Families: The Last Six Months
Of Federal Activity

About

This Report

This is a computer-generated report that shows all of the federal activity with respect to the keyword "Families" over the last six months. This is a demonstration of the power of our government relations automation software.

Hansard

House: 638 Speeches
Senate: 162 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 0

Regulations

Filed: 0
Proposed: 0

The House

Mr. Rhéal Fortin (Rivière-du-Nord, QD)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...pired by our constituents, by people who are proud of who they are and what they do, proud of their families, and proud of the place they call home. They are creative people. They write songs, build a...”

Mr. Jean-Claude Poissant (La Prairie, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... salute all producers and the Quebec Produce Growers Association. These are the people who feed our families, and they are the driving force behind our vibrant local agricultural sector.”

Mr. Terry Duguid (Winnipeg South, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ourable Madam Justice Robyn Diamond, whose work in family law has changed the lives of children and families in Manitoba, Canada, and around the world.

Justice Diamond was the first female legal...”

Mr. Bev Shipley (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, CPC)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ambton—Kent—Middlesex, and I am not done yet. We all know that this job requires the support of our families, our significant others, and our spouses. For me, my biggest supporter is my wife, Barb. So...”

Mr. Ziad Aboultaif (Edmonton Manning, CPC)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...to ensure that internally displaced people like the Yazidis qualify for resettlement, so that these families can be reunited.”

Mr. Gary Anandasangaree (Scarborough—Rouge Park, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...s. As people flee to safety, to borders or to shores, they are routinely barred from entry. Refugee families and children are split up and incarcerated. Women and children face sexual and gender-based...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ic investments in infrastructure and with the Canada child benefit, which is helping nine out of 10 families and will lift 300,000 children out of poverty. We lowered taxes for the middle class and in...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ves voted against. Then we delivered on a Canada child benefit, which helps nine out of 10 Canadian families by not sending child benefit cheques to millionaires. It is lifting hundreds of thousands o...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...es that we have seen. As I said, what is happening is unacceptable. I cannot imagine the pain these families are experiencing.

The safe third country agreement has been in place for more than 10...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, as I have said, what is happening is wrong. None of us can imagine what these families are going through and I know all Canadians have the well-being of children first and foremo...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...essed. As I have said, what is happening in the United States is wrong. I cannot imagine what these families are going through.

As I have said many times, the safe third country agreement is ove...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...12,000 to replace a dock; and $5,000 on a golf cart.

Meanwhile, 80% of Canadians and Canadian families are paying more taxes under this government.

How can the Prime Minister justify that ...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...is why we are delivering a Canada child benefit that delivers more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families and is lifting hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty. Again, the Conservatives voted...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ging with Canadians, as will every member of this House. Hopefully, there will be a little time for families for many of us as well, but we know all of us in this House will continue to stay focused o...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...an doubled Canada's refugee numbers. We have provided a new home to more than 1,300 women and their families who endured the brutality of Daesh, 85% of whom are Yazidi.

Our government's commitme...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

June 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...berta representatives of all parties at all levels. He is hurting the 74% of women supporting their families and disabled workers with long-term placements in the office.

Will the Prime Minister...”

Mrs. Carol Hughes (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, NDP)

June 19th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ed and hospitalized. They also reaffirm how important this is and the impact that this has on their families.

The petitioners call on the government to support Motion No. 117, which happens to b...”

Mrs. Karen Vecchio (Elgin—Middlesex—London, CPC)

June 19th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...d today to recognize the month of June as Pride Month. It is a time when the LGBTQ community, their families, and their allies come together to celebrate who they are and who they love. Whether throug...”

Mrs. Eva Nassif (Vimy, Lib.)

June 19th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... with an investment of nearly $200 million, is based on prevention, support for survivors and their families, and the promotion of responsive justice and legal systems.[Translation]

Over the past year, our government has taken action. By taking steps such as providing about 7,000 new or refurbished beds for women fleeing violence, undertaking a review of sexual assault cases that had been deemed unfounded, and investing $20 million in projects to support survivors of violence and their families, our government has demonstrated its commitment to ending gender-based violence and helping...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

June 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... that up to 160,000 jobs in the Canadian auto sector could be at risk. Obviously, workers and their families are worried.

However, it was no surprise that under the Liberal administration we wou...”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...did that this year, as we have done in past years. We are doing what we need to do to help Canadian families.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!”

Mr. John Aldag (Cloverdale—Langley City, Lib.)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...n love.

And why does this matter? Because in our aspiration to relevance, in our love for our families, in our desire to contribute to make this world a better place, despite our differences, we are all the same.

Words are important, and so are the values we put forward. Equally important, if not more so, are the actions we take in defence of those values. That is why our government has taken meaningful action to further embrace multiculturalism and promote diversity.

We have a Prime Minister who proudly represents Canada on the world stage as an open and welcoming nation. Indeed, Canada is a nation built in no small part through the contributions of immigrants.

Our government understands this. That is why we promote safe and accessible immigration. We have prioritized family reunification by bringing families together more quickly. We doubled the number of parent and grandparent sponsorship applications accepted per year, from 5,000 to 10,000. We know that when families are reunited and offered the opportunity to succeed, all of Canada succeeds.

Our government is committed to an immigration system that strengthens Canada's middle class, helps grow our economy, supports diversity, brings families together, and helps build vibrant, dynamic, and inclusive communities.

The story of C...”

Mr. Ted Falk (Provencher, CPC)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ts a profound failure to ensuring that these changes do not increase risks to Canadian children and families.

It is the primary duty of any government to keep its citizens safe. The specific goa...”

Mr. Bob Saroya (Markham—Unionville, CPC)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...hard for many Canadians to remember that marijuana is indeed damaging and addictive.

Canadian families expect safe and healthy communities in which to raise their children. Elected representativ...”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, today my heart is with the Tla-o-qui-aht people and especially the families of three young men lost at sea off the west coast of Vancouver Island on Friday. Two other lives were saved, thanks to local citizens.

Dozens of private boats, marine tour operators, crews from across Vancouver Island, including Victoria, Nanaimo, Arrowsmith, Comox Valley, and Port Alberni, assisted local search and rescue, and so many others joined the search. As coastal people, we respond in times like this with compassion and sacrifice. Gas money is raised, food is carried to the dock, local leaders give comfort to the community, and we pull together.

I ask members to please join me in thanking the first responders and residents of Tofino, Ahousaht, and Hesquiaht for standing with the Tla-o-qui-aht people in this time of need. I also ask members to send their prayers and love to the families of the missing and to the many still on the water searching for loved ones.”

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, Lib.)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...y top-quality dairy because of the very high standards placed on our producers.

Lately, dairy families have raised concerns regarding the future of Canada's supply management system in a renegot...”

Mr. Dane Lloyd (Sturgeon River—Parkland, CPC)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, every morning, families across Canada wake up not knowing where the remains of their loved ones are hidden. Convicted killers who conceal the remains of their victims so the families cannot have closure are committing a despicable crime.

One such family, the McCann family, has been waiting nearly eight years for answers, and it is not alone. The family wants to know where convicted killer Travis Vader hid the bodies of it parents. Mr. Vader will be eligible for parole in just a few years, without ever having to give a clue as to where he hid the remains of his victims.

Families deserve better, and that is why I am working on legislation to ensure that those who refuse to reveal the location of their victims' remains pay the penalty. I hope all parliamentarians will support the legislation to ensure that the families of victims of homicide receive the justice and closure they rightly deserve.”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... governments and community, finding the service that helps is a daunting task. When individuals and families find services quickly and easily, they are better equipped to meet life's challenges, families and individuals feel connected, and our entire community prospers.

I ask all members ...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... possession.

Since the Prime Minister knows how much his carbon tax is going to cost Canadian families, why does he refuse to tell them?”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Liberals like the Prime Minister might not mind paying higher gas prices, but hard-working Canadian families do. Will the Prime Minister finally come clean and tell Canadians how much his carbon tax w...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ands of kids out of poverty, a Canada child benefit, by the way, that helps nine out of 10 Canadian families, and that the Conservatives and the NDP voted against. We are going to continue to fight ch...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...arbon taxes. The Liberals will not even say how much their carbon tax will cost Canadians and their families. When will the Prime Minister finally come clean and end the carbon tax cover-up?”

Mr. Michel Picard (Montarville, Lib.)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...billion to our GDP. Our government remains strongly committed to supporting our producers and their families.

The Canadian Dairy Commission is vital to to the operation of our supply management ...”

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced an increase in the Canada child benefit. This is all well and good, but the government cannot fix poverty by mailing out some cheques. In the finance minister's riding, four out of 10 children live in poverty. A generous benefit helps, yes, but all families also need access to affordable day care.

When will we see affordable day care?”

Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), Lib.)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...peaker, in terms of the Canada child benefit in the minister's riding, $45 million is being sent to families who need that support. The NDP voted against that.

In terms of child care, this gover...”

Mr. James Maloney (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ness, and more money for Canada's seniors.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell this House how our government continues to invest in ...”

Mrs. Stephanie Kusie (Calgary Midnapore, CPC)

June 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ood jobs in the oil and gas sector when we were finished our education. We would get married, raise families, and have confidence that we would be able to provide for our families as a result of the oil and gas sector, which was so relied upon by this community for so lo...”

Ms. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, CPC)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... to be good moms. All of this feeds into their ability to economically support themselves and their families.

It is the government that is putting the carbon tax in place. Furthermore, we have asked the government how much the carbon tax is going to cost Canadian families. We would love to know how much it is going to cost a single mom who is working hard to rai...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e able to do it this year because of Canada's sustained economic growth. By providing more money to families who need it most, this benefit provides a new opportunity for Canadian families. We should also not forget our efforts on behalf of small businesses, who, as we know, crea...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...arliament does not have the full picture of what is going on or the impact on middle-class Canadian families.

Why were the members instructed to vote that way? Why can we not have that information? Why do we find ourselves today debating this issue, still not having the full information on the impact on middle-class families, and this carbon tax cover-up?”

Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...d, introduced the Canada child benefit, and indexed it two years earlier; cut taxes on middle-class families; and introduced various measures to support women through budget 2018.

The member for Lethbridge earlier today said that poverty is sexist and that the Prime Minister and our government are perpetuating it. I wonder if the member could correct the record on that and tell this House not only how much our government is doing to reduce the impact of pollution on climate change but what it is doing for Canadian families, especially the most vulnerable.”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...mpact this has had on the people it serves. We have stopped sending the Canada child benefit to the families of millionaires, in order to focus on those who need it the most. We know that the vast maj...”

Mr. Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke, NDP)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...concept.

Alberta is an excellent example of revenue neutrality, and less fortunate low-income families even have a surplus at the end of the year. They receive more money than they pay for carbon pricing. These figures are obviously put forward by the Alberta government. I do not have the exact numbers in front of me today, but costs are estimated at around $400 for each low-income family.

Furthermore, these are the families least affected by the carbon tax because they consume the least. The tax is estimated at $4...”

Mr. John Barlow (Foothills, CPC)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...uestion for the Liberal government. What is its farm-killing carbon tax going to cost Canadian farm families?”

Mr. Jean-Claude Poissant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...alities of Canada’s agricultural industry. Our government recognizes that Canadian farmers and farm families are important drivers of the Canadian economy. We understand that Canadian farmers are maki...”

Mr. Andy Fillmore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ct the price of fuel and other goods and services. Today the opposition is asking what it will cost families. Here is an example. The Government of Alberta has calculated the cost of its system. The d...”

Mr. Arnold Viersen (Peace River—Westlock, CPC)

June 14th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...hree seasons in northern Alberta.

When it comes to what the carbon tax costs average Canadian families, my region will be affected more than others because furnaces there run more than anywhere else in the country. In Alberta, natural gas has gone up by one-quarter of the price. It was $3 a gigajoule before and now it is $4 a gigajoule. That translates to hundreds of dollars more every month for heat in northern Alberta, and that is the direct cost to families in heat alone.

The gentleman who spoke before me talked about how the carbon tax would be a direct cost of $500 per family. That is the direct cost, just on heating bills. In northern Alberta, the carbon tax is much more than $500 per family, but maybe that is the average for all of Canada. That seems fair as a direct cost. We do not know, however, because the government has redacted the entire document that the finance department created for this new initiative for a carbon tax in Canada.

It is the other things that trickle down that have a detrimental effect not only on individual Canadian families but our entire economy. The thing about the carbon tax is that it will be put on heating an...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Brampton West, Lib.)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...il October 4. I am sure there will be many delicious, locally sourced options at the market to help families in Brampton West make healthier choices.

I encourage all Bramptonians to stop by, meet their neighbours, spend some time with their families, but most importantly, try some tasty treats.”

Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ommemorate the 120th anniversary of the founding of Yukon territory. I invite all members and their families to come north this summer to visit the most beautiful riding in the country, enjoy Yukon ho...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...is carbon tax is unravelling. Will he finally come clean on how much the costs will be for Canadian families?”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...being lost. This situation is affecting Canadian steel and aluminum producers, employees, and their families.

The United States has been imposing unreasonable tariffs for nearly two weeks now. M...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... protracted trade disruption will have a devastating impact on Canada's economy, workers, and their families. But there are a lot of things a government could do to protect Canada's economy.

We ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...he Fraser Institute calculates that the Prime Minister has raised income tax on 81% of middle-class families, on average by $800 per family. The PBO says this new carbon tax will axe $10 billion from ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...kes a promise after he has already broken it. He said that he would not raise taxes on middle-class families, and we now know, from the Fraser Institute's calculation, an institute that he has cited in his remarks today, that he has raised taxes on 81% of middle-class families, and that is before this new carbon tax.

How much will that new tax cost the average ...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... of that, we delivered a Canada child benefit that delivered more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families, with tax-free money every month to help with the cost of groceries and school supplies.

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ll be happy to send him over that op-ed. They calculate that he raised taxes on 80% of middle-class families. How much more will those same families have to pay with his new carbon tax?”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... them on the wealthiest 1%, is delivering a Canada child benefit that helps nine out of 10 Canadian families, and stopped sending the child benefit cheques to millionaires the Conservatives were so at...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, reuniting families is something the Prime Minister says he values, yet whether or not someone's parents and gr...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre

June 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the members did not get a chance to hear this. It says, “Yes, most middle-class families are paying more in income taxes” today.”

Mr. Randy Hoback (Prince Albert, CPC)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...out at a restaurant at 11 o'clock at night and looking over at the table next to me. There were two families having dinner together and they were laughing. I was thinking, it is 11 o'clock at night, why are these kids out? Then talking to a friend of mine he said that it was two teenagers out on a date. The teenagers were bringing the entire family on a date. That is part of their tradition. That is part of their culture. That is something that is appreciated and celebrated. It is quite a bit different from my kids who if they were on a date I probably did not even know about it until a week later. Right away, I could see how much family meant to them.

Then talking to them about what they do on the weekends and in the evenings, they have a love for life. They really know how to live life, appreciate the small things in life, and pull all that value out of those small things, and treasure them, and treasure each other.

Canadians, when we are doing the nine to five, or nine to 10, or, in this case, nine to midnight or 10 to midnight, sometimes we forget we need to express that love for life and to have that joyful time among family and friends.

The next trip was to Peru, Chile, and Costa Rica. I had the honour of going down there with the Prime Minister on two occasions. Again, in those scenarios, the world leaders in those regions really respected Canada. I think there are many reasons why. Part of it was that we never preached. We never went down there and told them they had to do this or do that. We always went down there with a manner of respect. We listened. We learned. We would give advice if they asked for it. We led by example. They appreciated that.

One thing I found when working with people from Latin America is that, when doing business there, the people want to know who we are. They want to understand where people come from and about their families. Once they have a comfortable relationship, then they are ready to get on to business. It is so different from other countries in the world where one sits down, has a business meeting, and that is it. Latin American people really want to know who they are working with and who they are doing business with. It is such a nice concept to have that in a business relationship.

I remember being in Cartagena, at the OAS, or the Summit of the Americas, watching President Obama. I remember sitting in the runway in the Prime Minister's jet looking out the window and there was President Obama's jet, and then there was a little jet that was Hilary Clinton's jet. I was laughing that they both came in separate planes. Maybe there were security reasons for doing that.

However, I remember talking to some of my friends down there. I said, “Isn't it nice the Americans are here?” They said, “Yes, it's nice but they only come once in a while and they write a cheque and then they expect us to do what they want. They don't get to know us. They don't actually understand who we are and what we are doing. They just drop in, drop out, and say, this is what we want.” They do not like that. They like the Canadian approach where they are treated as a friend and a partner, where respect is shown.

I think that is why we see the warmth that we have with the people and the countries in that region. I think that is why we have trade agreements with Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Chile, Peru, and Colombia. Hopefully, we will see something in Mercosur countries somewhere down the road. Hopefully, we will do something with the Pacific Alliance that will even bring us closer and closer together. There are so many opportunities to do business and trade in that region. (1755)

As we do business and trade in those areas, their standard of living and quality of life are going to get better. Their ability to purchase more goods and have the things we have here in Canada will become easier. As we look at security in the region, it will become safer.

I encourage everyone, especially when it is minus-40 in Saskatchewan or Winnipeg, to acknowledge that Latin America is our saving grace sometimes. A lot of people from Saskatchewan travel and participate in tourism in places like Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Dominican Republic. A lot of people in my riding go and live in Mexico in the wintertime. They love Saskatchewan in the summertime. I would encourage everyone to come to Saskatchewan in the summertime. It is cheaper to come to Saskatchewan and travel because there is no carbon tax. I just had to get that in there.

However, a lot of people like to get away in the wintertime, whether it is for a week, two weeks, or a month. Where do they go? They go to Latin America. Why? It is the guaranteed sunshine and the friendly people. They love Canadians. They like who we are. They like to talk to us. They like to visit with us. It is such a nice environment and we have become such close friends.

The other thing we have had from Latin America, especially for our honey producers, is a stable force of labour through temporary foreign workers who come in the summer, work in the beehives, and do the work we cannot get Canadians to do. Then they go home and take care of their families in the wintertime, because they do not like Canadian winters, and I do not blame them. It has created a scenario where we have all these people coming into Saskatchewan in the springtime, working right through to September or October, and going back home. Again, families and friends are being created, connections are being created, and it has been a win-win for...”

Mr. Matt Jeneroux (Edmonton Riverbend, CPC)

June 13th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ud to be from a province that has welcomed and embraced so many Latin American immigrants and their families.

Football, or soccer, as we call it, is a national sport of Brazil and a popular game...”

Mr. Brian Masse

June 13th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...They are temporary foreign workers who have expertise in the agriculture sector and are part of our families in many respects. In the House, there have been debate to try to improve their rights. We have had many families and workers' issues brought about because of the value they add to our country and communit...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... workers don't have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families; and (c) not spending billions of public dollars on increasingly obsolete fossil fuel infra...”

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e to support a carbon tax because of its detrimental effect of the Canadian economy and on Canadian families, or is he prepared simply to give the Liberals a blank cheque on that?”

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...eing laid off with the downturn in world oil prices and divestment by major players. Workers, their families, and their communities are stressed. It is critical to commit to a transparent, inclusive p...”

Mr. Bev Shipley (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...r, and what we have tried to find out from the Liberal government, is the cost of the carbon tax to families and small businesses, businesses that create jobs. The Liberals know the cost, but they do ...”

Mr. Jamie Schmale (Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...federal cousins will not tell Canadians how much their federal carbon tax scheme will cost Canadian families.

Experts advise the government that technologies such as solar power needed to be developed gradually to prevent renewable energy contracts from overwhelming the province's electricity system and sending hydro bills skyrocketing. Ignoring the experts, the province went ahead with unrealistic and poorly considered policies that it knew were going to be costly, ineffective, and inefficient, policies which cost Ontarians billions of dollars and ultimately cost the provincial Liberals official party status.

This is a lesson the current government would be wise to heed. As the Prime Minister shut down pipeline after pipeline and has ignored the growing uncertainty over the Trans Mountain expansion for over a year and a half, Canadian taxpayers, backed into a corner by the government, found themselves owning a pipeline Kinder Morgan did not need to sell. All that was needed was regulatory certainty for a pipeline project that had already met every possible criterion for approval and certainty that the government that had made those approvals would see them through. The ramifications of poorly considered policies like the nationalization of Trans Mountain, the oil tanker ban, the derailing of energy east and northern gateway, and the job-killing carbon tax are all too clear as investment flees south of the border to the United States and other international jurisdictions.

Royal Bank's president and CEO, Dave McKay, told the Canadian Press that a significant investment exodus to the U.S. is already under way, especially in the energy and clean technology sectors. (1105)

That is right, we know the investment climate in Canada is in distress when even investors in renewable energy, where subsidies abound and competing oil and gas face carbon taxes and regulatory excess, are leaving because they favour lower U.S. corporate taxes more.

In early April, NextEra Energy said that the sale of its wind and solar generation assets in Ontario for $582 million was specifically motivated by U.S. tax reform. Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer, stated, “we expect the sale of the Canadian portfolio to enable us to recycle capital back into U.S. assets, which benefit from a longer federal income tax shield and a lower effective corporate tax rate”.

The latest data from Statistics Canada shows foreign direct investment in the country dropped to $31.4 billion last year compared with $49.4 billion the year before. The rapidly declining investment climate has important and far-reaching consequences. If we want to ensure Canada becomes a global leader in clean tech and want to ensure future jobs will be located right here in Canada, industry investment will be critical.

In 2016, oil and gas business expenditures on research and design were nearly $1.5 million of the $2 billion that was invested in clean-tech R and D in the energy sector. Nearly 10% of all money spent on R and D in Canada was in the energy sector. Enbridge and TransCanada, the country's largest pipeline companies, both invest heavily in renewable energy.

CGA, ATCO, Enbridge, Énergir, FortisBC, Pacific Northern Gas, SaskEnergy, and Union Gas pool capital investment in the natural gas innovation fund to support clean-tech start-ups, which innovate in the natural gas value supply chain.

As the potential for renewable energy grows and the cost of the technology falls, experts anticipate a growing number of traditional oil and gas companies to invest in the renewable sector. Morgan Bazilian, former lead energy specialist at the World Bank, told an audience of Calgary oil executives in May that the industry has already seen some of the sector's largest companies such as Shell, Total, BP, and others, make billion-dollar investments in renewables. However, to get industry investment in clean tech, there must be industry in Canada to begin with.

Murphy Oil Corporation said it would repatriate Canadian retained earnings and that it sees the substantially lower tax rate in the U.S. as a big advantage for capital investments.

Dan Tsubouchi, chief market strategist at Stream Asset Financial Management LP in Calgary said, in an interview with the Financial Post, that oil and gas companies with assets in Canada waited for the Canadian government to respond to U.S. tax reforms in the federal budget but when “it offered nothing on tax competitiveness”, the next step was to look at redeploying their capital.

In its 2018 report entitled, “Competitive Climate Policy: Supporting Investment and Innovation”, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers makes the case succinctly:

The Canadian oil and natural gas sector is supportive of climate policies that are effective and efficient, and take into account cumulative impacts including taxation, market access, and regulatory review processes. With the right policies in place, the Canadian industry can be competitive, can attract investment and can reduce GHG emissions.

However, current climate and other policies are inefficient and duplicative, and are combining to create unintended consequences such as driving investment away from Canada into other countries that have less robust emissions-reduction policies. This emerging policy environment promotes carbon leakage and therefore does not lead to global emissions reduction.

Once again, unexpected consequences of poorly considered policies, which led to the demise of the Ontario Liberal Party, is leading to the demise of the energy sector in Canada, and with it, the unintended consequence of carbon leakage.

For those not aware, carbon leakage is the shift of greenhouse gas emissions from one part of the world to another, usually because of governments implementing uncompetitive policies. An example of carbon leakage can be seen in Canada as the Liberal government's tax policies increase cost to industry, and as a result, industry shifts its investments elsewhere. The implications of carbon leakage are both economic and emission related. (1110)

Economically, we are seeing reduced investment in Canada and the loss of good-paying jobs for Canadian families. Globally, as investment and jobs shift, we will see an increase in emissions, because that production is going to be moved to countries that do not have anywhere near Canada's world-leading regulatory regime. However, there is still time to reverse the course of declining investment in Canadian industry, time to stop carbon leakage, and time to support the growing but fragile clean-tech industry right here in Canada.

Canada's clean-tech energy industry now ranks fourth-highest globally and first in the G20. Canadian clean-tech businesses is already booming, accounting for 3.1% of our GDP, or $59.3 billion. According to the 2016 report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, “De-Risking the Adoption of Clean Technology in Canada's Natural Resources Sector”. There were 800 companies that employed 55,300 direct jobs, with $17 billion in revenue. Clean-tech firms paid 48% more than the Canadian average wage.

Eleven of the top 100 clean-tech companies are in Canada. Global clean-tech market value, by trade, is $1 trillion. Canada's share is 1.4%, or the 26th-largest in the world.

Canada has some great clean-tech stories to share, such as Montreal-based GHGSat, which can track global greenhouse gases from any industrial site in the world using a high-resolution satellite. This technology, more accurate and affordable than its alternatives, enables oil and gas companies to better understand, control, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There is Manitoba-based HD-Petroleum, which has created small-scale waste-oil micro-refinery units that transform used oil into diesel fuel. The cost of implementing this technology is relatively inexpensive, and the recycling process substantially reduces GHG emissions when compared with more traditional oil-disposal methods.

There is lmaginea, which uses its clean hydrocarbon ecosystem to deliver energy produced with the use of zero freshwater and with no toxic emissions or air pollution; DarkVision, which developed a new ultrasound technology that allows companies to create 3D images of the inside of oil wells, enabling them to make more informed and cost-effective production decisions; and Unsist, a company that uses artificial intelligence to help oil and gas companies make better production and operational choices.

These are just a few of the success stories right here in Canada's clean-tech sector. However, as I have said, it is a fragile sector that needs more than subsidies to thrive.

If we are serious about mitigating climate change, if we are serious about becoming a global leader in clean tech and ensuring that future jobs will be in Canada, we need sound fiscal policies and a competitive tax regime in Canada. We need to support the industry, which in turn will support the growth of Canada's clean-tech sector. Industry leaders have told us that they will do this, because it makes sense, it is good for business, and it is good for the environment in which their families and the families of their employees live, work, and play.

Making policy decisions regarding the energy...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... to Alberta for work. It is very dangerous and hard work. It is hard for them to be away from their families. Often, people come home with addictions or injuries.

I now bump into people who have...”

Mr. François Choquette (Drummond, NDP)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ht climate change.

What plan do the Liberals' have for energy efficiency and helping Canadian families? They do not have one. That is why we need to adopt today's motion. The Liberals need to un...”

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...leagues. Is the NDP prepared to support the carbon tax regardless of how much it will cost Canadian families? Is the sky the limit? Is the NDP going to just give the Liberal government a blank cheque ...”

Ms. Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River, NDP)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... workers don’t have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families; and (c) not spending billions of public dollars on increasingly obsolete fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies that increase greenhouse gas emissions and pollution and put Canadians’ health and Canada’s environment, coastlines, waterways, and wildlife, as well as Canada’s marine and tourism jobs at risk.

That is what we are talking about today. It has been disheartening to hear some of the comments in the House. Some people do not believe that climate change is happening. They do not believe it is something that we can impact. I completely disagree. I hear, “Canada has low emissions compared to other countries.” We cannot negate responsibility if we say we are not as bad as someone else. These are the realities our country and our world are facing.

Today we are standing in the House and we are asking Canada to be a climate leader. This is an opportunity for us to lead the way, to invest in technology and industry that other people will use, another way for Canada to build its economy. In fact, we know that Ceres and Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates there will be $12 trillion U.S. in renewable energy spending up for grabs for the next 25 years. The countries that come out ahead will be those that develop the technologies, the thinking, and the experience first, and use it to compete and grow in a global market for clean energy solutions.

That is a plan for Canada that I can get really excited about. What we have now is the reality that we have a government that has bought a 65-year-old pipeline that will bring less than 3,000 jobs. These are going to be direct short-term jobs that are created from the building of this pipeline and will only last during its construction, with less than 100 jobs remaining in place once it is constructed.

The commitment from the government, another broken promise, was the ending of fossil fuel subsidies. This would have been a step in putting renewable alternatives on a level playing field with the oil and gas sector. The Auditor General's spring report of 2017 concluded that the government has no intention of stopping the subsidies to fossil fuels.

On June 1, 2017, the Columbia Institute's Centre for Civic Governance released a report card, which found the Liberal government had not kept 50% of its climate change promises. The report card found that Canada had not established scientific GHG targets aligned with the Paris Agreement, was not guaranteeing new infrastructure funding that would not lock Canadians into a high-carbon pathway, was delaying the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, was not giving priority to community and indigenous-owned renewable energy projects, and was not developing a national thermal energy strategy.

This is very concerning for the people in my riding. In my riding of North Island—Powell River, we see a lot of people coming forward wanting to see a changing economy and wanting to see us moving towards an environmentally friendly economy. They want to be part of a strategy. They know where we are today. They know that oil and gas is an important part of our country, but it is something we need to look at, have more of a balanced approach, and move towards a more meaningful change in the future.

When I think of some of the specific challenges that have happened in my riding, I think of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation in Kingcome Inlet. Over a year ago, unfortunately, a fish farm left diesel running all night. There was a huge diesel spill in their territory. They talked to me about going to that area and seeing, on top of the fish farm, some pads to absorb the diesel, but nothing else happening as the diesel was flowing in their waterways. (1325)

They asked to be a part of that. They wanted to have some training and some support to actually start implementing some of the things they needed to see happening. They waited hours for action. They are waiting now for more consultation and discussion. These are some of the important things that are happening.

Just recently, on Read Island and in Campbell River, we had forest fires in May. That is in my riding. That is something we do not usually see.

However, there are a lot of positive things happening. Recently, I participated in a “Forestry Proud” community event in Port McNeill. This event was showcasing the changing face of forestry, and talking about the history of forestry within our riding. We also took a look at green technology and how they are looking at new ways to harvest trees without such a large impact, while protecting some of those well-paying jobs that we have in our riding.

I think of the work that North Island College is doing. Right now it is working with several marine renewable energy companies in an effort to utilize the tidal currents we have in Campbell River, which are some of the best in all of the world, as well as looking at the wave energy available to south Vancouver Island. North Island College is working really hard and wanting to see investments so it can look at these initiatives that will support smaller communities and have a more impactful way around the environment.

I think of Jack Springer from Campbell River Whale Watching, who is working with Green Tourism Canada on an environmental certificate program in tourism and hospitality. Jack said it well. He said, “We've chosen to first clean up our own act.” Right now he has contributed about $5,000 to the Greenways Land Trust to maintain trails and the surrounding ecosystem. Greenways does so much good work in our area, and I am so proud of the investment it is seeing there.

I also think of another small business, Small Planet Energy, which is working across and outside the riding to help businesses and homeowners do more things for alternative energy so that they can be part of the change that so many Canadians want to see. What we have seen with that business is great growth, because so many people are interested in investing. They want to see that leadership and want to be part of it to see a more green economy, to make sure they are investing in things that will not harm the Earth for the future of their children.

Here we are today in the House asking the government to follow the leadership of so many members of communities across the country who are looking for a greener economy. They are investing in it themselves and want to see that reflected by their government.

I come from communities that have seen a lot of ups and downs. My riding has a strong resource-based economy in fisheries, forestry, and mining. One of the challenges is how boom and bust that is. We know that our small communities have paid a lot of taxes, and when those boom and bust cycles come we are often forgotten.

When I look at tackling climate change, it can actually allow us to make smart investments, to develop local communities, to look at small communities and see how we can support them. We can see the increase in energy efficiency. We can tackle pollution and promote Canadian entrepreneurship and skills building in the trillion-dollar global clean energy economy.

It is really important that we see the government take these steps. We are still waiting for that. We are still seeing significant investment in oil and gas sector subsidies. Where are the subsidies for those small businesses, like the one I talked about earlier, that are actively taking every step they can to educate people, to work with people, to find the most affordable way for people to look at alternative energy and become part of that cycle.

We are asking for leadership right now so that we can see actions that improve both our economy and the environmental outcomes for all of our country. We must put workers at the heart of this strategy. It is so important that we remember we do not have to set up that false choice of choosing between a good job and a healthy environment for workers, for their families, and for their communities.

I appreciate some of the hard work that is happening. I t...”

Ms. Rachel Blaney

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...round world are also using our technology and we can protect farms long term. Those communities and families deserve to have farms that work and if there is a huge amount of climate change, they are g...”

Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, NDP)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ontinue to have increasingly harsh impacts of climate change that threaten all our jobs and all our families, or we can choose a path to a low-carbon economy, one that creates good, family-supporting ...”

Mr. Robert Oliphant (Don Valley West, Lib.)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...next 70 years and the lasting impact the hospital will continue to have on Canadian veterans, their families, as well as the wider community.”

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...“yes”.

A protracted trade war with respect to this issue has a significant impact on Canadian families. Whirlpool, a company in my riding of Milton, Ontario, has indicated that it is going to in...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ding to the Fraser Institute, since this Liberal government and Prime Minister were elected, 81% of families are paying more taxes than they paid under former governments.

How can the Prime Mini...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...anada child benefit. I think that it is important. What we did is give more money to nine out of 10 families across the country. To do that, we stopped sending benefits to the wealthiest families. We have lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty across the country. That i...”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...mental problems. One, it does not look at the Canada child benefit, which is helping nine out of 10 families. Two, it looks at the payments people make into the Canada pension plan and calls them a tax.

Therefore, we can say that we lowered taxes on middle-class Canadians. It is very clear. From our standpoint, we have helped our economy by putting more money in people's pockets. Nine out of 10 families are better off, and that has helped our economy.”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... providing. The promise of the Liberals was not that they were going to raise taxes on middle-class families and give a bit of it back through government spending. They promised that taxes would go down for the middle class, but in fact they have gone up.

Second, the report to which I referred has nothing to do with CPP payroll taxes. It said that for middle-class Canadians, 80% are paying more income tax since this government took office.

How much more will these same families pay under the new proposed carbon tax?”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...oing to that riding. What does that mean? It means 18,000 children are better off. More than 10,000 families get, on average, more than $4,000 after tax. Perhaps the member should talk to people in his riding to understand how they are doing. They are doing better because we have helped Canadian families to raise their families for tomorrow.”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...lection of the situation. The numbers are clear. Thanks to the Canada child benefit, nine out of 10 families are better off. We also cut taxes for the middle class. Those are the real numbers.

Because of our policies, our economy is stronger. That means economic growth is higher, which is great for the families of today and tomorrow.”

Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... supply management. We will continue to defend it, as we will defend the interests of Canadian farm families and all our dairy producers.

The Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture, the cau...”

Mr. Mark Strahl (Chilliwack—Hope, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...oultry in the world.

Maintaining Canada's system of supply management is critical to the farm families that make up the backbone of my community. These families were worried when the Prime Minister went on American television and said that he was willi...”

Ms. Emmanuella Lambropoulos (Saint-Laurent, Lib.)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...hat there are nearly 2,200 homeless veterans across the country. In talking with veterans and their families, we have learned that there are many factors contributing to veteran homelessness, includin...”

Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er, I thank my colleague, the hon. member for Saint-Laurent, for her support for veterans and their families.

Veteran homelessness is unacceptable. One homeless veteran is too many. Last week, I...”

Mr. Wayne Stetski (Kootenay—Columbia, NDP)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... workers don’t have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families”. Also, with local energy production, people do not have to leave home in order to make a l...”

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

June 12th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... workers don’t have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families....

Again, it is motherhood and apple pie. Who could disagree with that?

The ki...”

Mr. Marc Serré (Nickel Belt, Lib.)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...d abilities, particularly persons with a physical disability, aging individuals, seniors, and their families in Canada.

I would like to highlight a couple of key benefits that visitability can bring to the senior demographic, specifically since my hon. colleague from Tobique—Mactaquac mentioned my motion calling for a national seniors strategy, Motion No. 106. This is something that must include the aspects of minimum standards for accessible housing.

Visitable homes can give the opportunity to welcome and include guests who use a mobility device, such as a wheelchair or walker, into residential homes, which would help reduce the isolation that can be experienced by seniors and persons with a disability and increase opportunities for social interaction and inclusive communities.

Also, as people age, visitable homes can help residents age in place and live at home longer, avoiding the necessity to move into an institutional setting. A house with a non-step entrance can also help reduce the number of falls and stairs-related injuries of seniors, which in turn would help save health care costs.

Visitable housing can reduce the length of hospital visits, something that seniors tend to experience more frequently than those who are younger. Because of accessibility features in the home, people can return home more quickly following an injury or a diagnosis of a mobility disability.

When visitability features are planned from the outset, costs can be negligible. Retrofits of a conventional home to make it visitable cost significantly more than making the building visitable from the outset. That is from the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies in 2017.

Speaking of costs, it is also important to note that incorporating visitability features in the design stage of building a new home reduces the cost of modifying the home to meet the changing accessibility needs of residents over the course of their lifespan. This means that the more I am aware of now, the better I can plan for my future when it comes to decisions about my home or in the event I need or wish to move homes.

Research from VisitAble Housing Canada indicates that, with planning, the cost of a non-step entrance can be less than $250, and wider doors are as little as $5 to $25. On average, in new home builds, main floor accessible bathrooms do not cost anything additional when planned properly.

I would also like to point out that there are additional low-cost visitable design features, as cited by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies in 2017, which may be added to improve accessibility and the ability for all of us to age in place. They include lever door handles; lever kitchen and bathroom faucets; raised electrical outlets; lowered climate controls; lowered light switches; and reinforced bathroom walls for future installation of grab bars or ceiling track lifts. These are very important features to plan ahead for.

I have worked as a school board trustee for Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario, as a municipal councillor in West Nipissing, and as a regional director of the Canadian Hearing Society, working closely with the March of Dimes and the CNIB. I understand and have seen first-hand the many struggles faced by the not-for-profit sectors and the clients they serve.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the honour of participating in the official launch of the valley community ramp project, thanks to the Access2all foundation and its co-founders Dan Lebrun and Nadine Law. Access2all is a not-for-profit community group based out of Greater Sudbury. Its mission is to promote an inclusive community by opening doors and removing barriers, as Motion No. 157 seeks to do. Access2all does this by donating custom-built ramps to the business community. However, this project would not be possible without the support and participation of many community partners. (1120) [Translation]

This project was launched at Bitter Bill's Ice Cream Parlour in Val Caron. Those in attendance included enthusiastic students from the Grade 7-8 leadership group “Val Coeur On”, led by Chantale Goudreau from École élémentaire Jean-Paul II, as well as partnership representatives from Cambrian College and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 2486, in Azilda. All were present to celebrate the delivery of the donated custom built access ramp.

The students at École Jean-Paul II partnered with Access2all to see how they could help make their community more accessible. The students started off by doing an accessibility audit to see if there was a need in their community. They then chose a few businesses and organizations that they felt should be accessible to their peers, such as Bitter Bill's Ice Cream Parlour and Chico's Bowl and Sports Lounge, in the Valley.

The ramps were then painted and given to the organizations by the École Jean-Paul II students. All construction materials for these ramps were donated by local lumber stores, including Rona in Valley East. Thanks to the volunteers and all of the community partners, Access2All has been able to pursue this program.

There can be no doubt that this initiative has numerous benefits. For example, thanks to this project, little Katie, a student at Jean-Paul II elementary school, can now go get ice cream with her friends, something she could not do before, because the ice cream parlour did not have a wheelchair ramp.

Having worked in the non-profit sector and in accessibility, I strongly believe in building an environment that is accessible to all.

I commend Dan and Nadine for founding Access2all. It is a fantastic initiative. I also want to send out a special thanks to Jean-Paul II elementary school, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 2486, in Azilda, Cambrian College, Rona, and all the volunteers who made this project a reality. This initiative is a great example of the kinds of solutions and results that are possible when the community gets involved and works hard together. That is why Motion No. 157, the visitability motion we are discussing today, is so important. (1125) [English]

There is no doubt that this initiative is a shining example of the solutions and results we can come up with when community leaders get together and work hard to ensure everyone has access to the services and activities in the community.

Motion No. 157 is important to all Canadians. Visitability is about social justice for all. It is about providing accessible places to all: our families, our communities, our neighbours, our seniors, people with an ability, and our young families.

Visitability is important. Motion No. 157 is important. It is about inclusivity.

I want to thank my good friend, the MP for Tobique—Mactaquac, for giving me the opportunity to speak to this motion, and the importance visitability can have for all Canadians, of all ages and abilities, particularly persons with a physical disability, aging individuals, seniors, and their families in Canada.

Meegwetch.”

Mrs. Eva Nassif (Vimy, Lib.)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...etings where information is exchanged and decisions are made. Women with reduced mobility and their families may refuse invitations to places that are difficult to access. Economic insecurity and inaccessibility, which are common among women with a disability, can lead them to live in places where there is no basic accessibility or to remain in precarious situations where they cannot exercise their autonomy because they depend on their partner or family. Single mothers who have children with a severe disability and who cannot afford accessible housing or cannot visit their families run the risk of not getting the help they often need. Visitability is crucial in order to p...”

Mr. T.J. Harvey (Tobique—Mactaquac, Lib.)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... is not just for the benefit of persons with a disability but for all Canadians, including seniors, families, persons without a disability, and all of us in this place. Bringing visitability before th...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...se that, and to demand that the Liberal government start speaking up for the people of Iran and the families impacted, like Ms. Mombeini. It should be speaking up for the very principles that it talke...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole

June 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...oronto, who have been in touch with us. I met with them weeks ago, and they are concerned for their families. We have heard that from some of the debates in this House. They are concerned for Ms. Momb...”

Mr. Louis Plamondon (Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel, QD)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...uebeckers are reconsidering their summer vacation plans because of gas prices. That is bad news for families, and even worse news for remote regions like the Gaspé, whose economies depend on summer to...”

Mrs. Kelly Block (Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...autiful, and immensely important vocation. Fathers contribute immeasurably to the strength of their families and to the success of our communities.

My life has been informed by amazing examples ...”

Mr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Winnipeg Centre, Lib.)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ian residential school system was a systematic plan to remove indigenous children from their homes, families, and cultures to facilitate in the stated policy of killing the Indian in the child. When P...”

Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley—Aldergrove, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...h were incredible men of God, who lived their faith with integrity and commitment. They loved their families and were role models for good. I am now the role model for my children and grandchildren. I...”

Mrs. Cathy McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...er, 10 years ago today, Prime Minister Harper gave a heartfelt apology to former students and their families for Canada's role in the operation of residential schools. In it he stated:

The Gover...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... of more tariffs at us. We are all Canadians first, and we will stand with Canadian workers and the families impacted by this escalating trade war.

Can the Prime Minister tell Canadians what his...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...y this growing trade dispute.

We could immediately ratify the TPP, the carbon tax on Canadian families and businesses could be scrapped, and we could eliminate trade barriers between provinces. These would all have positive effects.

Will the Prime Minister begin working with Conservatives on these constructive solutions that will help Canadian families who will be impacted by this trade war?”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...y lowering taxes on middle-class Canadians. We moved forward with child benefits for nine out of 10 families, giving them an average of $2,300 more after tax for their families.

The kinds of things we did led to more disposable income for Canadians so they could...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...arbon tax. The government knows full well how much the Liberal carbon tax is going to cost Canadian families. The problem is that the Liberals have the document in their hands and are keeping it from ...”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we are proud of our approach because it is the right one for Canadian families. We decided to invest in Canadian workers. That is very important to our efforts to grow the economy and reduce our unemployment rate. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in 40 years. That is good for our economy and for families. Our economy is resilient for the future.”

Mr. Jamie Schmale (Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, CPC)

June 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...cept the Prime Minister's scheme for higher taxes.

We know taxes make life more expensive for families, increasing the cost of home heating, electricity, groceries, gasoline, and much more. When...”

Mr. Dane Lloyd

June 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...d the great work it does here on Parliament Hill to raise issues of concern and to advocate for the families whose members were killed in the 1980s, which was hidden by the regime. We need to hold the...”

Hon. Andrew Leslie (Orléans, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... calls, and get engaged in the political process. This was truly a Canadian election. I thank their families, friends, and communities for being involved in our democracy as well.[Translation]

I...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... the decency to tell Canadians the truth? How much is the Liberal carbon tax going to cost Canadian families?”

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tions of President Trump. Millions of Canadians are worried about how a trade war will impact their families and their communities. No one can predict what President Trump will do next. Will the gover...”

Mr. Jean-Claude Poissant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... created supply management. We will continue to defend it and protect it, and all interests of farm families.”

Mr. David Lametti (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ands of children out of poverty with our Canada child benefit that benefits nine out of 10 Canadian families. We have a plan, it is the right plan, and that plan is working.”

Mr. Jonathan Wilkinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ro-emissions buses in Winnipeg, and Landmark Homes, which makes energy-efficient homes for Edmonton families. They know that pricing pollution encourages innovation and will bring good, new middle-cla...”

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...it is time for the Prime Minister to stop forcing his punishing carbon tax on middle-class Canadian families. Farmers in Kitchener—Conestoga are especially concerned about this unfair tax, which would...”

Mr. Arnold Viersen (Peace River—Westlock, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ns will reject this terrible tax. The Prime Minister has to stop forcing his carbon tax on Canadian families.

When will the Prime Minister listen to Canadians and abandon his terrible carbon tax...”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Liberal government's carbon tax.

Will the Prime Minister now, finally, listen to middle-class families and scrap his carbon tax?”

Mr. Robert Kitchen (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nister's job-killing carbon tax.

When will the Prime Minister stop his attack on middle-class families and axe his carbon tax?”

Mr. Jean-Claude Poissant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, our government supports the supply management system, and we support farmers and their families. It was our party that fought to establish the system, and we are still protecting and defending it. We have always said that it is an excellent system.

Do the Harper Conservatives want us to sign just any deal? This government will only sign a deal that is good for all Canadians. We will continue to support supply-managed farmers, their families, and all of our agricultural interests.”

Mr. Jean-Claude Poissant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our government supports the supply management system, farmers, and their families. This system is a model of stability around the world. Our party fought to implement this system, and we will continue to protect and defend it.

We have said many times that the proposals from our American partners about supply management are unacceptable. We will continue to protect supply-managed producers, their families, and all agricultural interests.”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ear officially from parents who have lost infants, organizations who advocate on behalf of bereaved families, experts in the area of grief counselling, and officials responsible for our government programs.

There are numerous cases in which parents have suddenly lost a child. I am familiar with many myself. However, today, I would like to draw attention to Rachel and Rob Samulack's experience, who say:

“Our son Aaron was diagnosed with bilateral renal agenesis, which means he was missing kidneys at 20 weeks gestation. This condition is deemed incompatible with life. Despite pressure to terminate the pregnancy, we decided to continue the pregnancy with the support of the perinatal hospice program at Roger Neilson House. Despite the fact our son was critically ill, I was ineligible to receive compassionate care benefits or benefits to care for a critically ill child, as he was ill in utero. I continued to work full-time hours until 33 weeks gestation while attending numerous medical appointments, because I had no other option.

“Aaron was born on Father's Day, June 19, 2016. We spent 100 precious minutes with Aaron. He had beautiful strawberry blonde hair and looked so much like our older son Gabriel. Gabriel met him, as did his grandparents and aunts and uncles. It was hard, but it was beautiful. Aaron passed away in our arms surrounded by love.

“When Aaron died on the day he was born, my total of 15 weeks of maternity benefits started counting down. I was ineligible for parental leave benefits, as my son had died.

“When I returned to work after 15 weeks, Rob was in nursing school and our other son was two years old at the time. I had to repeatedly tell coworkers why I had returned months earlier than planned. I cried alone daily in the washroom and took a pay cut so I could work four days a week.

“If an infant dies while a parent is on parental leave, the parental benefits stop that day. They are left with three days of bereavement leave, and up to 15 weeks of sickness El benefits—if they are told about them and apply for them. Singing to my dying son, then later putting yellow roses on his tiny casket as we buried him, left me with barely the strength to cry, let alone navigate applying for sickness benefits. (1340)

“I was never told about these additional benefits by my employer, which is the federal public service. Despite the recent addition of two more bereavement days through Bill C-63, Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2, five days of bereavement leave is just not enough. Until you have had to plan a funeral for your child and bury them, it is hard to fathom the extended grief that accompanies this type of loss.

“With the support of our friends and families, Rob and I organized the first charity walk/run for pregnancy and infant loss in Ottawa, called The Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau. The Butterfly Run originally started in Belleville, Ontario, in 2016. The run was created to support individuals and families experiencing infertility or pregnancy and infant loss and to provide a community for those experiencing such losses. On Oct. 14, 2017, exactly one year after I returned to work following Aaron's loss, Aaron's Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau was held. Approximately 400 people participated in the run and more than $30,000 was raised for pregnancy and infant loss programs at Roger Neilson House.”

This is one of the downfalls of government being too big. Looking at Rachel and Rob's experience, we can see that big government programs can sometimes paint broad strokes for people, causing those who need special assistance to be overlooked. Evidently the current system is not designed to serve parents who undergo such a loss. It has a blind spot that we now have all been made aware of, thanks to this motion.

Rachel works for the Government of Canada but was not even made aware of the benefits due to her. If it is like this in the public sector, imagine the difficulties for those in the private sector. Rachel and Rob have stepped up in an incredible way, and it is now on us who sit in the House to do the same. We have an opportunity to stand in the gap on behalf of these families. This is a moment when all parties can come together for the benefit of Canada.

In listening to other hon. members speak to Motion No. 110, I can clearly see that there is a fundamental belief across all party lines that we need to support those families who suffer from such a loss. We should not have to debate whether or not we should study this issue. Therefore, I invite all members to join me in support of Motion No. 110 so that we can move forward on finding some concrete solutions for these families.”

Mr. Sean Fraser (Central Nova, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ng hard to join it. Part of fulfilling this promise, in my mind, is ensuring that parents and their families are supported during their greatest times of need.

When a parent loses an infant child to a random or tragic event, the emotional pain can be crippling for life. They should not have to worry about losing their jobs because they need to take time away from work. They should not have to worry about not having enough to pay the bills at home because their pay cheques have stopped coming in because they have been away from their jobs. We need to be there as a government for these Canadians, and while there are some supports available, we always need to be asking whether it is enough.

The existing supports include bereavement and sick leave under the Canada Labour Code as well as employment insurance sickness benefits, along with community-based and employer supports for some employees.

Our government has made a number of changes to help families. For example, we have created a new family El caregiver benefit of up to 15 weeks to care f...”

Ms. Julie Dabrusin (Toronto—Danforth, Lib.)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... with a name that creates a false positive when it matches a name that is on the no-fly list. These families are unable to check in for a flight online, which can result in missed flights if a plane is overbooked, but more importantly, these families feel stigmatized and uncomfortable being stopped in the airport for additional screening ba...”

Ms. Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River, NDP)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...peaker, I especially appreciate the member's dedication to the no-fly kids and the challenges those families face when they try to travel and having their name screened as being a dangerous one. I cannot imagine walking into an airport and having my three-year old being accused of something as terrible as this.

However, I would like some clarity on is this. An amendment was proposed by the NDP to ensure individuals had access to the existing pool of special advocates so they could defend themselves against secret evidence they did not always have access to, but was being used against them. How does the member square that? Families need to know that. Waiting three years is a long time. Understanding why they are being sto...”

Ms. Julie Dabrusin

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...be matched.

I appreciate that my friend from across the way understands the concerns of these families.”

Mr. François Choquette

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s mechanism to help people who suffer the consequences from being added to this list. Some Canadian families are very concerned. They want to protect their rights because children are at risk of being...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... and enhanced procedural protections for youth. The act also recognizes the importance of involving families, victims, and communities in the youth criminal justice system.

The YCJA contains a n...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...government had months to prepare for this, but it did nothing. Steel and aluminum workers and their families are being hurt by these tariffs right now, but instead of having a plan ready to immediatel...”

Hon. Mélanie Joly (Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...he summer.

The CPTPP would provide unparalleled benefits for hard-working Canadians and their families. We have worked hard to improve the deal, and we have made real gains for the middle class....”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... that have led to an $800 tax increase on the average middle-class family. How much more will those families pay under the new Liberal carbon tax?”

Mr. Jean Rioux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...clearly that we must take care of the well-being of the men and women of the armed forces and their families.

Unlike the Conservatives, we promised to increase defence spending by 70% over the n...”

Mrs. Kelly Block (Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, CPC)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...his carbon tax or will he listen to farmers and recognize that the carbon tax is crippling our farm families?”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...They gave boutique tax credits to wealthy Canadians, delivered child benefit cheques to millionaire families, and then when we moved forward with lowering taxes for the middle class and raising them on the wealthiest 1%, they voted against it. Then we moved forward on a Canada child benefit to give more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families and did not send child benefit cheques to millionaires, while lifting hundreds of thousands...”

Mr. Alupa Clarke

June 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...h public consultations by many residents from the ridings of Québec, represented by the Minister of Families, Louis-Hébert, represented by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Louis...”

Ms. Anita Vandenbeld (Ottawa West—Nepean, Lib.)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ry day in Canada, five women die from ovarian cancer. Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and their families deserve to have access to new therapies to improve their odds of survival. With no screenin...”

Mr. Todd Doherty (Cariboo—Prince George, CPC)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... within 24 hours, I believe, there were about 500 lobster fishermen who were very upset. The fisher families, the men and women who make their living in our coastal communities, depend on these fisheries. It is seasonal work. Whether a person owns a boat or works on a boat, or works in a factory, such as those in the town of Grand Bank where I have spent so much time in the last while over the surf clam issue, the “clam scam”, they are greatly impacted by decisions that are made in Ottawa without consultation. Thus, I ask members to pay close attention to that bullet. It is bullet (iii) of Motion No. 154.

The final bullet says, “and that the Committee present its final report to the House” by the end of the 2018 calendar year. As I said earlier, the Conservative Party cares about our whales. We care deeply about our marine habitat. We want clean oceans and waterways. I fish. I hunt. I want our waterways to be clear and fresh. I want our air to be fresh for my kids and my grandkids as we move forward. We all want that. When we listen to some of our colleagues, of course, they think we are the spawns of the devil, just ogres. However, we care deeply about our marine habitat, and we will be supporting this motion.

I look forward to working with my colleagues at the fisheries committee, because we do great work there. This is a committee that is made up of all parties and is, of course, led by the Liberal side. However, we have done some incredible work. We did some great work on the marine protected area study. However, again we found out that the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, as well as the Minister of Transport, like to talk about consultation and our indigenous peoples being the most important relationship that they have, yet time and time again what we do we see? We see no consultation. That is why, no different than the surf clam or the clam scam, we are seeing indigenous groups now taking the government to court because it is not consulting. (1125)

As a matter of fact, there is an organization that is made up of fishers and processors from right across our country, who said that when the Conservatives were in power, there were consistent regulations. The group may not have always liked them, but there was consistent access to ministers and it had a seat at the table. This group, a national organization, told me that with the current government, if it wants to see a minister or get a seat at the table, it has to go through an NGO, an environmental group, first.

I have attended events and functions which were supposed to be fishery round tables. The minister is very accommodating. He allows me as the fisheries critic or shadow minister to attend them, along with the NDP shadow minister or critic. However, at the one I attended, there was not one fisher there. It was entirely environmental groups. So be it, but I have to commend my hon. colleague from New Brunswick Southwest for adding (iii), which says, “those who might be impacted by any possible actions, and working to find a balance among various competing claims”.

I want to talk about the announcements within the last 24 hours. I am not a fisherman, which I said earlier, and far be it for me to talk about the process and how it goes. However, I have spent some time on the docks of Grand Bank, Newfoundland, and Halifax, and I have talked to the fishers. I have been on the ground. I have been at Sharon's in Grand Bank and had coffee with the men and women who work either in the factory or on boats. I have spoken with them and heard their stories. I have asked them how long it takes for them to go out to sea and back and, for this fishery, it takes about six days.

This is some of the hardest work that anyone can imagine, but these workers do it and have done it for generations. Their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, have done it. They talk about the wounds of the past that go straight up the middle of Grand Bank, as there is not one family that has not been negatively impacted by this industry and not lost a family member to the sea. They work hard, they toil, trying to make a living for their communities and families. They expect their government to back them up or, at the very least, when it is making legislation, to consult them. They want the government to bring them to the table, tell them what it plans to do, and ask them how it will impact them. They want to be consulted when the government says it understands it is going to have a negative impact but that it needs to do it to save the whales.

Everyone agrees, and I am correct on that. We just bought a 65-year-old pipeline for $4.5 billion. That is not going to build even an inch of pipeline. We just gave $4.5 billion to a Texas oil company; thanks very much. There was no consultation.

There have been closures announced in the last 24 hours, and the fishermen and their families were given less than 72 hours to get their gear out of the water. I do not know how far off...”

Mr. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York, Lib.)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...“Cetaceans possess intelligence, emotions, social lives that include extremely close bonds to their families, complex communication skills and roaming lifestyles.”

I would put it this way: We sh...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...adam Speaker, it is my privilege, and I am proud, to represent all the hard-working men, women, and families of Lakeland, including indigenous people across Lakeland in the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Wh...”

Ms. Georgina Jolibois

June 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...le, Cree, Dene, Michif, Inuit from coast to coast to coast is to include the elders, the youth, the families in a setting where we have an opportunity to voice our concerns and our matters.”

Mr. Marc Serré (Nickel Belt, Lib.)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ry devoted advocate for social justice.[Translation]

Today I invite my colleagues to join the families in honouring the memory of all former parliamentarians who passed away in the last year. Th...”

Hon. Steven Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, CPC)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... in early July recognizing the benefits of this white gold.

Like farms owned by many Canadian families, the M. G. L'Heureux farm in Saint-Henri, Bellechasse, proudly produces high-quality milk. ...”

Mr. Richard Hébert (Lac-Saint-Jean, Lib.)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ality.[Translation]

Our government understands the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on families and their loved ones. That is why we invest nearly $50 million a year so that we can contin...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ge on the world stage.

Will the ag minister finally admit that the carbon tax is bad for farm families, and maybe while he is at it, tell those families how much the carbon tax is going to cost them?”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ed hundreds of thousands of jobs. Why is the Prime Minister giving money to rich millionaires while families in the energy sector are struggling to make ends meet because of him?”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, for those families who are relying on a strong energy sector, we are doing exactly what we should do: a projec...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are outraged over the Canadian government's handling of the Trans Mountain project. The Lib...”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...my to invest in the pipeline in order to reach international markets. It is also very important for families, because of the number of associated jobs across the country. At the same time, we can boos...”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

June 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...how important the EI system is to providing income security and job transition opportunities to all families and workers, and in particular seasonal workers.

We have listened to our provincial a...”

Hon. Catherine McKenna

June 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the city's history, and it is also going to be awesome for families. People can get home faster, with less pollution. That is what people want.

We unders...”

Hon. David McGuinty (Ottawa South, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...se in the House today to congratulate it on 50 years of service to thousands and thousands of local families. Its mission is to help children acquire a positive attitude toward school and learning, an...”

Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry—Suroît, NDP)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...d will be used to fund research and prevention initiatives and to improve services for patients and families.

I want to thank all the organizers, volunteers, and participants in advance, and eve...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... that will hurt them and the beginning of a trade war. Why are steel and aluminum workers and their families going to have to suffer because the Liberal government failed to prepare for what we are se...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er, 146,000 Canadian steel and aluminum workers woke up today worried about their futures and their families. They support the government's retaliatory tariffs against Donald Trump, but they know that...”

Mr. Jamie Schmale (Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...economy to old news.

Atlantic Canadians do not think that creating good-paying jobs that keep families together and close to home is old news. The General Electric employees in Peterborough who ...”

Mr. Ramez Ayoub (Thérèse-De Blainville, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...gned a bilateral agreement on early learning and child care. This is an important step for Canadian families because, for the very first time, the federal government has entered into agreements with each province and territory to provide more affordable child care for Canadian families across the country.

Could the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell us more about the impact of this agreement on Canadian families?”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...mber for Thérèse-De Blainville for his considerable support for affordable and quality day care for families.

I am pleased to confirm that we recently signed an agreement for child care services...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ce 2001.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that his latest rule changes are hurting Canadian families? Will he relax the rules, from his ivory tower in Ottawa?”

Mrs. Karen Vecchio (Elgin—Middlesex—London, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Farmers throughout southwestern Ontario are concerned about their increased input costs. These families are the stewards of our land and are using cutting-edge technology to reduce their own emissions.

Is the Minister of Agriculture willing to stand and oppose this carbon tax on hard-working Canadian farmers and their families?”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...the return of the NDI 75 identification card. The NDI 75 is an ID card that many veterans and their families feel recognizes and appreciates the values and sacrifices made by the members of our armed ...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ble to do to strengthen the Canada child benefit has made such a difference to so many children and families in this country.

Could the minister tell us a little about how these initiatives are really reaching out to Canadians and responding to what Canadian families are asking for?”

Hon. Catherine McKenna

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ing this July, so that it will continue to increase in value every year, helping children and their families.

We have lowered the small business tax. This is really important. It will be lowered...”

Mr. Terry Duguid (Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...da child benefit. Since 2016, the government has also been providing additional support to Canadian families through the CCB. Compared to the old system of child benefits, the CCB gives low and middle-income parents more money each month, tax free, to help with the high cost of raising kids. The CCB is simpler, more generous, and better targeted to give more help to people who need it most.

Since its introduction in 2016, the CCB has helped lift hundreds of thousands of Canadian children out of poverty. Thanks to the CCB, nine out of 10 Canadian families have extra help each month to pay for things like summer camps, new bikes, and back-to-school clothes. Families who receive the CCB will get, on average, about $6,800 this year. That is money they are sp...”

Mrs. Rosemarie Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...askatchewan plan that tackles climate change without imposing the unfair carbon tax on Saskatchewan families. However, the Liberal government refused to accept it. The Liberals are forcing it on Saska...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...the member's riding on the number of jobs that have been created there since we took office and how families, and children in particular, in her riding have benefited as a result of the Canada child benefit, does the member not see the benefit of dollars going into the pockets of those families in her riding?”

Mr. Dan Vandal (Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ry positive impact on their lives and has lessened their financial burdens. Nine out of 10 Canadian families receive the CCB, and they receive, on average, $6,800 per year. This money directly improves the quality of life of Canadians, whether by ensuring that families can afford nutritious food or by helping them pay for extracurricular activities, such as music lessons or hockey programs.

This program will be indexed as of July, which means that the program will continue to grow and increase in value each and every year. I know that in my own constituency of Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, the CCB goes to over 8,800 families, directly benefiting 15,150 children. If we add the total benefits for those 15,150 children, we are looking at $4,938,000 in benefits going to the children of Saint Boniface—Saint Vital.

Unlike the previous program, the Canada child benefit is tax-free. That almost $5 million that is going to the children of Saint Boniface—Saint Vital is not taxed back at the end of the year. It stays with those families.

Budget 2018 would also introduce the new Canada workers benefit, which would give mo...”

Mr. Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, NDP)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ld have maybe offered some suggestions on how the government could mitigate the costs to low-income families and the costs to industries that are very fossil fuel reliant.

Speaking as the NDP's ...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... and bring a better balance to middle-class Canadians, those who work hard and try to support their families, but who always feel they are at an unfair disadvantage. We have been very focused on that ...”

Mr. Ken Hardie (Fleetwood—Port Kells, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... I started to use transit a lot more, and I ended up ahead. You want the average impact on Canadian families? If my family is average, then we are doing okay. Does he have any comments on that?”

Mr. Alexander Nuttall (Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... will charge HST on top of that. That is another 13%.

The carbon tax is going to cost average families $2,500 per year. What does that mean? It means higher food costs, higher gas costs, and higher costs of everything Canadians consume. That is the three-year legacy of the Liberal government. The fact that middle-class Canadians do not have trust funds seems to be lost on the Prime Minister and the finance minister. The legacy that we see over and over again, in budget after budget, is that the government can take and take from Canada's middle class, that it can take and take from the economy, and it can put that money wherever it sees fit. Then when it realizes that is not working, the government will take and take to buy a failing project whose failure, by the way, the government was responsible for in the beginning by introducing more and more taxes.

It is more taxes on payrolls; more taxes on gasoline as a result of the carbon tax; more taxes on Canadians across this country. That does not even begin to deal with the fact of red tape and environmental assessment after environmental assessment, the issues and regulations that constantly hold down the Canadian economy. The Liberal government constantly holds down Canada's poorest people who are looking for jobs, who are searching for that next job, who are looking for growth, and who want to create a new life for their families.

Those are the effects of the Liberal budget. Those are the effects we have seen from...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...al or end journey that the government wants to get to in order to improve the situation of Canadian families, and of job-seekers as well. I just do not see that in this budget. I did not see this in t...”

Hon. Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the 3,000 Canadian families living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, I want to point out that June is ALS Awa...”

Mr. David Tilson (Dufferin—Caledon, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... to demonstrate our support for the fight against ALS, so that together, we can support victims and families and promote research to find a cure.”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, today our thoughts are with the families of steel and aluminum workers in Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The Prime Minister went to these communities on a victory tour. He personally promised those families that he had fixed the issue. He walked into those communities as a saviour.

Today the...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are not partisan when fighting for Canadian interests. The families impacted by this decision do not want more platitudes from the Liberals. They want a plan. ...”

Mr. Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...He has no plan for this industry. Besides words, what concrete measures is he going to take for the families of workers who are worried sick about their future today?”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...orkers.

Steel and aluminum workers are worried about how they are going to take care of their families. Will the government assure the tens of thousands of workers who are now caught in this tra...”

Ms. Kim Rudd (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...we will not get there overnight, but we will get there.

This week is about providing Canadian families with certainty. No political interference should ever get in the way of that. Make no mista...”

Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ficant economic challenges and burdens. However, despite these obstacles, persons with MS and their families live lives of quiet and courageous dignity.

Let us raise awareness of MS as parliamen...”

Mr. Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...carbon tax will have on lowering greenhouse gas emissions and what that tax will cost Canadian farm families.

We believe that it is irresponsible of the government not to assess all of the impac...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...onomic growth is felt by everybody in society. Economic growth that brings everyone along gives all families a stake in Canadian economic success. This increased economic security energizes social for...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...w the government knows, because it has the documents. There is a 2015 memo that calculates how much families will pay based on the income they earn. Unfortunately, all the numbers are blacked out.

...”

Mr. Dan Ruimy

May 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Madam Speaker, the Canada child benefit has been proven to give more benefits to families with children. That is real action. That is what parents and families need to have to be able to get along today in this country.”

Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes

May 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...oal number one is no poverty. We introduced the Canada child benefit, which supports nine out of 10 families and will lift hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty. We are on target for 2021 to en...”

Hon. Steven Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... development, namely, the social aspect. The Liberals are increasing the tax burden on middle-class families. The Fraser Institute has clearly shown that Canadian families pay more tax.

In contrast, the previous Conservative government reduced taxes for the...”

Mr. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York, Lib.)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...e fair access to trials and treatments, no matter where they live in Canada or how much money their families have.””

Mr. Larry Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rder for all of us to carry out our work as MPs, it is vital to have the support of our spouses and families, but it does not end there. It takes good staff. Today I want to recognize two of my staff ...”

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...Miriam Taylor, the little newcomer, has been with us since the 2011 election. Her dedication to families caught in the bureaucracy of the immigration system is inspiring and she has put her heart ...”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... British Columbia and jobs across the country that are going to make a real difference for Canadian families. At the same time, we are adding up to $15 billion to our economy annually. We know this is...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

May 28th
Hansard Link

Points of Order

“...g in that proposed legislation that addresses any of the real gang and gun problems facing Canadian families, police, rural communities, first nations, inner cities, border agents, or the issue of rur...”

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, CPC)

May 28th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...cos suffered a horrible tragedy. The wrenching agony of losing 16 young people was overwhelming for families, friends, and the province. Stories of courage and generosity underscored the Saskatchewan ...”

Mr. Gagan Sikand (Mississauga—Streetsville, Lib.)

May 28th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ening last week, two birthday parties were being held at the Bombay Bhel restaurant. At a time when families and friends should be celebrating, the atmosphere of joy was quickly turned into an environ...”

Hon. Michelle Rempel (Calgary Nose Hill, CPC)

May 28th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“.... Part of the reason we introduced the super visa, in terms of service delivery, was to ensure that families were reunited faster. It was a 10-year multiple-entry visa, introduced by our Conservative ...”

Mr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Winnipeg Centre, Lib.)

May 28th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ple had to wait to get their spouses to come to our country, our great nation. We are trying to get families together to make sure they are more productive and able to work better.

Could the mem...”

Mr. Serge Cormier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

May 28th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...Canada is becoming more attractive to talented, skilled people, businesses, tourists, students, and families who want to contribute to our economic and social prosperity. For example, last year alone, the department processed more than 2.3 million temporary resident applications and more than five million passport applications, and it responded to nearly six million requests for information.

The government recognizes that a strong, effective, and efficient immigration system is not only desirable, but indispensable in every way for our country's future. With that in mind, IRCC has made it a priority to improve services for all of its clients. We know that by enhancing the quality of its services, Canada will be better placed to attract talent from around the world, boost trade and tourism, and help families reunite with loved ones or claim asylum in Canada.

We also know that while the number of applications in all of our business lines is rising, so are clients' expectations for faster, simpler services that are available electronically. Clients also have higher expectations of receiving updates on the status of their applications.

Because improving the client experience is a key priority for our government, IRCC recently launched a suite of initiatives aimed at improving service delivery and client experiences. The department also engages in an active dialogue with clients to better understand the issues they encounter.

To begin with, IRCC now has its very first client experience branch, whose mission is to improve services to clients. It is responsible for improving existing services, testing new and innovative approaches, and improving dialogue with clients. I would like to talk about these areas in greater detail.

The government knows that processing times have a major impact on client experience in all business lines. I can assure my colleagues that the department is working hard and will continue to work hard to reduce processing times for economic immigrants, citizenship applicants, family class immigrants, and refugees.

The department's commitment to reducing processing times and improving service delivery is already making a difference. For example, processing times for spousal reunification in Canada used to be 26 months or more. Now, most new spousal sponsorship applications are processed within 12 months. Processing times for citizenship applications have also dropped from 24 to 12 months. Family caregiver applications used to take as long as five to seven years. That was unacceptable. Now that we have made changes, those applications are also processed in under 12 months.

The new express entry system for economic immigrants has also improved client experience. Last year alone, more than 86,000 of these express entry candidates received invitations to apply for permanent residence. The system is easy to use for these potential applicants, who can easily create an online profile and, once they receive an invitation, can fill out an online application that will, in most cases, be processed in less than six months.

We acknowledge that improvements can still be made in some areas, and we know that ongoing discussions with stakeholders are important to simplify, clarify, and improve services in the various sectors. IRCC also regularly updates its website with information on processing times for the majority of its services to clients.

The department is establishing more and more service standards that it reviews regularly. Once a service standard is established, the observation rates are published annually on the IRCC website. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has opened visa application centres around the world, which is another excellent example of its commitment to providing more efficient services to clients. (1545)

Today we have a standard network of 137 centres in 95 countries. It provides claimants with several important support services, especially in areas where there are few or no visa offices.

These services include the reception and transmission of visa applications and documents, the return of processed documents to applicants, the scheduling of interviews, and the collection of biometric data. The centres also verify whether visa applications are complete, which expedites processing and helps decrease the number of applications rejected because they are incomplete.

At the same time that the government is undertaking initiatives to improve existing services, it is also testing new and innovative approaches in order to grow the Canadian economy through immigration. For example, last year we launched our global skills strategy to attract the best talent from other countries. It should be noted that a good number of the ideas that led to this strategy originated from stakeholders, particularly private sector employers, and we extend a very big thank you to them.

The strategy is designed to help Canadian employers recruit the highly skilled foreign talent they need when they need it. Whether employers need to bring in a professional to train Canadian workers, an experienced executive to lead a major expansion, or an expert with highly specialized, in-demand skills, our global skills strategy will make it faster for businesses in Canada to bring in the talent they need to succeed. To achieve this, the global skills strategy has set an ambitious two-week standard for processing visas and work permits for certain highly skilled workers for businesses operating in Canada.

Our government has also introduced a new work permit exemption for very short-duration work terms, for example 30 days or less for work in highly specialized fields and up to 120 days for researchers, which means less red tape for employers.

IRCC continues to innovate and invest in new ways to design its services. IRCC has also launched some design challenges that consist of choosing a service to improve and review from A to Z with the help of its clients.

Since 2016, IRCC has been tackling these design challenges with clients, consultants, lawyers, professors, immigration officers, call centre agents, and master's students in the design program at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Together, they have come up with new ideas that have been tested by our clients, then fine-tuned and turned into pilot projects. Using this approach, IRCC is creating solutions that directly address the issues raised by clients, so we can provide better services.

By understanding clients' frustrations and innovating to create a culture of service, IRCC is implementing lasting and major transformations.

We also need to recognize that the services provided by the government relate to some of the most important decisions and stages in the lives of our clients. It is vital that the delivery of those services reflects well on the Department of Citizenship and Immigration and showcases the best that Canada has to offer.

That is why our government has recently undertaken a series of initiatives to ensure that all of our actions reflect a positive attitude toward clients and our relationship with them.

For example, we want clients who contact the client support centre to be given information about their files more quickly, we want to provide sponsors with tools that will help them better track the status of their spousal sponsorship application, and we want to improve the online experience, since that is how a growing number of our clients are contacting the department.

The website is also constantly being improved to meet clients' needs. The department has already updated over 500 pages on the site. As members know, electronic applications also allow the IRCC to optimize the use of technologies and implement an effective application processing system so that it can offer clients simplified, more user-friendly services.

Our priorities include innovation and improving client service delivery. We know that, in addition to making service to IRCC's millions of clients better, our improvements will make our immigration system faster and more efficient, which is also good for our economy. Our government made a firm commitment to reunite families as quickly as possible, and these improvements will make that happen.

Ultimately, our...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

May 28th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...tion. We are making a real difference in processing times. The best example is the reunification of families. Imagine if a person is going to the Philippines or to India. In particular, I said I do a ...”

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

May 28th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... from cultural communities, people who came to live their lives in Canada in order to be with their families, for instance. God knows our assistants also deserve plenty of credit for the work they do ...”

Mr. Glen Motz (Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, CPC)

May 28th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...r economy, can expect delays of up to one year to get their permits. This means that they and their families could lose their access to medical care. There are employers who need to go through the labour market impact assessment process and end up getting rejected for their candidates because it takes too long.

Caregiver and family reunification is being delayed by months, if not years, while immigration officials deal with the mess at the border. Let us be clear. The burden and the backlogs are entirely because of the Prime Minister's irresponsible tweet. The minister should have gone to his boss back then and told him to fix the problem he created, but he did not. Now, thousands of Canadians and their families, legal immigrants, temporary foreign workers, and businesses are paying the price.

In my riding, agriculture co-operatives need very specific people for a specific growing season. Quite often, they are returning staff who have been through the process before. Here is what is happening. Delays to the labour market impact assessment approvals are causing temporary foreign workers to be rejected outright. Foreign workers are being rejected for very small application problems. Companies are having to restart the hiring process to try to find new people for their work because administrative resources are being starved.

Privately sponsored refugees are refugees in real need, from war zones and foreign aid areas, who have Canadians sponsoring them to come to Canada. There is a backlog of 45,000 applications. These are the refugees with the highest rate of success and the lowest cost to Canadian taxpayers, because they are privately sponsored. They are following the rules and agree to join Canada. They are seeing a decade of delays because there are no immigration officials to deal with the paperwork, while we rush through the process of illegal border crossers.

Illegal border crossers enter the country without permission, without following and respecting our laws, and are receiving full social assistance and work permits within days. Legal immigrants are waiting months and months, if not longer, for their permits. This is completely unacceptable to Canadians. We are giving priority to those who refuse to respect the law and hurting people who are following the law, including innocent families and children. Employers are hurting because they cannot hire workers due to these government backlogs. This is unacceptable and un-Canadian.

What have the ministers been telling us? They have said that everything is fine, that all is well, and that there is nothing to see here. We should not worry about that tweet, or about the record numbers across the border. We should not concern ourselves with reports coming from border officers, the RCMP, and Immigration that illegal border crossers are a crisis.

We know this to be completely false.

Let me go back to the genesis of this report. On October 7, 2017, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration adopted its report entitled “Modernization of Client Service Delivery”. The purpose of this study was to study various issues with client service that were brought to the committee by a range of witnesses, including lawyers, immigration consultants, groups that work with refugees, and representatives from the private sector. (1640)

This issue is even more relevant today, a year after the report was introduced, because the government has failed to manage the borders, and this has exacerbated the existing issues within the Department of Immigration.

During the committee's study, witnesses identified a broad range of issues and shared with the committee a number of ideas for improving client service at IRCC. In particular, witnesses highlighted frustrations with the call centre, as well as the departmental website and online applications, including the status updates provided online.

More complex issues were also raised with the committee, including the possible use of artificial intelligence in business applications; how to address minor errors that can result in applications being returned, potentially jeopardizing rights; how to facilitate access to IRCC services for individuals with little English or French language skills; and the provision of in-person services. Finally, processing times, fees, and customer service from other government departments may not be new issues, but with the modernization certainly added some new perspectives.

All of these issues illustrate how inaccessible the Department of Immigration is, and this is unfair. We know that many newcomers ultimately turn to immigration consultants and lawyers to help them with their paperwork, which costs them thousands of dollars. This is another example of big government failing the people it has been set up to serve.

Let us talk a bit about a few of the issues that witnesses brought to the attention of the committee. The Canadian Bar Association submitted a brief to the committee, which highlighted that the Department of Immigration does not currently contact clients when it exceeds processing times. There is a simple fix to this. The department could send an automated email, which would be helpful, to advise clients that the application is being processed and further time is required, as well as requesting an additional inquiry if a decision is not made within a specific number of days. This would decrease inquiries and complaints.

We also know that if someone fails to check one little box, the department may outright reject the complete application. A simple fix would be implementing a system for routine requests for additional information on intake and triage, with reasonable deadlines to facilitate processing, rather than unnecessary refusal of applications. This would assist in reducing inefficiencies.

Another group we heard from was a private sponsorship group called Syrian Refugees Gravenhurst, which was generous and compassionate enough to put its own resources on the line to privately sponsor refugees from Syria. What it told the committee, as several groups did, was that the department met that generosity with stymying and bureaucracy, failing to communicate even the most basic information to the sponsorship groups.

Here is a list of issues that the group told our committee about.

The first issue is that there is great frustration among sponsorship groups that formed in response to the current refugee crisis, which are being told that the wait times for the family they are matched up with may be as much as 55 months, due to the location of the family. Groups do not understand how they were offered matches that could not come to fruition in a reasonable length of time, given that there were so many in need. It seems that this issue has been addressed for groups going through the blended visa office-referred stream, but not for groups of five who have raised the full funding themselves and now have it tied up for years.

If the private refugee sponsorship program is to flourish, IRCC policy and procedures must take into account the distinct nature of the undertaking of community volunteers. At the time this group contacted the committee, the IRCC website estimated that the processing time for privately sponsored refugees in Egypt was a staggering 55 months.

There is one group right now that is facing a zero-day wait time. Members can guess which one it is. It is the illegal border crossers.

Here is the second issue that Syrian Refugees Gravenhurst raised. The IRCC website is not well organized to support private sponsorship groups seeking to organize for the purpose of sponsoring refugees. Overall, it is not up to 21st-century standards for user-friendliness. There is no clear path for interested groups to follow to learn about the program and compare options, such as whether to constitute the group as a group of five or as a constituent group of sponsorship agreement holders, or whether to channel the sponsorship through community organizations, such as a local church or Rotary club. (1645)

More information is on the website than most groups were able to find at the stage when they needed it. Information for sponsorship groups is often mixed in with information that is not current and/or is about completely different classes of applicants.

A third issue they raised was that once the group's application is in process, lack of communication from IRCC affects almost every sponsorship group. The only projection for processing time is a generic number based on the past cases for immigrants, apparently of different classes, located in the same country. Statements from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship about clearing the backlog by a given date are of little use when groups cannot even confirm if the refugee family is defined as being in the backlog. Individualized communication is required and needed.

A fourth issue they raised was that similar to other classes of applicants, sponsorship groups are often referred to MPs' offices, which are said to have access to more information on applications in progress. In general, groups report that the MP's staff are very attentive to their requests, but often cannot get more useful information specific to the family in question.

A recent example comes from a group that had established contact with their matched family at a time when the information available to the MP's office still said the family was likely to arrive in 2020. The family suddenly reported that they had been interviewed and were told they would be able to depart in three or four months.

Many groups express concern that they place an inappropriate burden on MPs' staff when going to them to access information that should be available directly from IRCC. It seems that the department of immigration is off-loading their work onto MP offices, which often only have one or two staff who are caseworkers.

A fifth issue they raised was that flexibility in the system is needed to respond to unexpected situations. There is a backlog of applications from private sponsorship groups right now, at the same time that agencies that assist government-sponsored refugees report a lack of resources. Given the border-crossing crisis, they are stretched to the very limit.

Caught in the backlog of sponsorship groups waiting for families, there are groups outside of areas designated to receive government-sponsored refugees that would provide the needed support without putting demands on the agencies that are having trouble meeting the demand. It seems there is no flexibility to take advantage of the excess capacity for private sponsorship that would put minimal demands on government agencies in the designated centres. We know that privately sponsored refugees fare far better than government-sponsored refugees and are far less reliant on government resources.

Here is the sixth issue that Syrian Refugees Gravenhurst brought up: not all groups receive contact information for the refugees after approval. Communication between the private sponsorship groups and the refugees they will be sponsoring prior to arrival in Canada can ease the transition for the new arrivals and their sponsors. Depending on the situation, sponsors may be able to suggest things the refugees can do to prepare for establishing qualifications, obtaining employment, or qualifying for a Canadian driver's licence. Refugees can ask questions about their destination and can learn more about what to expect. If contact is possible, sponsors can be better prepared for the individual needs of the family when they do arrive.

Another issue that I want to raise, which will affect the provision of good client services, is the unfair closure of the Vegreville case processing centre. The immigration case processing centre in Vegreville is the most efficient processing centre in the country, and while the government tried to convince rural Albertans that it would save money to move the centre to Edmonton, we know that it will cost more.

We also know that it will cause a loss of up to 420 people from the community of Vegreville.

It will cost Canadians more to close this office, and it will remove 9% of the town's labour force.

It will cost Canadians more to close this office, and it will cost the town $15.9 million of GDP.

It will cost Canadians more, and it will also cost the town $14.5 million in labour income.

It will cost Canadians more, and it will result in a loss of $1.2 million in municipal revenue annually to the town of Vegreville.

It will cost Canadians more, and it will cost employees, specifically the 76% of employees who are women, forcing them to choose between their families, their community, their volunteer commitments, and a career. (1650)

It will cost Canadians more to close to this office, and it will impact over 250 spouses' jobs in Vegreville.

It will cost Canadians more to close to this office, and it will impact three local small businesses owned by employee families.

It would cost more and cause businesses to close their doors.

It will cost mor...”

Hon. Bardish Chagger (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Lib.)

May 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...o assist low-income workers; an indexed Canada child benefit that will help nine out of 10 Canadian families; a lower tax for small businesses, and I am sure we can agree that the backbone of the Cana...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

May 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e Party and the official opposition, I convey our thoughts and our prayers to the victims and their families.

Can the government provide this House with an update on the situation?”

Mr. Greg Fergus (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)

May 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...dered and missing children. They introduced a program that was so complicated that only a few dozen families received money.

On this National Missing Children's Day, can the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell the House what this government is doing to fill the gap in support for families dealing with these tragedies?”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

May 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Hull—Aylmer for his support and his empathy for grieving families.

Today, our government commemorated National Missing Children's Day by announcing a new benefit for parents of young victims of crime. This new benefit will provide more solid, more generous, and more flexible support that is better suited to the needs of grieving families. This benefit will also reflect greater empathy and compassion for families who need a bit of help taking care of what matters, in other words, the well-being of their...”

Mr. Marc Serré (Nickel Belt, Lib.)

May 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...f living with dementia. Dementia continues to pose significant challenges for those affected, their families, and their caregivers.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health te...”

Mr. Bill Blair (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

May 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ngly committed to improving the lives of Canadians with dementia and to providing support for their families and caregivers. The Minister of Health was pleased to announce at last week's national deme...”

Mr. Martin Shields (Bow River, CPC)

May 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...urned with key information blacked out. The government knows what the carbon tax will cost Canadian families, but it is refusing to tell us. All the Prime Minister is telling us is that we are not pay...”

Ms. Monique Pauzé (Repentigny, GPQ)

May 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ite denying all responsibility, the government is making all kinds of out-of-court settlements with families that launch legal action on behalf of the victims.

Rather than force families to take their cases to court, will the government publicly apologize and compensate all those hundreds of families?”

Mr. Murray Rankin

May 25th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...more expensive with taxes, even though they might make a little less, because they have to think of families and so forth. That is the first point.

The second point is new Canadians. When I thin...”

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

May 25th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...e are not industrial buildings. These are residential communities. These grow ops are surrounded by families with young children. They have to put up with the oppressive smell, the stench of marijuana...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

May 24th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nt has a study in hand that indicates what the impact of the Liberal carbon tax will be on Canadian families, a report that is not available to Canadians. We submitted an access to information request, which we now have in hand.

I will quote this study, which spells out the cost to families of the Liberal carbon tax:

...the potential impact of a carbon price on households' c...”

Mr. Bernard Généreux (Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, CPC)

May 24th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rnment currently has documents that indicate beyond a doubt the cost of the carbon tax for Canadian families. However, the government redacted these documents to hide the exact amount it will cost Can...”

Mr. Joël Godin

May 24th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...x will have on greenhouse gas emissions. We cannot say how much money will be taken out of Canadian families' pockets. That is not very reassuring. Of course, we must protect the environment and take ...”

Mr. Randeep Sarai

May 24th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Chair, can the minister or the parliamentary secretary tell us how they have reunited families in Canada, particularly through changes and improvements to the spousal program?”

Mr. Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood, CPC)

May 23rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...and Survivors of Crime Week, which gets under way this Sunday, we must acknowledge the struggles of families that are still waiting to get justice as a result of unacceptable delays in our judicial sy...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

May 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e first thing we did.

Then he wanted to continue to send child benefit cheques to millionaire families instead of giving more money to the families who need it. Our Canada child benefit gives more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families and is lifting hundreds of thousands of kids across this country out of poverty. Those are ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...taxpayers are paying more since the Prime Minister took office, $800 more. How much will those same families have to pay in higher carbon taxes?”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

May 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...wners, who fear that these demonstrations will turn sour.

Last week, on FM93, the Minister of Families was rather vague when the mayor of Quebec City was very clear, and I quote, “I understand t...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

May 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tain project has landed us in a constitutional crisis. Who is going to pay for this? It is Canadian families, natural resource workers, and our economy across Canada, which is having a rough time than...”

Mr. Andy Fillmore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lib.)

May 22nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t some constituents living abroad. Whether they are there for work, for school, or to support their families, Canadians living abroad should still have the option to continue to participate in our dem...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

May 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e the Prime Minister do not worry when it comes to higher gas costs, but hard-working, middle-class families do. Why is the Prime Minister continuing to increase taxes on hard-working Canadians?”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...anada revealed that the carbon tax will “degrade” our fishing sector. It will mean that the fishing families trying to earn a living doing work that is already difficult will have to pay more and more...”

Mr. Colin Fraser (West Nova, Lib.)

May 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...he 2015 census, we know that as many as two million Canadian children live in separated or divorced families, yet family laws in Canada have not been substantively amended for over 20 years.

Can...”

Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

May 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ow that separation and divorce impact the lives of millions of Canadians and can be challenging for families, particularly for children. That is why Bill C-78 focuses on the best interests of the chil...”

Mrs. Marilène Gill (Manicouagan, BQ)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ese donations pay for the patients' immediate needs, such as making treatment accessible, reuniting families, and making dreams come true.

I hope that more great men and women in other communiti...”

Ms. Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East, Lib.)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...r local children's charities across Canada.

The 15 Ronald McDonald Houses provide out-of-town families with a home to stay in while their child is being treated at a nearby hospital.

I thank all who have participated in a McHappy Day. Their support will help families and will further heighten public awareness of the critical role of family-centred care.”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...gs in the face of adversity.

Sandy and the amazing team at Windreach have helped thousands of families heal, learn, and grow their confidence. Windreach is a welcome place to all. It helps people with autism and a range of physical and intellectual disabilities. In partnership with Wounded Warriors Canada and Can Praxis, I was proud to join Sandy and the Windreach team as they launched the equine therapy program for veterans and their families.

A member of the Order of the British Empire, even the Queen recognized how remarkabl...”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... hire students in order to provide summer camps, day camps, and day programs, mostly for low-income families, which are often provided at no charge.

The petitioners are concerned that denying fu...”

Mrs. Brenda Shanahan (Châteauguay—Lacolle, Lib.)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...my constituents. This government is taking care of the important things, like putting more money in families' pockets with the Canada child benefit.[English]

The Canada child benefit is putting more than $6 million a month in the pockets of our local families, which are spending it in our local economy. People on secure incomes have seen an increase...”

Mr. Marc Miller (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs, Lib.)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, families across Canada will come together to celebrate Mother's Day. I would like to take this oppor...”

Ms. Georgina Jolibois (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, NDP)

May 10th
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Oral Questions

“...il the government told us that the murdered and missing indigenous women and girls inquiry must put families at the centre of its work. However, it continues to ignore the calls from at least 500 families, many from remote and northern communities, that have not had a chance to speak at the inquiry. In order to heal, the families must be heard.

When will the government extend the mandate of the inquiry so all families can be heard?”

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ommission for its work so far.

I am discussing the commission's request for an extension with families and indigenous partners, and our provincial and territorial counterparts.

The independent commission's mandate is clear: families must be at the centre of its work. The families of these women and girls need answers. They need to be heard for the systemic and instituti...”

Mr. Romeo Saganash (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, NDP)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...yone, except the minister responsible, apparently, saw this coming.

Now, how are these women, families, indigenous communities going to heal and move forward?”

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ned to put an end to this national tragedy. The mandate of the independent commission is clear: the families have to be at the centre of their work. We are determined to give the families the answers they have long been looking for about the systemic and institutional failures t...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ompensation for the massive public cost of these dangerous products and the harm caused to Canadian families. Why have the Liberals failed to launch an investigation or pursue compensation as the U.S....”

Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, NDP)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...em isolated cases or accidental poisonings. We have to be concerned with the impact on the victims' families and on our health system, which is already overloaded.

When will the Liberal governme...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... are exempt from this restriction. This means that only those who are economic applicants and their families, caregivers, provincial nominees, parents and grandparents, students, foreign workers, and temporary residents would be subject to paragraph 38(1)(c). The provision works in such a way that should one member of a family be found at risk of placing an excessive demand on health or social services, the entire family's application would be rejected.

As I said, this is a cost-only analysis. Not only does it ignore the benefits that an individual brings to Canada, but it also ignores and invalidates the sum of benefits the whole family brings to Canada.

This issue made national headlines in 2016 regarding the case of Professor Felipe Montoya. Professor Montoya came to Canada with his wife, daughter, and son in 2012. He and his wife worked, paid their taxes, and contributed to their community. Their daughter and son attended school in Canada. However, when the Montoya family decided that they wanted to stay here, make Canada their permanent home, and apply for permanent residence, they were rejected. Why? Their son Nico has Down's syndrome.

Following this, last summer, Global News Investigative Journalism brought even more attention to this little-known provision, raising serious questions about how the policy was implemented. There were questions over the so-called basket of services that counted in the calculation and those that did not, why it was that the threshold was set the way it was whether or not the policy was discriminatory, and the impact it was having on families.

In October 2017, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration undertook a study on this provision. We heard from 25 witnesses and received 23 briefs. Committee members heard loud and clear that this provision was legislated discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Of the witnesses that offered their opinion on what should be done with this policy, it was nearly unanimous that the only option was to repeal paragraph 38(1)(c) of IRPA. Anything less would simply continue the discrimination.

In fact, not only were the witnesses who appeared at committee convinced this policy was discriminatory, so too were Liberal MPs. The member for St. John's East stated to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during the minister's appearance, “I must say that at this point in time I do not see how raising the threshold and excluding fewer people changes the fact that excluding anyone is prima facie discriminatory and violates Canadian values.”

The member for Surrey Centre changed the opinion he had about the policy during the course of this study and evoked a strong and harsh image where he compared the idea of this policy to the mindset of slave trade. He said, “I would say that initially I thought it was a good policy, because that would perhaps be a big burden on Canadians, but then I looked back—and I don’t want to equate it to this—and it’s no different from the slave trade, in which only those selected as the strongest and the most able-bodied were brought from Africa. It’s not that the whole policy is good at all, but I’m saying it is akin to discriminating when we’re picking only people who are healthy, fully functioning, with no intellectual disabilities and no physical disabilities.”

The member also summed up the general view of committee members when he said, “As you can tell, almost all of us have an inclination that this policy is discriminatory. We already can see that even within immigration there's a two-tiered policy.” (1520)

The minister stated on numerous occasions that the policy is “out of step with Canadian values on accommodating people with disabilities”. The minister promised changes. Given the near unanimous opinion of witnesses, the strong views of Liberal members on the committee, and the minister's understanding that this policy was wrong, I was hopeful the committee would be able to table a unanimously supported report that called on the government to do one thing and one thing alone, which is to repeal paragraph 38(1)(c) of IRPA.

Unfortunately, I was to be disappointed. Instead of issuing that report, the committee tabled a report which, while it included repeal as a recommendation, provided the government with a host of interim measures it could take instead. It was as though committee members were no longer worried that this policy was prima facie discriminatory, as the member for St. John's East described it.

As the NDP representative at the committee, I attached a dissenting opinion to the report. I will never forget the story of Mercedes Benitez, a caregiver, who, after nearly a decade of working in Canada waiting to be reunited with her family, was informed her application would be rejected because her son has an intellectual disability. Thankfully, after intense advocacy, support from the public, and media reports, like the Montoya family, she was able to receive an intervention on the file from the minister, which ultimately was approved.

Mercedes Benitez told committee members:

Even though my case is already resolved, I think the excessive demands should be repealed. I still feel the pain when they say I'm good [enough] to work, but not good enough to stay because of my son.

In this spirit, the NDP moved two recommendations in our dissenting report: one, to repeal paragraph 38(1)(c) of IRPA; and two, for the government to work with the provincial and territorial governments to determine any increased costs to health and social services as a result of this repeal, and to increase CST and CHT funding accordingly.

The minister stated that the government would be announcing its policy change on April 12, 2018. This is because that was the deadline for the government to respond to the committee's report. While the minister did not feel the urgency to act, like many of the families impacted, I was very eager to learn what the minister would do to address this discriminatory policy.

The minister missed his self-imposed deadline, and when he finally got around to announcing the new policy, I truly was disappointed with the announcement. The policy announcement was not to repeal paragraph 38(1)(c). Despite warnings from the member for St. John's East, the government announced it would instead be increasing the threshold from $6,555 per year to $20,000, and amended the definition of “social services” by removing references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation services, and personal support services.

The government expects this will reduce discrimination by 75%. That is not 100%, which is to say that 25% discrimination is okay. While the government states that it agrees with the recommendation to eliminate the policy, it provides no timeline for when that 25% would no longer be discriminated against. At the press conference, the minister stated that this new policy would be forward-going only. This is devastating news for families whose applications were just rejected recently.

The suggestion that they can then apply for permanent residency under humanitarian and compassionate grounds can add up to another three years to the long separation families have already endured. If the H and C application is accepted, only then can they submit a sponsorship application for the family to be reunited. For some families, this additional process may well mean that their children would not qualify to be part of the application as they would have aged out.

In addition, the minister also failed to state whether the new policy would apply to individuals and families with current applications in the system. As a result, many of the individuals impacted by this policy expressed hope, but still worry about the pathway forward. Such is the situation with Monica Mateo Ilarde. (1525)

Monica also arrived in Canada as a live-in caregiver in 2008. She has worked hard every day for 10 years taking care of the children of a Canadian family. She has spent most of her 13-year marriage separated from her husband, Richard, and their nine-year-old daughter, Brianna. On most nights, Monica cries herself to sleep from the pain of the separation.

In 2012, she applied for permanent resident status. Monica's permanent resident application was flagged for excessive demand, because her daughter, Brianna, who was cared for by Richard in the Philippines, was born with a visual impairment, a condition that was arbitrarily determined to require “excessive demand” on the Canadian health care system. Brianna would benefit from speech therapy, and could possibly require surgery, but is otherwise a healthy and happy child.

In December 2017, Monica was expecting her second child. Every effort was made so that Monica could be reunited with her family in Canada so she would not be alone when she gave birth to her second baby. The call for her file to be expedited failed, and she was advised by IRCC that her only option would be to apply for an urgent temporary visitors visa for her husband and daughter if she did not want to be alone during childbirth. After discussing this with her family, it was decided that the cost of applying for these additional visas and the travel expenses was just too much for the family. This is because over the course of the last six years, since first applying for permanent resident status, Monica and her family have had to redo medical exams four times, in addition to security screenings and continued renewals of work permits for Monica.

On January 1, 2018, Monica gave birth to her baby boy, alone, in Canada. Unwaveringly optimistic and driven to reunite with her family in Canada, Monica believes that she was blessed to have her son and sees him as a reward for her isolation. She continues to dream of being permanently reunited with her daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Richard.

According to information provided to Monica, it appears that as long as she is processed under the new rules, her application will finally be completed and successful. That means that her daughter would get to meet her little brother for the first time, and her husband would get to meet his son for the first time.

Her case is one example of why I was so anxious to learn whether the new rules would apply to pending cases. After multiple inquiries, I was finally given assurances from the minister's office, last Sunday night, that applications currently in the system would be assessed under the new rules. For that, I thank the government, and I thank the minister. Monica is hopeful that her case will be processed before this winter so that her family can be reunited here in Canada for Christmas.

Aside from the cases currently being processed in the system, I want to draw members' attention to caregivers who have been providing valuable support and services to families in Canada for years, have been subjected to unjustly long processing delays on their permanent resident applications, and after waiting 10 years, in some cases, to bring their families here, have recently been rejected because of this discriminatory policy. In fact, on Monday, May 7, I held a press conference in Toronto to shine a light on this heartbreaking story.

Shirley Benigno is a single mother of three. Her son, John Nicko, has Down syndrome. Shirley has worked hard her entire life to provide for her family. She first moved to Hong Kong, where she tolerated abuse and harassment in her work environment so that she could send money back home.

She had hoped her transition to Canada would mean a new beginning for her family. Upon arrival in Canada in 2009 as part of the live-in caregiver program, Shirley started working two jobs and saving all the money she could for her children's move to Canada. She applied for permanent resident status in Canada, and to be reunited with her family, in 2011.

Outside of work, she prepared food for various events, supplied homemade goods for two convenience stores, and took the national food safety training program, with the expectation and hope of one day going back to school and eventually opening her own family restaurant. All this came to an abrupt end, after waiting seven years, when her application for permanent residence was denied in 2017 because of her son's disability. This is despite her son's medical assessment stating that John Nicko is capable of taking care of himself and is even able to work in an unskilled or semi-skilled position. (1530)

As result, Shirley's work permit was revoked, depriving her of all income. She could no longer provide for herself, let alone for her family. This meant that she was unable to send money back home to her family, and her children had to leave school, because they could not afford tuition. This is absolutely devastating to Shirley and her family. Shirley stated, in disbelief, “I always thought Canada did not discriminate against people because they are different. I thought Canada had protections for people who are different.”

Since the rejection of her application, Shirley has finally been able to obtain legal counsel, who is trying to help her with a request to reconsider her denial. If this is not granted, she will be forced to apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, a purely discretionary stream of immigration that could take up to three years to process. Aside from this additional delay, if Shirley had to make a new application, it would mean that one of her children would age out and would not be able to be reunited with Shirley, shattering her dream of having her family here in Canada.

If Shirley's application were processed under the new rules, John Nicko would not be deemed an excessive demand. My office was advised that the estimated cost John Nicko would place on social services would be $120,000 over five years, which is $24,000 per year. We were provided with a breakdown of the costs per year: vocational skills training, $5,000; employment programs, $7,000; and day programs, $12,000. Increasing the threshold and exempting the cost of vocational skills training would mean that John Nicko would now be under the threshold and would be eligible for permanent residence in Canada. I brought this case to the attention of the minister, and it is my most sincere hope that he will use his authority to intervene and do what is right.

Shirley and others like her have shown for a decade that she is good enough to be here. She has earned her place in Canada and deserves to be reunited with her family. It would be a great injustice if we allowed individuals like Shirley to be forced to leave after all this time, after all this waiting, because of a discriminatory policy that has now been changed. The minister has the opportunity to prevent such a gross injustice and to do the right thing and allow this family to stay. If the government took that action and applied the new policy to Shirley and her family, they would be able to stay.

It would be reasonable for cases that have recently been rejected, such as in the last 12 months, for example, to be assessed under this new policy. This would not produce excessive demand on our system. During the committee's study, we heard that under the old rules, after appeals and mitigation times, fewer than 400 of the 1,000 cases per year flagged under paragraph 38(1)(c) were ultimately rejected.

We have the opportunity to do what is right and to undo the hardships our system has caused for families through a policy we all know was out of step with our values.

I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to remind the members of this House that in February, I tabled Bill C-398, which would repeal paragraph 38(1)(c). I would like to once again inform the government that I would be happy to work with the government to make this bill the government's own bill. Until that happens, until that discriminatory policy is repealed, the government can do something for the families that have been waiting for years and years, especially those families that have just recently been rejected. The government can apply the new rules to them and reopen their cases so that they have the opportunity to reunite with their families here. It is the right thing to do. I hope that I can hear a positive response from the gove...”

Mr. Serge Cormier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...sked us to take our time and do consultations? We recognize that this policy is having an impact on families, and that is why we have decided to triple the threshold.

Should we take a little mor...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ligations under a program such the temporary foreign worker program, and then seek to sponsor their families, they and all of their family members can all be rejected if one of the family members has a certain condition, such as Down syndrome, deafness, or an intellectual disability. Underpinning that is the outmoded notion that these people are somehow a burden. People with Down syndrome, people who are deaf, and people with intellectual deficits are not burdens. These people have every ability to be fine citizens and contributing members of our society.

This typically arises when a live-in caregiver comes here. Does the member agree that we could perhaps have a system whereby caregivers are allowed to bring their spouses and children with them when they first come here so that families can be left intact? We could get rid of this outmoded system under which they are separated from their families, only to find two, three, four, five, or six years later that they and their families are no longer admissible to Canada after doing everything they were obligated to do under t...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ncludes caregivers. They are the only people in the immigration stream who are separated from their families and have to work two years before they can even make an application to bring their families here under the economic class, and that should not be the case. Absolutely, I would agree that those people should be able to bring their families to Canada on arrival. No family, no mother, should have to endure what these caregivers hav...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... under the old rule with the new rules just around the corner. They will not be able to bring their families here under the old rule.

If we open those cases, we will allow for those families to have an opportunity to be reunited. If people are worried about opening the floodgates and about there being thousands of cases, that will not happen. The officials said that in a given year we would be looking at about 400 cases. It is not that many, and it will make such a difference in the lives of those people.

I urge the government to do the right thing. We can continue to work on this file. I will continue to push for section 38(1)(c) to be repealed, but in the meantime, let us do something for those families that have suffered so much already, to make their lives better and to make those hardships mean something, so they can have their families here, reunited with them, making Canada their home.”

Mr. Serge Cormier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...inclusion and diversity, as well as on the contributions made by people with disabilities and their families. Canadians see these services as investments that allow for the participation and inclusion...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...are older, will have aged out and would not be able to become part of that application.

Those families have waited for 10 years to be reunited and they would have been approved under this new po...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...er, I accept that, with this exception, and I hope the member understands the difference. For those families that have to reapply under the new rules, the older children, those who are older than 21, will have aged out. They will not qualify to be part of that family unit. That is the difference. That is the point I am trying to get at: to not bring in new policy to qualify these individuals, only to then break the family up, because that is what will happen if the government makes those individuals make a new application. It would break the family up, because the older children will have aged out and cannot be part of the application process.

If the intent is to allow for them to apply anyway, why not make them whole and allow for those families to come together as a unit simply by reopening their cases for reconsideration? I am not ta...”

Mr. Serge Cormier

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...as he said, with respect to caregivers, we have considerably reduced wait times for reuniting these families. Wait times for family reunification have dropped from 26 months under the previous government to 12 months under our government. These are the types of proactive changes we have made in a number of areas in the immigration department.

We also want to take a more accessible client-focussed approach and we want it to be much easier to understand how to apply, for instance, for family reunification. The changes we have made since we have been in government are very positive and will help families reunite much quicker. That is what we want. We also want to ensure that some families can come to Canada even if, for example, some family members have a disability. This policy...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...mately a year, and apply the new policy to them? This would particularly address the issue of those families that are forced to make a new application but have children who are older and have aged-out...”

Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes

May 10th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...or. My background in neurological research lends itself to ensuring that we support individuals and families with autism.

I will go back to my previous question. I know it is not just about cost...”

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, Lib.)

May 9th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ters of our rural communities and economic development. They were quick to help support the refugee families when they came to Nova Scotia.

I thank John Bragg, David Hoffman, and the entire Oxfo...”

Mr. Ziad Aboultaif (Edmonton Manning, CPC)

May 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...jumpers, people who came to Canada legally are forced to wait even longer to be reunited with their families.

Can the Prime Minister tell newcomers in my riding how this is fair?”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

May 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...at the centre of the process around the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls inquiry are families. That is why we are focused on a family-centric approach. That is why the commission is focused on hearing from as many families as possible and engaging with them in a responsible way. The inquiry is fundamentally about getting justice for the victims, getting healing for the families, and putting an end to this ongoing national tragedy, and that is what the inquiry is doing...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

May 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s determined to put an end to this national tragedy. The independent commission's mandate is clear: families must be at the centre of their work. We are determined to give families long-awaited answers about the systemic and institutional failures that resulted in this tr...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

May 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Brunswick. We are going to continue to be there to provide constant support to flood victims, their families, and communities right across Canada.”

Hon. Erin O'Toole

May 9th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“.... I praised the government when it listened to many members from all sides of this House to provide families with that.

We are only going to be travelling more. That is why we have to be able to...”

Mr. Marc Serré (Nickel Belt, Lib.)

May 9th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...lion of Canada's gross domestic product.

The forestry industry puts food on the table for the families of more than 200,000 Canadians. This includes 9,500 jobs in indigenous communities, making ...”

Mr. Serge Cormier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

May 9th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... end of 2018. Ensuring that Canadian women get equal pay for equal work strengthens our economy and families and helps our communities to prosper.[English]

This historic proactive pay equity leg...”

Mr. Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood, CPC)

May 9th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ccountability to Canadians by withholding information on the cost that this carbon tax will have on families in Saskatchewan? We know that families are going to see their heating prices go up. We know that families will be faced with the prospect of a higher price for gasoline: 11.5% is the speculation. Families will see more of their own money disappear due to the policies of the Liberal government an...”

Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley—Aldergrove, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, the second petition is in relation to impaired driving. It is from Families for Justice. The petitioners want to have impaired driving causing vehicular death called v...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e my Conservative colleague to tell me how much doing nothing about climate change is going to cost families. The national round table on the environment and the economy, which was created by the Conservatives, told us that the cost of natural disasters related to climate change could rise from $5 billion a year to $43 billion a year. That is what it will cost Canadian families if we do nothing to tackle climate change.”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...joining the hon. member for Carleton in kicking off this debate on the carbon tax and its impact on families.

When we talk about affordability, we mean the bottom line for the average taxpaying Canadian: at the end of the day, how much would Canadians be paying just for the basic cost of living? It is going up, and it is not going up because of market forces; it is going up because of government action.

The carbon tax is a big driver of it, but it is not the only one. There are things like minimum wage, payroll taxes, and government decisions on energy regulations, which are making it harder for companies to keep Albertans and Canadians employed. That is having an impact at the end of the day on the budgets of families, especially those in my riding who find themselves on the tail end of a recession, in a recovery that they are hoping will bring back jobs, which they are not seeing. What they are seeing is that at the end of the month, their bills are higher.

They are paying more for heat. Of course they are. Even the federal government said they are going to be paying $200 more to heat their homes. They are paying more at the pump. If they drive vehicles, they are paying upward of 11¢ more. People in British Columbia and Vancouver are now seeing the direct impact on their bills. Every single month, they are paying more. Life is getting more difficult, not easier.

I know the government will say it supposedly lowered taxes on middle-income Canadians. That is not true. It actually lowered taxes for every single MP in the House, who got the full benefit of that middle-income tax cut. It is like the government does not even know how the tax system works when it makes that claim.

Yesterday I had the privilege of sitting down with students and young people from CJPAC. We had an exchange of ideas and talked about issues of the day in politics. At every single table I went to, they expressed skepticism about the carbon tax. They expressed skepticism about what the government is doing because they recognize it. One young man told me what he thinks about the carbon tax. He said it would be like going to a dealership, picking out a car with his parents, purchasing a vehicle without knowing the price, and being told they will only know the price when they roll it off the lot. That is the only time they will know what the price is. That is how young people feel about the carbon tax.

The other side will say that it is nothing of the sort and that people like the carbon tax because they like doing something for the environment. People do, but this is not the only thing that they can do. There is an entire array of options. The previous Conservative government took advantage of them. Through regulation, it sought to reduce GHG emissions, and we know that GHG emissions went down. They went down.

We know that families are paying more at the pump. They are paying more to heat their homes. They are paying more for basic products.

Transportation has gone up. When we go to the grocery store today, we pay more for our vegetables, fruits, and meats. I notice that. I go to the Superstore in my riding and meet constituents, and everybody is saying that. The number one thing people email me about nowadays is the cost of living and how expensive it has become.

I always tell them I would like to be able to help them and that I would like to be able to tell them how much, on average, it will cost families, but I cannot even tell them that because the government is covering it up. It is covering up the true cost of the carbon tax on the average family.

It is interesting that every single other government program and initiative is costed out. Projections are usually provided on the estimated impacts. We know that the finance department has done this, but those documents have been redacted so that Canadians and Parliament have no way of knowing.

Before the House now is a piece of legislation asking us to approve a rebate program. How can we approve a rebate program when we do not even know the average cost to Canadians? How can we approve a rebate program when we do not even know how much it would cost the average family, those with kids, those without kids, those with higher incomes, those with lower incomes? The government will not give us that information, and as a result Parliament is not able to make a judicious, intelligent decision on it. It wants that information only for itself and not the rest of Canadians.

I have asked Order Paper question 834 many times now. I have also made access to information requests on the Alberta carbon tax rebate. It is a rebate program in Alberta that is actually operated by the Canada Revenue Agency. It would provide more detailed information on the true impact on Albertans, and the government still will not release it to me. It still will not provide me with that information. Finance officials at the finance department are completely unable to answer the simplest of questions: how much will lower-income Canadians pay? (1030)

I have moved a motion at committee to compel that information to be produced, so that during the discussions on the budget implementation act we would know the true impact on Canadians, on cost of living increases, and on affordability, so that we can make a judicious decision on whether or not this will work. However, we cannot even do that.

They say that stubbornness is the greatest ill. It is a Yiddish proverb, but it applies. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the government does not want to release the information. I have heard the argument that it is an old memo and we do not need that information now. If it is old, great, but release it and give it to us. If the information is old and that is why the Liberals do not want to release it, then they should update the information and make it public. They made a document public on Monday last week that has been roundly panned in the media. It is basically a showpiece, a sell job by Environment Canada, to try to make the case for their carbon tax, and it is the only thing they are doing on their side.

We saw that Australia abandoned a carbon tax after two years of trying to impose it on Australians. Australians revolted. They said no, the cost of living has gone up too high, it is unaffordable, and this is not the way to do it. That is where we are today.

When I travel the country with the finance committee, and when I speak to Albertans in my riding, I can see that people are fed up with paying more just for the basics of living. They are not asking to buy a highly rated Tesla and have it subsidized by a provincial government. They just want to buy the minivan, the basics, so they can take their kids to a soccer or hockey game.

In my riding, we have the Erin Woods arena. The moment the carbon tax was introduced, the arena started paying more. Articles started appearing in the Calgary Herald, saying how much more arenas were paying for heating and to keep the ice cold. They are not getting a rebate. The people who are paying more are the kids, through their registration fees. It is their parents and the dads playing a pickup game on the weekend who are paying more. They do not get a rebate. This is not revenue neutral. The government gains revenue. This scheme has been exposed in British Columbia; the carbon tax there is not revenue neutral. There was a full-on admission that it is not.

A line we often hear on the government side is that over 80% of Canadians already pay a carbon tax. Let us wait until June in Ontario. Let us wait until May 2019 in Alberta. How will that argument hold up then, when the residents of those provinces revolt against the endless increases in the cost of living imposed by the federal government and by bad provincial governments? That is what is coming.

As I mentioned, the cost of living is going up. This is not just because of the carbon tax, but it is one of the big drivers. The minimum wage increases, payroll increases, and income tax increases on companies all matter, and they all have an impact. It is the aggregate, cumulative effect piling onto businesses and onto workers. They are the ones paying more, and they then pass the cost on to others. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

I just do not understand the stubbornness on the government side of not wanting to reveal the information they have already, so that we can have a fulsome debate. A member on the Liberal backbench basically confirmed that there is a cover-up. Instead of talking about that, we could actually be debating the issue, the cost to Canadians, and the benefits.

I hear members on the New Democratic side saying that if we do nothing, then there is a cost. There are think tanks, universities, and private consortiums that can calculate projections. They provide their forecasts online. When it comes to the government's information on the cost to the average Canadian, we cannot have that information, but this other public information is freely available to all of us. How can we make a judgment when we only have half the information?

We need the full information, and we need to vote for this motion because it is for the benefit of Canadians. It is bringing their concerns to the House. The cost of living has been going up for two or three years now, because government actions are raising the cost of living for everyday families, with no benefit whatsoever. All it does is increase the bureaucracy and pay for more civil...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...hat doing nothing has a cost as well. Doing nothing to combat climate change will cost individuals, families, and our society as a whole.

On that point, the national round table on the environme...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...and I hope that all levels of government step up and help immediately to reduce the burden on these families.

While we cannot point to a single event and say that climate change did this, we are...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... back to pick up the kids for soccer. These are the people I represent. They have to work for their families. “Better choices” from the person living in the ivory tower of the Prime Minister's vantage point shows a radical disconnect.

Also, what if the employer he might work for in Mississauga is an auto parts manufacturer? That auto parts manufacturer in southern Ontario or in Kingston, where my friend is listening from now, competes against suppliers in Michigan, where there is no carbon input price to their competitiveness, where they are lowering taxes. This government has been raising taxes, with payroll taxes and carbon taxes. (1155)

Every bank economist has talked about our affordability and our competitiveness with a government that is devoid of a connection with the real world, the real needs of families, the real needs of single seniors. I am going to show why the Liberals' false debate, their creation of the truism that only the carbon tax can help our economy, is a failure of public policy leadership. Instead of standing up and citing her platitudes time and time again, the minister should meet with people in the real economy. I will use an example.

Statistics from the Liberal government for 2016, which was the latest year for which I could get these statistics, say that we have 704 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in our country, 37% of which comes from 596 facilities across the country that are already reporting. Let us compare that.

We have reports for 596 facilities that produce over a third of Canada's total emissions. We could have a targeted regulatory approach to help them step down their emissions without laying people off and without reducing production. We could do that by a targeted sector-by-sector enhanced approach—and I will speak later about how we could do that specifically—or we could do what the Liberal government is doing, which is by regulating the 13,320,610 households in Canada. That is what the Liberals are doing with the carbon tax. That represents 32.8 million people in those households.

A single senior in Kingston is who the government is targeting for its GHG program. Seniors will pay more for home heating, for fuel, for all the goods in their house at a time when property taxes are going up and affordability is going up.

Perhaps when the member was mayor, he lowered property taxes. I do not know, but seniors are not the problem. The government's own documents show us that fewer than 600 facilities account for over a third of the GHG emissions. What is even more striking is that 50% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions come from two sectors: the oil and gas sector and the transportation sector.

I can tell the House right now about a program that is far better than every ridiculous time I hear the minister say the environment and the economy go together. She should understand the economy. She is detached from the real world, calling people who have a different plan for greenhouse gas emissions “climate change deniers”. I have been working on climate change and the environment likely longer than she has, but I have also been in the real economy and I know how we have to tackle these things.

Fifty per cent of our emissions as a country, over 350 megatonnes, are addressed in these two sectors. With the oil and gas sector, we can have two public policy goals to lower emissions. First is capital cost allowance acceleration for any investment that goes to a resource company or a company in the oil sands, one of our largest single contributors to the gross domestic product of Canada. Let us incentivize them to lower their emissions by using the tax system and writing off investments. I said during my leadership run that this approach could actually be extended to water usage too. We could allow any investments they make to depreciate at a faster rate.

Then we could work with those emitters. There are 596 of them. We know where the large emissions are coming from. We could lower their tax rate over a 10-, 15-, 20-year timeline if their emissions are reduced.

In the case of the transportation sector—remember that almost 50% comes from transport and oil and gas—the government has not lobbied for cabotage with our NAFTA modernization. As a result, right now if we make something in Oshawa, Ontario, and ship it to a state in the United States, such as California, because of trucking regulations, that truck has to come back empty. Just think of the wasted efficiency and the wasted GHG emissions. If we are modernizing NAFTA, we should work with President Trump in the U.S. and eliminate this archaic system whereby we have empty transports. In fact, there are hundreds of megatonnes coming from wasted inefficiencies in transport.

David Emerson, a former Liberal cabinet minister, agreed with me at the transportation committee that cabotage would be the single largest move to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as a country. We need cabotage for the transportation sector and a targeted, tailor-made approach using our tax system for the oil and gas and resource sector. (1200)

This is about using our tax system as a carrot to incentivize better choices, in the words of the Prime Minister, as opposed to a stick punishing the single seniors, punishing the families, and punishing the small businesses trying to compete. It is about time we had fresh thinki...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ties. Where is the leadership on that? The government is going after the single seniors and working families, and is not taking care of its own.

I remind the member that I provided a plan. There...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara (Vaughan—Woodbridge, Lib.)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...20. (1225)

Since 2016, the government has also been providing additional support to Canadian families through the Canada child benefit. Compared to the old system of child benefits which sent c...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ustry. It is attracting investment. It is a great environment for people to live in and raise their families.

If members just look at the the province of British Columbia, it is also, in my view...”

Mrs. Cathy McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...numbers. The finance department has calculated the numbers in terms of the cost for individuals and families. When it was asked for that information, the government released it, but blacked out all of...”

Hon. Steven Blaney (Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t they are paying less in taxes, but I am sorry to say this afternoon that over 80% of middle-class families are paying more taxes. The Fraser Institute is an independent and non-partisan organization that studies public policies. It has said that, on average, middle-class families will have to pay $840 more in taxes. That article was published some time ago in September 2017. Unfortunately, families have to pay even more taxes, and it is only getting worse. Canada's debt is growing and people have to pay more taxes.

Another point that I would like to make is that Canada is failing to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. This government is really having a hard time governing. It is raising taxes, causing the deficit to skyrocket, and losing control of greenhouse gas emissions.

This same government just asked us for carte blanche today to impose even more taxes on taxpayers, without any idea of what the outcome will be. The fact that climate change exists is reason enough for the Liberals to tax Canadians without really knowing what the impact of that tax will be.

It will have an impact. The parliamentary budget officer published a new report showing that the carbon tax will reduce our GDP by $10 billion by 2022, possibly even $35 billion a year by some estimates. Who will pay for that? It is workers, families, and parents who drive their children to activities. Summer is coming, a time when, after work, people go home and have a quick supper and then drive their children to their activities, often soccer. They try to do that before it gets dark. The price of gas will continue to rise even though it is already heavily taxed. (1255)

We are already paying a significant tax on carbon, and now we will be paying even more, without knowing how this tax will affect the environment. However, we know that it will have an effect on the economy.

Yesterday, I was at a committee meeting where we were discussing how to help young Canadians, particularly indigenous youth, integrate into the job market. The committee heard from a representative from an organization representing agencies that help indigenous youth train for careers. We need welders, mechanics, and plumbers. These youth must leave the reserve and sometimes travel long distances to get to a training centre, and they pay a lot for gas. This indigenous representative said that this was another barrier preventing young Canadians from accessing the job market.

We would like to be able to say that things are going well with this government, but the truth is that things are not great. Debt is going up, along with taxes and greenhouse gas emissions. It is an interesting contrast, because we have an alternative to offer to those people who are tuning in, and we have been through it before. Sometimes, the solution is to look back. In a news release in February 2007, a certain organization welcomed an announcement made one morning in Sherbrooke by prime minister Stephen Harper and premier Jean Charest that the Quebec government would be getting $350 million from the federal government for its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That same organization was delighted that this $1.5-billion program applied to all the provinces. I was lucky enough to be part of that government, and the organization that was praising Stephen Harper's Conservative government was Greenpeace.

There are then two approaches. First, there is the approach of a government that cut taxes. Members will recall the GST being lowered from 7% to 5% and the general tax cuts for all Canadians. Such a thing had not been seen in decades, despite the economic crisis. When we handed the car keys to the government across the aisle, Canada had a balanced budget. We had also reduced Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 2.2%, increased our gross domestic product, grown the economy by more than 15%, and, of course, created hundreds of thousands of jobs, on the heels of a recession, no less.

Second, there is the approach of a government that says it is going to make us pay for a new tax, the carbon tax, and that we will have to pay more taxes and get deeper into debt. Of course, it cannot offer us any guaranteed results, because the commissioner of the environment, Julie Gelfand, says that if nothing is done about greenhouse gas emissions, the federal government will not meet the targets set by the previous Conservative government. Not only do the Liberals boast about being environmentalists, but they are copying our targets and cannot even meet them.

I see that my time is almost up, but that was the gist of my presentation. The saddest thing is that we are in a time of obfuscation and secrecy. The numbers are being kept from us. What impact will the carbon tax have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions? No answer. What impact will it have on Canadian families? We know from the parliamentary budget officer that it will cost at least $10 billion.

<...”

Hon. Kent Hehr (Calgary Centre, Lib.)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...stitute study. That study did not reference our Canada child benefit, which benefits nine out of 10 families. It therefore is out of date.

The member states that the carbon tax is inefficient. T...”

Hon. Steven Blaney

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...r his question.

I would like to correct him on something. When the Fraser Institute said that families are paying more taxes, it took into account the tax credit for families. This government gave with one hand and took away with the other. I am talking about the pu...”

Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ng energy and saving Canadians money is a win-win for our environment and our economy. We know that families that invest in energy efficiency can cut their home heating bills in half, and we know that energy efficient homes and buildings have higher resale values.[Translation]

Of course, these changes need not be overly complicated. Small investments can yield huge results. For instance, by using a programmable thermostat, people can save up to $150 a year. By putting energy-efficient light bulbs in the five light fixtures they use most frequently, people can save more than $65 a year. [English]

One company in Alberta, Landmark Homes, makes net zero homes through better insulation, heating, and lighting, and many produce more energy than they consume. Today, we see homes like this being built across the country. In Edmonton, where Landmark Homes is based, the city has the highest number of net zero homes in the country.

Now, for provinces that have signed onto our climate plan, we are making it easier for people to reduce their energy use and save money through our low-carbon economy leadership fund. A few weeks ago I announced our government was investing $100 million to help the people of Ontario make energy efficient retrofits to their businesses and homes, including apartments, townhouses, and low-income housing.

By teaming up with the provincial government, the GreenOn rebates will help property owners make energy efficient changes like installing better insulation, high-efficiency ventilation systems, and other devices to save energy and reduce costs. We are launching programs like this across the country.

Last year, through the green municipal fund, we also invested $72 million to support energy efficiency projects in 48 communities.[Translation]

The municipality of Saint-Ubalde, in Quebec, received some of that funding to install a district heating system for several buildings. The project, which creates energy by transforming residual forest biomass, will help the municipality cut its emissions by 218 tonnes and reduce long-term heating costs by 40% in the buildings using that system.[English]

Investing in energy efficiency also creates good-paying middle-class jobs: jobs in construction, services, research, and manufacturing. That is why we are investing $21.9 billion in green infrastructure to build energy-efficient homes and offices, helping families save money on their energy bills and creating new jobs for Canadians.

In fact, over 100,000 Canadians were employed in energy efficiency jobs in 2013. A report just last year found that shifting to net zero emissions buildings could create just short of two million jobs over 33 years through construction from retrofitting and building new, green buildings.

We know that every dollar spent on energy efficiency programs generates between $4 and $8 of GDP. In other words, this is about reducing energy and saving money. It is equally about creating good jobs for Canadians across the country.

The opposition party wants Canadians to think that tackling climate change is a cost, but by failing to take action we see huge economic costs, and Canadians miss out on good jobs and major economic opportunities.

According to the World Bank, the Paris Agreement will help open up nearly $23 trillion in new opportunities for climate-smart investments in emerging markets around the world between now and 2030. Combined, this will spark incredible job creation, and that is why Canada is leading to take advantage of the opportunities. (1315) [Translation]

We are investing $20.1 billion to support urban public transit to help reduce commute times in our cities, increase the use of clean transportation, and allow people to spend more time with their families and less time in traffic.[English]

With a $2.2-billion investment, we are fostering c...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...uch a carbon tax would cost Canadians in terms of the impact of the reduction of emissions on their families. However, we continue to get no answers.

One of the lunacies of the argument that the...”

Mr. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...That leads to my second point. We will have a carbon tax that penalizes hard-working Canadian families because they never get exemptions from paying the carbon tax. We all know who pays for those subsidies and handouts. It is those hard-working families that are increasingly struggling to get by because the Liberal government keeps downloading costs onto them.

Environment Canada expects the carbon tax to go even higher. The Liberals are refusing to tell Canadians what it will cost. However, they are completely hiding that they will not stop there. They will continue to increase carbon taxes on Canadians. When either the Prime Minister or the environment minister are asked how much greenhouse gas emissions would be taken out of the environment by a Liberal carbon tax, we all know they will not answer. We should remember that in B.C., after a decade of a carbon tax, greenhouse gas emissions went up and not down.

The price of gasoline, the price to heat our homes, the price to buy groceries and provide food for our families, and the price of everyday goods that Canadians rely on will all go up under this Liberal c...”

Mr. Blaine Calkins (Red Deer—Lacombe, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...m to book a flight, go work in the oil sands for several weeks at a time, and then go back to their families. That paycheque would improve the quality of life of these Canadians. People from all over the world would come to Alberta.

Over 4,000 businesses in Canada alone have a direct line to the oil sands because they provide goods, services, or products to the oil sands development. These are millions and millions of dollars of revenue. (1355)

The cost is 100,000 pairs of boots on the ground that are no longer working in some of the highest-paying jobs, and paying the highest tax rate, by the way, providing government coffers with more wealth than virtually any other sector of the economy.

What has this cost been to families? When someone does not have a job it causes stress. It causes strife. It causes suicides. These are things that do not get talked about a lot, but as the member of Parliament for Red Deer—Lacombe, I can say this is one of the most egregious factors undermining the ability of those in an otherwise well-paid portion of our economy who have lost their jobs to be able to provide for their families. What I mean by that is places where houses are relatively expensive and the cost of living...”

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... of Atlantic Canadians have not received a wage increase in the last few years. It is reported that families have significantly less money to spend, and households are actually worse off now than they...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...edits, after eliminating the public transit tax credit, and after raising taxes for 80% of Canadian families, the Prime Minister's new scheme to get more money out of taxpayers' pockets is to charge a...”

Hon. Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...0 spouses from the backlog they left us.

Live-in caregivers who provided services to Canadian families, under that party, under the Harper Conservatives, had to wait five to seven years to spons...”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...yment insurance program and how it must take into account the needs and circumstances of struggling families.

We agreed that the employment insurance program has improved over the past two years thanks to the new family caregiver benefit, which will help 24,000 families, and the easing of the rules governing EI sickness benefits, which will help many families and individuals who are struggling. We will continue to work hard to ensure that the EI sys...”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...use, the EI system has a very important responsibility of addressing the needs and circumstances of families that are struggling with unemployment, with health care, and with family circumstances.

We are very conscious of the potential and the already positive impacts of the changes made to the EI system over the last two years. We have introduced a new parental sharing benefit, for instance, which is going to benefit 100,000 families. We have enhanced accessibility for sickness benefits.

We look forward to more of the...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...at is rather cowardly.

The question is simple: how will this tax directly impact middle-class families, those who work hard, and those who want something to show for their money? What will the L...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the Liberal carbon tax will cost Canadian families, but the government is refusing to tell them how much. How much will the Liberal carbon tax...”

Mr. Wayne Long (Saint John—Rothesay, Lib.)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... They are seeking to reintegrate into our communities. They are trying to give themselves and their families better futures. They ought to be able to apply for and obtain meaningful employment, regardless of their means. Past offenders who are unable to find work are much more likely to reoffend, interacting with the criminal justice system all over again. In this sense, ensuring that past offenders are enabled to apply for and obtain gainful employment is crucial. This is not only part of an effective strategy to eradicate poverty in our community; it is key to combatting crime and keeping our streets safe. (1110)

To grow our communities, create more well-paying jobs, and ensure that communities across Canada are a safe place to live for everyone, we, as a government, must do everything in our power to break down the barriers faced by those currently living in poverty.

In 2012, the previous government passed amendments to the Criminal Records Act that dramatically altered the application process for what were then called “pardons”. The term “pardon” was changed to “record suspension”. This change was clearly made in an effort to make the process more punitive.

Kim Pate, executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, explains the difference between pardon and record suspension: “Pardon indicates that someone has moved on from where they were, not just that we're hanging it [the suspension] over your head like a big dagger about to drop down on you if we perceive you've done something wrong.”

Pardon was replaced by record suspension. The goal of record suspension, and the policies that came with it, was to be publicly tough on crime. This unexamined toughness legislation was rammed through roughshod by the previous government and imposed on an already troubled pardons system. This toughness has had unintended negative consequences on Canadian society: legally, socially, and economically.

Here is what the previous government did to the pardon process: The base fee was quadrupled to $631, and wait times for pardon eligibility were increased from three to five years for a summary offence and from five to 10 years for an indictable offence.

The results of this unexamined policy initiative, this tough-on-crime pose of the previous government, were telling. In 2011, the Parole Board of Canada received 29,829 pardon applications. After the changes were made, in 2015, it received 12,743 requests for record suspension, down by 57%. That is 17,086 fewer requests. Did crime change over those five years? I do not think so. This unfortunate policy shift actively and demonstrably discouraged Canadians, particularly low-income Canadians, such as those from Saint John—Rothesay, from seeking a pardon.

The Parole Board says that pardons are designed to support rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. This dramatic drop in requests for record suspensions is a strong warning. Current government policy on pardons is moving in the opposite direction of rehabilitation and reintegration. Those 17,086 people, the 57% drop in applicants in 2015, are not reintegrated; they are not participating in the workforce.

Former offenders are often low-income Canadians, people who are statistically much more likely to tum to crime if they cannot get a job. Approximately 3.8 million Canadians have a criminal record, but very few eligible parties apply for a record suspension. Fewer than 11% of those convicted of crimes have been granted a pardon or a record suspension. We should not be putting roadblocks in the way of reintegration and rehabilitation.

As Dr. Mary Ann Campbell, director of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies at the University of New Brunswick, explained, pardons have an important societal function. She said that research on record suspensions indicates that individuals who are granted record suspensions typically have a very low rate, under 5%, of subsequent criminal behaviour, and that record suspensions are likely to open doors for past offenders and justice-involved persons. These doors “support their pro-social lifestyle transitions” and raise families out of poverty.

For many low-income Canadians, pursuing a record suspension is a step in the right direction. We need to look carefully at the roadblocks our current system is putting in the way of the rehabilitation and reintegration of these less fortunate citizens. (1115)

If passed, Motion No. 161 would instruct the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to undertake a study on the record suspension system in Canada, in particular on how it affects low-income applicants. The committee would be instructed to study how the system could be improved to remove barriers to the reintegration of past offenders into society. The committee would report back to the House with its findings within nine months.

A life sentence of poverty for a summary offence is an extremely unreasonable punishment, yet this is what the record suspension system as it currently stands imposes upon far too many Canadians. The stories of young adults especially, who come into my riding office, are heartbreaking regarding the barriers that the system places on them. This is especially true for women, who most often bear the burden of child care and family support costs, and tend to apply for jobs in sectors that require criminal record checks more often than do men. The barriers to employment created by the record suspension program also disproportionately impact historically marginalized groups, such as indigenous Canadians, who are overrepresented in the criminal justice system.

The current system of record suspension takes a terrible toll on low-income Canadians, exacerbating the difficulties of some of our most vulnerable citizens. A recent poverty round table in my riding of Saint John—Rothesay, part of the federal tackling poverty together project, identified criminal records as a significant barrier to employment and a contributing factor to long-term poverty. As Dr. Campbell explained, “Individuals who have a criminal record are often blocked from adequate and meaningful employment, as many employers require criminal record checks and are reluctant to hire people with a record. By maximizing a person's opportunities for employment by suspending a criminal record for those eligible individuals, Canada is positively contributing to reductions in poverty.”

Judy Murphy of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saint John echoes these concerns, spelling out the implications of the current record suspension system on poverty, specifically on low-income women. She said, “Saint John has the highest rates of single-parent families living in poverty with a female head of the household in Canada. Over two-thirds of incarce...”

Mr. Wayne Long

May 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... office, which is right in the middle of the part of the city that has 50% to 60% child poverty and families living in poverty, day in and day out, who are looking for a break and a way out of poverty...”

Mr. Glen Motz (Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, CPC)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...gang violence taking the lives of so many young Canadians, and a drug crisis that continues to tear families apart, this House has important things to consider, and I just cannot say this is a top priority. Some crimes have the ability to shake our collective feeling of security across our communities and our country. In 2014, this House was shaken by an armed assault. In 2017, in Edmonton, an ISIS-inspired terrorist attacked a police officer and tried to kill other people with a van. Just last month in Toronto, all of us witnessed the madness that killed 10 people. We were not able to save those who were killed or injured, but we certainly should not reward the perpetrators and punish the victims.

Canadians want a government that ensures criminals face the full extent of the law. The Hon. Margaret Thatcher was fond of saying, “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become.”

This motion tells us where the belief and attention is for the Liberal government. It is not with victims. It is not with law-abiding Canadians. It is not with police or national security. It seems to be with criminals.

I would caution my colleagues in government that their actions speak loudly to Canadians. Canadians are on the side of victims, police, and safer streets and communities, and they are on the side of families. Being on the wrong side of that will determine each of our political destinies.”

Mrs. Mona Fortier (Ottawa—Vanier, Lib.)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... all know that these behaviours can have a long-term negative impact, not only on victims and their families, but also on employers and in terms of productivity, absenteeism and employee turnover.

...”

Mr. Nick Whalen (St. John's East, Lib.)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rticipated in the program. Former pages include the hon. member for Hull—Aylmer and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Other former pages like Marc Bosc, Katie Telford, Rheal L...”

Hon. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... believe in fighting criminals who commit violent crimes; we believe in upholding victims and their families, and supporting law-abiding citizens. The Liberals are more interested in doing the opposit...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...en asking for immediate and effective action on the opioid crisis over and over again. There are 37 families throughout my riding of Essex who are mourning the losses of those they love from opioid overdoses. Our losses are more than one and a half times higher than the provincial average. Families continue to struggle, desperate to get their loved ones the help they need to overcome their addiction. Sadly, to date, the government has failed to provide real leadership on this crisis. Not only has it chosen not to declare this as a national public health emergency, it has failed to hold opioid manufacturers to account for their role in this epidemic.

Today, I stand with my NDP colleagues and call on the government to launch a criminal investigation into the role played by drug manufacturers in fuelling and greatly profiting from the opioid crisis. The government must also pursue substantial compensation from these manufacturers for the cost of addiction to our public health system and communities. This crisis takes a heavy emotional toll on families, friends, neighbours, and loved ones. Immediate action is needed before any more lives are ...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...question for the Prime Minister is this: Can he tell us how much this tax is going to cost Canadian families?”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...lity: this government creates deficits without a plan for balancing the budget, and 80% of Canadian families are paying more taxes today than under the previous Conservative government.

The Liberals even cancelled the tax credit for public transit. Now, with the carbon tax, they are going to siphon off $10 billion from the Canadian economy.

My question for the Prime Minister is simple. How much is this new Liberal carbon tax going to cost Canadian families?”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...althiest 1%. We cut business taxes. We provide the Canada child benefit, which helps nine out of 10 families and will lift hundreds of thousands of youth out of poverty.”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... 1%. We lowered small business taxes. We delivered a Canada child benefit that helps nine out of 10 families and is lifting hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty, and we are moving forward on d...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister have any idea of the difficult choices most families already have to make when it comes to how they spend their money?

Let me give him an ...”

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...bon tax's sole purpose is to pay down the Liberal deficit.

How much extra money will Canadian families have to shell out every year because of the Prime Minister's bad management?”

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“.... He is forcing Canadians to make an impossible choice. Gas prices in B.C. are skyrocketing, making families choose between buying gas or paying for groceries. The Prime Minister says that is a good t...”

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“..., is the Prime Minister listening? Why will he not answer?

His government is forcing Canadian families to choose between taking kids to hockey and paying their heating bills. We have seen the mess the Wynne Liberals have made in Ontario. Families are unable to both heat their homes and pay their mortgages. Single mothers, seniors, and Canadian families are all suffering. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister will not feel the impact of his tax hike. ...”

Mr. Jonathan Wilkinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... a result of the leadership of Premier Campbell. The revenues associated with that were returned to families in the form of tax reductions and rebates. Low-income families in British Columbia were absolutely no worse off and we had a price on pollution, which inc...”

Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...cy budget. They claim to be full of compassion but they are the ones who took medical aid away from families and children who came to Canada as refugees. This hypocrisy and them pretending to care abo...”

Hon. Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

May 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...order security operations, and they pretend to care about the border. The Harper Conservatives kept families apart, with spouses, live-in caregivers, children, and others in queues. We inherited a hug...”

Mr. Randy Hoback (Prince Albert, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...f northern British Columbia? It means lost economic opportunity and lost jobs. What is left for the families that are employed in this sector, who are in good, well-paying jobs, who are in a good situation and are able to give their kids a good quality of life?

People in western Canada right now are taking part in rallies. I was on Facebook last night and watched a rally in Fort Nelson. Families are saying, “Enough is enough.” They have had enough. They want their MPs to represent them. They want their MPs to tell them that they care. They want their MPs to understand that the resource sector is not bad. They want us to understand that people need fuel in their cars and they would love to provide it. They want us to understand that they provide it in the most environmentally friendly fashion in the world.

What is the deal? Where is the problem? It comes back to one thing. The Prime Minister does not like the resource sector.

The Prime Minister went to Paris. He wanted to be the big guy in town, so he made commitments. He came back to Canada and he took the Conservative targets. He brings in things like a carbon tax, which he is going to shove down the throats of Canadians. People in Saskatchewan are looking at that carbon tax and they know it is really going to hurt them because they cannot pass those costs on.

A farmer cannot pass a carbon tax on. He cannot take the cost of fuel for his tractors, his combines, and his machinery and put it in the price of a commodity that is traded on the world market. However, he is still forced to compete against Americans who do not have a carbon tax. The Australians removed their carbon tax. Other countries are not going down this road.

What is even sadder about carbon is Saskatchewan has a really good game plan that does not involve a carbon tax, which would actually meet our commitments, and the Liberals will not agree to that. Why is that? What is the issue there? If their goal is to reduce carbon and there is a game plan that will not impact the economy and will actually achieve that goal, why not take it? It goes back to one thing: lack of respect.

The Liberals want to shut down the resource sector. We are hearing stories now that they want to shut down the coal sector. In Saskatchewan, we have carbon capture off our coal power plants. With this technology, those power plants have five times less emissions than natural gas. However, the Liberals say, “Let us get rid of coal.” What does that mean? Is that really crazy? I think so.

If there is technology to make coal clean and to reduce its carbon footprint, why would we not embrace the new technology and still use this fuel source? No, we are going to get rid of it. We are to ignore the science because, heaven forbid, cabinet knows best. That is what is happening. All the regulations and science are being thrown out the window, and it goes back to cabinet, and its members are going to say “Do I like this guy or not?”, or “I have a toothache so I'm going to vote no.” What about the science? Science needs to trump that.

In Bill C-48, where is the science to say it requires this type of ban? It is not there. There is no science.

There have been no consultations. It is something that is going to drastically change the lives of families across western Canada, if not all of Canada, yet the Liberals just march ahead. They put the earplugs in and just do what they do. Then they wonder why people are protesting in western Canada. They wonder why families are concerned and upset. They cannot understand why they do not love them. There needs to b...”

Mr. Robert Kitchen (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...eases with Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

Many of these 324 leaseholders and their families invested their life savings into the development of their future. Their leases have been in...”

Mr. Peter Schiefke (Vaudreuil—Soulanges, Lib.)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, many activities for families, young people, and seniors are held throughout Vaudreuil-Soulanges year-round.

One of...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... numbers. The Liberals need to tell Canadians how much their carbon tax will cost everyday Canadian families.”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, high gas prices are not only a burden for Canadian families, but they are a job-killing expense for farmers, fishermen, and business owners.

My c...”

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...l hurt the Canadian economy to the tune of $10 billion by 2022. That is a lot of money for Canadian families.

How much money does that represent for the families that will be affected by the sexist carbon tax over a one-year period?”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ld let his environment minister know that.

The carbon tax is already killing jobs and hurting families in Alberta and British Columbia. Saskatchewan is taking this Liberal Prime Minister and his greedy government to court to stop this punitive tax. In court, the Liberal carbon tax cover-up will be exposed. Why wait until Saskatchewan wins?

Will the Minister of Environment come clean today and reveal the cost of the federal carbon tax on Saskatchewan families? No, she will not. How about the public safety minister, who was elected to represent the b...”

Mr. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...1.60 a litre. Of course, the Prime Minister and his cabinet will not feel the effects that everyday families are feeling, because everything is paid for. When will the Liberals come clean and tell Can...”

Mr. Glen Motz (Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...water levels expected to continue to rise in southern regions of the province over the coming days. Families along the St. John River have been forced to leave their homes and dozens of roads have bee...”

Mr. Alupa Clarke (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, on April 6, the Ministers of Finance, International Trade, and Families, Children and Social Development enjoyed a tour of the Port of Québec. I am very pleased ab...”

Mr. Alupa Clarke (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...bert gave an exceptional speech this morning. He compassionately explained how hard it has been for families in Saskatchewan to accept and understand the decisions being made one after the other by this Liberal government. The government seems to be sending a message that is crystal clear: it does not support western Canada's natural resources, namely oil and natural gas. What is important to understand, however, is that this sector represents roughly 60% the economy of the western provinces and 40% of Canada's entire economy. (1245)

I can see why the Minister of Environment and Climate Change says we need to tackle climate change first. The way she talks to us every day is so arrogant. We believe in climate change. That is not the issue. Climate change and natural resources are complex issues, and we must not forget the backdrop to this whole debate. People are suffering because they need to put food on the table. Nothing has changed since the days of Cro-Magnon man. People have to eat every day. People have to find ways to survive.

When the Liberals go on about how to save the planet and the polar bears, that is their post-modern, post-materialist ideology talking. Conservatives, in contrast, talk about how to help families get through the day. That is what the Canadian government's true priority should be.

...”

Mr. John Barlow (Foothills, CPC)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... problems they are facing.

We have had stakeholders like the CFA. They represent 200,000 farm families. The Grain Growers represent 50,000 active producers, and they are asking for no further de...”

Mr. John Barlow

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...as had is not simply a matter of frustration. It has really impacted people on the ground and their families.”

Mr. Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Centre, Lib.)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ty of Fort McMurray and much of the surrounding regional municipality of Wood Buffalo. Thousands of families and individuals were forced to flee their homes, with fears and doubts as to whether and wh...”

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...es away, to his residence.

Leadership starts at the top. Is it acceptable that while he tells families they have to make better choices, he chooses to have his food driven across the street? Is ...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... the Liberal carbon tax is going to drive up consumer prices for all Canadians and for all Canadian families. He is covering that information up.

Why will the Prime Minister not come clean with ...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tite for taking money out of taxpayers' pockets.

Could the Prime Minister explain to Canadian families why they will have to pay more for everything they buy because of the Liberal carbon tax an...”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...as the private and social sectors. It is also going to help construct or renovate homes for 300,000 families.[Translation]

Working together, we will provide more safe and affordable housing to middle-class families and those working hard to join it.”

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...portant as this one. They believe the government should be standing shoulder to shoulder with these families and showing support and compassion for them, not telling them it does not have time to deal...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...censored form indicating how much the federal carbon tax proposed in Budget 2018 will cost Canadian families in order to put an end to the carbon tax cover-up.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Barrie—Innisfil.

As members know, the saga of the carbon tax cover-up has been ongoing now for several years, but today there are new developments. Just moments ago in the finance committee, we were studying Bill C-74, the government's budget implementation act, 200 pages of which are dedicated to the creation of a national carbon tax. Before the committee were officials from the environment and finance departments. I asked specifically whether or not either of those departments had modelled how much that tax would cost the average Canadian family. The assistant deputy minister of finance confirmed that in fact the government has modelled that information. In other words, the government knows the price tag but it is covering it up, and that, in essence, is the carbon tax cover-up.

Now that I have given today's news, I will lay out the chronology of events.

In late 2015, the Liberal government was elected. It had promised to institute a new carbon tax. Soon after that, I filed what is called an access to information request asking the government what such a tax would cost families in varying income groups. What would it cost middle-class people? What would it cost people below the poverty line?

The government came back with a big pile of documents, which the member for Barrie—Innisfil will be mentioning in his speech. One of these documents indicates, “This memo focuses on the potential impact of a carbon price on households' consumption expenditures across the income distribution.” The key findings are blacked out.

I will translate this government-speak into plain English. The memo focused on the potential impact of a carbon price on households' consumption. This means that the memo calculates what the tax will cost people when they buy things. It mentions “across the income distribution”, which means that the table which is blacked out tells us what people would pay based on the incomes they earn.

We know that the share of a family's budget is largely determined by how much the family makes. For example, Statistics Canada has shown that poor families spend about a third more on the goods that the carbon tax will apply to than do rich households, because if one is extremely wealthy, then heat, electricity, groceries, while they still cost the same or even a little more than they do for a low-income household, they are a smaller share of the family's budget. This is why it is important to know how much people in various income levels will pay with this new tax.

We know that taxes of this nature are regressive, because they take a larger share of household income from people who have less money. Those with the least disproportionately pay the most. As a result, such taxes can have the effect of actually widening the gap between rich and poor. The government has claimed that it wants to reduce that gap, but it is imposing a tax which is known to do precisely the opposite.

Then we come to the use of the revenues. What is the government going to use the money for when it collects it?

In Ontario, the Wynne government has given the blueprint. For example, Ontario has used the money to provide $15,000 in rebates to millionaires who buy electric Mercedes and Teslas. This is an example of a tax applied to working-class and low-income people which is then fed to the wealthiest 1% who can afford to drive the most elite vehicles. In that same province, the government has used the revenues to subsidize companies that would otherwise be money losing. They have, for example, increased hydroelectricity rates by paying these companies that offer so-called solar and wind power onto the grid at 90¢ per kilowatt hour when that kilowatt hour is worth about 2.5¢. (1020)

The effect of that is to drive up the electricity costs of everyday Ontarians, while bolstering the profits of well-connected Bay Street insiders, who successfully conclude those inflated contracts with the Government of Ontario. In Ontario the inflation of electricity prices is going to constitute a cost of about $170 billion over 25 years, according to the province's auditor general, which will make it the biggest wealth transfer from the working poor to the super rich in Canadian history. That is a form of redistribution that is common among regimes that impose schemes like the one the government has embedded in its budget implementation legislation, all of which reminds us that we should as Canadian parliamentarians know how much this tax will cost every household.

The government says that it cannot reveal that information for two reasons. First, it says that, for example, the table that I referred to earlier, is not relevant because it is a couple of years old and so much has changed.

While the fundamental structure of the Canadian economy has changed, the amount and share that people spend on heating their homes, driving their cars, and feeding their families has not fundamentally changed in two years. That being said, if the government thinks it is...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...wed upon them would further suffer with the higher taxes the government would pile on to those same families.

I think he mentioned having family in High River. I certainly have great sympathy fo...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...n about the cost of inaction on climate change. Many people talk about the cost for individuals and families in Canada, but that is just part of the reality. The other part is that doing nothing to ad...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...censored form indicating how much the federal carbon tax proposed in Budget 2018 will cost Canadian families in order to put an end to the carbon tax cover-up.

The hon. member for Carleton already spoke about the fact that almost immediately after the last election he filed an access to information request to finance department officials asking, quite simply, how much the carbon tax was going to cost Canadian families, and how much emissions would be reduced.

They were great questions. The answer he received back was blacked out. We are talking about a government and a Prime Minister who promised in the last election that they were going to be more open and transparent than any other government in the history of the world.

Even to this day, Liberals stand up in this House and refuse to answer questions that have been asked at least 60 or 70 times: How much is the carbon tax going to cost Canadian families, and how much will it reduce emissions? This transparent and open government not only provi...”

Mr. John Brassard

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...overnment, then reality will start setting in and Canadians will see the actual cost to them, their families, and future generations in this country.”

Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... [English]

Today we are seeing the impacts of climate change across the country, and Canadian families are already affected. Let me provide a few examples.

One of the hardest calls I have ever had to make was to a rancher in Alberta's interior. Her family ranch was destroyed by intense wildfires that spread through B.C. and Alberta. Today, as a result of climate change, these wildfires are raging longer and are harsher than ever before.[Translation]

Last year, I was in Gatineau, Quebec, helping to fill sandbags. As I was talking to the families who were protecting their homes from the rising flood waters, some homes were saved and many more were destroyed. We are seeing devastation like this across Canada and around the world. [English]

Then there is the heart-breaking story from last summer when I was visiting the high Arctic. I spoke to an Inuit boy from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, who told me about the impacts of climate change that he was seeing in his homeland. He told me about his feet getting stuck in thawing permafrost like quicksand when he was hunting. He told me about the disappearance of the caribou, their country food. He also told me of experienced hunters—fathers, uncles, brothers, providers—dying after falling through the sea ice that they could no longer tell the thickness of. Today Canada's high Arctic is warming at three times the rate of the rest of Canada. Climate change is real, and it is having a real impact on Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Pollution is not free. It is a tax on future generations. From 1983 to 2004, insurance claims in Canada from severe weather events were almost $400 million a year. In the past decade, that amount has tripled to $1.2 billion a year.

By taking smart, sensible, and practical action, we can avert the worst impacts of climate change and grasp the enormous economic opportunities around the world worth trillions of dollars. By acting today, we can protect our environment and strengthen a clean growth economy.

The previous government was never serious about climate change. The Harper government announced targets with no intention of meeting them. Today we have the Leader of the Opposition saying that he is against the price on pollution. However, he is once again committed to meeting the Paris Agreement targets. We cannot magically meet our Paris Agreement targets without using the market. Canadians expect us to act, and that is what we have been doing since we formed government.[Translation]

Putting a price on pollution is central to any credible plan to combat climate change. That is exactly why we are working in partnership with the provinces and territories to price carbon. [English]

Central to any credible climate plan is a price on pollution. That is exactly why we are working in partnership with the provinces and territories to price carbon. Canadians know that polluting is not free. We need to price what we do not want, which is pollution, and invest in the things that we do want, like lower taxes, health care, and clean technology solutions that create good jobs here in Canada. Carbon pricing is flexible, is cost-effective, and lets the markets do what they do best: drive creativity and reward solutions. We could even call it a “conservative” idea. (1050)

As a recent Globe and Mail editorial put it:

Putting a price on carbon is an effective way of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and fighting climate change. There is ample, persuasive evidence of this.

The research backs this up. Just yesterday, Environment and Climate Change Canada published a study that found that by 2022, a nationwide price on carbon pollution that meets the federal standards would eliminate 80 million to 90 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions. That is the equivalent of taking between 23 million and 26 million cars off the road for a year, or the equivalent of closing 20 coal-fired plants. Without a doubt, pricing carbon pollution is making a major contribution to helping Canada meet its climate targets under the Paris Agreement.

Pricing pollution is not only effective; it also strengthens our economy. Take British Columbia. It put a price on carbon pollution more than a decade ago, and since 2007, it has reduced emissions by between 5% and 15%, while provincial real GDP grew by more than 17% from 2007 to 2015.

Today over 80% of Canadians live in a province that already has a price on pollution—in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia—and last year these provinces led the country in economic growth.

Carbon pricing is the approach that economists overwhelmingly recommend. In fact, it is the policy that over 30 governments and 150 leading businesses have come together to support through the international Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. This group includes Canada's major banks, alongside Canadian companies in the consumer goods, energy, and resource development sectors. Steve Williams, the CEO of Suncor, Canada's largest oil producer, put it this way: “We think climate change is happening. We think a broad-based carbon price is the right answer.”

Around the world, governments are realizing the efficiency and effectiveness of pricing carbon pollution. Today some 40 countries, including Canada, are pricing carbon pollution, and more governments are planning to implement similar systems soon.

According to the World Bank, a price on pollution covers nearly half of the world's economy today. China recently launched the world's largest carbon pricing system, and last year Ontario, Quebec, and California signed an agreement to create the world's second-largest carbon market. A carbon price works best when people and businesses find ways not to pay it by investing in clean solutions to save money. This is not about raising money; it is about sending the right signals to spur clean innovation.

We have been clear that any revenue will remain in the province and territory it comes from. Provided they meet the federal standard, our approach gives provinces and territories the flexibility to design their own systems and to decide how best to use the revenues from pricing pollution to support families and businesses and to strengthen a clean growth economy. Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec are reinvesting the revenues in their own provinces through measures such as targeted rebates or tax cuts to households and businesses, investments in public transit, clean technology solutions, and home retrofit programs that help families and businesses save money.

These investments are already making a big difference for Canadians. They are creating good jobs, supporting cleaner growth, and driving investments in cities and communities. Importantly, governments can and should design their own carbon pricing systems to avoid putting extra financial pressure on low-income and middle-class households. For example, provinces can choose to provide money-back rebates, to cut taxes, or to fund discounts on technologies that help people save money on energy bills. Governments in Canada are already making those kinds of choices.

British Columbia's carbon price system has a tax credit for low-income groups. It helps many offset the cost of that province's carbon price through direct payments to low-earning families. By cutting personal or corporate taxes, B.C. also returns revenues from its carbon tax to households and small businesses.

I am very proud that our government is taking the steps to price pollution across the country. The evidence from at home and around the world is extraordinarily strong. It shows that pricing pollution creates good middle-class jobs and gives families and businesses an incentive to make choices that will help them save energy and money. Canadians expect a healthy environment and a growing economy, and that is exactly what we are doing right. (1055) [Translation]

In Alberta, about 60% of households receive full or partial rebates to compensate for the cost of the carbon tax. Families whose income in less than $95,000 a year receive a full rebate. Putting a price on pollution can protect families from the net costs. It helps reduce pollution and sets Canada up for success in the global transition to cleaner growth. The environment and the economy go together. Canadians expect a healthy environment and a growing economy, and that is exactly what we are doing right.[English]

For too long in Canada and elsewhere, cynics have worked hard to stall action on climate change. Some have failed to see the enormous opportunity before us, while others simply refuse to acknowledge that climate change is real. However, the time for inaction is over, and that is why Canada is leading during the clean growth century.

Part of our plan is pricing carbon pollution, but it involves so much more. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England and a great Canadian, put it best when he said, “The point is that the more we invest with foresight, the less we will regret in hindsight.” According to the World Bank, the Paris Agreement will help us open up nearly $23 trillion in new opportunities for climate-smart investments in Canada and emerging markets around the world between now and 2030.

With that in mind, let me lay out other parts of our climate plan, which together will not only reduce carbon pollution but will also renew our infrastructure, strengthen our transportation networks, and, through smart and strategic investments, spur clean innovation and opportunity in Canada's towns and cities.

We are investing $21.9 billion in green infrastructure to build energy-efficient homes and offices and help families save on their energy bills. We are investing $20.1 billion to support urban public transit to help reduce commute times in our cities, to increase the use of clean transportation, and allow Canadians to spend more time with their families and less time in traffic. [Translation]

We are going to phase out coal-fired electric...”

Hon. Michael Chong (Wellington—Halton Hills, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...aws is that it is not transparent enough. The government is not being transparent about the cost to families. It is also not being transparent about modelling the numbers to 2030.

Fifty dollars ...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...cing for a decade now. Let us look into what that means for the people of British Columbia, for the families and businesses and the opportunity they have to innovate and improve how they do things. We could also debate this with other provinces such as Alberta and Ontario, which have their own way of pricing carbon.

The Conservative motion ignores the other side of the coin. The motion talks about the potential impact on families and individuals. Yes, but if we do nothing, if we do not take leadership on this, if we take no action on global warming and its effects, about which there is unassailable international scientific consensus, there is a potential impact there as well. Global warming, which is already underway and could be catastrophic if the temperature rises more than 2°C per year above 1990 reference levels, will result in more natural disasters and climate extremes. I am talking about natural disasters that will have an even greater impact than what we have seen so far to the detriment of countless economic sectors.

If we want to be logical, balanced, and transparent in this debate, we also need to find out the cost of not taking action, the consequences of the extreme temperatures we may be facing. It has already begun in Quebec and across Canada. We already have studies and numbers. (1115)

The average number of natural disasters in Canada has doubled over the past 30 years. It is not that there were no natural disasters before, but they were fewer in number, less serious, and had less of an impact on people's lives, our environment, and our economy.

Climate change and the rising number of natural disasters are not unrelated. Quite the opposite, and there is a cost associated with that. Since we are talking about insurance, from 1983 to 2004, insured losses from natural disasters cost an average of $373 million a year in Canada. However, in the next decade, from 2005 to 2015, the average annual losses more than tripled. They were three times as high. They cost an average of $1.2 billion per year. We can already see that climate change is having an impact and that there is a cost associated with it.

The federal government's disaster financial assistance arrangements program helps the provinces and territories recover from natural disasters. In 1970, it paid out an average of $54 million. From 1995 to 2004, the program gave out $291 million per year. From 2005 to 2015, it paid out $410 million per year. In the past six years, this fund provided more financial assistance than it has in its 39 years of operation. The increase in the cost of this federal insurance over the past 20 years is a result of the increase in the number and intensity of large-scale natural disasters. Our Conservative friends like to talk about the impact on our wallets and pockets. There has already been an impact because it is costing the government a lot of money in insurance alone, and that is not even to mention individuals.

There is also an impact on our economic ability to make the transition and maintain acceptable economic growth. The two go hand in hand. Climate change can result in many economic losses. I talked about natural disasters and extreme weather events, but we also have to consider the impact on public health spending, losses in agricultural productivity, financial coverage of risk, or insurance, premature wear and tear on infrastructure, and energy costs. All these impacts could slow our economic growth if we do nothing. We must be fully aware of them.

The impacts of climate change are quite varied and include infrastructure that must be rebuilt, health problems, and destroyed crops. It can be difficult to evaluate their cost, but several studies have been conducted. I will name a few because it is important that this be part of the debate if we want to have a sound, balanced, and well-informed discussion. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, estimates that a 2°C increase in global warming could reduce global GDP by 2% per year. That is significant.

Some of the more direct costs in Quebec are associated with flood damage. Take, for example, the flooding this year and last year. Shoreline erosion resulting from decreased winter ice cover and infrastructure damaged by repeated freeze-thaw cycles are two more examples. I have the pleasure of living in Montreal, and I can say that the potholes are very real. When temperatures vary significantly during the winter, the snow melts and water seeps into the asphalt, which then cracks when the water freezes again. This happens several times a year.

I want to read a quote regarding the impact on the global economy. “Taking action now will not only solve the problems of protecting the planet, but it will be a tremendous boost for economies.” Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, said this in 2014. I could also quote the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding the potential impact on the American economy.

To have a balanced motion that looks at the overall impact of a carbon tax or climate change, I move, seconded by the member for Salaberry—Suroît, an amendment to the motion:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “indicating” and substituting the following: “to Canadian families how much the price on carbon proposed in Budget 2018 will cost them, and how much the growi...”

Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry—Suroît, NDP)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... the Upper St. Lawrence. That flooding cost and continues to cost thousands of dollars to countless families who are unable to sell or renovate their homes. It is tough.

Furthermore, communities...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...he Department of Finance, who said they have done modelling on the impact on Canadians and Canadian families. This information exists.

I thought this was all about evidence-based policy-making. ...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s and helping hard-working business owners grow their businesses. Growth means more jobs, healthier families, and more vibrant communities.[Translation]

We lowered the small business tax rate to...”

Mr. Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...could be rent payments, sports for the kids, university tuition. These are all things that Canadian families can kiss goodbye thanks to this costly plan, but the government refuses to come clean on it.

The environment minister told us that a price on carbon could have to go as high as $100 per tonne in 2020 and $300 per tonne in 2050 to meet the government's 2030 targets, but that is not just individual costs; the carbon tax will have a huge impact on Alberta's oil and gas sector as well. Last week, I had a round table with various groups from the energy sector, including academia, labour groups, business groups, and provincial partners, and it was clear that the biggest barrier to growth and economic prosperity in Alberta is investment fleeing from our energy sector and from the carbon tax. The carbon tax makes everything we produce more uncompetitive. It punishes places of worship and the not-for-profits. The Edmonton Food Bank, for example, is getting hit with thousands of dollars of added costs, and a not-for-profit cannot just pass these costs on to customers.

We met with the local cement industry. It is losing out on government contracts because it cannot compete with Chinese bidders because of the added price of a carbon tax. Let us just think about it. Taxpayers' money is going to a foreign competitor that has a horrible environmental record because we have handicapped our cleaner and local industries.

This is what Dr. Andrew Leach talks about when he refers to the carbon leakage. In the end, we are not reducing overall carbon emissions worldwide; we're just moving it to other jurisdictions, mostly with worse environmental standards. The energy sector needs job-creating policy and proposals, not more regulation and higher taxes to operate. Nothing drives away business investment quite like a commitment against business investment, such as we have seen with the government giving taxpayers' money to fund anti-oil protesters.

We have repeatedly asked how much the Liberal carbon tax will cost families, but the Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment have flat out refused to answer. If...”

Mr. Kelly McCauley

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...oday is about the Liberal carbon tax cover-up. We know how much the cost is going to be to Canadian families. Finance has it. The Liberals submitted the report and said they have it but they would block everything. That is what this debate is about: why they will not release how much it is going to cost Canadian families. If they are so confident that this is the cat's pyjamas of fixing climate change, why woul...”

Mr. Kelly McCauley

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, again, the question in this debate is what it is going to cost Canadian families. We on this side of the House, in the Conservative Party, are concerned for Canadian taxpayers. We are concerned because they should be able to pay for groceries, taxes, and rent, and not have to put one aside so they can pay the carbon tax. The question is how much the carbon tax is going to cost Canadian families. The government knows what it is, and we would like that answer.”

Mr. Mark Warawa

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... down our greenhouse gas emissions without a carbon tax. How much will the carbon tax cost Canadian families?”

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ffordable for Canadians, whether it is home heating, as the member talked about, transportation for families, or the cost of producing energy generally.

If it is reasonable to ask the government what the cost of carbon pricing across the country is for individual families, is it not also reasonable to ask the government to come forward with the cost of inaction on those same families? Those costs are real. They affect the natural resource sector, which the member is well fa...”

Ms. Pam Goldsmith-Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nues fund tax cuts for small businesses and households. In Alberta, the revenues support rebates to families, action to phase out coal, and investment in energy efficiency. In Ontario, revenues from carbon pricing support clean energy, like solar panels. In Quebec, carbon pricing funds climate action, like investments in public transit. Carbon pricing is recognized as a cost-effective way to reduce emissions and stimulate clean growth.

The costs of inaction on climate change are significant. I recall when I was mayor of West Vancouver sitting in a seminar with Lloyd's of London representatives well over a decade ago, where the underwriters and insurance industry leaders globally expressed their growing concern regarding the cost of extreme and unpredictable storm events, patterns of human settlement, and which housing developments would be even worth underwriting. That was ages ago.

Some estimates suggest that climate change will cost Canada's economy $5 billion a year by 2020. We know from examples from around the world that putting a price on carbon pollution helps to drive innovation and create good, middle-class jobs. According to the World Bank, jurisdictions representing about half the global economy are putting a price on carbon, not even including China's national system, which was recently announced. (1315)

While it has been interesting to listen to the opposition as it looks in its rear-view mirror, pricing carbon pollution is the new normal. It spurs clean innovation, helping Canada to compete and prosper in the $23-trillion economic opportunity that clean growth represents around the world. Governments can and should design their carbon pricing systems to avoid putting extra financial pressure on low-income and middle-class households. For example, provinces can choose to provide money-back rebates, cut taxes, or fund discounts on energy saving programs and technology. That has certainly been borne out in British Columbia.

Governments in Canada are already making those choices. In Alberta, approximately 60% of households receive full or partial rebates to offset the cost of the carbon levy. Families that earn less than $95,000 a year receive a full rebate to offset the costs associated wit...”

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... it comes to tourism and the fisheries? If we do not act on climate change, what is the cost to our families and the families we represent?”

Mr. Robert Sopuck (Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...he cascading of the GST on top of the carbon tax, which will result in significant cost to Canadian families and the economy, I am very pleased to support the motion by my colleague.”

Ms. Joyce Murray (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Lib.)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa and his colleagues know very well, the costs and benefits to families will be determined by the provincial program to apply the price on pollution and to determine how that gets reinvested into their communities. They know very well that there is not such a thing as a simple cost for families, because it depends. It could be a benefit for families, and I hope that in his community his province will structure it so that rural and remote c...”

Mr. Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...censored form indicating how much the federal carbon tax proposed in Budget 2018 will cost Canadian families in order to put an end to the carbon tax cover-up.

This is a very simple motion. We are calling on the government to release the documents that will show us, once and for all, how much the carbon tax will cost the average family. I listened closely this morning to the Minister of the Environment's 20-minute speech. Not surprisingly, her speech promoted the carbon tax and her vision to lower greenhouse gases. One could even argue that she was promoting herself, since she she seems to have taken all the credit for this carbon tax from the beginning.

However, she was asked a simple question about how much the carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family. Not once in her entire speech did the Minister of the Environment refer to this motion or to what the carbon tax will cost Canadian families. That is unacceptable. She even had the nerve to say that, historically, cynics have stalled action on climate change. The cynics, however, are on the other side of the House. This government was elected on false promises of openness and transparency.

Today, we have a government that refuses to tell Canadians the truth about how much the carbon tax will cost Canadian families. We submitted a simple access to information request to find out what impact carbon pricing...”

Mr. Simon Marcil (Mirabel, GPQ)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...

We have so much work ahead of us at the federal level to preserve the quality of life of our families. Think of all those affected by the Phoenix fiasco. This is serious. The Canadian governmen...”

Mr. Jati Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, Lib.)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...floods in the spring, followed by a harsh fire season in the summer.

My thoughts are with the families affected by the flooding in Cache Creek and elsewhere in Canada. As Canadians across the co...”

Mr. Robert Oliphant (Don Valley West, Lib.)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...3 van attack. Ten candles burned on stage during our vigil, one for each life cut short and for the families and friends left to mourn.

Toronto is not the first city to be hit by a tragedy like ...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... and nurture our citizens. From social, cultural, and recreational programs to helping individuals, families, and new Canadians develop and connect, neighbourhood houses are welcoming homes for everyo...”

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...We have received no answers. All we get is quotes from millionaires and billionaires, while working families cannot even afford to drive their cars with gas now being at $1.61 per litre in my home pro...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... possession a document that shows how much more his Liberal carbon policy is going to cost Canadian families.

Could the Prime Minister come clean with Canadians, be straight with Canadians, and ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ittee, government officials admitted that they have modelled the cost of the carbon tax to Canadian families. When I asked if they would share those calculations with the committee and with the people...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...uestion.

Today, gas prices in Vancouver have reached a record $1.60. Consumers are suffering. Families are paying more, and it is going to get a lot worse under this proposed Liberal carbon tax. The government knows how much this tax would cost families. Why will the Liberals not tell Canadians how much it will cost the average family?”

Hon. Alice Wong (Richmond Centre, CPC)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, I have heard from constituents who are frustrated by wait times to sponsor their families. There is a strict limit on the number of family members who can come to Canada, yet there seems to be no limit to the number of illegal border crossers who are allowed in. Can the Prime Minister please explain how it is fair to keep families apart while rewarding those who break the law?”

Hon. Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... the Conservatives, the processing time for spouses was more than 26 months. Spouses, children, and families were kept apart for a very long time. We have brought that down to 12 months or less.

Let us talk about the live-in caregiver program. Families were kept apart for five to seven years. We have reduced that to 12 months or less.

W...”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rday's agreement provides for new investments of $4 billion to support the housing needs of Ontario families.[English]

Yesterday's new partnership is going to build and repair more homes. It is going to protect 130,000 Ontario families from the risk of losing their community home, and help deliver the new Canada housing benef...”

Mr. T.J. Harvey (Tobique—Mactaquac, Lib.)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...bilities, and particularly persons with a physical disability, aging individuals, seniors and their families, in Canada, by: (a) emphasizing the efforts of companies, contractors and builders who are already applying the principles of Visitability in their new constructions; (b) encouraging the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities to address the topic of Visitability in the accessibility legislation to be introduced in the House; and (c) inviting the federal government to address the subject of Visitability with its provincial and territorial partners in upcoming Federal, Provincial and Territorial discussions.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today in the first hour of debate on my Motion No. 157 on visitability. It is the first time the term “visitability” has been used in the House of Commons, but the visitable housing, or visitability movement, began in the U.S. in the early 1980s. It is the concept of designing and building homes with basic accessibility. Visitability homes provide easy, independent access on main levels for all ages and abilities. Visitable houses also offer convenient, age-friendly homes for residents and a welcoming environment for visitors of all ages.

Visitability does not mean fully accessible or universal design, and it does not apply to the upper floors or basement. Visitable housing benefits everyone: seniors, persons with a disability, parents, and children. It benefits parents manoeuvring strollers, people in the moving industry, people with temporary physical injuries, friends, family, and neighbours who have limited ability, and anyone who would like to invite a friend or family member who has a physical impediment over to their home.

Visitability increases the usability of a home over its and the homeowners' lifetimes and makes economic sense. To simplify the basic accessibility I am referring to, a visitable home has three basic accessibility features. One, it has a no-step entrance. At minimum, there is one accessible, no-step level entrance at the front, back, or side of the house, with an accessible route to the driveway. Two, it has clear passageways, wider doorways and hallways, with all doorways and halls wider, i.e., a minimum of 38 inches, so there is clear passage throughout the main floor. Three, it has a main floor visitable bathroom. The bathroom on the main floor is accessible by visitors who use mobility devices.

Motion No 157 is meant to introduce the concept of minimum accessibility measures designed to accommodate everyone, including our aging demographic, allowing individuals to stay in their homes for as long as they so desire, and to address the high population of persons with a disability in Canada, which we have seen growing especially in New Brunswick. By having this conversation, we are able to adapt our thinking patterns to better plan for the future, whether it is for our parents, our children, or ourselves. Motion No. 157 is a first step.

Increasing public awareness and understanding is a large piece of this motion. Mutual respect and understanding, combined with further education, will contribute to an inclusive society, making it vitally important to improve public understanding of visitability and minimum accessibility standards.

My interest on this issue is based initially around personal experience through family members and friends who have been affected through temporary or permanent disability and age-related health issues, which limit mobility and the ability to navigate steps and tight spaces, sometimes even in their own homes. Our approach to finding solutions must include conversations with stakeholders who work in the field of disability, seniors issues, as well as contractors and home builders, to encourage the possibility of access and small, minimum standards that can be followed to allow for this access.

Over the past several months, I have had discussions and collaborated with municipalities, residents, other MPs, contractors, national organizations, provincial organizations, seniors, a significant number of persons with a disability, and young families, leading to a growing interest in the need for change. It is evident that through those conversations, visitability is a positive step forward. I was pleased to see it included in the recently announced national housing strategy by my colleague, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Houses are often built without any consideration of end users with mobility issues, such as those with a disability or an aging population. Each of our individual needs change over time, and when it comes to housing and our requirements throughout the time we live in our home, they will vary as we age. Changes could be associated with pregnancy, small children, equipment, illness, aging, or disability. We may not be the only individuals affected. It could affect any member of our family or our friends.

I will quickly share a story. A mother of two living with a mobility disability moved to my riding a few years ago. After sharing a post on social media about my motion, she commented, “Thank you so much.... I dream one day of not considering home access when making friends.” Her mother then commented, “It is a matter of educating people, we never thought of accessibility until our daughter had a spinal cord injury.”

Simply being aware of the concept of visitability or minimum accessibility can adjust our thinking to allow for the potential to age in place and allow access to all in our homes. There is very little accessible or visitable housing stock available in Canada. There are many architectural barriers in homes and little adaptability to the changing needs of residents over the lifetime of a home. (1110)

Many seniors and persons who are diagnosed with a disability are forced to sell their homes, such as split-entry level homes, because they are difficult to modify and due to the high costs of modifications. Split-level entry homes are becoming increasingly unpopular for new home buyers due to the desire to age in place. Whatever form it takes, as stated by the Canadian Medical Association, a spacious suburban bungalow or urban condo, our homes are more than roofs over our heads. We invest in them with memories and emotions.

It is not surprising that a 2013 survey found that 83% of us want to age in place by remaining in our current dwelling for as long as possible. This seems like a reasonable objective. Statistics Canada has estimated that the over-65 population was numbered at just over six million in 2017 in Canada. They represent 17% of our population, according to information collected in the 2016 census, and it will be about 25% by 2036.

It is reported that one in seven Canadians is living with a disability. Statistics Canada's Canadian survey on disability in 2012 indicated at that time the most common disability type nationwide was pain, followed by flexibility or mobility. In 2012, almost 14% of the Canadian population 15 years of age or older, which is 3.8 million individuals, reporting having a disability that limits their daily activities. That is one in seven Canadians 15 years of age or older.

Although visitable housing was first introduced in consideration of people with physical disabilities, the concept is now widely accepted as a desirable home design for a wide range of residents, as cited by the American Association of Retired Persons, the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention the key benefits to visitability cited by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies and pointed out by Ability New Brunswick, a non-profit provincial organization that works to empower mobility and independence for New Brunswickers living with a mobility disability.

Designing a new home with visitable features promotes sustainable living, reduces environmental costs, and is more cost-effective than attempting to retrofit a home with narrow hallways and doors and an inaccessible bathroom at a later time when mobility changes. Visitable homes give the opportunity to welcome and be inclusive to guests who use a mobility device, reducing the social isolation often experienced by seniors and persons with a disability. Visitable homes help avoid the necessity of moving into an institutional setting. A house with a no-step entrance can also help reduce the number of falls and stair-related injuries by seniors, which in turn saves on long-term health care costs. Visitable houses can be aesthetically pleasing and marketable to home buyers. A visitable house design can also be useful for residents who have temporary difficulty in walking, for example, due to a broken leg or ankle, something which I have experienced personally over the past couple of years.

When visitable features are planned from the onset, costs can be negligible. Retrofits of conventional homes to make them visitable cost significantly more than making the homes visitable from the building onset.

Benefits of visitability go beyond the housing market. From an economic development standpoint, when we do not plan for the population of persons with a disability to simply come through our front door, as a business, for example, we are missing out. If we consider the statistics I mentioned, that more than six million people are living with a disability in Canada, and include their friends and families, so up to 12 million Canadians, we are looking at a huge market. This population has a large understanding of disability and its impacts on the people they love, and they represent more than a third of our population. All of these people pick cars and restaurants based on the needs of their loved ones with disabilities. This is a market we cannot ignore. By addressing the demands of persons with a disability, we are making options available to everyone.

I would like to point out how amazing our environment would be if we took the principles of visitability beyond housing and into our greater community. It makes economic sense. Seniors issues are currently at a high point. The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Health Coalition and other advocates are pushing for a national seniors strategy, one which would include housing. This is an opportunity to support seniors, persons with a disability, and Canadians of all ages and abilities today, while we are preparing for the diverse and growing needs of our population of tomorrow.

To reference the study brought forward as a result of the motion from my colleague, the hon. member for Nickel Belt, around a national seniors strategy, affordable and accessible housing need to go hand in hand. When we talk about affordable housing, it is imperative that it go hand in hand with accessible housing. (1115)

The federal, provincial, and territorial ministers responsible for housing recently agreed to a shared vision where “Canadians have access to housing that meets their needs and they can afford. Housing is the cornerstone of building sustainable, inclusive communities and a strong Canadian economy where we can prosper and thrive.” This inclusive community needs to ensure that our needs are met through affordable housing, but we also need to be able to get through the front door in order to have full community participation from all Canadians who contribute to a thriving economy.

I want to ensure that I emphasize the fact that visitable housing is beneficial to all, not just persons with disabilities or seniors. There are instances where a mother or a father is coming through the door with an armful of groceries, a stroller, and children. Not having to navigate steps on the way through the door, on top of everything else, allows for greater ease and less risk of potential injury. As a father of four, I can attest to that. I can think of countless times when a no-step entry could have been beneficial for my family.

Houses are built and purchased every day. Visitability is something that can become a natural and common consideration in the pre-construction phase and implemented into the design. Several communities in Canada are leaders in developing and implementing visitability policies and practices. Beecher Bay First Nation in British Columbia has developed a policy where visitability is mandatory for all residential and non-residential buildings. Vancouver requires visitable elements in its building bylaw. The City of Winnipeg has developed design standards for visitable housing, and the City of Ottawa has committed to 100% of social housing projects being completely or mostly visitable.

The first neighbourhood plan in Canada to include predominantly visitable housing is currently being developed in Manitoba. Over 1,000 single-family homes are being built with visitability features in Bridgwater, Manitoba neighbourhoods. Many of these homes have been completed and are already occupied, as cited by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies in 2017.

The Canadian Medical Association has stated that an increasing number of builders, contractors, and others have obtained a certified aging-in-place specialist certificate. Overseen by the National Association of Home Builders in the U.S., the CAPS program has a Canadian-specific syllabus that focuses on the needs of Canadian homes and climates. This specification is useful for Canadians looking to analyze existing housing or design new housing. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation maintains an online portal of aging-in-place resources, which includes some useful links for accessible and adaptable housing and aging in place.

Canadians of all ages and abilities should have the opportunity to live and age in place in their homes. Working toward a more accessible society through considering and addressing basic minimum accessibility standards, so that Canadians have the option to build homes, grow old, live independently, and age in place as they get older, is crucial to our society. I applaud the work of companies, contractors, and builders who are already applying the principles of visitability in their new construction for Canadians who wish to plan for the future.

Our government is committed to creating ambitious federal accessibility legislation that would lead to more consistent experiences of accessibility across Canada. Visitability is a great place to start. As we work to foster an environment where Canadians of all ages and abilities can age in place, we need to ensure that the frameworks in place to support research are effective and accessible and foster collaboration. It is imperative that we learn best practices from communities already demonstrating these practices and engage with our partners in order to coordinate and collaborate in combatting today's accessibility challenges. Planning and public education are needed if we are to ensure that Canada has communities, spaces, and homes where Canadians can be as independent as possible, be active in their communities, and age in place.

As a member of Parliament in our great country, where I am proud to live and raise my children, I bring Motion No. 157 on visitability to the House as a first step toward a more accessible Canada. With this motion, my goal is clear: include these minimum standards of accessibility, known as visitability, in the anticipated federal accessibility legislation and encourage collaboration with provinces and territories to improve the possibility for Canadians of all ages and abilities to age in place. For people without a disability, seniors who experience mobility difficulties, and families requiring space, visitability makes things easier. Planning to age in place with visitabili...”

Ms. Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor—Tecumseh, NDP)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...isabilities—and we have heard that there are six million persons living with disabilities—and their families and friends, have been waiting for the government to act.

The government held lengthy...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Lib.)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ilities, and particularly persons with a physical disability, aging individuals, seniors, and their families. It suggests three ways to do this.

First, the motion suggests emphasizing the efforts of companies, contractors, and builders who are already applying the principles of visitability in their new constructions. The motion also encourages the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities to address the topic of visitability in the accessibility legislation to be introduced in the House. Finally, Motion No. 157 invites the federal government to address the subject of visitability with its provincial and territorial partners in upcoming federal, provincial, and territorial discussions. This is a good start.

I would like to provide a few more details about what the concept of visitability really means to us. It is a simplified form of universal accessibility that advocates the construction of new visitable housing for everyone. Visitable housing ensures improved accessibility to visitors of all ability and mobility levels thanks to things like a no-step entry, wider doorways, and a main floor bathroom.

Such housing would be more convenient not only for visitors who are elderly or have a disability, but also for its residents, who will appreciate its advantages as they age and their abilities decline. Visitable housing can be beneficial for many people, such as friends, family members, parents with strollers, and visitors using mobility devices. Visitable and accessible housing can therefore have a major impact on the physical, mental, and financial well-being of seniors and people with a disability, as well as their loved ones. It can also help prevent social isolation among those individuals and help them remain active in their communities.

All stakeholders will need to be involved, including the federal government, the provinces, the territories, municipalities, social decision makers, contractors, architects, and urban planners. One of out seven Canadians has a disability, and one-third of people aged 65 to 74 or older have mobility issues. Choosing visitability and accessibility for people with disabilities and the aging Canadian population is the way of the future. It will guarantee that everyone has the option to live and age in place.

That is why our national housing strategy is primarily intended to meet the needs of the most vulnerable groups of people. It will help us address a wide range of housing needs, including shelters, community housing, and affordable rental housing. It will give priority to the housing needs of the most vulnerable Canadians, to help overcome the systemic obstacles they face.

We are, of course, working in close collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners to carry out our strategy and establish a formal framework for the next steps. The national housing co-investment fund will provide $15.9 billion to repair existing rental housing and develop new affordable housing. The fund is expected to create up to 60,000 new homes and repair up to 240,000 existing community homes. It will also significantly improve access to a home for people with limitations or disabilities.

To qualify for this fund, renovation or construction projects will have to include fully or partially accessible housing units. We are also inviting the provinces and territories to work with us to develop a Canada housing benefit, which would be launched in 2020. (1145)

This allocation will provide support to families and people in need of housing, including people who currently live in social housing, those waiting for social housing, and those housed by the private market, but who are having a hard time making ends meet. We estimate that every eligible household will receive $2,500 on average through the Canada housing benefit. Over time, this benefit will help at least 300,000 households.

Now I would like to talk about the work the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the CMHC, has done on visitability. Over the years, the CMHC has done extensive research into visitability and developed information for builders, renovators, and consumers in order to better integrate accessibility and visitability concepts into housing designs. Many advances in our recent programs are based on the research that has been done over the past few years.

The CMHC developed Flex HousingTM, an innovative approach to home design, renovation, and construction that is able to adapt and convert affordably and that takes into account the changing lifestyle that is able to adapt and convert as a household's lifestyle and needs change. This concept can be applied to, and seamlessly integrated within, all forms of conventional housing. It applies to any kind of new housing construction from singles and duplexes to multi-unit residential buildings. It also works for renovations, thereby helping to address the challenges associated with an aging population and an aging housing stock. Flex HousingTM helps people and their families to stay in their homes longer. That is not insignificant.

Our government is committed...”

Mr. Robert Kitchen (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... a home makes it more attractive for buyers, including those who do not have a physical disability. Families with strollers, movers with heavy equipment, people who have larger beds, and those with gr...”

Mr. John Oliver (Oakville, Lib.)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...killed, injured, or become ill due to workplace-related hazards and accidents. We also remember the families who have lost loved ones.

Unfortunately, not all workplaces are safe. On average across Canada, three workers per day are killed on the job or die due to workplace hazards. Many more are injured or develop illnesses. The National Day of Mourning focuses our attention on these personal tragedies and reminds us that there is more work to be done in this area.

I was pleased to join the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793, and the Oakville and District Labour Council in my riding of Oakville this past weekend. Every year, these organizations bring the community together for events. Families, labour, management, and the public join as one to remember and commit to change. I thank t...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...res the facts, this is in part a direct result of the Liberal carbon tax.

What about Canadian families? They too are going to suffer. What is the cost of the carbon tax on Canadian families?”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...t. What a joke. Nobody believes it.

How much is this bad joke going to cost everyday Canadian families?”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...naire CEOs he cites are just fine with a few extra thousand dollars in taxes, but it is the working families who cannot afford higher costs who we are championing on this side of the House of Commons. I would note that the very companies he pointed to are divesting themselves from Canada and investing in other places around the world, so, of course, they will not be affected by the taxes that the government supports. When will the Liberals stop siding with the CEOs and start siding with working families?”

Hon. Jim Carr (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...in the oil sands. They understand better than everybody else how important the energy sector is for families in virtually every region of the country.

The member knows that we approved the Trans...”

Hon. Mark Eyking (Sydney—Victoria, Lib.)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...remony in Whitney Pier hosted by our local unions. I got to meet not only injured workers, but also families that lost their loved ones at the work site. Over the past two years, our government has br...”

Hon. Patty Hajdu (Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...reless work on behalf of injured workers.[Translation]

My sincerest condolences go out to the families, friends, and colleagues of the victims so deeply affected by these tragedies.[English]

...”

Mr. Rhéal Fortin (Rivière-du-Nord, GPQ)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, what plan are we talking about?

There are hundreds of families in makeshift camps waiting for the government to take action. The minister agrees that he s...”

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP)

April 30th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...signed by several residents of Hochelaga and the surrounding ridings.

It states that Canadian families are working harder than ever but still struggle to make ends meet, that a decent minimum wa...”

Mr. Dane Lloyd (Sturgeon River—Parkland, CPC)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ow they would be proud of their former teammates today.

I want to take this time to thank the families that put in countless hours to support our players, particularly the billeting families that provide a home away from home.

The lads of the Spruce Grove Saints showed an int...”

Mr. Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood, CPC)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Why do the Liberals insist on inflicting their “Ottawa knows best” scheme on our Saskatchewan families?”

Hon. Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...es and asylum seekers when they were in power. They did not invest in processing immigration cases. Families and spouses and children had to wait in line for years under the previous government.

..”

Hon. Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ers provide a valuable service to Canadians. How long did they have to wait in line to rejoin their families under that party? It was five years. Spouses had to wait almost three years under that part...”

Mr. Todd Doherty (Cariboo—Prince George, CPC)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ter of Fisheries and Oceans, and that is the lack of concern and understanding for the hard-working families in coastal communities. He has arbitrarily shut down the New Brunswick lobster fishery a we...”

Mr. Sven Spengemann (Mississauga—Lakeshore, Lib.)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Madam Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the children of military families that make that most unique of sacrifices. Indeed, April is the month of the military child.

According to the Vanier Institute of the Family, 75% of military couples have children. There are currently 500,000 children of military members or veterans in Canada.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence tell the House how the government is fulfilling its responsibilities to these military families, who make a tremendous contribution to the Canadian Armed Forces?”

Mr. Jean Rioux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e on National Defence.

The Canadian Armed Forces' most valuable resources are their staff and families. Our government is committed to improving support for military families, for example through new investments of $6 million a year in military family resource centr...”

Ms. Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia—Lambton, CPC)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Madam Speaker, hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, crack, and crystal meth tear families apart, lead to criminal behaviour, and destroy lives. Will the justice minister commit that...”

Mr. Darren Fisher (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...older donated their time or money to a charitable or non-profit organization. Could the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development please tell the House how this government is recognizing o...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...300,000 people away from smoking, reducing the health impacts, the cost to society, and the toll on families.

In New Zealand, John Key's government also brought in similar legislation.

Therefore, with this part of Bill S-5, we are very in line with what our closest friends and allies have done. Unlike the Liberals who talk about evidence-based decision-making, I am trying to review the benefits that some of our friends have already had. We can review their evidence, especially the post-implementation review in Australia, to show this will have a benefit. Even though there are a lot of things in Bill S-5, plain packaging is the centrepiece.

I would also like to mention why the Conservatives support Bill S-5, despite its omnibus nature.

Since the government of Brian Mulroney in 1988, and the tobacco products act it brought in with Bill C-51 at the time, there has been a non-partisan approach to smoking cessation legislation in the House. I am glad, despite some of the issues and despite the Liberals voting down our worthwhile amendments at committee, that we are still advocating and supporting them on this. We see the benefit, much like governments since 1988 saw with the legislation from the Brian Mulroney Progressive Conservative government. Subsequent changes were made by Liberal governments. Now we are trying to bring that same non-partisan approach to a public health issue on how we can get more young people to stop smoking or not get into it at all.

I would also like to thank the great advocacy work of physicians of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and a number of other great groups that have been at the forefront of some of these smoking cessation pieces of legislation. As I said at the outset of my remarks, we are trying to be non-partisan here, but I am very partisan. I would like to see the same approach in listening to physicians, health care professionals, and families in many cases to stop the rush with respect to some of the measures on the Prime Minister's...”

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...witnesses that include parents who have lost an infant to SIDS, organizations who advocate for SIDS families, experts in the area of grief counselling, as well as officials responsible for the Employment Insurance Parental Benefits program; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House within six months of the adoption of this motion, and that it be instructed to request a comprehensive government response to its report, pursuant to Standing Order 109.

He said: Madam Speaker, it is my honour to rise in this House today, on behalf of far too many grieving families, to speak to Motion No. 110, which would call on the human resources committee to study the impact on parents who have suffered the loss of an infant child.[Translation]

It is an honour for me to move this motion in the House on behalf of these families. It calls for more compassion from the government.[English]

The motion would make a huge difference in the lives of so many Canadian families touched by the tragedy of losing an infant child. The birth of a child should be a magical and wonderful moment, and despite the sleep deprivation that follows, the first years of a child's life are truly a blessing. Too often, all of that goes wrong for many Canadian families.

Motion No. 110 will hopefully be the first step in helping to improve the compassion shown for families in these situations. This problem first came to my attention when I was contacted by the Cormiers, a family in my constituency, who shared their story with me. Sarah and Lee welcomed their daughter Quinn, a beautiful baby girl, into the world in 2014. Tragedy hit only four months later, when Quinn fell asleep and never woke up. She passed away from sudden infant death syndrome, which is more commonly referred to as SIDS.

Sarah and Lee were struck with disbelief, shock, and obviously with overwhelming heartbreak. Amidst their deep grieving, in the aftermath of one of the most difficult times any parent could imagine, the Cormiers' parental benefits were immediately cut off. A Service Canada agent informed the Cormiers they would need to pay back the money that was given to them during the week after Quinn's death. One can only imagine how they felt when that conversation happened. What is even more shocking is that this is not an isolated incident.

It is far too cruel for parents who are going through their darkest hours. The government should be leading the way, standing shoulder to shoulder with parents like Sarah and Lee. These parents are not asking for help beyond what has already been committed to them. They are simply asking for compassion, for understanding, and for time to grieve and heal without needing to worry about financial burdens.

Since that conversation with Sarah and Lee, I have been to rallies and memorial events all across Canada, and I have heard far too many similar heartbreaking stories far too many times. At one of these events, I remember encountering a woman who shared her story with me. She talked about how after her infant child had passed away, she was told that she had to go to the bank in person—it could not be done online, only in person—and organize a reimbursement to Service Canada. This was merely weeks after the tragedy had occurred.

She told me of her anguish. She told me how she drove to the bank, sat there in the parking lot overcome with grief and this terrible emotion, and simply was unable to bring herself to go into the bank and explain the situation to them. Who can blame her? Why would parents be forced to fill out needless bureaucratic paperwork, personally visit Service Canada locations, and have to be forced to share their stories with government agents over and over again when they are simply not ready to do so?

In no way is this healthy or beneficial for the parents. Those who force themselves through these ordeals often end up traumatized, and it affects their ability to properly heal. In light of this, many parents have turned their sorrows into action, taking opportunities to advocate for other families and for better support and compassion for the thousands who are affected every year. They raise funds, organize walks, and speak up, courageously sharing their stories.

Of course, this also ensures the memory of their child will never be lost. The Cormiers, whom I mentioned earlier, founded Quinn's Legacy Run as a way to commemorate their daughter, as well as all the children who are gone too soon, and provide financial support for families in Alberta who have suffered the loss of an infant to SIDS.

I have attended Quinn's Legacy Run in the past. The turnout is fantastic, and Sarah and Lee have done an incredible job at raising awareness and ensuring that their story is heard and that Quinn's legacy is remembered.

I have had the honour of attending numerous other events, such as the Edmonton Baby Steps Walk to Remember, the Calgary Walk to Remember, the No Foot Too Small Awareness Walk in Saskatoon, the Sherwood Park Baby Steps Walk to Remember, the Vaughn's Memorial Color Run, and many others like it. The work these organizations are doing all across the country is important, because too many Canadian families are suffering in silence every year.

In Canada, approximately 15% to 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and over a thousand pregnancies every year end in stillbirth. Furthermore, almost 2,000 infants in Canada die before the age of one every year, over half of which are lost to SIDS or to unknown causes. Pregnancy and infant loss is not an issue across our borders or somewhere overseas; it is an issue that is hitting home right here, right now, and it hurts. It hurts a lot of people. I guarantee each member in this House of Commons has constituents who have suffered the tragedy of infant loss. (1315) [Translation]

Under our current system, if a pregnancy ends in miscarriage or stillbirth, the mother is not entitled to any supplementary maternity benefit because the purpose is to give her time to recover from childbirth. If the baby dies during the mother's maternity leave, benefits are immediately cut off. Also, if a baby dies while the mother or father is on parental leave, benefits end immediately. When the baby dies, the support ends. In some families, that might mean that the mother or father has to return to work the week after their child's death.[English]

The emotional turmoil that a family must be going through when they discover that their newborn has passed away is certainly difficult enough. However, we then force these parents to file paperwork, visit Service Canada, and make numerous calls to banks and other institutions to figure out what is available to them or what they have to do. That is clearly a flaw in our system. Families who have lost an infant are in need of our compassion. Studies show that parents who lose their child experience the most intense and often enduring stress.

As a father, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain felt by parents like the Cormiers, who lost their daughter Quinn. Fortunately, there are many great organizations devoted to helping families that have suffered infant loss. Groups like Gardens of GRACE, Cradles for Cuddles, the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network, Hazel's Heroes, the Butterfly Run, the Vaughn Sawchuk Foundation, Empty Arms perinatal loss support services, A Walk to Remember, Baby's Breath Canada, and the October 15 campaign all advocate to raise awareness of infant loss and offer support to care for bereaved families.

The October 15 campaign holds an annual walk to remember the children who were gone too soon. Cuddle Cots for Canada allows parents to spend more time with their child after the child has passed. Hope boxes of support materials are sent to grieving parents across the country.

Paula Harmon from Gardens of GRACE in Nova Scotia, Annick Robinson from Cuddle Cots based in Montreal, Rachel and Rob Samulack from the Butterfly Run in Ottawa—Gatineau, and Sarah Cormier from the Quinn's Legacy Run Society are all here. We have with us other advocates as well. They are here in Parliament this week to support this motion as it is being debated in the House of Commons.

A number of provinces across this country, New Brunswick, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, have all issued proclamations. Numerous municipalities across the country have also declared proclamations in support of these families and in support of remembrance. (1320)

It is time that we, as parliamentarians here in this House of Commons, joined in helping families who have suffered the tragedy of pregnancy and infant loss. I believe that we can do more to stand up and find better ways to support Canadian families by listening to parents who have lost an infant.

I want to thank a number of people, because this is a motion that has been brought forward in the greatest spirit of nonpartisanship in an attempt to give all parliamentarians on all sides of the House an opportunity to work together to make a difference in the lives of these grieving families.

I want to particularly thank some of my colleagues: the MP for Elgin—Middlesex—London, who is the opposition critic for children and families, for her efforts and support on behalf of this motion; the NDP critic, the MP for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, for her support and efforts in helping to push and advance this forward; and so many other colleagues I have spoken to about this, colleagues on all sides of the House and in all parties who have expressed their support and their interest in trying to do something to try to help these families.

I also want to thank all of those who have written letters, signed petitions, and called or met with their MPs to encourage them to support this motion. There are so many people all across Canada who have done just that. It gives us all an opportunity to understand and put a personal face on the stories we have heard, to really understand the impact this has on so many Canadian families, and to know that we have the ability, here in this place, to do something about it.

That is what we are seeking to do today: pass a motion that will have a study by a committee of the House of Commons to look at these issues and to hear from parents and families, to hear from those who advocate for those parents and families, to hear from grief counsellors, to hear from medical experts, to hear from all of those who could help us find a way to give these parents an opportunity to grieve without imposing extra financial or emotional burdens on them at the bureaucratic level when there is no need for that.

We need to be there to support them, not to add extra trauma at a time when they are going through something none of us could even begin to imagine.

Most importantly, I would like to thank the parent advocates all across this country who have had the courage—and I can only imagine the immense amount of courage—to share their stories of grief and heartbreak in order to try to help others. If they have the courage to do just that after what they have faced and what they have been through, then it is incumbent upon all of us as parliamentarians to have that same courage and that same compassion and to step forward and do something that is very easily within our power to do to fix the situation.

There cannot be excuses. There cannot be any excuses. There is no reason for excuses. This is simple. It is easy to fix. It is the least we can do. I certainly hope that all members of this House of Commons will join with me in standing shoulder to shoulder with these families in their darkest time and do something to ease that burden and make that load a little ligh...”

Mr. Blake Richards

April 27th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...o not pretend that I have all the answers, and I do not think any of us does. If we could hear from families, advocates, grief counsellors, and others who have the expertise, we could come up with a solution. There are great models in other countries. The U.K. has great support for these families.

I will say that we need to allow the families a little time to grieve without having to worry that they might have to return to work because they have a financial burden placed on them, with benefits being cut off the day the child passes away. We should give them a little time to grieve.

Whatever we do, whatever that looks like, whatever comes out of this committee, the key thing is to make it something that is consistent and automatic. What we do not want is to put families through a situation where they have to tell their story over and over to the Service Canada agents, or where they have to contemplate going into the bank in person and repaying benefits and fighting and hoping that they might get some other type of benefit that might cover that.

At the end of the day, there are far too many families who are faced with a situation where they have to make a choice between dealing with their ...”

Mr. Blake Richards

April 27th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...t I am here to do, and what I hope we are all here to do, is to try to take action to support these families. If that requires us to have some conversations about the number of meetings the committee ...”

Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, NDP)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...itibi—Témiscamingue. This motion gives us an excellent opportunity to be responsive to the needs of families after they have lost a child to sudden infant death syndrome.

The NDP believes that the federal government has a duty to ensure the well-being of all our constituents. That is why the NDP promised in the last campaign to extend eligibility for the compassionate care benefit. The NDP knows that many of our constituents care for a sick family member while also having to meet their professional and family obligations. That is why the NDP is more determined than ever to improve compassionate care leave, which is related to my colleague's motion.

I think we can all agree that losing a child is certainly one of the worst tragedies there could ever be. That is why we need to take all necessary means to ensure that parents who experience such tragedy get as much support as possible through such trying times.

I would like to point out the hard work and resilience of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot's many organizations that help parents in need after the birth of their first child or because they are traumatized by the loss of a child, especially in cases of sudden infant death syndrome. I am thinking of such organizations as Les Amis du Crépuscule, Centre de la Famille St-Pie, Urgence Vie, Maison de la Famille des Maskoutains, Fédération de la famille Richelieu-Yamaska, and many others.

Every day, these organizations help people in need and improve lives in the communities of Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale. I would like to congratulate and thank them for their incredible work giving these families in need a little bit of comfort and helping them to cope with situations that are often very difficult.

I strongly believe that the federal government should be paying more attention to these community organizations, which play a very important role in all our ridings. Their hard work should set the example for government action and open the Liberal government's eyes to the many reforms still needed in this country.

The NDP is committed to a comprehensive employment insurance reform to help all Canadians and end the many injustices that still exist in this country. It is all well and good to talk about improving certain aspects of the EI system, but let us not forget that six out of 10 workers are not eligible for EI even though they pay into it every week. The four out of 10 workers who are eligible get benefit rates of just 55%.

What is more, in recent months, 16,000 more workers have had to go without an income for a number of months because of bad EI reforms. The first major reform that slashed the EI system occurred in 1996, when the Liberals completely perverted the system. (1345)

Then the Conservative government came along and consolidated that reform. That is what needs to change if we want to help the parents who are dealing with the situation outlined in Motion No. 110.

During the last campaign, the Prime Minister himself promised to scrap the Conservatives' reform, which penalizes many workers and their families. Nearly two and a half years later, it is obvious that the Liberals have not taken enough meaningful action to back up their promises and truly change the reality of employment insurance.

It is time to take action. Hundreds of families across the country go without income, often for a number of weeks. We need to do more to help them. The NPD, its partners, unions, and unemployed workers' groups have been calling for a much-needed, comprehensive employment insurance reform for far too long. We keep warning the government that this reform is needed to better take into account the new realities of the labour market and the realities faced by parents who lose an infant. To date, the government has failed to listen.

Our country needs major legislative changes to ensure that 60% of workers and their families no longer have to live in precarious situations. I remind members that workers and unions c...”

Mrs. Karen Vecchio (Elgin—Middlesex—London, CPC)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...rdrie, for putting forward this compassionate motion on behalf of his constituents and all Canadian families from coast to coast. I offer congratulations. This motion is exactly the type of thing we should be looking at as parliamentarians.

I want to share with everybody what this motion truly is. It is an opportunity for us to grow together, an opportunity to make sure that we can work together to do what benefits our Canadian families.

The motion states:

That the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities be instructed to undertake a study of the impact on parents who have suffered the loss of an infant child, including in the case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), to consider, among other things, (i) ways to improve the level of compassion and support for parents who have suffered the loss of an infant child, (ii) ways to ensure that parents do not suffer any undue financial or emotional hardship as a result of the design of government programming, particularly from Employment Insurance Parental Benefits; that the Committee hold a minimum of six meetings to hear from witnesses that include parents who have lost an infant to SIDS, organizations who advocate for SIDS families, experts in the area of grief counselling, as well as officials responsible for the Employment Insurance Parental Benefits program; and that the Committee report its findings and recommendations to the House within six months of the adoption of this motion, and that it be instructed to request a comprehensive government response to its report, pursuant to Standing Order 109.

I think we have to go back to why we are all in this House in the first place. Our roles are to be members of Parliament, and our role is to serve Canadians. This motion provides an opportunity for us to serve Canadians to the best of our ability. This motion focuses on people—not government, but people—and how federal government programs impact families at extremely difficult times in their lives.

This motion is not about asking the federal government to spend more money. It is not about partisan policy. It is about Canadian families and how we can serve them at an extremely vulnerable time.

When the member brought this motion forward to discuss further, I started to think about my own constituents in Elgin—Middlesex—London and the struggles that our families go through. Now add to that a significant event, the loss of an infant child.

This House will have the opportunity to begin to understand how federal programs can negatively impact families going through a crisis at a time when families need compassion and the support of the government.

The member for Banff—Airdrie has not only shared his motion but has also provided an opportunity for every member in this House to sit down and speak to families that have been affected. I would like to personally thank him for that, because having a face to an issue makes it real, and this motion and this issue are real for Canadian families.

I will share something with the House. Any time a member is giving a speech, we want to know what we are talking about. One of the things I did was refer back to the information from Statistics Canada. I would like to share the information, according to Statistics Canada in 2014. At that point, in 2014, there were a total of 1,794 deaths of children under the age of one. Most striking for me was the total number of deaths of infants between zero and 27 days of age. This staggering number is 1,395.

Just imagine a mom or dad waiting for that miracle to be born after a gestation period of 280 days, but they may only have one or two days, sometimes even just hours, with that miracle.

In Canada 1,395 parents have lost their child within 27 days. That is something we must recognize. As a parent, and I know there are many parents in this House, we all know what it is like to anticipate the birth of a child. It is a time when we become excited. We are out there shopping, buying Pampers, buying cribs, and doing all of those things. Just imagine: 1,395 children are lost in the first 27 days. That is 1,395 parents impacted because of this, and it is not just the parents: we also have to consider the grandparents, the siblings, and everybody around them.

We need to make sure that we are growing a support system. Our government can be part of that support system.

There are a number of causes of infant death, from sudden infant death syndrome to neonatal hemorrhaging. I would like to share a story that I read while compiling my research on this motion. It is from the Toronto Star, dated October 24, 2016, by Lauren Pelley.

This story has not so much about what the government must do; rather, it shares the story of a woman and her husband who had lost their child. (1355)

From this, I hope members see how important it is that we recognize the emotions that are going through a family:

Gillian Cooper was 38 weeks and two days pregnant when she realized something was wrong.

On that October morning in 2011, the nearly full-term baby inside her wasn’t moving. Cooper didn’t feel the little one’s typical kicks later while she was running errands, either. She came home and put her 3-year-old son Jackson and another child she was babysitting down for a nap—and still didn't feel any movement. She drank a cold glass of milk. Nothing. Then a glass of juice. Still nothing.

Cooper got nervous.

She went to the hospital with Jackson later that day and met her partner Jay, her stepson, and her friend Carady, and the whole group settled in for a lengthy wait.

When a nurse finally brought Cooper in to check for a heartbeat three hours later, she could only pick up Cooper’s, not the baby’s. An intern doctor and an ultrasound machine arrived next.

“We don’t know the sex yet,” Cooper recalls telling the doctor.

“It isn’t going to make a difference,” she recalls the doctor curtly replying.

Cooper’s own doctor came by shortly after to confirm the heartbreaking news: Cooper’s baby had died, less than a week before her scheduled C-section.

“I held [Jackson] tight and tried to stand up. They got me a wheelchair. The screaming and crying—I’ve never, and probably never will again, be that upset in my life,” Cooper recalls.

Still in shock from the loss, Cooper had to make a quick decision: Would she deliver the baby, or go with the C-section she’d originally planned?

“The thought of pushing a dead baby out of my body...” Cooper trails off, speaking to the Star from her home in Toronto. She opted for a C-section.

Since losing the baby—a 7-pound boy named Carter—because of a knot in his umbilical cord, Cooper has been sharing her story of the pain and heartbreak that accompanies a stillbirth, a rare but devastating outcome during pregnancy that remains hush-hush despite its emotional toll on women and their families.

I want members to take the story of Gillian Cooper and imagine what she and her spouse are feeling, imagine what Jackson is feeling, and imagine the pain and devastation to this family. I have provided this information. Although fewer than 2,000 children die under the age of one, we have to recognize the impact it has on Canadian families. It is not rare for these sorts of things to happen, and we also have to realize that it is extremely traumatic.

What happens next is what we as parliamentarians can discuss. We can take a story like Gillian Cooper's and think about how we can be part of the solution to help make things easier for someone like Gillian Cooper. We have an opportunity to think about how federal government programs impact these families, which have gone through a horrific experience.

I want to share some things that we as members may not be aware of.

If a child is ill, a parent can take up to 35 weeks off during the child's illness through Service Canada under the critically ill benefit, but this is not extended beyond the date of death. For instance, if a child has been ill for 34 weeks and then passes away, the parent's employment insurance critical benefits cease at the time of the child's passing. Some members may say that there is a simple solution, which is to switch it over to sick benefits. Sure, it sounds fine, but there needs to be an advocate. There needs to be somebody there on behalf of this family. There needs to be somebody advocating and making sure the family is getting the customer service that this government and all governments should be providing, which Service Canada has the ability to do.

What would we do to help a family? Is there a way we can adjust this to make sure that transitions are smoother for these families? Should this be an automatic transition from one type of benefit to another? This is exactly what this study would do. It would look at these benefit programs and how we as parliamentarians can look at these sad times and make a difference in somebody's life.

How about someone who is on maternity leave? A person is eligible for 15 weeks of maternity leave, but let us say that the child passes on week 14. Do members of Parliament know that the person on maternity leave is granted only one more week? The mother is given only 15 weeks of maternity leave, meaning that she is expected to go back to work after her 15 weeks, after the loss of her child.

I just want to remind everybody that this is an important motion. There is not a lot of time for these families, but we need to make sure that we give them the time. We must make the time. I ask members to vote in support of this motion so that we can study this in committee and make a difference for the families that need us, when they need us most.”

Mrs. Karen McCrimmon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Lib.)

April 27th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...arent who has to endure such a horrible experience. Our government stands in support with all those families experiencing such unimaginable nightmares.

Motion No. 110 orders the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, HUMA, to undertake a study of the impact on parents who have suffered the loss of a child and explore new ways to support these parents. While the motion's goal is admirable, I have to express some concern with the wording.

In the past, there was no issue with the previous government about determining or disregarding the independence of committees. We have really tried hard to make committees more autonomous. There is a challenge in the way that Motion No. 110 dictates guidelines and timelines to HUMA. It is challenging in more than one way, and it would also be a challenge to enforce. However, we do agree that Motion No. 110 tackles a very serious issues. It shines a light on a topic that may not be discussed as much as it deserves.

Our government sympathizes with Canadians who lose an infant child to sudden or unexpected causes, including the case of sudden infant death syndrome, and we fully recognize the challenges these families face. While we understand no amount of benefits could fully heal the pain of losing a child, it does bear mentioning that there are a number of existing supports available for these parents, and I understand the challenge they are facing. These supports include paid bereavement leave under the Canada Labour Code, employment insurance, maternity and sickness benefits, and corresponding leaves under the code, as well as community-based and employer supports.

For example, EI maternity benefits could support a mother's physical and emotional recovery for up to 15 weeks surrounding child birth. These benefits continue to be payable in the tragic event that a child passes away. Grieving parents may also be eligible to receive up to 15 weeks of EI sickness benefits should they be unable to work following the death of their child. However, as important as these benefits are and as strong and effective as our EI program is, there is still room for improvement.

We need an EI system that is flexible enough to accommodate the unique and different needs of every Canadian. We know Canadians want options when they are trying to balance work and life responsibilities, whether it is caring for a sick family member or, indeed, grieving the loss of a child.

That is why our government introduced changes to EI maternity, parental, and caregiving benefits, as well as corresponding leaves under the Canada Labour Code, that makes the system more flexible and more inclusive.

That is why we introduced new measures that would allow new parents the option of choosing between a 12-month benefit period or receiving benefits spread over 18 months at a lower benefit rate when caring for a newborn or newly adopted child. It is why we are also allowing eligible pregnant workers to start receiving maternity benefits earlier.

We have also changed the system to help families that are going through difficult times.

We created a new EI caregiver benefit of up to 15 weeks to care for and support an adult family member who is critically ill or injured. We have also replaced benefits for parents of critically-ill children with an enhanced employment insurance family caregiver benefit for children. It expands the eligible support network to include all family members rather than just parents. We have also simplified the application process for EI caregiving benefits by allowing medical doctors and nurse practitioners to sign medical certificates. (1405)

In each case we have made corresponding amendments to the Canada Labour Code to ensure that employees in the federally regulated private sector can avail themselves of the enhanced caregiving, parental, and maternity benefits without the fear of losing their jobs.

We have also amended the code to help employees find a better balance between work, family, and other personal responsibilities. This includes making bereavement leave more flexible. The code currently provides employees in the federally regulated private sector with paid bereavement leave of up to three days following the death of an immediate family member. There will be new changes coming into force. These employees will be entitled to up to five days, the first remaining paid.

Amendments to the code will also give employees the right to request flexible work arrangements from their employers, such as flexible start and finish times and the ability to work from home, and it will also create new unpaid leave for family responsibilities, to participate in traditional indigenous practices, and for employees who are either victims of family violence or the parent of a child who is the victim of family violence.

In budget 2018, we also extended the working while on claim provisions to maternity and sickness benefits. This change will allow mothers and those dealing with illness or injury to have greater flexibility in staging their return to work, while also keeping more of their El benefits.

Once these changes come into force, they will provide families with more support when they need it most. In particular, they will benefit the very same people that Motion No. 110 aims to help: parents grieving the painful and unexpected loss of a child.

We will continue to deliver on our promise to all Canadians to improve the social safety net so that they can get the help they need when they need it. As always, our government welcomes input and discussion across party lines, both inside and outside of the House, to make sure that we are giving the best support possible to families who have endured the tragedy of losing a child to a sudden or unexpected cause.

No parent should have to endure that loss, and our government sympathizes and stands in support of any families experiencing such grief. We must work together to ensure that the proper supports exist and...”

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... effort to turn over relevant documents when called upon by survivors of residential schools, their families, and scholars working to understand the full scope of the horrors of the residential school system in the interest of truth and reconciliation.

He said: Mr. Speaker, as always, it is a great honour to stand in this House representing the people of Timmins—James Bay, and today particularly, with my colleague from Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, to also be speaking with the support of the survivors, who are watching this Parliament do the right thing.[Translation]

Today is a historic moment for the Parliament of Canada. It was the Parliament of Canada that created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine the evidence, the documents, and the testimony concerning the residential schools era. In the course of its investigation, the commission found that the policies of the Government of Canada and the Catholic Church at the time constituted a genocide.

The word “genocide” is very specific and very important. Why did the commission declare the residential school system a genocide? Based on the definition of “genocide”, it is clear that the policy of taking women and children away from their families in order to erase their identity constitutes a genocide. It is therefore crucial for the Pa...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...port. Recommendation 58 states:

We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional...”

Mr. Charlie Angus

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...y want them to carry on, and the children have been so good. Not just parents and grandparents, but families were deliberately targeted and devastated by the policies. One survivor told me about her p...”

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...The residential school system was a systemic plan to remove indigenous children from their homes, families, and cultures, and to facilitate the stated policy of “killing the Indian in the child”. Students endured unconscionable physical and mental abuse, and generations of indigenous peoples were left emotionally scarred and culturally isolated.

Over a period of more than a century, an estimated 150,000 indigenous children attended those schools, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimates that at least 6,000 died. This calculated act of cultural genocide inflicted unimaginable long-term harm on the indigenous children who were forced to attend these schools, and created severe intergenerational trauma that indigenous communities and our country continue to confront.

This shameful part of our collective history spanned seven generations, many governments, and different political parties. I did not know when I was first elected to this House in 1997 that the last residential school had closed only in 1996. Healing the damage of residential schools would require the sustained action not only of involved governments and organizations, but of all Canadians. We must all continue to work toward educating ourselves about this dark chapter in Canadian history.

The work of the TRC has opened the eyes of many Canadians to the horrific truth of residential schools, but we now have so many new resources to teach us. For example, the truly important book Indian Horse, by the late Richard Wagamese, is something every Canadian should read, and it is now a film that every Canadian should see. It is the heart-wrenching account of the horrific abuse and its consequences.[Translation]

Reconciliation is not an indigenous issue or a partisan issue. It is an issue that affects all Canadians.[English]

In May 2005, the then justice minister Irwin Cotler appointed former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci to move the resolution of residential school legacy from the courtroom to the negotiating table. With good will from all sides, an agreement in principle was reached in November 2005 and signed by all parties.

This agreement in principle set out all the significant components of the settlement, including compensation for the survivors, commemoration of these tragic events, and the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The final agreement was concluded in 2006 by the Conservative government, and was subsequently ratified by the courts.

The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement is the largest class action settlement in Canadian history. It was signed by all parties following negotiations by representatives for Canada, former students, churches, the Assembly of First Nations, and Inuit representatives to resolve thousands of individual claims brought by former students across Canada.

In moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation, we need to ask forgiveness for past wrongs and acknowledge our mistakes. (1045) [Translation]

Our indigenous partners and the survivors have also emphasized how important an apology can be to a renewed relationship.[English]

When Prime Minister Harper apologized to residential school survivors on behalf of all Canadians right here in this chamber in 2008, it represented an essential step on the path toward healing the intergenerational wounds of these appalling historic wrongs.

The power of an apology can be profound. It is not only the acknowledgement of a past wrong, but often the first step toward healing and closure for those who were impacted. It is so much more than resolving legal liabilities or following the articles of an agreement. It is about providing those who have been hurt with the words they need to hear in order to forgive.

In 2006, I had the honour of apologizing on behalf of the Government of Canada to the Sayisi Dene for the government's role in forcibly relocating their community 60 years ago, a forced relocation that caused death, hardship, and devastation. It was truly poignant in Tadoule Lake, in Churchill, and in Winnipeg. The survivors heard the words they had negotiated in order for the apology to be part of their healing journey and closure.

In 2017, the Prime Minister delivered an official apology on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians to the former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools and their families. At an emotional gathering in Newfoundland and Labrador, he acknowledged the suffering and intergenerational trauma of those who had attended the schools, and their descendants.[Translation]

One month ago, here in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister exonerated six Tsilhqot'in chiefs who had been wrongly executed 150 years ago. [English]

The current leaders who were on the floor of the House to hear the apology expressed to me the deep impact of that long overdue acknowledgement on the members of their community.

This was also true in 2010 when Pope Benedict apologized to Irish victims of sexual abuse, and in 2015 when Pope Francis apologized in Bolivia to the indigenous peoples of the Americas for the grave sins of colonialism. In both of these admiral examples, the Catholic Church was on the right side of history.

It is in that context the Prime Minister formally requested an apology when he met Pope Francis at the Vatican last year. The Prime Minister said, “ I told him about how important it is for Canadians that we move forward on real reconciliation with indigenous peoples and highlighted how he could help by issuing an apology.”

I have witnessed the deep hurt the survivors and families are feeling as a result of the decision not to issue a papal apology, particularly the many indigenous people who are devout Catholics.[Translation]

Call to action 58 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission states:

We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools. We call for that apology to be similar to the 2010 apology issued to Irish victims of abuse and to occur within one year of the issuing of this Report and to be delivered by the Pope in Canada. (1050) [English]

Our government continues to believe an apology from the Pope on behalf of the Catholic Church to survivors of the horrors of Canadian residential schools is an important step in acknowledging the past and moving toward reconciliation.

As Grand Chief Willie Littlechild, a former TRC commissioner and himself a survivor of three residential schools, has said:

It will give survivors that expression of regret. They want the Pope to say “I'm sorry”....

I hope it will happen. It gives people the opportunity to forgive, and that's important too. Many survivors will feel a sense of justice and reconciliation.

I am committed to continuing work with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, our indigenous partners, and the survivors on this shared journey of reconciliation. I have written to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and offered to help facilitate a meeting between the CCCB and survivors to personally hear what an apology would mean to them and how crucial it is to reconciliation in Canada. I am hopeful that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is seized with the issue of the apology and will undertake further outreach to communities, but an apology alone will not fix the harms of the past.[Translation]

Today's motion reflects that.[English]

The second part of the motion calls upon the Canadian Catholic Church to live up to its moral obligation and the spirit of the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and resume best efforts to raise the full amount of the agreed upon funds

Pursuant to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the Catholic entities had three financial obligations: one, make a cash contribution of $29 million; two, provide in-kind services worth $25 million; and three, use best efforts to raise $25 million to support healing and reconciliation programs. While the Catholic entities have met the first two financial obligations, they have raised only $3.7 million of the $25 million to support the healing and reconciliation programs that are necessary.

In response to a court decision releasing the church of further legal liability, the previous government initiated further negotiations with the Catholic entities in the summer of 2015.[Translation]

These discussions led to an agreement signed on October 30, five days before the current government came into power. This agreement released them from all additional legal responsibilities.[English]

While the government acknowledges the Catholic entities no longer have a legal obligation to raise the balance of the committed funds for healing and reconciliation programs, we believe they still have a moral obligation to fulfill the spirit of the settlement agreement. All parties to the settlement agreement have a critical role to play in renewing the relationship with indigenous peoples in Canada. Since 2016, our government and I have publicly urged the Catholic entities to resume fundraising efforts to meet those moral obligations, and we will continue to do so.

The last component of today's motion calls on the Catholic entities “to make a consistent and sustained effort to turn over relevant documents when called upon by survivors of residential schools, their families, and scholars working to understand the full scope of the horrors of the residential school...”

Mrs. Cathy McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, CPC)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...listening to the stories in the moonlight by the fire, the whole community gathering to support the families after the death of a loved one, many feasts, and also being mercilessly teased for my inept...”

Mrs. Cathy McLeod

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nderstand the issue, the pain of the residential schools and the destruction it caused for too many families and communities, we need to look at how we can move forward together. There are many ways. ...”

Mr. John Nater (Perth—Wellington, CPC)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...iation Commission, which reads:

We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools. We call for that apology to be similar to the 2010 apology issued to Irish victims of abuse and to occur within one year of the issuing of this Report and to be delivered by the Pope in Canada.

The second part of the motion calls on the Catholic Church to respect its “moral obligation and the spirit of the 2006 Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement and resume best efforts to raise the full amount of the agreed upon funds”. Under that agreement, $25 million would be provided for programs to aid in the healing of survivors. As has been mentioned earlier and has been well reported in The Globe and Mail, a miscommunication between a federal government lawyer and counsel for the Catholic Church led to the church believing that it could walk away from this commitment. This is a profoundly unfortunate error. While the Church may not have a legal obligation, I believe we can all agree that there is no question that there is an urgent moral obligation. Certainly money alone will not heal the pain. Money and an apology will not fix all the problems, but it is an important acknowledgement.

Indeed, last year, our colleagues on the indigenous and northern affairs committee completed a difficult study on the suicide and mental health crisis that far too many indigenous communities are facing. Many witnesses spoke of the intergenerational trauma that has overwhelmed the limited services available.

The report, at page 29, states:

Substance use and mental illness were identified by witnesses as factors which contribute to mental health issues and suicide, affecting youth and their parents. Some discussed substance use as a means to cope with unresolved trauma due to residential school, experiences of abuse or violence, or to forget about difficult living conditions such [as] poor housing or hunger.

This funding and these resources are still needed.

The third point talks about “a consistent and sustained effort to turn over relevant documents when called upon by survivors of residential schools, their families, and scholars”. Again, we believe that these documents will help survivors, their families, and researchers find answers to long unanswered questions. If it helps in some way to find...”

Ms. Georgina Jolibois (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, NDP)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ader of her church to apologize.

Before beginning, I would like to thank the survivors of the families of St. Anne's Residential School for being in Ottawa to join us on this day.

Today we speak as politicians, inviting the Pope to join our process of reconciliation, but no voice is more important than that of the survivors. If Canadians are to take any message away from the proceedings today, let it be the voices of the survivors who have spoken up and want the process of reconciliation to move forward in a positive way. Let it be the voices of survivors and their families that are heard loudest today. I thank them for being here. Masi chok.

As I am sure the members of the House are aware, His Holiness Pope Francis has decided he can not personally apologize for the systemic racism experienced by survivors and victims of residential schools. The decision by Pope Francis is incredibly disheartening to me, the people in my riding, first nations, Inuit, Métis, Catholics, and people from all across Canada. The pain carried by the survivors today is real. It is in the spirit of moving forward, of relieving that suffering, and building a relationship based on love and understanding that we invite the Pope join us and to reconsider.

As I said, I am a practising Catholic woman. I have very fond memories of growing up in the church and participating in the church-led community programs. The church is incredibly important to folks in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River. Not only does it provide a sense of unity among our small communities, but the space the church creates gives us a gathering place to join together and help our communities. The Catholic church back home gives spaces for families to celebrate, mourn, rejoice, and forgive. It runs summer camps, community drives, food banks, and hosts garage sales. All of this is in addition to the regular Sunday mass and daily church services.

Furthermore, because our communities are so isolated from the rest of Canada, we can find common ground with folks in the big cities through the practise of our faith. At the end of the day, we all belong to the same Catholic family.

In 1987, the people of Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories were ecstatic for the visit from Pope John Paul II. The Pope's visit to the Catholic Dene community was thrilling and showed that we were members of the same community.

Whether one walks the halls of the Vatican adorned by artistic masterpieces or looks at the drawings one's children made on the refrigerator, our shared belief humbles us and returns us to our sense of belonging in God's love. Even though Catholic Canadians live far apart and our communities are quite different, we are all united through our shared faith.

While I was not there that day in Fort Simpson, I did have the privilege to see the Pope in 1993 in Denver, Colorado. For several days that summer, I led a group of youth from northern Saskatchewan communities to World Youth Day, and we met young Catholics from across the globe. We shared stories, shared pieces of our homes, and prayed together. It was a moving experience, and I think back to those days and remember how the experience changed my life.

For that reason, I hope Pope Francis accepts the invitation to come and visit Canadians. I know how life changing seeing one's spiritual leader can be. In his visit here, I hope the Pope will acknowledge the influence of Catholic spirituality on the lives of survivors, and that he will apologize on behalf of the Catholic Church to the families and survivors of those who experienced the tragedy that was the Indian residential school program.

I would like to emphasize my appreciation for the Pope and Catholic Bishops of Canada in considering the invitation from the Prime Minister. Back in my riding, we have a very strong relationship with the archbishop. I hope they view the motion today as a meaningful and earnest request to include the Pope in our process of reconciliation. (1200)

I understand the position the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has communicated through its message to us a few weeks ago. I hope it will take the time to reconsider and support us by listening to the stories we have heard today.

I have heard from many of the families and the survivors of residential day schools and boarding schools in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River. Their message is clear: if we, as a faith-based community, want to move forward in reconciliation, then we must continue to ask for an apology and have the documents we need so that the truth can come out.

It is not easy to move on from the statement put out by the Catholic bishops. I was frustrated and disappointed, like many friends and family back home, that the Pope decided he could not personally apologize. I hope that the bishops and the Pope understand our persistence. The indigenous families and survivors in my riding, many of whom are practising Catholics, turn to our spiritual le...”

Ms. Georgina Jolibois

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, for the process of reconciliation to occur for all survivors, families, friends, communities, everyone in Canada and around the world, the Catholic Church, the An...”

Ms. Georgina Jolibois

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ery little progress when it comes to reconciliation. We see evidence of that in the justice system. Families continue to be hurt. Funding is cut to first nations. The 2% cap the Prime Minister promised to cut is still in place. In reserves across Canada, infrastructure for drinking water is still an issue. There are issues around housing for first nations, employment, and youth opportunities, and the list goes on. Canada has so much work to do in apologizing and working with first nations, Métis, and Inuit families across Canada. I will leave it there.”

Mr. Dan Vandal (Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, Lib.)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... and deliberate in its request:

We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools.

Our Prime Minister has worked diligently to try to secure this apology from the Church. He requested the apology personally from the Pope while in a private audience. It is unfortunate that in the last few weeks we have seen a reluctance on the part of the Church to issue such an apology.

I would like to focus the short time I have to speak on the process of healing that our communities must go through to work toward reconciliation. It is important to remind people of the history of residential schools and of the cultural genocide that was undertaken by the Government of Canada through its various policies and laws, all with the aim of destroying indigenous peoples' spirituality and individual cultures.

Residential schools were one such tool of genocide and were designed to “kill the Indian in the child”. The role of the Catholic Church and other Christian faiths in the schools is undeniable. While they were funded by the federal government, they were run almost exclusively by churches and religious orders. The schools were created because of the government and churches' belief that indigenous children had to be indoctrinated into Euro-Canadian and Christian ways of living as a means of assimilating into mainstream Canadian culture.

Indigenous children were not allowed to speak their language or to practice their spiritual and traditional customs. For many students, their ancestral spirituality was forcibly replaced with Christianity.

When speaking about residential schools, we often neglect to speak about the impact of the forced assimilation to Christianity and the loss of traditional spiritual teachings. Unsurprisingly, Christianity and its teachings were a fundamental aspect of residential schools by virtue of the fact that they were administered and run by churches and religious orders. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report references the spiritual violence the students endured at the schools. The report states that the Christian teachers saw the students as pagans who were inferior humans in need of being raised up through Christianity. Students were taught to reject the traditional spiritual traditions and beliefs of their families and communities in favour of Christian religions. (1215)

The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba, which I believe was completed in the late eighties, also wrote about the impact of the forced spiritual assimilation in residential schools, citing Grand Chief Dave Courchene Sr., who said, “Residential schools taught self-hate. That is child abuse.... Too many of our people got the message and passed it on.”

The report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry also said:

Many Aboriginal grandparents and parents today are products of the residential school system. The development of parenting skills, normally a significant aspect of their training as children within Aboriginal families, was denied to them by the fact that they were removed from their families and communities, and by the lack of attention paid to the issue by residential schools. Parenting skills neither were observed nor taught in those institutions. Aboriginal children traditionally learned their parenting skills from their parents through example and daily direction. That learning process was denied to several generations of aboriginal parents.

The abuse and forced assimilation have led to intergenerational trauma, which is the lasting legacy of the residential school system. By removing children from their traditional family structures and subjecting them to violence, abuse, and forced assimilation into Euro-Canadian values and cultures, a cycle of abuse was created, which is still affecting far too many indigenous families today. The abuse the children faced in residential schools is as undeniable as it is shockingly cruel and undeserved. These young first nation, Inuit, and Métis children deserved far more from government.

This leads me back to reconciliation and the need to heal our communities and our people. It is only through healing and full reconciliation that we will be able to bring peace to indigenous communities and break the cycle of violence that we too frequently see.

We can do our part as government in helping to revitalize indigenous culture by empowering and giving the necessary tools to indigenous people to learn about their own culture, language, and traditional spiritual beliefs. However, the government cannot replace the simple power of an apology when it comes to healing. The government has formally apologized for its role, but it was not the only institution responsible. All actors must now apologize for their role in these schools, just as the Protestant churches have done previously.[Translation]

It is vital to take a survivor-oriented approach to healing. We need to listen to residential school survivors and their families when making decisions about reconciliation. That is what the members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada did, and that is what led to the commission's report and the calls to action.

These calls to action reflect not only the survivors' wishes, but their needs. They take into account what survivors need to make the journey to healing. [English]

In closing, it is very clear that the survivors are requesting an apology and the survivors deserve an apology. That is why I am supporting the motion today, to call on the Pope to issue a formal apology to the residential schools survivors and their families.”

Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), Lib.)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... and in real time. Not just the Catholic Church, but social institutions still remove children from families and from communities, still separate children from their culture, and do it in a way that m...”

Mr. Dan Vandal

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...that is going to do that. It is the people on the street. It is the people on the ground. It is the families and communities throughout our country, including Manitoba. Therefore, we need to put maybe...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ada and all Canadians to former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools and their families.

Children in my riding were taken from their homes, from their families, and from communities like Cartwright, Black Tickle, Goose Bay, Hopedale, Makkovik, Nain, Natuashish, North West River, Postville, Rigolet, and so many other parts of our province. Children were isolated from their families, uprooted from their communities, and stripped of their identity. They were subjected to abuse. They were punished for speaking their own language and prohibited from practising their own culture.

The consequences of colonialism have been felt far beyond the walls of these schools. They have persisted from generation to generation and continue to be felt today by so many Canadians: so many in my own riding, and so many more across the country. These are the hard truths that are part of our country's history. These are the hard truths that we have to confront as a society and as parliamentarians.

An apology not only is the first step toward healing and closure, but it provides a profound opportunity for people to forgive. That apology must be sincere and honest, and it must acknowledge the hurt and the pain that have been done. Of the 130 residential schools in this country, one third were owned and operated by the Catholic Church. It is about assuring survivors that their experiences will not be forgotten. It is time to make things right, accept responsibility, and acknowledge the failings so that survivors can finally begin to heal.

I was in Happy Valley—Goose Bay on the day when the Prime Minister delivered an official apology on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians to those in that room and the many other former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools and their families. I was surrounded by so many of my friends, including my mother, who is a survivor of residential schools. (1225)

That apology was heartfelt, it was sincere, and it was real. It was about understanding and feeling the pain and the suffering that had been inflicted on so many in this country. It was about feeling the emotion.

The moving words from survivor Toby Obed showed the real power of an apology. He told those gathered that day in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, “This apology is an important part of the healing. Today the survivors in Newfoundland and Labrador, we can finally feel part of the community of survivors nationwide across Canada. We have connected with the rest of Canada. We got our apology.”

Those were the words of Toby Obed, a residential school survivor, in finally receiving the words of the Prime Minister of Canada, “We are sorry. We are truly sorry for what has happened to you and so many others.”

We know that the delay in that apology caused greater pain and suffering. The absence of an apology in recognizing experiences has been an impediment to healing and reconciliation for long enough.

Over the past years, there has been a shift in the way that this country and this government views its relationships with indigenous peoples, but that is not by accident. That shift is led by our Prime Minister and indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians all over this country. This is a pivotal time. This is an opportunity to create real change to ensure that indigenous communities are engaged and that there is a genuine desire among Canadians to see things change.

I want to mention the minister's special representative, James Igloliorte, who is a retired provincial judge, a former class member of residential schools, an Inuk man, who has been a lifetime resident in Labrador. I want to acknowledge and thank him for the work that he has done around residential schools with so many people in my riding.

As a government, we recognize that the intergenerational harms that have been caused by residential schools and the consequences of colonialization continue to be felt by so many people. We cannot change the past, but we can right past wrongs for a better future. We ask the Catholic Church and the Pope to be a part of that process, as so many of their loyal followers in this country have already done person to person, individual to individual.

As the Prime Minister stated on November 24, 2017, in his speech:

Let this day mark the beginning of a new chapter in our history – one in which we vow to never forget the harm we have caused you and vow to renew our relationship.

Let this new chapter be one in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous people build the future they want together.

Those are the words of our Prime Minister. That is this government's mission. That has been the work of reconciliation of all Canadians.

There are so many people out there today who felt such a tremendous awakening within them with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It was born out of a negotiated settlement and an agreement that included compensation for survivors. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in all of its calls to action, aimed to create a better society for all of us in this country, and call to action 58 called upon the Pope to issue an apology to residential school survivors and to their families and communities. (1230)

We continue to believe that an apology from the Pope on beha...”

Ms. Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, NDP)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... effort to turn over relevant documents when called upon by survivors of residential schools, their families, and scholars who are working to understand the full scope of the horrors of the residential school system in the interest of truth and reconciliation.

I come from northern Manitoba and grew up in Thompson, which is on the traditional territory of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation on Treaty No. 5 territory. Anyone who grows up in our north has been exposed to the trauma and the devastating experiences that so many faced going to residential schools and that so many generations following residential school survivors have faced as well.

I remember at a young age visiting with elders across our north, who talked about the residential school system and what it meant to be ripped away from your family and to go to a school where children were punished for speaking their own language. I also remember hearing references to a kind of abuse that we could not even imagine.

I grew up with kids who talked about their grandparents going to residential schools, what that meant in terms of losing their bonds to culture and traditions, and their absolute interest and passion to reconnect with those traditions, languages, and roots. It was a reconnection that they wanted to make because it was so important to them. Unfortunately, it had to be made as a reconnection, because for decades the Canadian state, in co-operation with churches, broke that critical connection.

As I began to pursue activism in the political realm, some of my most inspiring mentors were residential school survivors, people who went through unspeakable abuse and trauma, yet went on to find great strength in leading their people and their nations in fighting back.

I am reminded of people such as Elder Raymond Robinson in Cross Lake, a residential school survivor himself. Having gone through all of the challenges that so many survivors have gone through, he went on to be one of the people who helped create the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood. He talked about the importance of being engaged, the importance of reconnecting with tradition, and the importance of fighting for self-determination. He went on to be an incredible champion when it came to fighting against the devastation we saw from Manitoba Hydro and in fighting the ongoing colonial policies put forward by Ottawa in successive governments.

His legacy continues to live on. In fact, many of his children have gone on to be leaders, both elected and community leaders in Cross Lake and in other communities across our province. I am reminded that out of great difficulty came an immeasurable strength that inspired me and many others to carry on the struggle to build a better world for first nations and for northern Manitobans. (1245)

I visit communities, as I have visit over the years, I have spent a fair bit of time hearing stories about the devastation of residential schools in our area. I am sad to say that many of those residential schools were run by the Catholic Church. It is extremely disappointing, frankly, it is angering that the Catholic Church is putting up barriers when it comes to making the most simple act of reconciliation, the act of an apology, a reality.

It really hits home because a lot of the time that I spend in our north, I cross the areas in which the residential schools once stood, places like where the Guy Hill residential school used to be, a school that existed in northern Manitoba from 1926 to 1979. Just three years before I was born, this residential school continued to exist, a residential school that thousands of young people from across our region attended and one where many experienced unbelievable abuse.

The Guy Hill residential school is known for many things, but when we spend just a few moments looking at its records, we can tell very quickly that a lot of what happened there was completely unacceptable. There are records from 1951 that indicated, “This school is woefully overcrowded and I note that the double deck beds which were recommended are still lacking. From a health point of view though would be of material benefit to the children.” The documents at that time in 1951 also noted that there was a “rather serious epidemic which has affected 19 boys of various ages. This may turn out to be tuberculosis…”.

In 1958, the records at that time indicated that water at the new school was contaminated and “found to be dangerous as it contains bacteria usually found in sewage.” A year later, in 1959, the water at the school was still unhealthy to consume, yet the children who attended that school were forced to consume it and were forced to live in those conditions.

I am reminded of the work of Ian Mosby and other researchers and academics. They have talked about the way in which children underwent not just treacherous conditions but oftentimes were forced, without their knowledge of course, to undergo experiments with respect to malnutrition and to living in substandard condition. It was known that this was the reality in some of these schools and was on record at that time, yet the conditions persisted and that kind of abuse continued.

There were other residential schools in our area. The Fort Alexander residential school was in the south end of my constituency. A 1963 letter indicated that a Fort Alexander student expressed fear at returning to the institution because he alleged frequent rebukes by staff and the likelihood of corporal punishment upon return. These are the stories we hear all too often: of beatings, of physical abuse, of sexual abuse; abuse that would not be imaginable, never mind tolerated, in any setting let alone an educational setting.

I have heard many of those stories and the have everlasting impacts on survivors. I have heard how many have struggled with the trauma that has come from that. Some have turned to alcohol and substance abuse to get away from those traumatic memories and experiences. Here we are, knowing that in 1963 and 1958, and on the record, students, young people, were forced into these conditions. This is unacceptable, without question. (1250)

One residential school that is well known in our region for the kinds of inhumane conditions that existed, another residential school run by the Catholic Church, was the one in Cross Lake. There is a fair bit of information on the record from 1918 all the way to 1949 that shows there were serious issues taking place at the residential school.

The record states that in 1943:

...a doctor insisted that the spread of tuberculosis at the Cross Lake IRS was the result of poor air quality and overcrowding in the dormitories. As a result, the federal government advised the Church that no more than 80 children be kept in residence at the Cross Lake IRS during the 1943-44 school year

It further states that in 1944-45:

During the late fall and early winter, almost all the children at the Cross Lake IRS were infected with...Jaundice. A medical officer linked the epidemic to overcrowding in the dormitories, with the school population at 96 pupils, which he “strongly condemn[ed].

Respected professionals were on the record of saying that these were inhumane conditions and that children were getting sick as a result, yet the church and the government continued to oversee those inhumane conditions.

The story of Cross Lake is one we hear often back home up north. Many people felt a real sense of justice when the students actually set fire to that residential school. Although everybody was able to get out safely, there was talk of how the students took it in their own hands to put an end to a place that was causing them so much hurt.

Just the idea that children lived in those conditions, away from their families, ripped apart from their culture and community, and forced to face inhumane conditions and ...”

Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), Lib.)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ernment, with good intention but with clearly bad practice, that also has taken children from their families, from their culture, from their communities.

As we move toward truth and reconciliation, it is not just the Catholic Church that needs to revisit apologies. The provincial government made one, but over the last 10 years has replicated the system of taking children from their families. We know that of the 11,000 kids in Manitoba, close to 86% are of indigenous heritage.

<...”

Ms. Niki Ashton

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...there is no question the intergenerational trauma of residential schools, the broken nature of many families, the struggles many parents face, are still with us today. Yes, we can see it through the child welfare system, a system that has too often hurt rather than helped.

I acknowledge that many have had to learn from the mistakes of how things were run. However, I represent a number of the communities where children are taken away from, and I will speak to the fact that we will hear from parents that the reasons they are unable to raise their kids with the support they need is that they are struggling with addictions or are struggling in abject poverty.

Where has the federal government, the successive Liberal and Conservative governments, been when it comes to addressing the absolute underfunding of key services like housing, education, and health care? Why is it that, unfortunately, too many first nations live in third world conditions, which renders the raising of strong families and healthy children a major challenge?

If we are going to get at the root of prevent...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...and Reconciliation”. It states:

We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional...”

Mr. Gary Anandasangaree (Scarborough—Rouge Park, Lib.)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...eople talked about the effects of residential schools on their lives and on their relationship with families and communities.

Today we are here because all of these have contributed to the socio...”

Mr. Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, NDP)

April 26th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... to action 58 states. It reads:

We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional...”

Ms. Georgina Jolibois (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, NDP)

April 25th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...colleagues and I in the New Democratic Party stand in support of those living with cancer and their families by wearing a yellow daffodil. These yellow flowers are a symbol of strength, courage, and hope for those affected by cancer and are a message that things can get better.

The research and hard work supported by the Canadian Cancer Society have helped to increase the survival rate for those affected to more than 60%, but there is still much that needs to be done. For example, in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, people with cancer must travel far from their homes, families, and friends while dealing with the financial, emotional, and mental toll that goes with tr...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara (Vaughan—Woodbridge, Lib.)

April 25th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...where people coping with a life-limiting illness will find support in a time of need, as will their families and friends.

Located in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, the new 10-bed residential hospice and health research facility will support palliative care as well as grief and bereavement services in a compassionate and home-like setting.

We would not be celebrating this milestone without the dedicated staff and volunteers at Hospice Vaughan or without the generous support of private donors in our community.

Everyone deserves dignity and the best end-of-life care. This residence means that patients and their families will not need to leave the familiarity of our beautiful city. I am very proud of the work t...”

Ms. Jean Yip (Scarborough—Agincourt, Lib.)

April 25th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ort a person living with cancer, whether it is just being a quiet supporter, offering a meal to the families, sending a quick text message with no reply needed, telling a joke or funny story, providin...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

April 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Waupoos Farm is a charity in my riding that provides free vacations to poor families that could not otherwise afford one. The Prime Minister cut its summer jobs funding this ye...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

April 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...m of attacking the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is an organization that provides low-income families with a rare recreational opportunity, the chance to have a vacation that they could not otherwise afford. It does not impose any values of any kind on those families. Waupoos Farm invites them and gives them an opportunity to recreate together and grow.

...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

April 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...n this important issue.

All Canadians know just how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be for families and friends. That is why we are proud to promote partnerships such as the Canadian Partners...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

April 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... problem is only getting worse. The people who are really suffering are those men, women, and their families that are trying to come to Canada legally, but are being put at the back of the line becaus...”

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

April 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, I thank the Minister of Families.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans did a great job on Bill C-55. That is not the p...”

Mr. Mark Strahl (Chilliwack—Hope, CPC)

April 25th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister of Families and Children for answering this question that relates to fisheries and oceans, natural resources, and the ministry of the environment. I find it odd that the Minister of Natural Resources will not answer questions on this. I find it odd that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans refuses to stand and answer questions on this and that the Minister of Environment is refusing to answer these questions, leaving it instead to the Minister of Families and Children to answer questions about why the government is shutting down debate on a bill...”

Hon. Michelle Rempel

April 24th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, as a country we should celebrate the fact that we have so many families and so many groups across the country that privately raise money to sponsor people to this ...”

Hon. Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...sses of asylum claims. Instead, at various times, they have proposed to deploy the military against families fleeing conflict and persecution. They have suggested that we break international law by preventing people from making asylum claims.

They have incredulously suggested that we turn the entire 9,000 kilometre stretch of the border into one continuous official border crossing. I am eager to hear my colleague from across the way explain how she intends to have enough border agents stationed continuously along 9,000 kilometres, while at the same time eliminating the additional funding that we have invested into our border security agencies.

Designating the entire border as an official border crossing would also mean that all legitimate travel, such as business travellers, tourists, and trucks carrying goods, would be allowed at any point along the border. The Conservatives cannot decide if they want to close down our borders completely or open a 9,000 kilometre border.

These are not real solutions. This is throwing everything against the wall and hoping something sticks.

Even more irresponsibly, the Conservatives are now trying to pit immigrants against refugees. The asylum system, as they should know, is fundamentally different from all other areas of our immigration system. There is a completely separate process in place for asylum claims, one that has absolutely no bearing on wait times for immigrants.

This is especially rich coming from a party whose failed immigration policies kept families apart for years, forced vulnerable women to stay in abusive relationships, refused to act i...”

Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, CPC)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ry to run and hide. They do not want to be deported. We will be facing a crisis trying to deal with families that have to go back to their country of origin. That will be another problem with its own ...”

Mr. Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...port. We know how hard it is for everyone directly or indirectly affected by such an event. For the families of the victims and people in general, when a tragedy, attack, or unexpected and incomprehensible accident strikes, one that no one ever wants to experience in their lifetime, the event remains etched in their memories and hearts for a very long time, whether they were directly or indirectly affected.

I wish to extend to all the families, to everyone in Toronto and across Canada, our deepest sympathies to the families and especially to everyone directly affected by this tragedy. Our understanding, our love, and our hearts are with them to help them through this very difficult time.

We are here to talk about the migrant crisis. The official opposition has moved a very important motion. I will read the motion we are debating today for the benefit of those watching and listening to us. This motion was moved by my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill and by my colleague from Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles:

That, given the government’s failure to address the crisis created by the influx of thousands of illegal border crossers travelling across our southern border between ports of entry, that the agencies responsible for dealing with this crisis have found gaps in security screening for newly arrived refugee claimants, as well as a backlog in both scheduled hearings and carrying out deportation orders, and that this trend is expected to increase over the summer months; the House call on the government to:

(a) ensure the agencies responsible for our borders are properly equipped so that they can continue to do their jobs effectively and that those arriving at Canadian borders go through the appropriate processes;

(b) admit the Prime Minister’s irresponsibility of tweeting #WelcometoCanada to those seeking to enter Canada through illegal means;

(c) take responsibility for the massive social services costs burdening the provincial governments; and

(d) table in the House no later than May 11, 2018, a plan to

(i) stop the influx of people illegally entering Canada from the United States,

(ii) take appropriate measures to handle those who have already claimed asylum.

As members can see, this is a simple motion that simply reiterates the position that Canada should take with regard to this crisis. We can honestly say that the government has done a very poor job of managing this situation since the Prime Minister sent out his infamous tweet.

In November 2015, Canada was prepared to welcome nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees who were fleeing the war in their country and inhumane living conditions in refugee camps across Europe and the Middle East. Canada's provinces had set up the facilities necessary to receive those refugees.

However, what is currently happening at our borders is quite the opposite. With just a few words, the Prime Minister completely disrupted the security conditions and economic situation of Quebec, and Canada by extension, by tweeting #WelcometoCanada.

Since he posted that irresponsible tweet in January 2017, refugee claims from migrants coming from the United States have skyrocketed. This has placed a considerable burden on Quebec, since this crisis is costing not just money, but also the time and hope of those who are filing legal refugee claims. The repeated postponement of their hearings is causing them stress and distress. The legal time limit of 30 to 60 days is no longer being met. Migrants who have filed private sponsorship applications are also being forced to deal with long delays.

To add to the confusion of the Liberals' immigration strategy, in 2017, the government limited the number of privately sponsored refugee claims from Iraq and Syria. These limits were imposed by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in order to “reduce the backlog of spousal applicants by 80% and shorten processing times to 12 months”. (1235)

However, when we look at Quebec's borders, we see a sieve that lets everything through without restrictions. We should bear in mind that the first thing these people do when they illegally enter Canada is commit an illegal act by breaking Canadian law. Instead of being reprimanded, they are welcomed with open arms, which only further weighs down Quebec's and Canada's health system and budget.

It is beyond comprehension and unacceptable that the first thing these potential future Canadian citizens do is break the law. What they are being shown is that by breaking the law when they arrive in Canada, they are rewarded with housing, a job, and health care more quickly than those who go through the proper channels. That is the message we are sending them. Illegal migrants are entitled to expedited services whereas regular refugees waiting in countries where they face danger every day must nonetheless comply with the process from start to finish.

For example, in August 2017, in the Saguenay, a host family had been waiting more than a year to welcome a family of eight Iraqi refugees, who only landed in Chicoutimi on March 28. There is a long wait. This family finally made it to Canada, but throughout this process they had an incredible amount of stress in their country of origin. Compare that to certain asylum seekers who illegally crossed the border at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle in recent months and, today, are already working. We must speak out against this two-tier system that does not reward those who do things the right way, but those who choose the quick and illegal way to enter Canada.

All of my colleagues have immigration cases come across their desks. We hear different stories every day, and each case represents a different human being. For example, a young pregnant woman in my riding was recently sent back to her home country because she had not filled out her documents in time, even though she had been in Canada for several years. Meanwhile, the government is accepting illegal immigrants and will give them jobs and money so that they can meet their needs while they are going through the process. Our country's security is also in jeopardy: 1,200 people who were admitted to Canada were found to be criminally inadmissible and were sent back to their home country. These people are currently in this country.

I also want to talk about the economic burden that Quebec is shouldering as a result of the government's mismanagement of this wave of migrants. The province can no longer cover the costs of basic income support for migrants, food banks, housing, education, and health. We are talking about an unexpected $146 million in expenses in a single year. How much will it cost next year if, as experts are predicting, the number of illegal crossings into Canada continues to increase in the coming months?

According to figures from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, the number of pending asylum claims doubled in March 2018, when there were 48,000 claims, compared to 21,000 claims in March 2017. In one year, 2,500 children irregularly and illegally arrived in Quebec, and they must obviously have access to education. Teachers in the Montreal area, where the vast majority of these families settle, do not know how they will welcome the next waves of children as the influx of migra...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ber of Parliament, I was horrified by the attack yesterday. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the families that were affected, the people who were tragically killed, and the 14-plus who were injured. It struck home. The perpetrator was stopped, most effectively, by the Toronto police in front of the building I used to work in, at Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue, for five years when I was with Procter & Gamble. Fortunately, the people on the team I worked with are fine. However, there are families that have been struck by such a horrific act. I think we all echo those sentiments today.

Mr. Ziad Aboultaif (Edmonton Manning, CPC)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ced with tragedy on a daily basis. My thoughts go out to the victims of this horrific act and their families. I wish a speedy recovery to those injured in this attack.

April is Organ and Tissue ...”

Mr. Yves Robillard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, Lib.)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... in sports and recreation in our community, and their quest to achieve their goals also helps young families. The mission of the Association des résidents de Champfleury is to create a healthy environment and promote healthy living.

This run brings together families, neighbours, and friends from Laval, the north shore, and Montreal. It is becoming increasi...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ere injured.[Translation]

Our thoughts are with the victims of this tragedy, as well as their families and loved ones. You are not alone, and our hearts go out to you. [English]

Canadians ...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ays and weeks” away from being ready”. This situation has been going on for over a year. Meanwhile, families here in Canada who are waiting to be reunited with a loved one or refugees facing real dang...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s to ensure that legitimate refugees facing real danger and those waiting to be reunited with their families could do so.

Why is the government prioritizing those who skip the line?”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

April 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, once again, the families who have been waiting for years are waiting for years largely because of the cuts in proces...”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ess put forward in Bill C-74 is an important one in order to continue the good results for Canadian families. As well, it will continue our mission and approach to ensuring we deal with climate change...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ld move forward on investing in Canadians to ensure we had good, well-paying jobs for Canadians and families to be successful. That is exactly what has happened.

Through our investments over the...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ple joining the labour force financial assistance until they are earning enough money to meet their families' needs. We enhanced this benefit so that it can continue to have a significant impact. Not only will this measure have a more significant impact on our economy, since there will be more workers, but it will also help families that are struggling.”

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... expenditures for the country. Is it (a) because they are embarrassed that over 90% of middle-class families, which the Liberals supposedly support, are actually paying higher taxes; or (b) because th...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... a situation where our economy is in very good shape because, in the first instance, nine out of 10 families with children have significantly more money to invest in their families. That provides a spark plug for our economy which helps us to be in a better situation. Fac...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nemployment that we have seen in about 40 years. It is an extremely positive situation for Canadian families as they consider how to raise their children.

We are going to continue with those inv...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...we would ensure the Canada child benefit did not go to the wealthiest so that we could give more to families. Nine out of 10 families have significantly more, on average $2,300 more, which is now indexed to inflation so that they can raise their families. These are promises kept.

What we put in this budget, of course, are some new promise...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... down. The Canada child benefit has gone up. Canadians have had the ability to invest more in their families, and as a result, our economy has done better. These are just the facts. The economy has done better. We have lower rates of unemployment. As we looked at that, we said to ourselves that we want to make sure we continue to advantage Canadian families.

That is why we indexed the Canada child benefit, so that benefit can keep up with th...”

Mr. William Amos (Pontiac, Lib.)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...people in our riding are really struggling. The Gatineau valley has the highest level of low-income families, at 14.4%.

I was so pleased when I saw that the government introduced in the budget t...”

Mr. William Amos

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... rapidly. This is managed investment that is absolutely going to help pick up jobs and help support families. When the Canada child benefit comes every month to the many thousands of families that desperately need help, the single mothers and the single fathers, the families living on the edge in the Pontiac, boy, are they happy that we are making those investments...”

Mr. William Amos

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...my learned colleague has been a mentor to me over many years.

The simple fact is that Pontiac families desperately need the Canada child benefit. Specifically, 23,190 children are being supported, and there are 12,600-odd payments. The average payment is $540, tax-free. At the end of the day, yes, this is about poverty alleviation, and we are doing a great job on that, but it is about more than just that, more than our families. This is about supporting small businesses across the Pontiac. What does a family in need do when they get those monthly payments? They go straight to the grocery store, the sports equipment store, or the bookstore, and they invest for their families. That is what makes our small-town economies roll.

At the end of the day, the Pontiac needs support. That is what they said time and time again, and they are not going to stop saying it, because we are a region with many rural communities in need. I am not going to stop defending them until the day of the next election, and hopefully thereafter, because this is just too great an opportunity to make a difference in families' lives.”

Mr. Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“..., whether we live in the Plateau in Montreal or in Thetford Mines, Quebec. Agriculture is about the families in our villages that support local hardware stores, car dealerships, and restaurants.

..”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu'Appelle, CPC)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...s the provincial minister for natural resources and the federal minister for fisheries.

Rural families and workers, and those who rely on Canada's natural wealth to help feed their families, knew they had an advocate in Keith Ashfield. Even as he faced health challenges in recent ...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ths, this government is letting thousands more bypass the process and jump the queue.

Why are families that follow the rules being pushed to the back of the line by those who want to break the l...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e than 60 people per day, worse than in 2017. This is a crisis that takes resources away from those families that are trying to come to Canada the right way, and prioritizes queue jumpers.

Could the Prime Minister explain to those families that have been waiting patiently for months for their turn to become proud Canadians why he...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this tragic incident, their families and, of course, the people of Toronto. We will be closely following any developments.

..”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... show that we are able to be fiscally responsible while investing in Canadians and helping Canadian families. We stand firmly behind those forecasts.”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...r what is in Canadians' interests. What clearly is in Canadians' interests is to invest in Canadian families. What clearly is in Canadians' interests is to make sure that Canadians are working. Our co...”

Mr. Michael Levitt (York Centre, Lib.)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... act in the best interests of Gazans and refusing to release the remains of these soldiers to their families is cruel and a breach of international humanitarian law.”

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...amas return the bodies of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul to their respective families. The practice of withholding bodies is banned by the fourth Geneva Convention. It clearly s...”

Ms. Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia—Lambton, CPC)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nt's response has been totally inadequate in order to stem the flow of deaths from opioids. For the families who have lost somebody to this opioid crisis, it is insulting to see the government spendin...”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...care was to their success in the workplace and to the health and well-being of themselves and their families. I agreed with them. I really did not have an answer for them as to why, regardless of what...”

Mr. Mark Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands, Lib.)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...me into government, we changed the rules for the CCB. We created a new program where nine out of 10 families get more money for children now. This particular budget goes on to strengthen that. An individual single parent making $35,000 a year will now see an additional $560 a year to help with their children's expenses.

I am wondering how she will bring herself later on today to vote against this when we are doing real, solid things for children and families who have children.”

Mr. Colin Fraser (West Nova, Lib.)

April 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...m opportunity, the CCB was introduced in 2016 and provides more support for nine out of 10 Canadian families. With the measures in budget 2018, the six million children currently benefiting from the CCB will continue to benefit for the long term, because it will be indexed, starting this July, to keep up with the cost of living.

In West Nova, the effects of the CCB are real. Thirteen thousand children are benefiting and over $4.5 million each month are being invested in the well-being of the kids in my riding. As a result, hundreds and hundreds of children in western Nova Scotia are no longer living in poverty and many are now able to receive adequate school supplies, join minor hockey, take dance or music lessons, have warm clothes for the winter, or go to summer camp. This is real and this is making a substantial difference in the lives of children in West Nova while also helping our local economy.

Let us talk about security retirement for our seniors. Like many members of rural ridings, I represent many seniors and I am so pleased that our government supports them. While there is more work to do, we restored the eligibility age of old age security and GIS from 67 to 65, and increased the GIS by 10% for single seniors. Also, working co-operatively with the provinces, the Canada pension plan has been strengthened for the long term. In fact, it will result in an increase of the maximum CPP retirement pension by about 50%, phased in over time, and it will mean even greater support to persons with disabilities who need support from their government.

As the member of Parliament for West Nova, an area with Canada's most lucrative fishery in lobster, scallops, and other seafood, it is critical to me that the fishing industry, which is the backbone of the economy in southwestern Nova Scotia, is supported. That is why I, along with other colleagues, have been advocating for increased investments in our small craft harbours to allow for the continued growth of fisheries operations. (1650)

I am very pleased the government has responded in budget 2018 with an investment of an extra $250 million over two years into our critical harbour infrastructure. This will help expand capacity and support the flourishing seafood industry being able to get its product off the boats and to world markets.

We know that with the coming into force of the European trade deal, CETA, and now the CPTPP, the demand for our seafood exports will continue to grow. This will diversify our customer base and sustain the high prices our fishermen have been getting for their lobster and other high-quality seafood. This makes a huge difference to our local economy in southwestern Nova Scotia.

I am also fortunate not only to represent an area with one of Canada's most important fisheries, but also to represent 14 Wing Greenwood, the largest air force base on the east coast. As a result, I represent many veterans all across my riding. It is vitally important that we support them for all they have done in their service to Canada. We know there is lots more to do, and we know that some may not yet know about the investments being made, but we are on the right track, and we are making things better for our veterans.

The government has made substantial investments to benefits and services for veterans and their families, so far totalling $10 billion. This includes new education and training benefits and expanded services to families of medically released veterans. We have reopened offices, increased the earnings loss benef...”

Hon. Denis Paradis (Brome—Missisquoi, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ould be a component of the education continuum, not only with respect to employment but also within families. Literacy is important in that regard. We need support programs that do a better job of mee...”

Mr. John Oliver (Oakville, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...udget 2016 was the Canada child benefit. It has lifted so many children out of poverty and supports families all across Canada. In my community of Oakville alone, $48 million a year comes in for children and families under the Canada child benefit program. It helps them with sports, groceries, rent, daily living costs, and daycare. It is a fundamental plank of what is supporting Canadian families right now, and it has been a great improvement.

Could the member speak about the impo...”

Mr. Sean Fraser

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ing child care cheques to millionaires and put more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadian families. In my riding, the median income is about $21,000. The difference this policy is making for...”

Mr. Paul Lefebvre (Sudbury, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...tio on a downward slide, we are in one of the best fiscal positions across the world, while lifting families out of poverty and making sure that children get education.

At the same time, we are ...”

Mr. Peter Schiefke (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...constituents in Vaudreuil—Soulanges, this budget opens the door to greater success for middle-class families, greater security for our most vulnerable seniors, and a better future for young Canadians.

I am proud to say that budget 2018 provides for an additional investment of nearly $300 million in Quebec's health care system, which means that our government wants to support the provinces and ensure that Quebec will be better prepared and able to meet the needs of its changing population in the years to come. This investment means that, since we took office, we have increased health transfers to Quebec by $600 million. This builds on the nearly $100 billion in historic investments we have made in benefits for seniors, children, and workers this year alone.

The government is taking measurable and tangible actions to meet the needs of people in my community and across Canada. People in my riding are fortunate enough to enjoy many gifts from Mother Nature, such as the summit of Rigaud Mountain, the Île-Perrot rapids, and the wooded trails of Saint-Lazare. The people of my riding of Vaudreuil—Soulanges expect and deserve a government that takes environmental risks seriously. They deserve a government that supports science and technology and that recognizes and appreciates Canada's natural treasures.

Budget 2018 takes necessary and significant steps to do that and a lot more thanks to a historic investment of $1.3 billion over five years to protect our beautiful natural surroundings. This investment means that wildlife, land, and ecosystems will be better protected and will be able to recover from damage already caused by climate change.[English]

It means that our government's management of protected areas and natural parks will be increased. The plan put forward by the budget also ensures that our conservation areas will be better managed, integrated, and coordinated in a network supported by our provincial, territorial, and indigenous partners.

Finally, it means that my two children and thousands like them across Canada will be able to see our cherished natural parks for free until their 18th birthday.

Canadians across the country and in my community are also concerned for their future and the future they will leave behind for their children. As greenhouse gas levels continue to rise, they worry about our changing climate and the real impact it has and will continue to have on our region. (1050)

I was proud that in budget 2018 we set aside nearly $110 million over the next five years to implement our government's promise to set a national price on carbon. My children and our children's children will be thankful for the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment in making the protection of our air, our water, and our future a priority.

We also know that in order to protect future generations, we have to ensure young Canadians have a real and fair chance at success, those opportunities developed first from strong, supportive, and comfortable middle-class families. That is why we will be indexing the Canada child benefit to provide an additional $5.6 billion in direct support to Canadian families that need it most, starting this July.

Each and every month families in my constituency receive $6 million in direct investment for over 22,000 of our kids thro...”

Mr. Peter Schiefke

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ance. My priority is to share with my constituents information about the investments that will help families living in urban areas and explaining to them what we have done for those living in rural ar...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...aying more for child care than she and her husband were paying for rent. This is the same story for families across Canada.

The International Monetary Fund recommended that the Liberal government invest $8 billion a year into a universal affordable child care program and said that it would pay for itself. It would allow working women to return to work, to earn more money, to spend more in the economy, to be taxed on their income. Countries that have taken on a bold, new, progressive program like universal affordable child care find these programs pay for themselves. That is certainly the Quebec example.

In March, the Conference Board of Canada gave similar advice, as has the Governor of the Bank of Canada. They all recommend it. There is no more credible economic advice the government could get, yet no new dollars.

My colleague, the member for Parliament for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, has been doing good work on this in her critic role for children and families. We are going to continue to push for this most fundamental investment. This would be the f...”

Ms. Julie Dzerowicz (Davenport, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...cted in late 2015 and in our first budget of 2016-17, which is continue to support Canadians, their families, our youth, and our seniors and continue to set up both Canada and Canadians for success mo...”

Mr. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, CPC)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...n referred to as boutique tax credits. I only mention that now as it is tax time. I have heard from families with active children and public transportation users who are upset at the loss of those tax measures.

We also know that while the Prime Minister was quick to eliminate those tax credits, he was quick to bring in one of his own. The tax credit I am talking about was the teachers tax credit. I am sure the measure itself was absolutely welcome to many teachers. However, many in this place might quietly question why the Prime Minister seems to be intent on supporting measures that are done by his government, whether or not they are welcome in the community or in the country. It is about whether or not it was put forward by a Liberal government or a Conservative one.

Shortly after the budget was released, I asked my constituents if this budget would do anything to help them or their families. I have a large and diverse riding. One comment in particular was quite telling, and that w...”

Mr. Lloyd Longfield (Guelph, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... 2015. This budget means more help for those who need it, those who then go on to reinvest in their families and businesses in the communities in which they live.

Canada has renewed its relationship with neglected researchers, scientists, and universities and colleges, with the largest commitment to fundamental research in Canadian history. We have also reignited the reconciliation process after the scrapping of the Kelowna accord in 2006, and have removed 57 boil water advisories. This is an example of what we are doing, working with our indigenous partners.

Over the last two years, the environment has been at the heart of our policy and is inseparable from our economic success. By protecting our coasts, we protect our fisheries. By protecting whales, we protect one of our great natural inhabitants that share the country with us. Our tax credits for clean energy are helping to generate clean tech jobs, the jobs of the future.

Women represent half of Canada's population, and their full and equal participation in Canada's economy is essential for our future. Removing the systemic barriers to women's full economic participation will support economic growth, strengthen the middle class, and build a fairer society that gives everyone a real and fair chance at success. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by taking steps to advance greater equality for women, such as reducing the gender wage gap by employing more women in technology and boosting women's participation in the workforce, Canada could add $150 billion to its economy by 2026.

Equality in pay cannot be achieved without transparency. In the spirit of transparency, our government will provide Canadians with more information on pay practices of employers in federally regulated sectors. The government will commit $3 million over the next five years, starting in 2018-19, to implement this pay transparency policy.

As a member of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology committee, I was proud to play a role in reviewing Bill C-25, which is an act to emphasize diversity on corporate boards, getting women around boardroom tables to make decisions on behalf of business in Canada.

Canada's economic success rests not only on the hard work of Canadians, but also on strong trade relationships we have in an increasingly globalized world. Canada is, and always has been, a trading nation. Canadians recognize that done properly, trade can be a positive force for change. The ratification of CETA, which began under the previous government, and also the resurrection of the TPP, which is now the CPTPP, reflect the determination of our government as we open markets for Canadian goods.

Our government is also focused on rural Canada. Agriculture is at the heart of our rural economies. To support Canadian farmers, we have introduced the Canadian agricultural partnership. I was pleased to sit on the agriculture committee as we reviewed and made recommendation toward this new policy. This program will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to protect farmers and bring new innovative technologies to Canadian farms, while at the same time increasing innovation and public trust.

To make use of new agricultural technologies, farmers need reliable Internet access. The government is investing $500 million to extend high-speed Internet services to rural and remote communities across the country. (1205)

Budget 2018 also proposes additional funding of $100 billion over five years for the strategic innovation fund to support low earth orbit satellites and to develop the next generation of rural broadband. These satellites will be going on a north-south route versus an east-west route, which will help our northern communities and our fly-in communities in northern Canada.

Federal government scientists enrich Canada's research environment, contributing to research focused on the public interest as well as the kind of discovery science that breeds innovation. To accomplish this goal, budget 2018 announces a reimagined National Research Council and proposes to provide $540 million over five years. Coupled with the largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history of $3 billion, Canadian scientists now have the tools they need to compete with and to attract scientists around the world.

This budget also advances Canada on the path to reconciliation with indigenous, Métis, and Inuit peoples. Together, we are working hard to improve the quality of life for first nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, as well as forging a new relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership.

In addition to the $11.8 billion invested in budgets 2016 and 2017, the government proposes to invest an additional $5 billion over five years. This investment will go to ensuring indigenous children and families have an equal chance to succeed in life, to build the capacity of indigenous governments, and to accelerate self-determination, as was announced by the Prime Minister on February 14.

To date, as I mentioned, we have removed 57 boil water advisories from reserves across Canada. I am pleased to serve as a champion to the Minister of Indigenous Services, working on water on first nations.

The government also understands that reconciliation entails a new relationship between the government and Canada's indigenous peoples. That is why budget 2018 proposes to invest $8.5 million over two years to work with first nations to understand how to make the programs more responsive to the needs of individuals and families on reserves.

Budget 2018 also continues the important work initiated in 2016 to build...”

Mr. Lloyd Longfield

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...he numbers for Guelph. Some $8.8 million per month is going into our Guelph economy and helping the families of Guelph as well Winnipeg North. The budget will be indexing those funds starting this July, which will give us future growth for supporting families in our communities and supporting local small businesses, which now have customers coming in the door with additional funds to spend on their goods and services. It is going to help our economy as well as our families. It is a wonderful program, and I am very proud to say that we have developed a winner here...”

Ms. Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River, NDP)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e those people go in and out of hospital. It is not good for their health, it is not good for their families, and it is not good for the taxpayer.

As I said earlier, many constituents in my ridi...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...that we introduced around middle-class tax cuts and a new Canadian child benefit mean that Canadian families now have more money to save, invest, and spend on their families and in their communities because we have lower taxes for the middle class and we are helpin...”

Mr. Marco Mendicino (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...owth was the Canada child benefit. This plan has been one of the bedrock principles that has helped families, young families. It is done through a means-tested approach, not a “one size fits all” approach. It looks at the needs of the family through the lens of the number of children in the family, their ages, and the overall income of the household. It is tailored to their needs to provide them with the transitional measures and supports so that they can provide for their children as they raise them to be successful and innovative, thriving young Canadians for future generations.

As a result of that, not only have we provided support for the present day, but we have lifted approximately 300,000 children out of poverty, something that every member in this House should be celebrating.

I hear my hon. colleagues heckling, which is an awful shame. It is tragic that the Conservatives do not realize that it is a positive thing to be lifting children out of poverty, and it reflects just how out of touch they continue to be. Canadians are watching very closely.

Something else that we have done since taking office is we have listened very closely to small and medium-sized businesses. They have been telling us that they need the support to remain a competitive jurisdiction in light of the uncertainty across the globe, and they want to keep taxes at a competitive rate. One of the key pledges we made in the last election was that we would reassess the small business tax rate and we would lower it. We went through an exhaustive consultation process, during which I heard from small businesses in my riding about the importance of keeping that commitment.

I am very proud to say that the 2018 federal budget will ensure that we are lowering small business taxes to 9%, which is among the most competitive in the G7, in the G20, in the OECD, so that the conditions are set for their success. This is in stark contrast to the last Conservative government that talked a big game around wanting to lower small business taxes. However, when the Conservatives had the opportunity to support lowering small business taxes in the 2018 budget, they voted against it. (1300)

Again, Canadians will be watching very closely. They will not just be listening to the conventional rhetoric they hear from Conservatives, that tired, recycled rhetoric, around being great champions of industry. Canadians are going to look at the Conservatives' voting record and ask their members of Parliament why they voted against this. Those members will not have a compelling answer.

Another area that we have been trying to address as Canada continues to succeed, thrive, and grow in an increasingly competitive global economy is to provide more flexibility around young families who are growing. We do that by ensuring that mothers, fathers, and parents can take the leave that is necessary when they are having children or adopting children. The flexibility that is in the 2018 budget will do that. Once again, I wonder why my Conservative colleagues do not support measures like that. If they truly are for families, why are they not supporting it? We get no answer, only silence. Let us remember their acti...”

Mr. Wayne Long

April 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ansformational Canada child benefit, which is changing the lives of tens of thousands of people and families across our country, and is better for nine out of 10 families? Would he pull that back? I do not think so.

We are a government that believes we play a role in the lives of Canadians. We are a government that believes in investing in infrastructure, in our communities, and in historic assets in Saint John—Rothesay.

Let me clearly say that the government of the party across the way ran deficit after deficit. Then, mysteriously, in its last year in government, it balanced the budget. It threw in a little bit of an EI rainy day fund, it sold GM stocks, and it laid off workers and managers of the Phoenix system, all to balance the budget. That was not right. The Conservatives know it was not right.

We are turning our economy around. We are investing in Canadians. We are investing in children. In particular, in my riding I am thrilled to lead the fight against poverty. Unfortunately, Saint John, New Brunswick, leads the country in child poverty. One out of every three of our children lives in poverty. That number is not acceptable and needs to change, and under the leadership of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, we are making that change. We are reducing the number of ...”

Mr. Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, CPC)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... a number of years ago. Although only 60 feet wide, it was a social hub for generations of Rockport families and their children, who gathered to swim, picnic, and enjoy the views of the beautiful Thou...”

Mr. Randeep Sarai (Surrey Centre, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“..., such as when fires broke out in the B.C. interior and Fort McMurray.

In Surrey, hundreds of families, gurdwaras, and local businesses will make and serve amazing meals and deserts for thousands of attendees at Surrey's Vaisakhi parade. Families will walk and pray and remind themselves that wherever they came from, regardless of the co...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Labrador, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... Inuit women across Canada and dedicate their time to creating positive social change for children, families, and communities. They are making a significant difference in the lives of Inuit in this co...”

Mrs. Stephanie Kusie (Calgary Midnapore, CPC)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...re paying the price. This is a sector that heats our homes, puts food on the tables of thousands of families, and is at the heart of the Canadian economy.

When will the Prime Minister recognize ...”

Ms. Georgina Jolibois (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, NDP)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...h them on their promise, they never answered our questions.

So far, the government has failed families in northern Saskatchewan. When will it come and fulfill the promise it made to first nation...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

April 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rnment to establish the independent commission.

The commission's mandate is clear. It is that families must be at the centre of its work. We are committed to ensuring that this inquiry operates in the best interests of families and those affected, ensuring that they get the answers that many have been waiting for abou...”

Mrs. Bernadette Jordan (South Shore—St. Margarets, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...o, Petite was on the brink of closure, a decision that would have devastated its students and their families and our whole community, but we rallied around to support it. In February, the Nova Scotia ...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ene in matters involving our natural resources, our private investments, our jobs, and the Canadian families who depend on them?”

Mr. Blaine Calkins (Red Deer—Lacombe, CPC)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, yesterday I heard again from oil and gas sector workers and their families, and they are still scared. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was in France lamenting the fact ...”

Mr. John Barlow (Foothills, CPC)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“....

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of unemployed energy workers across Canada and their families, does the minister truly believe that phasing out Alberta's energy sector is reason for opt...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ls, charities, and pension plans, but hundreds of thousands of energy workers have lost their jobs, families are struggling, substance abuse and suicide are up, and these Liberals here are laughing ab...”

Mr. Greg Fergus (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ety on the line in service to all Canadians, when their work leads to the ultimate sacrifice, their families deserve our support in return.[English]

Could the Minister of Public Safety tell us how the government is upholding the commitment that we made to Canadians to support the families of fallen public security officers?”

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we promised to create a non-taxable compensation benefit of $300,000 for the families of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics who died in the line of duty. As of this month, the memorial grant program is now in effect.

First responders put themselves at risk every day to keep our communities safe. From now on they can go to work secure in the knowledge that if tragedy strikes, this federal program will be there to help support their families.”

Mr. Charlie Angus

April 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ort to turn over the relevant documents when called upon by survivors of residential schools, their families, and scholars working to understand the full scope of the horrors of the residential school...”

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, every year there are thousands of Canadian families that tragically have their lives changed forever when they lose an infant or when their child is stillborn. Many of these parents simply want the government to show more compassion toward their situation by providing them with the support needed to properly grieve and heal. I table this petition today, with thousands of signatures, from every single province and territory right across the country, calling on Parliament to stand shoulder to shoulder with Canadian families dealing with pregnancy and infant loss and to support Motion No. 110, which will be up for ...”

Mr. Terry Duguid (Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...2019.

In addition, we are strengthening the Canada child benefit so that it continues to help families that need it most. The 2017 fall economic statement indexed these benefits, starting in July 2018, to keep pace with the cost of living. This will provide an additional $5.6 billion in support to Canadian families over the 2018-19 to 2022-23 period.

Winding down, we also know that indigenous people...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, CPC)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... biggest instance of this is the “use it or lose it” parental leave. The government wants to say to families that parents can no longer decide for themselves how they divide up their parental leave. From now on, the government thinks that each person has to take a certain portion of parental leave. That is because the government wants to micromanage how families divide up their responsibilities. For many families, it is not going to work. It may be a single parent family. It may be a family where one person has the kind of job where it just is much less practical for that person to take the leave than for the other person. In many cases, there may be a desire to breastfeed, which is something that men cannot do.

I wonder if the member can tell us why this budget presumes to dictate to families how they divide up their child care responsibilities. Is it not more in keeping with the na...”

Ms. Ruby Sahota (Brampton North, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...going to make sure that we have a fair redress system in place, so that Canadian children and their families can book flights and know with confidence that they will be safe from unnecessary and exces...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...al policies for the lives of hard-working middle-class Canadians. The CCB is helping nine out of 10 families in Canada. In Brampton West alone, 36,000 children have benefited from the Canada child benefit, with $134 million in payments last year. Across our country, six million children have benefited from the CCB, with $23 billion in payments last year, with an average payment of $6,800.

At a hockey tournament in Brampton West last week, I met Reena. She told me about her 10-year-old son Raj's dream of goal tending for the Toronto Maple Leafs. With modest incomes, Reena and her husband Gautam could not afford to enrol Raj in a hockey league without the Canada child benefit. This year's CCB payments went toward Raj's goalie equipment. I am proud to report that Raj earned his first shutout last week. Increasing the Canada child benefit payments amount and indexing payments will help ensure more children like Raj have the opportunity to explore their dreams.

Budget 2018 is also putting gender at the heart of its decision-making. Advancing gender equality is not only the right thing to do; it also makes sense from a purely economic standpoint. A study by McKinsey and Company states that we could add $150 billion to the Canadian economy by 2026 through steps to advance gender equality for women.

Budget 2018 was guided by a gender results framework and helped form policy that would work to help support women and girls, reduce the gender wage gap, and increase the participation of women in the labour force, which helps boost economic growth for all Canadians.

An example of this policy-making is the new employment insurance parental sharing benefit that will give greater flexibility to parents by providing an additional five weeks of El parental benefits when both parents agree to share parental leave. This “use it or lose it” incentive encourages a second parent in two-parent families to share more equally in the work of raising their children, which will allow greater flexibility for new moms to return to work sooner, if they so choose. (1625)

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to meet a young family in Brampton West. I heard about the challenges the parents faced in raising their newborn child while having to worry about how the mother would return to work. With the changes made by our government, she will be able to go back to work to support her family and not fear being left behind when it comes to her career.

Budget 2018 id also supporting women-owned businesses so they can grow, find new customers, and access more opportunities.

Balbir is an extremely motivated entrepreneur with a passion for teeth as a dental hygienist. Some members of the House may have seen her on the last season of CBC's Dragon's Den, discussing her mobile dental hygiene practice. Through budget 2018, we would make more capital available for women entrepreneurs, like Balbir, so many more women can take their businesses to the next level.

The $1.65 billion in new financing for women will help us create the economic foundations of tomorrow. Additionally, with a total commitment of $105 million over five years, budget 2018 also supports investments directly in women-owned businesses and in initiatives that provide women with better access to essential business resources, such as networking and mentorship opportunities.

While we work to become more inclusive of women in our economy, we must also look to supporting those who have served our country. As a proud sister of a brother who continues to serve our country in the Canadian Armed Forces, the government is committed to ensuring the well-being of our veterans and their families. The budget delivers for our veterans and helps them live a productive life post-service. In budget 2018, we are implementing our new pension for life option for veterans which will deliver a tax-free monthly payment for life to recognize pain and suffering. It will provide an income replacement payable at 90% of a veteran's pre-release salary, indexed annually.

The Conservatives had 10 years to make the changes veterans were asking for, but they did absolutely nothing. They did nothing but cut budgets, close offices, and ignore the voices of our veterans. Budget 2018 also shows our continued commitment to veterans and their families. That is a commitment we made to our veterans and we will do exactly that to support them and their families.

The steps we have taken in budget 2018 will help Canadians of all stripes access mor...”

Mr. Majid Jowhari (Richmond Hill, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...money to invest in what matters to them most. This single measure supports businesses, workers, and families.

I am going to take a moment to give hon. members a rundown of exactly how the CWB would help working Canadians. The low-income workers earning $15,000 would receive up to almost $500 more from the CWB in 2019 than under the previous system in 2018. Whether this extra money is used for things such as helping to cover the family grocery bill or buying warm clothing for winter, the bottom line is that the Canada workers benefit helps low-income working Canadians make ends meet.

The government is also proposing to increase the maximum benefit provided through the CWB disability supplement by an additional $160 to offer greater support to Canadians with disabilities who face financial barriers to entering the workforce.

Again, these measures are not only the right thing to do, but they are also the smart thing to do. These targeted measures will help Canadians day to day, while the increased economic activity will lift the Canadian economy quarter by quarter.

Furthermore, starting in 2019, the government will also make it easier for people to access the benefit they have earned by making changes that would allow the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the CWB for any tax filer who has not claimed it. Allowing the CRA to automatically provide the benefit to eligible filers would be especially helpful to people with reduced mobility, people who live far from service locations, and people who do not have Internet access.

In my own riding of Richmond Hill, I coordinated a free tax clinic for many constituents, helping to ensure that nearly 50 of them received the full tax benefit that they were entitled to. The reality is that many Canadians do not have the money to hire tax consultants or the time to invest in researching the tax benefit that may be available to them. By simplifying our tax code and automatically providing the benefits to eligible filers, we will ensure that everyone who can benefit from the CWB actually will.

An estimated 300,000 additional low-income workers would receive the new CWB for the 2019 tax year because of this change. These are Canadians who would not have otherwise received the benefit to which they are entitled. (1655)

In my riding of Richmond Hill, based on the 2011 census data, 3.7% of the workers in my riding make below $10,000 annually, and 5% earn between $10,000 to $19,000. That translates to 17,400 people who potentially will benefit from this.

The bottom line is that enhancements to supports under the new CWB will also raise roughly 70,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2020. Combined with the previous enhancement, the government is investing almost $1 billion in new annual funding starting in 2019 to put more money into the hands of low-income workers, which means more money into Canadian businesses and new opportunities for low-income Canadians.

Over the next year, the government will also begin work on improving the delivery of the CWB to proactively provide better support to low-income Canadians throughout the year rather than through an annual refund after filing their taxes.

I would like to spend some time highlighting one of the most important social benefits introduced in decades. Since 2016, the government has been supporting Canadian families through the Canada child benefit, CCB. The CCB gives low-income and middle-income parents more money each month, tax-free, to help with the high costs of raising kids through a streamlined, generous, and, most importantly, targeted system. Thanks to the CCB, nine out of 10 Canadian families have extra help each month to pay for things like healthy food, music lessons, and back-to-school clothes.

In 2016, there were 9,220 families in my riding of Richmond Hill, which translates to 14,360 children, who had received over $4.5 million through the Canada child benefit. This is real help going to families who need it the most. It is a number that will only increase as our community continues to grow. Canadians realize the impact of this program in making it easier to start a family, and our new measures expand the benefits of the CCB.

Families benefiting from the CCB are getting $6,800 on average this year. Since its introduction, th...”

Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, NDP)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Richmond Hill for his speech and his focus on families, but I hope everyone has brought their sense of irony with them today.

Bill C-74 cont...”

Mr. Randall Garrison

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...included the pay equity legislation that we have been waiting for, which would have a big impact on families, or you could have done something about the fact that only four out of 10 unemployed workers can actually access benefits from the EI program.

Why, when you have gone all this way to 556 pages, did you not do some of those things that actually would help working families and those who are trying to retire?”

Mr. Majid Jowhari

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...servations. I challenge all my colleagues to make sure that they extract that data on the number of families receiving the benefit, the number of children receiving the benefit, and the total amount t...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... that.

The other issue in the budget is carbon taxes and the impact they are going to have on families. I have news for the members. We live in a barren, cold country that requires us to heat ou...”

Mr. Sean Fraser (Central Nova, Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...troducing the Canada child benefit, which puts more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadian families, and we stopped sending child care cheques to millionaires. Incredibly, this program has cut childhood poverty for 300,000 children.

Anecdotally in my own experience, I have spoken to families that have told me this benefit has allowed them to enrol their children in swimming lessons. I had a single mother tell me that, for the first time, she was able to afford new clothes for her children on the first day of school because of the new income from the Canada child benefit.

We love to cash things in with respect to economic growth and in GDP development, which is very important, but we cannot forget there are very human experiences behind those numbers. Talking to the families in my riding and hearing them tell me that their kids are better off because of this policy, lets me know we are on the right track.

We built upon these investments by investing in a national housing strategy. I would like to thank the member for Spadina—Fort York for his work on this important file. We continue to invest in measures that will improve the lives of Canadian families.

When I look at the budget implementation act, I can point to measures like the Canada workers benefit. This benefit is more generous and replaces the very valuable working income tax benefit. It is kind of complicated to understand for a lot of people who do not dig into tax policy, so I hope my colleagues will allow me just a moment to explain in very basic terms what this does.

This policy was designed to help people who were working hard in our communities but could not seem to get ahead. Now we talk a lot, admittedly, about the middle class and those working hard to join it. This policy is designed specifically for those working hard to join it. People who are earning $15,000 a year and are working hard will see a benefit of about $2,300 through this new policy, which accrues to them automatically. That is $500 more than they earn today, and $500 for a person earning $15,000 a year makes a significant difference in the quality of that person's life.

If I look at other measures, like indexing the Canada child benefit, I know we are doing the right thing. If we have measures that are designed to help with the cost of living, those measures need to continue to increase as the cost of living increases. The value of benefit today needs to adjust as the cost of living goes up. It is one thing if that single mom is able to afford a new outfit for her kids on the first day of school this year. However, I want to ensure this program stays intact so that family can continue to afford those basics in life, which so many of us take for granted, 10 or 20 years from now and that her grandchildren can enjoy those kinds of benefits in perpetuity.

I will change gears a bit and talk about some of the measures I saw in budget 2018 that are designed for Atlantic Canada. This is an issue that is very near and dear to my heart. One of the reasons I got involved in politics was the fact that so many people from my region had a hard time staying in Atlantic Canada, despite the fact they want nothing more than to do that.

I was a young person who gained an education. After eight years in university, I realized I had to pay down some pretty serious student loans and quickly found myself moving west to Calgary to find work. I was able to move back home. I looked at what my family was doing and I saw that a great number of my family members had to move to find work. I have five sisters, two who moved to Ontario for work when I was thinking about running for office. I had to move to Calgary to find a job. I had two sisters, with two university degrees, who became teachers. One moved out of the province and another had her husband flying in and out of the Middle East to work in the energy sector. My youngest sister finished her education and moved to Halifax from our rural community so she could find work.

My family is not unique. My family and my community could be replaced with any other family or community in Atlantic Canada and the same story would be true. We need to do more to ensure there are opportunities for families and people to stay in their communities if that is what they want to do. (1725)

When I look at some of the measures we have adopted, we have an economic growth strategy designed specifically for Atlantic Canada. This strategy has seen a new immigration pilot introduced for our region to ensure our communities, which are getting older, have an influx of people to fill our labour market needs, and also build stronger, more vibrant communities.

I see measures to increase innovation in Atlantic Canada, like the ocean supercluster, which will help us tap into the strategic resource, the Atlantic Ocean.

I see opportunities from the infrastructure spending we have seen. My riding alone has seen projects like the Trades and Innovation Centre at the Nova Scotia Community College Pictou campus. It put about 120 people to work for a while, but it also leaves the community with a strategic asset that will educate our skilled workers for generations.

I have seen investments at St. Francis Xavier University in the new institute of government and the Centre for Innovation in Health.

I see our municipalities being able to afford water and waste water treatment facilities. I see our small craft harbours being built, which creates jobs in the short term but provides economic security for our rural communities by providing our fishermen with a safe place to fish going forward for years.

It is important to me that we are making these kinds of investments. However, when I look at budget 2018, I see this trend is continuing. This is not some flippant theme we had in the first few years of our government. This is a long-term commitment. We have seen, after a significant advocacy from my Atlantic caucus colleagues, $250 million put into small craft harbours to ensure these wharves continue to be repaired and our harbour infrastructure continues to support our fishing communities.

We see measures like the investment to protect against the threat posed by the spruce budworm, which was seriously threatening the forestry sector in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We have seen our forests decimated in different parts of the country and in our region at different times in our history. However, to know we are putting $75 million to protect these strategic resources, our forests, to help people work in our natural resources sector is incredibly important to me.

In addition, our regional development agency, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, has seen an increased investment to the tune of $48 million in budget 2018. This will help ensure our communities can tap into economic development opportunities when they present themselves. This is very serious. In Atlantic Canada, we depend on this agency to help build more vibrant communities and to support businesses scale up and hire more people.

As long as I hold this position, I will not give up on supporting those who need our help to ensure that whether people come from money or come from nothing, the Government of Canada will be behind them. I will continue to be an advocate for the economy in Atlantic Canada so our families can succeed and call Atlantic Canada home for generations into the future.”

Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), Lib.)

April 18th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot for requesting this adjournment debate. As the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development said, the delays that Canadians are experiencing at the tribunal are unacceptable. [English]

Simply put, as the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development has stated several times in the House that the delays Cana...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

April 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...er standard he set for cabinet ministers.

Section 12 prohibits ministers and members of their families from accepting travel on non-commercial charter or private aircraft. By the way, the lawyer...”

Mr. Rémi Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, Lib.)

April 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ay, they would come to understand the concerns of Canadians.

The questions primarily touch on families and youth. Canadians want our government to focus on economic development, help our families cope in challenging times, and help our business owners grow their business. That is certai...”

Mr. Rémi Massé

April 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...of interest to Canadians, such as the economy, jobs, investments in infrastructure, and support for families. That is what Canadians want to hear us talking about. That is what they talk to me about w...”

Mr. René Arseneault (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.)

April 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...t an issue that affects the daily lives of Canadians, of our brothers and sisters, our cousins, our families, our residents. Instead of talking about real issues, the opposition moved a motion to try ...”

Mr. Marco Mendicino

April 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“..., including the introduction of the Canada child benefit. That is helping millions of Canadians and families. It has lifted approximately 300,000 children out of poverty. It has contributed to our eco...”

Mr. Marco Mendicino

April 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... about living their lives and pursue opportunities and prosperity to provide for their children and families. This is the place where we can accomplish that. This is the place where we can balance tho...”

Mr. Marco Mendicino

April 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, unequivocally the answer is yes. We are debating those issues by ensuring Canadian families are getting more support through the Canada child benefit plan. We see that low-income work...”

Mr. Adam Vaughan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs), Lib.)

April 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... They are not interested in figuring out how the Canada child benefit, which lifts close to 300,000 families out of poverty, might be extended to reach even more. In fact, the NDP opposition raised a ...”

Mr. Adam Vaughan

April 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...cused on rehashing past scandals. Members of that party really do not care about individuals, their families, their communities, their provinces, or the country, because if they did, their motions wou...”

Mrs. Kelly Block (Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, CPC)

April 17th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...l of Canada.

While there are no words to capture the devastation and heartbreak that too many families are experiencing right now, there is hope. A debt of gratitude is owed to our emergency med...”

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

April 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...jobs. These results are simply unacceptable. When will the Prime Minister stop failing the Canadian families who are relying on these projects?”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

April 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ver national housing strategy, which will provide $40 billion over 10 years to get 530,000 Canadian families out of unaffordable or unacceptable housing. On April 4, we launched the federal community housing initiative, which will protect 555,000 Canadian families at risk of losing their community housing and ending up on the street. We will keep working...”

Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, BQ)

April 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... of Foreign Affairs, believe in freedom of expression?

Do they believe in protecting Canadian families? If so, they must meet with her.”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...n low-wage jobs is high by international standards. Many of these workers struggle to support their families and afford basics like healthy food and clothes for growing kids. (1125) [Tra...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ges, originating from birth, from tragic accidents, and from diseases and illnesses. They and their families and guardians had a major impact on me. Many of them would not be able to work. They depended completely on a network of family, friends, public and private support systems, and programs. However, there were those who could work, and did, and who made all kinds of contributions through work and volunteerism. They should not be penalized for meaningful employment or profitable entrepreneurialism, and for their efforts to advance and support themselves. All of them, those who could work and those who could not, also contributed to my life, my perspective, and my well-being in ways I am sure they never knew.

In Lakeland, the Vegreville Association for Living in Dignity is a not-for-profit association that helps support people with developmental disabilities to have opportunities for success and personal growth by promoting the development of communication and cognitive and motor skills through participation in work and in many initiatives and events in the community.

VALID has long-standing partnerships with businesses for employment positions, and with charities for volunteer activities in Vegreville. For more than 20 years, VALID's program with the immigration case processing centre secured work placements for three to five, and sometimes more, disabled people every year. These opportunities will soon be taken away from workers with disabilities in CPC Vegreville because despite an outpouring and herculean effort to stop it by employees and their families, union reps, and elected representatives at all levels and of all parties in Alberta, and r...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...oyment rate in nearly 40 years. These jobs have made it possible for Canadians to better meet their families' needs and better plan for their retirement.

However, we know that there is still work to be done. We must ensure that the economy reflects the diversity of our county, a country where all Canadians can contribute to and benefit from the nation's prosperity in a significant way. Bill C-74 contains worthwhile measures. I would like to take a few moments to present a few of them, since they are an important part of our government's plan to help the middle class and all those who are striving to reach their full potential. The government believes that Canada's biggest strength is our diversity. In order to succeed in a rapidly changing world, our economy must reflect our diversity and give every Canadian real and fair opportunities to succeed.

Regarding gender equality, we know that although Canadian women today are among the best educated in the world, they earn less than men, are less likely to participate in the labour market than men, and are more likely to work part time. We believe it is time for a change. Closing these gaps and giving women equal opportunities to succeed will encourage a more inclusive dialogue on the questions that will shape our future. We know that it will also improve the quality of life of our families and communities while stimulating the economy. Simply put, when women have the support and opportunities to fully contribute to Canada's economy, all Canadians do better.

For example, the Canada child benefit is an important government initiative aimed at making a positive change for the millions of Canadian families with children. Close to 3.3 million families with children are receiving more than $23 billion in annual Canada child benefit payments. A single mom of two children aged five and eight with a net income of $35,000 in 2016 will have received $11,125 in tax-free Canada child benefit payments in the 2017-2018 benefit year. Naturally, this $11,125 is absolutely tax free. That is $3,500 more than she would have received under the previous child benefit system.

Last year, single mothers earning less than $60,000 a year received $9,000 in benefit payments on average to help make things like healthy food and summer programs for their kids more affordable. Thanks to this increased support, the Canada child benefit is helping to lift hundreds of thousands of Canadian children out of poverty. Child poverty has been reduced by 40% compared with 2013. (1205)

By better supporting those families that need it most, including those led by single mothers, the Canada child benefit helps them give their children a good start in life by providing a safe place to live, music lessons, affordable sports camps, and all the day-to-day necessities to which every child has a right.

With Bill C-74, our government will enhance the Canada child benefit in order to ensure that the benefit is indexed to the cost of living effective July 2018, which is two years earlier than initially scheduled.

We realize that some people, especially indigenous people living in northern and remote communities, have often faced barriers when it comes to accessing essential government services and federal benefits such as the Canada child benefit. With Bill C-74, our government will take steps to ensure that anyone who is eligible for support receives it.

Through Bill C-74, the government proposes to expand outreach efforts to all indigenous communities on reserves and in northern and remote areas, and to conduct pilot outreach projects for urban indigenous communities so that indigenous peoples have better access to a full range of federal social benefits, including the Canada child benefit. (1210) [English]

Now I would like to talk about the Canada worker's benefit. Canadians working hard to join the middle class deserve to have their hard work rewarded with greater opportunities for success. We know that these Canadians are working to build a better life for themselves and their families. Low-income Canadians are sometimes working two or three jobs so that they can give themsel...”

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...I would like to draw attention to the fact that all of us in this House today are standing with the families of the Humboldt Broncos team, the unspeakable tragedy that occurred just days ago. We want them to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support that has occurred.

In relation to the comments of my colleague, he failed to mention that the government is actually raising taxes on more than 90% of middle-class families. He also failed to mention that we are paying $26 billion in interest alone to carry the na...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...re generous to those who need it most, and it is tax free. It provides support directly to Canadian families who need it the most. The Canada child benefit allows nine out of 10 families to keep more money in their pockets, money that is tax free. As I was saying in my speech, ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...erstands that entrepreneurship is about allowing people to produce prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities. That is one of the points of distinction between this side and that...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...massive debt load far beyond its annual earnings. That debt load is making it difficult for so many families in this country to make ends meet.

The average Canadian family is now surviving on te...”

Ms. Filomena Tassi (Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... budget implementation bill will do. We know that when the CCB was first introduced, nine out of 10 families benefited, raising over 300,000 children out of poverty. In the budget implementation bill,...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara (Vaughan—Woodbridge, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“.... Over a period of five years, that will add up to more than $20 billion in tax relief for Canadian families.[English]

Our government has ambitiously completed historical and progressive trade deals, including CETA, which will create thousands of good middle-class jobs for Canadians, will strengthen economic relations, and will allow Canadian companies unlimited access to over 500 million consumers.[Translation]

Putting the interests of the middle class at the centre of our trade discussions ensures that Canadian businesses and the Canadian economy will reap tangible benefits.[English]

We have also put in place an infrastructure plan that invests billions in public transit so commuters in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge can get home sooner to their families. This we can see is real tangible progress for all Canadians.[Translation]

Our vision strengthens Canada's social fabric and balances the desire for a strong economy, while introducing long-term measures for a healthy environment. This includes pan-Canadian pricing for carbon pollution, an important measure in Bill C-74. Each province will determine how to spend the money generated from carbon pricing. This is the right approach. (1335) [English]

I do wish to stress that all the measures in Budget 2018 and laid out in Bill C-74, in my view, only further strengthen our fiscal position.

As an economist and someone with over two decades of experience in the private sector, I have seen and experienced the ups and downs of the global economy, including the 2008 global financial crisis and before that the technology bubble. I know how important it is to maintain a strong fiscal framework.[Translation]

I am proud to say that our plan includes a gradual reduction in the federal debt-to-GDP ratio. According to the International Monetary Fund, Canada has the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in all G7 countries.[English]

We have looked at Bill C-74 on a larger scale, so why not look at how the measures we have laid out in this bill would directly affect Canadians in their day-to-day life.

Let us examine the Canada child benefit.

In my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, the CCB is assisting thousands of families. The numbers speak for themselves. In one year alone, CCB payments benefited 19,400 children in my wonderful riding, with approximately 10,400 payments and an average tax-free payment of $5,400. This is approximately $59 million that is delivered tax free to families in Vaughan—Woodbridge and to 337 other ridings in Canada. This is money which will assist families with paying for their kids' sports, clothes, or can help save for their children's future.[Translation]

Bill C-74 indexes the Canada child benefit beginning in July 2018, that is, two years earlier than originally planned, to help families deal with the high cost of raising children.

It is estimated that this measure will provide an additional $2.1 billion to families in Ontario alone until 2022-23. That is the kind of leadership Canadians expect from our government.

At this time, the CCB is helping lift millions of families and hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty across the country. [English]

These measures are not only putting more money in the pockets of numerous Canadians families, but they will also positively affect business owners across the country.

In my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, the city of Vaughan is home to over 11,000 small and medium-size businesses, employing more than 208,000 people. I am proud to say the city of Vaughan is the largest employment area in the whole York Region.

My riding is home to many businesses, from the large, multinational companies like FedEx and Home Depot, to many family-run firms, including Vision Enterprises, Quality Cheese Inc., Decor-Rest Furniture Manufacturers, to family-run bakeries, which I frequent all too often. When I am home, my family and I enjoy visiting our favourites like Sweet Boutique, La Strada Bakery, and St. Phillips Bakery to just name a few. [Translation]

With Bill C-74, we will strengthen our businesses by lowering the small business tax rate to 10% effective January 1, 2018, and to 9% effective January 1, 2019.[English]

Once fully implemented, those hard-working small business owners will see a tax reduction of up to $7,500 annually. This measure is a cumulative tax reduction of nearly $3 billion over the next five years in the pockets of hard-working Canadians across the country.[Translation]

Our government initiated extensive consultations to make sure that entrepreneurs can continue to invest in and grow their business, but also to ensure that all Canadians are paying their fair share of taxes and that the economy is working for everyone. [English]

I know this is crucially important for the many successful private business owners in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge who are involved in various industries, from advanced manufacturing, high tech, construction, and the food and beverage sector. I have met with many of these hard-working large, medium, and small business owners, some employing 10 workers and others employing thousands. I am incredibly proud of their hard work and to be their voice in Ottawa.

Our government will ensure that business owners can continue to invest in their businesses and also increase flexibility for owners to build a cushion of savings for personal circumstances, such as maternity leave or retirement. (1340) [Translation]

However, we will restrict tax deferments for passive investments in private corporations. Once a private corporation has amassed significant passive investments, it will no longer be subject to the small business tax rate. This measure will affect less than 3%, or about 50,000, of Canadian-controlled private corporations.[English]

As I noted in my introduction, our government is committed to helping all Canadians succeed, and we are putting money in the pockets of those who need it most.

In budget 2018, our government makes a significant investment in boosting the earnings of low-income workers with a near $1 billion investment in the Canada workers benefit. The investment will lift 70,000 Canadians out of poverty and, as important, encourage more people to join the workforce.

With the legislative changes that will automatically enrol Canadians, an estimated 300,000 additional low-income workers will receive the new CWB for the 2019 tax year. For example, an individual in my riding who is earning $20,000 annually, which is not a large sum for a lot of people, and some people make that stretch a long way, will receive an additional $500 from this measure, where previously no boost was received.[Translation]

As the son of parents who immigrated to Canada with nothing but the desire to work and create a better future for their family, I know that the Canada workers benefit will improve the living conditions of thousands of Canadian workers.[English]

I have touched merely upon a few things that Bill C-74 introduces. The indexation of the Canada child benefit, the Canada workers benefit, and support for small businesses are all measures that will benefit millions of Canadian workers and Canadian businesses from coast to coast to coast.

These measures will lift tens of thousands out of poverty, help families in raising their kids, encourage more folks to enter the labour force, and allow business owners to invest more money to grow their businesses. These are real, tangible, positive outcomes that will better the lives of Canadian families, business owners, and our economy. I am proud of budget 2018 and what is in Bill C-74.”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...eal measures which impact real people every day. They are working hard and trying to save for their families and their future. I am proud to be part of a government that has put forth these measures a...”

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... that have been raised.

First of all, my colleague failed to mention that 90% of middle-class families are paying more taxes now than they were two and a half years ago. He also failed to mentio...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... grow our economy today and for tomorrow. We are undertaking the necessary investments to invest in families through the Canada child benefit and in businesses much like the five super clusters. One o...”

Ms. Pam Goldsmith-Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...o share parental leave. This “use it or lose it“ incentive encourages a second parent in two-parent families to share the work of raising their children more equally. This new EI parental sharing benefit would allow greater flexibility for new mothers and fathers who want to return to work sooner if they so choose, knowing that their families have the support they need; supporting all two-parent families, including adoptive parents and same-sex couples; and allowing parents to share more family and home responsibilities, leading to fairer, less discriminatory hiring practices for women, because men and women have the option to stay at home with their children equally. We need to ensure that the benefits of a growing economy are felt by more and more people.

At this point, I would like to turn to our support for veterans. In my riding and across the country, we are grateful to the men and women who have served and are serving in uniform. It is our responsibility to ensure that they get the services and support they are owed. In West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, we have nine Legions, and nine remarkable ceremonies on Remembrance Day. These continue to grow in terms of attendance and reflect the deep regard of Canadians for veterans. We know it is our duty to uphold the men and women who serve our nation in uniform. We need to listen to and take action to support our veterans who have served with valour, dignity, and sacrifice. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canada's veterans and their families. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to them, and I am pleased to offer comments outlining our commitment.

On December 20, 2017, the government unveiled its pension for life plan, a program designed to reduce the complexity of support programs available to veterans and their families. It proposes a broader range of benefits, including financial stability to Canada's veterans, with a particular focus on support for veterans with the most severe disabilities. Taking a closer look, the three new benefits that provide recognition, income support, and stability to Canada's veterans who experience a service-related injury or illness look like this. The pension for life plan would provide, under pain and suffering compensation, a monthly tax-free payment for life of up to $1,150 for ill and injured veterans. The plan also proposes, for additional pain and suffering compensation, a monthly tax-free payment for life of up to $1,500 for veterans whose injuries greatly impact their quality of life. The plan also proposes to provide an income replacement benefit, that is, monthly income replacement at 90% of a veteran's pre-release salary. (1350)

These new elements represent an additional investment of almost $3.6 billion to support Canada's veterans. These new services and benefits would impact lives significantly. Pension for life would mean that a 25-year-old retired corporal who is 100% disabled would receive more than $5,800 in monthly support. For a 50-year-old retired major who is 100% disabled, monthly support would be almost $9,000.

The bill before us includes amendments to the Pension Act and the Veterans Well-being Act to put measures of the pension for life plan into effect. It would also provide income replacement at 90% of pre-release salary for veterans who are facing barriers returning to work after military service.

The government recognizes that psychiatric service dogs play an important role in helping Canadians cope with conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. Through this bill, the government proposes to expand the medical expense tax credit to recognize costs for these animals for 2018 and future tax years. This measure would directly benefit veterans and others in the disability community who rely on psychiatric service dogs. This measure also complements the work of organizations that support them, such as the Royal Canadian Legion, and Paws Fur Thought, which provide service dogs to veterans and first responders with invisible disabilities.

In conclusion, to face the challenges of today and tomorrow, we will need the hard work, health, and creativity of all Canadians, including our veterans and seniors. One of the ways to help make that happen is by strengthening the programs that make the biggest difference in people's lives and by making those benefits easier to get.

Since 2016, the government has put in place substantial improvements to the benefits and services available for veterans. For example, the government has raised financial supports for veterans and caregivers, introduced new education and training benefits, and expanded a range of services available to the families of medically released veterans. When combined with existing services and benefits to help v...”

Mr. Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my very deepest sympathy to the families directly affected by last week's tragic events, to the community of Humboldt, and to all Saskatchewanians.

Having spent my childhood, adolescence, and early adult life in that wonderful province, I was extremely saddened. In a province that is so community oriented and where personal relationships among community members are so strong, there is clearly great sorrow. However, these strong bonds that exist between neighbours and communities have and will be a source of strength as Saskatchewanians struggle to come to grips with the impacts of the accident.

All Canadians mourn with the families, with Humboldt, and with Saskatchewan. On behalf of my constituents, my family, and myself, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the families, the community, and to all Saskatchewanians.”

Mr. Todd Doherty (Cariboo—Prince George, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...t conversations of hopes and dreams.

As a father, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain the families are experiencing. The community of Humboldt, the surviving players, and the families of the deceased will need our nation's prayers, strength, and support for a very long time. Long after the cameras and the media go away, these communities and these families will need us all as a nation to continue to lift them up. This pain will endure long after the ice from this season has melted. Hearts will continue to break long after the final buzzer goes off.

On behalf of all families in my riding of Cariboo—Prince George and our proud hockey teams, the BC Major Midget League, Cariboo Cougars, the WHL Prince George Cougars, the British Columbia junior hockey league, and the Prince George Spruce Kings, our thoughts and prayers are with those we have lost, those who are still fighting, the community of Humboldt, and the Humboldt Broncos organization.

We ask that we all take a moment to say a prayer for the families involved as well as for the first responders involved in this unbelievable tragedy. This will undoubtedly have an immeasurable impact on them as well. We ask that beyond today we continue as a nation to embrace and lift these families up and hold them in our hearts.”

Mr. Matt DeCourcey (Fredericton, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... thoughts and prayers to her husband Mike, sons Matt and Chris, and to the entire Eagles and Allain families.”

Mrs. Karen Vecchio (Elgin—Middlesex—London, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...amp, school, or a sports tournament. This story touches the lives of all Canadians. It is about the families and all of the lives that have been impacted and affected. It is about the people who welco...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ctims. In such tragic and difficult times, we all feel united as Canadians.

Whether it is the families of Lebourgneuf, in my riding, who put hockey sticks on their doorsteps, Canadian members of...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ly with an outpouring of love and support for those who perished, those who survived, and for their families. It has been incredible to see the compassion that Canadians have shown our neighbours in t...”

Mr. Dane Lloyd (Sturgeon River—Parkland, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...urses and physicians who have spent countless hours attending to the needs of the victims and their families. They have the thanks of a grateful nation.

For Lorne and Robin, Ed and Rhonda, no wo...”

Hon. Jim Carr (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...to the people of Humboldt and of Saskatchewan. This is a tragedy that we all feel personally in our families and in our communities.

The Prime Minister was very clear yesterday on the government...”

Mr. Arnold Viersen (Peace River—Westlock, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...25,000 jobs have been lost in the Canadian oil patch. That is devastating for local communities and families. We are six weeks away from losing this project and all the jobs that go with it.

Whe...”

Mr. Todd Doherty (Cariboo—Prince George, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ng to do with reconciliation. Rather, it had all to do with blatantly lining the pockets of Liberal families and Liberal family insiders.

The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador was in Ottawa late last week raising serious questions about job losses, economic impacts, and the corrupt bid process.

Can the Prime Minister please explain why lining the pockets of Liberal family members and Liberal insiders is more important than the families of Grand Bank?”

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ed, working hard to pursue their passion for hockey, living the dream. They were the pride of their families and their hometowns, the pride of the families with which they were billeted away from home, their teachers and mentors, and the Broncos organization, who tried so hard to look after them.

The pain hit hard in Humboldt and in nearby Saskatoon, in eight other Saskatchewan towns, in Winnipeg, and in eight communities across Alberta. However, the anguish knew no bounds. It swept the entire province and the country. After all, this is Canada. Despite the calendar, it is still mostly winter. Hockey playoffs are in full swing virtually everywhere, and hockey, in large measure, shapes our lives. There is hardly a family anywhere in Canada that would be unfamiliar with those buses, which take thousands of our kids somewhere almost every day to play hockey or some other sport they love. (1515) [Translation]

Humboldt's pain is being felt by communities across Canada, where buses full of young people going to play hockey or practice another sport they love are a part of everyday life. This tragedy has hit all our communities hard. [English]

This was a tragedy that really struck home. For most of us it was personal, hitting right where we live. It extended into the United States and Europe and rippled around the world from Uganda to Australia and back to the high Arctic. It engaged people like Drake, golf champion Brooke Henderson, Her Majesty the Queen, and thousands and maybe millions more.

Everyone wanted to connect and help with prayers and gestures of solidarity. We left our sticks out on the doorstep. We wore jerseys; we still are. There were editorials and heart-wrenching cartoons. Tons of people raised money and gave money. They played road hockey, pond hockey, floor hockey, and regular hockey. They started marathons. They sold stickers and badges. Some wrote songs and poems. Others sent flowers to vigils, memorials, and funerals, which are still ongoing. Thousands of people are attending to be together, to share and support. There are cards, letters, posters, banners, videos, and miles of green and yellow ribbons on virtually everyone's lapel. There are messages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. From the smallest novice, atom, or peewee team to the top brass of the NHL, the entire hockey community worldwide brought awareness, compassion, and understanding about how big and how painful this situation was, and is.

The outpouring of interest and concern is likely unparalleled. It is a way to show that we care. It is basic human kindness. That, too, is what defines us. Everyone affected is thankful for that.

Together, we thank the first responders, RCMP officers, firefighters, and paramedics from Nipawin, Tisdale, Melfort, Zenon Park, and other places who were on the scene of that horrific crash, doing probably the hardest work of all. We thank the emergency medical teams in the local hospitals, the STARS air ambulance crews who flew the victims there, and the medical staff at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. We thank the trauma teams, the grief counsellors, and the victim services people, who continue to provide aid and comfort, and will for a long time. We thank the teachers, the school boards, and the community volunteers who work with young people especially to help them come to terms with what has happened.

We hold in our hearts all the bereaved and troubled families and friends of the victims, the city of Humboldt, and the entire Broncos organization.

<...”

Hon. Andrew Scheer (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... people gathered in the cold just before the start of the NHL playoffs, an event that most Canadian families usually do not want to miss. [English]

They brought hockey sticks, not to play with this time, but to hold quietly and say a prayer. This did not happen in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, or even in the town next door. It was more than 5,000 kilometres away, in the community of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador. From the heart of our beautiful Canadian prairies to the outermost limits of our nation at the edge of the continent, the tragedy that took 16 lives and shattered hundreds more has connected us all in a way we never expected. (1525) [Translation]

Anyone who drives Canada's highways knows the vastness of our country. The feverish pitch of activity in many countries contrasts with Canada's highways and rural roads, the farm fields, small villages, and remote communities. [English]

I am proud to live in the great province of Saskatchewan. We have hundreds of small communities, all spread out. It has always struck me how, despite the hundreds and hundreds of small towns over a space larger than most European countries, people always seem to know someone from one of those towns, no matter where they live. A friend could mention that he is from Hanley, and everyone will know where that is. I once asked a friend of mine how he always seemed to know where so many of these small towns are. They surely could not have taught every town and village in geography class in Saskatchewan. “It's simple,” he said. “I played hockey. I've probably been to more than half of them.”

It is always a tragedy to lose a loved one. Far too many Canadians lose their lives on our roads and highways every year, but to have lost so many young people, all taken at once, has sent shockwaves through our entire province and our country.

We may be spread out all over to the four corners of our province, but there are many things that connect us together. There are so many reasons why we always seem to know somebody from every corner of Saskatchewan. There are not too many degrees of separation. It is almost like the whole province is one big small town. Everybody feels connected. People support each other, whether they are from Meadow Lake, Nipawin, Estevan, Fort Qu'Appelle, or Humboldt. We care about the people from our province. We cheer them on. We rally together, and we do it with pride.

Hockey has been one of those great unifiers that pull communities together. With that community spirit, sport is one of the greatest unifiers of all. On game night, everyone heads down to the arena for the match. Getting a rink burger is even considered a romantic date. It is where one hears all the town news, gets all the good gossip, and finds out the big events for the weekend. There are friendly rivalries, memories of legendary games and players, and the fall fundraiser to pay for new boards or new stands.

For the kids who play on these teams, these will be some of the best days of their lives. They develop friendships on the ice and on the bus that become lifelong bonds. Laughing in hotel rooms and holding up championship trophies, they learn to depend on each other and to trust each other. They tap their goalie on the helmet and say something nice, even after he lets in a goal. They learn the valuable lessons of sportsmanship: how to win, how to lose, how to communicate, and how to listen. They learn that hard work pays off. Best of all, they learn what it means to be a teammate.

So many young boys and girls have ridden the bus down those long stretches of highways, in good weather and bad. So many parents have followed along. So many families have opened their doors to billet young kids playing out their dreams. That is why this tragedy has shaken us all so much.

However, in times of crisis, in times of tragedy, a Canadian in Humboldt, Saskatchewan becomes the neighbour of a Canadian in Newfoundland, British Columbia, or the territories. For days, Canadians have been leaving hockey sticks outside their front doors in a show of mourning for the lives lost in the Humboldt Broncos family. In our hockey-obsessed country, a stick left against a garage door or on a front porch is as normal a sight as the school bus pulling up to the curb in the morning, as comforting as mom calling the kids in for dinner. Last week, those sticks became a symbol of a nation coming together to grieve and to support the families and friends of the Humboldt Broncos. [Translation]

We simply cannot imagine what the family and friends of the 16 people who lost their lives in this terrible accident are going through. It is a tragedy that defies understanding. It is a moment in time that brought our country to a standstill and from which we are just now starting to recover.[English]

From a small town in Saskatchewan has flowed a river of grief, one that has washed over thousands of families across the country. Everybody back home knew somebody touched by this tragedy: their doctor's cousin, their sister's co-worker, their son's neighbour.

To the community of Humboldt and to the towns across Canada from which the victims came just to play the game they love, we say we grieve with them and we will remember them. No matter where they live, no matter how quiet the nights seem, no matter how small the town feels, we are all their neighbours now.

To those still recovering in hospital, we are thinking of you and sending our prayers for strength for the challenges that lay ahead. That powerful photo of Derek, Graysen, and Nick holding hands in the hospital has become a powerful image. As Premier Scott Moe said, “Saskatchewan, these are our boys.”

The entire country will be there to help support the victims and their families and to keep the game going and win the next one for the Broncos. For those we lost, Dayna, ...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

April 16th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...estle with tears and our voices tremble as we remember the names of those who were taken from their families and communities: Tyler Bieber, Logan Boulet, Dayna Brons, Mark Cross, Glen Doerksen, Darcy ...”

Mr. Todd Doherty (Cariboo—Prince George, CPC)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... it seems that the minister is more intent on looking after his Liberal family and friends than the families of Grand Bank. It is disappointing and, frankly, it is shameful.”

Mr. Len Webber (Calgary Confederation, CPC)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...y day they put their lives on the line. Every day we borrow these courageous individuals from their families. Their families live in a constant state of trepidation, until they hear the reassuring sound of the front ...”

Ms. Pam Goldsmith-Jones (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, Lib.)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... and many more, are tireless and give so much.

It is with gratitude that we celebrate all the families on World Autism Day.”

Mr. Wayne Stetski (Kootenay—Columbia, NDP)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...nd away from home much of the time when we are in our ridings requires incredible sacrifices by our families. We miss special occasions, day-to-day household crises, conversations, and hugs, to name just a few. We do it because we all want a better Canada and we all want to serve our constituents well. However, it does come with a personal cost.

Therefore, I thank my family, Audrey, Shawn, Kellie, Adrian and Lalita, for its love and support. I would also like to thank the families of all members for cutting their favourite MPs a lot of slack and for sharing them with us,...”

Hon. Ahmed Hussen (Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we recognize the services that caregivers give to Canadian families. In fact, we have recognized the importance of reuniting caregivers with their own families. That is why we invested more money and more resources to make sure we would bring down the...”

Mr. Terry Beech (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...health. We plan to have dinners with our wives, and we will be able to reflect on how important our families and our health are in doing this job.

With regard to this specific issue, when the pr...”

Mr. Darren Fisher (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ness Day.

On this day, Canada will join the international community, hundreds of thousands of families and caregivers, and communities around the world that will wear blue in recognition of peop...”

Mr. Bill Blair (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... investment of $20 million in new funding to support people with autism spectrum disorder and their families.

On World Autism Awareness Day 2018, I would encourage all members of this House and ...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...cy on this issue. It is completely unacceptable that northerners are still struggling to feed their families and pay the most extraordinary prices for food in Canada.

Our government has already ...”

Hon. Bardish Chagger (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Lib.)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Business of the House

“...er of the week.[Translation]

I want to take this opportunity to wish all my colleagues, their families, and everyone who works and helps us in this place a happy Easter and a pleasant break.”

Mr. Todd Doherty (Cariboo—Prince George, CPC)

March 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...r, the member is from Newfoundland. I visited Grand Bank the other day and I spoke with many of the families who are going to be impacted by the minister's decision to award a lucrative surf clam quot...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

March 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...We then brought in the Canada child benefit, which gives more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families and lifts hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty.

In this most recent budget, w...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

March 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... all about priorities. Because of the Prime Minister's inaction, thousands of young girls and their families have continued living in hell for three years now.

When will the Prime Minister final...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.)

March 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s, and talk to people who are dealing with the tragedy of this epidemic. I have talked to countless families who have lost loved ones.

This is an epidemic across this country which we are taking...”

Mr. Glen Motz (Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, CPC)

March 28th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s. There is nothing in this proposed legislation that addresses any of the problems facing Canadian families, police, rural communities, first nations, inner cities, border agents, gun violence, gangs, or rural crime.

Legislation should be about the values and merits of what Canadians need to improve their quality of life, protect their communities, empower people to prosper, not the Liberal Party.

We have heard what Canadians need for safer communities. In ridings like mine, with vast rural areas, police can sometimes be hours away. Rural Canadians often feel they are left to fend for themselves. With crime rates increasing in rural parts of Canada by 41% in the last few years, the bill would do nothing to address the needs of rural Canada. However, it has the potential to turn rural Canadians into criminals if they own a gun.

Many Canadians have a gun because they need it. They need it to deal with with aggressive predators. They need it for their work, like farmers who may have to put an animal down or control rodents. Sadly, today, many Canadians feel they need these firearms to defend their homes, families, and property from violent attacks and criminal activities.

No one wins when those in rural Canada need to defend themselves from violent criminals. No one should be afraid in their homes, on their farms, or in their communities. However, this is the reality for far too many Canadians in rural communities in Alberta and across our great nation. The fact that this reality is ignored in this regulatory bill is a slap in the face for hard-working, gun-owning Canadians. The bill fails rural Canada and public safety.

As recent as a few weeks ago, we heard at the minister's own guns and gang conference about the challenges facing communities and police, with rising violent crime rates and, in particular, organized crime, guns and gangs. As a former police officer, I understand that police services are doing what they can with the resources available to them and with the many restrictions law enforcement have placed upon them. Criminals do not follow these rules.

We heard from the police at the summit about the increasing number of gangs that were involved in gun violence. These gangs are typically drug dealers or drug related and the shootings are related to protecting territory. These drug dealers and gang members have acquired guns through the black market, smuggling, and theft.

These people do not register their guns. They do not show a licence to buy it. They do not go through a background check. They do not submit to police scrutiny. Only law-abiding gun owners follow these processes.

Adding more processes and background checks does not improve the fight of our communities against gun violence and gangs. Nothing in the bill deals with gangs and their acquisition of illegal weapons. There is no mention of gangs, organized crime, or smuggling in the bill.

The legislation would do nothing to help rural residents in my community. It would do nothing for families dealing with gangs in Surrey. It would do nothing to help police in Montreal or the GTA. It...”

Mr. Gary Anandasangaree (Scarborough—Rouge Park, Lib.)

March 28th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ely with many family members, siblings, schoolmates, and parents moved me a great deal. I witnessed families change over night, mothers who would wait in front of their windows for their sons to return home one day, knowing full well they had buried their sons, but hoping it was a dream, parents who never really got over the loss of their child. (1645)

Let me just take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers, staff, board members, and the great many young people who have worked with and for CanTYD for the past 20 years. I want to thank the families who entrusted CanTYD with their children. It is because of the work of organizations like CanTYD that many young people have gone on the right path, including those who once picked up a gun. I wish CanTYD many more years of success in directing our young people.

Permit me to also thank all the great youth outreach workers and youth-serving organizations in Scarborough, many of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the years.

Gun violence in the greater Toronto area continues to affect us all. My riding of Scarborough—Rouge Park has seen its fair share of gun violence in recent years, and shall I say, an unfair share of gun violence.

On July 16, 2012, the community at Danzig Road in Scarborough—Rouge Park got together for a celebration. Danzig is a vibrant community with a great deal of young people. In the early evening of that day, some young people came in a car and shot randomly at the crowd. Two people, 14-year-old Shyanne Charles and 23-year-old Joshua Yasay, died that day. Twenty-three people suffered injuries, making this the single largest mass shooting in the history of Toronto.

Sadly, this was not isolated. Just last year, during a weekend in July, three young men under the age of 35 were killed in Scarborough—Rouge Park by gun violence. Sadly, the spate of gun violence is expected to continue.

We have all seen recent accounts of young people in the United States, led by the young people of Parkland, Florida. It is not a right to own a gun in Canada. It is not a constitutional right to carry arms.

I have, sadly, been to way too many funerals of young people who died as a result of gun violence, and I cannot count the tears of these family members.

In the past year, I have met with members of the Zero Gun Violence Movement. The Zero Gun Violence Movement has been working since 2013 to bring awareness and advocacy to reduce gun violence in the city of Toronto and around the country. One of the disturbing trends that the founder, Louis March, consistently mentions each time we meet is that young people have clear access to guns. They know where to get them when they need them.

The Zero Gun Violence Movement, in recent years, has gathered the mothers who have lost their children to gun violence. I was inspired by the mothers who came to Ottawa recently. They spoke of their losses and hardships, and the anguish of burying sons, some of them fathers themselves. The entire family is crushed and is deeply affected by the personal loss of their child. The families are at a loss as to why governments have not moved forward in limiting access to guns. They have told me that in some places guns are easier to find than jobs. This is why we have to take ownership of this issue and find the right legislative tools to get guns off our streets.

Bill C-71 strikes a balance by respecting legitimate, law-abiding gun owners, and ensuring that minimum safeguards are extended to the public against the drastic growth of illegal guns.

I will summarize the five key elements of the legislation. First, the legislation will introduce enhanced background checks. Second, Bill C-71 will ensure that all individuals or businesses selling firearms verify that the buyer is legally able to buy a firearm before completing the transaction. Third, there is record-keeping and the tracing of firearms used in crimes. Fourth, the bill will reintroduce restrictions for transportation of prohibited firearms. Finally, fifth, it would remove the ability of cabinet to arbitrarily reclassify weapons.

Today we have the opportunity to take a path to limiting illegal guns and taking them off the streets, while ensuring that these laws do not affect law-abiding citizens. We cannot continue on the path of the U.S. where we see gun violence hold an entire nation hostage while the gun lobby refuses to regulate even the most dangerous of weapons.

As the member of Parliament of a riding where I have witnessed the deaths and destruction of young people and their families, I want to ask my colleagues of all parties to support this sensible legislation. I recogni...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

March 27th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... important to my constituency, which has faced escalating armed robberies of bars, hotels, and farm families right across Lakeland. Bill C-71 would do nothing to address the illegal gun trade by gangs...”

Mr. Marco Mendicino (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

March 27th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... of close time with the ones they care for and work for every day. I take my girls there, like many families in my community do.

The reason I am referring to this establishment at the outset of ...”

Mr. John Aldag (Cloverdale—Langley City, Lib.)

March 27th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... bullet holes in homes and front doors, and people are concerned for their safety and that of their families.

The first shooting in Surrey this year took place on 64th Avenue, a main road with g...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

March 27th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ad torn a massive hole in our social fabric. I heard how it had demoralized a generation, fractured families, hollowed out neighbourhoods, and threatened our economic foundation. There was a clear mes...”

Mr. Mark Holland (Ajax, Lib.)

March 27th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...lf of all members of the House, that we recognize that living a public life is tough. It is hard on families and it means being away a lot. Roger, over the course of his life, whether as a councillor,...”

Mr. Dan Ruimy (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, Lib.)

March 27th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...heir members should be a priority.

Since the last election, we committed to looking after the families of fallen firefighters and first responders across Canada and created the memorial grant pr...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

March 26th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...this very tragic circumstance, lack of access to banking services literally means justice denied to families that have hoped and waited for it for so long. We can do better.

When we view this ga...”

Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Lib.)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...th, supporting good jobs at home, raising living standards, and helping Canadians provide for their families with affordable goods and services. (1310)

As Canada challenges itself to retain an...”

Mr. Dane Lloyd (Sturgeon River—Parkland, CPC)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...r fuels in order to meet its climate change and economic growth goals. Currently, many impoverished families in India spend hours every day gathering biomass fuel that wreaks devastation on forests and burns even dirtier than coal. Biomass pollution harms the health of women and children. Canada has a solution, natural gas, or as we in Alberta call it, God's gas. Canada's environmentally responsible natural gas can provide the low-carbon intensity to power India's economic expansion. It will also provide the clean, reliable fuel that will ensure poor families have healthier air in their homes. India needs Canada's natural gas, but the government has...”

Ms. Gudie Hutchings (Long Range Mountains, Lib.)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, Canada's forest sector provides good jobs for families in communities all across the country. Constituents in my riding of Long Range Mountains ar...”

Ms. Joyce Murray (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...his federal funding will increase parental options, help the economy, and improve the lives of many families in all our communities.”

Mr. Ziad Aboultaif (Edmonton Manning, CPC)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... all members of the House and all Canadians to recognize Kidney Health Month by speaking with their families and registering to become an organ donor.

Together, we can all give the gift of life....”

Mr. Glen Motz (Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, CPC)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er refuses to condemn the illegal violent protests against the Trans Mountain pipeline. Workers and families need these jobs. Communities need the investment and the benefits that they bring. What Can...”

Ms. Georgina Jolibois (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, NDP)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...in northern Saskatchewan, despite its promise to hold three meetings in northern Saskatchewan. Many families from Saskatchewan's north did not have the opportunity to share the stories of those they l...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...peaker, it is unbelievable the amount of work the commission has been able to do, and the number of families who have been able to have their voices heard. However, this inquiry is far from over, and we know that. We are committed to ending the ongoing national tragedy. We thank the commission for the work that it has done so far.

The minister has received a request from the commission, and she is discussing this with families, indigenous partners, and today with provincial and territorial counterparts. We know that ...”

Mr. Simon Marcil (Mirabel, GPQ)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...se their benefits have run out. They are in the spring gap, that time of the year when thousands of families without employment income are forced to turn to welfare because they have the misfortune of...”

Ms. Anju Dhillon (Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, Lib.)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ees fleeing the Nazi regime. Our country's immigration policies at that time targeted these people, families and children who were fleeing unimaginable horrors. (1405) [Translation]

...”

Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of Status of Women, Lib.)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...and early learning and $40 billion in affordable housing, 25% of which will support women and their families. Who will be building this infrastructure? We are providing grants and opportunities for wo...”

Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of Status of Women, Lib.)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, “Gender equality is good for Canada. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for families and it’s good for women and girls. After years of slipping in global rankings, this is the ...”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tations and that Service Canada would continue to do its work and respect the diversity of Canada's families and the reality of their circumstances in 2018.”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er this question. I am also glad and grateful to say that in Canada in 2018, we have a diversity of families. We have grandfathers or recomposed families looking after children. We have parents of the same gender. These parents deserve the same ...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

March 21st
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...d with challenges since the beginning. The inquiry is the result of decades of work and advocacy by families and survivors. I feel very strongly that it must put the needs of families and survivors at the forefront. It is also vital that organizations that have been granted ...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan

March 21st
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...over their head? Government members should ask themselves whether that would be acceptable if their families were out in the street today. If it is not, I would urge the government, instead of just ta...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

March 21st
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...th me that rather than imposing the price of carbon through tax on seniors with fixed incomes or on families he has been advocating for that are already struggling, would it not be better to incentivi...”

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

March 21st
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... empty promises of the Prime Minister and his government.

Here are the facts: 92% of Canadian families are facing higher taxes than when this government came to power. Middle-income families have seen their average income tax go up by $840. Now, $840 might not sound like a lot to the millionaire Prime Minister, but it is a huge difference for the household budgets of a lot of Canadian families. It might be a month's worth of groceries for a family of four or a couple of payments on the car. Maybe it is an opportunity lost for ballet or sports lessons for the kids or maybe a plane ticket to visit grandma and grandpa. That is what it means for an average Canadian family. It is significant.

The government claims to be all about helping the middle class, but actions speak louder than words. Here are some of the actions the LIberal government has taken since coming into office: higher Canada pension plan premiums, up to $2,200 per household; cancelled family tax cut, up to about $2,000 a household; cancelled art and fitness tax credits, about $225 a child; cancelled education and text book tax credits, up to $560 a student; and a national carbon tax, up to $2,500 per household. We can start to add that up.

The Liberals have taken more money from the wallets of Canadians while implementing measures like a carbon tax that has made the price of everything go up. Groceries are more expensive. Heating one's home is more expensive. Filling up one's car with gas is more expensive. In what convoluted way would a Liberal see that as somehow relief for Canadian taxpayers? I cannot imagine.

The Prime Minister and the finance minister inherited a surplus. They inherited a surge in the global economy and the beginning of the recovery of oil prices. Things should be running quite smoothly and Canadians should be benefiting from the situation, but of course, they have blown it. They have absolutely blown it. The government can try to take credit for growth in our economy, but the reality is that the growth was driven by an economic recovery. That happened not because of the government but in spite of it. (1705)

The sensible thing to do when our economy is growing at a rapid pace is to pay down debt, the approach that was taken by the former government, to ensure there is more room to manoeuvre in case of a global downturn. As we saw in 2008, Canada is certainly not immune to these global patterns.

This brings me to my second point. The Liberals have continued to add to our debt and to pile on to our future generations debt they cannot possible hope to repay. The current government will be long out of power by that time, so it will be up to another generation to fix the problems left behind by this irresponsible administration.

In the less than three years since coming to power, the government has added $60 billion to our national debt, over $1,600 for every Canadian. Even projections from its own finance department are bleak, and that is that the budget will not return to balance until 2045, if we were to remain on this course. That means adding an extra $450 billion of debt. That is almost half a trillion dollars, a number that most Canadians cannot even comprehend. This is what the government will add to the debt and will saddle that legacy onto future generations.

The government continues to live beyond its means.

What happens when there is a serious economic downturn? By adding more debt to our finances, the Liberal government is selling our chances at a speedy recovery should anything happen to our economy. Make no mistake, there are signs of trouble just over the horizon. The Liberal government certainly has no contingency should the United States terminate NAFTA, for example.

The budget also contains no policies that make Canada open for business or that allows our businesses to be able to compete. Our neighbours to the south recently announced sweeping new tax reforms that would help businesses and Americans. In response, what has the government done? Absolutely nothing. Why has the Liberal government added $60 billion to our debt? That is the question many are asking, as everyday Canadians are seeing none of this money going toward helping them.

The government's economic policies include spending $35 billion on a new infrastructure bank that helps wealthy investors, but not everyday Canadians; and $1 billion on superclusters that help big corporations, but not Canadians who are struggling to find employment.

The amount of debt that the government is accumulating is absolutely staggering, and it will be a major impediment for future generations. It is irresponsible and unacceptable.

Meanwhile, the government also continues to attack our job creators, the people who are the backbone of the Canadian economy, our small businesses. Remember last fall, when the Liberals decided they would tax small businesses at a rate of about 73%? I certainly remember, because I received thousands of emails, phone calls, and letters from concerned small businesses and employees in our communities. No doubt the members over there have received those same kinds of emails, phone calls, and letters.

I think the Liberals heard the message to some degree because they slowly, at least partially, backed away from those controversial plans. However, it took a huge outrage from Canadians to do it. There is never going to be an end with respect to the attacks on small businesses.

With the proposals the finance minister has made, thousands of local businesses will no longer qualify for the small business tax rate or will see it reduced. In many of our communities, we rely very heavily on small businesses to provide jobs and opportunities, sponsor charities and sports teams, and to make our economy thrive. All those businesses are concerned about the future as a result of the actions of the government.

The government has even gone so far as to try to tell some businesses that they are too small to be a small business, when it went after campground owners. Too small to be a small business, how does that make any sense? Those are the kinds of actions of the government.

The Liberals are continuing to ask Canadian families and Canadian small businesses to pay more for its out-of-control spending. That is simply u...”

Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)

March 21st
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...r taxes for the middle class, hundreds of dollars a year. Then we made sure nine out of 10 Canadian families got an extra bonus through the Canada child benefit. Then we brought in the Canada workers ...”

Mr. Blake Richards

March 21st
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... listen to the speech at all? I do not think he did. If he listens to the analysis, 92% of Canadian families are paying more taxes than when the current government took office. What do they have to sh...”

Mr. Lloyd Longfield (Guelph, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... proposes to invest an additional $5 billion over five years to ensure that indigenous children and families have an equal chance to succeed in life, to build the capacity of indigenous governments, and to accelerate self-determination and self-government agreements with indigenous peoples, based on the recognition and implementation of their rights.

To address the funding pressures facing child and family service agencies, while also increasing prevention resources for communities so that children are safe and families can stay together, budget 2018 proposes to provide more than $1.4 billion in new funding ov...”

Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ney to address this situation. The government keeps saying how great its budget is for middle-class families, but if the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean's regional economy is hobbled because the government does nothing to remedy the icebreaker situation, that will have a negative impact on our economy and families in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.”

Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry—Suroît, NDP)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ng people to get to school, and help people get to work so they can earn a decent living for their families. None of this is in the budget, so I have to wonder how the budget will help the regions.

Mr. Yves Robillard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... are essential for our communities' economic growth. The riding of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin is made up of families, young people and seniors, but it also includes many industries, as well as small and mediu...”

Hon. Lisa Raitt (Milton, CPC)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...possibly doing?

Milton, Ontario, my home, is a growing community. The majority are small-town families. Actually, the biggest proportion of the growing population was under age 10 at one point i...”

Hon. Lisa Raitt

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... many tax dollars as he possibly could from small business, he went after the small farmer and farm families. I visited many cities and constituencies in Atlantic Canada, which, as we know, are all he...”

Mr. John Oliver (Oakville, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... many Canadians, being a parent and raising a family is the most important part of their lives. New families in Oakville rely on maternity and parental benefits for support during the critical period in early childhood when they need to take time off work to care for their children. Budget 2018 makes it easier for parents to share child care responsibilities through a new EI parental sharing benefit. This encourages both parents to take time off through a “use it or lose it” incentive of five additional weeks. This encourages greater equality when it comes to the challenge of sharing child care responsibility, and helps to distribute family and home duties between parents. I look forward to seeing Oakville families benefiting from this program.

Our government has always been clear that we need to do...”

Mr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Winnipeg Centre, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ize that not only is it important to reform the child welfare system, but we also have to invest in families. In this case, another $1.5 billion over five years are being invested in indigenous families, making them stronger. We know there have been many issues over many years. I can list mult...”

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... the fourth quarter of 2016. However, the introduction in the budget document states, “For Canadian families, this means greater financial security, and greater peace of mind”. That certainly has not ...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...t we can do. Few women will take it up, but it will make a big difference to those who do and their families.

Use it or lose it parental leave was another win. It has been shown in other countries that when men take parental leave it locks them in early to some of the domestic care issues. They are changing diapers and looking after the home. If they do not take that leave, then it is gone. It is not the kind of thing we have right now where the father and mother can split the leave.

The former NDP leader, the member for Outremont, and I wrote to the Prime Minister back in September urging him to take this on. We are very glad he took our advice and we think it is a win for families. However, it is tempered by the fact that the budget did not fix employment insurance parental leave benefits. When working families cannot earn enough hours to be eligible to take that paid parental leave, it means that onc...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...Every month we get millions of dollars from the national treasury going to Winnipeg North to the families and children that really need that support. That is something that is really helping our ec...”

Mr. Dan Albas (Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, CPC)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...do a better job of working with provinces like Manitoba to get those cheques out to support working families faster than what this budget proposes?”

Mr. Alupa Clarke (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...are going up for the fine constituents of Beauport—Limoilou. The average increase for middle-income families is exactly $840 per year, whereas by the end of 10 wonderful years of Conservative governme...”

Mr. Luc Berthold (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... action for the Canadian middle class. The Prime Minister raised taxes by over 90% for middle-class families. He is going to add $18 billion to the debt in 2018-19. That is three times higher than wha...”

Mr. Darrell Samson (Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... about 95,000 people in my riding, some are fishermen and some are farmers. We also have many young families and seniors. As I will show throughout my speech today, this budget will support not only Canada and Nova Scotia, it will directly support my community of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook. I will focus on families, veterans, women support, as well as youth.

It is important to look at the history of what our government has accomplished over the last two and a half years, which is extremely impressive thus far. We have created over 700,000 jobs in just over two years, most of which are full-time jobs. The party opposite would have liked to have been able to share with the House in its 10 years of governing, but that was not possible.

The second thing I would like to share with the House is that the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.7 per cent. That is the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years. This includes the 10 years the Conservative Party was in power.

Let us talk about the Canada child benefit. This program has been extremely important for Canadians and young families. Everyone in the House should be thanking our government for that investment in young families. Not one member in the House is not seeing major investment for kids in their riding. I will give the example of my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook. Over 10,000 families are receiving extra support, tax free, from the child care benefit. What does that mean to the citizens and families in my riding? It means an investment in Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook of $5.6 million per month tax free, or $60 million per year. Everyone in the House is seeing that investment in young families across the country, which is extremely important.

I will be sharing my time with the member for Avalon, Madam Speaker.

Let us look at some of the investments touching Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia, and my riding. The investment in the prevention of the spruce budworm is extremely important to our riding, as well as to the province and Atlantic Canada. Forestry is extremely important to Nova Scotia. Also, there is a major investment in the area of small craft and harbour. As I said, we not only have fishermen in my community, but right across the province of Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada as well.

There is also major investment in multiculturalism. The investment for black Canadians in black Canadian communities is extremely important for Canadians and for the people in Preston in my riding. People may not know this, but we have the largest black cultural centre in Canada. Only a couple of weeks ago, I was able to celebrate with the African Nova Scotian community. Earlier in the day, the minister had launched the new $10 bill, which has the first Canadian black women on it, Viola Desmond. She was a leader not only for her community, but a leader for civil rights for Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada. This celebration was really touching. As one gentleman described to me that evening, “Today we launch the $10 bill. Tonight we celebrated the $10 bill, and we celebrate Viola Desmond and our community.” That was very special and important. (1355)

I have a quote on that from the Federation of Black Canadians which said, “A historic first, 'Equality Growth: A Strong Middle Class' constitutes the first time a federal budget explicitly acknowledges the unique and specific challenges faced by Black Canadians and commits substantial amounts to addressing them.” That is something really impressive that we should be celebrating as well.

I also want to talk about the investment in families. There are three main areas I want to touch on.

The first one is the EI parental sharing benefit, where we have added five weeks. This will create much more flexibility for families, which is extremely important. Adoptive parents and same-sex couples who are parents will also be able to benefit from this investment.

The second area I want to talk about is pharmacare. This is something Canadians value. It is something we have been talking about for many years. We have already done quite a bit of work in this area. We have already worked with the provinces to encourage bulk buying. In that way, we have been able to lower prices and make drugs much more accessible for Canadians, which is extremely important as well.

We added the new Canada workers benefit, which will support low-income Canadians. Three hundred thousand more Canadians will benefit from this. This will move the number to over two million people who will benefit directly from this investment. This is extremely important.

Another area I want to talk about is veterans. Our government continues to work closely with veterans. We have already invested almost $10 billion to support veterans across Canada. I have spoken with many veterans over the last six months while doing several town halls. They have indicated there is a large number of benefits and more communication about those benefits is needed. We need to ensure they are made aware of them and support them in achieving that goal. One area mentioned was the backlog. They said it was taking too much time. Our government listened very carefully and came forward with an investment of over $40 million to help with the backlog and to get the information out. This is crucial.

Here is a quote:

The Royal Canadian Legion is encouraged by the commitments in this year's federal budget in areas of importance to Veterans and their families.

“The investments outlined are a step in the right direction,” says Dominion Presiden...”

Mr. David Yurdiga (Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, CPC)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ve that we continue to invest in community efforts to provide positive programming that strengthens families and the next generation.

An initiative of King's Kids Promotions is 91.1 The Bridge, ...”

Mr. Peter Schiefke (Vaudreuil—Soulanges, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...best maple syrup in the world.

Sugar shacks are part of our heritage and the heritage of many families, like Pierre Faucher and his son Stéphane, owners of the Sucrerie de la Montagne in Rigaud. Their sugar shack has served many generations in our community and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. I encourage families in Vaudreuil—Soulanges to get out and enjoy one of our sugar shacks this spring. That is ho...”

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...broke, whose riding includes garrison Petawawa, I am familiar with the financial stress on military families when a soldier is posted. Military families are the strength behind the uniform.

Therefore, it is with disbelief and shared outrage with members of the Canadian Armed Forces that I found out about the new Liberal policy to tax posting allowances. Effective December 1, 2017, posting allowances are now taxable.

The Auditor General has clearly outlined the growing gap between the total number of regular force members who are needed, including the under-representation of women, and the inability of the government to recruit, train, and keep Canadians in uniform to fill that gap.

Why is the Prime Minister so insensitive to military families? Why has the Prime Minister refused to consider this anti-family policy as a barrier to recruitment, retention, and gender equality?

I invite all Canadians to go to cherylgallant.com/posting-tax and express opposition to this new tax on military families.”

Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... 300,000 children out of poverty. In the riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent, $68 million is going to the families that need it the most. Year after year, these are the choices we have made, and I can assur...”

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...lping to get students from home to university or colleges, and getting workers home safely to their families. That is the importance of those investments.

It is so sad to see that the opposition...”

Hon. Peter Kent (Thornhill, CPC)

March 19th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...losed-off midtown street, drew hundreds of thousands of people, attracting more musicians, dancers, families, and Latino aficionados than ever before to enjoy the sounds, sights, tastes, dances, and a...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

March 19th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...oreign worker program offer a pathway to permanence for these people, and force them to leave their families back home while in Canada.

While doing this incredibly important work in Canada, thes...”

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...will the government simply tell us what the gap is so we can hold it accountable, and first nations families and all Canadians can know whether it succeeded or failed in keeping this promise?”

Ms. Linda Lapointe

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...da child benefit has made a huge difference. There are more than 10,000 children in my riding. Some families receive over $600 a month. This helps the economy because people have more money left over ...”

Ms. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, CPC)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...the rights and freedoms of Canadians. They expect the government to stand up for victims; to defend families; to advocate for the most vulnerable, including our seniors and those who live with a disability; to invest in health care; and to deliver services with excellence, all while stewarding the taxpayer dollar.

Canadians are hard-working people with great potential which deserves to be realized. It should be the government that facilitates that for the Canadian public. The government had the ability to facilitate that prosperity, but unfortunately it has wasted that opportunity in 2018.

Mr. Speaker, I should mention that I will be splitting my time with the member for Markham—Unionville.

The government has failed to deliver what matters most to Canadians. At a time when the government should be focused on making life more affordable and getting out of the way, it is focused on putting barriers in place for Canadians starting businesses and for investments coming into Canada. It is standing in the way of resource development. The Prime Minister is failing Canadians.

According to an Ipsos Reid poll that was recently released, nearly half of all Canadian families are within $200 a month of not being able to pay their household bills. That is their mortgage, their car payments, the food on the table, the clothes on their back. They are within $200 a month of not being able to make ends meet. (1235)

Why is that? The reason is the current government is making life more expensive. On average, a Canadian family is spending $840 more per year in taxation than it was under the previous government. That is money that could have been spent on music lessons or sports for their kids, or going on a weekend vacation as a family. That amount, $840, is significant. Life is being made more expensive.

I am going to talk a little about my riding of Lethbridge. I am very pleased to represent the people of southern Alberta in Lethbridge. One of the things we were looking for in this budget was infrastructure dollars. As I mentioned, those have been cut. Specifically, we could use roads, bridges, and social infrastructure. We are a growing community. Families are vibrant. Things are going well for us, but unfortunately, in this budget, as in previous budgets from the government, we have been left in the cold because of the size of our community. The government places all of its emphasis on large urban centres, and that simply is not us.

Agriculture is a sector within my area that is very strong. It is the sector that keeps us afloat. We are very thankful for our ag producers. Again, in this budget, there was absolutely nothing for the agriculture sector.

When it comes to small businesses, entrepreneurs, women and men who are taking risks, who are creating businesses in order to facilitate job creation in this country, which then allows families to provide for themselves, the government is choosing to punish these women and men who are...”

Mr. Darrell Samson (Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Lib.)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... people. We brought in the Canada child benefit, which is one of the greatest investments for young families ever put forward. That was a strong investment. We have also invested in veterans, seniors, young families, and women.

I would like the member to tell me, if her government would have no defic...”

Ms. Rachael Harder

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...d create jobs for hard-working women and men across this country so that they can provide for their families. Let us go into our natural resource sectors and develop those. Let us incentivize the development of those instead of standing in the way of pipelines which is preventing a commodity from getting to market, which then means that we do not have the revenue that it could be bringing into our country, which then means that families across this country have to pay for the government's ill choice.”

Mr. Bob Saroya (Markham—Unionville, CPC)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...anagement of taxpayers' money. This budget has a complete disregard for businesses and hard-working families across the country.

The budget represents big government and little incentive for businessmen and businesswomen to set up shops or continue operating in Canada. I cannot believe how the Liberals expect our economy to grow when they are creating less competition and scaring business out of our country. The Liberals continue to give with one hand and take with another. Businesses will continue to choose to operate anywhere else but in Canada if the Liberals keep going down this road.

Just as we have seen from the proposed tax changes earlier this fiscal year, Liberals do not do what is best for business in this country. The budget means less money in the pockets of Canadians and more debt on the backs of our children.

I would never manage my family's budget like this, so how can the Liberals justify managing the country's budget like this? This out of control debt and deficit is going to leave our children to pick up the tab. What I see from the budget is missed opportunities. This budget could have been a way to do real good for Canadian families, but instead, the government has continued to rack up the debt.

We know the recipe for job creation: low taxes, open competition, free trade, responsible spending of taxpayers' money. That is what the government should focus on. The government is taxing Canadians to death as it is. This is only going to get worse.

The Conservative caucus demands a real plan to create jobs, fight to keep more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadians, and push the Liberals to live within their means and not borrow billions of dollars the country does not have.

The previous Conservative government lowered taxes a total of 180 times, bringing the tax burden to the lowest level in 50 years. By the end of our mandate, the average family of four was saving almost $7,000 per year. Contrary to what the Liberals tell us, lower-income and middle-income Canadians benefited the most from our tax plan. I have said this before and I will say it again. We created jobs. During the worst economic downturn since the great recession, Canada had the best job creation and economic growth record among G7 countries. We balanced budgets. After running a targeted stimulus program that created and maintained approximately 200,000 jobs, we kept our promise to balance the budget and left the Liberals with a $3.2 billion surplus at the end of 2015. We lowered taxes. We reduced taxes to their lowest point in 50 years, with a typical family of four saving almost $7,000 per year.

There are several issues that I would like to take the next few moments to address.

We know that budget 2018 provides for the expansion of tax information sharing with foreign law enforcement authorities in 35 countries, including the United States, the European Union, Brazil, Belgium, France, Israel, Russia, and China. The Liberal government's new information-sharing measures fail to protect Canadians' privacy and civil rights, something the Prime Minister is obligated to do by law. Canadians' confidential information must only be shared with trusted allies. This is problematic. In addition to the out of control spending and double whammy of debt and deficit, now we have a potential privacy issue on our hands.

The second issue I would like to address is health care. There were many disappointments overall in budget 2018 for health. I am deeply concerned about the removal of palliative care from the federal budget and the fact that the government has failed to deliver on the Prime Minister's promise to support home care for Canadians. (1250)

Budget 2018 has also failed to support drug treatment centres to address the growing opioid crisis. Spending a billion dollars on the legalization of marijuana does nothing to help parents who are increasingly concerned that their children are being exposed to dangerous opioids.

Budget 2018 restored autism support. This was a result of strong advocacy from the Conservative caucus. However, budget 2018 does not do enough to support Canadians struggling with dementia, PTSD, and other mental health issues. Canada's aging population does not need a $75 million pilot project in the health minister's home province. They need a real solution to address their actual needs.

The Liberals are not adequately addressing the serious drug addiction problems in Canada, and this was a missed opportunity. I will remain focused on bringing forward solutions that address the health priorities of Canadians, and policies that put people before government.

We cannot throw money at a wall and expect results. The government needs a real plan for Canadians. High debts and revolving deficits are not the solution. The Liberals fail to address the health priorities of Canadians, especially the aging population and those coping with addiction and mental illness. The Prime Minister has all but abandoned his pledge to support our aging population with more home care.

The Prime Minister is spending billions of dollars on foreign pet projects but has no plan to combat the opioid crisis. This is not right. We continue to see inconsistencies and contradictions from the Liberals. The Prime Minister's health care priorities fail to make a difference in the lives of Canadians. In fact, the government is spending nearly a billion dollars to legalize marijuana, and a third as much on addressing the opioid crisis that is killing thousands of Canadians each year. Spending $80 million to entice Canadians to quit smoking while simultaneously spending almost a billion dollars to legalize marijuana does not make sense.

Budget 2018 was a missed opportunity. The world economy is roaring, but the Liberals are failing to turn this opportunity into results for us.

The third issue I would like to address is Canada's north and the implications it will face as a result of this budget. The Prime Minister is raising taxes on over 90% of middle-class families in the north, and this budget announces new tax hikes on local businesses. I wish the government would be more focused on bringing forward solutions that put hard-working people before the government, but sadly it is not. The Prime Minister's imposed carbon tax will find its way into everything that northerners buy every day. The communities that can least afford it are going to be the most impacted by this reckless decision. The reality is that never has a prime minister spent so much to achieve so little. It is critical that government spending translates into meaningful results on the ground.

Last month, we heard the finance minister speak for 36 minutes to introduce this budget. In that time, Canada's national debt increased by $1.44 million. With another $18 billion in deficit spending this year alone, never has a government spent so much to achieve so little. The numbers do not lie. We need to think about what is best for all Canadians, not just Liberal voters.

As always, I will advocate for low taxes, support for families, and safe communities. The government and this budget are not doing that for Canadians.”

Mr. Pierre Breton (Shefford, Lib.)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...s the Canada child benefit and tax cuts that put tens of millions of dollars back in the pockets of families in my riding.

Once again, I am very proud to represent the interests of the people of...”

Ms. Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East, Lib.)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...c and travel times, and in turn increase productivity and economic opportunities. It will also give families more time to spend with each other in a cleaner, greener environment. (1325)

The third area is equality and growth. Budget 2018 is a family-friendly budget that makes significant progress towards equality of opportunity and growth. It does this by taking leadership to address the gender wage gap, supporting equal parenting, and introducing a new entrepreneurship strategy for women.

The women's entrepreneurship strategy is a comprehensive approach to addressing critical growth stages and other challenges that women entrepreneurs face. Our investment will help them grow their businesses and remove barriers to success. A study by the Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Economics, estimates that the size of the Canadian government would increase by 4% if there was equal representation of men and women in the workforce. In addition, a McKinsey study shows that, by boosting women's participation in technology and in the workforce, it would add an additional $150 billion to our economy. These figures are substantial, and it would mean more middle-class jobs and more Canadians who would have the ability to pay their bills and save for retirement.

Canadian women are among the best educated in the world, yet they earn less than men, are less likely to participate in the labour market than men, and are more likely to work part time. A study that I did as chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women stands true today. Women earn 30% less than what men earn for doing the same job.

When women have the support and opportunities to fully contribute to Canada's economy, the entire economy does better. One example of our government's policy measure is the Canada child benefit, or CCB, which was introduced in budget 2016. This is making a positive difference for millions of Canadians.

In my riding, there are many women who have to stay at home due to the high cost of child care. The CCB has now made it possible for them to go to work. Over 3.3 million families are receiving more than $23 billion in annual CCB payments. Last fall, the government proposed to strengthen the CCB by providing an additional $5.6 billion, starting in July 2018, in support of Canadian families. The CCB is making a large difference in Don Valley East where nearly 10,000 families receive an average annual payment of $7,500, elevating thousands of children out of poverty...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...tally unacceptable. (1340) [Translation]

Under this budget, 90% of middle-class families are paying more taxes today than they were three years ago, when we were in government. That figure comes from the Fraser Institute, whose analysis has determined that families will be paying up to $2,000 more. That is because this government eliminated tax credits. A...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ago that 400 people pay more in taxes. I will get the right number.[Translation]

In fact, 900 families with an income of less than $100,000 are now paying $2,200 more.[English]

This is the...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...t the middle class is paying more under the Liberal government. In fact, 80% to 90% of middle-class families are paying more. Despite the rhetoric, and we have a Prime Minister who specializes in rhetoric, its record is atrocious. The Liberals are doubling down. It is a quintessential Liberal double-double: deficits and debt. We know that deficits are future taxes. What the government has committed Canada to is a long-term structural deficit, going out to 2030, that will start piling up debt on our children and on Canadian's grandchildren. It will almost double the debt over the projections of the Department of Finance and guarantee more tax increases in the future.

Actually, the semantics of the Liberal government are critical to watch, because it uses language. I was just at the immigration committee, where I heard for the first time the immigration minister use the term “illegal border crossers”. He likes to say that they are irregular. Well, his own department is suggesting that Canadians will be spending up to $3 billion on these irregular crossers, because the Liberals will not fix the safe third country agreement.

In the minister's quote I read, he said that they are going to double down on investments. The word “invest” is used 456 times in this budget. By comparison, the Canadian Armed Forces are mentioned zero times in the budget. It shows the Liberals' priorities. That is the largest department of the federal government. Just this morning, the minister of defence and the Minister of Foreign Affairs committed our Canadian Armed Forces, in an awkward and incomprehensible way, to a mission in Mali, at a time when 162 UN peacekeepers have died in Mali, because it is a combat zone, not a peacekeeping mission.

The Canadian Armed Forces, our men and women, were mentioned zero times in this budget. However, investment, which is code language for spending, is mentioned 456 times. The Liberals have doubled down on excessive spending, excessive deficits, debt, and higher taxes for Canadians.

I started my remarks with the election promise the Liberals made. The Prime Minister of Canada changed the Liberal Party's view on deficits midway through an election campaign. He had said previously that they were the party of Paul Martin. Then when he wanted to outfox the NDP, he said that they were going to run deficits because we were in a recession. There was no recession. He either did not understand the economy or he misled Canadians.

The Liberals then said that they would not run a deficit of any more than $10 billion. As I said, they broke that promise within months. Their first two budgets had deficits in the $20-billion plus range, almost $30 billion. We are still doubling their projected goal at a time when the economy is doing well. This is not a time one runs massive deficits. As I said, those are future taxes on Canadians, which are going to slow our economy and hurt middle-class families. In a little over two years, they have increased spending by $58 billion. (1355)

It is unparalleled, even compared to the previous Prime Minister Trudeau, who I can mention by name because I am speaking about Pierre Trudeau. It is almost unparalleled to have, in two years, a 20% increase in spending during an economically positive growth period. Are Canadian families 20% better off? My friend from Welland is crying out. I know that the people in Welland are not 20% better off. I know they did not vote for $30-billion deficits. They did not vote for higher taxes on families, higher taxes on small business, higher taxes through CPP premiums, higher taxes through a ...”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

March 19th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...orate this very important event.

Just like New Year's Day, Naw-Ruz is a great opportunity for families and communities to come together in celebration of their culture, and of course their share...”

Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Gatineau, Lib.)

March 19th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ike APICO in Gatineau, to support and assist people living with intellectual disabilities and their families.”

Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

March 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d permanently eliminated. Our priority is to get the best possible outcomes for Canadians and their families.”

Ms. Julie Dabrusin (Toronto—Danforth, Lib.)

March 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, last month, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development released the results of our government's poverty reduction...”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

March 19th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...d about hospice palliative care. They believe it improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness. Palliative care provides reli...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...is the Liberal double-double, deficit and debt, and there is no roll up the rim to win for Canadian families. Studies have shown that 80% to 90% of middle-class families, the families they claim to be helping, are paying more under the Liberal government.

High deficits...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... MP for Oshawa, whom I have learned a lot from as a member of Parliament, for his strong defence of families, the role of faith communities, and balanced budgets.

There is a precedent for this type of thought police and this type of values screening. The precedent is found in the book 1984, by George Orwell, in which one does not just oppose one's opponents, one tries to exclude them or defeat them entirely.

Gerald Butts and the Prime Minister's Office do not like people to hold faith convictions. They moved away from private sponsors of the Syrian refugee program to “government knows best”, even though it is condemning a lot of those families to poorer outcomes, which their own department has realized.

Faith organizations, of ...”

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.)

March 19th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...s of a couple to share the leave so that they can manage their careers while they are growing their families.

All in all, I conclude that this is a good structural budget that will lead to posit...”

Mr. T.J. Harvey (Tobique—Mactaquac, Lib.)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... the community, and are distributed to anyone who cares about the safety of Canadian farmers, their families, and their workers. [English]

Agricultural safety is something that hit home for me this fall when my daughter Emma experienced a close call while working during the potato harvest. Luckily she was okay, but it drove home for me the importance of encouraging agricultural safety, and encouraging young Canadians working in the agricultural industry to look after themselves and always be diligent while working around heavy machinery.

This week I had the honour of facilitating the distribution of ag safety ribbons to both sides of the House, and I ask members, this Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, to please wear the ribbon, talk about farm safety, and make a commitment to keep all Canadian farmers, their families, and their workers free from injury.”

Mr. Serge Cormier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Lib.)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...o rise in the House today to thank the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

In Budget 2018, our government recognizes the impor...”

Mr. Jean-Claude Poissant (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ated trades.

We are going to continue creating growth and opportunities for farmers and their families.”

Ms. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, CPC)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our track record is clear. We have always stood up for Canadian farming families from coast to coast and we will continue to do so.

Here is the deal. Western grain producers have faced a disastrous shipping season due to this government. In order to provide for their families, they rely on getting their grain to market to bring in money in order to put food on their...”

Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier—Maskinongé, NDP)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...amplain would be able to make it happen.

Our people are facing some major problems. There are families in pyrrhotite limbo, disaster victims in Yamachiche, and I will not even mention our supply...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...he G7. All of that occurred while making Canada a more just and responsible society, giving more to families who need it the most, and reducing taxes for nine million Canadians. That is a record we ca...”

Mr. Pat Kelly (Calgary Rocky Ridge, CPC)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...inister on disabled Canadians has jeopardized registered disability savings plans for many Canadian families that saved their money and received matching grants from the government. Disability tax credit rejections mean that some families that received the credit for 10 years or more will lose their savings plans for the future care of their disabled children.

What is the minister doing to ensure that families of disabled children are not losing their savings plans because of this minister's attack o...”

Mr. Neil Ellis (Bay of Quinte, Lib.)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ng those EI recipients to return to work without jeopardizing their benefits. Could the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development please tell the House how budget 2018 would expand on this...”

Ms. Kim Rudd (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tion to our softwood lumber action plan of $867 million, which we are providing to support workers, families, and communities against the unjust punitive American duties.”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...hmond Hill with respect to introducing the bill has said that he wants it to include information on families with a history of mental illness to ensure that they are afforded care. We all agree with t...”

Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, NDP)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot that are working very hard to help people with mental illnesses and their families. These organizations include The Lighthouse; Les Ateliers de transition; the Auberge du coe...”

Mr. Marco Mendicino (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

March 2nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...r the prior government, we saw time and time again that a regressive approach to sentencing divides families and consumes financial resources that could be better used to improve the lives of Canadian...”

Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley—Aldergrove, CPC)

February 27th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...o present two petitions.

The first petition, sadly, highlights the issue of impaired driving. Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have lost a loved one killed by an impaired driver....”

Mr. Darshan Singh Kang (Calgary Skyview, Ind.)

February 27th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ves of constituents in my riding. I have seen first-hand how the Canada child benefit program helps families of all classes, cultures, and incomes in their goal of raising healthy children.

I am pleased to say that my riding of Calgary Skyview has the highest number of Canada child benefit recipients at 20,670. Thanks to this program, families in Calgary Skyview are receiving an average of $145,611,000 in government funding per year.

Today, on budget day, where there is a focus on the economy, women, and middle-class families, I am proud to say that the Canada child benefit has had a positive impact in my riding. Children are the future of Canada, and it is important that parents have the financial ability to help them succeed in their lives. By adding an average of $6,800 to the pockets of Canadian families each year, the government has laid out the foundation for parents and children to thrive.

Mr. Gary Anandasangaree (Scarborough—Rouge Park, Lib.)

February 27th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...a process of accountability that will have the confidence of the victims of this war, including the families of the disappeared. We stand in solidarity with those who are seeking justice and accountab...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

February 27th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...agnostics, treatments, and cures, as well as improved health and social care for patients and their families.

I invite all members to join me in recognizing Rare Disease Day and standing with those affected and their families.”

Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of Status of Women, Lib.)

February 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ion promised to support women and girls. It is why we introduced $7 billion for child care, so that families across the country can continue to look after their needs.

We all look forward to the...”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Lib.)

February 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...es are, not only for parents, but also for children, and particularly children from more vulnerable families. Back in 2016, we announced our plan to create up to 40,000 spaces in educational daycare c...”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

February 27th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...he benefit increases along with the cost of living. The Canada child benefit means that on average, families get $6,800 a year, tax-free, for books, hockey lessons or warm clothes for winter. It means that today, about 300,000 fewer children live below the poverty line, down 40% from what it was in 2013. [English]

To help Canadians feel more confident about their future, we strengthened the Canada pension plan to help workers today and for generations to come.

Thanks to the trust that Canadians placed in us, we are able to help 900,000 seniors, through increases to the guaranteed income supplement. We helped students get ahead with increases to Canada student grants. We cut taxes for small businesses, while ensuring the wealthiest paid their fair share.

We are helping more people find a safe and affordable place to call home with the first-ever national housing strategy. We are working with the provinces, territories, and cities to ensure a stable housing market.

We are giving more children the best possible start in life through investments in early learning and child care. We now have agreements in place with nine provinces and territories to help create more of the high-quality affordable child care spaces we know Canadian families need, tailored to their local realities.

We think about the fact that the vast majority of single moms receiving the Canada child benefit make less than $60,000 a year and now get an average of about $9,000 in total benefits, tax free, each year.

Over the last year, we have really seen these investments pay off. The Canadian economy is doing remarkably well. Over the last two years, hard-working Canadians have created nearly 600,000 new jobs, most of them full time. Unemployment rates are near the lowest we have seen them in 40 years. Our plan is working because Canadians are working. [Translation]

Today, Canada leads all the other G7 countries in economic growth and Canadians are feeling confident about the future, whether their plan is to pay down debt, save for a first home, or go back to school to train for a new job.

That is why we are able to invest in the things that matter to Canadians, while making steady improvements to our bottom line. (1615) [English]

We know there are challenges in the immediate term and we are responding to those challenges. We know businesses are concerned about the outcome of NAFTA talks and tax changes in the United States. We will be vigilant in ensuring that Canada remains a great place to invest, create jobs, and do business. We will do this in a responsible way, carefully, letting evidence and not emotion guide our decisions.

At the same time, we need to stay focused on our long-term goal of building an economy that works for everyone. With a strong and growing economy in place, we believe that now is the right time to focus on the deeper challenges that hold our economy and our people back. That means ensuring that every Canadian has a real and fair chance to work, to contribute to our economy, and to succeed. It is important not just as a matter of fairness, but as a way to ensure Canada's long-term growth.

For the first time in our history, there are now more Canadians aged 65 and older than there are people under the age of 15. That presents a real challenge. As seniors leave the workforce, we need to think about who will fill the gap. We believe that Canada's future success rests on ensuring that every Canadian has an opportunity to work and to earn a good living from that work. That includes Canada's talented, ambitious, and hard-working women.

I would like to tell a story about one such woman. Her name is Joan. I met Joan a few weeks ago at Algonquin College.

Encouraged by her daughter, Joan went back to school after raising her family. When she first enrolled in school, she thought that she was going to study event planning. However, when she got there, she changed her mind because she wanted to pursue a trade. She now wanted to become an apprentice plumber. Joan did not start off seeing herself in the trades, and she would be the first person to say that her choice took some of her friends by surprise, but she also felt it was her true calling. It is work that she is good at, it is work that she wants to do, and she has never looked back.

I mention Joan because it is people like her who have the courage to try new things, to forge new paths, and make our economy strong and guarantee its future.

Over the last 40 years, the rising number of women participating in our workforce has accounted for about a third of our economic growth. That means a better standard of living for all Canadians, thanks to the hard work of women like Joan who entered or re-entered the workforce.[Translation]

Thanks to these women and their contribution to the economy, family incomes are now higher, fewer children live in poverty, and all Canadians are better off. [English]

At the same time, for as much progress as we have seen, there continue to be persistent barriers that hold too many women back. A few weeks ago, the Prime Minister issued a challenge to the world’s business leaders to hire, promote, and retain more women. As he said, it is not just the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do.

We just need to do the math. On average, women earn just 69 cents for every dollar earned by men, even though about three-quarters of young women have a post-secondary certificate or degree. Even women who graduate from high-demand fields like science, technology, engineering, and math earn about $9,000 less per year than their male peers. It is an important issue that we need to get at. It is not right, and it is not smart, either.

We know that diversity in the workforce boosts productivity and profitability, and studies have shown that increasing gender diversity alone leads to more growth. According to the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a 1% increase in gender diversity means about 3.5% bump in revenue for those companies that actively seek to hire more women. The results are even better when women are in leadership positions. When women hold leadership positions, companies see stronger financial results, more innovation, and more effective decision-making at the board level.

I can tell the hon. members from personal experience that our cabinet is stronger, our government is stronger, and Canadians are better served because half of the cabinet ministers we have, the people around the table, are strong, intelligent, and effective women.

That is why the House has passed amendments that would require federally incorporated corporations to make annual disclosures about the diversity of their senior management teams and boards of directors. We need to think about what equality can mean for Canada.

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by taking steps to advance women's equality, such as employing more women in technology and boosting women’s participation in the workforce, Canada could add about $150 billion to its economy by 2026. RBC estimates that if Canada had a completely equal representation of women and men in our workforce, we could have increased the size of the economy by 4% last year. When I draft budgets, I fight for every decimal point of growth. Even reaching half that goal, boosting our economy by 2%, would be hugely significant. It would mean more middle-class jobs, and more Canadians who have money to pay their bills or save for retirement. (1620) [Translation]

What are we going to do about it, then? How are we going to make sure that more women and girls can be self-reliant and help their families, while helping to grow our economy?[English]

First, we can do this by making progress when it comes to equal pay for work of equal value. In this budget, the government is taking a historic and meaningful step by moving forward with proactive pay equity legislation in federally regulated sectors. We know that we cannot make this necessary change happen for all Canadian women overnight. What we can do is lead by example, trying to encourage all employers to reflect on the way in which work done by women has been too often undervalued, take action to close the gender wage gap, and improve their business prospects.

Second, we need to recognize that some of this gap is due to the fact that child care and caregiving duties in general fall disproportionately on women. In this budget, we are offering a “use it or lose it” incentive to encourage both parents in a two-parent family to share equally in the work of raising their children. With the EI parental sharing benefit, two-parent families who agree to share parental leave could receive an additional five weeks of leave, making it easier for women to return to work sooner, if they so choose. When that precious time runs out, we know that families need greater access to affordable, quality child care, which is why we have already investe...”

Hon. Bill Morneau (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

February 27th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...e support, with a special focus on prevention, so that indigenous children are not taken from their families and their communities.

To further the important work of reconciliation, we are also investing in the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund to promote cross-cultural dialogue and create places and spaces dedicated to reconciliation so that more Canadians can be a part of building a new and better relationship with indigenous peoples. (1630) [Translation]

As the Prime Minister has said many times, when it comes to renewing the relationship between Canada and indigenous peoples, we have a responsibility to do better and to do more. This budget will help us live up to that responsibility, for the benefit of indigenous women, men, and children, and all Canadians.[English]

Today's budget is for all Canadians across our country. To bring people and communities together, we will increase funding for multiculturalism, provide new funding to ensure the success of black Canadians, and consult on a new national anti-racism approach to combat discrimination in our country.

To help more people find an affordable place to call home, we are working on innovative solutions, such as the rental construction financing initiative that will build an additional 14,000 new rental units across the country.

To safeguard Canadians’ privacy and protect both our digital economy and our country, we are making an investment of over $750 million in cybersecurity.

To help families and communities being devastated by the opioid crisis, we will make investments of $230 million, including additional emergency funding for provinces and territories so that people can access evidence-based treatment services and get the help they need. [Translation]

To help workers in seasonal industries like fishing and tourism, we will work to address the “black hole” in employment insurance benefits, helping families make ends meet until the new work season begins.[English]

Together with our provincial partners, we will protect forestry jobs by stopping the invasive spread of spruce budworm in Atlantic Canada.

Across the country, we will make new investments to support safe and accessible small craft harbours, which are essential to Canada’s fisheries industry and coastal communities. (1635) [Translation]

The Government of Canada will do more to support our official language minority communities and ensure the dynamism and vitality of the Canadian Francophonie.[English]

We will create jobs in regions and rural communities across Canada and provide tailored support for women entrepreneurs through investments in our regional development agencies, such as ACOA, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, CanNor, FedDev, FedNor, and Western Economic Diversification. (1640) [Translation]

We will also do more to help vulnerable people around the world by making the largest new investments in international assistance in more than a decade, including greater support for the world’s women and girls, through Canada's feminist international assistance policy.[English]

There are challenges in our country. Today, at least one in 10 Canadians cannot afford the prescription drugs that they need, and every year over one million Canadians are forced to give up food and heat in order to afford their medicines. To address this, we have created an advisory council on the implementation of national pharmacare to be headed by Dr. Eric Hoskins. His team will have a mandate to study, evaluate, and ultimately recommend options on a path forward on pharmacare that puts Canadians first.

Finally, this budget recognizes something that every Canadian understands, which is that our quality of life and our present and future prosperity are deeply connected to the environment in which we live. The extraordinary beauty of Canada's parks, nature, and wild spaces are essential to our identity as Canadians.

For my family, it was the chance to witness first-hand the majestic beauty of Canada's north. We have all had experiences like these, whether it is camping with our families or going for a quiet hike alone in the woods. How many of us have gone ice fishing with our...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

February 27th
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... for Canadians. What did we do? We invested in the Canada child benefit, and helped nine out of ten families who now have more money in their pockets, for themselves and for the future. What happened? Our economy is growing. We found a solution, it is true. When we invest in Canadians, our economy does well. That is where we are today, with 600,000 new jobs in Canada.

The economy works when Canadians are working. That is a fact. We are staying the course with a fiscally responsible agenda for one simple reason: if we invest in Canadian families and the middle class, Canadians will be better off.”

Mrs. Cathy McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, CPC)

February 26th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ial School, where first nations children were taken after they were removed from their homes, their families, and their culture. I welcome my colleagues to visit that area with me when they are in Kamloops.

For me, the Secwepemc site symbolizes that not all Canadians have had the opportunity for their history to be celebrated, and this is a key area where the Historic Sites and Monuments Board could do good work.

We are at a pivotal time. Communities across the country are struggling with challenging questions of what to do with the awkward, messy, painful parts of our history. They are looking at statues, at plaques, and at other memorials that have for many years been at the centre of our communities. There are serious questions. How do we commemorate the accomplishments of men and women while learning from their failures? How do we recognize that Canada's history, and its very creation, was shaped by imperfect people?

One hundred and fifty years of Canadian history have passed, and now is the opportunity to chart a path forward for the next 150 years. Part of that, I believe, is ensuring that there are more voices at the table to make these vital decisions. There is definitely reason for hope.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board has evolved several times since its genesis in 1919. I would like to point out that there are currently, I believe, six female members of the board, but for the last 30 years, it typically consisted of white men of European descent, as was typical for that period. It certainly could be argued that the merits of national commemoration of individuals and locations came from that vantage point.

We have come a long way since then, and now we are looking to add voices specifically from indigenous peoples, voices that could help provide a more complete picture of the journey Canada has taken: the moments to celebrate and the failures from which to learn. Commemorating and recognizing the history of Canada's indigenous peoples is a key step along the road of reconciliation, and that is why the TRC made it part of its calls to action.

I was very proud to be a member of the former Conservative government when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created. I stood in the room and listened to former prime minister Stephen Harper's powerful apology on behalf of the government. Actually, I was not quite elected yet, but I certainly watched. I did not stand in this room, but I was certainly profoundly impacted, like so many others.

I heard, too, the apology for Canada's relocation of Inuit families to the high Arctic and the honouring of all Métis veterans at Juno Beach. As I said in this...”

Mr. Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, NDP)

February 26th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... these calls as the articulation of the collective voices of thousands upon thousands of Survivors, families and communities across the Country.

Central in the work of reconciliation is this is ...”

Mr. John Aldag (Cloverdale—Langley City, Lib.)

February 26th
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Private Members' Business

“...k the chain of memory that connected the hearts, minds, and spirits of Aboriginal children to their families, communities, and nations. Many, but not all, Survivors have found ways to restore these connections. They believe that reconciliation with other Canadians calls for changing the country's collective, national history so that it is based on the truth about what happened to them as children, and to their families, communities, and nations.

Our government has been steadfast in its commitment to adv...”

Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP)

February 26th
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Business of Supply

“... in bonuses and performance pay over the past few years. That is ridiculous, when we know that many families are having trouble putting food on the table. The Liberal government continues to defend th...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

February 26th
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Business of Supply

“...ow, cities like Prince Albert have written to the government saying that it is not only the toll on families and public servants but the toll on the whole community. Businesses are impacted because pu...”

Hon. Carla Qualtrough (Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)

February 26th
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Business of Supply

“...Phoenix pay system and their impact on the everyday lives of hard-working public servants and their families.

I have said this before and I will say this again: It is completely unacceptable that our hard-working public servants are not being paid properly. Every day, I am troubled by stories of hardship, anxiety, and stress caused by the failings of the pay system. I hear from and speak regularly with affected public servants from across the country. I read their stories in the news, and I hear regularly from unions about the personal toll that this is taking.

I hear about the family who has a hard time making ends meet during a maternity leave, of the parent who had to tighten his belt during the holidays to buy gifts for his children, and of the young professional who is worried about accepting a promotion in case she will not get a paycheque. These stories remind me daily of the impact on the lives of Canadians, and they are heartbreaking.

I want to assure every public servant and their families that our government is doing everything necessary to resolve this intolerable situation. We...”

Hon. Carla Qualtrough

February 26th
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Business of Supply

“...r them, how apologetic we are that we, as a government, partisanship aside, have put them and their families in an untenable situation. I encourage public servants to speak with their managers. We hav...”

Hon. Tony Clement (Parry Sound—Muskoka, CPC)

February 26th
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Business of Supply

“...pay system. Like many of my colleagues in this House, my office has heard those terrible stories of families and retirees, hard-working citizens of our nation, who have had their lives severely damaged by the government's implementation of the Phoenix system before it was ready for rollout.

This is a basic issue. As the member for Jonquière herself said, surely one of the basic tenets of the administration of government, which the Liberal Party claims to be good at, is that it pays its people on time for the work they do. Surely that is one of the basic things one can expect from a government, yet for year one of the government, for year two of the government, and now for year three of the government, this has been an abject failure of the party and the government. The failures of the government have played havoc with people's lives and their finances. We know now that this problem will be compounded for years to come as employees' retirement situations are left in the lurch, thanks to the mistakes being made and not rectified today.

As my colleague's motion addresses, the government was completely oblivious to the warnings sent out by departmental staff and the unions to not move forward with Phoenix. In fact, the previous Conservative government, as I mentioned in my questions and comments, held off on hitting the start button more than once because of similar warnings. After starting the system prematurely, the Liberal government continued on its clueless path, and that has now created this runaway train.

There is plenty of evidence to bear this out, much of it in the Auditor General's report released before Christmas. The Auditor General reported that it took the Liberals four months to recognize that there were serious pay problems, and it took about a year to have a better understanding of the situation. By the time the Liberals woke up to the mess they had made, the number of public servants in departments and agencies using the Miramichi pay centre who had outstanding pay requests quadrupled to more than 150,000.

Until about a year after Phoenix was launched, the government was still responding to pay problems willy-nilly as they arose. The Auditor General reported that by last summer, which was almost two years into the Liberals' mandate, the Liberals still had no road map to deal with the problems they themselves had created. The problems grew to the point that as of June 2017, unresolved errors in pay amounted to over half a billion dollars. That is half a billion dollars of unresolved pay amounts.

The evidence does not stop there. Let us look at the Liberals' ineptitude in reviewing the system-related issues with Phoenix. The system has about 200 custom programs to handle some of the 80,000 federal government pay rules and to work with departmental human resources systems to process pay. The government determined that it needed to analyze all 200 of these programs to identify the system-related sources of pay errors. However, the government started its analysis only in March 2017, more than a year after the pay problems started to be reported, and by last fall, it had analyzed only six of the 200 custom programs. That is not good enough. It is not good enough at all. (1305)

To make the situation abundantly clear, I will cite from the Auditor General's report:

Public Services and Procurement Canada and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat did not recognize early enough that they needed a comprehensive governance structure to resolve pay problems and develop a sustainable solution. Public Services and Procurement Canada initially responded to pay problems on its own and did not fully involve departments and agencies in developing a plan to resolve pay problems.

The Auditor General found that 16 months after the pay problems first arose, there was still no comprehensive governance structure to resolve the underlying causes of the problems. In contrast, as my hon. colleagues in the NDP have indicated, Queensland Health, a government department in the Australian state of Queensland, which had similar problems with a pay system, put in place a comprehensive governance structure within four months of the pay problems arising. There were 16 months of non-response from the current Liberal government versus a four-month response in Queensland, Australia.

The Liberals' lack of awareness and the complete lack of willingness to address this mess is not only astounding but is a complete and utter failure of competency that is hurting many thousands of public servants and their families.

Today's motion is a reminder that the Liberals are still, unfortunately for this country, floundering on this file, while public servants' lives and the lives of their families continue to be irreparably damaged. So many of them have reached out to their members of Pa...”

Ms. Rachel Blaney (North Island—Powell River, NDP)

February 26th
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Business of Supply

“...up and hoping that this will get fixed.

The result is incredible stress for workers and their families. We cannot leave that out of this conversation. Families are in incredibly precarious positions because they are not getting their compensation.

I am thankful that we are having this important discussion today. I want to talk about some people in my riding. This is so important, because it is a human issue. People in this country are struggling.

I want to talk about my constituent Graham. He worked with DFO for over 32 years and retired in 2016. He was expecting to be paid his severance pay, and he has been asking for it since 2016. He was told it was being processed. He called again in early 2017 and was told that he was supposed to fill out a form that he had never heard of before, and he had to fill it out online. Graham is not really comfortable working online and was very distressed that nobody had even spoken to him about this form. He finally figured it out and on May 4, 2017, with the help of a local financial adviser, he submitted the form. It is now February 2018, and Graham is told that it is still being processed. This is somebody who dedicated 32 years of his life to this job and to this country, and he is now being told that he still has to wait. (1330)

Then there is David, who worked for DFO from 2001 to 2016. David received a pay increase in 2014, but it never appeared on his pay. Now he is owed for the two-year period and still has not received that. He has called numerous times since leaving in 2016, and he has always been told that his file is being processed. He just called again last week and was advised that no one has been assigned to his file yet, nor has anyone looked at it. He is to call back in the next few weeks for yet another update.

The reality is that this is causing him and his family significant emotional and mental stress. It is important to recognize that people who are trying to do their job are being forced to not only do their job, but try to fight for their pay. I am pretty sure that this is not what they are supposed to be doing and they should not be asked to do that. David just wants to see this resolved and move on. There is over two years of money owed to him for that pay increase.

Then we have Scott, who worked for DFO for 36 years. When I started here, we knew that the Coast Guard station in Comox was going to be shut down. We fought hard not to have that happen, but unfortunately it did. After all those years of service, Scott was asked to go to Victoria and help change it over. He did all that work, and then he went back to Comox. He is now working for the Department of National Defence.

It is important to know that Scott is still being paid as an employee of DFO. That has not been fixed yet. He also earned a small pay increase, and that is still not being given to him. Recently, Scott went online to track his case and noted 26 outstanding items needing to be processed under his employee number. This is two years of dealing with this pay system. He gets zero earnings sometimes, and other times he gets huge lump payments. His child tax benefit has been hugely impacted by this, because he was overpaid and then underpaid. This is incredibly stressful for his family.

Then there is Stacey, who has a mortgage. She is a single mom supporting her family and doing the best she can. She is now two annual increment payments behind. That was a large part of how she was going to pay the mortgage, and she still has not received it. Again, she is going back and forth between the HR team and the pay centre, and being told to go back again. She is trying to find time in her busy work schedule, where she is dedicated to working for the people of this country, and she does not have time for calling, fighting this fight, and filling out numerous forms. She lives off debt, as she does not have the money to support her family because the government has not fixed this.

These are the realities on the ground. I want to make sure that people in my riding of North Island—Powell River know what our party is asking for today, which is this:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government committed a gross error in judgement when it operationalized the previous Conservative government’s Phoenix pay system over the clear objections of both the affected unions and departmental staff, and that the House call on the government to: (a) pay all employees correctly and on time, every time, for the work they do; (b) exempt those who have been overpaid by Phoenix from having to pay back the ‘gross’ amount, despite actually receiving a substantially lower ‘net’ amount; (c) compensate those in the public service who have experienced damages from Phoenix, both financial and otherwise; and (d) publicly apologize to all of those who have endured hardship as a result of the government's error.

This is a reasonable request. This is a request that honours the realities on the ground of families that have lost so much. I have had constituents tell me stories about having to borrow a tr...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, NDP)

February 26th
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Business of Supply

“..., there was a public inquiry into this disaster, which threw the lives of public servants and their families into turmoil. The public inquiry was led by Richard Chesterman, who made a similar observat...”

Hon. Hunter Tootoo (Nunavut, Ind.)

February 26th
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Statements by Members

“... away. It is a monument of a woman and child in Grise Fiord. Both stand as a tribute to those Inuit families who were split up and forcibly relocated by the federal government in the 1950s.

I kn...”

Mrs. Bernadette Jordan (South Shore—St. Margarets, Lib.)

February 26th
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Statements by Members

“...ge was created by Captain Todd Newell of Cape Sable Island, as an effort to raise money to help the families of the tragic fire in Pubnico Head, where four children lost their lives.

Todd challe...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

February 26th
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Oral Questions

“... is not the first time Canada's justice system has failed indigenous women and girls.

How can families have any hope in the face of another heartbreaking injustice for indigenous women and girls...”

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Lib.)

February 26th
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Oral Questions

“...men and girls. Her story underscores the important work now being done by the national inquiry. The families and all Canadians need answers to the systemic and institutional failures that led to her m...”

Hon. Hunter Tootoo (Nunavut, Ind.)

February 26th
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Oral Questions

“...eaker. My question is for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

In the 1950s, Inuit families were split up and forcibly relocated to the shores of Resolute Bay and Grise Fiord in my ri...”

Mr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Winnipeg Centre, Lib.)

February 26th
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Routine Proceedings

“...ot only for increased wages later on in life, but there is return for the economy and is better for families.

They call upon the House of Commons to fulfill Canada's responsibility, as establish...”

Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)

February 26th
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Business of Supply

“...y problems are unacceptable and that we deeply regret the challenges that public servants and their families are experiencing.

As a member of Parliament from the national capital region and as a...”

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

February 26th
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Business of Supply

“...nts through this situation. It was to support single mothers having numerous financial problems and families having trouble paying their mortgages and other things. Their pays were going up and down and all over the place. They were being told one week that they were overpaid and they owed money and the next week they were shortchanged. They did not know what their pays were going to be the next week or the week after that. Management came out to that peaceful assembly at lunchtime to intimidate people. Managers came out of their offices, to the streets, and watched the employees and I have a peaceful, democratic discussion about the issues facing workers because of the way this system is managed.

Not only that, now the Liberals have implemented a system where management and senior advisers make money fixing the problems they helped create. They are getting bonuses off the backs of the workers and their families who are injuriously affected by a number of problems. That is not a healthy environment. Th...”


The Senate

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate)

June 20th