatives would stop spending taxpayers' dollars on dangerous drugs. We would support treatment and recovery to bring our loved ones home drug-free.

St. Gregory Catholic SchoolStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Anita Vandenbeld Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently visited the grade 6 social entrepreneurship class at St. Gregory Catholic School in my riding. These smart and creative kids have raised over $700 for the Ottawa Food Bank by making greeting cards and 3D printed items, such as jewellery and key chains, and selling them on Shopify.

Through work-based learning, they use their business skills to address UN sustainable development goal 2, zero hunger. These students, with the guidance of their teacher, Susan Goslin, and mentor, Jeremy McQuigge, are learning skills, which they are applying in order to make a better world. They told me they just want to ensure that everyone goes home to food on their plate.

Their social enterprise is called Every Bite Counts. By helping others, including those they may never meet, these inspiring kids understand that, when our neighbours do well, we all do well. These grade 6 students inspire me and give me hope.

Black History OttawaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Chandra Arya Liberal Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Black History Ottawa, which emerged from the activities of the Barbados (Ottawa) Association and of the Black History Month Committee, formed in 1986. Since then, every February, this organization has been celebrating Black History Month in the nation's capital.

Their activities honour the numerous achievements and contributions of Canadians of African, Caribbean and Black heritage in fields such as sciences, medicine, literature, the arts and sports. They also serve to acknowledge the roles Black people have played in the growth and development of Canadian society and culture.

I would like to recognize and thank the key leaders associated with Black History Ottawa. They include, but are not limited to, June Girvan, Godwin Ifedi, Joanne Robinson, Sarah Onyango and Jean-Marie Guerrier.

The EconomyStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Shelby Kramp-Neuman Conservative Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are in a grim situation as the affordability crisis gets worse. The prices of groceries, rent, mortgages, heating, medication and everything have increased to unmanageable levels under eight years of this Liberal-NDP government.

At CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick, upwards of 50 military families are forced to use the local food bank. Instead of delivering relief to struggling single parents, families, students or seniors, the Liberals want to hike the carbon tax by 23% over the next six years.

The independent Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that most families will pay more in tax than what they receive via rebate. This is not partisan noise; this is fact.

Canadians can take solace in knowing that, when the Liberal-NDP government is finally defeated, the common-sense Conservative government will axe the tax and bring fiscal stewardship home to Ottawa. Let us bring it home.

RamadanStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Salma Zahid Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this month, millions of Muslims across Canada and around the world, including my family and me, are celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. We celebrate by fasting during the day, sharing meals with friends and family at sunset, and becoming closer to our faith. It is usually a time of community and of celebration. However, when we gather this year, we speak of Gaza.

As we eat our dates, we think of the innocent Palestinian people forced into starvation. We think about mothers desperately grinding up animal feed to feed their children and about young children waking up in the hospital, still in shock, to find out their parents were killed in Israeli air strikes.

My prayer for Ramadan, as it has been for many months, is for an immediate and just ceasefire, the return of all hostages and prisoners, and unimpeded humanitarian aid.

My prayers are for peace and justice.

Carbon TaxStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Dan Mazier Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, MB

Mr. Speaker, after eight years under the NDP-Liberal Prime Minister, Canadians are turning to food banks at record rates. We just learned that, in Toronto alone, the Daily Bread Food Bank served over 300,000 people this February. That is up from 52,000 people in 2015. Now the NDP-Liberal government wants to hike its punishing carbon tax on food, heat and groceries by 23% as part of its plan to quadruple the carbon tax. What a cruel April Fool's Day joke to play on Canadians.

According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the average Manitoba family will pay $1,750 in carbon tax. That is far more than any rebate. It is no wonder 70% of Canadian premiers and 70% of Canadians are opposed to the Prime Minister's carbon tax hike.

Only common-sense Conservatives will stand with Canadians against the Prime Minister's failed carbon tax. It is time to spike the hike and axe the carbon tax.

Carbon TaxStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Richard Bragdon Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, seven out of 10 premiers around the country have stood against the Liberal carbon tax. Now even the Liberal Premier of Newfoundland has come out and said that it is not working and that it is not worth the cost. The Prime Minister responded by saying, “I think Mr. Furey is continuing to bow to political pressure.” This is not just political pressure; this is the overwhelming consensus of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

The government is elected to be the servant of the people, not their master, and the people are speaking clearly. When will it listen to the farmers who feed us and are fed up with struggling to keep up with the soaring input costs coming from the costly coalition? When will it listen to the single mother who has had to choose between heating and eating for her family or the senior who lies awake worrying about how they are going to manage yet another tax hike while on a fixed income? When will it listen to rural Canadians who have no options for heating their homes or transportation?

When will the government finally start to hear the cries of Canadians, who want to axe the tax and spike this hike in the tax?

Eight Exceptional Women in the Riding of BourassaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Emmanuel Dubourg Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, International Women's Day once again gives me the opportunity to honour eight dedicated women in my riding who contribute to improving the lives of people in Bourassa. I thank the elected officials who joined me in congratulating and applauding these eight women for their commendable work.

The battle for women's rights is our battle. For my seventh year of recognizing exceptional women, I am honoured to congratulate eight women from the riding of Bourassa: Elena Adipietro, Julie Bessette, Julie Mayer, Renée Dagenais, Huguette Péloquin, Kicha Estimé, Eve Torres and Sly Toussaint.

I congratulate this year's honourees.

Foreign AffairsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Matthew Green NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I will read into the record what legal expert Dr. Ardi Imseis said about the legal framework for Palestinian statehood.

He stated, “Palestine is recognized by 140 states.

“Palestine is a juridical fact. Its territory is under illegal foreign military occupation by Israel, but that does not mean that the State of Palestine does not exist in law.

“It possesses all four of the criterion for statehood as codified in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States: (1) a permanent population; (2) a territory; (3) a government; and (4) the capacity to enter into foreign relations with other states.

“Successive Israeli governments have, for years, indicated that they will never allow the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and that only the Jewish people have a right to self-determination in the land between the river and the sea.

“This is unlawful.

“As a peremptory norm, no people's right to self-determination in their own territory can be the subject of negotiation under international law. This is the last chance Canada has to save the two state framework set in motion by the UN in 1947.”

Where will the Liberal government stand today on Palestine's statehood?

Tragedy in BarrhavenStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Sylvie Bérubé Bloc Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to offer our heartfelt support to the Sri Lankan community in the Ottawa region, which was struck to the core on March 6. I extend our sincerest condolences to the Sri Lankan community, to all those affected by this terrible tragedy, and especially to the families and friends of the victims.

Our hearts break as we think of the father who was hospitalized and whose life has been shattered forever by the terrible loss of his wife and their four children. We hope he gets all the support he will need to get through this inconceivably sad ordeal.

Let us hope that such a tragedy never happens again, and let us come together to reflect and find ways to curb this violence everywhere, because it never leads to anything but tragedy, loss and tears. Our hearts go out to Barrhaven.

Carbon TaxStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Eric Duncan Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Prime Minister, life has never been more expensive. To make matters worse, the Prime Minister is going to play a cruel joke on Canadians on April 1, hiking the carbon tax again, this time by 23%, as part of his plans with the NDP to quadruple the carbon tax on everyone. That is why 70% of Canadians and seven premiers are demanding a stop to this latest tax hike. Even the provincial Liberals now in Ontario and New Brunswick are getting out against these never-ending tax hikes.

After eight years, even Liberals now know that the Prime Minister is just not worth the cost. The only ones who do not seem to get it is the NDP-Liberal coalition in Ottawa. Meanwhile, it is getting worse, as food banks are bracing for an extra one million visits to food banks this year.

Our common-sense plan is clear. Axe the tax for everyone everywhere for good. It is time the Prime Minister, the NDP and the Liberals smartened up. Spike the hike and axe the tax.

Kim RuddStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is with deep sadness that I rise today to pay tribute to a remarkable woman, politician, entrepreneur and friend.

Former MP Kim Rudd, who represented the riding of Northumberland—Peterborough South from 2015 to 2019, recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. Kim worked hard for her constituency and for Canadians. She served as a parliamentary secretary, chaired the health research caucus and was on a number of committees. She was a strong supporter of women and of the mining industry and nuclear industry, knowing that the resource sector was key to climate action.

Kim was a fierce fighter in her battle with cancer and used her experience to advocate for new research in ovarian cancer and for women's health. Most important, Kim was a wife, a mother and a grandmother, a loyal and beautiful friend who will be deeply missed. Her hard work and commitment led the way for others and left this world a better place.

Let us carry that torch for Kim in her fight for women and for all Canadians. Today, we send our deepest sympathies to her husband Tom, her daughters Alison and Stefanie, their partners and her four grandchildren. We thank Kim for her contributions to our country.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Carleton Ontario


Pierre Poilievre ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, after eight years, this Prime Minister is not worth the cost.

While common-sense Conservatives are working to axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime, the Prime Minister wants to impose not only a new 17¢-a-litre gas tax with the support of the Bloc Québécois, but also a decree to shut down Quebec's forestry industry.

Why does the Prime Minister want to encroach on Quebec's jurisdiction and eliminate forestry workers' jobs?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario


Chrystia Freeland LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Quebec has had its own carbon pricing system since 2013. The province is not subject to the federal regime.

The Conservative leader continues to demonstrate just how poorly he understands Quebeckers by promising to dismantle a system that Quebec decided to put in place more than 10 years ago. The Conservative leader is the one who does not respect Quebec's jurisdiction.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Carleton Ontario


Pierre Poilievre ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there seems to have been some misinterpretation. The question was about the forestry sector, which the Prime Minister wants to shut down with a decree that oversteps Quebec's jurisdiction, while the common-sense Conservatives want to stand up for workers.

Another headline in the Journal de Montréal reads, “‘These people are starving’: Police forced to respond to at least two organizations distributing food hampers”.

Why is the Prime Minister forcing people to use food banks with his taxes and inflationary deficits?