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: 960 Speeches
Senate: 134 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 3

See Bills

Regulations

Filed: 2
Proposed: 0

Regulations

The House

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 9th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ity.[Translation]

When we were elected, we promised Canadians that we would make middle class families our priority and that is what we have done. We began by asking the wealthiest 1% to pay a bit more so that we could give a tax cut to the middle class. We then introduced the new Canada child benefit. This non-taxable benefit is much simpler, more generous, and better targeted to those who need it than the former system, the universal child care benefit.[English]

We then reached a historic agreement with the provinces to help people retire with more dignity, by strengthening the Canada pension plan. We went even further to support Canadian families by investing $6 billion over 10 years for home care and $5 billion over 10 years for support for mental health initiatives. With the passage of Bill C-44, the government would provide funding for the first year for home care and mental health services to provinces and territories that have accepted the federal offer of $11 billion over the next 10 years.

The steps we have taken to date are having a real, positive impact on our economy and on Canadians as a whole.

The steps we would be taking through Bill C-44 would have a positive impact on our parliamentary budget officer, also known as the PBO. Our government is committed to openness and transparency. That is why we have taken steps to strengthen the PBO in ways to make the office truly independent. Bill C-44 would recast the head of the PBO as an officer of Parliament, supported by a team that was separate from the Library of Parliament, with the authority to report directly to Parliament. It would expand the PBO's right to access government information and would give the office a new mandate to provide costing platform proposals during elections so that voters could make informed decisions based on an independent financial analysis.

The government believes that the work of the PBO is fundamental to Parliament's ability to debate and to consider the economic and fiscal considerations of the day. That is why we listened and took action when we heard that more could be done to further strengthen the PBO's independence. The government took action by introducing 12 amendments to Bill C-44 at the House of Commons finance committee that would further strengthen the mandate of the PBO. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the committee, in both this place and on the Senate side, for the work they did and also for the collaboration in improving this legislation. It was through their efforts and those amendments that were brought forward that we found broad support. In fact, The Globe and Mail reported that “The government has placed Canada’s PBO on strong legislative footing.”

I want to turn now to some major elements of Bill C-44, starting with a priority I know members of this House broadly support. One of the best ways we can bring confidence back to the middle class is by investing in public infrastructure to build stronger communities.[Translation]

These days, governments around the world are facing a challenge. They have to figure out how to finance and build huge public works projects that are efficient, dynamic, affordable, and, most importantly, long-lasting. (1015) [English]

This is why the government has laid out a historic plan to invest more than $180 billion in infrastructure over the next 12 years. This investment will be unprecedented in Canadian history and will come at a time when we need it most. However, no level of government can accomplish this ambitious infrastructure goal alone. The Government of Canada will invest in a historic infrastructure plan, so we set our sights on a new kind of partnership, the kind that can leverage the strength of private sector investors and put their skills, talent, and capital to work for Canadians.

Bill C-44 would enact the Canada infrastructure bank act, which would establish the new Canada infrastructure bank as a crown corporation. The bank would amplify federal investments by bridging private sector and institutional investors at the table. Through this new bank, we would work with our partners to build world-class infrastructure that would transform communities, create good jobs, and build a stronger and greener economy. By establishing a new organization capable of working with the private sector where it makes sense, public dollars would go further and be used in a smarter, more targeted manner, transforming communities with projects that would not otherwise be built without the bank. To this end, the bank would only make investments in infrastructure projects that were in the public interest. I have to underline that. The bank would work with partners to determine whether projects were suitable candidates, including whether project sponsors were willing to consider robust revenue models and partnering with private investors in a new way. As a result, we would see more innovative approaches for large and transformational types of projects, and we would build more of them.

The bank would also have strong governance protocols for accountability and risk management. The bank would be structured as an arm's-length corporation.[Translation]

Despite being at arm's length, the Canada infrastructure bank will be accountable to the government and Parliament through an appropriate minister. The bank will be required to seek government approval for its business plan every year and submit its annual report to Parliament. It will also be accountable to the Auditor General and a private sector auditor, which is the highest accountability standard applicable to crown corporations.

In addition, the minister responsible and Parliament will undertake a five-year review of the bank's enabling legislation and its implementation. [English]

The government would be responsible for setting the overall policy direction and high-level investment priorities. In addition, the bank would work with all orders of government as well as investors to identify the pipeline of potential projects and potential investment opportunities.

With the Canada infrastructure bank, Canadians will enjoy the advantage of transformational infrastructures built to meet their needs and that help their communities thrive.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Senate for its thorough prestudy of Bill C-44, which the government followed with close interest, particularly as it pertained to the Canada infrastructure bank. I would like to thank Senator Harder and the government representatives in the Senate, as well as Senator Woo, the independent senator sponsoring this legislation. They have done tremendous work.

The scrutiny and the in-depth study that the Senate applied to Bill C-44 has been an important element in our parliamentary process. Their work has informed our deliberation by providing us with the benefits of independent legislative review during the course of the House proceedings. Senators, including independents and Senate Liberals and Conservatives, raised issues that the government has, as a result, given additional consideration and careful consideration.

In the case of infrastructure bank, the Minister of Finance was pleased to appear on May 31 to answer questions from the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. I would like to recognize the work of this committee, and its members as well, who went above and beyond to study this legislation. Once again, it was a job very well done.

Again, I would like to thank the Senate for the benefit of its prestudy, and note for the record that this scrutiny has informed the government's deliberation in advance of Bill C-44's passage.

Beyond all of the bricks and mortar, people really are at the heart of our plan. Last year, the government held broad-based consultations on how to improve the labour market transfer agreements, including the labour market development agreements. (1020) [Translation]

One of the main messages we heard during the consultation is that these agreements have to be more flexible and do a better job of taking into account the diverse needs of employers and Canadians.

That is why we are planning to reform these agreements together with the provinces and territories. [English]

This reform will ensure that more Canadians get the assistance they need to find and keep good jobs in the new economy, and build better lives for themselves and their families. We want to help Canadians get the training they need so that their first job is a great job, and their next job is an even better one. That is why we are taking steps to help working parents, who must balance the demands of raising a family while managing their own career needs in this time of transition.

Bill C-44 would allow parents to choose to receive El parental benefits over an extended period of time, up to 18 months, at a lower benefit rate of 33% of the average weekly earnings. It also proposes to do more to provide greater flexibility to pregnant working women, giving them the option of claiming El maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date, expanded from the current standard of eight weeks, if they choose to do so.

Budget 2017 also takes action to support those who have put their lives on the line to make Canada a safe and secure place to live. Our women and men in uniform deserve a successful transition to civilian life.

First, we will create a new education and training benefit. This benefit will provide more money for veterans to go to college, university, or take a technical course at a technical school after they complete their service. Under the program, as of April 2018, veterans with six years of eligible service would be entitled to up to $40,000 of benefits, while veterans with more than 12 years of eligible service would be entitled to up to $80,000 of benefits. That is tremendous. This legislation will also facilitate the redesign of the career transition services program.

This program will equip veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, survivors, and veterans' spouses and common-law partners with the tools they need to successfully navigate and transition to the civilian workforce. The services offered would be expanded to include coaching and job placement, starting in April 2018, all of which would be provided through a national contractor.[Translation]

Finally, Bill C-44 will provide very generous assistance to family caregivers in recognition of the essential role they play in helping ill and injured veterans. This tax-free monthly benefit will replace the existing family caregiver relief benefit and will be paid directly to family caregivers.[English]

I want to stress that we understand that the job is not yet done and more needs to be done.

Veterans and stakeholders have told us that the existing suite of programs is complex and difficult to navigate, and that is simply not good enough. We intend to take additional action to streamline and simplify the system of financial support programs currently offered to veterans over the coming months. This is certainly a priority for this government. That will include fulfilling our commitment to re-establishing lifelong pensions as an option for injured veterans, so that veterans and their families can decide for themselves which form of compensation works best for them.

Also, recognizing that all families, military or not, must sometimes become caregivers to their relatives, the government has announced a new Canada caregiver credit program. Bill C-44 proposes to simplify the existing tax support for caregivers by replacing three credits with a single new credit.[Translation]

This new non-refundable tax credit will provide better support to those who need it. It will go to family caregivers regardless of whether they live with the family member they care for, and it will help families with caregiving duties.[English]

The new Canada caregiver credit will provide tax relief of an amount of $6,883 in 2017 in respect of care of dependent relatives with infirmities, including persons with disabilities, which includes parents, brothers, sisters, adult children, and any other specific relative. It will be $2,150 in 2017 in respect of care of a dependent spouse or common-law partner or minor child with an infirmity, including those with a disability. Families will be able to take advantage of the new Canada caregiver credit as soon as the 2017 tax year. (1025)

To conclude, the bill before us has concrete measures to move Canada forward, grow our economy, and create good jobs.[Translation]

However, we can do more, and we will do more to help the middle class and those working hard to join it. We will ensure that economic growth helps all Canadians, not just the wealthy, and we will help families build a brighter future for their children and grandchildren.[English]

I urge all mem...”

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor

June 9th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...%. We put in place a very generous Canada child benefit program to make sure we could help Canadian families in need, such as those families who need help to support their kids. This is exactly what we have done. We have also put some very important measures in place with respect to helping our senior population.

All of these measures put together have been put in place to ensure we can help Canadian families succeed, which is exactly what we have been doing and what we will continue to do.”

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

June 9th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ng goodbye to one of their own. He was a husband, a father, a friend, and a brother. This past week families, friends, and colleagues said goodbye to first responders from North Battleford, Saskatchewan, from North Vancouver, and from northern British Columbia. Four lives were cut short because of post-traumatic stress disorder.

My bill, Bill C-211, comes too late for these families. I hope next week, when Bill C-211 enters the House for third reading, that it passes unanimously, because collectively we will send a message that these deaths were not in vain, that we stand together in the fight against PTSD, and that those who are suffering are not alone.

To my colleagues, we must be better; we must do better. To the families, friends, and colleagues of the fallen, my heart goes out to them, and I am truly sorry for...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

June 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... Speaker, I have three children. Many of my colleagues in the House have children and many Canadian families are asking the same question we are. Why is the Prime Minister refusing to create a public ...”

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

June 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the impact that Lyme disease has on Canadians and on their families.

I was pleased, the minister was pleased, to table the federal framework on Lyme disease in Canada.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

Mr. Joël Lightbound: We were pleased. It clearly sets out the federal government's role in addressing Lyme disease in Canada. We were also pleased to invest $4 million to establish a Lyme disease research network.

I hear the members scream, but my own cousin has been affected by Lyme disease. It has taken years away from her youth. We know full well the impact that Lyme disease on families. We take this very seriously. That framework is what it is all about.”

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

June 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...a few years ago, and as a heart attack survivor myself, my family, like thousands of other Canadian families, has experienced first-hand the awful effects of heart disease and stroke. On Wednesday, th...”

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

June 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...n this file.[English]

We recognize the impact that a stroke can have on individuals and their families, and that in many cases it is a family member who takes time off work to help with the reco...”

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

June 9th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...Conservatives are very careful about managing public funds; we are always referring to the heads of families. Good heads of families live within their means. Without getting into personal details, the member for Beauport—L...”

Ms. Mary Ng (Markham—Thornhill, Lib.)

June 9th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...itments we have already delivered on, commitments that are making a real difference in the lives of families across the country, like lowering taxes on middle-class Canadians by increasing taxes on the wealthiest 1%. (1300) [Translation]

We also introduced the Canada child benefit, which is essential for helping families with the high cost of raising children.[English]

I am enormously proud that our government is represented by a gender-balanced cabinet.

Budget 2017 is the next step in our long-term plan. Over the last couple of months, I have talked to and met with thousands of families in Markham—Thornhill, and I have heard their concerns and aspirations for our community. They talked to me about how hard it is to commute for hours a day and how they want to see a transit plan that meets the needs of families. They told me about the balance and the expense of caring for their young children while at...”

Ms. Mary Ng

June 9th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ave heard about from many of my constituents in Markham—Thornhill. I have heard from thousands of families about what they need for transit, what they need for infrastructure, what they need for sup...”

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

June 9th
Hansard Link

Private Members’ Business

“...rs, for the most part, choose to work in policing because they want to keep us safe and protect our families and our rights. For them, it is a matter of principle, honour, and ensuring a healthy democ...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...pice palliative care, which is an approach that improves the quality of life for patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness.

The petitioners call up...”

Hon. Kent Hehr (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, Veterans Affairs works hard each and every day to provide veterans and their families with the care and support they need when and where they need it. Regardless of whether vete...”

Mr. Marc Miller (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...of the Canada child benefit plan, which has been in effect since July 2016, nine out of 10 Canadian families with children will receive an average tax cut that is extremely significant.

The bill...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...arbon tax, with over 10,000 signatures. I fight for oil and gas workers, for small business owners, families, and for everyday Canadians, all of whom are rightfully angry and worried about their futures. This blatant tax grab is not environmental policy. It is a tax hike, a cash grab, full stop. It is all economic pain for no actual environmental gain.

Immediately, I opposed the Liberals forcing a carbon tax on all Canadians, and I oppose the Liberals' anti-energy agenda at every step. The Liberals say provinces and territories must comply by 2018, or a carbon tax will be forced on them. I oppose the Liberals' anti-energy agenda by supporting pipelines and LNG projects, all Canadian natural resources development, and Albertans.

Last year, the Prime Minister told Canadians, “All revenues generated under this system will stay in the province or territory where they are generated.” Now, Canadians know that is not at all the case.

As recently as April 2017, internal documents show the Liberals plan to collect billions in new tax dollars by taxing the carbon tax. That is a tax on a tax. This grab will result in more revenue for the Liberals, and less money for hard-working Canadians.

There is no guarantee from the Liberals at all that provinces and territories will ensure revenue neutrality. In Alberta and British Columbia, the GST collected by the Liberals on provincial carbon taxes in 2017-2018 will be $65 million from both provinces. In 2018-2019, Albertans will pay $140 million. British Columbians will pay $110 million in GST collected from the carbon taxes, all going into federal coffers.

The Liberals' claims are just not true. It is a scam. The Liberals know they are getting new revenue by taxing the carbon tax. In fact, they admit it in their own budget projections. Budget 2016 even shows a 21% increase in GST revenues between 2015 and 2021, despite the federal GST rate staying at 5%, and despite the Canadian economy projected to only grow by 15% during the same time period. There is no doubt this increase is coming directly from this tax on a tax scheme.

Canadians are rightfully worried. They are concerned about where their hard-earned tax dollars are going, and it is just the beginning. The Liberals are hiding the details from Canadians on the long-term costs, and the full economic impacts of the carbon tax.

Environment Canada says the carbon tax would have to be $300 a tonne by 2050 in order to reach emissions targets. Canada can reduce emissions, like it did for the first time in Canadian history, under the previous government, without a carbon tax. Crushing the economy is not the only solution.

The Liberals claim the tax will be revenue neutral, but it is not. Alberta's NDP claimed its carbon tax was revenue neutral simply because it was spending the proceeds on pet projects. B.C.'s carbon tax has not been neutral since 2013.

The carbon tax grab, and now the tax on the tax scheme, will punish Canadians, especially the poor and people on fixed incomes, those whose livelihoods depend on energy and agriculture, and Canadians who live in rural, remote and northern communities. It will hurt public institutions too. School boards will need to cope with millions of dollars in extra bills.

The Elk Island Catholic School board in Lakeland has to cover an additional $82,000 in increased costs for this school year, and about $143,000 in 2017-2018, for increased transportation and infrastructure costs because of the carbon tax, gutting budgets for necessities.

Municipalities will also struggle. St. Paul works to keep spending as low as possible, knowing the carbon tax will make it even harder to stay in the black in the next few years. Vegreville projected the carbon tax will hike the town costs by more than $36,000 in 2017, and up to more than $54,000 in 2018. These are significant costs for small towns, villages, counties, and MDs.

The carbon tax will hit all Canadians. A Lakeland resident near Vermilion shared a bill on Facebook recently. It showed a cost of $778 on top of a $900 bill on a single truckload of energy products to heat his home. A Bonnyville family-owned trucking business warned he will have to fire four people. The NDP carbon tax is the biggest tax hike in Alberta's history. It is a tax grab, not environmental policy. This broad-based tax on everything will not reduce emissions. Experts say carbon taxes have to be upward of $1,200 to be punitive enough to reduce emissions. (1815)

The Liberals are using international agreements with all our allies and trading partners to justify their bad tax hikes and their damaging red tape. For example, the Paris agreement does not mandate a carbon tax on countries. It does not dictate policy for members. It does not even mandate emission limits for those countries. The Liberal carbon tax will not earn so-called social licence or approval from anti-energy extremists who will never grant it.

The federal Liberals and the the provincial NDP are manipulating caring for the environment, a priority shared by all Canadians, all Albertans, and all parties. It is crass to suggest otherwise, and it is all politics to the Liberals. The Liberals are all talk, both betraying Albertans and energy workers, while breaking promises to Liberal voters who often have usually supported the Green Party and the NDP.

The Prime Minister claims provinces have a choice. However, there is no choice at all. At the beginning of the debate on the Paris agreement, before any MP had a chance to even say a word, before any provinces were consulted, he declared they must impose the carbon tax or Ottawa will do it for them. His Paris agreement motion included a carbon tax. I opposed, and still oppose, the carbon tax.

Globally, carbon taxes have led to economic disaster. Australia's carbon tax was repealed two years after it was created. What is alarming is that its policy was $24 per metric tonne Canadian. That is roughly only half of what the Liberals are forcing on Canada. About 75,000 businesses paid the carbon tax directly or paid an equivalent penalty of duties and rebates. They almost always passed on part or all of that cost to customers, small businesses, and households, because they had to, hiking prices exponentially as a result.

However, after the economic consequences of that bad policy, Australians defeated the left-leaning government and elected a conservative coalition, which repealed the tax, and created an almost $3 billion fund for industry incentives. Australia's economy is similar to Canada's. As a result of that failed policy, Australia's natural resources became less globally competitive. Canada should heed that example.

Here in Canada, British Columbia's carbon tax is often cited by proponents as ideal. It is not a theoretical debate. It has not reduced emissions. Every year, since 2010, B.C. emissions have increased. B.C.'s carbon tax was also sold as a revenue-neutral way of encouraging British Columbians to drive more fuel-efficient cars, make fewer trips, car pool, or switch to public transit. It was also applied to home heating and electricity in hopes of promoting more energy-efficient insulation and smaller homes, plus more conservation by families. That did not happen. The average Vancouverite's commute is close to 50 minutes one way, an...”

Mr. Alupa Clarke (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s. What I liked about the Right Hon. Stephen Harper is that he would always talk about all Canadian families. He did not talk just about only one social class.

That said, I am duty bound to oppo...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...y will look at creating later on. Maybe there will be a minister of taking care of Liberal friends, families, donors, partisans, hacks, and cronies. Who knows? We do not know, because it is not define...”

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

June 8th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ild benefit, which has lifted out of poverty hundreds of thousands of kids across this country, and families. If he cares to visit the food bank in his riding or in his community, he will see the impact that it has had, and I am very proud of that. The other thing we have done is that we raised taxes for the richest 1%, and we came back on policies of the previous Conservative government that were, frankly, regressive, such as the TFSA limit doubling to close to $11,000 and the income splitting, which benefited the richest 10% of Canadians.

To come back to the question that was asked on February 22, I would like to emphasize that protecting the long-term financial security of Canadians is a cornerstone of the Government of Canada's commitment to help the middle class, and of course those working hard to join it. During last fall's housing announcement, the Minister of Finance announced housing stability measures, which included tax measures intended to close tax loopholes involving the capital gains exemption on the principal residence. These measures improved the stability of the housing market, including tax measures to improve tax fairness for Canadian homeowners.

The loopholes being referred to involved, in particular, certain claims to the exemption being made on the part of non-residents, directly or through trusts. The Canada Revenue Agency, the CRA, in coordination with the aforementioned fall housing announcement, announced a change in administrative practice regarding the claiming of the principal residence exemption. The CRA indicated that it would begin enforcing a long-standing legal requirement that a tax designation be filed in order to claim the full principal residence exemption.

It is important to note that the CRA has a long-standing practice of accommodating a home office and certain other income-earning activities such as room rental within certain limits. These limits would be in the context of the principal residence exemption. The accommodation is twofold. One, the change in use of a part of a residence from home occupancy to income-earning purpose is not treated as a disposition by the CRA. Second, the gain that accrued on the residence after the change in use continued to be eligible for the exemption. I would like to note that the administrative practice on the change of use has not been modified. (2405) [Translation]

As I said, the government is committed to creating a fair tax system that benefits the middle class and those working hard to join it.

As I mentioned by way of introduction, the government is proud of having reduced taxes for the middle class, a move that will help nine million Canadians.

We are also proud of having brought in the Canada child benefit, which will give an average of $2,300 more to nine out of ten families in this country. I also talked about that, and it might be one of the things I am most prou...”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

June 8th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ity for Canadians who follow my Facebook feed, many of whom live with autism themselves or in their families, to hear the answers we have been getting in question period. So far, we have asked 13 questions.

To give a bit of background on the Canadian autism partnership, in budget 2015, the Conservative government of the day funded $2 million for a working group to establish a Canadian autism partnership. That working group worked alongside self-advocates, an incredible advisory group of seven self-advocates. They worked with the autism community through CASDA, the Canadian ASD Alliance, and met with thousands of Canadians in every province and territory plus with provincial and territorial governments.

We had a vote on this. First, we had a budget ask of $19 million over five years, which was rejected in budget 2017. We subsequently had a vote in the House of Commons just last week on this issue. Every single Conservative member, every NDP member, and the Green Party voted yes to this, but every single Liberal member but one opposed the Canadian autism partnership.

The Liberals seem to have three talking points. I will address each of them in order.

One is the fact that the government is consulting and having a series of meetings on accessibility legislation. Accessibility legislation is a good thing, and we look forward to seeing what that is going to look like, but I think the NDP member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke said it best when, during debate, he said,

...we have heard yet another one of those speeches that talks about consulting people, thinking about it, working on it later, and finally coming to a conclusion sometime over the distant horizon.

The second thing the Liberals seem to bring up over and over again in their talking points is the fact that the government is investing in Ready Willing & Able, autism surveillance, and an autism research chair. It is important to note that all of those initiatives were put in place by the Conservative government. They really are a legacy of Jim Flaherty, the former finance minister, who was a champion for developmental disabilities throughout his entire term in office.

Third, the talking points seem to refer to the fact that the government has invested $39 million in autism research over the past five years. Again, that is something our Conservative government was very proud of. In fact, the Canadian autism partnership working group includes four of the world's top researchers in autism: Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, from the University of Alberta; Jonathan Weiss, from York University; Stelios Georgiadis, from McMaster; and Stephen Scherer from SickKids.

What those researchers want in terms of autism policy in this country is for their research to actually be used to benefit Canadians living with autism throughout their lifespan. This is something we have heard time and again. This is the demand from the autism community in Canada. They want to see something that is going to have a real impact on autism policy and early intervention, education, housing, and vocation, all the things that affect people with autism throughout their lifespan.

I hope the parliamentary secretary will not simply repeat the same talking points we have heard time and again and instead will explain to Canadians living with autism and their families why every single Liberal MP but one voted against the Canadian autism partnership.”

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

June 8th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...walks of life and that it has a significant and lifelong impact on both those with autism and their families. To suggest that anyone on this side of the House is insensitive to the struggles faced by those affected by ASD or their families is simply not true.

I would like to work with the member opposite to find solutions and see how we can be helpful on this front. I would more than willing, and I know the minister would be as well, to work with the member to find solutions and move forward.

ASD is already an important part of the Government of Canada's commitment to supporting those with disabilities. The member has mentioned it, but I will reiterate the government's position.

The government is committed to eliminating systematic barriers and delivering opportunities to all Canadians living with disabilities through the development of the planned federal accessibility legislation under the leadership of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. We have recently completed consultations with Canadians on this legislation, and it will be introduced in Parliament in late 2017 or early 2018.[Translation]

We know the challenges that persons with disabilities often face in making the transition to the workplace. Through programs like the opportunities fund for persons with disabilities, administered by Employment and Social Development Canada, we are supporting initiatives that help those with disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, reach their full potential. Through this $40-million funding program, organizations are helping persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment. [English]

In partnership with the Canadian Association for Community Living and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, CASDA, the government is investing $15 million in “Ready, Willing and Able”, RWA, an initiative that is connecting persons with developmental disabilities with jobs.

We are also providing the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada with $11.4 million for the community works program, which is creating employment opportunities for individuals with autism, by expanding vocational training programs across Canada.

We have also recently committed $1.3 million to Meticulon, a social enterprise which is helping individuals with ASD find gainful employment by harnessing their unique skills in software testing within the high-tech industry.

We are also committed to filling specific gaps in knowledge related to autism and are making significant investments in research and improving data that are building the foundational evidence base around this condition.

Through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, CIHR, the government has invested more than $39 million over the last five years to support autism research, in areas as diverse as understanding the genetics of ASD to the relationship of ASD to mental health problems and treatment.

For example, our government is supporting the Kids Brain Health Network, a trans-Canadian research network focusing on improving diagnosis, treatment, and support for families raising children with brain-based disabilities. This research network represents a federal investment of more than $39 million between 2009 and 2019. An additional $183 million in funding is supporting research in brain health and brain-based disabilities relevant to the ASD community through the brain health fund.[Translation]

I want to reiterate that supporting families affected by autism requires collaboration across all levels of government and with autism o...”

Hon. Mike Lake

June 8th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...a dozen Liberal members of Parliament showed up on the steps of Parliament Hill for a photo op with families and individuals living with autism. Some even shared some words of support. However, on May...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

June 8th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... tell the member that I have the utmost respect for the work that stakeholders, clinicians, and the families of those living with ASD do, as well as the work the member does on this file. We will be looking at ways to improve research, data, and support for families of those affected with ASD. I will be more than willing to work with the member opposite to...”

Mr. Mark Holland (Ajax, Lib.)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...t targets the innocent and most vulnerable with heartless indifference.

The victims and their families, the people of Afghanistan, and Afghans across Canada should know that this House and all o...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our government's priority is always to ensure the safety of families, communities, and individuals across Canada. We are going to do everything we can and need ...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...They could find themselves without any income for several weeks next spring if the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development keeps talking about consultation rather than taking action...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...th difficult situations, in order to ensure that the employment insurance program provides workers, families, and the regions with the security they need.

As we demonstrated last year with the a...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the security and safety of Canadians in their communities, in their families, and in their homes is a priority for this government as it is a priority for every single ...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...uite simple. Will the Prime Minister and his minister get serious and stand up for the victims, the families, and their children instead of kowtowing to officials?”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ognize that autism spectrum disorder has a significant and lifelong impact on individuals and their families.

Federal investments in research, data improvements, surveillance, and training skills are supporting those with autism and their families. There is an extraordinary network of stakeholders across the country raising awareness and providing services to families. Our government will continue to support those efforts through our programs.”

Mr. Yves Robillard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, Lib.)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ister tell the House about the details of this new defence policy, particularly measures to support families?”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, military families are the backbone of the Canadian Armed Forces and are crucial to the success of our military.

That is why our government made a commitment to improving the support we provide to military families and ensuring that they have access to adequate resources.

We will allocate an additional $6 million a year to modernize military family support programs, including military family resource centres, to offer better solutions to families when soldiers are away on missions or otherwise absent.

It is important to remember t...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ment of new tools and treatments for those suffering from autism.

We recognize the challenges families are going through and we stand ready to support them.”

Hon. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...positive effects that hospice palliative care has on the quality of life for patients and for their families when they are facing problems associated with life-threatening illnesses.

Palliative ...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...Rothesay.

The first petition, E-291, initiated by Randy Hatfield, calls upon the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development to designate Saint John, New Brunswick, as a demonstration...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...uction of risk for our young people.

I travelled across the country and talked to parents and families about what concerns them about cannabis and their kids. They are certainly worried about th...”

Mr. Mel Arnold (North Okanagan—Shuswap, CPC)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...

Beyond affecting these acts, this complex bill would also affect individuals. It will affect families and it will affect people's lives. It will affect the provinces and territories and the com...”

Mr. Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West, CPC)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...h the electoral reform promise, which it has now cancelled. Is it rushing through the bill, putting families and children at risk, just so it can draw this cohort back to Liberal support?

I have to wonder, again, why July 1? Is it so the Prime Minister can light the symbolic first joint on Canada Day, or maybe arrange to photo bomb a bunch of people toking up and get his PR experts to create a hashtag and call it a photo bong?

We have spoken to the RCMP in Edmonton. I have spoken to the police in our riding. They say they are not going to be ready by July 1. The training is not going to be done. The ability to detect levels of intoxication will not be ready. Municipalities have told us they are not ready, and they do not want to get stuck carrying the bill for this poorly thought out legislation.

Provinces are scambling to get ready. The Province of Alberta, just a week ago, started consultations on how it is going to regulate and distribute marijuana in Alberta. That is four million people, and we just started the process. Our schools are not ready. However, the government says not to worry; they have a plan for education and prevention of $9 million over five years. That is 5¢ for every Canadian, over five years.

Let us put that in perspective. The government, in its budget, has put down $120 million for the same time frame as free charging stations for Tesla owners. If people own an $85,000 Tesla, the government is there for them. However, if a family is trying to keep their kids away from marijuana, here's a nickel a year. It is ridiculous.

In conclusion, I wish the government would take a step back and realize it is too soon. I understand it has a majority, it has a mandate, and it is going to push this through. However, I beg the government to slow it down and let us have proper consultations with the provinces, municipalities, and families before it steamrolls this ahead.”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...this by ensuring we have a balance between pay equity and equality for women, as well as rights for families. This is a great opportunity.

We also have to take into consideration that many mothers may have other children at home. Having those 15 weeks, potentially, would be very good. We need to understand that a woman may not only be lifting heavy loads at work, but she also may be having to lift a 40-pound two year old at home. We have to do anything we can do to prevent a preterm birth, anything we can do to prevent harm to any child. This bill has done a great job on that.

At the end of the day, we are very supportive of this. We want to see pay equity. We want to see good benefits from the federal government. There was a big discussion about whether the bill needed a royal recommendation. I come to the House, having dealt with employment insurance for 11 years. I feel I bring something that many of the members of Parliament are learning about and maybe becoming more aware of in their constituency work. Its really important that when we look at this, we ask ourselves what we can do. I have seen many women who needed to take time off work.

The need for royal recommendation seems to be silly to me. If a woman takes 15 weeks off before the birth, she will not be granted those additional weeks after. All we are doing is moving the range.

In the 2017 budget, there is the thought that women do go back to work early and may not take the entire parental leave portion of the maternity leave. Therefore, they may be using more benefits, if they are taking benefits prior to that. That may be a concern of the government, but we need to look at what is best for children, mothers, and families first.

I commend the member. This is an excellent bill. It is a great start for women...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“Madam Speaker, as the critic for families, children, and social development and for employment and workforce development, I recommend...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ce caregiving, parental, and maternity benefits more flexible to meet all of their diverse needs of families. There is more to this issue than simply the situation facing pregnant workers.

With budget 2017, we are helping working parents face the challenges that come with a growing family and we are offering more flexible arrangements to pregnant workers. We are proposing to make employment insurance parental benefits more flexible.

Budget 2017 introduced choice and flexibility for parents. Parents will be able to choose the option that best suits their needs based on their work, their family situation, and their child care circumstances.

Under the proposed changes, parents will have two options: receiving El parental benefits over a period of up to 12 months at the existing benefit rate of 55% of their average weekly earnings, or over an extended period of up to 18 months at a benefit rate of 33% of their average weekly earnings. In either case, eligible parents will receive roughly the same level of support.

Investing in El parental benefits to make them more flexible is expected to amount to $152 million over five years starting in 2017-18, at the rate of about $27.5 million per year. Parents will continue to be able to share these benefits, and that is an important component as well. (1800)

Through budget 2017, we also proposed additional supports for caregivers. We proposed to create a new employment insurance benefit that would last up to 15 weeks. This new benefit will allow Canadians to care for an adult family member who is critically ill or injured, a benefit we pay to people caring for an adult family member who is critically ill but is not at the end of his or her life. This is a first for employment insurance.

Any of us who have dealt with family situations involving complex illnesses know that the severity of those illnesses do not necessarily give one a prescriptive timetable in which to take time away from work. This flexibility and acknowledgement of some of the challenges facing Canadian families is part how we are making EI more accessible, flexible, and fair. This new benefit supplements the existing compassionate care benefit, which continues to provide up to 26 weeks of benefits for those who leave work to care for family members in end-of-life situations.

Parents of critically ill children will continue to have access of up to 35 weeks. They will now be able to share these benefits with more family members as part of the flexibilities. To implement these measures, budget 2017 proposes to amend the Employment Insurance Act.

Additionally, our government is also proposing to amend the Canada Labour Code to ensure that workers in federally regulated sectors have the job protection they need while they are receiving caregiving, parental or maternity benefits. Of particular interest in the present debate is the proposal in budget 2017 that will also allow pregnant women to claim El maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date, up from the current eight weeks, if they so choose. This is how we have worked with the member to ensure his goals are realized. This investment in additional flexibility is expected to be about $43.1 million over five years, starting in 2017-18, and about $9.2 million a year thereafter.

The collaboration between the member for Kingston and the Islands, our government, and members from both sides of the House was valuable to advancing this private member's bill's policy agenda. For those of us who have watched private members' bills move through the House, sometimes with friction, sometimes with quite easy support, the work that the member did on this bill to ensure it not only got represented in the budget when it ran into some difficulties around the financing issue but by also working at committee with his colleagues to ensure he had an impact with his private member's bill, speaks well to not only the focus, but the integrity and the hard work of the member in question, and we thank him. In fact, families across the country owe this member a debt of gratitude.

We are making these changes to the employment insurance system because we care about the well-being of Canadian workers. We made those improvements because Canadians asked us to make these changes.

Last year, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the member for Kingston and the Islands launched online consultations with Canadians on employment insurance around maternity, parental, and caregiving benefits. They asked how people felt about the idea of developing more flexible maternity and parental employment insurance benefits. However, we also requested their views on the idea of offering more inclusive benefits and leave provisions under the Canada Labour Code for Canadians caring for family members. This was all part of the process to develop this bill and ensure we got as much input as possible. Consultation does matter. It is not just a buzzword; it actually is something we do to improve legislation with Canadians for Canadians.

When asked about their challenges while being on maternity or parental leave, people mentioned that finances were their main concern, especially those who were in single-income families, and those with twins and multiple births. Difficulties finding suitable and affordable chi...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ave to talk to the House about what our government is doing to help these workers, as well as their families, across the country. In particular, I would like to elaborate on the measures proposed in budget 2017 to increase the flexibility of El special benefits. The special benefits under the El program help parents balance work and family life.

Each year, this program helps thousands of eligible Canadians prepare and care for a new baby or take care of a family member who is critically ill. It is our responsibility to ensure that these measures remain appropriate and accessible for Canadian workers seeking to balance their professional careers and personal lives.

Let us start with parental benefits.

Starting a family presents certain challenges, especially for working parents. Measures set out in budget 2017 offer these parents flexibility. Parents will be able to choose the option that best suits their needs based on their work and family situation.

Under the proposed changes, parents will have two options. For the first option, which corresponds to the standard 35-week period for parental benefits, claimants can receive El parental benefits at the current rate of 55% of their average weekly earnings for a period of up to 12 months. For the second option, the extended 61-week parental benefits period, claimants can receive El parental benefits at a rate of 33% of their average weekly earnings over a period of 18 months.

These changes represent an investment of $152 million over five years, starting in 2017-18, and $27.5 million per year. In addition, parents can continue to share the benefits.

Moreover, we are proposing to allow pregnant women to apply for El maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their expected delivery date, if they wish to do so. This means more flexibility compared to the current standard of eight weeks. This additional flexibility is expected to amount to $43.1 million over five years, starting in 2017-18, and $9.2 million per year.

In budget 2017, we are also offering more support for caregivers. We are proposing the creation of a new El benefit for a period of up to 15 weeks. This new caregiver benefit will allow Canadians to care for an adult family member who is critically ill or injured. (1810)

These benefits would be provided to people caring for an adult family member who is critically ill but not at the end of life.

This is a first for employment insurance. We are very proud of this measure. I must add that this new benefit would supplement the existing compassionate care benefit for people caring for family members who are critically ill and in end-of-life situations.

Parents of critically ill children would continue to have access to up to 35 weeks of benefits. They would now be able to share these benefits with more family members.

For some time now, we have wanted to increase the flexibility of the different types of parental benefits to better respond to families' needs. We made sure to do this right. That is why we worked together with all of our partners. I am talking about Canadians and numerous stakeholders. Together we studied the possible changes to employment insurance. Most of all, we listened to people from coast to coast to coast, and the changes we are making are the ones people asked us to make.

Last fall, we held on-line consultations with Canadians. We asked them how they felt about the idea of offering more flexible EI maternity and parental benefits and leaves under the Canada Labour Code. We also asked them for their views on the idea of offering more inclusive caregiver benefits and leaves for Canadians caring for a family member. We also hosted a stakeholder round table last November. Among the participants were representatives of the medical community, health charities, family advocacy groups, unions, and business associations. We made a commitment to take measures to improve EI benefits, and that is what we are doing. These changes would ensure greater financial security for Canadian workers and their families when they need it the most.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that our government is m...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ize that the Government of Canada is moving forward on those commitments to better support Canadian families by increasing the flexibility of maternity and parental EI benefits to better reflect the needs of Canadian families. This is something we have seen in a number of different measures, but this hour is to focu...”

Mr. Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay, NDP)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... programs that help people with drug and alcohol addictions regain their health and return to their families with whole lives. However, all the programs in my riding are struggling for funding. They c...”

Mr. Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Centre, Lib.)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nformed choices about their own health? They can get married, get a mortgage, build a career, start families, yet the Conservatives think that these Canadians cannot make informed choices about their ...”

Hon. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ue, but the Liberal Party slammed the door in its face.

It is doing the same thing here. Many families are worried about what we are doing. They want us to take our time and propose real solutio...”

Hon. Bardish Chagger

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... are 1.7 million jobs, jobs that everyday Canadians care about, because that is what supports their families and puts food on their table. Those are the people who we are working hard for.

It is...”

Mr. Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières, NDP)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... simple example. When I ask the Minister of Science a question about pyrrhotite, which affects many families in my riding, I get an answer from the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Develop...”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... of Canada by hundreds of millions of dollars, which affected over nine million Canadians and their families, the Conservative Party voted against that. That put hundreds of millions of dollars back i...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...heir infrastructure is up to date, that it is modern, and that we have clean drinking water for our families.

Those are investments that pay off today, tomorrow, and for the years to come. That ...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...mselves, felt better about the future, became more optimistic, and they spent and invested in their families, in their regions, and in their communities. Therefore, yes, it is a full ministry for small business and tourism. Tourism continues to be an economic driver for Canada. We need to do more. We will do more. We are investing in our marketing agencies and so forth.

When I look at these five title changes and what is in the Salaries Act, I say to myself that we are going in the right direction. Our focus on status of women and on small business and tourism is exactly the direction we need to go in as a government and I am proud to be part of that government. These updating exercises are not new. The list of Salaries Act ministers has been amended several times in the last decade, most recently in 2013. In each case, the changes aligned with the priorities of the times and with the Prime Minister's preferences with respect to the composition of his ministry and the organization of the government administration.

The bill would also modernize the Salaries Act by introducing a measure of flexibility to cabinet-making going forward.

It would do that by adding three untitled ministerial positions. These positions would provide room for prime ministers at a future time to appoint and title ministers to reflect and respond to the changing priorities of their day. To me, that is smart planning. I worked in the private sector for 25 years. The world is evolving. There is a lot of global uncertainty. Things are evolving at home. We want to make sure the government has flexibility to introduce ministers or ministries as it sees fit and to respond to changing circumstances. It makes sense to me. That is what we would do in the private sector. I like that, and we bring it here to government.

Members on the other side have asked what the Prime Minister's plans are for these cabinet posts. Why are they needed? Why are they not named? To that, I would say that this change looks to the future. It builds in a degree of flexibility in the structuring of future ministries to reflect the priorities of the day. This is a government that looks to the future and that values adaptability to change in big ways and small. This is a small but an important way. It would enable a modern, adaptable ministry well into the future.

There are safeguards too. The bill would not enable the installation of an oversized cabinet, and we all know what that looks like from the past administration. The proposed increase in the number of Salaries Act positions would be offset by the removal of six regional development positions. The maximum number of ministers that may be appointed under the Salaries Act, including the Prime Minister, would increase by two positions from 35 to 37.

I have heard comments from the members of the House on the removal of the regional development positions. For them, I would like to emphasize that removing these positions from the Salaries Act in no way affects the status of the regional development agencies themselves. Let me re-emphasize that point. FedDev, ACOA, and the regional development agencies would continue to operate and do a great job for the regions they represent. They would continue to invest in Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

I grew up in a small town in northern British Columbia. I understand what it means to come from a region where the next town is two hours away, or 144 kilometres, if I remember correctly. People feel like they are far away from a big city, whether it is Vancouver or Toronto, and they want to make sure their voices are being heard and that investments are taking place in their area of the country. This Salaries Act would not change the prerogative or the role of the regional development agencies. It is misleading to suggest otherwise. (2225)

The regional development agencies will continue to be a vital part of this government's economic development work, and will be overseen by a minister. Regions are not being ignored under this government. Accountability is not being ignored under this government. These administrative amendments to the Salaries Act would change none of that.

I would like to correct a misconception about the bill that has been asserted in this place. It has been suggested that its effect is merely to authorize a raise for the five ministers who were appointed by orders in council on November 4, 2015, as ministers of state to assist other ministers, and that those orders in council make it clear that these are junior ministers, subordinate to other ministers, and therefore not deserving of the same salary. Let me be clear. To those comments I would first say that all ministers have been paid the same salary since day one. Equal pay for equal work is what we believe in. The bill would not change that. There is no raise for any minister under the bill.

Then let me say that I believe our government has been clear in explaining that the legislative framework in place on November 4, 2015, prevented the appointment of four ministers to these five positions. Use of the Ministries and Ministers of State Act allowed ministers to be appointed to those positions and to get to work on the priorities of this government and Canadians on day one.

The Prime Minister committed to introducing legislation that would formally equalize the status of all members of his ministry. A promise made is a promise kept. I am proud to be part of a government that keeps its promises to Canadians and is investing in Canadians. We have seen that handsomely in the recent months with our economy growing at a rate of over 2.5%, which had not been achieved under the Conservatives, from my understanding. We see job growth taking the unemployment rate down to the 6.2% range. We see income growth. We see exports rebounding. We see business investment starting to show green shoots. These are all things that we can be proud of as a government. When the full ramp-up of infrastructure spending takes place, which it will and it is, we will see further gains in employment numbers across the country from coast to coast to coast.

The bill fulfills this commitment. When it comes into force, the orders in council that appoint these ministers as ministers of state to assist other ministers will be repealed. They will be in law, as they are in practice, full and equal ministers.

In closing, let me repeat what I said at the beginning of my remarks. The Salaries Act amendments are administrative in nature. It makes good sense to update and modernize the legislation to reflect the structure of the current ministry, and to enable flexible and adaptable ministries, now and in the future. I hope all members will join me in supporting this bill.

When we look at our government's agenda, including Bill C-24, Canadians sent us here to do the good work they wanted us to do, and what we told them we would do in our platform. We have fulfilled many of those promises. I look to the Canada child benefit, our middle-class tax cuts, and our investments in infrastructure, and I say to myself, where are we taking Canada?

I look at these changes in Bill C-24, where we would appoint full ministers for the status of women, la Francophonie, small business and tourism, and my finance background tells me that our government is taking Canada to a place we need to go. We are not only passing the puck. We are going to where the puck is going to be, if I made that analogy correctly from my former ice hockey days. We are going to score the goal, and we will continue scoring the goals. For me, scoring the goals is ensuring that Canadians have a brighter future, that Canadians find the jobs they are looking for, that they come home to their families quicker in the evening, and that we continue to invest in them. That is the mandate of our ...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara

June 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Mr. Speaker, our investments in Canadians and in Canadian families, specifically women, are groundbreaking. The Canada child benefit, which increases benefits for nine out of every 10 families an average of $2,300 more than what they were receiving. That is incredible.

The investment in child care is approximately $500 million a year, creating 40,000 annual spaces in child care for low- and middle-income folks who really need child care, who really need the help. We are working with the provinces, Canadians, and women's groups, and we are listening.

Those investments, and I could name off another five or six, are just two that are going to make a difference in families' lives from coast to coast to coast.”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

June 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...e researchers want more than anything is for their research to actually be used to benefit Canadian families living with autism.

It is time for the Liberals to stop hiding behind those researchers and actually stand alongside them in support of Canadian families living with autism.

I look forward to hearing the hon. member, hopefully avoiding his...”

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

June 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...cognizes the challenges that Canadians with autism spectrum disorder are facing. We know that their families and caregivers have to overcome health-related, social, and financial challenges.

The federal government's investments will help advance research, encourage collaboration with the provinces and territories to improve the data, and support the necessary professional training to improve the quality of life for the families.

Thanks to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, we are supporting researchers who are advancing scientific knowledge in order to develop new diagnostic tools and new treatments. For example, Canadian scientists are at the forefront of genomic techniques, an area where discoveries advance our knowledge and understanding of this disorder much more quickly.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and their partners fund a research chair in autism spectrum disorders at York University to study mental health in the context of autism. Since this chair was created, Dr. Jonathan Weiss and his team have produced several publications informing doctors and parents of the best approaches to addressing mental health problems in young ASD patients. Dr. Weiss also started a blog geared to caregivers and parents in order to share with them the findings of new studies in plainer language.

It is also essential to have accurate data about the rate of autism spectrum disorder in Canada. The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with the provinces and territories to establish a national ASD surveillance system in order to determine how many Canadians are living with autism and how many new cases are being diagnosed. This system will improve the information and evidence base and thus help organizations, health care professionals, and families to address the health, social, and other impacts of ASD.

Employment and Social Development Canada invests $40 million a year in community support and job training through the opportunities fund for persons with disabilities. Additional investments in the ready, willing, and able initiative of the Canadian Association for Community Living and in the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance help people with ASD to integrate into the workforce.

Once fully implemented, this initiative will support up to 1,200 new jobs for persons with developmental disabilities, including ASD. We invested an additional $11.4 million to support the Sinneave Family Foundation's CommunityWorks program, which helps people get the skills they need to find jobs by enhancing the programs offered by the network of vocational training centres across Canada.

Our government is consulting Canadians about the development of federal accessibility legislation, which would remove systemic barriers and ensure equal opportunities. All levels of government play an important role in supporting families affected by ASD.

Our government is committed to working with its provincial and territorial partners and with the organizations that support these families. I have a great deal of admiration for the dedication of our partners, who provide importan...”

Hon. Mike Lake

June 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...echanism that will provide evidence-based advice to the provinces to help them deliver the services families so desperately need in this country.

If the hon. member is serious about this issue, ...”

Mr. Jean Rioux

June 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...autism partnership. I also thank the alliance for its ongoing dedication to supporting children and families living with autism.

I recognize the scope of the consultation process and how many pe...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ady been accepted by the U.S. from entering the country. That has put in doubt the reunification of families and the ability of immigrants to come to North America. The undersigned of this petition ar...”

Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley—Aldergrove, CPC)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition from Families for Justice, a group of Canadians who have lost a loved one, killed by an impaired driver. ...”

Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...he potential to increase prosperity for all, not just the global one percent. That means supporting families, supporting pensioners, and supporting education and retraining, as the Minister of Finance did in his recent budget.

By better supporting the middle class, and those working hard to join it, Canada is defining an approach to globalization that can be a model. At the same time, we strongly support the global 2030 goals for sustainable development. The world abroad and the world at home are not two solitudes. They are connected. Likewise, by embracing multiculturalism and diversity, Canadians are embodying a way of life that works. We can say this in all humility, but also without any false self-effacement: Canadians know about living side-by side with people of diverse origins and beliefs, whose ancestors hail from the far corners of the globe, in harmony and peace. We are good at it. (1045) [English]

We say this in the full knowledge that we also have problems of our own to overcome, most egregiously the injustices suffered by indigenous people in Canada. We must never flinch from acknowledging this great failure, even as we do the hard work of seeking restoration and reconciliation.

It is clearly not our role to impose our values around the world. No one appointed us the world's policemen. However, it is our role to stand firmly for these rights, both in Canada and abroad. It is our role to provide refuge to the persecuted and downtrodden to the extent we are able, as we are so proud to have done for more than 40,000 Syrian refugees.

It is our role to set a standard for how states should treat women, gays and lesbians, transgendered people, racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious minorities, and of course, indigenous people.

We can and must play an active role in the preservation and strengthening of the global order from which we have benefited so greatly. Doing so is in our interest, because our own open society is most secure in a world of open societies, and it is under threat in a world where open societies are under threat.

In short, Canadian liberalism is a precious idea. It would not survive long in a world dominated by the clash of great powers and their vassals struggling for supremacy, or at best, an uneasy détente. Canada can work for better. We must work for better.[Translation]

Let me pause here and address the United States directly. As the Prime Minister said last week, Canada is deeply disappointed by the U.S. federal government's decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change.

That said, we will continue to seek opportunities for constructive progress on the environment, wherever we can find them, with our counterparts in Washington and across the great United States, at all levels of government and with partners in business, labour, and civil society.

As I have said, we Canadians can rightly be proud of the role we played in building the postwar order, and the unprecedented peace and prosperity that followed.[English]

Even as we celebrate our own part in that project, it is only fair for us to acknowledge the larger contribution of the United States, for in blood, in treasure, in strategic vision, in leadership, America has paid the lion's share. The United States has truly been the indispensable nation. For their unique seven-decades-long contribution to our shared peace and prosperity, and on behalf of all Canadians, I would like to profoundly thank our American friends.

As I have argued, Canada believes strongly that this stable, predictable international order has been deeply in our national interest, and we believe it has helped foster peace and prosperity for our southern neighbours too, yet it would be naive or hypocritical to claim before the House that all Americans today agree. Indeed, many of the voters in last year's presidential election cast their ballots animated, in part, by a desire to shrug off the burden of world leadership. To say this is not controversial; it is simply a fact.

Canada is grateful and will always be grateful to our neighbour for the outsized role it has played in the world. We seek and shall continue to seek to persuade our friends that their continued international leadership is very much in their national interest, as well as that of the rest of the free world. We also recognize that this is ultimately not our decision to make. It is a choice Americans must make for themselves.

The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course. For Canada, that course must be the renewal, indeed the strengthening, of the post-war multilateral order.

We will follow this path with open hands and open hearts extended to our American friends, seeking to make common cause, as we have so often in the past, and indeed, as we continue to do now on many fronts, from border security, to the defence of North America through NORAD, to the fight against Daesh, to our efforts within NATO, to nurturing and improving our trading relationship, which is the strongest in the world. At the same time, we will work with other like-minded people and countries that share our aims. (1050)

To put this in sharper focus, those aims are as follows.

First, we will robustly support the rules-based international order and all its institutions, and seek ways to strengthen and improve them. We will strongly support the multilateral forums where such discussions are held, including the G7, the G20, the OAS, APEC, the WTO, the Commonwealth, La Francophonie, the Arctic Council, and of course NATO and the UN.

A cornerstone of our multilateral agenda is our steadfast commitment to the transatlantic alliance. Our bond is manifest in CETA, our historic trade agreement with the European Union, which we believe in and warmly support, and in our military deployment this summer to Latvia.

There can be no clearer sign that NATO and article 5 are at the heart of Canada’s national security policy.

We will strive for leadership in all these multilateral forums. We are honoured to be hosting the G7 next year, and we are energetically pursuing a two-year term on the UN Security Council. We seek this UN seat because we wish to be heard, and we are safer and more prosperous when more of the world shares Canadian values. [Translation]

Those values include feminism and the promotion of the rights of women and girls. It is important, and historic, that we have a Prime Minister and a government who are proud to proclaim themselves feminists. Women’s rights are human rights. That includes sexual reproductive rights.[English]

That includes the right to safe and accessible abortions. [Translation]

These rights are at the core of our foreign policy. To that end, in the coming days, my colleague the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie will unveil Canada’s first feminist international assistance policy, which will target the rights of women and girls as well as gender equality.

We will put Canada at the forefront of this global effort. This is a matter of basic justice and also basic economics. We know that empowering women overseas and here at home makes families and countries more prosperous. Canada’s values are informed by our historical duality of ...”

Hon. Andrew Leslie (Orléans, Lib.)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...emocratic world owes the soldiers—those who did not come home, those who were injured—and their families a debt we can never repay. There is a price for freedom.”

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

June 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...over their kids, they are putting the rights of dangerous criminals ahead of the safety of Canadian families.

When will the Prime Minister show some compassion for victims and their families instead of repeat dangerous offenders?”

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Niagara Falls, CPC)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...gether a committee to advise them on judicial appointments in New Brunswick.

Because of this, families that are desperate for relief are getting none, and Canadians are further losing confidence...”

Hon. Carla Qualtrough (Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Lib.)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, both the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and I agree that this is unacceptable. That is why we are taking steps to fix it.

The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development has called for a comprehensive review of CPP disability to...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

June 6th
Hansard Link

S. O. 57

“...atic approach like that. Instead, the government is spreading the hurt across all companies and all families across this country, to not even meet its targets.

My question for the minister is this. A few weeks ago, 500 families in Brockville learned that the production at Procter & Gamble will be moving to West Virginia, a state in the integrated North American economy that does not have a carbon tax. The government's conduct is putting a dagger in the heart of manufacturing in Ontario. What will the minister say to those 500 families who are seeing those jobs flee as a result of the Ontario government's hydro prices, and as...”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... report annually to the House of Commons on the financial impact this tax is inflicting on Canadian families and Canadian employers alike. It would also instruct the Standing Committee on Finance to study new approaches and methods to ensure maximum transparency for consumers about the costs of carbon pricing. Last, Motion No. 131 calls on the government to report its findings and recommendations to the House of Commons in the four months following the passage of this motion.

That is not too difficult, right? My colleagues on this side of the House have been trying for months to get the Liberals to immediately, and completely release all estimates of cost burdens on Canadians in regard to their mandatory carbon tax. An ATIP request of this information was completely redacted. The censored documents demonstrate the government has done an analysis of how the carbon tax will impact Canadians' budgets, including the price increases of things like home heating, gas, electricity, and of course, grocery bills.

The Liberals just refuse to make the information public. This is information the Liberals currently have, but they refuse to be transparent about it, because the Liberals would rather avoid telling Canadians how much this is actually going to be costing them. Let us not forget, this is the party that campaigned on openness and transparency with all Canadians.

In fact, let me take a minute to read the Liberals' views on openness and transparency that come directly from their website. This is the message they are sending to Canadians. The Liberals' website states:

At its heart is a simple idea: transparent government is good government. If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians. We will amend the Access to Information Act so that all government data and information is made open by default in machine-readable, digital formats. We will also ensure that Access to Information applies to the Prime Minister's and Ministers' Offices, as well as administrative institutions that support Parliament and the courts.

If this is not the definition of hypocrisy, then I do not know what is. Considering the numerous opportunities the Liberals have been given, not once have they been transparent about their apparently revenue neutral carbon tax, which we know, again, is not true.

What exactly is a revenue neutral tax which the Liberals keep promising? They claim that it means all revenue generated from the carbon tax would stay in each province. Just last month, the Minister of Environment released a technical paper which ultimately seeks to mimic Alberta's carbon tax plan. I am sure if we asked Albertans how that is going over, they will tell us it is not going so well.

The Alberta plan, like the Liberals' plan, claims to be revenue neutral, meaning that every dollar taken out of taxpayers' pockets is then spent by the Alberta government. Let us be honest. This tax does nothing but make the necessities of life more expensive for the everyday consumer, and will likely have no impact on actually achieving its goal.

In case members have any doubt, recent estimates show that the Alberta carbon tax program has raised the price of a litre of gasoline by about 4.5¢. By 2018, a single person will have to pay approximately $400 more per year for gas, heat, groceries, and other goods affected by the Liberal carbon tax. A couple with two kids will have to pay an average of $600. This is ludicrous. Alberta is collecting about $5.4 billion between 2017 and 2019 from its carbon tax, but only issuing $1.5 billion in rebates. This so-called revenue neutral tax is anything but neutral.

Do not take my word for it. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation recently stated:

If the federal plan is to take money from taxpayers, and dish it back to businesses they choose in the form of corporate welfare, and select people they choose in the form of rebates, it will not be revenue neutral. (1735)

In actuality, the Alberta government has created its own farce of a definition of revenue neutrality, one that consists of taking taxpayers' money, and spending it on how it sees fit.

The federation went on to say that if the federal government copies Alberta's definition of revenue neutrality, every tax in Canadian history would be considered revenue neutral.

I bring this up not only because it is of great concern to Albertans but, in fact, the Parliamentary Library calculated that the additional GST the Liberals are placing on the Alberta and B.C. carbon program will enrich the federal government by about $130 million to $150 million over the next two years. This is approximately 5% of the annual cost of carbon tax in each of those provinces. As my colleague, the member for Langley—Aldergrove, brilliantly said, “That's where the federal government suddenly gets rich off Canadians”.

I am here today to challenge the Liberal government to support my motion, and prove to Canadians and everyone in the House that it will finally start being transparent. Since the Liberals stated their intention of imposing a national carbon tax, I have been in disbelief with how deceitful and shameful the government has been to members of the House and to all Canadians. The Liberals have been caught red-handed misleading Canadians about the lack of information they have on the cost of this mandatory carbon tax. The worse part, after being exposed for misleading Canadians and for withholding this information, the government did not even blink an eye. I am genuinely curious as to what type of an explanation the government could possibly come up with for deliberately concealing information that will have a profound impact on millions of Canadians.

Despite the heavily redacted report the Liberals issued, thanks to the pursuant work by my colleague, the hon. member for Carleton, one thing was clear: the conclusion.

Jean-François Perrault, who was assistant deputy minister at Finance Canada, and now chief economist at Scotia Bank said that these higher costs, associated with the carbon tax, would then cascade through the economy in the form of higher prices, thus leading all firms, and consumers to pay more for good and services with higher carbon content.

In case that was not clear, taxing carbon emissions will have compounding effects on all aspects of our economy. For example, as seen in Alberta, we know that the carbon tax will increase the price of fuel. If gas prices rise, then the price of transporting goods will undoubtedly rise as well. If the price of transporting goods increases, then guess what will happen to the price of these goods? They will skyrocket.

It is bad enough that the Liberals deem it appropriate to further tax individuals on the basic necessities of life, such as gasoline, heat, and electricity, but to slap on these compounding costs without telling Canadians is just plain wrong.

In essence, this tax specifically discriminates against Canada's poorest individuals who are already overwhelmed and overburdened with just paying their bills. As we have already heard many times in the House, Ontario, my home province, has the worst poverty record of any province in Canada. More so, the poverty rate dropped by one-third in British Columbia, the Prairies, and Atlantic Canada. There is nothing fair about this carbon tax. One does not need to be an expert to understand that individuals living around or below the poverty line often spend at least one-third of their monthly salaries just paying for what people would consider basic necessities.

If the Liberals are insistent that their only solution to combatting climate change is by taxing Canadians, then at the very least they should be telling consumers how much it is going to cost them. (1740)

According to the Minister of Environment, she says over and over again that pollution is not free, yet there is no evidence that taxation will actually work. The facts about how badly this tax will impact Canadians are not clear.

However, from a speculative standpoint, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, it is estimated that the carbon tax will cost $1,028 per person, per year, or $4,112 per year for a family of four when it is fully implemented in 2022. A study by the University of Calgary estimates that a carbon tax will cost between $603 and $1,120 per year, depending on the province. These numbers are so mind-boggling that close to 2,000 people signed petition E-910 in complete outrage. In terms of stakeholders, the consequences are far-reaching, and can be felt across the country, including in my own riding of Oshawa.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently reported that a great majority of its members fear that they will not be able to absorb the consequences of this forced carbon tax. They are also worried about global competitiveness, and that is so important in my community of Oshawa, that a decrease in their profitability could lead to a major reduction in business investments. No investments means no jobs. What does the government not understand?

The Liberals should be working to improve Canada's competitiveness, and should be fighting to maintain our global competitive advantage. Instead, it appears the Prime Minister is more interested in imposing a carbon tax that will kill jobs by the thousands.

Why would any company, including Canadian companies, be interested in investing in Canada if they do not know what the cost of doing business will be? That is the whole point. These exact issues were confirmed by a report issued by the Stikeman Elliott law firm, which basically confirmed Canadians are left guessing whether the federal government will have the tools to actually introduce and enforce a floor price on carbon.

There is another question. How does the federal government intend to properly measure and consolidate the two different pricing methods? In other words, it would be a carbon tax versus a cap and trade. How does the proposed pricing line up with Canada's commitment under the Paris agreement?

Our American counterparts are working to reduce regulation, lower taxes, and are investing in coal-fired electricity to reduce energy costs. With uncertainty over the effects of the Liberals' national climate change plan, with the U.S. recently reneging from the Paris agreement, and with Canadian companies sitting on the sidelines waiting to find out how much the cost of doing business will be, it is time the Liberals start taking action. It is time for them to come clean.

In light of all the issues I just exposed regarding the carbon tax, I propose Motion No. 131, with the hopes that everyone will agree.

I want to reiterate that this should not be a divisive motion. In fact, it was inspired by the large bold slogan running next to the Prime Minister's face on the Liberal website. I want members to imagine the Prime Minister's face, like a selfie, and the slogan reads “Openness, Transparency, Fairness”, with the Prime Minister standing there and very proud about it. That is what the Liberals are saying.

I am asking for three things. First, for the federal government to report annually to the House of Commons regarding the financial impacts this mandatory carbon tax will have on Canadian families and employers. Second, for the Standing Committee on Finance to investigate new ways of ens...”

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

June 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...it.

In terms of impact on those less well off, the goods and services purchased by low-income families are usually not more carbon intensive than those purchased by higher income earners. However, as the federal-provincial-territorial working group on carbon pricing mechanisms observed in its report last year, because lower income earners spend a greater share of their income on energy, they may be disproportionately impacted by carbon pollution pricing unless specific measures are taken to compensate for the impacts. (1755) [Translation]

There are many ways in which low-income Canadian families and vulnerable communities can be protected from the costs associated with carbon pricing. It is important to note that revenues generated by carbon pricing can be used to mitigate these impacts.[English]

Provinces and territories can choose to use carbon pollution pricing revenues to compensate low-income and middle-income families for higher energy costs while still maintaining an incentive to reduce energy use, thereby helping to reduce emissions.

For example, British Columbia provides a tax credit for low-income families and has made its carbon tax revenue neutral by reducing income taxes for British Columbians and for businesses operating in the province.

Alberta's carbon pollution pricing system includes rebates for low- and middle-income households to offset the cost of the carbon levy on transportation and heating fuels. The Government of Alberta has estimated that six out of 10 households will receive a rebate. For example, the full rebate amount for a household with two adults and two children will be $360 in 2017. This exceeds Alberta's estimate of the total direct cost of the levy for a household with two adults and two children, which is $338 in 2017.

Alberta has stated it will provide the full rebate amount for couples and families earning less than $95,000 per year, and for singles earning less than $47,500 per year. In ...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

June 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... impact of the carbon tax on their lives. The Liberal carbon tax will make things so much worse for families and businesses in Lakeland, across Alberta, and in all of Canada.

Before the Liberals unilaterally announced that they would force the carbon tax on all Canadians, the Department of Finance completed two analyses on how much this tax would cost, its economic consequences, and how it would affect Canadians. Both documents were released through an access to information request, but all the detailed information was blacked out.

Canadians should know what their government is doing with the collection and spending of their hard-earned tax dollars and how the government's fiscal decisions will impact them. However, the Liberals are keeping all this a secret. Obviously, the Liberals are hiding information they do not want Canadians to know. Perhaps the documents prove that the carbon tax will harm Canadians by raising the price of everything for everyone.

A carbon tax supporter, professor Nicholas Rivers, admitted that the Liberals' national carbon tax would increase the price of gasoline by 11¢ a litre, electricity bills by 10%, and natural gas by 15%. It is a burden Canadian families should not have to bear. In fact, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation calculated that the national carbon tax will cost more than $1,000 per person, or more than $4,000 per family of four, annually.

The redacted documents probably show that low-income Canadians, the most vulnerable, will be hurt by this tax the most. Low-income families in Canada spend a majority of their household income on basic necessities, including food, heating, and gas. This tax will disproportionately hit them with cost hikes on essentials.

The Liberals have promised time and time again that transparency is their most important principle. They have created this facade by posting mandate letters online, starting endless studies and reviews, and consulting on consultations, but when it comes to comprehensive, meaningful, internal information that should be available to all Canadians, the Liberals are shutting the books.

In 2016, the parliamentary budget officer said that the Liberals' first budget was “less transparent than [any] Conservative budgets under Stephen Harper and overestimates the number of jobs that will be created”. Fast forward to this year and the same independent parliamentary budget officer chided the Liberals for their lack of transparency on spending.

In the 2015 campaign, the Prime Minister talked a big game about transparency, and in fact, the Liberal Party's campaign website has an entire section entitled: “Openness. Transparency. Fairness. Making government work for Canadians.” The platform says,

At its heart is a simple idea: transparent government is good government. If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians.

However, the Liberals' actions speak much louder than their words. Hiding these reports goes against the most fundamental promise the Liberals pledged to Canadians for 78 days, and regularly ever since. Here we are, day 596 into their mandate, and it is clear that the Liberals are all rhetoric almost all the time, leaving a trail of broken promises.

The Liberals love to talk about transparency. In fact, they have said the word in one form or another a combined 1,358 times in the House of Commons and at committee since they took office. That is a lot of talk for a party that does the complete opposite.

The Liberals must be transparent about the costs of their nationally imposed carbon tax, especially since much of the information they have presented does not make sense or add up and because the carbon tax will hurt most the very people they claim to care about. The key tenets of the Liberals' argument for the carbon tax, that it would be revenue neutral and would reduce emissions, are actually verifiably false.

The Liberals told Canadians that the tax would be a neutral price on carbon. First, there is no guarantee whatsoever of any so-called revenue neutrality in every province, and recently, the Library of Parliament revealed that Albertans and British Columbians will pay $280 million in GST on the carbon tax over the next two years. The Liberals cannot claim that the carbon tax is revenue neutral when the federal government will collect millions in GST revenues from taxing the tax. (1815)

The member for Newmarket—Aurora said, “To characterize something as a carbon tax is not doing that person any justice. We all know it is a revenue-neutral plan. Just because people keep calling something a carbon tax does not make it a carbon tax.”

That is nonsense. It is obvious it is a tax and it is obvious the cost will be passed on to consumers. In fact, the member for Carleton found out recently that internal government documents show that the tax will cascade through the Canadian economy. Since the Liberals are forcing this tax on all Canadians, then Canadians deserve to fully understand what it will cost them.

The member for Vancouver Quadra said that British Columbians are “proud that the emissions were driven down over a number of years by this carbon tax”, but in fact, in every year since 2010, emissions in B.C. have actually increased. They have gone up every year. There has been no significant reduction in gasoline purchases, which should concern proponents on that side, since transportation is the second-highest sector for emissions.

What is worse, resources and other industries, such as cement manufacturing, have been hit hard by the tax. Cement that used to be manufactured completely in B.C. is now being imported from jurisdictions with no carbon tax. Rural growth has stalled. However, the left spins a different tale.

The Prime Minister said just this month that a carbon tax is something “everyone can understand”, but they do not. In a way, they cannot, because the very nature of the Liberals' carbon tax is not transparent. The cost is hidden in the price of groceries, at the gas pump, in the price of meals at restaurants, in heating bills, in annual school board fees required for additional resources for transport, in future municipal tax hikes or service cuts to cover the added costs to their thin budgets, in recreational cost increases, in hikes in refrigeration and heating costs, and in job cuts.

Therefore, this motion calls for maximum clarity for customers on bills, invoices, and receipts to show Canadians exactly how much this tax will cost them. As much as the Liberals and the left want to deny it, this tax will punish Canadians. Just as in the case of the HST and GST, it should be clear to everyone why their everyday bills are suddenly more expensive.

Transparency can always be improved. Throughout the years, access to information requests have been a valuable tool for opposition MPs, journalists, and Canadians to find out information from federal departments on a variety of issues, and on spending in particular. Of course, the Liberals made this a specific pledge in their election platform, which states, “We will amend the Access to Information Act so that all government data and information is made open by default in machine-readable, digital formats” and “We will also ensure that Access to Information applies to the Prime Minister’s and Ministers’ Offices, as well as administrative institutions that support Parliament and the courts.”

Of course, like so many others, this promise has yet to come to fruition.

The President of the Treasury Board, the minister responsible, even announced this past March that any access to information reform would be delayed indefinitely. He then skipped out on the Transparency for the 21st Century conference organized by the Information Commissioner herself. It is just another example of the Liberals saying one thing to get elected and then doing something, anything, else.

The carbon tax will kill jobs, especially in remote, rural, and agriculture- and energy-based communities. I have heard from business owners in Lakeland who are predicting layoffs because they are already struggling to stay afloat. Small and family business owners who may employ half a dozen or a dozen employees but whose businesses are significant to their communities will be forced to make decisions they do not want to have to make: raising operating costs or prices, decreasing output, cutting wages and benefits, or laying off their employees. All Canadians deserve to know how much the tax will cost them in every aspect of their lives.

The Liberals' pattern of breaking promises and blaming others is getting old. Whether they are low income, the poor, middle-class Canadians, families, single parents, seniors, people on fixed incomes, businesses, or charities, all Canadians ...”

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

June 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...es or invest in clean innovation and infrastructure, or they can be given straight back to Canadian families.

The overall approach to pricing carbon pollution will be reviewed by early 2022. The...”

Hon. Catherine McKenna

June 6th
Hansard Link

S. O. 57

“...sting $21.9 billion in green infrastructure to build energy-efficient homes and offices and to 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, increase the use of clean transportation, and allow people to spend more time with their families and less time in traffic.

We are also phasing out coal from our electricity system by...”

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

June 6th
Hansard Link

S. O. 57

“...certainty that the war on drugs has failed miserably, and its path of destruction has affected many families and communities. I wish to share the broad nature of the comments I have received. My const...”

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

June 6th
Hansard Link

S. O. 57

“...ll too much a reality in Canada. We agree with Canadians that the status quo is not working for our families and for our communities. Now it is time to look to the future and ask seriously how we are going to make the positive changes that these families and communities deserve.

Bill C-45 does just that. Through Bill C-45 we are entering a new era where our approach to cannabis enshrines public health and safety. The proposed legislation is underpinned by cautious, evidence-based decision-making to ensure that we take the necessary steps to protect our families and communities.

This government has demonstrated its commitment to evidence-based decision-making across diverse policies and cannabis is no exception. Throughout the process of creating the legislation we have listened to evidence from across the country and in June 2016, our government launched the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation. Above all else, I want to sincerely thank the task force members for their incredible and diligent work on this topic.

The tireless members of the task force and their chair, the hon. Anne McLellan, crossed the country to consult Canadians. They spoke with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments. They spoke with indigenous governments and representative organizations. They spoke with diverse people across Canadian civil society including experts, patients, advocates, youth, employers, and industry experts. That is only the in-person discussions.

The task force also reviewed an amazing 30,000 submissions. Throughout these discussions, the task force developed a rich perspective on how we can best design a new legislative and regulatory framework for legal access to cannabis. The result was an extensive report with far-reaching and detailed recommendations, which was released in December 2016. I am proud that our proposed legislative and regulatory system was informed by and closely aligned with these in-depth recommendations, recommendations that are the product of broad public conversations.

Bill C-45 seeks to ensure that Canadians have the information they need to make evidence-based decisions in their own lives. Through public awareness and education, we can cultivate a culture that is more conscious of cannabis's effects.

I want to reinforce the importance of public awareness and education with a question. What happens when we Google cannabis? The same thing that happens when we Google many other things. A deluge of information appears. Some of it is true. Some of it is not, and it can be incredibly dangerous when that false information informs Canadians' decisions around cannabis use.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse released a study in January 2017 called “Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis”. This study questioned how youth form their understandings of cannabis. In their research, the CCSA found that youth receive most of their information about cannabis from, not surprisingly, friends, peers, the media, and to some extent from their families. The CCSA also found that participants appeared to struggle with critically evaluating the mass of information online and in the media. Amidst the glut of information on cannabis, this study found it is challenging to pick out which conclusions are valid and which are highly biased.

Why is this alarming? These perceptions of cannabis are shaping Canadians' choices around cannabis across the country. Misinformation can lead to dangerous choices. We need to question how we can encourage our youth to make safe decisions around cannabis. I am excited that the proposed legislation works towards this goal through two complementary foci, public education and protecting our youth.

Public education on the harms and risks associated with cannabis will be guided by our evidence-based approach. We will monitor patterns and perceptions around cannabis use, particularly those held by Canadian youth, through an annual Canadian cannabis survey. This information will be crucial to informing our public education and awareness activities, allowing us to more effectively reach out to Canadians. What is more, the survey findings will enable us to mitigate the risks and harms of use associated with cannabis. That is the power of evidence-based decision-making. (2300)

Budget 2017 reflects our commitment to public education and awareness around cannabis. In the budget, our government committed $9.6 million over five years to a comprehensive public education awareness campaign as well as to surveillance activities. This campaign will ensure that all Canadians, including youth, understand the risks and harms of cannabis use. This is a crucial step toward safe and healthy communities.

When it comes to protecting youth, the framework we have right now is not working. We have all heard the numbers, but they need to be repeated. Statistics show that youth and young adults are the highest users of cannabis in Canada. Twenty-one per cent of our youth and 30% of young adults in our country used cannabis in 2015 alone. To put these numbers in a global perspective, Canada has the highest rate of youth cannabis use in the world. These numbers are a reminder to everyone why this legislation needs to move forward.

Bill C-45 would take strong action to protect Canadian youth. Under the proposed legislation, selling or providing cannabis to youth would be met with serious criminal penalties. What is more, new offences and strict penalties will be established for those who use youth to commit a cannabis-related offence.

The proposed act would also take steps to ensure that law enforcement will be able to focus on working to ensure that cannabis stays out of the hands of Canada's youth.

In addition to these crucial measures to protect youth, the proposed cannabis act would also work to change how cannabis is perceived and assessed. We spoke about the impact of perceptions of cannabis among Canadian youth. The proposed act would address these questions by prohibiting any products, promotion, packaging, or labelling that could be appealing to youth. Similar to the Tobacco Act, this is an important means of ensuring that marketing campaigns are not targeting youth.

Canada's youth are our future. As we stand at Canada's 150th year since Confederation, we need to look at the future and ask, “How can we best support young Canadians?” We need measures like Bill C-45 to create a safe environment for Canada's youth so that this next generation of leaders can flourish.

To protect Canadians, a pillar of Bill C-45 is public health. This legislation will take two fundamental steps to create a regulatory regime that will enshrine public health and safety.

First, we will set rules for adults to access quality-controlled cannabis. I mentioned the importance of increasing awareness and information about cannabis. However, it is key that this information be rolled out in parallel to a comprehensive regulatory regime. These strict quality controls would ensure that Canadians know what they are buying. We need to monitor product quality to minimize risks to Canadians' health and safety.

Second, we will establish a new, tightly regulated supply chain. Through this regulated supply chain, we can take profits out of illegal markets and away from organized crime. Bill C-45 would bring in serious criminal penalties for those who operate outside the legal market. Together, these measures will foster public safety for Canadian families and communities.

I am privileged to have a strong working relationship with the law e...”

Mr. Andy Fillmore

June 6th
Hansard Link

S. O. 57

“...he question and his keen interest in this file as we move to improve the situation for all Canadian families and communities.

The illegal drug trade flourishes through the use of the plastic bag...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

June 6th
Hansard Link

S. O. 57

“...n fact, the Liberals are limiting debate on this again. How dare we share some of the concerns that families have about exposure of marijuana to their children. We know it harms IQ development. It can...”

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

June 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...partners were to help ensure that the program better responds to the needs of hard-working Canadian families.

In budget 2017, we have also proposed measures to help workers find the right balanc...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, CPC)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ssues raised that we are very much aligned with in terms of supporting pregnant women, mothers, and families, but there are also some practical issues with the bill. Therefore, in my remarks today I would like to talk about some of those different questions and put those considerations on the table for members to draw on as we continue the debate on the bill.

Bill C-345 speaks of the issue of preventive withdrawal, the idea that a pregnant woman who finds she is in an employment situation that may create some risk to her well-being and the well-being of her unborn child may then ask to be reassigned, and if reassignment is not available, she may then need to leave the workplace for the period of time that she is pregnant. In the province of Quebec, under provincial jurisdiction, there is an ability to get paid leave during that time. In other jurisdictions and in the federally regulated workforce, it is possible for a woman to get that time out of the workforce, but she would not receive paid leave during that time.

How a woman in that situation might be able to access that time outside the workforce is an important question. As the mover of the bill rightly put forward, depending on the woman's financial circumstances, there might well be situations in which it would be difficult for her to leave the workforce, so she might remain in a dangerous workplace and take on additional dangers to herself and to her child as a result.

This is a legitimate and important question, and we need to engage with it and look for effective ways of solving it. There are probably a variety of ways of doing this. We can imagine different arrangements that would address that specific situation. Perhaps it could be a more targeted way that looked at those who clearly did not have the level of financial independence they would need to step out of the workforce for that period of time. There could be a range of different ways of addressing the issue.

The bill, in any event, does speak to the question of withdrawal from the workplace and the compensation that would be associated with that withdrawal when there is a risk to the health of the mother and her child.

However, there is another, separate issue, and this is where perhaps the problem arises. I mentioned the distinction between federally and provincially regulated labour forces. Many members will already know that in Canada, some workers are regulated at the provincial level and others are regulated at the federal level. Those different systems of regulation apply in different sectors. About 10% of the workforce across Canada is federally regulated. It is a minority, but it is still a fairly significant portion of the workforce.

On the issue of alignment, we can get into a situation where there can be, in the same place, different rules respecting labour certification, leave, and these kinds of things, depending on which sector one is a part of. People could live in the same city and the same neighbourhood, yet have a different set of labour laws apply to them because of the sector they happen to work in. To some people it may seem unfair that certain benefits are available to someone because they are regulated by a different jurisdiction, but it is a reality of the way labour is regulated in Canada. It is always going to be a reality. The only way to prevent it would be to have complete alignment across all jurisdictions, and that is never going to happen. This labour regulation reflects a reality of our constitution, the spheres of sovereignty that are given to both the provincial and federal governments separately. (1135)

There would be some new problems introduced if the federal government alone tried to achieve perfect alignment of labour rules even in this specific case in each province. If we were to have alignment within individual provinces of the rules that exist, for example, on an issue like preventive withdrawal, then we would have misalignment for federally regulated workers across the country, perhaps even working in the same company.

The member who moved the bill brought up an example in questions and comments that is quite illuminating for the point she talked about, and that is flight attendants. Flight attendants are workers who might seek to withdraw from the workplace during pregnancy because of fear of the impact that the job could have on their well-being and the well-being of their child. On the other hand, companies that employ flight attendants are working across different provincial jurisdictions. This is something that falls squarely into federal jurisdiction because it involves interprovincial transportation.

We would have a situation where flight attendants from Quebec might be working alongside flight attendants from Ontario, Manitoba, or other parts of the country and be subject to a completely different system with respect to the kinds of benefits that they were entitled to.

Although one might say that there is some perspective on fairness to assist them in which two women in the same city, in the same neighbourhood in Quebec, have different labour rules apply to them, one might also say that there is some unfairness if two women who work for the same company, with similar hours, similar situations, similar working conditions, have different rules apply to them because their home bases are located in different places, such as Ottawa and Gatineau.

These are important questions to consider while we look for ways to address this issue of preventive withdrawal to ensure that there is safety in the workplace for everyone and that pregnant women have an opportunity to take the steps they need to protect themselves and their child, while at the same time trying to ensure some degree of consistency and alignment within the federally regulated situation so that a company doing business in a federally regulated sector involved in interprovincial transportation would not have to have completely different structures for different employees in different parts of the country.

In the remaining time that I have, I want to mention a number of other measures that the government should be looking at with respect to supporting women as they have children.

One of those measures is a proposal that our leader put forward during our recent leadership race, which is to make parental leave tax free. This would be an important way of providing income support to families while they are dealing with the loss of income that is associated with being in a parental leave situation. Making parental leave tax free would not create an additional burden for the EI fund, so it would not result in higher payroll taxes. It would provide that benefit back to families but do so through a tax cut that would impact general revenue rather than the EI fund. That is a positive proposal that has come from our new leader and one that I hope the government will consider. We will be happy to applaud the government if it chooses to adopt it, because it is the kind of tax cut that would impact parents precisely in the kind of situation that we are talking about.

One of the other things that I heard a lot about from people in my riding during the election campaign is the need to increase the flexibility of parental leave, especially for those who might want to work a bit while on maternal or parental leave.

There was a time when there was a kind of binary choice. One was either at home with children or at work. Things like the Internet make it so much easier for people to work from home, maybe to take work files home, yet our system for parental leave has not appropriately caught up with that reality. If we made it easier and more flexible for people to work a bit at home while still collecting some of these benefits, it would be easier for them to continue to work a bit and have that balance between work and being at home.

These are some of the other things that the government needs to consider as we go forward, as we seek to modernize and improve the benefits we provide to parents and families.”

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

June 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... the south end of the city of Langford, is seeing explosive growth at the moment, particularly with families with young children. When I go to my constituents and explain to them the benefits that are contained in the legislation, I know that will resonate very much with constituents, particularly in Langford but indeed all across this country.

This enactment would amend the Canada Labour Code to authorize the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to enter into an agreement with the government of a province that would provide for the application, to pregnant or nursing employees, of certain provisions of the provincial legislation concerning occupational health and safety. The bill would also require the minister to prepare a report on the agreements and to cause that report to be laid before Parliament. As someone who feels very strongly about the role of parliamentary oversight on the functions of the executive, I think it is a fantastic way for members of Parliament to keep track of how the executive is doing on its particular programs.

Just to go into a bit more detail, certain provisions would provide the better of the protection between provincial and federal protection to pregnant and nursing employees. It would ensure that women receive the best benefits possible before the child is born and during the breastfeeding period. Bill C-345 could protect women in high-risk work environments, and it would also motivate employers to adapt jobs in order to keep pregnant and nursing employees in the labour force.

Just on those two points, I am home to a riding that has a lot of industries where there are high-risk environments. The bill would elevate the value of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding to the level that our society needs to place on those functions. In bringing forth much-needed equality in our society, we as a society, as a government, and as employers have to put value on those all-important functions of raising the next generation of our children, ensure the supports are there for women, and ensure that everything we do is looked at through that lens of equality.

The bill would put forth an amenable means of delivering the best-possible care to women by giving the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour the ability to consult with provincial governments in order to decide whether the provincial or federal maternal benefits package would better suit constituents on a province-by-province basis. That is an ideal situation. Often, with many different programs, because of that federal-provincial jurisdictional divide that we have, we can end up with a patchwork quilt. I look no further than what happens with benefits that are given under access to justice, particularly with legal aid. We are studying that issue right now in the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and certainly we do see a patchwork quilt. It is unfortunate that the types of benefits people receive are dependent on where they live in this great country of ours.

Finally, Bill C-345 would be able to provide equal pregnancy benefits to all pregnant and nursing employees across a given province once an agreement is reached between the provincial or territorial government and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, regardless of whether the employee's job falls under federal or provincial jurisdiction.

In the previous Parliament, my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, in the 41st Parliament, introduced similar measures, and that is why he made that reference in his speech. It was Bill C-307. While it is unfortunate that Bill C-307 was struck down at its second reading in the previous Parliament, I am glad to see my colleague continuing this fight with Bill C-345. Bill C-345 would expand on the goal of Bill C-307 by allowing pregnant employees and nursing employees to benefit from better programs between the provincial and federal maternity coverage if an agreement has been reached between the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and a provincial or territorial government. (1155)

It also does the all-important thing of streamlining the bureaucratic process to allow employee access to maternity benefits. A great example is the Province of Quebec. I believe it has one of the most comprehensive pregnancy protection plans in Canada. It is certainly something that we can look to as an example.

Ultimately, our goal with the legislation is to better protect nursing or pregnant employees from losing their wages, as well as provide equal protection for all women within a given province or territory with respect to receiving benefits during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period. Many labour organizations that represent thousands of employees across Canada have indicated their support, such as the Canadian Labour Congress, CUPE, PSAC, and CHRC. They have indicated that this is an ideal piece of legislation, and that the House should be supporting it.

From some of the statistics, we know that paid parental leave can be very important for the individual and for society as a whole. A 2011 study done by researchers from Canada and the United States shows how paid parental leave can reduce infant mortality by as much as 10%. Another study found that children were 25% and 22% more likely to get measles and polio vaccines, respectively, when their mother had access to paid maternity leave.

Women who have a protected job and paid leave after birth report fewer depressive symptoms, a reduction in severe depression, and an improvement in overall mental health. If we, as a society, are to place that importance on the health of the mother, I think these are important statistics to be looking at. This is not just with respect to slightly after giving birth; women who have parental leave are much less likely to suffer from depression 30 years on, and so forth.

If we look at single parent households, they are disproportionately negatively affected by the loss of income resulting from parents being unable to continue their position due to pregnancy. Statistics Canada estimates that there were 1,404,010 single parent families in Canada in 2016. These families earned a median household income of $41,780. If we go back to the much-hyped middle-class tax cut that the Liberal government brought in, that actually falls below what those families would have to earn in order to qualify. That is the position that we, in the NDP, have been making all this time. So many of these families fall below the qualifying income level and do not receive the benefits given by that tax cu...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...d out. In other words, the government does not want Canadians to know what the carbon tax will cost families and what impact it will have on the poverty rate and on the gap between rich and poor.

Will the minister rise today and fill in the blanks that exist in the publicly released documents and tell us what the tax will cost those families?”

Hon. Bill Morneau

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... are trying to generate for Canadians is confidence in a bright future for themselves and for their families. We know that the way to do that is through growing the economy and thinking about how that...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...hings that the tax will apply to, like heating their home, turning on the lights, and feeding their families. If people are rich, they still have to do those things, it is just that those expenses represent a much smaller share of their household budget. Therefore, in percentage terms, the rich households are paying much less than the poorer households pay in carbon taxes.

If the members across the way disagree with my analysis, why do they not just remove all of the black ink on these documents and reveal what they say? It stands to reason, given the documented evidence from Statistics Canada, that the data contained here will show that poor families would be disproportionately hammered by this new tax because it is a larger share of their budget that would be taxed. In other words, as a percentage of income, a poor household would actually pay more than a rich household. That is the economic definition of regressive, from a government that tells us every day how progressive it is.

The Liberals also campaigned on transparency. Let us see if they lived up to that promise. In the September 11, 2015 documents, which calculated the impact of a carbon tax. I am going to quote what it says:

In the context of departmental work on the medium-term planning and transition advice on climate change, the memo provides the model based long run economic impacts of various policy scenarios to meet Canada's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas...emissions.

I would continue the sentence, but it is blacked out. It continues:

Environment Canada is in the process of updating their emissions projections and our analysis will be revised once these updated projections are available.

These are supposed to demonstrate what impact the carbon price will have on the emissions of greenhouse gases. Again, all the numbers are blacked out, so we do not even know if this expensive and damaging tax is going to have any successful impact on reducing greenhouse gases, which is the purported purpose of the tax. It goes on:

The estimated economic impacts from [greenhouse gas] mitigation scenarios are based on a computational general equilibrium...model of the world economy. The analysis shows that estimated economic costs (and the resulting carbon price) [will] vary greatly across the chosen mitigation policy.

How high does the tax have to be before it changes people's behaviour to be more conducive to the battle against climate change? Again, we do not know the answer to that question because it too is blacked out. I could go on and on. I have page after page here before me indicating that the government has data that it will not release because it does not want Canadians to know either the effectiveness of its policy or the cost that Canadians will have to bear in order to live under that policy.

I was very optimistic when I saw the finance minister stand in the House of Commons today to speak, that he would reveal the contents of these documents, given that they are housed within his own department and that it is his department that has blacked out those contents. However, no, he did not reveal any of that. Instead, he rambled on about all the spending and programs and government interference that his and the Prime Minister's administration are imposing under the ostensible pretext of battling climate change. If this were really about protecting the environment, then the government would ensure that every extra dollar in so-called carbon pricing that Canadians pay would be returned to them through lower income taxes or lower consumption taxes. The Liberals claim that these are revenue-neutral policies, but how can we possibly know that when they will not reveal what the tax will cost to begin with? (1245)

In every province the carbon tax has been imposed, there has been a net increase in government revenue. In other words, taxpayers have less so governments can have more. This is true even in British Columbia, which has the least damaging carbon tax regime. Recently, the Fraser Institute calculated that in British Columbia taxpayers will be net losers by about $500 to $700 as a result of the carbon tax. In other words, even as the government claims that it is reducing income taxes to compensate people for the higher cost of fossil fuel-based products, the taxpayer is actually a loser and the government, of course as is always the case, is the winner. Hence the need for transparency. Hence the need for Canadian taxpayers to have the ability to look at these documents and find out what in fact it will cost them.

Why is it that a carbon tax is so insidious? The answer is that its costs and impact are hidden. They are deeply embedded in literally thousands of products and it is mathematically impossible on a per unit basis to know what we are actually paying because the tax touches a product so many times as it moves through the supply chain. If a child asks his mother for a bicycle and she buys him one, the tires may have petroleum products in them and therefore the tax will have applied to the tires on that bicycle. There may be other plastics in the making of the bicycle. All of those plastics will have paid a carbon tax. The bicycle may have been transported by rail. Of course, our train lines burn fossil fuels to move products from one market to another. That bicycle is taxed as it travels gently along the railroad track.

I know how much the government and members across the way love bicycles. Many of them in municipal government have spent fortunes on bike lanes. We know how much they love bicycles, but that poor little child is now paying through his mother a carbon tax, probably many carbon taxes, just on the acquisition of that little harmless bicycle that he looks forward to riding down bike lanes in downtown Toronto and in downtown Ottawa.

That is the essence of an insidious tax: everything is hidden. Therefore, the reason we need government to be transparent about its own calculations is so that families know what they are paying. I say to my friends who support carbon taxes, surely if they bel...”

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...tion?

We are deeply troubled despite all this talk of the Liberals' deep commitment to assist families to reduce their energy use and to help Canadians get into the cleaner energy economy. Indee...”

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

June 5th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rd to the 150th birthday celebrations happening in just a few short weeks, I wish members and their families all a happy Canada Day and indeed a happy Dominion Day.”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... memory of all those brave Ukrainians who traversed the oceans in search of a better life for their families and who, in the process, proudly contributed to the rich cultural history of Canada.

...”

Mr. Stephen Fuhr (Kelowna—Lake Country, Lib.)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness I rise to share our condolences with the families and friends of those killed in the attack in London this past weekend. We grieve with those...”

Mr. Mark Holland (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...at we take the safety of our children, we take the safety of our communities, and the safety of our families with the utmost seriousness, and act every day and comport ourselves—”

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

June 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, as a government we understand the challenge workers and their families have had over the last while with the downturn in commodity prices.

Our support for t...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... we achieve? We want to make sure we achieve outcomes for Canadians that really help them and their families. This is what the program we put in place and our plan is doing. By lowering taxes on Canadians and by putting in the Canada child benefit, we helped families get more disposable income. By the way, this helps our economy as well. What we have seen as a result of those measures and other measures is a reduction in unemployment. It means more people are employed, and that, of course, is what we are really trying to do for Canadians. When we say that we are really proud of what has happened in economic growth, it is not just because of economic growth on its own but because of what it means for job opportunities and for the families of Canada in the future. This is what we are trying to achieve.

We know that putting forward Bill C-44 is going to make a real difference for Canadian families. That is why we are looking forward to moving forward with the kind of measures that will h...”

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

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...one other than the finance department.

Let us also not forget that these people are attacking families and the middle class by inventing new taxes on tobacco, on alcohol, Friday night beer or Saturday night wine, and by eliminating the tax credits for sports and arts activities and school textbooks, which helped families directly.

What is even worse is that this budget, in the form of Bill C-44, eliminate...”

Mr. Steven MacKinnon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Lib.)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“..., I would like to remind him that, through the Canada child benefit, we are giving more to Canadian families, young children, and parents, who now have the option of sending their children to music, d...”

Mr. Sean Fraser

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...n is a major issue. What we have seen is a pilot project announced that will see at least 6,000 new families coming to Atlantic Canada to fill the labour needs of our labour market where a Canadian ca...”

Mr. Matt DeCourcey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...increased supports for health care for an aging population, greater supports for veterans and their families, and a focus on job creation and economic growth through support for innovators right across the country.[Translation]

These measures will have a tangible and positive impact on the lives of Canadians, New Brunswickers, and above all, my constituents in the riding of Fredericton, which includes the cities and towns of Fredericton, New Maryland, Oromocto, and the Grand Lake region. (1800) [English]

In budget 2017, we are committed to investing in the health and well-being of Canadians. My home province of New Brunswick has one of the fastest-aging populations in Canada. This demographic reality is not unique to our province, but it represents an opportunity and a potential for New Brunswickers to lead in healthy aging and health care innovation as we seek out the solutions to these challenges.

New Brunswick has already proven itself as a leader in scaling up health care solutions. For instance, just last week here on the Hill, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with the New Brunswick Association for Nursing Homes, spoke about the launching of the New Brunswick Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics Collaborative as a way to improve dementia care in our province. CFHI's original pan-Canadian collaboration, upon which the collaborative was built, saw a reduction in the use of antipsychotic medication by 46% of the residents at Fredericton's York Care Centre.

This is just one example of how innovative approaches are leading to better health care outcomes for patients and better peace of mind for their families. It is a reflection of the potential that New Brunswick offers to serve as a living lab in the demonstration and implementation of innovative health care solutions.[Translation]

In addition, the demographics of New Brunswick are an excellent reflection of Canada's diversity, and this allows for greater innovation in health care.

We are French, we are English, we are indigenous peoples, and we are immigrants. We live in urban and rural communities that are well connected and in close proximity to one another.[English]

When it comes to health care and health care supports, our government has stepped up. First we reached a deal with the Province of New Brunswick and then with the other provinces to see an investment of $11 billion over the next 10 years in health transfers, including in New Brunswick an additional $229.4 million for better home care and mental health supports. That is $125.1 million dedicated to better home care delivery in our province, including critical home care infrastructure requirements, and $104.3 million to be allocated in support of mental health initiatives.

These investments will allow seniors and people aging in our communities to live longer, healthier lives in their homes, reducing the financial and administrative burdens on our already overstretched health care system.

Furthermore, wait times for access to mental health services will be greatly reduced, allowing those experiencing mental health challenges better access to the care and treatment they need and deserve.[Translation]

Our government is making the necessary investments to support the well-being of Canadians, and New Brunswick is well positioned to be a leader in the area of health care.[English]

Veterans and families deserve our unwavering gratitude and support for their sacrifice and service to our country. Those who serve in uniform do so with bravery, honour, and dignity, protecting the values that we cherish most and doing so with their lives.

In budget 2016, our government invested $5.6 billion over six years to deliver greater financial support to veterans with injuries or illnesses incurred during military service.

In budget 2017, we continue to fulfill our commitments to veterans by focusing on the financial security for ill and injured veterans, investing in education and career development in order to help veterans transition into post-military life, and by supporting families.

To provide more financial security for veterans, their families, and caregivers, budget 2017 commits $187.3 million over six years to create the caregiver recognition benefit, which provides $1,000 each month to the caregiver of an ill or injured veteran and better recognizes his or her vital role. We are also increasing the support we provide, and recognizing caregivers directly, by replacing the family caregiver relief benefit with this caregiver recognition benefit. This new tax-free benefit, again of $1,000 a month, will be paid directly to the veteran's caregiver, providing him or her with better financial support.

In order to better support servicewomen and servicemen in their transition to civilian life, budget 2017 will invest $133.9 million over six years to create the new veterans education and training benefit. This will provide up to $80,000 to veterans in support of their pursuit of post-secondary education. This new benefit will provide veterans with the funding for college, university, or technical education of their choice. Veterans with six years of service may be eligible for up to $40,000, and veterans with at least 12 years of service may be eligible for up to $80,000, to cover tuition, course materials, and some incidental and living expenses.

To recognize the vital role played by families of veterans living with physical or mental health issues as a result of their service, budget 2017 proposes to invest $147 million over six years starting in 2016-17, and $15 million per year, ongoing, to expand access to the military family resource centres for families of veterans medically released from April 2018 onward. This would increase the availability...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... of his community, and am particularly very thankful for the work done by the men and women and the families of CFB Gagetown. I am also very good friends with the hardest-working MLA in New Brunswick,...”

Mr. Matt DeCourcey

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...opulations across our country. We are reinvesting in the health and supports for veterans and their families, and in their education and transition back to civilian life. We are developing greater sup...”

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

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ake figure skating lessons or piano lessons. The Liberals are taking away the tools we had given to families and taking more money away from them. The same goes for businesses and people who take publ...”

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

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...more women in the workforce, which has helped boost incomes and the economic well-being of Canadian families. Canadian women are now among the most educated in the world. Nearly three-quarters of working-age women in our labour force hold a post-secondary certificate or degree. More women are working now compared to 30 years ago. Today women account for 47% of the labour force, compared to just 38% in 1976.

All this is good news, good news for our economy and good news for women, but there are still real challenges for women at work, including a persistent wage gap between women and men. This wage gap has narrowed over the last few decades, but we have a long way to go.

Causes of the gender wage gap are complex, though we can single out two as being particularly important. First, women and men still tend to work in different occupations. Jobs that have been traditionally dominated by women often pay less. Second, men are represented much more than women in the highest-paying jobs in Canada. A contributing factor is that women in general work fewer hours each week in paid employment, partly because they still do more unpaid domestic labour, such as caregiving for children and relatives.

Our government is putting in place concrete measures to support women in the workplace and to help close the wage gap: pay equity legislation, measures to increase female representation in senior management, more grants and loans for working women who want to continue their education, changes that make work hours more flexible, and early learning and child care.

Now I would like to move beyond the workplace and talk about employment insurance benefits. Our government is also increasing support to women by improving employment insurance to provide better caregiver, parental, and maternity benefits.[Translation]

No two Canadian families are alike, and parents have unique needs when it comes to balancing their work and family responsibilities. To better help them deal with the challenges of raising a growing family, we announced, in budget 2017, measures to make employment insurance special benefits more flexible.

Budget 2017 announced the creation of a new caregiver benefit, which will help women in particular and give them more support when they need it. Statistics show that women are more likely to be family caregivers and that they devote more time each week to caring for sick family members.

Our government will also allow those who choose to do so to extend their parental benefits from 12 to 18 months. Right now, women use 86% of the total number of weeks of parental benefits. The proposed amendments will allow parents who are caring for a newborn or newly adopted child to choose the type of parental benefits that best suit their family's needs.

Parents can choose to receive parental benefits for a longer period of up to 18 months at a reduced rate or for a period of 12 months at the current rate.

This flexibility will help families who need it.

What is more, in budget 2017, we propose to allow pregnant women to claim employment insurance maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date, which is up from the current standard of eight weeks. This will give families and future mothers more latitude when they need it. (1835) [English]

I...”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...fortunately, many of our parents currently living in poverty are women, in part because many of our families living in poverty are headed by a single mother.

This is very good news for children ...”

Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Madam Speaker, I agree entirely with the view that EI benefits should be helpful for families and workers in need. That is exactly what budget 2017 does, through an increase in the flex...”

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

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...out 50 other people who help serve the poorest of the poor of Winnipeg: people who sniff gas, young families, and people who have very little to call their own. She takes my two oldest children, who are 12 and 10 years old, Xavier and Jacob, and I am left to look after the three younger children, who are eight, six, and five years old. I told the journalist that I would love to do the interview on Sunday, but I have to look after my children, so I asked if we could meet somewhere in my riding downtown, to which he said, “Of course.”

My wife dropped me off on the south side of the Manitoba Museum. As we were doing the interview, a gentleman walked by. He was not dressed in an extremely rich way and did not look wealthy. As the interview was taking place, he asked very quickly if he could have a word with me once I was done the interview. He waited patiently until the interview was completed, my kids waiting patiently with him, and then we had the opportunity of speaking. He has been homeless for a number of years and has been forgotten for a number of years. People do not seem to have cared about him or his wife. They sleep under a bridge in Winnipeg. He told me about how many foster families he had been in throughout his life. He had been in 70, if anyone can believe it. He had been in 70 foster families throughout his life. He was taken by the government and thrown from family to family, with ...”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ty from across the country to advise governments in their jurisdictions on the best way forward for families living with autism. I wonder if the hon. member could explain why he and his government opp...”

Mr. Alexandre Boulerice

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...colleague for his question and for fighting for all of these years for people with autism and their families.

It is completely shameful that the Liberal whip used his authority to block a pan-Canadian strategy that would have been so useful for so many families. It would not have even cost very much for a society that is a member of the G7 and that claims to leave no one behind. Parliament did not keep its word or respect that value in this case.

By way of comparison, during the election campaign, the Liberals promised to eliminate the tax loophole associated with stock options for CEOs, which allows $800 million a year to be given directly to CEOs of the largest Canadian companies. With that money, the government could have given families who are dealing with autism the $3.8 million they are calling for a number of times over. W...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...g a litany of broken promises that have really hit small businesses particularly badly. Seniors and families are tight with a dollar. I have met many of them in the last number of months across the country. They are already feeling the higher tax burden with the carbon tax schemes being implemented across the country.

We are debating a budget and budget implementation. As my colleague from the NDP so rightly commented, the irony of this debate was not lost on me. I want to thank my Jaimie's intern, for helping me prepare some remarks today. I want to anoint a certain member of the House, someone I will call the high commissioner of hubris. We see him regularly. He is a nice guy. He is a friend to us all. He talks a lot in the House. I am going to pull back a few nuggets from his speeches in the past to just show the hubris of the government after less than two years.

Why am I doing this? It is because today the Liberals brought in a time allocation motion, closure, on the debate with respect to budget implementation. Let me point out what someone said a number of years ago in the House on this time allocation practice. He said, “Never before have I ever experienced a government that is so persistent in using time allocation, a form of closure, using it as frequently as [it does].” He went on to say:

Why has the Government House Leader not recognized the value of sitting down with opposition House leaders and trying to work through House business in a fashion in which the government would not be so dependent on having to bring in time allocation on virtually every piece of legislation?

Who said that? The member for Winnipeg North, who is now the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader. Does he forget those comments from a few years ago, where he decried this practice?

What is ironic is this is the least ambitious government in the history of Canada. After only two years, the Liberals have only received royal assent on 19 bills. How many times have they introduced motions for time allocation? It has been 23 times. They have used closure, or tried to, more than they have passed legislation through the Parliament of Canada, yet in the last Parliament, the member from Winnipeg North would howl at the moon if it was used. The Liberals are using closure more than they are passing bills. That is why I have anointed him today the high commissioner of hubris.

Let us hear a little more of that hubris. What is the budget implementation bill? It is an omnibus bill, the dreaded omnibus bills that the Liberals would go around the country saying that the last government was using to destroy democracy as we knew it. What did the member for Winnipeg North say about this type of omnibus bill? He called it “an assault on democracy”. He went on to say, “It is an assault on the House of Commons, the manner in which the majority... government has brought forward budget legislation.”

For the member of Winnipeg North, the high commissioner of hubris, I do feel assaulted. The irony is clear. The last budget implementation bill of the Conservative government was 172 draconian pages, to use the types of words the member would use. (1930)

What is this budget implementation bill? It is 308 pages affecting 30 acts of Parliament. Where is the outrage? Where is the indignation from the high commissioner of hubris? I do not see it. In fact, he is directing this right now in this House. He is in charge of the record use of time allocation and omnibus bills that are approaching the sky in length.

I would note that there is a certain irony that the Prime Minister said, just a few months ago, in response to talking about reforming and making this place better, because when he does come, he answers a lot of questions, “I hope that future prime ministers will not make excessive use of omnibus bills and will not resort to prorogation to avoid problematic situations.”

The member for Winnipeg North should tell his Prime Minister that they have used closure motions more times than they have passed bills through this House of Commons. It is almost a ridiculous record of failure. In some ways, as a Conservative, I am glad the Liberals are so lacking in ambition, because they would be doing more damage if they had more than 19 bills receiving royal assent.

Why are we here? I have to also comment on the member for Kelowna—Lake Country. He said earlier in this House, and then recited a bunch of things going back to Mackenzie King, “We are proceeding exactly the way we said we would.” He talked about being a Conservative and all that stuff.

What did the Liberal platform say with respect to budgeting? I am going to remind the member for Kelowna—Lake Country that it said:

With the Liberal plan, the federal government will have a modest short-term deficit of less than $10 billion in each of the next two fiscal years.... After the next two fiscal years, the deficit will decline and our...plan will return Canada to a balanced budget in 2019/20.

Someone should ask the member for Kelowna—Lake Country if $28.5 billion is more than $10 billion, because he broke his promise to the voters of his riding. The record cuts to the Department of National Defence under his watch are also a broken promise, so he is proceeding exactly how he said he would, I guess.

I said several times across this country that it saddens me profoundly that the finance minister's own department projects that the Liberals will not return to balance until 2055. As I often said as I was travelling across this country, my daughter Mollie, who is 10 years old, will be older than I am by the time the Liberals' plan can get to balance. That is a failure for a generation of Canadians, at a time when the global economy is not in massive recession, as it was in 2008-09. There is not a need for stimulus and growing every part of government, yet the reckless spending means future taxes for our children and more taxes in the future for small business.

They have to look at this astounding record. I do not know how a single government member could defend this in his or her riding. The Liberals have raised taxes on families. They have raised taxes on small business. They brought in a nationalized carbon tax. They ...”

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

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... more more money for the first year than the government plans to invest during the fifth year. Some families pay up to $1,600 a month per child for child care. No matter how hard you work, that is a gaping hole in the household budget. (2040)

The Liberals are also cutting the public transit tax credit that helped many people save up to $200 a year. Families expect this government to work for them, but clearly it prefers to gift $725 million annual...”

Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...because the 10-year agreement does not account for increased costs.

As we know, more and more families are grappling with problems such as autism. The population is getting older. Health care needs are great and the federal government has to be there to support families and individuals when it comes to health. I totally agree with my colleague.”

Mrs. Karen Vecchio

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...would be able to buy a brand new car as of today. I want to put that into perspective, because most families are buying a used car or cannot afford a car at all.

The government is spending all of this money. If we are looking at $62.8 billion just in interest in 2015-16, let us put that into what really matters. The member who sits beside me could buy the Toronto Maple Leafs 62 times over. Everybody knows how wealthy the Toronto Maple Leafs team is. Our debt is 62 times the worth of the Toronto Maple Leafs. We could buy 315 F-35 fighter jets. Would that not be wonderful for our troops? Instead, we have to worry about a debt that will continue on.

I look at the effects this will have on our generations. We talk about the debt, but we really do not understand the effects of that debt. What will that mean to the future of our health care system or our our educational system? How will that affect the environment, something so important to the government? How will that affect the government if we spend all of the money today? Later on we will be unable to afford anything. It concerns me because as we move forward with the great plans of the government, all we see is debt. We have already discussed that the debt we are accumulating is all on borrowed money. Who is going to pay this debt back? Debt and deficit do not seem to be key words for the government, but for most families it is. (2140)

As the critic for family, children, and social development, what would...”

Mr. Anthony Housefather (Mount Royal, Lib.)

June 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...g dragged out of a plane against his will when there was an overbooking in the United States, about families being separated on flights in Canada, with children being told they could not fly with thei...”

Mr. Chandra Arya (Nepean, Lib.)

June 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ank them for all their hard work.

Since 2009, there has been a 150% increase in the number of families who use the Food Cupboard every month. This increasing demand for its support has outgrown ...”

Mrs. Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Whitby, Lib.)

June 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...g the Brooklin Spring Fair. Our community will welcome more than 30,000 visitors. I look forward to families participating in the parade, at the midway, and in learning about agriculture in our community.

I wish to thank the board of directors and volunteers for their hard work and dedication to the success of this fair. Each year they strive to make this a cannot-miss-event in Whitby. We certainly know how to end Tourism Week with a bang.

Today, third grade students will be enjoying education day. Families can explore farming in the 21st century at Agri-Land. New for 2017, the young and young at ...”

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

June 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...Over the years, the town has been well managed and has developed a strong sense of community; young families that live there enjoy a high qualty of life.

I would be remiss if I did not mention t...”

Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

June 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague knows that Canada is taking a leadership role. We owe it to Canadian families and Canadian workers, and some may be watching us this morning. When it comes to trade, Can...”

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

June 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our government remains fully committed to ensuring that first nations children and families have access to the services and the supports they need. To this day, more than 4,900 reques...”

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

June 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...-in-law who has worked so hard when it comes to understanding, and she actually goes out to counsel families.

I had to bring this down to what it really meant. The moment I said that my son Chri...”

Mr. Mark Strahl (Chilliwack—Hope, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...that this is a good project, that this is good for Canadian energy workers and for the middle-class families who work hard every day to put food on the table. That is what this is about. It is about s...”

Mr. Mark Strahl

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...now in my own riding there were people who travelled back and forth to the oil sands, leaving their families for weeks and sometimes months at a time, to put food on the tables in Chilliwack. It is 1,...”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...er mentioned job losses. Certainly, the sharp downturn in commodity prices affected the men, women, families, and communities in Alberta, and indeed across the country. I will go back to my colleague ...”

Hon. Jim Carr

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...sured in rigs being closed, barrels cut, or investments deferred, but they are felt in the lives of families and experienced in hard conversations around kitchen tables. We took action to support families in the energy sector by extending EI benefits in affected regions, including parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, northern Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We also provided additional support to families in the prairie provinces under the Canada child benefit.

To give more Canadians greater access to good, well-paying jobs, our government invested in training for unemployed and underemployed workers and will develop a new framework to support union-based apprenticeship training.

For families in Alberta and British Columbia, the Trans Mountain expansion project offers much-needed he...”

Mr. Marc Miller (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ic viability of Canada's waterways and natural resources.

Many jobs that support middle-class families and the products we consumer every day depend on our ability to manage our resources and sh...”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ing this, the Prime Minister noted that this decision is a major win for Canadian workers, Canadian families, and the Canadian economy, now and into the future.

This was a decision that was not ...”

Mr. Wayne Long

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...out government investment, 15,000 jobs that will change communities and change the lives of so many families across this country?

This project will provide a $7.4-billion injection into Canada's...”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...resource sector and the energy industry to put food on the table and a roof over the heads of their families.

Unfortunately, to no one's surprise, our Prime Minister made the announcement but ha...”

Mr. Darshan Singh Kang (Calgary Skyview, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... points of view.

I am proud of all those who have made a better life for themselves and their families through hard work, contributing to a better Canada for all.

I have always believed th...”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...progress is being made. The Canada child benefit is transforming and changing lives of thousands of families from coast to coast to coast.

In budget 2017, money directed toward a national housin...”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...or his friends at Bombardier. However, when he actually has the chance to do some good for Canadian families, the answer is no.

Conservatives offered a compassionate response to the challenges faced by families struggling with autism, and it would have cost less per year than the bonus of one Bombardi...”

Hon. Jane Philpott (Minister of Health, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d benefit and the Canada disability credit.

We will all work together to address the needs of families affected by autism.”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the whole-of-government response was “no” to families facing autism challenges.

Yesterday I sat down with Amy Chang. Her parents, John Chan...”

Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...action on softwood lumber. It was only after communities took action. Hundreds of workers and their families demonstrated in the streets to make the government understand just how much of an impact U....”

Mr. Omar Alghabra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs), Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ngaged on this file. I personally spoke with Amy last October. Our door is always open to meet with families of loved ones who are abroad, and we will never stop until we resolve this case.”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ment's aid package for the softwood industry is too little, too late for forestry workers and their families. Mills are already closing down across the country and this money will not bring those jobs...”

Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...to announce $24 million for 26 cultural and recreational projects across Quebec to support seniors, families with children, newcomers, and multicultural communities. We understand that infrastructure ...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er, we recognize that autism spectrum disorder has a significant impact on those affected and their families. That is why our government allocated nearly $39 million to the Canadian Institute for Adva...”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... and gas sector. The sharp drop in oil prices has taken a heavy toll on the men and women and their families who depend on the industry for their livelihoods, not just in Alberta or Saskatchewan or Ne...”

Mr. John Oliver (Oakville, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ention. It would get hard-working Canadians back to work and put food on the table for middle-class families across Canada.

For example, in my riding of Oakville is Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. This local operates the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario, which trains crane operators and heavy equipment operators on exactly how to build pipelines and how to work the equipment that puts them in.

Why does the hon. member not have faith in the operating engineers of Canada to build a safe pipeline? What would she say to the families in my community that are getting trained and those across Canada that she would put out of ...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...da will get the income, and can use that income generated through their labour to provide for their families. It is not the dollars that matter, it is what can be done with those dollars that matters. The fairy tale is that the government has actually done something, has produced something, has helped someone, when it has not.

Approval is an expression of moral support. In this case, the NEB gave its approval. The government did approve it after vast amounts of evidence was provided to the fact that it was in the national interest.

What we are asking the Liberals to do is to walk the walk, do something, do more than what they are doing now. We do not want them to just talk. I fully expect the members on the Liberal side to vote for the motion. It is such a reasonable motion before the House. It will test the will of Parliament. It will see where Parliament is at. It will ensure that every single member of this House supports a project that is in the national interest.

What we want is confirmation of continued government support. We want to know that the Prime Minister will actually travel to British Columbia and advocate for this project, like he has advocated for other public policy initiatives that he has supported. We want to see other members, especially members from British Columbia, advocating for a pipeline that is in the national interest too. Alberta members would be more than pleased to do so as well. We have done so in the past.

The promotion of the project is also the promotion of the process that led to its approval. By voting for this motion, we are basically voting to confirm both, that the construction of the pipelines by private companies is in the national interest, and that it produces a good that allows another good to flow through it. It also provides an opportunity to confirm that the approval process was the right one, especially with what we see with the B.C. Green Party and B.C. NDP. What they are proposing is an immediate halt to any opportunity that this pipeline has of being built. The tens of thousands of jobs that come with it are absolutely at risk. The agreement says, “immediately employ every tool available to the new government to stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the seven-fold increase in tanker traffic on our coast, and the transportation of raw bitumen through our province..”.

That is what the new coalition of political parties intends to do in British Columbia. We know that they are supported by a great many voters. There is a coalition of voters who actually voted for the federal Liberals in the 2015 election that support them. In great part, that support they received was on the broken promises that they would somehow no longer approve pipelines or grind everything to a halt. That was the greatest fear in Alberta, that the main industry that workers and families in Alberta rely on for the income that generates prosperity and the high incomes we enjoy would be taken away.

Alberta is landlocked. It is something that we all recognize, just as is Saskatchewan. Our only opportunity for export is through other provinces or through the United States. We would think that we could count on the federal government and our brothers and sisters in another province to allow us to export a product that generates so much wealth and opportunity.

The NEB approval and the Liberal government's news releases and carefully scripted speeches are not worth the paper they are written on, if they allow the political enemies of this pipeline to oppose it regardless of jurisdiction or the evidence. (1725)

It undermines the entire Canadian regulatory process. If we can do it on this matter, we can do it on anything else. If the provincial government, for any reason can oppose it, in whatever avenue it is done, then it undermines the entire Canadian regulatory process.

British Columbia has yet to issue dozens of permits to build and operate the pipeline. I think that is key. We focus a lot on the construction of the pipeline, but there is also the maintenance and the operation of it over time. We are talking about the doubling of the capacity of the line essentially.

What do investors into the Trans Mountain IPO think right now? We know that the company's share value is going down, but what are they supposed to think? What can they expect from the government? What type of signal does it send to the market when we are basically saying a provincial government, with allies I have mentioned who backed the present Liberal government in the previous election, is going to be actively now opposing it on the ground, whether it is through legal avenues, regulatory avenues, or permitting avenues, which are fully within the control of the British Columbia government?

Can they count on the words, from the heart out, from the Prime Minister? Is that the least they can count on? Is that all they will receive? Or will they receive actual help on the ground? I wonder. It is one of those fairy tales.

This pipelines and the tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs it creates are for the general advantage of Canada. I ask myself, are the 17 Liberal MPs from British Columbia going to fight for these tens of thousands of jobs in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, throughout all of Canada? Will they fight for them? Will they stand up to be counted?

An article in today's Financial Post spoke about the potential mess that might be left to the Prime Minister. It says, “Already, there is lots of talk in Alberta about retaliation involving obstructing passage of trains from the Port of Vancouver to the rest of Canada through Alberta, or of B.C. gas moving through Alberta to U.S. markets.”

This is what happens when we have a lack of leadership from the federal government, when we have everyday people, everyday families, starting to pressure their government in these jurisdictional fights, pressuring them to b...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...o are tired of being abused, people who are tired of starving and being unable to provide for their families. Now, 1,329 of these people are still being detained today, 355 of them have received a tri...”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...I also want to speak to the parents in Whitby. Whitby is a bedroom community and there are a lot of families within Whitby, and I would like to speak to the parents because I am a parent myself.

..”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...dulterated with even more dangerous drugs.

I have travelled across this country and spoken to families whom I have also worked hard to protect. They have told me they are worried about the healt...”

Mr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette

June 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“There probably is. Many of us are workaholics and we are away from our families. It is not a normal lifestyle.

How do we then combat, for instance, alcoholism or dru...”

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

June 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...gineer of a train hauling hazardous materials through our communities or that the pilots flying our families have not consumed marijuana? What are we saying to the organizations that employ these peop...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, this week we are thinking of the families of murdered and missing indigenous women as the inquiry finally begins its first week of hearing testimony. I hope it is going as well for them as possible now that they are finally being heard. Getting at the cause of thousands of murdered and missing indigenous women is crucial to our country, but almost a year after the inquiry's launch, families are still feeling left out and now concern and frustration is growing, as articulated by the families.

We have this one week of hearings, but then things will be suspended until the fall. It is time for the government to own up to its mistakes and to remedy them. The commissioners and the government cannot continue on the path they have taken so far. Is appropriate funding fully available to the commissioners and is the government doing everything it can to support the families of murdered and missing indigenous women?

Many times we have heard government members on the other side say, and I quite agree with them, that they are committed to concurrent implementation, that we do not need to wait until the end of the inquiry to take action on the things we already know as a country we need to do to make women safe and bring justice to indigenous families.

Here is one set of directions New Democrats would have hoped the government would have taken already.

Ten years ago, Cindy Blackstock filed a human rights complaint about discrimination against first nations children. Since then, the government has not taken action, despite a court order and three non-compliance orders. The federal government is guilty of racially discriminating against 163,000 first nations children, says the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. An investment of $155 million is all that the government needed to end this discrimination. It was not found in last month's budget and last week's Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling said that two teenage suicides in the Wapekeka First Nation reserve might be blamed on the federal failure to implement Jordan's principle and comply with the now four Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders.

Following the budget tabled for 2017, Cindy Blackstock said:

There’s nothing new in the budget for First Nations children and their families, in child welfare, or their implementation of the Jordan’s Principle...even though they...”

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

June 1st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...nt inquiry, the commission is determining how best to achieve its mandate, including how to contact families and conduct family and survivor hearings. This inquiry is a crucial step toward understanding and addressing the underlying systemic challenges that have contributed to the unacceptable rates of violence against indigenous women and girls.

Our government is concerned about what we are hearing from the families who fought so hard to get this national inquiry in place. We have read the letters from families. They are making heartfelt suggestions and asking important questions.

The commission has responded to the letter and committed to changing, especially when it comes to communicating. We are seeing that on display now in Whitehorse, as families are being heard and commissioners are accessible.

The government remains committed to working with indigenous governments and communities, with the provinces and territories, and with other key partners to end this national tragedy.

This government has taken immediate action on the root causes, with investments in women's shelters, housing, education, and child welfare. Budget 2017 will invest an additional $3.4 billion in indigenous priorities over the next five years. It builds on budget 2016's historic investment of $8.4 billion in government-wide spending on indigenous programs, and will result in a combined increase in funding for indigenous programs of 27% by the year 2021-22. These investments are being made in the priorities of indigenous communities, including health care, education, housing, and critical infrastructure.

This government has also funded family information liaison units to assist families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in finding the answers they need from government agencies. They are located in provincial and territorial victim services to better provide help and services to address trauma. The services are required to be trauma-informed and culturally responsive. Jurisdictions are expected to work with indigenous organizations to achieve this goal.

Family information liaison units will work directly with families of missing or murdered indigenous women and girls to gather the outstanding information they seek from government agencies and organizations related to the loss of their loved ones, and will coordinate and gather information from various systems and agencies at all levels of government.

Additional funding has been made available for indigenous organizations for complementary services to victims and families. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada will work collaboratively with all parties to ensur...”

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor

June 1st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...e started this week in Whitehorse. It is very important that the commission continues to inform the families about what they are doing and their work plan, and will always consider what is best for the families.

We are determined to do the right thing for the survivors and families, to honour the spirits and memories of those we have lost, and to protect future generation...”

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

May 31st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...effort, and knowledge. I am a proud supporter of Winnipeg Pride.

I was asked by the women and families at the powwow to talk about the murder and missing indigenous women and girls inquiry and t...”

Mr. David Tilson (Dufferin—Caledon, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

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

Mr. Michael McLeod (Northwest Territories, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...es of over 50%, and in some it is as high as 73%. This health inequity places an enormous burden on families, communities, and the economy.

With the renewal of Canada's federal tobacco control s...”

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...istorical piece about a small town in the region, in 1867. The play depicts the life of two typical families in those days, one French and one Irish, and their relationships with neighbours and the vi...”

Mr. Mark Holland (Ajax, Lib.)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...jured hundreds of others, ripped our hearts. Our thoughts today are with the front-line workers and families of the victims. That this attack occurred during the holy month of Ramadan, a time of refle...”

Hon. Denis Lebel (Lac-Saint-Jean, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Liberals could have used that $13 billion to help the families of Canadians with autism. That would have been a good idea.

During the campaign, the ...”

Hon. Maxime Bernier (Beauce, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...is bad for future generations.

What will this government do to create jobs for young Canadian families?”

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

May 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...derstand deeply the extent to which people will go to seek protection for both themselves and their families, but we strongly discourage people from crossing our borders irregularly. Canada is committ...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...unemployment of many Canadian workers in this very important industry who are able to sustain their families with good jobs.”

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

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... influence of alcohol or drugs.

In all our ridings, impaired driving upends lives, devastates families, and ravages communities. While the rate of impaired driving has been on the decline since ...”

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Niagara Falls, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...dismissed. I find it ironic that they would abolish the $200 victim surcharge for murdered victims' families in the name of alleviating financial hardship on the convicted, yet would seek to financial...”

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

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...addictions and put the lives of innocent people at risk.

Members will recall the organization Families For Justice founded by Markita Kaulius, who lost her daughter. I want to recognize her, and I think of her in the context of safety and impaired driving. These victims and their families are asking elected members to send a clear message: it is unacceptable to drive while impai...”

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

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nguage of our infrastructure minister. We can see it in the language of the minister I work with in families, children and social development. We can also see it in our new relationship with the munic...”

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ey do not drive. Unfortunately, we see far too many examples of innocent people, children, or whole families killed on our highways by people who have gotten behind the wheel when they should never ha...”

Mr. Larry Maguire (Brandon—Souris, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...boo—Prince George, lost his brother to a drunk driver over 20 years ago. I ask that we keep these families in mind as we prepare to carefully, hopefully in a non-partisan manner, get this legislatio...”

Mr. Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood, CPC)

May 31st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... the communities in this country are going to experience with the bill. There are going to be other families. I just happened to be at this household at this time.

In the province of Saskatchewa...”

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

May 31st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...y use their experience and their expertise to promote and support members of the military and their families. They provide leadership and mentorship and foster camaraderie in units across the country....”

Hon. Jane Philpott (Minister of Health, Lib.)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...rnment recognizes the impact that Lyme disease has had and continues to have on Canadians and their families and appreciates the hard work of all who contributed to the framework.[English]

Throu...”

Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley—Aldergrove, CPC)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... while drunk. Kassandra's family members are devastated, and they are part of an association called Families for Justice.

The petitioners are calling for the crime of driving impaired and killin...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...signatures.

The petitioners recognize that starting only 30 days after their arrival, refugee families are required to pay back, with interest, the costs of their transportation loan to Canada, ...”

Hon. Rob Nicholson (Niagara Falls, CPC)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...spects of our justice, health, and public safety systems, and more important, their daily lives and families. It is not enough, I would like to point out, to say we are going to shove all these things over to the province and let them figure it out. There is a responsibility for the federal government to get it right.

If all these problems with accessibility alone were not sufficient to highlight the shortcomings of Bill C-45, please note that the Prime Minister and his government proposed that the legal age to purchase marijuana be 18 years of age. For a government that claims to espouse and produce evidence-based policy, this provision is clearly off the mark. All we have to do is ask any doctor, health organization, or health expert. For one, the scientific evidence overwhelmingly confirms that the human brain does not fully develop until individuals reach their mid-twenties.

The Canadian Medical Association, as I have pointed out, has already warned the government that the use of cannabis may have significant psychological impacts on brain development up to the age of 25, and recommends that 21 be the youngest acceptable age to legalize the purchase of marijuana. Indeed, the position of the Canadian Paediatric Society likewise urges the government to consider the dangers of so young an age to purchase marijuana. Again, the government keeps talking about protecting children but it completely ignores the evidence. Indeed, the co-author of that position paper, Dr. Christina Grant, has stated, at the very least, the levels of THC must be limited until after the age of 25 to be considered safe for brain health.

Once again, Bill C-45 lacks crucial information. Why are the Liberals ignoring this crucial scientific information, information that has a tangible impact on the health and best interests of Canadians? It is not enough to say we are ignoring all the evidence and let the provinces figure this out. That is not good enough.

Further, while drafting the legislation, the Liberal government had plenty of time to study the impact of marijuana legalization in several jurisdictions in the United States. Instead of learning from the mistakes and challenges that have befallen these states, the government decided to ram the legislation through. Again, this will be a complete detriment to Canadians.

I will give members a couple of examples of what we are talking about.

First is the fact that our American counterparts have found an increase in impaired driving following the legalization of marijuana in certain jurisdictions. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice found that on Colorado roads, during the year following legalization of marijuana, there has been a 32% increase in deaths related to marijuana-impaired driving. That is completely unacceptable.

There is little doubt that Canadians will see a similar increase of drug-impaired driving if marijuana is legalized. In fact, statistics have already shown that this is a serious problem. According to the Canadian student tobacco, alcohol and drugs survey, nearly one in five Canadian high school students have been a passenger in a car whose driver had recently smoked marijuana.

Canadians of all ages are very confused about the many existing myths regarding smoking and driving. For example, in a 2014 poll, 32% of Canadian teens believed that driving high is less dangerous than driving drunk. The perpetuation of this kind of thinking will have serious consequences. A report prepared by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse states that Canadians 16 to 19 years of age are more likely to drive two hours after ingesting marijuana than they would be two hours after drinking.

The World Health Organization, on the other hand, has been clear in debunking this myth. It has stated:

Evidence suggests that recent cannabis smoking is associated with substantial driving impairment, particularly in occasional smokers, with implications for work in safety-sensitive positions or when operating a means of transportation, including aircraft.... Complex human/machine performance can be impaired as long as 24 hours after smoking a moderate dose of cannabis and the user may be unaware of the drug's influence.... (1310)

In light of this information, Bill C-45 does not provide sufficient avenues to educate young people about the undeniable danger of driving high. Should the government insist on ramming this legislation through, it should seriously take into account the importance of public awareness campaigns in protecting young people.

Ultimately, actions speak louder than words, and legalizing marijuana sends the wrong message to young Canadians that pot is a benign judge, that it is not a cause for concern. In reality, the government cannot guarantee that more children and teenagers will not be injured in motor vehicle accidents, if not worse, as a result of increased access to marijuana. This, beyond doubt, is something the government should have considered seriously before trying to ram this bill through Parliament in an attempt to live up to a campaign promise.

Another important and threatening problem facing jurisdictions that have legalized marijuana is the increase in cannabis-related hospitalizations. We have already established the research that proves marijuana can have dangerous effects on children's brain development and overall health.

In Colorado, these studies have had far-reaching and tangible consequences. According to a recent report by the Colorado Department of Health, hospitalization involving patients with marijuana exposure and diagnosis tripled from around 803 per 100,000 between 2001 and 2009 to 2,413 per 100,000 after marijuana was legalized. That is about three times as many people who were hospitalized. This serves as a cautionary guideline for how children will be impacted by easy access and exposure to pot.

A report by the Rocky Mountain HIDTA states, “the number of Colorado children who’ve been reported to a poison control center or examined at a hospital for unintentional marijuana exposure annually has spiked since the state legalized recreational cannabis...”

These statistics are not inconsequential. Once again, why has the government ignored the lessons our peers have faced after legalizing marijuana? Answers to these challenges are certainly not found in Bill C-45.

The gaping holes in the legislation are indisputable. If homegrown marijuana plants are permitted, coupled with alarming and unanswered questions related to marijuana edibles, children will clearly have easier access to the substance. Given the bill's ambiguity on how much cannabis constitutes an offence, children and teenagers may possess and distribute up to four grams of marijuana with no clear recourse to protect them. Setting the age of majority for marijuana use at 18 promotes a lax approach to brain development and public safety.

Finally, the government's unwillingness to acknowledge the fact that comparable jurisdictions have faced critical health and safety challenges as a result of their similar legalization processes is not only reckless but unfair to Canadians who put their trust in their members of Parliament.

While the risks to children constitute my greatest concern with Bill C-45, there are numerous other problems that go unaddressed in the legislation. One of these is the fact that the bill provides little to no clarity on the degree of flexibility that the government will allocate to provincial governments and municipal law enforcement to implement this. Additionally, the bill does not sufficiently address the costs for retraining officers given the changes to the Criminal Code.

Moreover, the questions surrounding Canada-U.S. border crossings should legalization take place is particularly worrisome to me, as my constituents in Niagara Falls live right across from our American neighbours and often have the occasion to travel to the United States. Taking note of the fact that most American border states have not legalized recreational marijuana, the discrepancy in policy could greatly impact, among other things, the waiting time to cross the border. (1315)

The former U.S. ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, has expressed his doubts regarding efficiency at the border and the legalization of marijuana. His primary concern is the fact that border patrol dogs are not trained to distinguish marijuana scents from other prohibited items.

He stated:

The dogs are trained to have reactions to certain scents. Some of those scents start with marijuana. Others are something that are significantly more challenging for the border. But the dog doesn't tell you this is marijuana and this is an explosive...

The dog reacts, and these border guards are going to have to appropriately do an investigation. That could slow the border down.

My constituents, and all of the 400,000 Canadians who travel to the United States every day, are deeply concerned about the waiting times and they want them to be as expeditious as possible. How can the government ensure that these delays will not affect Canadian business people, families visiting loved ones or even Canada-U.S. relations writ large? Bill C-45 is silent on yet an...”

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

May 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ustry in which independent and otherwise law-abiding people attempt to support themselves and their families. They are meeting demands in their communities. Basically, it is something that most Canadi...”

Hon. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary Forest Lawn, CPC)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, unemployed Canadians want to get back to work and support their families. The natural resources of Alberta have to get to the international market. Canadians are ve...”

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

May 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, families need the murdered and missing inquiry to be successful. We recognize that the hearings are ...”

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

May 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... we are committed to ending this ongoing national tragedy. As family member Bernie Williams stated, families have fought too long and hard for this much-needed inquiry to abandon it and them now.

The commission has publicly acknowledged the need for increased communication and that families must be at the centre of the inquiry. The commission is committed to culturally sensitive a...”

Mrs. Sherry Romanado (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...reer is key to the financial security and mental and physical well-being of many veterans and their families. We are proudly fulfilling our commitment to deliver an education benefit for veterans. Thi...”

Ms. Pam Goldsmith-Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... progressive way possible. Trade means growth, and growth means jobs for Canadian workers and their families and opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses.”

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

May 30th
Hansard Link

S. O. 57

“...he Liberal members did not have enough time. They did not hear our message or that of Canadians and families living with autism. That is why this afternoon the Liberals voted against the opposition motion to help people and families living with autism. They needed more time.

Unfortunately, paragraph (j) of Motion No....”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...llows:

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. Palliative care:

provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;

affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;

intends neither to hasten or postpone death;

integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;

offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;

offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement;

uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;

will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;

is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.

There is consensus among academics, health professionals, and the public that improvements in the palliative care system in Canada are desperately needed. Without clear national standards, individual jurisdictions are left to develop their own policies, programs, and approaches, resulting in inconsistent and inadequate access across the country. In Ontario, for instance, 40% of cancer patients do not receive a palliative assessment in their last year of life. In some regions of Atlantic and western Canada, data shows that less than half of people who die in a hospital receive palliative care. (1735)

The number of individuals actively caring for a friend or family member is expected to increase as Canada's population ages. On average, Canadians estimate that they would have to spend 54 hours per week to care for a dying loved one at home, and two-thirds say they could not devote the time needed for this care. Currently, family caregivers provide more than 80% of care needed by individuals with long-term conditions at home, in long-term care facilities, and in hospital. Replacing family caregivers with a paid workforce at current market rates and usual employee benefits has been estimated to cost about $25 billion.

Furthermore, according to a synthesis of the empirical literature, palliative family caregiving for older adults is gendered. When acting as caregivers, women experience a greater degree of mental and physical strain than their male counterparts. This is linked to the societal expectation that women should provide a greater degree of care at the end of life for family members.

Remarkably, there are many jurisdictions across the country where we do not even know how many Canadians receive quality palliative care. We lack consistent and ongoing data collection at a systemic level, which leaves us unable to effectively hold our health care systems accountable.

Indicators such as location of death, use of acute care before death, and referrals to formal palliative care show that there is significant room for improvement. Many Canadians who require palliative care receive it in acute and emergency care, if they receive it at all. Not only are acute care settings more costly than dedicated palliative care, but they are also not as well equipped to provide the most appropriate treatment and care for patients and their families.

It is vital that any national palliative care strategy take into account the geograp...”

Mr. Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West, CPC)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ness about the wealth of resources and opportunities available year-round to help seniors and their families navigate the journey of aging.

I was pleased to hear recently that it has added additional palliative care facilities at its Glengarry facility. It was through my involvement with the Eldercare Foundation that I encountered first-hand the many issues that seniors and their families face now: the difficulty of obtaining proper care for seniors, proper facilities, and proper understanding of the unique situations and issues they face. I owe a lot to the many volunteers and staff whom I worked with at the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, and I know they too would be supporting this excellent bill.

Alleviating the suffering of Canadians is a collective duty of the House, regardless of political agenda or party affiliation. Whether in hospitals or at home, Canadians should not have to go without the care they need simply because there is not sufficient support. Our society is capable of providing the best care for our citizens, and Bill C-277 provides a framework to utilize and implement these resources. This bill helps to promote good health while preserving the independence of Canadians in need of health support. As a Conservative, I am a proud supporter of this bill, which will invest in long-term and palliative care, which the Liberals have failed to do despite their many promises.

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Carter v. Canada established that Canadians have a right to physician-assisted dying. We debated Bill C-14, and while I opposed the legislation, the House and Senate passed it and it received royal assent almost a year ago. One of the key aspects of the Carter decision, however, was its call for an advancement of palliative care as a means of increasing Canadians' access to compassionate health care. The Carter decision is intended to ensure that Canadians can make a legitimate choice regarding their own health care, and one of those options is to receive adequate palliative care, care that is focused on providing individuals who have a terminal illness with relief from pain, physical and mental stress, and the symptoms of their illness. It is intended to ensure that those who are at the end of their life can pass peacefully, with dignity and without pain.

The Carter decision enabled Canadians to pursue assisted dying, but it also established an obligation on the government to ensure all Canadians can access proper, adequate, and compassionate end-of-life care. Right now, we are not getting the job done. We are not in any imagination fulfilling our obligations as a society in caring for those in need of care. For example, a survey of pre-licensure pain curricula in the health science faculties of 10 Canadian universities shows many would-be doctors receive less training in pain management than their counterparts in veterinary medicine. I am sure my dog Hailey, who is no doubt at home on my couch right now as I speak, finds this reassuring, but as someone formerly involved in senior care, I find it quite distressing.

A survey of more than 1,100 doctors and nurses shows that those who treat fewer terminally ill patients, therefore knowing the least about symptom management, are most likely to be in favour of assisted suicide, while those with more experience in symptom management and end-of-life care tend to oppose it. Dr. Max Chochinov, a noted specialist on palliative care, explains that the will to live is directly inverse to the amount of pain, and that loss of dignity drives wanting to die and treatment of pain can improve sense of dignity.

We also have to remember the impact of terminal illness on a family: the emotional, physical, and financial struggle of caring for a loved one at the end of their life. Under the current regime, it is up to families to carry the overwhelming bulk of this burden. This system is not fair. People should not have to choose between paying bills and caring for their spouse, their parents, or their siblings.

We have heard horror stories time and time again from families who were completely ambushed by palliative and in-home care costs after their loved one got sick, and these instances are becoming more and more common. The health minister herself has acknowledged many times that Canada has a deficit in access to quality palliative care, yet despite her pledges to do more and provide more, she has neglected to take meaningful action to date. Canada's population as a whole is growing older, and seniors now outnumber children. (1745)

I said before in my speech to the RRIF financial security act—another bill that would have helped seniors, which the Liberals voted against—that we need to be ready to have the proper programs and mechanisms in place to adapt to our shifting demographics.

A recent Globe and Mail article states that, according to the 2016 census, we have seen “the largest increase in the share of seniors since the first census after Confederation”. Across Canada, the increase in the share of seniors since the 2011 census “was the largest observed since 1871—a clear sign that Canada’s population is aging at a faster pace”. That figure is projected to rise even more in the coming years. The proportion of those aged 65 and older climbed to 17% of Canada's population. This is not a new phenomenon obviously.

A September 2015 Statistics Canada report noted that, by 2024, 20% of our population will be over the age of 65, so we need action plans in place to address this shift, this massive wave that is going to be overtaking our health care systems. The provinces are going to be faced with an epidemic soon enough of people trying to access systems that are not capable of supporting the demand. Less than 30% of Canadians have access to this vital service, which allows them to choose to live as well as they can for as long as they can.

It is time for the government to fulfill its obligations to provide quality palliative care to all Canadians. This framework answers some of those calls, and it represents the needs of the aging population across Canada, including those in Edmonton West. The percentage of individuals in Edmonton aged 65 or older has risen to 14%, a significant figure representing thousands of individuals who will benefit from universal palliative care.

I know this bill will serve the aging population in my own riding, particularly those who find comfort in knowing that their family members and loved ones will receive the best care. No one should have to suffer through ailments alone, without the support of well-trained and compassionate health care practitioners.

Bill C-277 is required to define the services covered, to bring standard training requirements for the various levels of care providers, to come up with a plan and a mechanism to ensure consistent access for all Canadians, and to collect the data to ensure success. Good palliative care can cover a wide range of services, such as acute care, hospice care, home care, crisis care, and spiritual and psychological counselling. The creation and implementation of a palliative care framework will give Canadians access to high-quality palliative care through hospitals, home care, long-term care facilities, and residential hospices.

We need to ensure that our communities support the aging population with respect and dignity. As parliamentarians elected by our respective communities, reacting to this shift should be a priority and cannot be ignored. When I introduced my private member's bill last fall, which sought to help seniors who were being disproportionately targeted by an outdated tax measure, I heard from countless seniors across Canada who felt they were being left behind. While it is important to ensure the provinces are not pigeonholed by federal legislation, we need to acknowledge a legislative gap when we see one. Seniors need help, and no amount of discussion papers, working groups, or committee meetings will make this issue go away. We know what the issue is and we need action.

Bill C-277 is a step toward providing the much-needed support for seniors today and seniors to be. Palliative care is good, compassionate, and meaningful. Providing access to quality and affordable palliative care can help make painful decisions a little more manageable for those suffering from a terminal illness. It can also significantly help the families of those suffering, who carry the disproportionate financial and emotional burden of end-of...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...r four weeks to midnight is family friendly for either members of Parliament or staffers with young families?”

Mr. Doug Eyolfson (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, Lib.)

May 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“..., we can take revenue away from those who terrorize communities and take loved ones away from their families.

I understand that many people have concerns about this legislation and our youth. Ev...”

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

May 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...this promise, but they are forgetting one key thing: if they legalize this drug, people, youth, and families will suffer.

Some people are really going to suffer as a result of this decision. It is a disgrace to this House and a disgrace to all members to simply repeat the talking points provided by Health Canada, or should I say the office of the Minister of Health. Indeed, it was not Health Canada that provided these talking points, I am sure. The Liberal members keep repeating them ad nauseam to try to convince themselves that legalizing marijuana is good for Canadian society.

I thank my colleague from Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis for comparing this situation with the Colorado experience. I heard the member who spoke right before me questioning my colleague's sources. Colorado teachers have painted a picture of the consequences and collateral damage that legalizing marijuana has had on Colorado. There have been seven consequences. Unfortunately, my colleague did not have time to outline all seven elements during his speech, but since I have some time, I will go over them. I will then move on to the heart of matter.

First of all, in 25% to 40% of all cases of impaired driving, marijuana was involved.

Second, in 2012, 10.4% of Colorado youth aged 12 to 17 were considered current marijuana users compared to 7.5% nationally. Colorado is now ranked fourth in the nation with 39% more users than the national average. That is what happened.

Third, marijuana-related expulsions and suspensions increased by 32% between 2008-09 and 2012-13.

Fourth, in 2012, 26.81% of college-age students were considered current marijuana users compared to 18.8% nationally. This put Colorado third in the nation at 42% higher than the national average.

Fifth, in 2013, 48.4% of Denver adult arrestees tested positive for marijuana, which is a 16% increase from 2008.

Sixth, from 2011 to 2012, there was a 57% increase in emergency room visits by marijuana users. (2235)

Seventh, hospitalizations related to marijuana have gone up by 82% in Colorado since 2008.

We want to make comparisons and tell it like it is. I thank my colleague from Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis for giving me this information, which I did not have.

They say they have solved the problems and found solutions, but the fact is that the solutions ended up causing a lot more problems and not meeting the people's expectations. The Colorado situation is taking a heavy toll on young people and families.

My concerns have not changed since the bill was introduced. The government is saying two things. First, it wants to take drug profits away from organized crime, and second, it wants to make it harder for young people to get marijuana.

It makes no sense to give these two reasons when legalizing, and I would instead say normalizing, the use of marijuana in Canada.

Let us first talk about prohibition because that is often the example given. We are often told about the prohibition of alcohol. Profits from the sale of alcohol were taken out of the hands of organized crime. Today, it is a legal and controlled market. On several occasions in recent weeks, I had the opportunity to meet with grade 11 students in my riding. I asked them questions. I sometimes asked their teachers if they would leave the class because I wanted honest answers. I asked how many of them had consumed alcohol. All students raised their hands. In Quebec, grade 11 students are 15 and 16 years old. As far as I know, across Canada people under the age of 18 are prohibited from consuming alcohol. It is a controlled product that is managed by crown corporations and is closely monitored. In addition, everyone knows that consuming alcohol under 18 is illegal. However, all the 16-year-olds I met had consumed alcohol.

The big news is that the Liberals claim that by treating marijuana like alcohol, young people will use it less. What is wrong with this picture? What will happen instead? People will simply trivialize the use of marijuana. It will no longer be a criminal offence. There will be no penalties. Some young person who was hesitating for fear of being caught will have his first joint. I realize that this first experiment might be the last for many young people. It might be just an occasional thing. However, what might happen to kids who have more problems, those who are having difficulties, those who are having a hard time at home and who might try this and feel good for the first time in their lives? They will not use marijuana just one, two, or three times. They will continue to use it. As a father, this worries me. This is what we need to think about. We have to stop thinking about numbers and everything that is going to happen. This is the reality, because this is what is happening on the ground. This is what young people tell us when we talk to them.

I asked these young people another question. I asked them how many of them had ever tried marijuana, how many had tried a joint, and how many had tried it just once. About a third of them, 30%, 35%, or 40%, depending on the class, raised their hands in front of their teacher or even their father. It seemed cool. It is odd, because it is not all that cool, since only a third raised their hands. When I asked them if they supported the legalization of marijuana, even those who had tried it did not all raise their hands. A smaller number support the legalization of marijuana. Among the youth aged 16 and under that I met at high school, between 60% and 75% did not support the legalization of marijuana. (2240)

When I talk to them, they tell me that they are opposed to the legalization of cannabis because they have seen what marijuana did to their friend. He started using marijuana, quit school, and no longer hangs around with them. He was a good student and they had fun together, but he withdrew from the group. He became a whole different person. He started hanging around with different people and is now, unfortunately, no longer part of their group. That is what young people are telling me. I am not talking about statistics, studies, or bogus consultations to justify an election promise. I am talking about what young people are saying about this issue.

The second argument really makes me laugh. The Liberals are saying that they want to divert the profits from organized crime. Let us come back to the issue of alcohol. In the old days, alcohol was illegal and governments had the bright idea to take back control of alcohol in order to hinder organized crime. The result is that, today, organized crime no longer exists.

The silence speaks volumes. Does organized crime still exist? Did organized crime figure out a way to continue to make money? Yes. It found drugs, including marijuana. Organized crime finds a way. If we take away its way of making money, it will simply find other things to sell, which we think is even more worrisome.

Over the past weeks, months, and years, organized crime has been shifting its focus to chemical drugs, which cause people to completely lose control and create instant addiction, unlike marijuana. Criminals will make sure that young people who buy marijuana legally try these other kinds of drugs.

Anyone who believes that organized crime will cease to exist once marijuana is legal is dreaming in colour. This is a problem because these people will never go away unless and until we can tackle who they are and what they have. These are inherently evil people bent on making money, and they need to be locked up, hunted down, caught in the act, and punished. Legalizing the bad things they do will not make those things any better. I cannot accept that.

The worst part is that this bill tells us how marijuana legalization is going to work. It even says that it will be up to the provinces to decide what to do with 12- to 18-year-olds caught with marijuana. The federal government thinks all it needs to do is legalize marijuana. It could not care less what happens to young people. That is what Bill C-45 will do. It will allow young people to possess marijuana. The government says that is all fine and legal. Again, what kind of message is that sending to young people?

Marijuana will be legal for 18-year-olds even though health experts all agree that it is a bad idea. I will have more to say later about the marijuana plants that everyone will be allowed to grow at home. I have family members who died of cancer because they smoked. We hear about cancer caused by second-hand smoke all the time.

What will happen to kids who are only four, five, or six years old whose parents use marijuana? What will happen to landlords whose tenants decide to smoke marijuana in their apartment since it is legal? Anyone who has ever entered an apartment building on the same floor as someone smoking marijuana knows that it smells awful. (2245)

You have no choice but to walk through the smoke. It is a bit like what happens on the Hill on April 20. Everyone knows what it is. Imagine the same thing, then, in a small apartment with no ventilation. It is incredible. It is already happening now, but it will be even worse once it becomes legal. That is what worries me.

This bill contains absolutely nothing to help families, young people and parents, who will have to face the problems associated with their kids using cannabis. What is the government going to do to support them? What is it going to do to discourage young people from smoking marijuana? This bill sends a clear message. The government can say that packaging must not be appealing, and indeed, the packaging will not be pretty, but rather plain black with simply the contents and quantity, but pot is still pot, whether it is packaged nicely or not.

What is being done to discourage young people from trying it for the first time? This bill contains absolutely nothing in the area of prevention, nothing to help families who might be struggling with a child who has tried marijuana for the first time or who migh...”

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

May 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rms. Could the member perhaps expand on his experience and his reflections after conversations with families and parents in his community?”

Mr. Martin Shields (Bow River, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...e in the House, and to all Canadians. It is important to recognize that our Canadian ranch and farm families are among the most environmentally minded people in any sector of the Canadian economy. Farmers will always have the environment as their number one concern. Some of the best conservationists are ranchers. Their ranches form a major part of the backbone of the economy of much of Alberta. They are also a major part of the Bow River riding, the constituents I am so humbled to represent here in Ottawa.

I would like to speak about some of the technology used by farmers in the area I represent. For example, one of the environmentally friendly technologies and practices used is called no-till agriculture. No-till agriculture means avoiding the old-fashioned way of disturbing the soil through annual tillage. This has numerous environmental benefits, and it can also greatly improve the sustainability of farming operations at limited cost to the farmer. Not only is it better for the soil, it saves the amount of water needed for farming, because soil that has been used through no-till farming has better water-retention qualities. This means less runoff and wasted water. (1110)

When it comes to wetlands on farm property, our Canadian farmers have been innovative and smart in dealing with the challenges of protecting these critical riparian habitats while at the same time continuing to farm their land. There is also the use of cover crops, which sole purpose is to enrich and rejuvenate the soil so that it can be used for years and years to come. These are just a couple of examples where our innovative Canadian farmers are leading the world in protecting our environment while ensuring that the Canadian agriculture and agrifood sector is sustainable, environmentally friendly, and economical.

Another technological advance over the last number of decades has been with the use of chemicals by farmers. They have become safer and they are used less. This means that everyone, from the farmer to the business to the consumer, and throughout the supply chain, is benefiting from these new technologies. Our ranch families are expert conservationists. They survive and thrive by ensuring that the land they use on ...”

Mr. Lloyd Longfield (Guelph, Lib.)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ovation and sustainable practices, we are making a real difference in the lives of farmers and farm families across the country. We understand that science and innovation are the keys to driving the s...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...me, it is shift work, but for others it is working 12 to 16 hours a day, many times away from their families, and many times making huge sacrifices. We have men and women in the military who are away from their families for months at a time, and who make that sacrifice for Canadians because they have made a commitment to do a certain job.

On this side of the House, as Conservatives, that is what we ascribe to, and it is why we believe we are representing our constituents so well. We have no problem being here. People talk about being family friendly. Sure, we would all love to be with our families every day. However, when we decided to run for this position, our families and those people who love and support us knew what the price would be.

Therefore, I think that whatever an individual does, we have to take the costs into consideration and then go forward positively, without complaining about how hard we have to work or how we have to be away from our families. That can be difficult, but what an honour and privilege it is to work here every day. I think our families, on every side of the House, are proud of what we do. They have many opportunities that the families of those who are not working as members of Parliament do not get. Therefore, as much as I support doing things so that we can be together with our families, I believe that our job here is to represent Canadians and to work as hard and as long for ...”

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“....

Last, of course, it is disappointing for members of all parties who have young children and families to care for at home to be expected to work night shifts four days a week just to do the job...”

Mr. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... a journalist. Our leader will unite a diverse Conservative family to make life more affordable for families. We will stand up for freedom of speech, for freedom of of conscience, and for free votes f...”

Mr. John Barlow (Foothills, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...tegrity, and especially authenticity. I am proud to say our leader is someone hard-working Canadian families can relate to, because he is one of them.

In fact, someone in the media asked me the ...”

Mr. Frank Baylis (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...think I speak for all of us in this House when I say that our thoughts and our prayers are with the families and friends of all those affected by this heinous terrorist attack.”

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

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, I remember that when I was younger, families like mine suffered through the disastrous policies of the 1970s. It took this Prime Ministe...”

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

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er, it is hard to exaggerate just how out of touch the Prime Minister is with the lives of Canadian families. He thinks he helped the middle class by buying Broadway tickets for Wall Street big shots....”

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

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...es. That, together with other issues like the Canada child benefit, which is helping nine out of 10 families, is helping Canadians to succeed with our policies.”

Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ommitted to support the mental health, financial security, and the well-being of veterans and their families. We remain committed to a pension-for-life option. In budget 2017, we have outlined that we...”

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

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ll at risk from reprisals from Chechnyan officials, Russian officials, and sometimes even their own families.

Will the government take immediate action in this emergency situation and grant thes...”

Mr. Brad Trost (Saskatoon—University, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...r 90¢ per litre more.

Why are the Liberals determined to make it impossible for Saskatchewan families to make ends meet?”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tive parents.

What will the government do for Willow and Dash and will it amend the EI Act so families like them can get the support they need?”

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

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“.... Speaker, all members of the House are very saddened by the difficult times in which many Canadian families are living, such as the circumstance just described. The role of the EI parental benefits, maternity benefits, and other special benefits is exactly to support those families in the difficult times in which they live.

I invite my colleague to make sure that al...”

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

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...8 months, $6 Million and nothing has been done except pay salary and expenses.”

Victims and families are threatening to boycott. Will the minister stand and tell us what she will do today to f...”

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

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e are committed to ending this ongoing national tragedy. As family member Bernie Williams has said, families have fought too long and hard for this much needed inquiry to abandon it and them now.

The commission has publicly acknowledged the need for increased communication and the families must be at the centre of the inquiry. The commission is committed to find culturally sensit...”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...hey talk about research, but researchers themselves want to see their work actually used to benefit families. They talk about transfers to provinces, while some Canadian families mortgage their homes to fund evidence-based early intervention or adult programs.

The experts, the incredible self-advocates, and Canadian families have worked tirelessly for years to get to this point. Can they count on their Minister of ...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Lib.)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, we recognize that autism spectrum disorder has a significant impact on individuals and families.

Federal investments in research, improved data, monitoring, skills, and training sup...”

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...sumers' right to know and choose products they want in their homes and that they want to feed their families.”

Mr. Earl Dreeshen (Red Deer—Mountain View, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...anding up for those Canadians whose voices had been so long ignored. Many of those voices came from families whose loved ones had been taken from them because of the actions of impaired drivers.

This legislation before us today speaks to some of the issues that we, as Conservatives, have been championing for years. We know that dangerous driving and impaired driving injures or kills thousands of Canadians every year, and that all Canadians recognize that these actions are unacceptable at all times and in all circumstances.

As the Liberals prepare to roll out their new legislation on marijuana and its associated government-sponsored distribution and sales, it is even more important that law enforcement officers become better equipped to detect instances of alcohol- and drug-impaired driving, and that laws relating to the proof of blood alcohol concentration and drug-impaired indicators be clean and concise.

Bill C-46, in its preamble, states:

it is important to deter persons from consuming alcohol or drugs after driving in circumstances where they have a reasonable expectation that they would be required to provide a sample of breath or blood;

This provision and the bill's potential remedies need much clarification, as specific metrics of time-lapse, observable consumption, and proof that a person would be planning to continue driving would need both legal and scientific scrutiny.

As Conservatives, we have always worked hard to deter the commission of offences relating to the operation of conveyances, particularly dangerous driving and impaired driving. Along with our provincial partners, we have made laws that have promoted the safe operation of motor vehicles. Proposed changes to weaken consequences for such behaviour, such as reducing the current waiting times for offenders before which they may drive using ignition interlock devices, although an effective tool in itself to preventing recidivism, will minimize the seriousness of the offence and will be counter-effective.

Part 1 of the bill amends the portion of the Criminal Code that deals with offences and procedures related to drug-impaired driving. The three main amendments contain new criminal offences for driving with a blood drug concentration that is higher than the permitted concentration, address the authorization of the Governor in Council to arbitrarily establish its rate of permitting concentration, and gives authorization to peace officers to demand that a driver provide a sample of bodily substance for analysis by drug-screening equipment.

Part 1 brings up some interesting points, because determining at what point one is drug impaired is important. Giving the government authority to establish the concentration in law seems reasonable, and determining a procedure for peace officers to obtain evidence for conviction is a critical part of law enforcement.

Proposed subsection 254(2) of the act, before paragraph (a), is replaced by the following, the topic being “Testing for presence of alcohol or a drug”.

It states:

(2) If a peace officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has alcohol or a drug in their body and that the person has, within the preceding three hours, operated a motor vehicle or vessel, operated or assisted in the operation of an aircraft or railway equipment or had the care or control of a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment, the peace officer may, by demand, require...[compliance]

Many of these provisions are part of standard workplace rules, and as such are expected to be adhered to.

How would peace officers make such determinations with the general public? No logs are required, no travel plans are prepared, so what evidence-seeking process would they use to assure conviction with this three-hour window that would not be challenged when cases come to court? (1545)

The other part of this discussion has to do with the definition of drug impairment. When one reads a prescription bottle, there are many drugs taken by people where it states specifically, “Not to be taken when handling heavy equipment. Do not drive. May cause drowsiness”. Drivers who are on such medication when stopped by police would unlikely know that a drug sample reading would be calculated.

One can calculate, based on the weight of a person, the time since the last drink or the amount consumed what a blood alcohol reading should be. One also expects that marijuana consumption readings would depend on product concentration and no doubt other factors. How will these tests differentiate the potential impairment of any one or any combination of prescription drugs, marijuana or alcohol? These are questions on part 1 that need to have answers when the legislation is studied at committee.

Part 2 would repeal provisions of the Criminal Code and would replace them with provisions in a new part of the Criminal Code.

First, it would all repeal and replace all transportation offences with what has been described as a more modern and simplified structure.

Second, it would authorize mandatory alcohol screening at the roadsides where police would have, according to this legislation, already made a lawful stop under provincial or common law.

The third part would be to propose increasing certain minimum fines and certain minimum penalties or maximum penalties. These particularly relate to penalties for injury or death due to impaired driving. Having stiffer penalties is something of which I have personally been in favour. I have delivered many petitions in the House on this matter. Of course, I, like many others, have had many heart-wrenching discussions with constituents, friends and families over the years with this situation.

The fourth part is to create a process to facilitate investigation and proof of blood-alcohol concentration. These processes I hope will be expanded to have logical blood-drug concentrations as I had mentioned before.

The fifth part is to attempt through law to eliminate and restrict offences that encourage risk-taking behaviour and to clarify crown disclosure requirements.

Finally, as I alluded to earlier and had expressed my reservations, is the removal of the current waiting period before which the offender may drive when using an ignition interlock device.

The contradiction I see here is that on one hand, it is being said that a severe penalty will be enforced, one such penalty, the time period between when an offence occurs when the privilege of driving with an ignition interlock device is granted, has been reduced to zero for first time offenders. The first time caught does not mean the first time offending. This deterrent should remain, in my opinion.

One of the provision of the bill relating to investigative matters, section 320.27(2), speaks of mandatory alcohol screening. It says that if the peace officer has in his or her possession an approved screening device, the peace officer may take the breath sample. Section 320.28(1a), the provision relating to blood samples and how they can be used to determine blood alcohol concentration is discussed.

As we move along in the legislation, we see where samples of other bodily substances, such as saliva or urine, can be demanded in order to determine drug concentration that could ascertain the presence in the person's body of one or more of the drugs set out in subsection 5, which I will get to in a moment, which relates back to one of my earlier points about what drugs are what, and how would the general public know about the effects of any particular drugs.

These are the drugs listed in section 5.

First, is a depressant. The depressants are a broad class of drugs, intended to lower neurotransmission levels and decreasing stimulation in various areas of the brain. They are contrasted by stimulants, which intend to energize the body. Xanax is a commonly abused example.

The second is an inhalant. Inhalants are various household and industrial chemicals whose vapours are breathed in so as to intoxicate the user in ways not originally intended by the manufacturer. Examples include shoe polish, glues and things of that nature. (1550)

The third is a dissociative anaesthetic. Dissociative anaesthetics are hallucinogens that cause one to feel removed or dissociated from the world around them. When abused, they cause people to enter dream like states or trances.

The fourth, and again critical in the situations we speak of, is cannabis, which is a tall plant commonly abused as a drug in various forms. Its primary effect is a state of relaxation produced in users, but it can also lead to schizophrenic effects resulting from brain networks being “disorchestrated”, according to researchers at Bristol University in the U.K.

Fifth is a stimulant. Stimulants are a broad class of drugs intended to invigorate the body, increasing activity and energy. They are contrasted by depressants which are intended to slow the body down. Cocaine is one of the most famous examples of a stimulant.

Sixth is a hallucinogen. Drugs under this class are intended to produce hallucinations and other changes in emotion and consciousness. Psychedelics and dissociatives are the most common forms of hallucinogens. LSD is the most common abused hallucinogenic.

Finally, is a narcotic analgesic. Narcotic analgesics, commonly referred to as opiates, are drugs that affect the opioid system which controls pain, reward, and addictive behaviours. Their most common use is for pain relief.

Are our police forces prepared for this type of roadside analysis? I know that my local police officers, as well as our municipalities and provincial regulators, have a concern about the downloading of the costs associated with enforcement of marijuana legislation. The vagueness of some of the provisions in the bill causes further concern for them as well.

Will the enforcement regulation be accompanied with funding? Will training and equipment be provided for officers? Who will cover the costs when officers are off learning about these new procedures? Will issues like mandatory alcohol screening withstand a charter challenge as it is a very invasive practice of the state on an individual without reason?

To this, I remind the government, as I had mentioned in my earlier discussion on this matter, all governments depend on their departmental legal teams to ensure that legislation is charter compliant. The same lawyers who our government depended on to ensure charter compliance are advising the current Liberal government. I leave that for the members opposite to ponder.

If one thinks that does not happen with regularity, I also would remind everyone that less than two weeks ago the Alberta Court of Appeal struck down a portion of its provincial impaired driving laws as it pertained to the immediate suspension of a driver's licence by ruling in favour of a constitutional challenge to strike down the law.

Our courts exist to grant justice to those who have been wronged. Delays and charter challenges will only benefit the perpetrators and career criminals, while the victims are dragged through a long and painful process.

As I close my remarks today, I continue to stand for those whose lives have been affected by the actions of impaired drivers. I remember the countless loved ones torn away from their families because of irresponsible people getting behind the wheel when they were clearly impaired. As Conservatives, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to families that have been unfortunately affected by impaired driving.

I remember being part of a discussion with MADD Canada. I and the Hon. Peter MacKay had opportunities to meet with various individuals. We talked about the devastation that this type of activity had on families. A good friend of mine is Darren Keeler. His son Colton was killed by a drunk driver. I know it was devastating to him and his family.

Brad and Krista Howe are the parents of five children who were killed by an impaired driver in 2010 in my riding. I know Krista's mother, Sandra Green, had so much to do with our office and with the justice department, trying to ensure we were there to help strengthen laws.

I also want to take this time to speak about those who encourage underage drug use in our schools and our communities. As a former teacher, I know and have seen first-hand the devastation of drug dependency on our young people. (1555)

It has always been a concern of mine as we see fantastic young people get caught up in situations and see how their lives are affected by those who troll and try to push them into activities that unfortunately in so many ways devastate them. It is important we all consider this. Certainly the Liberal government must go hard after drug pushers who prey on our children.

I am well aware that drug-impaired driving is also a serious concern for Canadians. With the Liberal government's normalization of marijuana, this issue will rear its ugly head time and time again. At a time when marijuana will soon be accessible to a wider clientele, the bill cannot afford to be vague or poorly drafted. It is up to us as parliamentarians to do right by the people we represent.

As Conservatives, we take pride in our record and our common-sense smart on crime agenda. We are also proud of our record on helping those with addiction problems. We cannot abandon our most vulnerable. We need to give them hope, but not enable them with their addictions.

I am confident that after the exciting events of this past weekend, with Her Majesty's loyal leader of the opposition now at the helm, Canadians can be assured that the Conservatives will continue to work hard to protect their families and their loved ones.”

Mr. Earl Dreeshen

May 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t in brownies and everything else that people hear about. These are being presented to children and families. Believe me, no matter what Liberals say, children smoke pot with their parents. This is th...”

Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley—Aldergrove, CPC)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... with the local police and the RCMP. These were very sad stories, which were very traumatic for the families and very traumatic for the police officers and first responders from the fire department or with the ambulance service who were involved. It was very traumatic. The RCMP and police forces across Canada are recognizing the impact this has on first responders and the PTSD they are experiencing, too.

It is not a simple issue. It is a very complex issue when people drive impaired. Impairment can be caused by many things. It could be caused by a lack of sleep. It can be caused by forms of dementia or a loss of cognitive skills. It can be caused by prescription drugs. However, the focus of tonight's debate has to do with the use of drugs and alcohol, and legislative changes.

For the last three and a half years, I have been honoured to present petitions in the House. I have received hundreds of thousands of petitions from across Canada from an organization called Families for Justice.

A woman who lives in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove is Markita Kaulius. Markita and Victor lost their daughter Kassandra. I forget if she was just coming from a baseball game or going to a baseball game, but she was very engaged with the community. She was a beautiful young woman. Her life was tragically lost when, as she was driving through an intersection on a green light, somebody who was badly impaired from the use of alcohol blew the light and T-boned Kassandra and killed her. I forget the speeds that were involved, but it was a severe crash. The impaired driver ran from the scene and hid. He was caught, charged, and convicted.

As happens so often in Canada in the justice system, the person receives a sentence that will never bring the lost loved one back. There is no justice, in that sense. We cannot bring their loved one back. While the sentence may be conditional sentencing, house arrest, or just months, the family, for the rest of their lives, is going to have to deal with the loss of not being able to see that daughter graduate, get married, or have children. I am thinking of Kassandra, but to lose any loved one prematurely because they were killed by an impaired driver is a travesty. It happens way too often in this country.

Families for Justice has been presenting these petitions, with thousands of signatures, saying to Parliament, “Please, change the laws.” After presenting petitions time and time again and week after week in the last Parliament, the government introduced the impaired driving act. Unfortunately, it was at the end of the Parliament. To get legislation through, normally it takes two years. Since there were not two years left, it was not going to get through. (1740)

Families for Justice contacted all of the political leaders. It contacted the Conservative leader, the Liberal leader, and the NDP leader, and asked if they would support the legislation, the impaired driving act. To the Prime Minister's credit, he responded to Families for Justice, for Cassandra Kolias, and said he would support legislation like that. Sadly, we should call that what it is, vehicular homicide. If a person kills someone using a car, a 2,000-pound or 3,000-pound weapon, while impaired, the individual choosing to become intoxicated through a drug or a drink, driving a vehicle knowing that he or she is putting the community at risk, and then kills someone, there should be a consequence much more serious than a few months in jail. It asked for mandatory minimum sentencing and for calling it what it is: vehicular homicide.

The impaired driving act, as I said, at the end of the last Parliament had mandatory minimum sentencing. It did not call it vehicular homicide, but Families for Justice continued asking for it. It has a letter, which is a public document, from the Prime Minister, saying that he would support that type of legislation. The closest thing to it that has been received by Parliament was Bill C-226. Unfortunately, the government, which dominates the justice committee, all too often getting orders from the Prime Minister's Office on whether to support something or not, was directed not to support Bill C-226.

The government has introduced legislation that we are dealing with today, Bill C-46, which uniquely and not strangely, is tied at the hip with Bill C-45. Bill C-45 would make it legal for young drivers 18 years and older to smoke a joint, or a number of joints, and to possess 30 grams legally. The Canadian Medical Association is saying that it is dangerous, we should not do that, and that people should be at least 21. At age 25 and older, developing minds will not be affected as severely. It is recommending 25 as the ideal legal age, but would agree with 21. The government ignored the scientific evidence and has gone ahead with the age of 18. Has the government introduced legislation to protect our communities and keep our roads safer? No, it has not. We know from other jurisdictions that it will make our roads less safe with impaired drivers.

We have a problem with alcohol impairment, but we have some tools to indicate whether someone is impaired through blood alcohol testing and Breathalyzers. We have devices that test. Whether it is .05 or .08, we know if somebody is impaired. The government has suggested that it is going to pass this new legislation not within a two-year period, but within a one-year period. Why is that? Why would a government want to ram through, speed through, rush through legislation to have it in place by July 1 of next year? It is because it is the marijuana legislation, the one promise it will keep. Its flagship legislation in this Parliament is to legalize marijuana that will allow someone to smoke a bunch of joints. Someone can have 60 joints in his or her pocket, the car, or whatever, all totally legal if the person is age 18 or older. Someone cannot smoke 60 joints, so maybe he or she will be giving them to friends in the car and they will have a big party while driving. It is extremely dangerous.

The government then introduced Bill C-46, the impaired driving legislation, that would keep our roads safe. (1745)

Bill C-45 would legalize up to four marijuana plants to be grown in homes. However, are four plants four plants? No. We know through medical marijuana usage that four plants is 12 plants because they grow. There are crops. With a new seed, there are four plants, and when it is halfway grown, it will be another four. Mature plants that are producing will have another four plants. We know how the legislation works: four plants are 12 plants. There will be plants growing in homes where there are children. Does that protect our children? No. Does easy access to recreational marijuana being grown in homes make us safer? No. How about 18-year-olds with developing minds being able to smoke and drive? It creates a disaster scenario.

I think back to the letter that the Prime Minister sent to the Families for Justice saying that he would support this. Support what? Mandatory minimums. The Liberals believe that the courts needed some guidance. Courts need discretion to provide appropriate sentencing if someone is convicted of an impaired driving offence. We are now introducing even more impaired drivers, I believe, so the courts need guidance.

The government has said that it is going to increase the maximum. If someone is killed, the driver would get 14 years to life imprisonment. Let us look at how often people are being sentenced to 14 years. It is almost never. I would argue that we are not seeing that ever, so by increasing the maximum sentencing from 14 years to life, does that make our roads safer? It does not. These are horrendous crimes against society, taking the lives of Canadians, driving while impaired. Families for Justice is saying it should be called vehicular homicide and that there should be manda...”

Mr. Mark Warawa

May 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...matter what the topic is, it says one thing and does another. The Liberals are helping middle-class families, but are raising tax burdens. They are going to make our communities and roads safer, yet t...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...he second is to establish a concierge service to serve as a focal point to assist members and their families with administrative matters regarding that transition. The final recommendation is to phase...”

Mrs. Sherry Romanado (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...s. However, I can say that this government is committed to ensuring that Canadian veterans, and the families that support them, receive all the benefits, services, and support they require and deserve, including the Canadian Forces pension and superannuation.

I can assure this House that when a specific case is raised, the Department of Veterans Affairs makes every effort to address the underlying issues and to find ways to improve the outcome for the veteran.

Both Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence recognize that there can be gaps, which is why the Minister of Veterans Affairs was also named the Associate Minister of National Defence. The two ministers and the departments are working closely together to reduce the complexity of the programs and processes, to overhaul the delivery of services, and to strengthen the partnership between Veterans Affairs Canada and National Defence for the benefit of veterans. We want veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces to have harmonized services, clear guidance, and an understanding of what is available; timely access to benefits and services; and coordinated case management between both departments during a member's transition. The goal is to help transitioning members become re-established and to help them through this process with the dignity, respect, and support they so fully deserve, however long it may take.

In budget 2016, we delivered $5.6 billion for veterans. By making changes and improvements to the disability award, the earnings loss benefit, and the permanent impairment allowance, we are recognizing the sacrifices made by veterans and ensuring their financial security.

Budget 2017 focused on veterans and their families. We are closing a number of current gaps in the system, restoring critical access to services, and improving the long-term financial security and independence of ill and injured veterans in a fair and equitable way.

Considerable work has already been completed to date to simplify the transition from service in the Canadian Armed Forces to civilian life. The departments are committed to ensuring that the transition is as streamlined as possible. We call it “closing the seam” between National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada.

The minister and I recognize that there is more to be done, and we are working diligently to fulfill the goal of a seamless transition. Moving forward, we remain committed to fulfilling the minister's mandate and to improving the health and well-being of veterans and their families.

As always, I encourage any veteran, or the family of a serving member, who has an issue or a question to reach out to Veterans Affairs Canada. I would say the same to any member of this place who may be aware of an issue affecting a veteran or his or her family. Together we can make things better for members of our Canadian Armed Forces and the veterans and the families that support them.”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen

May 29th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...s happen? It needs to happen now. Financial security is key to looking after our veterans and their families, as we have promised.”

Mrs. Sherry Romanado

May 29th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...s. Veteran Affairs Canada has many initiatives under way to improve the services veterans and their families receive and to make them more veteran-centric. This work includes reviewing and updating policies, processes, and tools to improve the veteran's experience and reduce complexity.

In addition, VAC is committed to a review of the financial benefits offered to veterans to determine how best to meet the needs of veterans and their families and to ensure that they have access to the right programs and services at the right time, w...”

Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... the House agree that our women and men in uniform form the core of our national defence, and their families are very important and play a tremendous role in the success of the Canadian Armed Forces.

With the funds provided in these estimates, we will provide better support to our members so they can maintain that degree of excellence that Canadians expect of them. The funding in these main estimates will support that work in the form of several ongoing initiatives to improve the workplace culture of national defence and the well-being of the serving members. The most notably is the military's ongoing efforts to eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour through Operation Honour.

All these efforts, brought together, will help create a highly dynamic, skilled, and diverse force that can succeed in the modern security environment. They will also help to ensure support is provided to our Canadian Forces members and to their families, both when they are in the ranks and when they leave uniformed service. This funding we deb...”

Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan

May 29th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...he women and men in uniform who serve their country form the core of our national defence. Military families are the strength behind the uniform. Supporting Canadian Armed Forces members, the veterans...”

Mrs. Sherry Romanado (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

May 29th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ada's uniform. As the mother of two serving members, I know first-hand the sacrifices that military families make. [Translation]

They take an oath of allegiance to the Crown, but they also pledge to serve at risk to their own lives and well-being. That risk can be mitigated, but it can never be eliminated. (2015) [English]

While this risk can be mitigated, it can never be eliminated.[Translation]

Of course, we must provide them with the instruction, training, equipment, and support they need to successfully carry out the duties and missions they are assigned throughout their careers. If military members are unable to continue their military service, we owe it to them to ensure their return to civilian life is successful both through our own efforts and through partnership with industries that employ veterans.

As General Dallaire stated last March before the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, and I quote:

If you don't treat the injured veteran right, the guy or girl who's going over will realize that if they come back injured they have to fight the second fight, and that's coming home and trying to live decently. [English]

The funding in these main estimates directly supports our ill, injured, and wounded military members, and I would like to highlight just a few of those initiatives today.[Translation]

The mission in Afghanistan was a watershed moment for the care of our wounded members.[English]

The volume of cases from Afghanistan, with 1,859 wounded over the entire combat mission, had not been seen since the Korean War.

Moreover, our improved understanding of mental health allows us to correctly diagnose, and where possible treat, operational stress injuries that militaries of the past wrote off as “shell shock” or “battle fatigue”.

I want to take a moment to add, for any military member or family member who is listening and experiencing an operational stress injury, that they should please reach out for support to those around them.[Translation]

The Canadian Armed Forces had more ill, injured, and wounded than at any time in recent memory, many of whom were dealing with complex medical conditions, including mental health issues. This required a careful, professional approach.

That is what brought the forces to develop a system to rehabilitate ill, injured, and wounded military personnel called the joint personnel support unit, or JPSU. The role of this unit is to provide personalized support and programs to members who have a medical condition that precludes them from returning to their normal duty for six months or more.[English]

The JPSU also strives to provide the best possible support and services during a member's recovery so that he or she can return to full military duty or successfully transition to civilian life.

The JPSU and the 24 integrated personnel support centres that form it do outstanding and difficult work in support of their brothers and sisters in uniform.[Translation]

Because, in many cases, the illness or injury can have a significant impact upon the CAF member’s family, they offer a range of services to military families from coast to coast.[English]

About 1,600 Canadian Armed Forces members are posted to the JPSU for six months or more. More than 4,000 walk-in clients are helped on an annual basis.[Translation]

The dedication and commitment of JPSU military and civilian support staff is truly remarkable, so much so that the armed forces is now preparing to build upon their model.[English]

As the chief of the defence staff testified before a committee in the other place, he intends to evolve the JPSU into a new organization that can provide that same level of personal service across the military. He will also ensure that the transition unit receives additional resources to handle these cases, which will address concerns raised by the ombudsman and others. This will mean that every member of the Canadian Armed Forces who experiences a transition receives the same focus on individual, personalized service, both while they are in uniform and when they end their military career.[Translation]

The goal is to ensure that every member of the Canadian Armed Forces who experiences a transition receives the same focus on individual, personalized service, both while they are in uniform and when they end their military career. All aspects of this transition are key elements of the mandate letters of both the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

The ministers were given a mandate to work together to reduce complexity, overhaul service delivery, and strengthen partnerships between both ministries, and provide better service to our veterans. (2020) [English]

I know this is something every member of the House, some of whom have also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, can support.

Many of us have heard from constituents who have experienced difficulties with this transition, who are experiencing hardship just as they are trying to begin a new chapter in their lives. We must ensure that those who have served with honour are treated with honour and that the families that serve alongside them are also supported.[Translation]

When Canadian Armed Forces members retire, their pensions and benefits should be ready as soon as they take off their uniform. In most cases, this is what happens. Since the military pension system was transferred to Public Services Procurement Canada, 96% of retired members now get their first payment within 30 days. That is a major improvement. Other delays, primarily related to benefits, are going to take additional time to resolve because this is about more than just a simple transfer of files.

I will return to the example of mental health. Thanks to our improved understanding of mental illness, we now know that some mental health conditions can take years to materialize. Members could retire from the Canadian Armed Forces seemingly fully healthy, but with latent or undiagnosed conditions that manifest many years later. Demonstrating a link between this new diagnosis and their military service can be difficult. The members themselves may not make the connection. Their civilian doctors may not have access to their full medical files. This is one example of the challenges Veterans Affairs and National Defence are dealing with. They must not only ensure an efficient payment of benefits, but also ensure that those who retired healthy and need to re-enter the system later are both recognized and supported.

I want to stress that these gaps are not the result of an uncaring or unfeeling bureaucracy, nor a lack of will on the part of the Government of Canada. Our people are dedicated and committed to providing the highest possible level of service to military members and the families who love and support them. I thank them for their hard work. That work needs to be enabled,...”

Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan

May 29th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... work that needs to go behind this.

It is about the care, the programs, and making sure their families are also looked after. There is much work that needs to be done. I have seen the difficulti...”

Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan

May 29th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... well so that the veteran can make an educated choice as to what better suits their needs and their families'.”

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

May 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...driving, a crime that continues to claim innocent lives and wreak havoc and devastation on Canadian families. No law is adequate comfort for devastating loss, but I want to stress that this proposed legislation was drafted with all victims of impaired driving in mind.

This includes the three Neville-Lake children and their grandfather killed on a Sunday afternoon on their way home from a sleepover in Vaughan, Ontario. This includes the entire Van de Vorst family, a family of four killed by an impaired driver as they crossed an intersection in rural Saskatchewan. This includes the thousands of people injured because someone else chose to get behind the wheel while impaired.

Every year, drivers impaired by drugs and alcohol cause devastation on our roads and highways. Impaired driving continues to be the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada. This is completely unacceptable.

That is why I am proud to have proposed legislation to enact an impaired driving regime that would be among the strongest in the world. It would ensure as much as possible that no one has to live through tragedies like those I have just mentioned. Before I discuss the specific proposals in the legislation, I would like to comment briefly on the structure of the bill, as it takes a unique approach.

Part 1 of the bill proposes new tools to detect drug-impaired drivers at the roadside. It would also create three new driving offences of being over a legal drug limit. I will come back to these proposals in a moment. This part of the bill would come into force upon royal assent to ensure that a more robust drug-impaired driving regime is in place before the legalization and regulation of cannabis.

Part 2 of the bill would repeal all of the transportation-related provisions in the Criminal Code and replace them with a clear, coherent structure. Over time, the Criminal Code provisions have become too complex and difficult to understand. Part 2 also proposes substantial reforms to strengthen the law of alcohol-impaired driving and address existing challenges with detection, enforcement, and prosecution.

Given the substantial reforms in part 2, a longer coming into force date of six months is proposed to ensure that provinces and territories, key stakeholders responsible for the administration of justice, have adequate time to prepare. Over all, the bill proposes to strengthen the criminal law approach to both drug-impaired and alcohol-impaired driving. I would like to spend a few moments outlining key proposals to tackle drug-impaired driving.

The bill would authorize police officers for the first time to use roadside drug screeners in situations where they have reasonable suspicion a driver has drugs in his or her body. A positive reading on such a device would not, on its own, lead to a criminal charge. Instead, it would offer to assist an officer in forming the reasonable grounds necessary to take further investigative steps.

The bill also builds on the existing drug-impaired driving offence by proposing new offences for being over a legal drug limit. This offence structure will be familiar to many, as it is similar to the offence that prohibits driving over the legal limit for alcohol, otherwise known as the “over 80” offence.

Although the proposed offences would apply to several impairing drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamines, I intend to focus on the proposed levels of THC. The legal limits would be set by regulation and proven through blood analysis. The bill would authorize the taking of a blood sample from a driver when an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that either a drug-impaired or legal limit offence has occurred.

These proposed drug offences have been developed in recognition of the differences between alcohol and THC, in particular, the difference in the way that they are absorbed, metabolized, and eliminated by the human body.

This bill takes a precautionary approach by establishing a low level, fine only drug offence for THC that would prohibit having between two and five nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood within two hours of driving. Additionally, Bill C-46 proposes a hybrid offence for a higher level of THC where a driver has five nanograms or more of THC per millilitre of blood.

Finally, I am proposing an offence of low levels of THC in combination with low levels of alcohol. This new offence would convey to Canadians that combining THC and alcohol intensifies impairment. I am proposing that the low level THC offence of between two and five nanograms be punishable by way of a maximum fine of $1,000. The higher drug offence of having five nanograms of THC in the body or more and the combination offence of having a mixture of THC and alcohol in the blood would have escalating penalties that mirror the existing impaired driving penalties: a $1,000 fine for the first offence, 30 days' imprisonment for the second offence, and 120 days' imprisonment for a third or subsequent offence.

It is important to note that drug-impaired driving has been an offence in Canada since 1925. However, our government is committed to strengthening these existing measures before strictly regulating and legalizing cannabis.

The proposed drug levels to be prescribed by regulation are based on the advice of the drugs and driving committee of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, which has been working tirelessly on a volunteer basis to consolidate existing science on drug-impaired driving and setting legal limits.

In developing this approach, we were mindful of other jurisdictions. In the United Kingdom, where cannabis remains illegal, the legal limit is two nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood. In Colorado and Washington where cannabis is legalized, the legal limit is five nanograms. The approach in Bill C-46 to drug-impaired driving would be among the toughest in the world, particularly in jurisdictions where cannabis is legal.

I would now like to turn to the proposals in Bill C-46 which aim to strengthen our approach to alcohol-impaired driving.

One of the key elements is an important new tool known as mandatory alcohol screening. This would permit the police to demand a preliminary breath sample from a driver who is already subject to a legal traffic stop.

Most people will know that police already have the power to stop vehicles under provincial and common law in order to check, for example, for a vehicle's fitness or driver's licensing. These stops have been upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada on three different occasions, in Dedman v. The Queen from 1985, R. v. Hufsky from 1988, and R. v. Ladouceur from 1990.

After having made a lawful traffic stop, mandatory alcohol screening would simply permit a police officer to demand a preliminary breath sample. Under current law, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion before the officer can demand a breath sample, but research shows that up to as many as 50% of drivers who are over the legal limit are able to escape detection by police.

While a new proposal for Canada, mandatory alcohol screening is already law in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and many European countries. It has led to a significant reduction in the number of deaths and injuries related to impaired driving. I am expecting that it will have the same effect in Canada. The reason is simple. Mandatory alcohol screening will change the mindset of drivers. No longer will drivers be able to convince themselves they can evade police detection of their alcohol consumption if stopped.

As Andrew Murie, the chief executive officer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada, has said, mandatory alcohol screening “is going to make the biggest impact. It will drive down the number of deaths and injuries. People will know that they can't play around with officers.” (1010)

Ireland presents one of the most compelling examples. In the four years following the enactment of mandatory alcohol screening, fatalities on Irish roads decreased by 40%, and total charges for impaired driving diminished at a similar rate. In short, drivers quit thinking they could beat the system and simply gave up on driving while impaired.

In the face of such compelling evidence, I feel I have an obligation to all Canadians to propose this approach for Canada.

I would like to move on to discuss some of the proposed changes to the existing over 80 offence. One of the most significant changes proposed in this offence relates to the time frame. Currently, the offence is committed while driving. The proposals in Bill C-46 would stretch the time frame so that it would be an offence to be over the legal limit within two hours of driving. This is a common formulation used in many states in the U.S. Its primary purpose is to eliminate risky behaviour associated with bolus drinking, sometimes referred to as drinking and dashing.

Members may be surprised to learn that some people drink, or claim to drink, a significant amount of alcohol immediately before driving in the hopes of arriving at their destination before the alcohol fully absorbs and therefore before they are over the legal limit. The proposed formulation of “within two hours” would capture this reprehensible conduct. It also has the benefit of eliminating what is known as the intervening drink defence. This arises when a driver takes a drink of alcohol after being stopped by the police but before providing a breath sample primarily to frustrate the investigative process.

I understand there are many concerns that the proposed offences would criminalize people who have done nothing wrong. I share this concern, and that is why the bill proposes an exception that is intended to apply in cases of innocent intervening drinking. This could apply in cases where a driver consumes alcohol after driving but has no reason to expect he or she would be asked to provide a breath sample. If the results of the driver's breath test are consistent with the individual having a blood alcohol concentration under the legal limit at the time of driving, the offence would not be made out and the driver would not be convicted. I feel very strongly that this proposed offence structure would reduce the incentive of people to mix alcohol and driving.

Finally, Bill C-46 also proposes a formula to calculate blood alcohol concentration at the time of the offence where the driver's breath is tested outside of the two-hour period. The formula would be the concentration at the time of testing, plus five milligrams per complete half hour. This is a very conservative dissipation rate for alcohol and so would not be unfair to the driver. It is supported by the alcohol test committee of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science and would eliminate the need to call an expert toxicologist at trial.

I would now like to discuss some of the proposals in Bill C-46 which would strengthen the law, while also creating much needed court efficiencies. Impaired driving is one of the most litigated offences in the Criminal Code and takes up a disproportionate amount of time in courts. This is all the more important since the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in R. v. Jordan last July.

One proposal is to limit crown disclosure obligations to scientifically relevant information about breathalyzers and blood alcohol concentration without unfairly limiting access to relevant disclosure. Another is to simplify proof of blood alcohol concentration by setting out in the code what the crown must specifically prove.

I would like to turn briefly to the penalties proposed in the bill. The mandatory minimum penalties for impaired driving would not change where there is no death or injury. Those are a $1,000 fine for the first offence, 30 days' imprisonment for a second offence, and 120 days' imprisonment for the third or subsequent offence. While the minimums would not change, the bill proposes to raise the mandatory fines for first-time offenders with high blood alcohol concentrations and for refusing a breath test. (1015)

I want to be clear that I have carefully reviewed the mandatory minimum penalties for impaired driving. I am confident that they are charter compliant and necessary. The mandatory terms of imprisonment for repeat drunk drivers have been shown to serve a deterrent function. A first-time impaired driver leaves the criminal justice system knowing that if he or she reoffends, the next stop is jail. This has a real, psychological impact.

The bill would also increase the maximum sentences for these offences from 18 months to two years for a summary conviction, and from five years to 10 years for more serious indictable offences. The maximum for dangerous driving causing death would be raised to life, as is already the case in impaired driving causing death.

The impaired driving causing bodily harm offence would also be amended. Currently, it can only be prosecuted by indictment. The bill proposes to hybridize it to allow the crown, in appropriate cases, to proceed summarily, such as for minor injuries.

The bill would also respond to calls to shorten the time an offender must wait before driving within the Criminal Code's driving prohibition period, where the driver uses an ignition interlock device under a provincial program. Allowing this earlier access has been shown to reduce recidivism and save lives.

Since the introduction of this bill last month, there has been a lot of commentary regarding the constitutionality of some of the proposals, with particular attention being paid to mandatory alcohol screening. I am confident that all the proposals in Bill C-46 will withstand charter scrutiny, as explained in the charter statement I was pleased to introduce on May 11.

In conclusion, it is my hope and expectation that the combined effects of the many reforms proposed in Bill C-46 will be enormously effective in deterring drug and alcohol impaired driving. No more Canadian families should have to suffer the devastation caused by impaired driving.

I ask all members t...”

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

May 19th
Hansard Link

Statements By Members

“...Pita Pit, thank you to the volunteers and organizers of the relay, and thank you to the friends and families, organizers, and communities who helped to make this event so successful.”

Mr. David Yurdiga (Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, CPC)

May 19th
Hansard Link

Statements By Members

“...ogether, in some cases helping people rebuild their homes and in other cases offering assistance to families still struggling.

I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank everyone ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...6-page technical document on their new carbon tax, but, once again, hidden was the cost to Canadian families. Will they end their game of hide-and-go-seek today and tell average Canadian families what the carbon tax will cost them?”

Mr. Wayne Stetski (Kootenay—Columbia, NDP)

May 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ous requirement for domestic abuse survivors who are trying to build a better, safer life for their families.

Will the Liberals do the right thing, drop this unreasonable demand, and support sur...”

Mr. Earl Dreeshen (Red Deer—Mountain View, CPC)

May 19th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...crime and standing up for the right of victims. So many of us have presented petitions on behalf of families whose lives have been devastated by the actions of those people who choose to drink and dri...”

Mr. James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, CPC)

May 19th
Hansard Link

Private Member's Business

“... as a safe haven from where corrupt officials could launder their money, buy assets, and hide their families, essentially bringing them here to go to school, to live, and call Canada home, while back home taking advantage of their citizens and pillaging their economies.

The story of Sergei Magnitsky goes back to an individual by the name of Bill Browder. Bill Browder owned a corporation called Hermitage Capital Management. It was one of the first western funds to set up in Moscow and do business in Russia after the fall of the wall. Bill Browder, who was an American, now lives in the United Kingdom. He was able to go to Russia to do business and create a lot of assets and wealth for his clients.

After Vladimir Putin came to power, there was a crackdown on a lot of the western investors. Hermitage Capital Management, and in particular Bill Browder, was targeted for a fraudulent trumped-up charge of tax evasion. He had to flee the country. He was put on red notice on Interpol by Russia. Luckily, it was never acted upon by the international community, because they saw it as nothing more than a way to intimidate Mr. Browder. He hired a lawyer by the name of Sergei Magnitsky.

Sergei Magnitsky had risen up as a lawyer and was well recognized for his continued work on anti-corruption. He was able to uncover the biggest tax fraud in Russian history at that time. He was able to prove that corrupt government officials in Moscow were using this trumped-up charge of tax evasion against Bill Browder to pocket money themselves. It was $230 million that they were able to put into their own pockets. Sergei exposed that. He was arrested in 2008, held on trumped-up charges, tortured, beaten, and left to die on November 16, 2009, at the age of only 37. He is survived by his mother Nataliya, his wife Natasha, and his two young sons.

While in prison for 358 days, Sergei Magnitsky filed 450 criminal complaints against his abusers, and not one of those individuals was ever brought to justice. In the very bizarre world that occurs in Russia today, the Russian state posthumously tried and convicted Sergei in a Russian court on July 11, 2013. That is unheard of and unbelievable.

We have to make it clear that Sergei was fighting corruption in Russia and exposing a huge tax fraud being committed by police, judges, and tax collectors in the Russian state. (1335)

The kleptocracy around the Kremlin has crept into all departments across Russia. Bill Browder has written a book on this. He has been active on human rights around the world in trying to get Sergei Magnitsky-style legislation passed. The first country to come onside with that was the United States. The United Kingdom just got it done last month. The European Union's Parliament passed Sergei Magnitsky legislation last year. It is great that today we are debating Bill S-226 by Senator Raynell Andreychuk.

We need to first acknowledge the fact that the other night, while we were in committee of the whole, the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that the government will be supporting this legislation, with amendments. I thank her very much for putting her support behind this bill. It is a good piece of legislation. I understand that the government wants to improve upon it, bring in some fairness, as she explained it to me, and make a few technical changes. I, as the sponsor of the bill in the House, and Senator Andreychuk, as the sponsor of this bill in the Senate, will look at those changes. The best place for amendments to be considered is at the foreign affairs committee.

This work has been done for a long time. We have been talking about this in this place since 2013. There have been motions passed supporting Magnitsky-style legislation. Hearings were held at the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and at the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, which heard from expert witnesses from around the world about stronger sanctioning and bans for those committing human rights abuses and illegal, corrupt activities in governments in other countries. When we think about all of the work that has already taken place, there is no reason we cannot fast-track this legislation. I encourage the government to put forward those amendments as quickly as it can so that the committee can get its work done.

The committee has already produced a great report and I congratulate the committee on that report. I know all members on that committee, under the tutelage of the chair, were able to put together 13 strong recommendations on how to properly implement and resource this type of legislation. I understand and appreciate that we need to especially look at recommendation 8 on providing an appeal mechanism for those placed on the sanctions list by the Government of Canada.

If we recall, in its first form, this bill was brought forward by our friend and former colleague Irwin Cotler. I tabled similar legislation in this Parliament, Bill C-267, and felt I had improved upon it, because I provided a role for parliamentarians to play in both the Senate and the House, allowing committees to look at that sanction list every year to see if people should be added or removed based upon their actions and how situations evolve. Senator Andreychuk, in her version, took it even one step further. She has really opened it up to make sure that it has a strong global focus and concentrates on going after those who are committing human rights violations around the world.

The penultimate paragraph in her preamble sums it up better. It states, “And whereas all violators of internationally recognized human rights should be treated and sanctioned equally throughout the world”. I know there are some who criticize the bill, saying this legislation is just part of Russophobia. We heard from the Russian embassy yesterday, which said that Canada will face push-back if we pass Bill S-226, but we have to remember that this is not just about the corruption in Russia. This has application to other places around the world. (1340)

The bill is supported strongly by a lot of different diasporas in Canada. People keep saying that it is just another Ukrainian issue that we are rallying around. However, I have met with the Vietnamese community. It wants human rights abusers in the Communist government of Vietnam held to account for what it has done to its citizens.

I have heard from the Russian community. It wants democracy and human rights protected in Russia.

I have been meeting with organizations like Falun Gong. They want to see those individuals in China who have used the political system to arrest Falun Gong practitioners and then harvest organs and tissues from them after they have had them executed. It has turned into a cash cow for those individuals who are involved in that atrocity.

We need to ensure that these sanctions are enforceable. We need to ensure that the organizations in Canada have the ability to go out there and stop these individuals from using Canada to launder money and hide their families. That includes resources for the RCMP, the CBSA, and CSIS. Our financial institutions are there.

When we talk about the situation today, some of the human rights situations and some of the corrupt officials, we need look no further than the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader in Russian. He was shot down on the bridge right in front of the Kremlin. His deputy, Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has been here and has met with the foreign affairs committee, in both the House and the Senate, runs the organization, the Open Russia Movement. He has now survived two assassination attempts on his life.

When he was here last year, what he said to the Globe and Mail in March summed it up best on what was happening in Russia today. He said that for all the similarities between the Soviet era and present day Russia, there was one major difference. While members of the Soviet Politburo were silencing dissent and persecuting opponents, they did not store their money, educate their children, or buy real estate in the west. Many of the current officials and Kremlin-connected oligarchs do. We we need to sanction those individuals.

The way it works today, and a good example is what is happening in the Ukraine, is that Canada, as a member of NATO, a member of the United Nations, a member of the OSCE, acts upon resolutions that are passed at those different organizations. Then we can implement the Special Economic Measures Act and sanction individuals who are tied to aggression, corruption and human rights abuses. They are targeted through those types of resolutions. Then we can also use the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to go after the travel bans that we need to implement to ensure those individuals and their families do not come to Canada and travel throughout the west.

What we are trying to do with B...”

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

May 19th
Hansard Link

Private Member's Business

“...fore in the House, probably the most pernicious aspect is that the leader of Chechnya has called on families in Chechnya to murder the gay members of their families to protect their honour.

We would be able to use legislation like this to place sanct...”

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

May 19th
Hansard Link

Private Member's Business

“... so much corruption. We see officials moving money offshore to protect their own accounts and their families' accounts. We see torture of political activists, journalists, and human rights activists a...”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... social impairments, and restricted and repetitive behaviour; (c) individuals with autism and their families face unique challenges over their lifespan, often leading to families in crisis situations; and (d) Autism Spectrum Disorder is not just a health issue — it has overarching implications for Canadian society as a whole; accordingly, the House call on the government to grant the $19 million over 5 years requested by the Canadian Autism Partnership working group, Self-Advocates advisory group, and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, in order to establish a Canadian Autism Partnership that would support families and address key issues such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

He said: Mr. Speaker, today is a very important day. I believe today is the first time the House has spent a full day talking about the challenges faced by Canadians living with autism and their families.

I am going to start by thanking a few people. Obviously, I am going to start by thanking my son, Jaden, who, to me, is an absolute superhero. This is a 21-year-old who is non-verbal, yet the way he communicates with people on a one-to-one basis is unlike anyone I have ever seen. He has a way to connect with people, without speaking, that we have trouble with in our regular lives.

I want to thank my amazing daughter, Jenae, who turns 18 this week. She is graduating from high school this month as well. It is hard to believe.

I speak for a living and do interviews for a living, but Jenae probably gave the best answer I have ever heard to an interview question when she was 13 years old. She was asked by Steve Paikin, in an interview about her brother, if she ever wished her brother was “normal”, like every other kid. Jenae's response was that since Jaden was diagnosed with autism before she was born, she didn't exactly know what a normal brother was like, so Jaden, having autism, kind of was her normal. Steve asked her if she liked him just the way he was. She said that if Jaden did not have autism, or was cured or something, he would not be the same as Jaden was then. Jenae was very wise at 13 years old talking about how Jaden has impacted her life.

I also want to thank Jaden's mother, Debi. We have been apart for several years now, but Debi is an absolute champion for Jaden and has been a champion for Jaden throughout his life. When it came to advocating for him at a young age for early intervention, when it came to working through the school system and in the battle to try to get an aide for him, she was a pit bull for him in terms of that advocacy. We were able to get the help he needed every step of the way because of her advocacy and her championing of his interests.

I have a few more people to thank. I want to thank my staff, who put in tireless hours month after month. We work on a lot of big things: the global autism partnership; the Canadian autism partnership; global maternal health and the rights of women and girls around the world; managing the largest constituency in the country, out of 338 constituencies; and working with constituents. I thank them.

I am going to go back a little in time and thank Stephen Harper, the prime minister in 2015, who initiated the Canadian autism partnership working group, along with former finance minister Joe Oliver and our health minister at the time, who is now our current Leader of the Opposition. In budget 2015, there was $2 million put in place to establish the Canadian autism partnership working group.

There were some staff members at that time who were critical in helping me understand the road to getting there. I will thank Rachel Curran, Sean Speer, and David van Hemmen, in particular, for their help in getting there.

In my global work, I get to work with some key individuals and global organizations that have come to support the Canadian autism partnership. Huge thanks go to Save the Children, Plan International Canada, World Vision Canada, and UNICEF Canada, which have really stepped up on social media to support this initiative.

Global Citizen is an organization that works to alleviate poverty and fight inequality around the world on behalf of the world's most vulnerable. Global Citizen in Canada has chosen, as its first domestic initiative, to champion the Canadian autism partnership, recognizing the challenges faced by Canadian families living with autism. A huge thanks goes to the folks at Global Citizen for the great work they have done.

We have also had some support from friends in the hockey world. I formerly worked for the Edmonton Oilers for 10 years before I was elected. We have had support on social media from Hayley Wickenheiser, Elliotte Friedman, Steve Warne, right here in Ottawa, and Kodette LaBarbera. Again, they have huge platforms and are very busy at this time, and they have taken the time to make their point on social media in support of the Canadian autism partnership. I thank them.

Most important, probably, beyond my family, is to thank the stakeholders, the working groups, and the incredible group of self-advocates, adults living with autism who can articulate, in a unique way, what it is like to have autism.

I had a really great conversation with one of them, Patricia, this weekend. We talked about the importance of the Canadian autism partnership. Every single time I talked to a self-advocate, I learn something new. In Patricia's case, it was the word “autistic“ versus “having autism”. (1035)

I have always talked about Jaden having autism, because I have always thought it was something he has, not something he is, but Patricia reinforced for me that for some in the autism community, they like to be defined as autistic. It is who they are, not something they have. It is an important differentiation, and I got an understanding I did not have before we had that conversation this past weekend.

Of course, I want to thank people who come up to me in random places who appreciate the work we are doing and who work to understand. I remember one time a few years back, Jaden and I were in New York at the Radio City Music Hall. Jaden, Jenae, and I were watching a Kelly Clarkson concert. Jaden dropped a pin on the floor and was obsessed with this pin the entire concert, so the entire concert, for me and Jaden, was spent with Jaden rummaging around for the pin, bumping the chair in front of him. We never did find the pin, but during the entire concert, that was the case, with me trying to grab him and play with him and get his attention away from it. The person in front of us, whose seat he had been bumping the whole time, turned around afterward. I thought she was going to be upset, and she said, “You are the best dad in the world”. This complete stranger had noticed what was going on, and rather than being upset about it, rather than ignoring it and just walking away, she took time to let me know that she noticed and to let me know that she understood that it was difficult. I had tears in my eyes, as one can imagine, leaving that concert. She was someone I will never meet again. I never got the person's name. She never got my name, but in that moment, it was that level of understanding that, as parents of kids with autism or family members of people with autism, we need. We need that understanding more and more in our society when different things are happening.

When Jaden was three, as we were walking out of a restaurant, he grabbed a drink of someone's beer off a table, because he was thirsty, there was a glass there, and he did not understand that he was not supposed to have it. There was the time we were at an Oilers hockey game, when Jaden was nine, and he suddenly, out of nowhere, reached over the shoulder of the five-year-old girl in front of him and grabbed the ice cream off the top of her cone, as if he had a snowball, and started eating it out of his hand, with ice cream dripping down his fingers. I said to the dad, “I'm so sorry, Jaden has autism”, and he understood. Of course, the five-year-old girl did not understand at all. We explained it, we got her a new ice cream at the intermission, and everything was good. That is life with Jaden, and it can be challenging sometimes.

When I talk about the Canadian autism partnership and the work we do on autism here in this House, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that I am championing my son's interests. Jaden has lived in one of the best places in the world to live, Alberta, if one has a child with autism. What I am really championing is for every person living with autism in Canada to have the same opportunities Jaden has had.

When Jaden was two, we realized he had autism. It took a bit to get a diagnosis. It took a couple of months to get in and then maybe a couple of months to get treatment, but Jaden started his early intervention at about two and a half. At that time, he did not even recognize me. Folks in this House have seen Jaden interact now, and he has interacted with many of them. However, back then, his main interaction with me was that he would come into a room where I was, grab me, and drag me through the house to the pantry. He would grab my arm and push it up to the pantry door, push my arm into the pantry to the shelf where he wanted to grab the crackers he could not reach, and then pull me out and pull my arm down, like his own personal robot. He would grab the crackers he wanted, put them back in my hand, push my arm back up, back into the pantry, and then push me away. He did this as a two-and-a-half-year-old or three-year-old. I had served his purpose as his personal robot. He had his crackers. He would go back to playing with his pots and pans, lining them up, stacking them up, obsessed with them for hours, sometimes. He would take breaks to watch Barney videos or The Sound of Music, which he watched about 300 times. I liked The Sound of Music the first 100 times. I still like it now. Anyway, that was life with Jaden.

The early intervention completely changed his mind. It started with putting a spoon on the table and getting him to give us the spoon. It was to have him recognize what a thing was and, hand over hand, have him hand us the spoon. We would then celebrate it by clapping and giving him a Smartie as a reward. Over and over again, we would do this one thing, and then eventually, it was a spoon and a fork or something else. This continued and got better. We started to help him build social interactions and recognize other things over the course of that time. Some of Jenae's earliest memories, as someone three and a half years younger, were, when she was two, learning English by watching Jaden do his early intervention and sometimes doing it with him. (1040)

There is video of Jenae with a car and a big stuffed Zoe, and Jenae loves Zoe. She would say, “Jaden, give me Zoe”, and Jaden would give her Zoe. That is the way she learned language, by interacting with Jaden over the course of time. That is really important.

As Jaden got older, he went to school, and we had to deal with trying to get him a full-time aid. Jaden has a photographic memory. Jaden knows where the swimming pool is, and he loves swimming, but he does not understand traffic at all. Even at 21, he does not understand traffic. We have to work with him to navigate that. He could leave the school and know where the swimming pool was, but it would be very dangerous for him, so we had to have someone with him at all times. That took a bit of education with the school system.

Jaden now, at 21, is in a program at the Centre for Autism Services of Alberta. It is called Quest for Independence. He went to school until last year, but now he is sort of transitioning. The goal, of course, is to get him into a vocation of some sort, but that is a challenge. It is a challenge across the country getting people who have gone through the school system into a vocation of some sort and into the training they need. There is also the mitigation of some of the challenges they might have, depending on where they are on the spectrum, navigating a job interview and that kind of process, which is very abstract for people with autism.

Of course, the question we then have is what happens as Jaden gets older. Right now we have an agreement that Jaden will live with one or the other of us, and we are good with that. However, there is going to come a time, and this is the hardest question for every parent of a child with autism, or any developmental disability in this country, when we are not there anymore. My hope is that we have built a society in this country that is so supportive of people who are different, people who need some level of support, that we need not fear that and we have built an environment that goes beyond family.

Jaden has only one sibling. Jenae cannot be expected to take care of Jaden for the rest of his life. Certainly she knows that she is his only sibling and is prepared for whatever responsibility she has as his sister, and she loves him very much, but we need to build a support system around that for families.

That brings us to the Canadian autism partnership. There has been a history to get here, working with the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, CASDA, and stakeholders from across the country. There had been a call for a national autism strategy for many years. We got to a point where we started asking the stakeholders what they actually want. What is it they are looking for? Many of the things the autism community is looking for are provincial in nature. They are provincially delivered, such as education, health care, and social services, and the provinces are responsible for them.

In 2014, we saw that there was a role to play in vocations, so in budget 2014, Jim Flaherty, at the time, put in place funding for a CommunityWorks program and a program called Ready, Willing & Able, two programs to help people with autism in the vocational world. In budget 2015, we worked with CASDA and other stakeholders to ask for the Canadian autism partnership, and as mentioned earlier, $2 million over two years was given to a working group to establish that partnership, with a clear indication, at the time, that the partnership would be funded once this expert working group had done its work, along with the other stakeholders and self-advocates.

They did incredible work. They worked for years on that. They submitted their business plan and then asked the government of the day, this past fall, for $19 million over five years, or $3.8 million a year. As I mentioned in this House yesterday, $3.8 million a year is one dime per Canadian. It is a dime per Canadian for a Canadian autism partnership.

I have to say that there was an expectation that this was a no-brainer and that it would be funded for sure. How could one not support an evidence-based business plan, put together by stakeholders from across the country, that would help hundreds of thousands of Canadians as vulnerable as those living with autism? Inexplicably, it was not in budget 2017. It was rejected.

Now we have moved forward, and we are asking that it be funded anyway, that the government find a way to find that dime per Canadian to help Canadians living with autism. We have come to this point where we have an opposition day, a full day in this House, dedicated to a single question. It is not like a budget, where there are a whole bunch of other things thrown into the mix. We are just going to debate this one idea of a Canadian autism partnership. In the end, probably a couple of weeks from now, we will vote on it. Every single member in this House will vote on this. It is an important opportunity. (1045)

John Wooden, a famous NCAA basketball coach, has one of my favourite quotes. He said, “You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” That is a fantastic quote and is applicable in some way today.

For the members, and Canadians who might be watching this, if we do something for people with autism, they will be able to repay us. That is the point. People with autism and other developmental disabilities are capable of way more than we give them credit for, but we have to invest in them, just like we invest in everyone else in our society. We have to believe in them. Sometimes it means we have to work a little harder to understand some of the challenges, like the difficulty dealing with the abstract. Why is 85% on the spectrum not employed? Let us work hard to understand that and to figure out how we get the opportunity to benefit from those skills and abilities.

If people have just met Jaden and he gives them a high five, it is really easy to underestimate him. However, if they see him working in the library, putting books away, it is astonishing how much he is capable of. He will be putting books away. He will have them all in order and will be running around the library putting the books where they belong, never making a mistake. However, as Jaden is running around the library, if he sees a book that has been put in the wrong spot, he will grab it without skipping a beat and put it in the right spot. He sees the world differently, but he will not be able to use those skills if we do not pay attention to them, if we do not hard wire our society to look for that. The Canadian autism partnership is all about that.

The Canadian autism partnership recognizes jurisdiction and brings experts together from across the country to deal with families with autism. Then it advises governments in the jurisdictions. It might take a look at something like early intervention or diagnosis. Right now In Quebec, families are facing a two-year wait for diagnosis and then a two-year wait for treatment. Their kids are two years old. They know they have autism, yet they cannot get them diagnosed until they are four and they cannot get the evidence-based treatment they need until they are six. Families are mortgaging their houses to get this evidence-based treatment.

The Canadian autism...”

Hon. Mike Lake

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ed his question. CAP is designed to work with governments, in their jurisdictions, on issues facing families with autism. I can assure him that it will make a very real difference for those families.”

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... in raising their children.

Two members of the House have had experience with autism in their families. However, I think it would be fair to say that probably every member in this place, if not ...”

Hon. Mike Lake

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...inal communities and how the Canadian autism partnership might work with them to better serve their families living with autism.”

Hon. Mike Lake

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... and like my son Jaden. However, we will not get anywhere if we never get beyond best wishes.

Families across the country need action now. Today families learn their children have autism because there is more and more information, or some informal relationship, a friend or someone like that, has helped them understand their children have autism. However, they wait a year or two for a diagnosis that will help them get the treatment they need. Then they wait a year or two for that treatment. They desperately need that now. To lose that window is devastating for those families. In many cases, if they can afford it, they mortgage their houses to do it, because they know their children need the help today.

This debate seems to continue to drag on without any commitment to move forward. We need to move beyond the conversation in the House of Commons and pass this motion now. It is just a motion; it is not binding, in and of itself. The government then needs to act when it is passed. Families need this now.”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...his disorder has a significant and life-long impact on those diagnosed with it, as well as on their families.

In 2007 that the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology released its report entitled, “Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in Crisis”. This important study brought the challenges facing families clearly into view. It stimulated dialogue, and continues to be an important source of motivation and inspiration for those working to better support children, youth, and adults with autism.[Translation]

We all know that autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a complex disorder that manifests differently from person to person. Unfortunately, we do not fully understand what causes it.

Canada has a world-class ASD research community, as well as dedicated health care and social service providers, who are working with ASD organizations and families to make a difference in the lives of those with this condition.[English]

Whether working to improve diagnosis and treatment, support in schools, or transition into employment, Canada's ASD stakeholders are passionate and committed to creating inclusive communities for people with ASD. I thank them for their ongoing efforts.

We must recognize that we must support not only the people with ASD, but also their families. The complex challenges facing those living with ASD have seen these families call on the government for help. Raising a child is not easy, and we know that raising a child with autism poses even more challenges.

While these are areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction, the work we are doing federally complements and supports provincial and territorial efforts. Today, I would like to talk about the Government of Canada's response in helping individuals with ASD and their families.

We know that ASD often means health, social, and financial challenges. It is estimated that the lifetime cost for an ASD-diagnosed individual ranges from $1.12 million to $4.7 million. Data on ASD in Canada is limited, but estimates indicate that approximately one in 94 children under the age of 14 has been diagnosed with ASD. It is also estimated that boys are five times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls.[Translation]

It is critical to bring knowledge, awareness, analysis, and action to this issue so that we can provide the right level of support to those in need.[English]

Last November, the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance, CASDA, presented the minister with its Canadian autism partnership business plan. This plan outlined key areas that need to be developed and addressed. These include research, early detection and treatment, and family support. The government is investing in these key areas, as outlined in the Canadian autism partnership business plan.

The federal government's investments in research, data and vocational training are supporting those affected by this disorder. For example, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Canada has invested more than $39 million over the last five years to support autism research. [Translation]

Canadian scientists are at the forefront of this research, and these funds are helping our researchers develop new tools and treatments for those living with ASD.[English]

For example, in the area of genomics, Canadian researchers are building our knowledge and deepening our understanding of ASD, which could eventually lead to earlier diagnosis. We know that early diagnosis for ASD is very important. It helps ensure children and families get the help they need as soon as possible.[Translation]

These researchers are also studying the connection between mental health and ASD, evaluating novel treatment strategies, and looking for ways to improve access to healthcare for those with ASD.[English]

Furthermore, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is providing funding for a research chair in autism spectrum disorders, currently held by Dr. Jonathan Weiss at York University, which focuses on the prevention and treatment of mental health problems in people with ASD.

Since the launch of this initiative in January 2013, Dr. Weiss and his team have published a number of articles to disseminate information to physicians and parents to help address mental health problems in youth suffering from ASD. We believe that this valuable work will lead to improved treatment, care, and policies for children and youth with ASD.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, in collaboration with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, also committed an investment of $39 million over 10 years from 2009 to 2019. This funding will support the Kids Brain Health trans-Canadian network. (1105) [Translation]

The network focuses on improving diagnosis, treatment, and support for families raising children with brain-based disabilities, such as autism.[English]

Beyond the research, it is imperative that we gather accurate data about ASD in Canada. To achieve this objective, the Public Health Agency of Canada is working with the provinces and territories to establish the national ASD surveillance system.[Translation]

Once established, this system will enable us to gather reliable information on the number of Canadians living with ASD and the number of new cases every year. This information will help organizations, health care professionals, and families to address the health and social impacts of ASD.[English]

Beyond the numbers, the national ASD surveillance system will provide us with qualitative data on the ASD population in Canada. It will enable us to compare trends within Canada and internationally so that we can work in identifying potential risk factors. Public reporting on ASD prevalence in Canada from the surveillance system is planned to begin in 2018.[Translation]

The Government of Canada is also supporting a number of initiatives to improve the quality of life of individuals living with autism.[English]

For example, we have made improvements to the child disability benefit and the Canada child benefit to support the families of children with disabilities, including ASD.

Under the leadership of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, we are developing federal accessibility legislation. This legislation would aim to eliminate systemic barriers in our society. It would provide equal opportunities to all Canadians. We want our nation to be supportive, fair, and inclusive. The government is proud to demonstrate real leadership in supporting a fair and inclusive nation accessible to all Canadians.

Employment and Social Development Canada held public consultations to seek the public's input on various aspects of the legislation, including the overall goal and approach and whom it should cover. These consultations ended in February of this year. All input received will be considered during the development of this legislation.

In partnership with the Canadian Association for Community Living and the Canadian ASD Alliance, the government is also supporting the ready, willing, and able initiative which the member mentioned in his speech earlier. Through this program, we would see greater numbers of people with ASD joining the workforce. Our workforce would become more diverse and inclusive and we would see job vacancies filled across the country. Once fully implemented, this initiative would support up to 1,200 new jobs for persons with developmental disabilities, including ASD.[Translation]

In addition, we are supporting the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada. Both of these organizations are helping to create employment opportunities for individuals with ASD by expanding vocational training programs across Canada.[English]

The Public Health Agency of Canada will also be connecting with the ASD community to further explore ways we can work together on key issues.

As members can see, the Government of Canada is committed to helping to expand our evidence base on ASD, supporting Canadian researchers in studying the many facets of this disorder, and most important, working to improve the quality of life of those living with ASD and their families.”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... pleasure of coming across a lot of people with different abilities in our province. There are many families who are struggling, particularly in Vancouver East, who do not have the access to the necessary resources to get early diagnosis, the treatment and the support they need for these children to thrive and to have the opportunities that they deserve.

With respect to the motion, the key point here is to bring forward an initiative that would provide that kind of support to families, to do the necessary research, and hopefully to have a national standard going forward to support families with children with different abilities and, in this particular instance, those who have bee...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...sides of the House agree that autism spectrum disorder is a real disorder that affects thousands of families across the country, and that we need to do as much as we can to help in terms of research and in terms of care.

That said, we are assessing the proposition by CASDA and we are looking at ways in which to support partners and researchers across the country to make sure that autism spectrum disorder gets the funding needed for research and for accessibility legislation, as we have mentioned, and help for the families who are affected by this.”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Madam Speaker, we are committed to supporting people and their families. We are doing it already through research. (1115) [Translation]

Through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Canada has invested $39.1 million over the past few years to support scientific research into autism spectrum disorder in order to have better data and better analyses, and to make advancements in treatment.

We are also investing $15 million to give persons with developmental disabilities better access to all the services available to them and better access to the job market. This is possible partly through our support for the Sinneave Family Foundation.

We continue to support the ready, willing and able initiative mentioned earlier. We continue to invest in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to find solutions, improve the quality of life of children living with ASD, and help their families have better access to the job market and the services they need.

As I said, we are in...”

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e to say that this is something that is widely supported by Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Families dealing with family members with autism spectrum disorder need the help. Although the hon. ...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... research.

Money and resources have been allocated, and investments are being made to support families, to invest in research, and to try to find a cure. Right now we need to look at every avail...”

Ms. Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...some social impairments, and restricted and repetitive behaviour. Individuals with autism and their families, as the member discussed, face unique challenges when they take their children or family members into the community. There can be awkward moments. It is very important that we not only support these families through funding but that we also be patient and supportive of the struggles they face.

The member also pointed out in his motion that it is not just a health issue, although the plea is to the health minister to free up some monies. It has overarching implications for Canadian society as a whole, and the member is calling on the government to grant the $19 million over five years to establish the Canadian autism partnership that would support families and address key issues, such as information sharing, research, and early detection, diagnosis, and treatment for every family in this country.

I am very pleased to rise to support this motion. There is not a single member in this place who does not know someone who is affected by this disorder. Just on the basis of the number of organizations in the city of Edmonton, it is clear that support is greatly needed for those diagnosed with ASD so that they can live a quality life and their families can provide them with care and support and they receive the support they need. They could learn from the experience of others across this country through this proposed partnership.

I will list only a few of the entities in my city. They include the Centre for Autism Services Alberta, the Children's Autism Services of Edmonton, the Maier Centre, and Autism Edmonton. I could go on and on about the number of associations that have formed to try to serve the needs of these families.

Our nation's current approach to autism spectrum disorder is failing to support thousands of Canadians with autism and their families. In my research it has become clear, as is always the case, that particularly those in isolated or northern communities struggle to get access to any kind of health supports, let alone the specialized supports needed to address autism. I and my NDP colleagues share their disappointment and stand in support of the call for action to support the Canadian autism partnership.

The number of Canadians being diagnosed with autism continues to rise, yet across our country vital services, supports, and resources cannot meet the need. The partnership would not create just another bureaucracy, and that is something to keep in mind. The partnership was created as a solution to the current challenges being faced across the country. The chair of the Canadian Autism Disorders Alliance, who is also the executive direct of Autism Nova Scotia, stated:

...the [CAP] business plan not only outlines the complex lifespan issues related to autism, it prioritizes five key complex issues, identifies the best starting points for action and details a collective impact model to address them.... (1120)

Her article continued:

For far too long, our community has been disjointed, a result of the isolation, fear, anger and hopelessness that often fills the void left in the absence of necessary life-changing supports and resources....

and concluded with:

Jessica Pigeau, an autistic member of our Self-Advocate Advisory Committee, framed the need for this partnership more passionately and eloquently than I could ever attempt: “It is taking all of our hopes, all of our wishes, all of our pain … all of our efforts and all of our skills—and we are putting it toward a single purpose, we are moving as one.”

The partnership is a reasonable request for the government to sit down with the provinces and territories to negotiate an accord that is backed by real funding to address three critical needs.

The first is the lack of applied behaviour analysis/intensive behavioural intervention in Canada's school systems.

The second is the lack of public health care coverage for behavioural treatments. Those treatments, I am told, can cost from $50,000 to $100,000 a year.

The third is the lack of appropriate housing accommodation for adults in the autism spectrum, as the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin pointed out.

An investment by the previous government in July of 2015 supported the launch of the partnership, which included the development of a national autism spectrum disorder working group, a self-advocates advisory group, a comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy, and the development of a business plan for the implementation of this partnership.

An intensive stakeholder engagement process was delivered. It engaged with over 100 government representatives in all the provinces and territories and with relevant stakeholder groups, and included over 4,000 responses to an online survey.

A special focus has been placed on the needs of indigenous people and northern communities to identify their particular priorities and identify appropriate methods to examine meaningful responses to their service needs, both on and off reserve.

In November 2016, the partnership, CAPP, presented its final report to the current health minister, including the proposed business plan for the partnership and a request for $19 million over five years. It included a framework for agencies in provincial, territorial, and indigenous communities to work together.

However, the minister refused the request. The refusal seems indefensible, given the need and the goal.

The partnership is not intended as a substitute for the funding needed for essential services or supports to those on the autism spectrum or even for ongoing research. It could play a critical rote in coordinating across the country—across jurisdictions, across agencies, and across communities.

We hope the Liberals' refusal to invest in this worthwhile initiative is not premised on the fact that it was initiated under the previous Conservative government. Certainly it would have been helpful if the Conservatives, while in power, had backstopped this work with the funding or political commitment necessary to improve service delivery and supports, but the request and the need have not gone away.

It could support opportunities for many autistic individuals, their families, and their caregivers in receiving more timely and effective support, thus reducing the fru...”

Ms. Linda Duncan

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...eyond research, and in fact it is actually encouraging that there be some kind of a forum where the families who have autistic members can access this research and those who serve them.

I think ...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ant to thank my colleague for her remarks, and underscore the importance of research and access for families.

Just very briefly, my brother was diagnosed with autism at the age of 57, and so for...”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...intervention, and those kinds of things, and forget adults with autism and the challenges faced by families. I just want to thank the hon. member for taking the time to recognize those challenges.

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... persons with disabilities.

I gather from her speech that she is quite aware that parents and families are mortgaging their future to take care of these children. It can be a trying situation.

We held consultations across Canada to develop a bill that will help persons with disabilities, including those with autism.

My question is simple. Does the hon. member think that we should be looking at this in a broader sense and ensuring support for all families of persons with disabilities, including those with autism?”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t to spend my time today talking about the principles of the Canadian autism project, about helping families who are dealing with autism not just in Ontario but right across the country.

It is important that we look at the principles of the Canadian autism project. There are five listed in the report, which states that all Canadians living with autism have the right to inclusion, understanding, and acceptance; respect and dignity; full citizenship; equitable opportunities and access; and personal autonomy and decision-making.

We are very lucky to be here in Canada where acceptance of differences in Canadians is a trait that we celebrate and practise every day. It is important that government do its part to foster this acceptance. The Canadian autism project, or CAP for short, has brought major stakeholders together to share ideas and practices that will benefit the education and life-learning skills that take longer to learn for those children who have autistic spectrum disorder, simply known as ASD.

The origins of CAP go back to budget 2015 under Prime Minister Harper, which brought the CAP working group together to deliver a report to take action on ASD. The initial budget offered $2 million. Following the delivery of this report last fall, there was an ask to fund the project further. In the 2017 Liberal budget, the Minister of Finance and the government ignored that request. CAP was asking for $19 million.

Let us look at the five principles to try to make some sense of it all for the government, and to persuade some members on the Liberal backbenches to support the motion and help Canadian families who live with ASD in their homes.

The first principle refers to Inclusion, understanding, and acceptance. As I said, half a million Canadians are living with ASD. Each one of those Canadians is an individual who has his or her own personality, interests, talents, and most important, tremendous potential. I cannot overstate the importance that each Canadian with ASD is given every opportunity for that potential. Sadly, this is not the case across the country because, depending on the province one lives in, the diagnosis, treatment, and potential for each child differs.

In Ontario, intensive behavioural intervention therapy, IBI therapy, for children over five was eliminated, leaving thousands of families struggling to get the treatment they need. There needs to be an understanding at every level of government about the needs of the children and families when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of ASD.

The second principle of CAP is one of respect and dignity. Living with ASD is not easy on the family, and especially on the child who has been diagnosed. Life is different for those who have ASD. Between 50% and 70% of those with ASD will have a mental health condition. To have ASD also means that the child may not understand what is happening to him or her or know how to compensate or handle it. Making sure there is proper treatment across Canada would help ensure that those children would have the sense of dignity that most Canadians feel.

The third principle is full citizenship. For Canadians, full citizenship means that every person should have access to all of the services available for a correct diagnosis, for treatment, and for the best possible life. The cost of caregiving for a child with ASD is up to $5.5 million. All levels of governments need to work together to provide education, health care, and potential, three things that every parent expects his or her child to have access to.

The fourth principle as noted in the CAP report is equitable opportunities and access. The principle is demonstrated with the Canadian autism partnership vision statement, which states:

All Canadians living with Autism have the opportunity to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives, and are able to access the necessary supports and services in a welcoming and understanding society.

Autism is the fastest growing diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada. There has been a 100% increase in positive diagnoses in 10 years. One in 68 children is now living with ASD, up from one in 190. Boys are now five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed. In Ontario, in 2016, there was a wait-list of 2,192 people for intensive behavioural intervention, and almost 14,000 for applied behavioural analysis. (1150)

What CAP is going to do is create a national platform for multi-sectoral collaboration and innovation to drive systemic change. The CAP approach creates opportunities for many autistic individuals along with their families and caregivers to benefit from the efforts of decision-makers to have better coordinated and timely support. Children with ASD could have reduced isolation and less frustration in their search for the best intervention and care.

The last principle is personal autonomy and decision-making. All children are different in their approach to how they will learn, react, and be the children that their parents knew they could be. Parents do not lose faith in their ASD child; sadly, it is governments that act like they do.

Decisions made by governments have created an excessive wait-list for individuals seeking a housing placement. Parents are forced to drop their children off at social services offices given their lack of alternative options.

Decisions by the government created the lack of support of dual diagnosis centres across Ontario. These centres provide needed support to families of children with ASD dealing with multiple diagnoses, for example, ASD with epilepsy, ASD with Tourette's syndrome, et cetera. Funding decisions in Ontario have increased the need for vocational support training to create more inclusive workforces.

Let me wrap up in the few minutes that I have left to emphasize just why the motion should pass and why the government should grant $19 million over five years as requested by the Canadian autism partnership.

As the motion states, passing the motion “would support families and address key issues such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis and treatment.”

I know that $19 million is not going to resolve the crisis that is autism and treatment for our children, but this money would allow the Canadian autism partnership to go forward over a five-year time frame. The funding and five-year period would go to the start-up, operation, and costs to address the complex initiatives.

As I stated earlier, some provinces assist families with autism better than others. It is time that nationally we had a framework and a group of amazing organizations, community groups, and centres of higher education working together. If we can do this, then we can, in an exceptional manner, affect Canadian families facing ASD. With a comprehensive and united national effort, governments can ensure early identification, early intervention, employment, interventions, and service for the best quality of life at all ages, specialized medical care, access to dental and mental health care, education leading to a transition to work, post-secondary school, and most important, a successful independent lifestyle.

The House and its members can make the mission of CAP a step closer to reality. That would be to accelerate systemic change at the national level by mobilizing multiple sectors to address complex issues related to autism using a shared leadership approach to achieve a collective impact.

I ask that all members of the House undo the wrong of the 2017 budget and support the work of the working group and grant the Canadian autism partnership the $19 million it needs.

On behalf of Barrie—Innisfil families, and I have met with many of them who are dealing with the issue of autism, the five of us ...”

Mr. John Brassard

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...pass this motion and to make sure the resources are available, broadly, across this country to help families cope and deal with the issue of autism.”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...to provide evidence-based advice to governments to make decisions that matter in the daily lives of families.

I would ask the hon. member to speak to what he sees is the importance of good-quali...”

Mr. John Brassard

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“.... I will say that I deal with this on a weekly basis, in my office, and my staff does as well, with families coming in, quite frankly frustrated by the lack of government resources toward dealing with...”

Mr. Phil McColeman (Brantford—Brant, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ot going forward with it in the budget.

There could be nothing more important than supporting families in some of the most difficult situations dealing with individuals with developmental disabilities in their homes and in their lives. It is not only difficult, but often most rewarding as well, as the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin can attest. We have both some of the best times that we could ever experience as a family member, and also some of the most difficult. Navigating our life through this labyrinth of what we built as supports in society is a very difficult task.

When we talk about this working group, it is essential that we have the experts guiding families who are not only dealing with it now in youth and adult phases of their children's lives and their family members' and friends' lives, but through the whole course for the long term. This initiative is one that could be picked up by the government, moved down field, and taken to the next level until we come to a day when the integration of these individuals into society is achieved.

Why the government would not prioritize this as being one of the most important issues is puzzling to me. As my colleague said, this would be a shame if this is somehow political, because this is nonpartisan. If there ever is a topic that we should be addressing in the House, it should be topics like this that could be truly nonpartisan.

Let me tell the House about Jordan, a 30-year-old guy who is developmentally disabled and recently, because of an initiative that people in our community took, is working in a social enterprise, a shredding business. What does any parent want for their child? I have four children, and what any of us wants for our children is for them to maximize their abilities and be the best person they can be in this world. Often that involves excelling at their vocation, doing their life's work, taking that forward, and excelling at it.

What does that mean to a young guy who could probably never have the vision to be able to work? It means taking paper and putting it into a shredder as being one of the most meaningful things to give him a sense of goodwill, contributing something, and having a healthy self-image. (1205)

Is that not what we want for all our children? Is that not what we want for all the children in this country, whether they are on the spectrum, off the spectrum, or out there in the world?

Today, we are talking about extending a very small amount of money. That is what this motion is calling for, a very tiny amount of money. Others have tried to put it in perspective, what this means in terms of supporting this group that is in true need. We all have examples.

My granddaughter, Maggie, who is eight years old, in Sarnia, has actually had the experience of living in Calgary with her family and experiencing what that province had to offer in her early years, and this will be of interest to members from other ridings. Her family had the opportunity to move to the United States, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and experienced the supports that were available there. Currently, she is residing in Sarnia, Ontario. This is all due to the occupation and vocation of my son-in-law who works for Imperial Oil.

What my daughter and her family have seen in that transition between those places is a varying degree of support across those three locations. I was so happy when my colleague brought up the fact that his son, Jaden, had experienced wonderful supports in Alberta. That is exactly what my daughter and my Maggie experienced in Alberta.

Then moving to the United States, she also found great support in the state of Michigan. Then coming to Ontario, it was a different ball game there. In fact, recently, a few weeks ago, my daughter called me as I was driving one day. She asked where she should go for Maggie as she gets older. She wanted some ideas, some advice as to how to get a school going, something that is relevant to help her become the best person she can be.

I tell these stories because I think it is important for all members today to feel free to get up and tell stories of individual Canadians they know who are dealing with the issue of autism within their families. It is great, rewarding, and good, but it is also very difficult.

We can do something...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...g and wealthy corporations.

We can afford this $19 million to effect a change in the lives of families that are dealing the challenge of special needs children, in this instance, autism. We can ...”

Mr. Phil McColeman

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e individuals? This group would help define that, would help give direction to that, and would help families that were dealing with that very question. If we do not fund this group, it is incredibly s...”

Mr. Majid Jowhari (Richmond Hill, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...pectrum disorder, or ASD, has serious health, social and financial consequences for individuals and families. Indeed, we must all be prepared for the challenges presented by the increasing number of children being diagnosed with ASD if we are to help them live healthier and more productive lives.

I acknowledge the effort across the country to support those who living with ASD. Often, much of the support comes from the health care, education and social services sectors. While these domains are under the responsibility of the provincial and territorial governments, federal investments in data collection, in research and innovations, and in skills training contribute to the improved services and programs.

An essential aspect in supporting these front-line efforts is obtaining a clear understanding of the magnitude and characteristic of ASD, both across regions and over time.

Many of us know there are public concerns about increases in the number of Canadian children and youth with ASD. While research supports the conclusion that ASD diagnosis are rising, we do not currently have comprehensive data for Canada. Thus, we lack the building blocks nationally that will allow us to accurately report on how many people are living with autism and how many new cases are emerging.

This is a gap that the governments are working together to address, and the work is well under way. Complete valid, timely, and representative prevalence estimates on the number of Canadians with ASD are needed to take an informed and calculated action. This is why we are building the national autism spectrum disorder surveillance system, or NASS. The NASS is led and coordinated by the Public Health Agency of Canada in partnership with provinces and territories.

This system collects anonymized annual information on children aged five to 18 who have ASD. The information is from a range of sources, including administrative records from health, education, or social services sectors. The complexity of this undertaking means that we must work in co-operation with different levels of the government and across sectors.

At its core, the NASS is a collaboration of federal, provincial and territorial governments, working together with other stakeholders, to build a comprehensive pictures of ASD in Canada.

For example, in my riding of Richmond Hill, we will soon be opening a centre in support of autism. It will be opened by Reena, a non-profit organization that promotes dignity, individuality, independence and personal growth, and community inclusion for people with development disabilities, including autism.

The key objectives for NASS surveillance system are: to estimate how many Canadians have ASD and how many new cases are emerging over time; to describe the population of Canadians with ASD and compare a pattern within Canada and internationally; to better understanding the impact on Canadians with ASD; to increased public awareness and understanding; and to informed policy and program decision making.

As noted earlier, the development of NASS is a substantial undertaking that continues to depend on the engagement and collaboration within a wide range of partners. Consultation with provinces and territories and with ASD stakeholder communities, as well as extensive study of the provincial and territorial data sources, have been essential to progress in developing and implementing ASD surveillance.

The Public Health Agency of Canada put in place an external advisory committee to guide the work on NASS, made up from experts from across Canada. Members include provincial representatives, clinicians, policy experts, and the stakeholder groups representing the interest of those living with ASD and their families. (1220)

Based on guidance from this advisory committee, the initial focus is on tracking ASD among children and youth. The work is critical and complete and timely information on autism trends remains key to informing program delivery to support families.

In developing the NASS, we are also cognizant of the unique needs and circumstances of individual provinces and territories. As part of the program design, the Public Health Agency used a collaborative and phased approach to support provinces and territories in joining the NASS. This ensured that the national ASD surveillance objectives would be met and the information needed for jurisdictions would be addressed.

The process also accommodates varying states of jurisdiction readiness. The reality is that there is significant diversity in capabilities to participate.

Because of this, the Public Health Agency of Canada has engaged provinces and territories based on their current data system. In many cases, this has involved supporting them with a preliminary feasibility and validation project.

In terms of data collection, participating provincial and territorial partners will collect and share this information with the Public Health Agency at periodic intervals for inclusion in the NASS. While ownership of collected data resides with the provinces and territories, the federal Public Health Agency plays an important stewardship role. Experts review data quality, generate analyses, and provide interpretation in order to support public reporting on the state of ASD in Canada. In doing so, the NASS will provide the evidence to inform critical planning of programs, services, and research. That will make a difference for Canadians living with ASD, their families, and their caregivers.

The national ASD surveillance system illustrates the solid partnership among federal, provincial, and territorial governments to improve data and to use data to drive decisions and actions. Presently, seven provinces and territories are on board and work is under way to recruit additional jurisdictions. Complex surveillance systems like this one take time and resources. Their impact, however, is substantial.

A major milestone will be reached in 2018. The first public report for ASD prevalence in Canada is planned for release. Shortly thereafter, we look forward to a comprehensive implementation of NASS as we get closer to the full provincial and territorial participation, surveillance capacity and infrastructure development, and expansion of surveillance to adult population.

We must constantly remember that all collaborative efforts are targeted to ultimately help children and families affected by ASD. This clear federal leadership role is filling a gap that is foundational f...”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... if we are not going to use the information? Once we know people have autism, is it okay that their families are mortgaging their houses to get evidence-based treatment? Is it okay that 85% of people ...”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ise to speak about autism spectrum disorder, and in particular, about its impact on individuals and families in our communities.

I would like to begin by commending the great work of the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin when it comes to raising awareness about the needs of individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder.

While today is specific to autism spectrum disorder, I want to raise the fact that many people in our communities face challenges in seeking treatment and proper support for caregivers of loved ones with serious disabilities. I hear from many people at the door, in my office, and in various situations about their challenges.

My daughter has had the opportunity to volunteer as part of a reverse integration project at the Beverley School in Toronto. Some of the students at Beverley School have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Beverley School teaches students from JK to grade 8, and the philosophy of the school is a team approach to supporting the educational needs of students who have developmental and/or physical disabilities.

I mention this because spaces like the Beverley School are so important to younger students with autism spectrum disorder. One student, okay, my daughter, wrote the following about the school on its blog:

Beverley isn't a place of work nor a place where you have to go to take tests or to have to be forced to learn something you don't want to learn. You are surrounded by supportive and helpful friends, in gym class, H and E would walk in a circle holding hands and then we would try to throw the rainbow ball into the hoop and it turns out S is quite good at basketball. We had fun and that is, in my opinion what Beverley does best, making work that could be tiresome and changing it and making [it] more fun and comprehensible, something a lot of schools are missing and that Beverley excels at.

I have highlighted the Beverley School, because it is one example of the bright lights for children with disabilities and their families. Today I would like to focus on that aspect of today's motion. How can we support people with autism spectrum disorder and their families or caregivers?

I talked with a family in my community that includes two children with the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The boys have been students at Beverley School. The challenges highlighted by their story are similar to what I have heard from many similarly situated families, not just with autism spectrum disorder but also with severe disabilities. The challenges are financial, and there is a need for caregiving assistance.

I would like to describe the concerns raised in the parents' own words:

Since [both boys] are physically able and indeed physically precocious boys, we are stretched to the absolute limit of our endurance to look after them. While we are fortunate enough to be able to afford in-home private support, this, in combination with our expenditures on camps and special programs, costs us about $50,000-$60,000 each year.... As we grow older, we are worn by our sons' disabilities. We worry about their future and our future.... [The boys] cannot be looked after in a home setting as they grow older without professional and motivated caregivers present for 16 hours each day (assuming that they are not in school). There are no publicly provided solutions for a problem like this. We are faced with group home care, which is largely unavailable, or a quite startling financial burden.... [The] publicly supported responses to this sort of disability long ago turned away from institutionalization. We cannot say that we disagree with this. The resulting vacuum, however, has left us in a completely untenable situation.

The reason I wanted to read that part of that family's testimony is that we need to give voice to some of the people who are directly impacted by the issues we are debating today. It is important for us to take into account their perspectives on the needs we must meet.

Today is about autism spectrum disorder, but the general question of supporting individuals with disabilities and their families or caregivers should also be part of this discussion. The issues raised by the person I quoted earlier are similar to many other disabilities as well.

Last week, I saw the play The Boy in the Moon at the Crow’s Theatre in my community. The play is based on Ian Brown’s book about raising his son, Walker, who has a rare genetic disorder. It pointed to some of the same challenges: parent or caregiver fatigue, financial concerns, wanting proper opportunities for a child, and concerns about a child's future as the parents or caregivers age.

I would like us to consider this universality when we consider such issues as family or caregiver supports where a child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. I would like us to also consider how we can create a framework that includes all individuals with more severe disabilities and their families. (1235)

Today I am advocating for such an inclusive framework, a way to ensure that individuals with severe disabilities who will not be able to live independently, and their families, have proper supports.

I had the opportunity recently to hear from Sister Sue Mosteller, of the Sisters of St. Joseph, as part of a consultation on a national poverty reduction strategy. She provided a moving presentation on supporting people with disabilities and their families. She told the story of a family she was working with. Two sons had chromosome disorders. They required constant supervision, and the parents were exhausted. She flagged the need for parent respite and supporting these families.

A common theme that also arises is a concern about long-term care for individuals who will never be able to live independently. What will happen as parents age and cannot look after their adult children? On this point, I would like to tell members what I heard from someone in my community who wrote to me. He wrote:

Unlike children who grow up and become active members of the work force, a severely disabled person, like our son will never be able to do this. This results in increasing costs for our care of him, not decreasing costs like most families. Combine this with the fact that as he turns 18-21, much of the infrastructure we have relied on, disappears or changes.

Years ago, the system chose to migrate children of this ilk to the home from institutions. I have no doubt that this change has resulted in a better quality of life for the children and families. Frankly, I can't imagine it having been any other way, but the system has not provided enough support to those of us at home. My wife can't work as she has to care for our son, I am still taxed at 50%, even though our mandatory expenses can become debilitating.

...the system is awash with good intentions and poor outcomes.

The question today is how we move beyond good intentions to get to good outcomes. I have heard from many people today about the funding that has gone to science to find means of early detection, diagnosis, and treatment. We have heard about how the government is supporting initiatives to better understand multiple factors that can influence autism spectrum disorder, as well as about the projects that are being undertaken to understand autism's development over the course of a person's life.

All of this is important, and I am happy to see these steps being taken to support this research. However, today I would like us to also consider the issue of how to deal with the vacuum that has been pointed out by people in my community. What support are we providing to individuals with severe disabilities, specifically those people who will not be able to live independently, and what supports are we providing for their families? As we have moved away from institutionalization, which I applaud, how will we make sure that across our country, the future for these individuals is secure and that the families are supported?

I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisl...”

Ms. Julie Dabrusin

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... is something I hear about all the time from people in my community, how we support individuals and families with children who will not be able to support themselves and live independently. There are ...”

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...eant. I remember, though, how our officials grappled to address the needs of the children and their families who were suffering with autism. Since that time, it is obvious we have come a long way in addressing this issue, but we still have a very long way to go.

The impacts of autism are wide ranging for individuals and families affected by the condition. Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, can present lifelong challenges. For researchers, ASD is particularly complex, as it affects each individual differently. A great deal of valuable research has already been done to uncover the causes of ASD, as well as research into the most effective treatments and long-term implications of this disorder. However, further research is required in order to gain a more solid understanding of this very complex situation.

That is why today's motion is so important. Let me read the appeal that is in the motion. It states:

...the House call on the government to grant the $19 million over 5 years requested by the Canadian Autism Partnership working group, Self-Advocates advisory group, and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, in order to establish a Canadian Autism Partnership that would support families and address key issues such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

Over the past few weeks, I have been contacted a number of times by a constituent in my riding with autism. Allow me to share a few of his words with the House. He said:

I am Autistic--on an extreme of the spectrum called Asperger syndrome. I have been incredibly blessed by the fact that I am high functioning Aspergers and have a great support group of family and friends, so I do not face the same challenges that most with Autism and Asperger syndrome face. While I face few of the challenges that many with Autism and Asperger syndrome do I have do have some idea of the challenges and therefore this is a big issue for me. I have been aware for a few weeks after the statements in the House of Commons by [the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin], that in the last budget the Liberal Government has not supplied funding to the Canadian Autism Partnership this bothers me tremendously. I don't like to see any loss of funding to groups that work on Autism planing, strategies and awareness. I have taken a lot of time to decide whether or not to say anything about this because it is a very important issue for me but also a very private one. This is not a question I suppose and I don't know what to do to bring this issue to the Federal governments attention. So this is just me expressing my frustration with the situation to make you aware of my concerns.

Economic action plan 2015, established by our former Conservative government, proposed to provide $2 million in 2015-16 to create a working group, led by the minister of health, to consult with stakeholders, including the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, on the development of a Canadian autism partnership. Of the $2 million in funding, $1.5 million would be used to support stakeholder participation in the working group. The working group would be tasked with the development of a plan for the Canadian autism partnership that would address key issues, such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and supporting families.

This is exactly what my constituent and thousands of Canadians are asking for. In fact, this young man, now a university student, states:

I was diagnosed as Aspergers on the Autism spectrum when I was nine years old....One of the biggest challenges I face is that my reading comprehension is very week, I read a level behind my year in grades one and two because of this. Now that I am in university this presents a major challenge because of all of the reading required for my classes....My short-term memory is not very strong but my long-term memory is very strong. As a combination of all of the above school work takes me twice as long as a normal person to complete, this means during school I do not sleep much at all. Some corrections can be made by using text-to-voice software to dictate all of my work, as well as using software to read my work back to me. This is very helpful when it comes to editing essays, and the software can also be used to read my readings to me, which reduces my work time somewhat. Challenges still exist in taking notes...as well as studying. There is really no way to correct the note taking problems, but studying can be addressed by studying aurally in a group. Many of the ways I can use to overcome or correct my challenges came from professionals and I would really hate for others younger than me not to have access to such services because of budgetary reasons. (1250)

The Canadian autism partnership is designed to rapidly drive policy improvement at all levels of government for Canadian families living with autism. Whatever the challenge related to autism, for example, early intervention, education, housing, or vocation, the CAP will bring together the top experts in the country to provide solid evidence-based advice to decision-makers.

As important as what the CAP is, is what it is not. It is not just another autism organization. Rather, it is a true partnership intended to represent the entire Canadian autism community speaking together with one voice on the many things on which the Canadian autism community largely agrees.

The following is taken directly from the Canadian autism partnership project's report “Better Together: The case for a Canadian Autism Partnership”:

With input received from 4,963 Canadians representing all ten provinces and three territories, it is clear that there is strong, positive support for the CAP model as presented in this business plan. In particular, stakeholders valued the opportunities that CAP would provide for collaboration and knowledge exchange. They saw the potential for achieving efficiencies in programming and service delivery and the benefits of a knowledge repository. Families and self-advocates were enthusiastic about the potential for being able to influence the research agenda, and recognized that although the proposed CAP may not necessarily address their immediate issues, its focus on addressing complex issues and systemic barriers was an essential part of moving towards improved outcomes for families and individuals and enhancing capacity in communities.

The development of a Canadian Autism Partnership provides a unique opportunity to harness the collective investment, innovation, knowledge and capacity of a nation to get behind one of the most pressing issues of our time by enabling governments, researchers and service leaders to work together to address those barriers that prevent Canadians with Autism from participating in the full experience of our Canadian society.

Individuals with autism and their families want what everyone else wants: to fulfill their aspirations and flourish with the support of their family, friends, and society as a whole. All too often, however, they and their families face a strong stigma and lack of understanding of the challenges they face and the support they need in order to reach their full potential. Families can feel that they are on their own. They might not know which way to turn or where to seek the best advice. However, through their personal advocacy efforts, individuals affected by autism and their families have shown us how resilient they are. People affected by this condition can and do succeed with the right support, as evidenced by the young man from my riding whom I quoted earlier.

It is important that these individuals and their families know that the federal government is working with its partners and other stakeholders to sup...”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e are all talking about today regarding autism spectrum disorder, there are commonalities for other families as well who deal with other severe disabilities. I wonder whether my colleague sees options as to how we can serve all families, making sure we are not creating gaps between people who might have a very rare genetic dis...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, it is clear that on this side of the House there is wide support to support families who have persons living with autism. What is desperately needed, though, is leadership from the government, not excuses about what may or may not be there. It is leadership that is needed, and the provinces desperately need this as well. They need some direction. They need to know that the federal government cares about persons living with autism throughout their entire life, recognizes the support that is necessary, and will put the money into the Canadian autism partnership project.

The money we are talking about is such a small amount of money, yet it would make such a huge difference in the way we go forward in talking about persons with autism in our country. Every person in this House knows someone in his or her family, community, or constituency who is living with autism and who needs the federal government to show the leadership that is necessary.

Does the member agree that $19 million is a small amount of money to help all of those families and that leadership should be shown by the government today with a vote in favour?”

Mr. Harold Albrecht

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... pulling back from a commitment that the Government of Canada made to this entire community and its families.

To me, it is unconscionable because, as my colleague has pointed out, I am convinced there is not one member in this House who can say he or she does not have a relative or a former schoolmate or a neighbour or someone else who has been impacted, and it is not just that one person who is impacted: there are ramifications and challenges faced as well by the families and communities who surround these individuals.

It is incumbent upon us to act and to...”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ng, social impairment, and restrictive and repetitive behaviours. Individuals with autism and their families face unique challenges over their lifespan that can often lead to crisis situations, so it is not just a health issue that we are dealing with; it is something that has overarching implications. As well, it is a spectrum disorder, meaning that the range of symptoms that people have and how it manifests itself in each person are variable and different.

I want to put those numbers into perspective.

In Canada in 2017, close to 400,000 children will be born. When about 3,800 of them are welcomed into the world, the initial reaction of the doctors and the people who look at this newborn infant will be, “You have a healthy baby boy.” Things will often go along quite well for a number of months, sometimes years, but sometimes small things or large things start to cause the parents some concern.

I had the privilege of working as a nurse in a small rural community for many years. Often I would see newborn babies, and part of my role was doing developmental assessments and monitoring developmental milestones for year one, year two, before they entered kindergarten. I will give maybe two examples on the spectrum.

One was a baby that came into the office for an 18-month immunization check. The mom started to express some significant concerns in terms of the verbal ability of her child and the tension within her child. She knew something was not quite right. Things were not going on in the way that her older daughter had progressed in terms of milestones. With a parent's instincts, she knew something was wrong. She ended up getting further assessments and received a diagnosis of autism. That early diagnosis really made a difference in terms of the ability to intervene and to mitigate some of the symptoms that the child was experiencing.

Another mother had a child who was about 10 years old, and she once said to me, “God gave me patience and then God gave me Mark.” She did not know that anything was wrong, other than that he had some challenges that she should could not quite put her finger on. He spoke well and was obviously very bright, but there were issues in terms of social interaction and a few other areas of his life, and he had been a particularly challenging child for her as a parent. When that was further investigated, he was diagnosed, and again it was autism spectrum disorder. He had a little help in his school, and it made all the difference in the world to have that diagnosis, to have that support, to learn how to accommodate some of his needs, and he obviously went on to, in his case, a very successful future. (1305)

As critic for indigenous affairs, I think it is important for me to also comment on that aspect as an issue. A lot of research has been done, and in the indigenous community it is believed that there is a significant underdiagnosis of children experiencing these problems and that there are significant issues in receiving support and interventions.

The government talks about Jordan's principle and the importance of having equitable services. This motion represents an opportunity, because the Canadian autism partnership group has recognized that it needs to work with indigenous communities to really provide support and ensure that diagnosis and appropriate supports are available. That is within some of the goals that have been mentioned.

I want to do a special shout-out to the Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism in my riding. I first visited that facility probably about 20 years ago. It was for children who were having too much difficulty to be in the regular school system. I was absolutely amazed by the commitment, passion, and support that the team was giving to help the many children who went to their facility. The Chris Rose Therapy Centre has a school program, an extended program, and a summer program, and they have support for adults with autism. Those kinds of facilities are across the country, but sometimes it is hard for a facility that is providing care to have the latest research and the most up-to-date interventions, and again I think the Canadian autism partnership is something that will move us forward in this area.

CAP is designed to rapidly drive policy improvements at all levels of government for Canadian families living with autism. Whatever the challenge is, whether it is early intervention, education, housing, or vocation, it will bring the top experts in the country together to provide solid evidence-based advice to decision-makers.

I am not really quite sure what the Liberals are talking about when they are resisting this motion. I think it is important to recognize that it builds on a lot of work that the federal government has undertaken for a number of years now. In 2007 a Senate report called “Pay Now or Pay Later” recognized that there were some issues. There has been a lot of hard work done by a lot of organizations to get us to where we are now.

The Canadian autism partnership has great guiding principles. One of the Liberals said it would not help with a particular situation. I would encourage her to read the report, because in actual fact it is specifically designed to help in all aspects of life with autism across the spectrum and throughout the entire lifespan.

It also says that CAP must be relentless in terms of its reliance on solid evidence and dedication to converting that evidence into policy that improves life for Canadians and those living with autism.

Again, I would encourage especially the Liberals to read what the guiding principles are and what the plan is when they look at that $19-million request. I know $19 million is a significant amount of money, but in terms of a federal government's budget and in terms of what can be accomplished, I cannot think of a better way to spend $19 million over five years.

Voting yes for this particular initiative is going to make a profound difference to the 7,000 babies, their families, and the communities that I just talked about, as well as to the centres such as the one in...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...at we want to improve. We want to improve the process, carry out research, and develop ways to help families. We agree that that has value.

Through public consultations held across Canada, we we...”

Mrs. Cathy McLeod

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...Canadians in a positive way. What better way to spend $19 million than to help support communities, families, and children and adults living with ASD.”

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ging with other departments to determine investments that can best help those with autism and their families. I think all of us would agree that the primary objective here should be how we help those families and those who are directly affected by autism.

We understand that the ministry is engaged on this issue. Opposition members have already made their decision, and that decision is supported by the New Democrats, and that is good for them. We know the fine work the Canadian Autism Partnership Project has done in the past. We recognize that. I have visited the website, as I am sure most members have. The organization has done a phenomenal job in consultations, reaching out, and trying to come back to the government with some proposals. In fact, the Minister of Health had the opportunity to review the issue that was presented and a decision was made in regard to it. The member across the way is asking us to rethink that decision.

However, it is important we all recognize this. Because the member opposite brings forward a motion, asking for an allocation of $19 million, does not mean the government has not taken this issue seriously. We take this issue just as seriously as the former government did.

The Minister of Health has been meeting with provincial jurisdictions. In fact, we have even achieved health care accords. I would suspect that a good part of the discussions that take place among the bureaucrats at both the provincial and national levels deal with issues like autism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. All of these issues are very important for us to deal with. We are not just talking about $19 million. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars when we start to talk about dealing with issues such as autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, and other disabling and challenging issues our children and young adults have to face.

The Minister of Health has a broader responsibility to ensure we are, as much as possible, providing the necessary leadership to deal with these issues in a very tangible way. That is why the parliamentary secretary earlier talked about a couple of things, and I would like to highlight a few of those. (1325)

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research invested $39 million over the past five years. That is a significant amount of money going toward health research. Also, in budget 2017, support for parents with disabled children was expanded to up to $2,769 per child in addition to the up to $2,300 as part of the revamped Canada child benefit program. There are also $5 billion that the government plans to invest in mental health for youth, which will, in fact, have an impact on young people diagnosed with ASD.

There are additional whole-of-government efforts that have taken place that support autism, including supports to families through improvements made to the child disability benefit in the Canada child benefit. Under the leadership of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, federal accessibility legislation is currently being developed. Employment and Social Development Canada is investing $15 million in the ready, willing, and able initiative, RWA, currently being delivered through a partnership between the Canadian Association for Community Living and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance.

They give the impression that the government is not moving forward on this issue, but that is just not the case. The Minister of Health has captured the essence of the issue and the bureaucracy within the Department of Health is taking the initiatives that are necessary and can actually make a difference.

I cannot say enough about the Canada autism partnership and what it has been able to accomplish to date. I applaud each and every person involved in that. The Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance is a fantastic group that bridges every region of our country, I suspect, through the care and compassion it has demonstrated not only over the last couple of years but for decades of dealing with this very issue. I know that because it was a topic of many discussions in my former life as a member of the Manitoba legislative assembly and the health care critic in the province.

I posed a question to the member opposite regarding the need for co-operation, and I did it because of my understanding of how health care services are delivered. If I factor in my personal experience, as I am sure members across the way are aware, it is not just the departments of health in the different provinces having to come to the table on this very important issue. Members can check with the department of family services in the Province of Manitoba, for example, and I suspect they will find other sources of money and supports that are accessed in several departments in the different provinces. They will find that in some areas there are more progressive municipal governments that look at ways to provide support. That is not to mention the many non-profit organizations that deal with this particular issue in a very real and tangible way. Autism spectrum disorder is well established and well understood and, yes, there is room for us to move forward.

I expect the Government of Canada to do what it is doing today: investing real dollars, where it can, that are going to make a difference for those who have autism and, in particular, the families affected as a direct result of it. Where it can provide that direct delivery, I encourage and promote it. I would love to see more research done on it. (1330)

I really believe the single greatest thing that the Minister of Health can do on this particular issue is to ensure that she is working with the different stakeholders in trying to assist, and that there is some commonality between the different provinces, to take a look at our best practices in one province and maybe see how they could be incorporated into another province. Some members of this House have already drawn the conclusion that there is only one way to do that best, and that is through the Canadian autism partnership.

I have confidence in the Department of Health and this particular Minister of Health who has demonstrated a caring, compassionate heart when it comes to delivering on what Canadians believe is so important to them and part of our identity, and that is health care services. We have a minister who has been more proactive than the previous four or five health ministers under the Conservative administration, and that can be very easily demonstrated. I have more confidence in her ability to ensure this aspect of health care, the autism spectrum, is in fact being addressed.

When I see the type of budgetary initiatives that the government has in place or continues to support, and the type of other ministerial involvement, such as the one I made reference to in terms of sports and disability, I see that as encouragement. At the end of the day, I do not believe for a moment that there is a member inside this chamber who does not recognize the importance of the issue. I believe we all recognize that.

I choose to believe that at the end of the day, if we recognize that the Minister of Health—and I repeat what I said earlier—is still engaged with many different groups to identify other potential opportunities for partnerships and with other departments to determine where investments can best help those with autism and their families, that is something I believe is of critical importance.

If we are to move forward, I want this government to move forward in the right direction, so at the end of the day, we will ultimately see the best results we can see, with the finite amount of money that government has.

I disagree with members who say that it is 10¢ a day for this, or it is only $19 million. I can assure you that every one of the constituents I represent would argue that a million dollars is a lot of money. We could take that approach and say that this is a very good cause, which it is.

Do not quote me on it, but I suspect the Province of Manitoba spent somewhere between $6.5 billion and $7 billion on health care last year or the year before. Every dime of that, I would argue, is very important. We understand the importance of health care. We understand the importance of being there for our children and our families. This is a government that understands that, and if we look at the budgetary issues that we have presented to this chamber, we find there are numerous actions that have been taken in order to support our families.

I suspect that, as we continue to move forward, we will see more tangible actions th...”

Mr. Bob Saroya (Markham—Unionville, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... good friend from Winnipeg North. He is all over the map. It is the communities that are suffering. Families have issues. Families have major issues with the kids.

I attended a number of fundraisers. I have seen a nu...”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... we would find a way to get to yes: yes to support for people with autism, yes to support for their families and their support workers, and yes to supporting all those people who surround them with love and want to make sure they succeed.

The hon. member says it is a lot of money. No, I would say it is not a lot of money. What we are not spending now, we will spend later. What we are not spending in this way, we are spending in the wrong way. This is an investment in an inclusive Canada, something we would hope the government would support.

However, we have heard yet another one of those speeches that talks about consulting people, thinking about it, working on it later, and finally coming to a conclusion sometime over the distant horizon. When is the government actually going to take action to support people with autism and their families and make this a more inclusive Canada?”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...lliance worked for two years on this to come up with a way that we could meaningfully help Canadian families living with autism. It is $3.8 million a year, and yes, I do believe that number is relevan...”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...debate. Why did the government decide to cancel the good support that the former government gave to families, to fathers, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, who tried to work hard to support their c...”

Mr. Gérard Deltell

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... always proudly says that it is the government of the family, that it spends billions of dollars on families, that it is very careful. Just a few days ago the minister from Quebec City said that I, th...”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...we do not implement something as tangibly important as the Canadian autism partnership for Canadian families.”

Ms. Christine Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t would help us save money through a better exchange of information about practices that might help families and patients.”

Hon. Scott Brison (President of the Treasury Board, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ments and create jobs for the middle class.[English]

We will do what is fair for all Canadian families. Our tax measures benefit those who need the help the most.”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ls' plan to go into debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren and to keep taxing Canadian families is simply not working.

The Liberal government insists on having a carbon tax that will put even more of our Canadian families into debt. When will Canadians finally get a break and a chance to breathe?”

Mr. Darrell Samson (Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families make huge sacrifices to serve Canadians. As the member for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcoo...”

Hon. Kent Hehr (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we are committed to veterans and their families in delivering the services they need where and when they need them. We have been showing that commitment since day one of our election by improving financial benefits and by improving access to services. In fact, we followed up on that commitment in budget 2017.

I am very proud of the fact that we will be opening a centre of excellence on PTSD and mental health issues to better support veterans and their families. We are moving forward in a positive direction. We will continue doing this throughout the ...”

Mr. Randeep Sarai (Surrey Centre, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...reat duty to those who have given so much in service for all Canadians. Canada's veterans and their families deserve our care, compassion, and respect. As the Lower Mainland grows rapidly, more and mo...”

Hon. Kent Hehr (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e to thank my hon. colleague from Surrey Centre for his passion and advocacy for veterans and their families. Next week is a big week for Veterans Affairs as we will be reopening the last of the nine offices closed by the former government. We will be opening up the Prince George office.

I can also say it is exciting that we will be opening up a brand new office in Surrey, B.C., where we will be able to serve 7,000 veterans and their families. We then will be able to get our programming, one-on-one help they need to help build their...”

Hon. Jane Philpott (Minister of Health, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...isorder of great significance, and it has a significant impact not only on individuals but on their families for their entire lives.

It requires a whole-of-government response, and in fact, that is what our government is doing. As the member indicated, we are investing in research and data and surveillance and training. We are also investing in a range of government programs that will have a positive impact on these families, including the child disability credit and including the Canada child benefit.

The Mi...”

Ms. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... which is a meagre amount, in light of what I am talking about with regard to Bombardier, for those families that need it most, those that are impacted by autism.

To be frank, I believe this is an injustice, not only to these families but to all Canadians, not because all are impacted by autism but actually because society functions best when all of its members are given opportunities to reach their full potential.

In Canada right now, one in 68 children are diagnosed with autism. This number actually goes to one in 48 among boys. More than 500,000 Canadians are living with autism today, and it is the fastest-growing and diagnosed neurological disorder in the country.

Autism is a brain condition associated with poor social skills and has a wide range of symptoms, including communication difficulties; social and behavioural challenges, including obsessive behaviour; and hypersensitivity to sound, light, or other sensory stimulation. While the autism of a computer scientist might go unnoticed, at the other end of the spectrum, one-quarter of those with autism are entirely non-verbal.

Autism is a condition that defies simple generalizations. It is not a condition for which we can put people in a box and define them one way or another. Like all individuals, those who have autism have their own personalities, interests, skills, abilities, passions, and potential.

I want to focus on potential. Canada is a land of potential. It is a place where we bring refugees in from all over the world to give them the opportunity to realize the raw potential that lies within them. Every Canadian deserves this opportunity. Like you and me, those who live with autism possess greatness within them. They are intelligent, they are creative, and they are lively, and there is something wonderful in each of them to give back and contribute to this great country we call home. However, unfortunately, their potential often goes untapped.

About half of those with autism are of average or above-average intelligence, yet very few actually graduate from high school, and of course, even fewer go on to complete post-secondary education. Approximately 25% of those with autism are employed, and only 6% are competitively employed. These numbers are very concerning to me, because they represent a tragic loss, a loss to our society, when we could actually be benefiting and enjoying the potential of each of these individuals if they were given the right support.

Sadly, hundreds of thousands of people actually live rather idle and isolated lives, because they are forced to do so. Families struggle to know how to best support their loved ones, because there just are not the resources or the research to back up those resource developments. These families are actually in significant need of help. The help they are asking for at the moment takes the form of the Canadian autism partnership.

Do these individuals not deserve more? Do they not deserve an opportunity to function at their greatest possible potential? Particularly in light of the Bombardier bailout, I believe this is a very small and common-sense request. (1515)

What are my Conservative colleagues and I are asking for? We are asking that the Minister of Health acknowledge that individuals with autism and their families face very unique challenges in life, and these challenges span over a lifetime. They often result in a crisis situation due to the condition, and families then have to deal with those.

Furthermore, as I stated earlier, autism is not just a health issue for the individual and his or her family members and loved ones. It actually has overarching implications for Canadian society as a whole. My colleague, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent said earlier that this was not an autism issue, that this was a Canadian issue. He said it well. It is not something that we can just put on those families or those individuals who have to wrestle with autism and find the necessary supports in order to live a life with autism. It is not just on them. The onus is on us as a society.

To be quite frank, the loss is ours as well. Again, these individuals possess such great potential.

Accordingly, those of us on this side of the House are calling on the government to grant $19 million over 5 years, as requested by the Canadian autism partnership working group, Self-Advocates Advisory Group, and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance. We are asking for this in order to establish a Canadian autism partnership that would support families and address key issues such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis...”

Ms. Rachael Harder

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nd honour the request of this grassroots initiative, and the phenomenal work it has done to support families that live with autism. That is the question of the day. My question for the government is whether it will follow through with this initiative, which is noteworthy and worthy of celebration. This group is deserving of the funding in order to support these families.

With respect to the member's question as to whether we, as a Conservative caucus, wo...”

Ms. Pam Goldsmith-Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ank the hon. member for his ongoing efforts in raising awareness about the needs of individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder. Many Canadians are dedicated in the same way in which the hon. member is, and today is a significant day on their behalf.

Dr. Glen Davies is another champion. He says that the prevalence of autism is accelerating at an alarming rate. In 1975, just one in 2,500 children were being diagnosed. Today, it is one in less than 100. He goes on to say:

The next set of solutions will be at the convergence of a wide variety of disciplines and include families, communities and a wide range of thinkers. No one group can do this alone. Communities, schools, health care systems, and governments must work together.

I believe it is in this spirit that the member has brought forward the motion and it is in this spirit that networks are being built across the country. This is precisely what the government is assessing at this time, as we engage with many groups to identify potential opportunities for partnerships and as we engage with other departments to determine where investments can best help those with autism and their families.

I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the Pacific Autism Family Network in British Columbia, which has been envisioned and built through an inclusive and collaborative process, including families, individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related disorders, clinicians, community professionals, researchers, and representatives of government within the framework of the Pacific Autism Family Centre advisory committee.

The Pacific Autism Family Centre is a family-first model. It is the first of its kind in Canada and North America. At the centre, key organizations are brought together under one roof so everyone is working together, sharing information and ultimately supporting families.

Autism BC, the oldest organization in British Columbia, is central to the hub as is the Autism Support Network, the provincial ministry of education, and the provincial ministry of children and family development. Autism Speaks is a major funder and partner, which focuses on research, and is highly supportive of this model of collaboration. The Miriam Foundation provides resource materials and information with the intent of delivering the best service to every individual. The Sinneave Family Foundation is another partner. Its vision is that every adolescent and adult in Canada with autism spectrum disorder will be supported in realizing his or her highest quality of life.

The fact of having these partners under one roof makes life so much easier for families and their children.

The 60,000 square foot centre is the vision of Wendy and Sergio Cocchia. Sergio also serves on the previous government's Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance. The province of British Columbia gave a huge boost to the centre through a $20 million capital contribution, followed by a significant capital campaign.

At the centre, there are service providers, medical and dental practitioners, and a partnership with UBC to train health care professionals, while in university, to become aware of and comfortable with people with autism. The centre has a preschool where 50% of the children are on the autism disorder spectrum and 50% are not. Behavioural analysts are being trained.

Apart from the significant funding the federal government provides to some of these research and support partners, the centre also partners with the federal government to deliver the ready, willing and able program and the employment works program. The ready, willing and able program helps employers across British Columbia to hire people on the spectrum and to sustain them on a permanent basis. The employment works program works on the other side of the equation with individuals to connect them to placement opportunities.

The Pacific Autism Family Centre is leading Canada in job placements. Having just started in January 2016, there are over 100 people in permanent positions today. It is going so well that they are being contacted daily by parents who wish to be part of this program on behalf of their children over 18. The centre also reaches out to companies to participate. For example, SAP has a mandate of hiring 1% of its staff from people on the spectrum by 2018.

The collaborative model is serving families. Informing researchers and families is the second pillar for the centre. It serves as a hub for research. Supported by first-class technology from Telus, this research model is a two-way forum so that research is going directly to families and families are informing new research. Again, this is at the heart of our government's approach. (1530)

Third, the centre is building spokes out from this hub. New smaller locations are opening in British Columbia. A small one has opened in Williams Lake and a more major one in Prince George. Bringing services together, providing access to information that is available at the central location, and expanding adult programming is very important in parts of the province, and indeed the country, that are more remote. Equal access and inclusion are critical aspects of public health and healthy communities, and those who need it most should be our top priority. Living away from urban centres presents challenges that the Pacific Autism Family Network strives to address.

The network believes that autism is a condition that affects whole communities. As such, we need an integrated solution that includes community education, teacher learning, the training of specialists, more awareness for medical practitioners, and support for siblings, parents, and extended families. Governments cannot do it alone. The Pacific Autism Family Network is about coming at this together. It is about saying, “Let us pool our resources and work with governments to get out in front of this issue. Let us be the leader and show the world how this could be done.”

For our part, the federal government is making significant investments each year to support research focusing on ensuring that children and adults affected by autism spectrum disorder and their families have the best support and treatment possible. Over the past five years, the federal government has invested close to $40 million in research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Canadian researchers are recognized as global leaders.

At the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the autism genome project is composed of researchers from more than 50 research centres across 11 countries as the world's largest research project on identifying genes associated with the risk for ASD. Our government continued to make significant investments in research and innovation in the last two federal budgets. In budget 2016, the federal government announced a new ongoing investment of $30 million per year to support investigator-led research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. This investment represents the highest amount of new annual funding for discovery health research in more than a decade.

As I went over this speech this morning about what today's debate was on, I thought, for the most part, it would be very difficult to say which party was speaking. My Conservative colleagues talk about a shared leadership model, putting research into practice, and bringing all of the initiatives into one place, and I could not agree more. Our government is reviewing the important work of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance to this very end.

There are other significant efforts under way. One is to create a national autism strategy under the leadership of one of the senators. Another is a major effort from the Medicare for Autism Now network to advocate for health care funding. These are important voices, too.

Members of Parliament clearly care. Today's debate is important. On behalf of the families in my riding, many of whom are leading the charge, as is the hon. member, I am confident that our government, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and other ministries involved will operate within a colla...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Lib.)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ce.

We are committed to improving the quality of life for people living with autism and their families. One Government of Canada program designed to do just that is the enabling accessibility fund. This program supports community organizations and workplaces to help improve accessibility and participation in their organizations. Our government believes in the benefits of this program, which is why budget 2017 proposes to provide an additional $77 million over 10 years to expand its activities and enable the program to support more small and mid-sized projects in Canadian communities and workplaces.

We have also provided an additional $4 million over two years, starting in 2016-17, to the enabling accessibility fund's community stream through budget 2016.

Our government is also aware of the costs of taking care of a child with a severe disability. That is why we continue to provide the child disability benefit, which is an annual amount of up to $2,730 per child eligible for the disability tax credit. This is in addition to the $2,300 average increase Canadian families now receive from the recently revamped Canada child benefit.

These are practical measures that we have in place to help families living with autism.[Translation]

However, we need to take a step back and look at the...”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... what we could do to make a difference, because this is not just kids with autism, but it is their families, their friends, and everyone involved. The sad thing is that it was working really well.

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...have acquired some understanding of both autism spectrum disorder and the needs of people and their families across this country who are touched by it, and I am the father of a child who has a different kind of global developmental delay. It is not autism but it is similar. Through her experiences, and as the parent of a special needs child, I have been exposed to the wonderful world of developmentally challenged children, teenagers, and adults. I have been fortunate enough to meet these fabulous, wonderful Canadians who are touched by a number of different afflictions, including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, different forms of developmental delays, Tourette's syndrome, anxiety disorders, and cognitive impediments. However, I can tell members that I have never met Canadians who are more generous, more kind, more co-operative, or who more enjoy life, love their families, participate with gusto in our communities in every facet, and contribute to Canada in profoundly important ways.

I can count myself privileged to be friends with people with autism spectrum disorder of many ages. The first point I want to make is that it is not a disability but a health challenge, but with an investment of resources and funds, we can make a significant difference in their lives, no different from what we do for many Canadians who are afflicted with any number of different health conditions.

I want to review a couple of facts that put this motion into perspective. We know that one in 68 children are currently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We know that the prevalence of ASD has increased over 100% in the last 10 years. We know that autism is the fastest growing and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada. We are not sure how it is caused, but we believe it is linked to a number of genetic and environmental influences. We also know that autism is an equal-opportunity condition as it occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. We know that autism is a lifelong spectrum disorder. We know that early intervention can make a lifetime of difference. We know that mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression are common in individuals with ASD. We know that the unemployment rate for adult individuals with ASD is a shocking 80%. However, we also know that, with the right supports, all individuals with ASD can thrive and meet their potential.

This is not necessarily cheap. We know that treatments for those on the autism spectrum can cost between $50,000 and $100,000 per year. We also know that early intervention is critical, that parents with a child born with autism spectrum disorder need a quick diagnosis and access to every kind of modality and treatment that exists, as we know that can make a tremendous difference in their lives.

We know that ASD is a family condition, that moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and relatives are all touched in some way by autism. We know that, depending on their place of residence, not all affected Canadians have access to the same quality of care. We know that provincial health plans do not provide equal levels of coverage. We know that wait lists across this country are far too long for just about every family with a member suffering from ASD. (1600)

We know that there has been some progress over the last few years. In November 2016, the Canadian autism advisory group presented a final report to the health minister. It contained a proposed business plan for a Canadian autism partnership and a request for $19 million over five years, which is the genesis of the motion before the House today. However, unfortunately, the Liberal government decided against funding this partnership model, and in response, advocates have taken to social media to flood the minister and the Liberal government with over 3,000 tweets calling for full funding for this partnership.

What we need and what the motion calls for is the development and implementation of a plan that represents a comprehensive approach that would address both systemic issues and the complexities of individuals on the autism spectrum. This plan would create opportunities for many autistic individuals, along with their families and caregivers, to benefit from the efforts of decision-makers to enhance coordinated and t...”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...and with other departments to determine where investments can best help those with autism and their families.

The Minister of Health has been very genuine in reaching out, trying to have a posit...”

Mr. Don Davies

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...years to help put into reality a plan that was developed by stakeholders across the country to help families and individuals deal with autism. If I were the member, I would contemplate that vote very ...”

Ms. Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor—Tecumseh, NDP)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ch to autism spectrum disorder has let down thousands of Canadians on the autism spectrum and their families. We share their disappointment and we stand with them in their call for action in support of the Canadian autism partnership.

We continue to see a significant increase in the number of Canadians being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, yet all across Canada, vital services, supports, and resources have not kept up with the increasing need. It is time for the federal government to finally sit down with the provinces and territories to negotiate an accord, backed by real funding, to address the lack of applied behaviour analysis and intensive behaviour intervention, also known as ABA and IBI, in Canada's school systems, and the lack of public health care coverage for behavioural treatments, and the lack of appropriate housing accommodation for adults on the autism spectrum.

The Liberal government's refusal to fund the Canadian autism partnership, CAP, at $19 million over five years is rather indefensible. While this model is not a substitute for real funding to provide essential services and supports for those on the autism spectrum, the CAP would play an important coordinating role at the national level.

The NDP believes that given the scale of the problem, it makes no sense for the Liberal government to refuse to make this small investment in so worthwhile an initiative just because it was something that was brought forward by the previous Conservative government. Of course, this refusal to fund would be entirely defensible if the Liberals were bringing forward their own well-funded and targeted national strategy, but I think we all know that such a plan is not forthcoming.

Autism is not a matter that any of us should be playing politics with. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that the previous Conservative government never got around to backstopping its own initiative with the funding or political commitment necessary to improve the service delivery and support.

As Kathleen O'Grady, research associate at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute in Concordia University has noted, autism does not affect Liberals or Conservatives or NDPers; it is an equal opportunity neurodevelopmental disorder that affects Canadians across the political spectrum and clear across the country.

I would like to take a moment to look at some of the specifics of autism in Canada. At this time, one in 68 children is currently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. ASD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. It is now the fastest growing and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada. As my hon. colleague stressed earlier, its prevalence has increased over 100% in the last 10 years.

Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups, and is a lifelong spectrum disorder. Mental health concerns, such as anxiety and depression, are common in individuals with ASD. Sadly, the unemployment rate for individuals with ASD is over 80%.

Treatments for those on the autism spectrum can cost between $50,000 and $100,000 each year, yet depending on their place of residence, not all affected Canadians have access to the same quality of care. Provincial health plans do not provide equal levels of coverage, and wait-lists are often several years long. People on the autism spectrum lose access to public education and specialized services as they grow older and become adults.

Last, the most important point I would like to make is about early intervention. Early intervention can make a lifetime of difference. I heard this from so many professionals who came forward and talked to me during the election campaign. They are professionals and work with children, and were applauding our proposed early childhood affordable day care strategy, because early interventions are so much an intricate part of what a national strategy would entail. (1615)

With the right supports, all individuals with ASD and other disorders can thrive. The earlier the intervention, the more successful the outcome. We know about early intervention leading to success no matter what challenge a child may have. The earlier we can identify that a child needs support, and the earlier appropriate support can be provided at the right time and in the right way for that particular child, the more likely it is that the child will be more successful than he or she would otherwise have been. It is because they have had early intervention that we see children who are now in the regular school system and we see children graduating from high school and university.

As I mentioned earlier, New Democrats have always been champions on this issue. Going back to 2006, the NDP health critic, the member for Vancouver Kingsway, previously introduced Bill C-327, an act respecting a Canadian autism day, in recognition and support of the many Canadians affected by autism spectrum disorder.

We believe, however, that at this point, there have been enough studies, enough round tables, enough consultations, and enough motions debated in this chamber. As well, let us not forget the Senate. It is time for us to do something.

Anyone following this issue for any length of time can be forgiven for being just a tad cynical about the debate we are having here today. There has been everything done around this issue except for the serious concrete action required, backstopped with the right amount of funding that matches the scale of the challenge presented to us. If this is not why we are here today, then we may as well move on to something else, as I have no intention of further insulting and hurting the families, caregivers, and institutions that have been dealing with this matter for decades. These pe...”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ound the ages of two or three, but more needs to be done to raise awareness about the signs to help families detect autism early on.

The motion brought forward by my colleague addresses an issue he knows all too well and for which he has been a great champion for many years. It calls on the government to grant $19 million over five years, which has been requested by the Canadian autism partnership working group, the self-advocates advisory group, and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance.

Unfortunately, this funding was nowhere to be found in budget 2017. The Liberals do not seem to realize that this funding is needed to help establish a Canadian autism partnership program that would support families and address key issues, such as research, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

In contrast, in the 2015 budget, under the previous Conservative government, the Canadian Autism Partnership Project, CAPP, was established. It is worth noting that many Liberals supported that idea, such as senator Jim Munson, a Liberal senator.

The national ASD group, led by the Minister of Health and some of Canada's leading autism experts, was established to guide the work of CAPP, which received $2 million in funding to explore a partnership concept through broad-based engagement that would address all the issues I have raised.

Our 2015 election platform also promised:

...we'll continue to support the Autism Spectrum Disorder Working Group's work to develop a Canadian autism partnership. We'll be read to support the initiative in areas of federal jurisdiction once the development work is complete.

As we have all heard, this should not be a partisan issue. This is a matter that needs to be addressed at the federal level but has, unfortunately, been ignored by the Liberal government.

It is disappointing to hear and see that Liberal MPs would rather hand out millions of dollars to Bombardier executives so they can reward themselves with big bonuses over providing necessary funding for issues such as autism spectrum disorder.

My friend, the member for Carleton, put it into perspective. One bonus to one Bombardier millionaire executive would pay for the entire autism commitment.

I want to share my family's own experience with autism spectrum disorder. It is not something I share very often, but I assure members that I have received permission. Since this is an important issue, and we need to raise as much awareness as possible, I spoke with my son last night and I got his permission.

My son was diagnosed with Asperger's, which was one of the previously separate subtypes of autism that I mentioned earlier in my speech.

Those who are diagnosed with Asperger's are considered to be at the high-functioning end of the spectrum. However, he, like many others who are eventually diagnosed with Asperger's, had difficulty with social interactions.

Without a doubt, we faced many challenges. There was growing frustration with the school system and the medical system, since he was poorly diagnosed. (1630)

There was frustration with the system then and, unfortunately, there is still frustration for many families now. My son was very fortunate, because, unlike many Canadian families facing the same and sometimes more difficult circumstances, we had the means to put him int...”

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... who are supporting this ask. I think about the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance and the families that I hear from every single day across this country who speak to the absolute necessity of taking out second mortgages on their homes to pay for evidence-based treatment for their kids, families who are wondering what will happen to their kid when they pass away, and even what housing ...”

Mr. Colin Carrie

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s partisan lines and does have momentum.

As I said, I have been very fortunate, but there are families out there right now who are struggling. When we are looking at the future of Canada, we can...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...as saying, I have the immense pleasure of rising in the House to offer my support to the people and families dealing with autism spectrum disorder.

As we all know, this disorder affects many Canadians across the country. It is currently the fastest-growing neurological disorder in Canada. In fact, one in 68 children will be diagnosed with autism, which can take different forms but usually results in difficulties with communication, behaviour, and social interactions.

Despite the fact that I do not have the same expertise as the member for Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, the sponsor of this motion and father of a child with autism, I have had the opportunity, over the course of my career, to interact with people affected by autism. I know that they face many challenges, but I have also heard many stories of caring and love.

I say that because, before becoming an MP, I was the mayor of a municipality. At that time, I was frequently approached by parents, families, and children who were seeking support through community organizations. Before that, I was a teacher and principal at elementary and secondary schools, where I interacted with children with autism on a daily basis. I could see that their parents, despite how much they loved their children, were still experiencing some level of distress over the days, weeks, and months. They were sending us a message.

I would like to tell a personal story. When I was the principal of a high school in Plessisville, there was a young boy who was being assessed and ended up being diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. I believe it is similar to autism, but I am not an expert on the subject.

People's natural reflex, based on ignorance, was to send him to to a group with extra support, or a group for students with behavioural issues. A psychologist friend of mine with a PhD, who was involved in his case through a community organization in my region, asked to meet with me as a private individual. She knew the child and told me that I should not put him in a group with extra support because he was a different kind of kid with particular exceptionalities, but he did not have behavioural issues. Here was a kid who understood the rules but had his own exceptionalities.

It is funny because sometimes I wondered if maybe he was the “normal” one compared to the other children.

In class, the teacher gave a very simple instruction: you must raise your hand before you ask a question. This student simply followed the instruction given by the teacher. He saw students all around him who asked questions without raising their hands and disrupted the class. He got upset at one point and the teacher asked him to leave because he was disrupting the class. He came to my office and I tried to piece together what had happened. The professional explained to me that the student had reacted because the others did not understand the rules of the class. I thought it was rather odd that a child was being punished simply for wanting everyone to follow the rules. All that to say that perhaps he was the one who represented what was normal, and the others were the ones who had behaviour problems.

I say this a bit tongue in cheek, but still, it shows how little understanding we had of this issue at that time. A great deal of work has been done since then with our professionals so they can better understand and support these kids in class.

Stories like this one, about kids who integrate into social and group activities at school or who receive extra help in class, are often the ones we have in mind when we think of people with autism.

However, this is only part of the problem, because people still have the disorder after they finish school. We must therefore not limit our reflections to just children and teenagers when we try to come up with solutions to this health problem. (1645)

We have to understand that these young people will grow older with autism and will need other types of supports in their adult lives. That is when reality hits and the lack of resources is most dire. We can say that there is a huge gap between the services that young people receive when in school and those they receive after graduating, because most of the care and services stop once they reach the age of majority.

This transition from life as a student to life as an adult, which presents significant challenges for most Canadians, becomes suddenly very difficult for these young people with this disability, if we can call it that. They are cut off from most of their resources, which causes a great deal of stress and anxiety.

The working group that established the Canadian Autism Partnership project, which we are debating today, describes the lack of resources for adults living with autism. It says that the services and programs needed by adults living with autism generally do not exist or are not accessible in all regions of Canada, especially opportunities for jobs that are adapted to these individuals. It adds that provincial and territorial policies vary and that, no matter the location, families and individuals living with autism deplore the lack of support. Things get worse when autistic people reach retirement age. They usually do not have a pension or income because they have been unable to work over the course of their lives.

This reality is addressed in today's motion, where it refers to the challenges people with autism face over their lifespan. Let us not forget the parents, loved ones, brothers, and sisters who continue to support a loved one with this disorder, not to mention those living alone.

Although these two situations are different, with some living with their family and others living alone, the issue of housing is critical. Every person should be entitled to safe, affordable, and adapted housing whether we are talking about an existing house, a residence for persons with disabilities, or an individual apartment.

As mentioned earlier, employability is another important aspect. This might include adapting the workplace or creating adapted jobs. Ultimately, we must ensure that there are prospects for all autistic adults so that they may contribute in their own way and fully participate in their community's economic activities. That is the foundation of their physical and mental health.

This community involvement also has to include opportunities for socializing. The school system allows them to interact with other peers and friends and to develop and build relationships that are important for human development. However, once school is over, unfortunately, these opportunities for social development tend to dwindle, something that must be remedied immediately.

Like those of everyone else, the needs of people with autism change over the years, and those needs must be met. Today, we need to ask ourselves to what degree those needs are being met and take real action to address the gaps. That is what this motion does by proposing to properly fund a Canadian autism partnership. Such a partnership would give us the ability to assess what is being done across the country and ensure that people with autism and their families have what they need. I want to emphasize that it is also important to think about the families. This partnership would help us put people with autism and their families in contact with health care professionals, teachers, researchers, and decision-makers in order to facilitate the sharing of information and best practices.

These conversations between the federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments are essential so that we can share innovative solutions that can help people with autism across the country. By setting up this unique partnership, we will ensure that people with autism and their families can live their lives with dignity.

In closing, I want to recognize all of those people who are living with autism and their families. I thank them for their passion and dedication. We will continue to fight for them so that ...”

Mr. Alain Rayes

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...n a year for five years according to an independent, non-partisan report that calls for support for families across Canada, without discrimination.

I am proud of my colleague for holding his gro...”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...a very important issue. It affects people directly, the people suffering from ASD, as well as their families that are dealing with this. It is a terrible thing to have to deal with. I know my mother suffered from a very progressive form of MS. For the family unit to continue pushing forward, it is extremely difficult for all around, but we persevere and we continue to move forward.

Before I continue, I would like to mention that I am splitting my time with my hon. colleague from Carleton.

I would also like to recognize the organizations from coast to coast for their tireless work. I am certain everyone in this chamber knows of someone on the spectrum. They are our family, friends, neighbours involved in our communities, and they contribute to society. They are some of the most kind, generous, and, not to mention, incredibly smart people in our towns and cities.

For those at home, the motion we are discussing calls:

...on the government to grant the $19 million over 5 years requested by the Canadian Autism Partnership working group, Self-Advocates advisory group, and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, in order to establish a Canadian Autism Partnership that would support families and address key issues such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

With the enormous amounts of money the Liberal government is spending on items with far less return on investment, like multi-million dollar office renovations, free tickets to a Broadway play, a taxpayer-funded vacation to billionaire island, or even lush spending on executives at Bombardier, this $3.8 million for each of the next five years is a comparatively small amount that could make an incredible difference to families across the country.

I sincerely hope the motion will receive support on all sides of the chamber. It is an issue that crosses political, economic, social, and cultural divisions. The funding requested will directly and positively affect Canadians. It is an opportunity to really help those who need it.

Here are some quick facts about ASD in Canada.

One in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, which is a 100% increase in just a decade. Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ASD. Over 500,000 Canadians are living with ASD. It is the fastest-growing and diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada. In fact, lifelong caregiving can cost up to $5.5 million dollars more than the cost for a neuro-typical developing child. It costs approximately $60,000 a year to care for someone with autism, with most of that cost being special education and loss of parental income.

This conversation also reminds me of the battle the Ontario Liberal government lost a few years ago, when families of the 30,000 Ontario children with autism had to fight. Premier Kathleen Wynne told them that when their children turned five, or nearly five, they no longer qualified for intensive behaviour intervention, IBI. This is the only treatment that is statistically effective at improving the development of autistic children.

After a hard fight by opposition parties and the families of those affected by the short-sighted decision, Premier Wynne finally backed down. I am hoping their federal cousins will do the same and rethink their decision.

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex developmental brain disorder that can affect the normal function of the immune and nervous systems. It is a lifelong diagnosis that manifests itself in a wide range of symptoms, including difficulty communicating, social impairments, and restricted and repetitive behaviour. Individuals with autism and their families face unique challenges over their lifespan, potentially leading to families in crisis situations. People living with ASD face daily challenges, depending on where they fall on that spectrum. (1700)

As I mentioned earlier, ASD does not discriminate. It is one of the fastest growing neurological disorders in Canada. It is important that we understand some of the daily effects of it on Canadians. By no means is this an all inclusive list, but it is important for everyone to realize the daily challenges and issues that people suffering from ASD and their families face.

Children with ASD are eight times more likely to suffer from one or more chronic Gl problems than any other children. Seventy per cent have feeding or eating problems, including restricted eating or obesity. More than 50% have one or more sleep problems. One-third of people with autism are non-verbal. One-third of people with autism also have intellectual disabilities. Between 50% and 70% of people with ASD have one or more co-occurring mental health conditions, including ADHD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Epilepsy affects around one-third of people with ASD compared to an estimated 1% to 2% of the general population. This is a serious disorder that has lasting problems.

I am proud to be standing here to offer my support for the motion on behalf of the many families and people affected by ASD. While I may not always agree with my colleagues opposite, I would find it quite troubling to see any member stand up in the House and oppose this.

During my research for this speech, I also learned that approximately 25% of individuals with autism are employed. Most of this group is considered high functioning, and only six per cent are competitively employed. With increased research, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment, we could have an even larger percentage of people living with ASD in the workforce, which would not only benefit them but their families and all Canadians.

I would like to discuss the impact of this motion in my riding. I am proud of the many organizations in my riding of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock that directly help people and families with ASD. I would like to reiterate a story from my riding about a local person with autism in Haliburton who, thanks to the efforts of Point in Time and the support of the Haliburton community, completed high school and is currently excelling in college.

We have many similar stories across my riding and across this country of the great work of organizations and people supporting those with ASD. It is important to recognize these organizations for their great efforts: Point In Time; Community Living in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County; Five Counties Children's Centre; Horses Help Canada in Millbrook; Kawartha Lakes Autism Support; Kids First, Inc.; Kinark Child and Family Services; Camp Kirk; and the Durham Chapter of Autism Ontario that looks after Brock Township. There are of course many others.

I would also like to mention the Maier Centre for autism services. While this organization is not in my riding, my colleague from Edmonton West has done outstanding work with this group.

Unfortunately, due to its two most recent budgets, the Liberal government has neglected to make any pledges to autism organizations in Canada. This is in contrast to our previous government, which pledged $2 million in 2015-2016 to support stakeholder relationships on a Canadian autism partnership, of which $1.5 million would be used to support stakeholder participation in that working group. The group was tasked with developing a plan for the Canadian autism partnership that would address key issues such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment for supporting families.

Autism is a cross-partisan issue. It affects people from coast to coast. As I said, ...”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...sued in order to provide not just better treatment but also better therapies as well as support for families.

One of the concerns that many parents express to us is the lack of supportive housin...”

Mr. Jamie Schmale

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...alking about. When we look at the return on investment that these organizations can provide to help families dealing with other members of their family with autism, we see the benefit that can happen ...”

Mr. Jamie Schmale

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ment, the results that $3.8 million over the next five years would have is a huge benefit for those families dealing with members who are living with autism. We think of the work that these groups can...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... professionals so they can earn an independent life for themselves and eventually, hopefully, their families.

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, has said that he believes autism is almost ne...”

Mr. Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, CPC)

May 18th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... fair. We are not aggressors who feel the need to harass harmless fishermen on a day out with their families. We have a great country with many things of which to be proud. The media should have no sh...”

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

May 18th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...tragic moments in Canadian transportation history. Our thoughts continue to be with the friends and families of the victims of that tragedy.

As mentioned by the member of Parliament in his initi...”

Mr. Chris Bittle (St. Catharines, Lib.)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...o finding a cure and ending a disease that impacts thousands of Canadian children, young adults and families.

It is with this, as my colleagues and I return home this coming week, that I highlig...”

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

May 17th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...y is that the cost of this tax to municipalities throughout Alberta will ultimately be passed on to families and households who will already be paying for this cost directly as well.”

Mackenzi...”

Hon. Bardish Chagger

May 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nadians by raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Canadians. That is why we are giving more money to families with children that need it the most. Our approach is to respond to the very real challenges...”

Hon. Bardish Chagger

May 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ouncil to develop guidelines surrounding reimbursement for travel by sitting Prime Ministers, their families, and guests. Prior to our taking office, no such guidelines existed.”

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

May 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...hat is why we have lowered taxes on middle-class Canadians. That is why we are giving more money to families with children that need it the most. That is why we are making strategic investments in inf...”

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

May 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ians.

Are the Liberals not ashamed of imposing new fees and an additional financial burden on families that are already struggling?”

Hon. Jane Philpott (Minister of Health, Lib.)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...pectrum disorder is a cause of lifelong concerns for people who are affected by it, including their families. We are all recognizing the need to advance further opportunities for recognizing these dis...”

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

May 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...urdered indigenous women and girls.

The terms of reference of the inquiry make clear that the families should and must be at the centre. I have read the letter from the families. They are making heartfelt suggestions and asking important questions.

I am looking f...”

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

May 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we are well aware that this move will have an impact on employees and their families. We will continue to do everything we can to minimize that impact. People currently working...”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...emely proud of the tireless efforts of the United Steelworkers, whose advocacy on behalf of Westray families resulted in the Westray law. We just have to make sure that all levels of government enforc...”

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

May 17th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... on aging any time soon.

This is serious. Too many seniors are falling through the cracks and families are struggling profoundly. This needs to be addressed.

Canada's population is aging rapidly. For the first time there are more people age 65 and older than there are children between the ages of zero to 14 years. By 2036, seniors are expected to make up 25% of the population. People 85 years of age and older make up the fastest growing group in Canada. This portion of the population grew by 127% between 1993 and 2013.

The accelerating pace of aging in the population carries profound implications for everything from government budgets to pensions, health care, the labour market, and social services. In fact, caring for aging parents costs Canadians an estimated $33 billion a year in out-of-pocket expenses and time taken from work. That figure is expected to grow by more than 20% over the next decade, according to a report released last week by economists at CIBC. We cannot afford to ignore the study. Action is required immediately.

The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development thinks his government has a strong record. We have heard him praise himself and his government when it comes to seniors. He refuses to acknowledge the important role of caregivers and the economic impact of the country's changing demographic.

The first step is admitting one has a problem. It seems the Liberals are still sleeping at the wheel. I have witnessed the financial hardship that caregiving has on people in my riding. Recently, at a town hall I held on the disability tax credit, a gentleman in his eighties came to speak with me about his challenges. This is an important story, and I am absolutely positive it is not a unique one across this country, because it outlines the emerging reality seniors are facing.

He told me that he had a good pension, but now his wife has dementia and he is caring for her. He could not afford to put her in a care facility because there are no rooms that are subsidized and the least expensive placement was $6,000 a month. He simply could not afford to pay that. How many people in Canada cannot afford that amount? He shared with me his deep fears. As the only caregiver, his health is now beginning to fail. I did not know what to say to him when he said to me, “What do we do if I get sick, too?” The response, “We're just going to research it” would be completely meaningless to someone who needs action now. (1830)

The NDP has long held the position that to meet the coming challenge of an aging population, we need a thoughtful and strategic approach to seniors care. This motion makes good strides in the right direction, but it falls short of implementing any action other than further study.

It is disappointing that the member took the rare chance of bringing a motion to a vote in order to pat the government on the back for past changes, and without bringing in any real action for seniors. The government cannot get away with doing something symbolic and refusing to take action. The motion is trying to toot the government's horn about the work it has done in order to protect the Liberals from the very real failure of delivering care to our seniors. Once again, they are trying to take the NDP's hard work, and pass it off as their own without taking any concrete action.

Although the motion is self-congratulatory, it fails to mention that the Liberals have not delivered on their clear platform promise of indexing OAS and GIS benefits to a new seniors price index. They have failed to make an immediate investment in home care. They have failed to make prescription drug costs affordable. They have failed at making affordable housing a reality for seniors. Wait times for GIS and OAS are outrageous. We also know that the caregiver and disability tax credits are not filling the huge gaps that caregivers and their families are facing, and I could go on.

The Liberals' veil of self-congratulation is blinding ...”

Mr. Jim Eglinski (Yellowhead, CPC)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...s are important, and as such, they deserve their own portfolio. We have a minister for children and families, as well as a minister for youth, so where is the minister for seniors? It is clear that Canadians recognize the importance of such an appointment, but does the government?

The dramatic greying of Canada's population will reshape the economy, stifle growth, and force governments to provide for a growing number of seniors with a shrinking pool of taxpayers. Currently the government does not have a sustainable plan to address both the challenges and opportunities that stem from this unique shift in our country's population. Instead of a plan, it has plunged our country deeper into debt, along with our citizens.

In fact, budget 2017 did very little for seniors. Instead of introducing tax measures that would have helped make life more affordable for those living on a fixed income, it scrapped tax credits that seniors rely on, credits such as the family caregiver tax credit and the public transit tax credit. Budget 2017's catch-all policies with the word "senior" stamped on them are not enough to address the very real needs of our aging population.

Another problematic aspect of Motion No. 106 is section (b), which seeks to restore the age of eligibility for old age security to 65. Everyone knows Canadians are living longer and healthier lives, and the OAS program needs to reflect this new reality and provide the option for individuals to work longer and receive higher retirement benefits.

In budget 2016, the Liberal government set up an advisory council. That advisory council came back to them in 2017, saying that the government needed to address this point, that it was important, that they could see the need. Motion No. 106 is in direct contradiction to what the advisory council stated.

If the age of eligibility for OAS returns to 65, in 13 years the cost will go up by $10.4 billion. As well, the guaranteed income supplement will go up by $1.2 billion in 13 years. Given Canada's current economic situation, it is of great concern that the Liberal Prime Minister has demonstrated that he does not take long-term financial sustainability seriously. Canadian seniors deserve a government that will stand up for their needs and deliver long-term results.

Our previous Conservative government has a strong and dynamic record of support for seniors. We were transparent and vocal on ending elder abuse and senior communal isolation by establishing the New Horizon for Seniors grant program in 2011. Our record also shows that Conservatives made the largest increase to the guaranteed income supplement in a quarter of a century. We created tax-free savings accounts to allow Canadians to benefit. Our previous government expanded the compassionate care program and provided tax breaks to caregivers.

In 2011, we reduced the number of Canadians in need of housing through a multi-level government framework and an investment of $1.4 billion. Close to 184,000 households benefited. I know I am running out of time, but I just want to say a couple more things. (1915)

I am concerned about the future of our aging population. The Liberal government continues to demonstrate a lack of respect for Canadian seniors and their concerns by refusing to appoint a minister of seniors or commit to a timeline for a national seniors strategy. Therefore, I urge this House to support the amendments to Motion No. 106 and support meaningful action for seniors.

I had a lot more to say and I wish I had the time to say it, but I will say that seniors play an important role in our families, our communities, and our workplaces. They are the people who started this country. They ar...”

Mr. Marc Serré (Nickel Belt, Lib.)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ures that need to be taken to develop a national strategy. I also thank the many volunteers and the families in ridings across Canada that want to help seniors and improve their quality of life.

..”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...hey are still all over the House at this hour. We are thinking of the victims, survivors, and their families.

I am here tonight to follow up on a conversation I was having with the Minister of S...”

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

May 17th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... experience, and their greater vulnerability to that violence.

To ensure that women and their families fleeing violence have somewhere to turn when they are in need, budget 2016 committed $90 mi...”

Ms. Pam Goldsmith-Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ter please tell the committee and Canadians how CETA would benefit middle-class Canadians and their families?”

Hon. François-Philippe Champagne

May 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ce to have an ambitious trade agenda, because we invested in Canadians, we invested in middle-class families, we invested in infrastructure.

However, when it comes to Mercosur, I will just highl...”

Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Lib.)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... By working for a better world, by combatting epidemics or climate change, and by welcoming refugee families fleeing war and conflict, we are working for and with Canadians for a healthier, safer, and...”

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

May 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...tend to marry later, have fewer children, provide better health, education, and nutrition for their families, and earn more than women without the advantage of schooling.

When women can participate in the economy on an equal footing with men, economic growth rates and income per capita increase, allowing people to be lifted out of poverty. When women and girls have access to information about their health and well-being and have agency over their sexual and reproductive health and rights, they are empowered in all aspects of their lives. Rates of unintended pregnancy, maternal mortality, and unsafe abortions go down and families thrive.

Adopting a feminist approach is both the right thing to do and the smart thin...”

Ms. Pam Goldsmith-Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

May 17th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ve not lived up to their promise, the promise of jobs, growth, and prosperity for workers and their families. These sentiments have resulted in a growing opposition to trade agreements, particularly w...”

Mr. Phil McColeman (Brantford—Brant, CPC)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“..., since June 2016, to bring the legislation to the House in response to the Senate amendments. RCMP families and members have been waiting that 12 months.

It is well known within policing circle...”

Hon. Rona Ambrose (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...here is a lot at stake. Any changes the Prime Minister makes will affect thousands and thousands of families.

When is the Prime Minister going to stop interfering in the independent National Ene...”

Mr. Chris Warkentin (Grande Prairie—Mackenzie, CPC)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, it is that time of the year again when families start making plans for their summer vacations. I am wondering if the Prime Minister can com...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...igenous women received a failing grade from the Native Women's Association of Canada. Yesterday, 30 families and indigenous leaders said the process is in “serious trouble”. A full and independent inquiry was promised to families, but that is not what they are getting.

I have asked this question before and the min...”

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

May 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... and murdered indigenous women and girls. The terms of reference of the inquiry made clear that the families should and must be at the centre. I have read the letter from the families. They are making heartfelt suggestions and asking important questions.

I am looking f...”

Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Liberals continue to fail Canadian seniors and their families. On Friday, I asked why they are not making palliative care funding a priority. The parliam...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ore them altogether.

It won't stop over-worked people from descending into depression, losing families and committing suicide. It won't stop abusive managers from bullying and intimidating the m...”

Mr. Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay, NDP)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... and often remote communities across the country. They are moved regularly, causing hardship within families and relationships.

In fact, their pay was calculated with the assumption that the rat...”

Ms. Dianne L. Watts (South Surrey—White Rock, CPC)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...here we make a difference, and that is where we have empowerment within our communities, within our families, and that is what makes us stronger.

While I honestly appreciate my colleague, and I ...”

Mr. Shaun Chen (Scarborough North, Lib.)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ir own homes. School social workers may then have an opportunity to provide specific information to families in need, linking them with supportive resources in their community.

Education can be ...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...to succeed. We need to get to the bottom of why so many women disappeared. We need to support their families. We need to fix our social institutions to make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent further tragedies like this.

It is in that spirit that I asked both on Friday and this afternoon if the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs is doing everything she can to have the inquiry succeed. Do the commissioners have full access to inquiry funding, and if not, who is delaying approval of those expenditures? The minister refused to answer. On Friday, she also answered, “We are confident that the commission has the tools, the resources, and the networks to ensure that voices of families are heard and that they have the support they need”, but that is not what the families and survivors are saying.

Yesterday the inquiry received a failing grade from the Native Women's Association of Canada, and also yesterday, 30 families and indigenous leaders wrote an open letter to the chief commissioner. They said that the process is in serious trouble due to delays and a lack of transparency and communication. Both reports issued yesterday suggested that the approval of the budget, as well as the lack of access to funds, may have contributed to those delays.

That is the question I am repeating tonight, because that is wholly within the realm of the Liberal government. It is not the independent inquiry but the government that has the responsibility to make sure the resources it promised are flowing to the commissioners and to the inquiry so they can do their vital work.

In the Native Women's Association of Canada report card, it said, “It is likely that outside factors, such as the approval of the budget as well as a lack of access to funds, may have contributed to the delays”. In an open letter published yesterday, an entire section was dedicated to the question of the independence of the inquiry. It says,

We were promised an independent inquiry, but it appears that many questions remain about the role of the Privy Council Office (PCO) in decision making.

These are the questions I put on the floor again tonight, the same questions. These are the exact words that were written in the open letter:

1. Does the [Privy Council Office] approve expenditures or does the Inquiry?

2. Has the Inquiry been hampered in its ability to support families or its work because of the [Privy Council Office]?

3. Has any of the budget for the I...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

May 16th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...tional inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. It is because for far too many families, a mother, sister, daughter, niece, or friend has gone missing, and they need answers.

The terms of reference for the inquiry make it extremely clear that families should, and must, be at the centre. They are the families that fought so hard to get this national inquiry in the first place. It was their voices, their strength, their courage, and their well-being. The point of this national inquiry is not only to produce a report. It is also about helping families heal and have their voices heard, and through them, the voices of all the women and girls we have lost.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report lays out three main stages on the path to reconciliation. First is truth telling, second is healing, and third is reconciliation. If we are to advance reconciliation in Canada, we must never forget to help one another heal.

What we have heard to date is raw and intensely personal. It has left no doubt in our minds about the urgent need to examine the underlying and deep systemic challenges of violence, including racism and sexism, and the sustained impact of colonialism.

We also know that we cannot wait for a national inquiry to make recommendations before we act, which is why our government has already taken immediate action on root causes, with investments in women's shelters, housing, education, and child welfare reform. This includes expanding the network of shelters to include five new centres for families fleeing violence on reserve, and $2.6 billion over five years for kindergarten to grade 12 education on reserve. It includes $554.3 million over two years from budget 2016 to address urgent housing needs on reserve plus an additional $4 billion over 10 years from budget 2017 to build and improve housing and other community infrastructure.

This national inquiry was purposely developed to be independent so it would be free from political interference and so the voices of families would be heard. That is what is happening now, and it is up to the commission to take the f...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson

May 16th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... approve expenditures, or does the inquiry? Has the inquiry been hampered in its ability to support families or its work because of the PCO? Can the member demonstrate that the PCO has not or is not i...”

Ms. Kamal Khera

May 16th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ation, and child welfare.

The terms of reference for the inquiry make it extremely clear that families should and must be at the centre, the families that fought so hard to get the national inquiry in the first place. We have stated that the commission must also ensure that the voices of families are heard in a culturally appropriate and trauma-informed way. We made the national inquiry independent so it could be free from political interference and so the voices of families will be heard.

That is what is happening, and it is up to the commission to take the ...”

Mr. Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood, CPC)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...who came to Canada after World War II came from a war-torn country to build a better life for their families. There were very few jobs in Italy, so a number of families decided to make the move to Canada. Many came to Canada with just a suitcase in their hand, and that was all they had.

Today, there are approximately 1.4 million Canadians of Italian descent. Of the 10,000 who live in Saskatchewan, the majority live in Saskatoon and Regina. About 3,000 make Saskatoon their home, and almost a third live in my riding of Saskatoon—Grasswood.

The Italian culture is rich in tradition. We all know that. When one of my Italian constituents was asked to describe what Italians are like, she replied, “We are very resilient, hard-working, and hospitable. We love to socialize. We believe in unconditional love, and family means everything to us. We are very proud of our culture.”

What was it like for a family to leave Italy and come to Canada? One member of the Saskatoon Italian community, Rosemarie Palidwor, shares her family's story: “My parents, along with other Italian families, immigrated to Canada, to Saskatoon, in the late 1950s and the early 1960s. They were young. They were motivated, and they wanted a better life. They were told that Canada was a 'land of opportunity', a place to put down roots and raise a family. With some Italians already in Saskatoon, they were sponsored, so, on borrowed money, they chose to leave Italy and take the journey to what they hoped would be the beginning of a wonderful new life.

“It was a cold day on November 22, 1959 when my parents arrived at Pier 21 in Halifax, after spending two long weeks on the ocean. To this day, my mother is still afraid of water and becomes seasick at the thought of being in a boat. My mother was four months pregnant with my sister at the time.”

“Upon arrival, it did not take long for excitement to turn into anxiety and much uncertainty: not being able to speak English, no means of transportation, and no jobs. The first few years were especially hard. A tight network of family and friends certainly helped my parents through the tough times. They were able to lean on this support group and begin to build the life they were hoping for.

“The prairie winters were long and very cold. Italian immigrants who were new to Saskatoon were taught how to make preserves for the winter months. Italians were resourceful, and they looked for ways to save money for their first house. Many families rented a garden plot of a dollar from the City of Saskatoon at the corner of 33rd Street and Avenue P. They planted lots of tomatoes. It was not uncommon for Italian gardens to have 200 tomato plants. They made a lot of delicious tomato sauce and canned the sauce for the winter months. Many families purchased freezers, which came in very handy throughout the year. (1110)

“As time went on, there was an opportunity to learn English. Many Italians would go once a week to the Gathercole building in downtown Saskatoon to learn the English language.

“The majority of Italian immigrants worked in low-paying, manual jobs, as cleaners or construction workers. My father, like many of the men, had very little or no education, but they were skilled tradesmen. Many were bricklayers, carpenters, stonemasons, and tile setters. In fact, my current home was built by Angie and Joe Iula of Valentino Homes in Saskatoon. It is the finest craftsmanship. We had it built by the Italian couple in 1989.

“Everyone worked hard during the week, and everyone looked forward to the weekend, much as we do today. It was a time of getting together for playing cards, eating good food, and drinking homemade Italian wine. The old saying held true: 'work hard, play hard'. I am very proud to say that many of my family members went on to become successful entrepreneurs in Saskatoon, my father included.

“I also grew up with many family traditions. Sundays were always family days that began with mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church, and then a pasta dinner shared with aunties, uncles, and cousins. Italians are a strong faith-based community. Christmas and Easter are two very important religious celebrations. Attending mass at Christmas and Easter is at the heart of these celebrations.

“Many Italians love to make wine. Every September, the Italian men in my family would order copious amounts of grapes in crates from California. Families would get together and set up shop in a relative's garage to make wine that would last a ye...”

Mr. Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay, NDP)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...d Calabria. Today, practically every dialect is represented in this city of Italians, and there are families with names like Fornelli, Rella, DeVito, De Rosa, Pocciola, Matteucci, D'Andrea, DeBiasio, ...”

Mr. Nicola Di Iorio

May 15th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...through their hard work and willingness to do without, thereby ensuring a brighter future for their families.

In Quebec, once-strong religious ties no longer seemed to matter when it was time to...”

Mrs. Deborah Schulte (King—Vaughan, Lib.)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... MP at the age of 28, and served until becoming mayor of Vaughan in 2010.

For Italians, their families, religion, and close connection to their cultural history are at the core of their identity...”

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

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...n, we hear about new and powerful drugs that end up in our communities and heartbreaking stories of families and communities that lose loved ones to an overdose.[English]

To help address the cha...”

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

May 15th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ur lives.[Translation]

I would also like to point out that May 15 is the International Day of Families.[English]

As this government continues to invest in the rights of women and girls across the globe, I want to acknowledge the important work that Canadian organizations play in helping support families across the globe, with investments in children's education, safe clean drinking water and sanitation, and unwavering support of reproductive health funding.[Translation]

I am asking all members of the House to join me in recognizing Mother's Day and the International Day of Families.”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...peaker, yesterday Canadians celebrated Mother's Day and all the contributions mothers make to their families and to Canada, but what we cannot celebrate is the lack of affordable child care for Canadian families.

Fees are more than $1,200 a month in Toronto, closer to $1,400 in Vancouver. Affordable child care in Canada would be good for families, for women rejoining the workforce, and for the economy.

Is the government ready to do what is right for mothers and families and bring in national affordable child care?”

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

May 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ither an example of misleading or incompetence.

Will the member stand and apologize to the 20 families that will be severely disappointed by the parliamentary secretary?”

Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...kers are going to lose hours and the pay that goes with it, not to mention the stress this will put families under. Why? This is all because of the Liberal government's inaction.

When will the g...”

Mr. Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, BQ)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, over these past few weeks, terrible floods have affected thousands of families across Quebec.

Imagine if there had been a dumping ground for nuclear waste upriver w...”

Mrs. Marilène Gill (Manicouagan, BQ)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ini, Kénogami, La Tuque, and Baie-Comeau.

Every dollar lost and every week that goes by with families having to tighten their belts is thanks to the 40 Liberal MPs from Quebec who have done not...”

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

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... that these drugs have caused many overdose deaths in her riding. That is terrible. Imagine how the families of these victims must feel. Family members of drug addicts feel so powerless, and they are left completely on their own.

In order to remedy this situation, I do not think it is enough to help people take drugs in a safe way. We also need to help their families because, even though family members try to do whatever they can to help the drug addict, th...”

Mr. Luc Berthold

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...king me whether there should be more resources, I would say yes, there should be more resources for families, for addicts, and for all these people. It is not just by managing how people inject themselves that they are going to inject themselves less often. They are just going to do so more safely. The question is what needs to be done to prevent the problem in the first place. I have always advocated for helping the victims of addiction, whether they are addicts themselves or there are addicts in their families. That was my position for the past 10 years and will be for the next 10 years.”

Ms. Dianne L. Watts (South Surrey—White Rock, CPC)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...use to allow communities a voice.

Thousands of Canadians have died from opioid overdoses. The families are affected, as are the schools, the friends, the children, the first responders, and the ...”

Mr. Sukh Dhaliwal (Surrey—Newton, Lib.)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...oid-related overdose deaths and the devastating impact that this is having on individuals and their families. Canadians are dying from drug overdoses in record numbers, with the majority of those over...”

Mr. Ken McDonald (Avalon, Lib.)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ue to an increasing number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths. The reality is that individuals, families, and communities across Canada are losing loved ones to this crisis, and it is more and mor...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

May 15th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...nt to be part of the solution, but there is currently no way for them to participate in that.

Families are feeling desperate. When a loved one experiences an addiction, the parents and the family struggle so much. It is life or death. They try to support their loved one in getting help, but there are so many gaps in the system that it often feels like the system is working against them. Families are doing all they can to help each other.

This morning I spoke with a woman from my riding who was trying to help another family save their child. Fortunately, she was able to get her daughter into treatment and her daughter is healthy today, but this is not the case for everyone. If it were not for Narconon and family support systems that are popping up, we would have no formal way for people to be able to find out what treatment is available to them.

When someone with an addiction is ready to detox and then go to rehab, it is often the beginning of a frustrating experience of running up against the common problems of lack of beds, long wait lists, and a complete lack of resources. People with addictions simply cannot get the help they need and sadly, this can have tragic consequences. People not being able to get into help is heartbreaking.

I have met with some of these families. They have visited me in my office. It is a very emotional conversation with people who are struggling to get their loved ones the help that they need. I have heard their pain and sorrow, and more often, their frustration and anger. When families tell me that their only hope is that their loved one will somehow end up in jail so that th...”

Hon. Michelle Rempel

May 15th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the families in Emerson will take great comfort in the parliamentary secretary's comments that the UN ha...”

Mr. Mark Holland

May 15th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...to the contrary, she should put it to the table, as opposed to just criticizing. I would say to the families of Emerson, to the community in Emerson, who have been so welcoming and so supportive in de...”

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

May 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...es where real people are dying, communities where front-line workers are exhausted, and friends and families are losing loved ones. We are facing a public health crisis, and we need to work together t...”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... learn and empathize with struggling addicts, communities, first nations, health professionals, and families that have had to endure an opioid-related death. We learned that there were many factors th...”

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

May 12th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, this weekend many Canadians will join together with their families to celebrate Mother's Day. This gives me the opportunity to celebrate my mother Pat Martyn....”

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ictoria and across the land.

All of us will have heard from our senior constituents and their families about surgery wait-lists, the lack of pharmacare, inadequate home care, and a shortage of n...”

Mr. Mark Strahl (Chilliwack—Hope, CPC)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ices for consumers. Supply management ensures that local Canadian farmers are able to support their families without government subsidies and provide reliable, safe, and healthy dairy, poultry, and egg products to Canadians.

I will always support the supply-managed farm families in my riding and across Canada, and I thank them for everything they do to support our comm...”

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... them for the middle class. We brought in the Canada child benefit, which has helped nine out of 10 families keep more money in their pockets. We also helped seniors by increasing the guaranteed incom...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ster responsible for carbon taxes blacked out documents on how much carbon taxes will cost Canadian families and businesses. The minister responsible for massive debt and deficits will not tell Canadi...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

May 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...indigenous women and girls is crucial to our country, but almost a year after the inquiry's launch, families are being completely left out. Now concern and frustration are growing after the inquiry was suspended after only one hearing.

Is appropriate funding fully accessible for the commissioners? Is the government doing everything it can to support the families of murdered and missing indigenous women?”

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

May 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nfident that the commission has the tools, the resources, and the networks to ensure that voices of families are heard and that they have the support they need. We will continue to work collaborativel...”

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

May 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the impact that Lyme disease has on Canadians and their families. I know it first-hand, because I have a cousin who suffered from Lyme disease for a couple ...”

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

May 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... mentioned, our government recognizes fully the impact that Lyme disease has on Canadians and their families.

We held a conference at which 500 individuals discussed a potential framework for Ly...”

Matthew Dubé (NDP)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...their infrastructure through government spending. It is completely unacceptable to ask middle-class families, which this Prime Minister says he is always defending, to pay twice for this infrastructur...”

Jenny Kwan (NDP)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...eniors and housing for people that are really hard to house. There has to be affordable options for families too.

The city of Vancouver has 20 sites ready to go, and we can see affordable housin...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nfrastructure and how it will help stimulate the economy and provide additional support to Canadian families.

We believe that one of the best ways to restore the confidence of Canada's middle class is to invest in public infrastructure in order to build stronger communities and build an economy that works for all Canadians and their families.

Strengthening the middle class means that hard-working Canadians can look forward to...”

Peter Fragiskatos (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...irable can also bring discord. Challenges ranging from traffic congestion that takes time away from families and friends to poor-quality air that can make it difficult to enjoy city life are just some...”

Stephen Fuhr (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...w pack and more rain in the forecast. Uncertainty and loss are causing stress and hardship for many families in my communities as we all prepare to deal with the days ahead.

I would like to ackn...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...an tell him this. We introduced the Canada child benefit, which is helping nine out of ten Canadian families. In my colleague's riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent, the families of 21,560 children are now receiving $200 more a month than they were from the previous gov...”

Larry Maguire (Conservative)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... commit to dropping this destructive plan and stop threatening the livelihoods of hard-working farm families?”

Cathy McLeod (Conservative)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... to be successful. There is no excuse for it to take over a year before it even begins to hear from families.

As Maclean's noted this week, it is falling apart before it even begins. A communications director was fired, and another senior adviser has resigned. It appears to be in complete disarray.

If this inquiry fails, the minister is responsible. If it takes years for the families to be heard, she has failed. What immediate action will the minister take to get this inqui...”

Yvonne Jones (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ent that the commission has the tools, the resources, and the networks to ensure that the voices of families are heard and that they have the support they need.

Under the terms of reference, we ...”

Brenda Shanahan (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...lthy communities and environmental conservation, which is in the interest of our businesses and our families alike.[English]

What is more, in the creation of the Canada infrastructure bank, we a...”

Steven MacKinnon (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ed to grow, money they need to earn returns on to ensure a healthy pension for themselves and their families, can take that money today, and they do, and invest around the world. Pension funds like the CPPIB, la Caisse de dépôt, OMERS, and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan invest in Australian highways. They invest in British airports. They invest in energy infrastructure all over the world, and they garner those returns that secure the pensions and the future of Canadian workers.

We want those pension funds to be able to take that money and invest it here at home and garner those returns for Canadian families and Canadian pensioners. Why does that member not recognize that?”

Pierre Poilievre (Conservative)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...markup in price on electricity for so-called wind and solar power electricity, which has bankrupted families and driven 60,000 people to food banks across the province. It gave Ontario the highest pov...”

Joël Lightbound (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... for health care.

In reality, the system has a hard time keeping up with the needs of today's families. There is a growing demand for prescription drugs, home care, and mental health care servic...”

Joël Lightbound (Liberal)

May 11th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...er about investing our dollars strategically to better meet the health needs of Canadians and their families today. We have a strong interest in helping to ensure that new money does not simply inflat...”

Omar Alghabra (Liberal)

May 10th
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Statements by Members

“...vide other young people with special needs with employment opportunities. Their effort will support families and individuals who may be denied a chance elsewhere to improve their lives.

Michael ...”

Jamie Schmale (Conservative)

May 10th
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Statements by Members

“... who are dealing with extremely high water levels, and in some cases, like Minden, severe flooding. Families, friends, and neighbours have come together to lend a hand in this time of need. In Minden,...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

May 10th
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Oral Questions

“...ail system. He also claimed at that time that it was important that we keep our communities and our families safe, but by his ordering the bill to be scrapped at committee, we now know that none of th...”

William Amos (Liberal)

May 10th
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Oral Questions

“...re is severe flooding in many regions of Quebec and Ontario. This has been a major hardship for our families, and considerable efforts are being made to keep those affected safe.

I would like to recognize the valuable assistance of the Canadian Armed Forces. A state of emergency has been declared in many municipalities in the Outaouais region, including Mansfied-et-Pontefract, Pontiac, and Gracefield. The City of Gatineau is also taking emergency measures.

Can the Minister of National Revenue inform the House of the tax measures that are available to help reduce the burden on families affected by the flooding?”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 10th
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Oral Questions

“...ily of Mike Gagnon, who was swept away by flood waters in the Gaspé. Our hearts go out them.

Families and their homes are always the top priority in these types of situations. All those who are...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 10th
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Oral Questions

“...he tune of $180 billion over the coming years, whether it is investing in child care spaces to help families, whether it is delivering the Canada child benefit that will help nine families out of 10 across this country, or whether it was raising taxes for the wealthiest 1% so we ...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 10th
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Oral Questions

“...%, or whether it is delivering a Canada child benefit that gives more money to 9 out of 10 Canadian families by not sending child benefit cheques to millionaires, like was done by the previous Conserv...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 10th
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Oral Questions

“...adians. We are going to continue to invest historic amounts in infrastructure that is going to help families get to and from work in a reasonable amount of time, back in time for their kids' soccer ga...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 10th
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Oral Questions

“...such as extra help with the cost of raising kids, which the CCB is, helping nine out of 10 Canadian families and reducing child poverty by 40%. We are putting forward concrete measures to improve the ...”

John Nater (Conservative)

May 10th
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Routine Proceedings

“...insurance. Maternity and parental benefits, which my wife has made use of, provides flexibility for families in making decisions on the birth of a child. There are compassionate care benefits which is...”

Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal)

May 10th
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Privilege

“....

Budget 2017 contains several provisions aimed at improving the quality of life for Canadian families. I am thinking in particular of improvements to the employment insurance system, and that i...”

Ruth Ellen Brosseau (NDP)

May 10th
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Private Members' Business

“...to support the bill introduced by my colleague from Sherbrooke because it will ensure that Canadian families and consumers know enough to make informed choices.

Canadians have the right to know what is in their food, and one of the best ways to ensure that is through greater transparency in food labelling. For 10 years now, surveys have shown that most Canadians support mandatory GMO labelling. According to a Health Canada study, consumers have not exactly warmed up to GMOs.

The Strategic Counsel got a contract to do a study in March 2016. The study involved 10 focus groups in five Canadian cities, including Quebec, and showed that 78% of Canadians support mandatory GMO labelling. Most of the survey respondents wondered why the government has not moved forward and want more transparency in the food industry. Given the choice, 62% of them would elect to purchase non-genetically modified foods over genetically modified foods.

That is why I support mandatory food labelling, a practice that already exists in several places around the world, such as the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, and Vermont in the United States.

For years now, the NDP has been arguing for legislation to make the labelling of genetically modified foods mandatory. In fact, my hon. colleague from Victoria moved a similar motion, Motion No. 480, which also advocated for mandatory labelling of GMOs.

That motion was directed at the former government. Today, Bill C-291 calls on the Liberal government to help ensure that Canadians have as much information as possible about genetically modified foods.

A number of stakeholders who are very involved in this movement in Canada worked very hard to emphasize the importance of passing this kind of legislation. They include the Canada Organic Trade Association, Vigilance OGM, the Consumers' Association of Canada, Organic Alberta, and the Quebec chapter of Friends of the Earth.

Many other organizations support the bill sponsored by my colleague from Sherbrooke, including Kids Right to Know, an organization whose objective is to educate young people on their right to make informed, healthy, environmentally conscious decisions by emphasizing proper labelling of genetically modified foods.

I would like to quote an extraordinary and inspiring woman, Rachel Parent, who advocates on behalf of this organization and has been promoting this bill on the mandatory labelling of GMOs. (1815) [English]

Parliamentarians should not submit to bogus arguments or be swayed by shoddy pro-industry articles. They should be protecting the public's right to know and choose. Don't buy into the notion that ordinary people have been swayed by “scaremongering” anti-GMO activists. It is simply not the case. People have valid concerns that in any functioning democracy should be addressed. [Translation]

On another note, the NDP recognizes the importance of scientific research in making fact-based decisions. Scientific research allows us to determine whether scientific advances are safe for public health. Genetically modified organisms have been available in Canada for years and they have undergone rigorous processes.

For now, there is no evidence that they pose any danger to public health or that they lead to health problems. However, we believe that Canadians have the right to make a free and informed choice. With this in mind, we believe it is best for GMO labelling to be mandatory. We also believe we have a duty to keep ensuring we have the most effective means of protecting the public.

I would like to note that the NDP is the only party that has adopted a food strategy. A number of years ago, I had the honour of working on such a strategy with my colleagues Malcolm Allen and Alex Atamanenko. We are very proud of the work we did. Our vision is to connect Canadians from the farm to the fork. Our overall objective is to adopt a federal integrated policy that covers agriculture, rural development, health, and income security.

We maintain that the federal government has a role to play in earning the public's trust in our food system. That is clearly indicated in the Calgary Statement – Towards the Next Policy Framework, a joint federal, provincial, and territorial ministerial statement. Under the next policy framework, labelling must be mandatory, precise, and reliable in order to ensure that the public really understands the information provided.

Furthermore, as agriculture and agrifood critic, I would like to mention that the NDP clearly understands the issue for farmers. Canadian farmers are key players in our economy and food system. They provide us with fresh, high-quality food, and they feed Canadian families. That is why the federal government must continue to invest in our rural communities, innovation, and organic farming in order to address the growing interest of consumers.

In closing, the bill introduced by my colleague from Sherbrooke, Bill C-291, is a sensible, well-thought-out bill that respects the wishes of the community.

When Canadian families gather together to eat, they have the right to know what is on their plates. We have here a...”

Terry Duguid (Liberal)

May 10th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...o inform policy changes in the shelter sector.

To ensure that women fleeing violence in their families have someone to turn in their hour of need, access to shelter and transition housing remain...”

Bob Saroya (Conservative)

May 8th
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Private Members' Business

“... and export deadly drugs and substances are responsible for thousands of lost lives.

Canadian families expect safe and healthy communities in which to raise their children. Canadians are especia...”

Cathy McLeod (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...private member's bill, Bill C-338.

As we know, the opioid crisis is impacting communities and families across Canada. My home of British Columbia has been on the coalface, where the addictive use of drugs is now playing Russian roulette. Users never know when they have something in a drug that will kill them.

It does take a multi-pronged approach to tackle this issue. It is a public health emergency, and we continue to ask the Liberal government to recognize it as such. However, it is also important to realize it is a criminal justice issue. This has not been spoken to very well in all the conversations I have heard about this issue.

I will talk a little about how the bill would provide a very important tool, but it is important to first talk about the scope of not just the problem, but the tragedy. We need to also talk about what has been done to date and, more important, what still needs to be done to deal with this issue.

As many are aware, the recent epidemic is characterized by an increasing number of deaths with elicit fentanyl, an opioid substance. Fentanyl was detected back in 2012, when it was in 5% of elicit drugs. By 2016, it was as high as 60%. Fentanyl, carfentanyl, and other drugs are cheap. They are easy to synthesize, and readily available, with a significant volume coming into the country from China. It is being cut into street drugs, with lethal effects.

Carfentanyl, which is a tranquillizer used for elephants, was confirmed on the streets last fall. It is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, 4,000 times more potent than heroin, and 10,000 times more potent than morphine. If anyone has ever had an accident or injury where he or she has received a dose of morphine in the hospital, carfentanyl is 10,000 times more potent. It is coming in by mail order from China. A Calgary man was arrested in September with one kilogram, which could have killed 50 million people.

In B.C. alone, four people have died every day in 2017. It is not any better from 2016. We are on track to go from 900 and some to 1,300 deaths. In one week alone in Vancouver recently, there were 15 deaths. Again, we are averaging four deaths per day. This is just British Columbia, but it is happening across the country.

The people who are dying have many profiles. They might have struggled with addiction for many years or it might just be a young teenager at a party who, for the first time, makes a very bad decision. A recent Facebook post traumatically affected many. A brave mother from Calgary, Sherri Kent, posted a picture of her in a hospital bed with her son Michael just before he died. He was in the intensive care unit, connected to many tubes. There was absolute anguish on her face as she was saying goodbye to him. He had made such a terrible mistake. She did that to raise awareness throughout Canada.

There has been some action to date. Certainly, British Columbia is taking a good lead. Our colleague from Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam introduced the good Samaritan Act, which was recently proclaimed. That was a good step. There is better availability of naloxone, which is used to treat an overdose, although we now hear these drugs have become so potent that people do not respond to it the way they used to.

Bill C-37, which the government put into place, had some good measures in it. However, I continue to have concerns that it moved away from community consultation on safe injection sites. That is an important gap and it is still missing, especially as we now know many of the people who are dying would never use a safe injection site. Although this measure has value in some communities, to take away the ability for community input or to require community input was a bad step. (1145)

The banning of the pill presses or importation of designated devices was a good step, as well as some additions to the schedules of substances when there was a reasonable grounds to represent risk.

Most important was the additional power for Canada Border Services to inspect and search packages. We heard that with 30 grams, service agents did not have to inspect. That is absolutely critical because this is coming into the country in an envelope. That is a good measure.

What has been missing in our struggle against this crisis? The federal government. Although the provincial government in British Columbia has asked, the federal government continues to decline in declaring this a state of emergency. The Public Health Agency of Canada should be playing a role in this. There is no good education and awareness campaign. We need the federal government to take on a comprehensive education and awareness campaign.

The next area that has had inadequate services and support is detox and recovery. That is primarily provincial. I know many examples of people who are desperate to get off drugs and turn their lives around. They have found that they do not have any opportunities in the support they need to detox.

We have not talked about the criminals, and my colleague is doing that. These people are knowingly importing and selling drugs on the street, which do kill people. This bill would specifically target gangs and other criminal organizations by introducing tougher sentences for drug traffickers who would exploit the addictions of others for personal profit. Those who import and export these drugs should be brought to justice and should encounter increased mandatory minimums.

I listened to my Liberal colleague. All of a sudden the Liberals have this huge obsession that mandatory minimums are not good. However, mandatory minimums have been around almost as long as the Criminal Code. Probably half of the mandatory minimums were put in place by Liberal governments. For the Liberals to argue that mandatory minimums are always bad and that there are all these issues with mandatory minimums is absolutely ridiculous. They have put many of them in place.

The argument is that mandatory minimums are bad and they do not help. Getting criminals off the street, even if it is for two years, is two years where they are not out there putting fentanyl in drugs that are killing children.

The other thing the Liberals need to be held accountable for is that this is a mandatory minimum of somewhere between two years and life. This is not fettering the discretion of judges. It is saying that parliamentarians believe judges cannot go below two years, that there are no circumstances, ever, where less than two years is an appropriate sentence for someone who is potentially killing our children.

It should be attempted murder. It could go as high as the maximum, jail for life, but, as parliamentarians, we are saying that for those who put fentanyl into drugs and sell them on the streets or bring them in with that purpose should go to jail for two years, at the absolute minimum. For the Liberals and the NDP to say that is not okay is absolutely appalling to me. They need to say that to the mothers and fathers, the families that have lost their children, that they do not think it will help and that they do not wan...”

Dave MacKenzie (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...odone, and morphine have become household names as Canadians learn of the extent of this crisis and families suffer losses of their loved ones.

I truly wish that those people who are opposed to having mandatory minimum sentences for individuals who break this law, bring the drugs into the country and distribute them across the country could see how families are torn apart by these drugs.

Diverted pharmaceuticals, fentanyl purchased from China, and stolen horse tranquillizers are finding their way onto Canadian streets with fatal consequences. Most worrying of all is the speed with which illegal opioid sales have grown and the number of overdoses. To put things into perspective, the chief coroner for British Columbia told us at the health committee that the percentage of illicit drug deaths involving fentanyl increased from 5% in 2012 to 60% in 2016. If that is not enough to wake up everybody in the House to the fact that we need to do something to get mandatory minimums in place, I do not know what will wake them up.

It is not just a crisis that affects those who find themselves living without a home, but one that affects Canadians of all ages. Fifty-five thousand Canadian high school students indicated that they had abused opioid pain relievers in the past year. That is a tremendous number.

In Ontario, one in eight deaths of individuals aged 25 to 34 years was found to be opioid-related in 2010. That number will not go down; it will simply go up. Families are being destroyed, communities are being invaded, and all Canadians are experiencing reduced access to health and social services because of the resources required to fight this epidemic. This is a public emergency that hits close to home.

Organized crime has now found a foothold in places and at levels never seen before. When the other side wants to legalize marijuana and when we see what this has done, we can only project what the future will be for organized crime. Even for those people who live in areas free of dealers and opioid users, the effects of this drug in drug crime are still felt in people's access to services.

First responders have had to divert significant resources to address this crisis. Ambulance services, firefighters, police, and hospital emergency rooms are all having resources diverted to address this crisis. This means other crimes committed against local residents are not being investigated. It means ambulances resources are increasingly overworked as they respond to a spike in drug overdoses. It means firefighters now have to additionally consider the chance that what appears to be a simple residential fire may in fact be an illicit and contaminated drug lab, a danger to both their immediate safety and their long-term health.

This says nothing about the increased burden on social services that are already stretched due to the Liberal government's lack of support to local communities. (1155)

Mental health workers are already facing an uphill battle against criminal gangs continually pushing all kinds of harmful drugs into the community. If we are to help those most in need, then we also need to fight this crisis at its source and punish those who would wish to continue it. This would bring justice not only to those caught in addiction, but to the sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters already lost to these lethal street drugs.

I recognize that the opioid crisis is multi-faceted, but Bill C-338 is one key step in cutting off the source. I support the bill because criminal enterprises are not facing harsh enough sentences for diverting legitimate pharmaceuticals to illicit street drugs. Those pushing opioids into our streets and communities need to know that their actions will incur serious penalties.

The House is currently debating Bill C-307, which, through tamper-proof safeguards, would deny illegal manufacturers the easy ability to use legal prescriptions to create illicit substances. Cracking down on this prescription loophole would deter many Canadians from selling their prescriptions for easy profits. If we can increase the possibility of serious jail time for dealing illegal opioids, we can send a message to all criminal enterprises that Canada is a place they should not risk operating in.

I would be the first to admit that this one change would not solve the entire problem. A whole host of changes are required to stop opioids from ending up on our streets. Canada's physicians need to overhaul prescribing practices for opioids. Too many prescriptions are being exploited for criminal profit and manufacturing. We must ensure the quick implementation of measures to allow Canada Border Services Agency employees to check packages smaller than 30 grams, and we must ensure they are properly enforced, as called for by Conservative members. Enforcing this measure would ensure an end to the previously unlimited supply of fentanyl mailed in small packages from China.

The government must also ensure that once we have removed these opioids from the streets and placed the criminals behind bars, these same drugs do not end up infecting our prison populations as well. Canadian prisons are currently facing great problems in keeping these dangerous narcotics out. Correctional Service Canada has reported that now even fentanyl has found its way behind bars, as well as the overdoses connected with it. The government needs to ensure that Correctional Service officers have the proper equipment to deal with this rise in overdoses and do more to keep these drugs out of our prisons.

In conclusion, I would say that we need to tackle the source of this problem, which is the lack of treatment options for those with mental health issues, who, as a result, are left most susceptible to dealers and other criminals. If the ongoing mental health crisis is allowed to continue in our streets, on our reserves, and in our schools and universities, the drug crisis and the criminal enterprises that go with it will only continue to grow.

A national strategy for dealing with this is an absolute priority. Whether it is fentanyl, crystal meth, or the next street drug that is easy to produce and cheap to buy at the heart of this drug epidemic, it is the people who are emotionally hurting. This is why the human face of this epidemic is so heartbreaking to acknowledge. These are vulnerable people who have chosen drugs because they do not have the support and the necessary tools to take on life.

Those who would wish to exploit them for illicit gain must know that they will face the full force of the law and serious jail time. This is why I am asking all members of this House to understand the further pain that opioids are causing to Canadian families and to support this very important piece of legislation, Bill C-338.”

James Bezan (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...hey do not feel valued or recognized for the risks they are facing and the hardship placed on their families here at home while they are deployed.

There is another issue I would like to raise. T...”

Harjit S. Sajjan (Liberal)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, I would first like to pass on my condolences to the families who have had losses in recent flooding in Quebec and in British Columbia. I thank all the Canadian Armed Forces members who are serving today in Operation Lentus.

There are a lot of critical issues facing the Canadian Armed Forces, and I am grateful for the opportunity to raise some of these in the House. My job as minister of national defence is to serve the women and men in uniform who so proudly serve our country. I am privileged to have this responsibility and I will continue to work as hard as I possibly can, every single day.

There are many of us in the House who have at one time felt the call of duty to serve in uniform, and we are proud of their service. The members for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, Kelowna—Lake Country, Durham, Winnipeg North, and Kanata—Carleton all served our country in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The members for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount and Winnipeg Centre both served in the Royal Canadian Navy, and the latter spent a significant time in the Canadian army as well.

The members for Terrebonne, Beauport—Limoilou, Orléans, Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs, Abitibi—Témiscamingue, Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, and Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge all served our great country in the Canadian army.

Many were cadets, including the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore, highlighting how the cadet program is one of the finest youth leadership programs in the country.

The member for Brampton Centre also served in uniform, with the Indian Air Force.

I thank them all for their service. They are a credit to the uniform, and their experience is invaluable to this place.

We must always remember that when someone decides to serve their country in uniform, the whole family serves alongside them. I know there are several members with relatives who have served or are currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. For example, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs has two sons serving as junior officers. We honour those who stand behind our troops and support them at home.

I am proud of the actions our government has taken since coming to office. Our women and men in uniform serve all Canadians, not just the government of the day. That is why our government has taken important steps to make the Canadian Armed Forces more open and accessible to all members of Parliament on behalf of the constituents they serve. We re-opened Canadian Armed Forces bases, detachments, airfields, and ships to all parliamentarians, senators, and officials from different levels of government in an effort to highlight the work our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and airwomen do on our behalf every single day. We want all parliamentarians to participate in our program so they can take their experiences and stories to their ridings and inspire a new generation to heed the call for service.

We are also taking politics out of the selection process for honorary colonels. We are appointing Canadians with deep community roots to represent our regiments, wings, and ships from coast to coast to coast.

Canada is taking a more significant leadership role in NATO than it has in decades. As one of four framework nations, we are leading a battle group stationed in Latvia as part of the alliance's enhanced forward presence initiative. This will provide meaningful deterrence against any repeat of Russia's provocative behaviour.

We have of course also renewed Operation Unifier, demonstrating solidarity with Ukraine in our training mission there. We refocused our contribution to the fight against Daesh, and Canadians are now making an even greater impact as part of the global coalition, and we are seeing results. Canadian Forces are part of a broader whole-of-government approach to the conflict in Iraq and Syria and are also making a difference in that region. I was fortunate to be able to work with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Development on the renewed Operation Impact.

Our government has taken decisions and taken action to replace our aging fleet of fighters, something the previous government had 10 years to do, but did not. It is because of that decade of decline and inaction that we no longer have a fighter fleet that can meet our NORAD and NATO commitments simultaneously. (1240)

It is certainly true that the Royal Canadian Air Force has done an admirable job in risk managing this capability gap and, yes, it has the planes it needs to continue to risk manage effectively. The previous government felt this was an acceptable situation, but we are a G7 nation, and our government has made it clear that it is not good enough to risk manage our commitments; we are going to meet them.

That is why we have taken action to address this capability gap by exploring the purchase of an interim fleet of fighters, and of course we will conduct an open and transparent competition to replace the entire fleet. I want to thank the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the President of the Treasury Board, and our colleagues on the defence procurement committee for all their work on the fighter jets.

We have finally awarded a contract to replace our fixed-wing search and rescue planes, another important project that went in circles over the past decade. Our search and rescue technicians work day and night in dangerous conditions keeping Canadians safe. They deserve the best equipment and support possible, and I am proud of finishing this process that started under the Martin government.

I am proud of the work our chief of the defence staff and the Canadian Forces are doing to stamp out inappropriate sexual behaviour under Operation Honour. Every person who serves her or his country despite the many dangers and sacrifices of military service deserves a professional environment in which he or she is treated with respect and dignity. There is a great deal more to do, and it is essential that the Canadian Armed Forces maintain the momentum developed to date in eliminating harmful and inappropriate behaviour. Our government fully supports this work.

I have been the Minister of National Defence for about 18 months now, and it has been just as rewarding as it has been challenging. While the actions we have taken so far are indeed important, there is a lot more work to do. In the 2015 election campaign, we promised to conduct a comprehensive review of defence policy and engage Canadians and parliamentarians in the process, and we have done just that and more.

I know the official opposition does not like to deal in facts when it comes to defence, but there is a fact it cannot ignore: Canada's defence spending, as a proportion of GDP, was considerably lower when the Conservatives were removed from office than when they came in. However, it is not just about the spending numbers. It is about our outputs; it is about the Canadian Armed Forces' contribution to Canada's role in the world; most of all, it is about fully supporting our women and men in uniform and their families. That is why the defence policy review has been so important.

It has been 20 years since a real policy review was done, and it was long overdue. I believe it is important for Canadians and members of this House to understand exactly where we are starting from before we talk about where we need to be and how we plan to get there.

It is true that successive governments contributed to the current state of affairs in the Canadian Forces. I know parliamentarians of all stripes, despite the rhetoric and finger-pointing that occur here, understand that underinvestment has caused real problems, yet the state of affairs is in some ways worse than realized by most observers.

I know members understand that we cannot build the Canadian Armed Forces this nation needs through a series of short-term decisions. I know members understand that a military is not strengthened by cobbling together pieces from one budget to the next, by succumbing continually to the pressures of the urgent at the expense of the strategic, and by hoping that 20 years down the line, all of the disjointed ups and downs will somehow result in the military we need. That is why, when launching a defence policy review, we set out to take the long-term view to deliver a credible, realistic, and funded strategy for our military.

Let me state outright and up front that the Canadian Armed Forces delivers what governments ask of it every single time. It has performed superbly, regardless of the resource constraints it faces. All Canadians can be proud of the fact that our women and men in uniform answer the call of duty whenever and wherever it is found. In recent years alone, it has deployed to Iraq to contribute to the global efforts in the fight against Daesh; it deployed to Nepal just 48 hours after a tragic earthquake struck that tiny nation; and it deployed with NATO to bolster alliance resolve and deterrence against Russian actions in Ukraine. (1245)

At home, they helped the residents of Winnipeg and Fort McMurray overcome massive floods and devastating forest fires, and today they are deploying in several regions of Quebec to assist provincial and local authorities with the devastating floods in that province. The Canadian Armed Forces is an inspiring institution that makes me proud every single day. Responsive, professional, and dedicated, it is counted among the best militaries in the world. However, militaries cannot perform well forever without proper support.

Governments have a responsibility to uphold their end of the bargain, to care for their military, resource them properly, and fund them in a responsible way that meets their needs. In the past, governments have not delivered predictable, sustainable, long-term funding for the Canadian Armed Forces. It has not been a straight line.

Let me take a moment to retrace some of the twists and turns. In 2004-05, the Paul Martin government implemented annual budget increases of around $1.5 billion in successive years. After that, the budget grew incrementally, predominantly to cover the cost of the combat mission in Afghanistan, until it ended in 2011. Two deficit-reduction programs followed: the strategic review, and the deficit reduction action plan. By the time that these were were fully implemented in 2015, each reduced the annual defence budget by $1 billion, for a total of $2 billion per year. The defence escalator, which was implemented to protect the DND budget from defence inflation, was increased from 1.5% to 2% in 2011, and beginning this fiscal year, it increased from 2% to 3%. However, even that will not be sufficient to meet our future requirements.

Years of ups and downs have contributed to unpredictability for those responsible for supporting, maintaining, and sustaining the forces, and the planning for its future. The reductions have left the organization hollow in a number of areas. Fighter jets and ships are prime examples of the unfortunate link between inadequate investment and capability gaps. Canadians were told a few years ago that the government would buy 65 new jets to replace our aging fleet of CF-18s, but for the missions that we asked the Royal Canadian Air Force to undertake and our alliance commitments, 65 jets would simply not be enough; it would only be a fleet for risk managing our requirements, not meeting them. Furthermore, the $9 billion in funding that was earmarked for jet replacement by the previous government is nowhere near enough to cover the 65 jets proposed.

For the navy's new surface combatant, the previous government ended up saying that it would buy up to 15 ships. As has been well reported, the budget identified was dramatically insufficient and unrealistic. The Royal Canadian Navy deserves a clear, realistic, and fully funded commitment. Canada's naval capabilities are at a 40-year low right now. The number of operational ships in Canada's fleet has dropped by five in the past two years alone. Ships have been retired without replacement, because any plans for investment simply came too late. Without a single destroyer in its fleet, Canada will rely on the U.S. and NATO for area air defence until the introduction of our new surface combatants. Without a single supply ship, Canada is relying on the capabilities of allies and partners for its replenishment needs as well.

These examples alone would be troubling enough, but there is much more to grapple with. Closing recruitment offices made it harder to attract new recruits, and cutting the number of procurement officers made it difficult to buy, maintain, and sustain all the tools and equipment we could afford for our military. We are in the troubling position where status quo spending on defence will not even maintain the status quo of the capability.

Current funding has us digging ourselves into a hole, a hole that is getting deeper every single year. As a percentage of our GDP, we are spending less on defence today than we were in 2005. There is a list of major capital projects that are entirely unfunded. These are not nice-to-have projects; these are projects that must be completed to allow our military to keep doing what it is doing, investments that need to be made in the forces' key equipment and capabilities, and no funding has been allocated for them. (1250)

Our air force will need funding for mid-life upgrades to its Cormorant search and rescue helicopters. We are talking about a critical need to invest in a fleet of aircraft that our air force uses in operations every day to help Canadians in distress.

They also need sufficient funds to extend the life of the Griffons. These are highly reliable helicopters that have served our air force faithfully on missions at home and abroad. These helicopters are used to transport troops and materials. They have done so on humanitarian missions, on operations in Afghanistan, and now in Iraq. The Griffons can fit right into a C-17 Globemaster, so they are easily transportable and give the forces flexibility and agility in responding to crises around the world. However, if we do not fund their life extension project, we need to phase them out, because helicopters with obsolete instrumentation cannot fly in North American air space. No money was allocated to keep them running.

With the army, we discovered that no funding has been allocated to allow soldiers to keep doing some of their most important work. Without support from our allies, Canadian soldiers deployed overseas would be exposed to threats emanating from aircraft, missiles, and long-range artillery. Investments in ground-based air and munitions defence systems are required to guarantee the safety of our deployed troops, yet no money has been earmarked to provide this protection to our soldiers in the past.

There are several other examples of projects that the army needs the government to fund in order to ensure it can continue to assist Canadians during natural disasters to meet international commitments. Its fleet of heavy support equipment, such as forklifts, loaders, and excavators, needs to be replaced so that our soldiers can build camps as well as roads and shelters. The list of activities that our soldiers undertake with this equipment is long, and yet, here too, no investments were planned.

Furthermore, the army's fleet of logistic support vehicles, such as trailers and medium-sized trucks used to transport supplies and essential equipment, has been significantly degraded over time and must be replaced. These capabilities are essential to sustain our soldiers at home and abroad. Again, no investment was planned.

The resourcing problems that we have found the most troubling are the ones that have directly affected our servicemen and women. In over 25 years as a reservist, I saw first-hand the way that our governments have failed to properly equip a reserve force. Not only is there not enough equipment, but the training to use what equipment they have is lacking as well. Our reserve units are tremendously resourceful and they perform extremely well, despite having been underfunded for so long. However, that does not excuse the failure to properly resource our reservists. They deserve gratitude from the governments that deployed them away from their families and in harm's way.

Instead, when they take off the uniform, they get pension cheques ...”

Georgina Jolibois (NDP)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...all forms of cancers in my riding have to travel hundreds of kilometres and be separated from their families to get treatment in Saskatoon. We must help Ovarian Cancer Canada and the women it helps by...”

Kevin Sorenson (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...aduations there. There is much pride for everyone involved, particularly the new recruits and their families. The Bold Eagle program has had great success providing first nations recruits.

Canad...”

Sean Fraser (Liberal)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... had lost 26 fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons.

After years of advocacy by members of the families who were affected by this disaster, Parliament passed laws to promote safer workplace environments. I commit that as long as I am fortunate enough to sit in this House, I will work to see those rules enforced.

To the families of those 26 men who were lost in the explosion a quarter century ago, we remember those lov...”

Julie Dabrusin (Liberal)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... supporting Ovarian Cancer Canada, an organization that helps women who have this disease and their families, raises awareness, and raises funds for research.

More importantly, let us give some ...”

Marc Serré (Liberal)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...nd exploration industry, which plays a vital role in creating good jobs and supporting middle-class families, urban, rural, and northern regions, as well as indigenous communities.

Mineral devel...”

Joël Godin (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...his. I am pleased once again to see the support, empathy, generosity, and help being offered by the families, neighbours, and people everywhere who are pitching in and helping. The response has been i...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... to lead to good jobs for Canadians now and growth that is going to help Canadian workers, Canadian families, and Canadians, as we move forward in the coming years and even decades.”

Blaine Calkins (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...pending tax dollars on Broadway tickets for diplomats from Kiribati or Tuvalu benefits middle-class families?”

Steven MacKinnon (Liberal)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...example, by giving them money and by allocating additional human resources. It is unacceptable that families are affected by this sort of situation.

What we will not do is what the Conservatives...”

Ted Falk (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...isis.

Will the Prime Minister commit right now to visiting Emerson to speak directly with the families impacted by his inaction?”

Cheryl Gallant (Conservative)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...soldiers who lost their lives in Operation Medusa during the war in Afghanistan and the friends and families who are left to mourn those fallen soldiers.

The year 2006, when Operation Medusa occurred, was a tough year for Canadians during the war in Afghanistan. Military analysts referred to this period as having some of the fiercest combat Canadians troops had ever seen since the Korean War. More Canadians were wounded or killed in action during that year than in any other single year of the nine years of combat in Afghanistan.

As a member of Parliament in 2006, I found that year was particularly tough on our local community, as it was soldiers in Garrison Petawawa, in my riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, who bore the brunt of casualties during the operation, principally the 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, which is based at Garrison Petawawa.

I want the Minister of National Defence to reflect on who he is dishonouring by refusing to follow democratic tradition and resigning.

As I continue with this debate, I ask all members of Parliament to join with me in paying respect to the brave Canadian soldiers who paid the supreme price, our most previous gift from the Creator, with their lives, in the service to their country during Operation Medusa.

Operation Medusa began on September 2, 2006.

The first casualty, on September 3, was Private William Jonathan James Cushley, aged 21. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. Petawawa, Ontario. His hometown was Port Lambton.

His friends and comrades said he exhibited strong leadership qualities, a fierce love of family, and a sense of fun.

He is survived by parents Errol and Elaine and three sisters.

There was also Warrant Officer Frank Robert Mellish, aged 38. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, Petawawa, Ontario. His hometown was Truro, Nova Scotia.

A long-time auto racing fan and dedicated soldier, Mellish is survived by his parents; wife Kendra, who still serves in the Royal Canadian Air Force; and two young boys. He was buried in Summerside, P.E.I.

There was also Warrant Officer Richard Francis Nolan, aged 39. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, Petawawa, Ontario. His hometown was Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Nolan was described as an adventurous soul who enjoyed riding bulls. He had a strong belief in family values and loved playing with his children and stepchildren. Friends said he would help anyone in need. He is survived by partner Kelly, three sons, a stepdaughter, and a mother.

There was also Sergeant Shane Stachnik, aged 30. He was a member of the 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, Petawawa, Ontario. His hometown was Waskatenau, Alberta.

Former high school buddy Randy Trenchuk remembered playing hockey with Stachnik, a combat engineer, and the frustrations with Shakespeare that they shared in English class. Stachnik, described as being dedicated and fun-loving, was to be married the next summer. He is survived by his parents, Hank and Avril.

On September 4, Private Mark Anthony Graham, aged 33, was killed. He was a member of the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, Petawawa, Ontario. His hometown was Hamilton.

Graham was a member of Canada's Olympic 4 x 400 metre relay team in 1992. Comrades talked about his imposing physical size, warm smile, and great singing voice.

He had three brothers, one of whom also joined the military, and a young daughter.

On September 18, 2006, four Canadian soldiers were killed and 10 injured while on foot patrol in the Panjwai district after a man on a bicycle detonated a suicide bomb packed with ball bearings. (1550)

The attack came near the end of Operation Medusa being declared.

There is Corporal Glen Arnold, age 32, 2 Field Ambulance, Petawawa, Ontario, whose hometown was McKerrow, Ontario. Arnold was a medic who had served in Bosnia-Herzegovina and with the Disaster Assistance Relief Team in Sri Lanka following the 2004 tsunami. He loved playing hockey and was a devoted family man. He is survived by his wife Kerry, four children, parents, three brothers, and a sister. “We miss you so much...and can't wait to see you home for Christmas”, his wife Kerry Arnold wrote September 6, 2006, on a Department of National Defence website that relays messages to soldiers.

There is Private David Byers, age 22, 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Shilo, Manitoba. His hometown was Espanola, Ontario. A friendly man and video game enthusiast in his high school days, Byers was killed before his fiance, Chantal Roy, was to give birth to their child. He is survived by Roy, his parents, and a brother.

There is Corporal Shane Keating, age 30, 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Shilo, Manitoba. His hometown was Dalmeny, Saskatchewan. Keating was described by his comrades as good-humoured and hard-working. He is survived by his mother, Judith Budd. “Nothing is worth losing a son but everything—everything—is worth a man willing to take that risk and to die for what he believes in”, she told reporters in Saskatoon three days after her son's death.

There is Corporal Keith Morley, age 30, 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Shilo, Manitoba. His hometown was Winnipeg. An animal lover and proud owner of a dog named Lokie, he is survived by sister Shannon and his mother Della. “Keith served two tours of Bosnia in 2001 and 2003. He served his country with pride and certainty that missions there and in Afghanistan would better the lives of the people in those troubled nations”, Della Morley told reporters before her son's September 29, 2006, funeral in Winnipeg.

On September 29, 2006, while out on a routine foot patrol along a Canadian-built road in the Panjwai district, Private Josh Klukie died after stepping on a booby trap and triggering an explosion. Another soldier was injured. Private Josh Klukie, age 23, was with the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, Petawawa, and his hometown was Shuniah, Ontario. Charming and charismatic and with a passion for sports, Klukie was an enthusiastic member of his high school basketball team. Klukie is survived by his mother and brother.

On October 3, 2006, two Canadian soldiers were killed and five injured after coming under attack in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province. The Taliban were armed with mortars and possibly rocket-propelled grenades. The soldiers were working on clearing a route for a future road construction project.

There is Sergeant Craig Gillam, age 40, with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Petawawa, Ontario, whose hometown was South Branch, Newfoundland and Labrador. He was a man who led his troops by example and whose bravery saved many lives on the day he died. He participated in sports such as hockey and tae kwon do with his children. “Craig was a loving father and husband, a dedicated soldier, and a proud Newfoundlander”, Gillam's wife Maureen said in a statement before his October 14, 2006, funeral. Gillam is survived by Maureen, two teenage children, and his parents.

There is Corporal Robert Mitchell, age 32, with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Petawawa, whose hometown was Owen Sound, Ontario. Known to his friends as Jim, Mitchell strived to be the best. He is survived by wife Leanne, two sons, a daughter, and his parents.

These are the real heroes of Operation Medusa. I have had many conversations with soldiers and their families since this latest Liberal government scandal erupted. They all agree with the following ass...”

Jean Rioux (Liberal)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...litary investments to ensure that all our resources are up to date and that our personnel and their families are appropriately supported.

The Minister of National Defence is a former reservist w...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...eople, those brave men and women who are wearing the uniform, or who have worn the uniform, and the families that support them.

While I look forward to the results of the defence policy review being made public, I would like to highlight some of the efforts that have been made by both the Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Minister of National Defence in terms of the support provided to Canadian Armed Forces members transitioning to civilian life and our veterans who have served our country so valiantly.[Translation]

Since 2015, the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Veterans Affairs have been working closely together to ensure that the transition from military life to civilian life goes as smoothly as possible for members of the Canadian Armed Forces released from military service.[English]

Each year an average of about 9,000 Canadian Armed Forces members release from the regular and reserve forces. They each have their own unique story and their own distinctive needs. Some will need help with their transition to civilian life.

If there is one thing all Canadians can agree on, it is our debt of gratitude toward our Canadian Armed Forces members and our veterans. After their selfless contributions, the government owes them the means to get back on their feet and on with their lives. We are committed to doing just that, to help veterans and their families successfully transition to civilian life and to move on to the next chapter.

In budget 2016 we focused on the financial security of veterans and their families. We reopened nine offices closed by the former government and opened a new one. Veterans Affairs Canada hired almost 400 new front-line staff, which includes new case managers. These historic actions taken in budget 2016 committed approximately $5.6 billion in additional financial benefits for our veterans and their families.[Translation]

Budget 2017 builds on these initiatives to create a broader and more comprehensive approach to ensuring the well-being of veterans by focusing on the family.

When I meet with veterans, regardless of whether they served for one year or 10, they want to talk about it because they firmly believe that a person who served in the armed forces is a soldier for life. We know how hard it can sometimes be for veterans to deal with the loss of the military family culture. We want them to continue to be a part of that family.

That is why we are expanding access to the military family services program and opening the doors of the 32 military family resource centres to ill and injured veterans and their families.

We are also improving and enhancing the family caregiver relief benefit by directly providing caregivers with a tax-free monthly payment of $1,000. The time limit within which spouses and survivors must apply for rehabilitation services and vocational assistance will also be eliminated so that they can return to the workforce.

That means that the spouses, partners, and caregivers who help our ill or injured veterans day after day will get more support and more recognition from the government for their invaluable contributions.

We are also investing nearly $14 million over four years in a new veteran and family well-being fund that will be used for research on issues and new initiatives to improve the support provided to veterans and their families. (1640) [English]

We are also doing more to help veterans transition to their post-military life. The new veterans education and training benefit covers up to $80,000 in tuition and other costs for members. Some of this benefit can be used toward professional development. This benefit will ensure more released military members can find a new sense of purpose and put their skills to use.

We are also redesigning the career transition services we offer so that more people can use them, including survivors, spouses, and partners. They will have access to job search assistance and coaching from coaches who understand military culture.[Translation]

Early engagement is key to a successful transition from military to civilian life. My colleagues in the Canadian Armed Forces have likely talked about the improved transition services, a joint initiative of Veterans Affairs and the Canadian Armed Forces, the aim of which is to reach out sooner to members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are leaving the service and their families. This initiative has already been rolled out in 24 integrated personnel support centres.

Mental health is a key component of the care and support offered to our veterans. This issue often gets a lot of media attention and is one of our top priorities.

That is why we are committed to ensuring that our veterans, as well as RCMP members and their families, get the mental health support they need, when they need it. That is also why, in budget 2017, we followed through on our commitment to establish a centre of excellence on PTSD and related mental health conditions.

We are investing $17.5 million over five years in this centre, which will provide research, education, and liaison services for veterans and their families, and will contribute to the development of emerging best practices.[English]

Additionally, we commit to finalizing the details of a monthly pension for life option for ill and injured veterans in 2017, further adding to their financial security.[Translation]

The last thing I want to talk about today is our review of service delivery. We recently announced that the review is complete. We now have a plan that will allow us to provide services more quickly and with greater flexibility to adapt better to veterans' needs.

We understand and know that the current system needs to be changed in order to create a process that is easy to access, simple to navigate, and focused on the veteran. An overhaul is needed. It is not just a matter of making a change to a policy to plug another hole in the system. It is time to rebuild.[English]

This government has made it our mission to improve the well-being of veterans and their families. That means having a purpose, financial security, shelter, medical support, family and comm...”

Joël Lightbound (Liberal)

May 8th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...r-care treatment, and supports for eligible former students of Indian residential schools and their families. Funding for community-based mental wellness programs is tailored by communities so that they are rooted in culture and meet the needs of the people whom they serve. (1830) [Translation]

Our government is responding to the mental wellness needs of indigenous youth by adopting an approach based on strengths and supporting community-based wellness initiatives that include aspects of language and culture, physical fitness, the arts, and on-the-land activities. We are improving access to mental health services.[English]

Budget 2017 proposes an investment of $204.5 million over five years to increase support for first nations and Inuit mental health services, programming, and access to mental health professionals, including traditional healers.[Translation]

I would like to remind the House that, on June 13, 2016, the Prime Minister announced approximately $69 million over three years to meet the immediate mental health needs of first nations and Inuit communities.[English]

This funding is enhancing capacity at local and regional levels to provide essential mental health services that respond to both the current crisis and to prevention.[Translation]

This funding will help to meet the following objectives: create new mental health crisis intervention teams; increase the number of first nations and Inuit communities served by mental wellness teams; provide training for front-line workers; support Inuit-specific approaches to mental wellness and suicide prevention; and, finally, provide access to a first nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line that respects the culture of these peoples.

In July 2016, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami or ITK released its national Inuit suicide prevention strategy. Our government invested $9 million over three years to help implement it. Our government is working with ITK and Inuit partners to determine further actions moving forward.

In addition, Health Canada provides coverage for mental health counselling services through the non-insured health benefits program. This mental health coverage is available to all non-insured health benefits clients, including youth, and is designed to provide coverage for necessary consultations with mental health professionals.[English]

Budget 2017 proposes to provide new funding for the NIHB program, making it easier for individuals and families to access culturally appropriate health care, prenatal escorts, and expanding access to men...”

John Nater (Conservative)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...s the hard work and care of midwives across the world. The theme for 2017, “Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for Life”, captures the important work and contributions midwives provide to maternal and newborn health.

I would like to recognize Countryside Midwifery Services, Grand Valley Midwives, and Stratford Midwives for all they do for mothers, newborns, and families in Perth—Wellington. Their dedication and compassion are appreciated by families throughout our communities, my family included.

My wife Justine and I will be forever...”

Marc Miller (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...>Madam Speaker, I will tell members where we are delivering billions. We are delivering billions to families who need it the most, families who are seeking hard to join the middle class. With our family allocation through taxing the 1%, we have delivered billions to families who need it the most, for school supplies, for food. We are really proud of that record, an...”

Kim Rudd (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Madam Speaker, our thoughts go out to those families, workers, and communities affected by this very challenging situation. We are taking immedi...”

Steven MacKinnon (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ues with the pay system. These issues have caused real hardships for many public servants and their families, and many are issues that no family should have to face.

Our government remains resol...”

Karen McCrimmon (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... that this is very important to him and his community.

Our thoughts continue to go out to the families and loved ones of the victims of the tragedy. Our government is firmly committed to improvi...”

Kim Rudd (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Madam Speaker, as a government, we understand the challenges workers and their families in the energy sector have had over the last few years. Our support for the energy sector re...”

Yvonne Jones (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...th those across the north. We know it is unacceptable that northerners are struggling to feed their families, and we have every intention of bringing forward a new program that will meet the needs of ...”

Mark Warawa (Conservative)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...unk driver, a person who foolishly chose to drive while impaired. Kassandra's family is devastated. Families for Justice is a group of Canadians whose loved ones were killed by impaired drivers. They ...”

Kelly McCauley (Conservative)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... task force report that was submitted to the finance minister. We consulted with over 5,000 Alberta families, small businesses, and stakeholders affected by the economic downturn. By the way, in case anyone is wondering, none of those we consulted said to jack up taxes on the gas and oil industry and phase out the oil sands.

We advised the government of these options provided to us in the jobs task force, which include: reduce the tax burden on Canadians by stopping the carbon tax; honour the promise to lower the small business tax; support families in need by reversing the punishing new mortgage rules; and enhance Canada's fiscal strength...”

Tom Kmiec (Conservative)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Madam Speaker, when we bring up our families in debate, we usually bring up our children, and we talk about what type of legacy we will ...”

Salma Zahid (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...dle class and those working hard to reach it, and that is important.

I have many middle-class families in my riding that need just a little help making ends meet. They have to choose between investing in their children's education and saving for retirement. We have put many initiatives in place to help them, from a strengthened Canada pension plan and a middle-class tax cut to the Canada child benefit and increased student assistance.

All of this is important, but today I would like to talk about helping those families for which the middle class seems out of reach no matter how hard they work to reach it, for low income Canadians who need to choose between paying the rent to keep a roof over their heads and buying groceries to put food on the table and for whom the high cost of child care prevents both parents from participating in the workforce and bringing an important second pay cheque home. I have many of these families in my riding of Scarborough Centre and I am here to speak for them.

I heard their stories during the campaign, and I continue to hear their stories when I meet my constituents at coffee shops, town halls, and on their doorsteps.

One of the first things our government did to help them was to introduce the Canada child benefit. By making it tax free and targeted to those families who need it most, families with less than $30,000 in net income receive the maximum benefit of $6,400 per child under the age of six, and $5,400 per child for those aged six through 17. This initiative alone has lifted more than 300,000 children out of poverty and is making a real difference for low income families.

We also addressed seniors living in poverty by increasing the guaranteed income supplement top-up benefit for single seniors to up to $947 annually, improving the financial security of about 900,000 single seniors across Canada.

Those are just a few of the measures from last year's budget, and I am pleased to see more strong action to help low-income Canadians in budget 2017.

For me, the signature item in budget 2017 is the investment in housing. For too long the federal government has been on the sidelines when it comes to housing in Canada. We have not been at the table when provinces, municipalities, and affordable housing providers have tried to tackle this critical issue. After a decade of absence, the cry for federal leadership is finally being answered by this government.

In Scarborough, housing is a pressing issue. Affordable housing is the bridge to improved prosperity for low-income families. Housing is a public health issue, a public safety issue, and an economic issue. Having a safe, clean, and affordable place to live allows children to fully participate and succeed in school. It allows their parents to go to work not having to worry about keeping a roof over their heads or having to make difficult choices between rent and groceries.

Unfortunately, housing is increasingly precarious for too many families. The stock of affordable housing is increasingly limited and in poor shape. Developers are building unaffordable condos and even converting rental buildings to condos instead of investing in new rental stock. Existing rental stock is often in poor shape and is being priced out of reach for many families in Scarborough. This forces them to live in unclean, unsafe, and often overcrowded environments. It forces them to make difficult choices no family should have to make. (1230)

That is why I am excited about the new national housing strategy that will be coming from the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and with the $11.2-billion investment proposed in budget 2017 to help build, renew, and repair Canada's stock of affordable housing.

With stable and predictable funding over the next decade, the government will work in partnership with the provinces and territories to help ensure that Canadians have affordable housing that meets their needs. This will include a new $5-billion national housing fund to address critical housing issues and better support vulnerable citizens, renewed and expanded federal investments to combat and prevent homelessness, more federal lands for the development of affordable housing, and expanded funding to strengthen CMHC's housing research activities.

We will work with the provinces to support priorities that include the construction of new affordable housing units, the renovation and repair of existing housing, rent subsidies and other measures to make housing more affordable, and initiatives to support safe, independent living for our seniors, persons with disabilities, and other individuals requiring accessibility modification.

With the new national housing fund, there will be a co-investment fund to help pool resources from other housing partners, direct lending to municipalities and housing partners for the repair and renewal of housing units, as well as the construction of new affordable housing units, and support to help social housing providers maintain rent-geared-to-income units when long-term operating agreements expire.

This is a much needed renewal of federal leadership in the housing space, and will make a real difference over the years to come to lower-income families in Scarborough and across Canada that face a precarious housing situation and struggle to find an affordable place to live.

Another highlight for budget 2017 is the substantial and substantive investments in early learning and child care. When I speak to Scarborough families, they tell me that next to affordable housing, their biggest challenge and biggest concern is access to affordable, quality child care. For lower-income families, the high cost of child care can mean one parent is forced to stay at home instead of entering the workforce and bringing a much needed second paycheque into the household.

This is another area where federal leadership has been sorely lacking over the last decade. The “create a tax credit and walk away" approach of the last government did nothing to encourage the creation of more affordable child care spaces, and is a drop in the bucket compared to the costs families are facing right now.

Like affordable housing, early learning and child care is also an economic issue. With access to affordable child care, both parents can choose to participate in the workforce, and a child with access to early learning support will be better positioned to succeed in school and in life.

Last year's budget made an initial investment this year in early learning and child care of $500 million. I am pleased to see that budget 2017 builds on this commitment by investing an additional $7 billion over 10 years to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces in Scarborough and across Canada. Over the next three years, we hope this investment can increase the number of affordable child care spaces for low-income and modest-income families by supporting up to 40,000 new subsidized child care spaces, as well as make it more affordable for parents to return to work.

Real action here, though, will require a collaborative approach, and it will require a long-term plan. That's why I'm pleased the government is working with the provinces and territories to develop a national framework on early learning and child care, focusing on best practices and new approaches to best serve families.

There are many more items in this budget that will make a difference to lower-income Canadian families, but I feel these substantive and long-term investments in housing and in early learning and child care will make a meaningful and lasting difference for Canadian families struggling to make ends meet. (1235)

That is why I am pleased to support this budge...”

Salma Zahid (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ide more opportunities for every Canadian. That means providing more opportunities for middle-class families and those working hard to join the middle class.

We introduced the Canada child benefit, which is helping nine out of 10 Canadian families and which has lifted over 300,000 kids out of poverty. It is making a real difference in the lives of people every day. We will continue to build on our plan. We increased the taxes for the wealthiest 1% to give tax breaks to middle-class families. The plan is working, and I am sure it will continue working for the next many years.”

Salma Zahid (Liberal)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...to pay for groceries for their kids.

Through our budget, we are making sure that middle-class families get immediate help. Those people who need the help get immediate help through the Canada ch...”

Mike Lake (Conservative)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...peaker, I appreciate the concern that my colleague has always had, both privately and publicly, for families living with autism.

I am fortunate. My son Jaden is 21, and having grown up in Alberta, he has had solid support from the time he was two years old. However, the situation facing some families in this country, depending on where they live in some provinces, they know that their child has autism at two, but they cannot get a diagnosis for two years because they are on a wait list until the child is four. They cannot get treatment until the child is six. Certainly that is provincial jurisdiction.

What this Canadian autism partnership would have done, again for $3.8 million a year in the context of a $52 billion deficit, is bring experts together, renowned world-class experts who are right here in Canada, to advise governments in their jurisdiction on things like early intervention, education, housing, transitions and employment, all of those things that are real challenges for families living with autism, people living with autism across this country.

Again, we are talk...”

Mel Arnold (Conservative)

May 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...nent to live here. It allowed early European settlers to immigrate and build better lives for their families than they might have had in their homelands. It is a heritage that is truly part of Canada....”

Richard Cannings (NDP)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...he British home children. Thousands were brought to Canada over decades. They were taken from their families in Britain, many simply because they were poor, and were brought to Canada where they were,...”

Terry Duguid (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... economic success and help close the gender wage gap in this country. Not only will women and their families benefit greatly from these actions; all Canadians will benefit as we work together to build...”

Dan Albas (Conservative)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...called: boutique tax credits. Curiously, the Liberal government eliminated a tax credit that helped families with kids in fitness activities. It killed the tax credit that helped make public transit more affordable, and then it turned around and introduced a tax credit that helps teachers pay for school supplies.

It would be one thing to eliminate all targeted tax credits equally, but essentially, what the Liberal government is doing is sending a message that targeted tax credits are wrong if enacted by a Conservative government but okay if enacted by a Liberal one. That is just partisan politics at its worst.

Before I leave the topic, let me just say this. I have heard from some teachers, particularly those who teach at the elementary level, that this tax credit will help them, and that is a good thing. However, I have also heard from families and from those who are disabled that eliminating the children's fitness credit and the public transit tax credit will hurt them, and these are not good things. Some are actually shocked that the Liberals would cancel a tax credit designed to support public transit solely because of Liberal ideology, because we all know that increasing public transit use helps to decrease our carbon footprint. Of course, when it comes to doing that, we know that the present Liberal government only supports tax increases on carbon to make life less affordable for the same middle-class families it professes to want to help. (1035)

Another point I would like to raise is about th...”

Julie Dzerowicz (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...adult workers who are trying to go back to school or to upgrade their skills while supporting their families; and more support for families that are caregivers, that are trying to take care of their children. Then there is also a huge section around trying to help new immigrants, new Canadians, newcomers who have wonderful foreign credentials, to get them into the workforce a lot quicker.

I will go through a list of key initiatives that I think are important, which I have pointed out to the residents of Davenport, and will be beneficial not only to those in Davenport but also to all Canadians. I will go through all the numbers. Whenever we talk about numbers, $2.7 billion here and $132 million there, people's eyes get a little bit glassy, so I will just go through certain key initiatives.

We are providing quite a bit of money for skills training and employment supports for unemployed and underemployed Canadians under the Labour Market Transfer Agreement. We are giving about $3 billion for that, and this is super important. I just had a conversation with someone a couple of days ago. He told me he had three jobs and he would really like to have one. I told him I had good news, that we had put some money into budget 2017 that would help him improve his skills so he could hopefully have one job that would support his life.

We are putting a substantial amount of money into making the EI program more flexible to enable the unemployed to pursue self-funded training, while remaining eligible for EI benefits. This has always been a puzzle to me, the fact that those who were on EI looking for jobs and wanted to self-improve would have lost their benefits if they did their own training. I am glad we have fixed that.

We have also put a substantial amount of money, almost half a billion dollars, to extend eligibility for student financial assistance for both part-time students and students with dependent children. We want to make it easier for adult learners to qualify for student financial assistance.

So many people tell me they have to support their families and wonder how they can improve their skills while they do that. This will help to support them to do that. It helps them to access financial support to go back to schools on a part-time basis, upgrade their skills and move into a profession that either pays more or a profession that gives them more happiness.

There are also a number of supports we provide that will help families to take care of their families. We have a new EI caregiving benefit that will provide a substantial amount of money for adult and child care.

We have also made adjustments to provide EI parental benefits for up to 18 months. We have also put some money to allow expectant mothers to claim EI for up to 12 weeks prior to their due date. The last thing is that we have also put a substantial amount of money, $7 billion, to create a number of spaces for high-quality affordable child care. (1100)

I will mention one last thing.

A wonderful woman talked to me last Saturday at my last pop-up. She is a young doctor from Mexico City and has just come here. She told me she would love to be a doctor in Canada. She had married a Canadian and was now a permanent resident. She wanted to know how she could use her skills to serve the Canadian population. Our government has put $30 million over five years in the budget to help those with foreign credentials, like doctors, get recognized, to help them get Canadian experience, and to help them to start working and contributing to the Canadian economy as soon as possible.

We have put a tremendous amount of money into transit. I represent a downtown west riding, an urban riding in Toronto. One of the biggest irritants for the residents of my riding is transit. They want to have reliable transit. They want it to be accessible and affordable. They are also very big supporters of active transportation such as bicycling. They can cut across traffic, go through bike paths and lanes, and Ontario Hydro routes, so they can cross the city in a more expedited way. As an environmentalist, I love the idea of more dollars being put into transit, because there would be less pollution, less CO2 emissions, and there would be a huge economic benefit. It moves both people and goods around seamlessly.

Budget 2017 has announced $20.1 billion over 11 years to team up with the provinces and territories to build new urban transit networks and service extensions. I hope that will translate into a downtown relief line in Toronto. We desperately need additional ways to move people across the downtown core. This money will also help to finish up the work around the Eglinton LRT. In addition to this $20 billion investment, our government is also putting an additional $5 billion into transit from Canada's infrastructure bank.

That is an additional $25 billion in addition to the $3.4 billion announced last year in the 2016 budget to improve and expand our public transit networks to get people around, to ensure they are accessible, reliable, and affordable, which is a key issue for the residents of Davenport. These investments will transform the way Canadians move, work, and live.

Another key area I am really proud of in our investments in budget 2017 is affordable housing. People in Davenport say they not only need affordable housing but they also need to be able to afford to live in Toronto, because it has become so expensive. I am delighted the federal government is stepping up to the plate. I want to give huge kudos to our Minister of Families, Children and Social Development for his leadership on this. We started last year with $2.2...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s of Canadians.

The member spoke about affordability and the importance of working people and families to get a break, to be able to afford and make their lives better for themselves. Bill C-44 ...”

Angelo Iacono (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ople to have the career of their dreams without being stopped by the financial stress, and to allow families to take care of a sick family member. This budget meets the needs of communities such as Laval, whether it is the needs of entrepreneurs, or the need for public transit, infrastructure, or social housing.

I will begin by talking about the challenges of the middle class struggling with the famous work-life balance. In general, what do we want out of life? We want to have a good job or to start a business; we want to be able to pay our rent, hydro bill, and other bills, and hope that there will be a little left over that we can save for retirement or our children's education; and we also want to look after our elderly parents. In short we want quality of life.

For the Prime Minister, my colleagues, and I, our constituent's quality of life is very important. Consequently, we cut taxes for the middle class and increased them for the wealthiest 1% in order to create a more just society and a fairer tax system. We created the tax-free Canada child benefit, which is income-tested. This means that families can benefit fully from the money they receive. We lowered the retirement age to 65 and increased Canada pension plan benefits to ensure that more seniors who have worked all their lives and contributed to our economy can retire with dignity, which they deserve. [English]

In this budget, we put in place something dear to my heart. We helped the caregivers by establishing a unique and simpler tax credit for those who take care of loved ones suffering from a serious illness. I have been a caregiver for my mother for several years. I know the level of commitment and compassion it requires. Having to deal with different sorts of tax credits to fit with our specific situation can be confusing and stressful. In a time when we want to put all our efforts into caring and loving a person who needs us, we should not be stressed about our financial situation. The caregivers deserve a break, and the help we propose will do exactly that. The new Canada caregiver credit will simplify and improve the existing system. It will apply to caregivers whether or not they live with the family member, and ti will raise the income threshold for eligibility.

We also created a new EI caregiving benefit. It will give up to 15 weeks of EI to a person who has to be away from work to support and care for an ill loved one. (1120) [Translation]

In addition to helping caregivers, we continue to help families through measures supporting children. Parents have many concerns when it comes to their children, but finding day care they trust and paying for their children's education are two of the biggest ones. Our government believes it is critical that all Canadians have access to quality affordable child care spaces. Quebec is a model, of course, but the shortage of subsidized spaces is a common problem for people in my riding.

That is why Quebec's share of the Canada social transfer will be $79 million higher than last year's amount. A total of $3 billion will be transferred to Quebec to support post-secondary education, social assistance, and child care.

We also improved the Canada student loans and grant programs to make them more accessible. Plans were also made regarding certain amounts and specific programs to address students' various needs. Quebec will be given the planned amounts to invest in its own loans and scholarships system.[English]

I want to talk about transport. Since I am a member of the committee on transport and infrastructure, I am interested in the investments done in transport. It is a challenge to have an efficient, safe, and green transportation system. It also has to support trade. This is why we put in place a national trade corridor fund to build stronger, more efficient transportation corridors to international markets. It will help our businesses compete, grow, and create more jobs. The fund will target investments for congestion and inefficiencies at marine ports, such as Montreal, which is critical to the success of Canada's trade agreement with the European Union.[Translation]

I would now like to focus on the region that I represent, Alfred-Pellan, in Laval, a diverse, vibrant, and innovative city. I am proud to be one of this city's representatives and just as proud of the fact that the measures announced pertaining to innovation will help Laval continue to be a leader in the technology, digital, agrifood, and science sectors.

I am very proud to announce recent investments of more than $8 million in Collège Montmorency de Laval for the construction of a new building devoted to research and technology transfers. This is a tangible measure in support of science and technology.

Workers in Laval are also going to benefit from our initiatives. We will support as many as 10,000 workplace learning opportunities per year so that businesses can train the workforce of the future. Businesspeople in Alfred-Pellan have often expressed this need.

Laval could take part in the smart cities challenge to get the money to fund its new technology initiatives, such as the projects of the Société de transport de Laval, one of the country's most innovative transit corporations, by using applications that enhance the efficiency of their transportation system as well as client services.

Speaking of public transit, we will support the next phase of public transit projects with a $20-billion investment to improve service and create more efficient, greener transportation networks. I am committed to supporting our transit corporation to help it achieve its goals.

In addition to money for public transit, we are investing in infrastructure. Our programs have already helped Laval improve its drinking water. Laval will continue to have access to the funds allocated for its infrastructure projects.

There is also a great need for social housing in Alfred-Pellan. That is why we are going to develop a national affordable housing strategy and invest $11 billion so that more single mothers, people living alone, and seniors can access safe, affordable housing. This will help Laval provide housing to the families that need it most.

I will conclude by reiterating my support for the people of Alfred-Pellan and Laval, local elected officials, businesses, and, most importantly, the people. My job gives me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, to talk to them about issues that matter to them, to celebrate their successes, and to support them in their endeavours. They are the reason my government and I are working on targeted measures for families, innovation, efficiency, and infrastructure. By making major investments now while interest...”

Angelo Iacono (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rastructure plan and targeted spending on health, child care services, affordable housing, help for families, and much more.

Consequently, that is definitely something that will be considered in...”

Mark Warawa (Conservative)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...h shows that millions of new dollars are coming out of the pockets of Canadian seniors, of Canadian families, of the middle class, those who are struggling, because the government is going to charge a...”

Ed Fast (Conservative)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...romise to reduce taxes on our small businesses?

Hard-working middle-class Canadians and their families, and let us not forget those working hard to join them, are also suffering. The Liberals have piled it on by raising taxes on everything from public transit, to Uber, to beer and wine sales. They are even taking away the children's fitness tax credit. It is unbelievable.

Not only that, the Prime Minister is significantly increasing the fees that Canadians pay for a wide variety of federal services, including things such as campsites and fishing licences. If we want to take our grandchildren fishing, the Liberals are jacking up the fees to make it less likely that Canadian families will get a chance to go fishing. They are also jacking up the fees on passport applications...”

John Oliver (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...pied by people who could receive their care at home or in community-based settings. Meanwhile, many families caring for loved ones at home are struggling with the stresses and pressures that come from not having enough home support. In both cases, these people and these families need more help. Budget 2017 proposes to invest $6 billion over 10 years to provide Canadians with improved access to home, community, and palliative care services as well as more support for informal caregivers. This means that more people would get the care they need in their homes and that more families would be getting increased support.

For those who receive care at home, an increased burden is put on family members. Balancing work and family caregiving responsibilities can be a real challenge. Things can be especially difficult when a family member is suffering from a serious illness. To give eligible caregivers a well-deserved break, budget 2017 proposes to create a new employment insurance caregiving benefit, which would give eligible caregivers up to 15 weeks of EI benefits while they are temporarily away from work to support or care for a critically ill or injured family member. Budget 2017 recognizes that people make enormous sacrifices to care for loved ones and would help ease that burden by giving people time to be caregivers.

An overwhelming number of Canadian families are affected by mental illness at some point in their lives. In any given year, one in five people in Canada experience a mental health problem or illness. While great strides have been made to improve our understanding of mental illness and its impact on people's lives, wait times to see a mental health specialist in certain regions of our country can range up to 18 months. In Oakville, I have heard from residents about the challenges of accessing mental health services in our community. Our government recognizes that this is not good enough, and that is why the budget proposes to invest $5 billion over 10 years to support mental health services. It would also help approximately half a million young Canadians who are currently unable to receive even the most basic mental health care. Clinical evidence has shown that it is absolutely essential for those struggling with mental illness to have access to timely and appropriate mental health services. Improved access to mental health supports would result in improved health outcomes and shorter wait times for hundreds of thousands of Canadians. (1205)

Canada's opioid crisis has led to devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities. The effect of this crisis is being felt in my riding of Oakville. I have met with a number of local health groups, including the Halton Equitable Drug Strategy and ADAPT, a treatment program, about their role in supporting harm-reduction initiatives to save lives. I have heard about the challenges some residents are facing as they try to access the treatment and support they need.

The budget supports the Canadian drug and substances strategy with a total of $100 million over five years for Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. I want the residents of my riding of Oakville and all Canadians to be protected from the opioid crisis and illicit fentanyl distribution. This plan would provide invaluable resources for treatment, prevention, and enforcement measures.

Oakville is a commuter town, and I know just how important it is for residents to have reliable and safe public transit. After a long day spent working hard, we should expect clean, efficient public transit to get us home on time. To support the next phase of public transit projects, our government is investing $20.1 billion to support urban public transit networks and service extensions. This investment would make it possible for Canadian communities like Oakville to build new urban transit networks and service extensions that will transform the way we live, move, and work. It would mean new transit lines, more buses, more reliable services, and fewer cars on the road. To get it right, the government is working closely with provinces and municipalities as reflected in the most recent funding of nearly $5 million for the Oakville transit, thanks to the public transit infrastructure fund.

A clean environment and a strong economy are connected. Canadians know this, and our government agrees. Budget 2017 lays out our government's plan to invest $21.9 billion over 11 years to support green infrastructure. This investment prioritizes projects that reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, help deliver clean air and safe water systems, and promote renewable sources of power.

Oakville clean tech companies have already received over $7 million from our government, underlying the potential for innovation we have in my community and across Canada. Through these investments, Canada has positioned itself as a global leader in clean growth, illustrating to the world that a clean environment and a strong economy can go hand in hand.

Canada's vast expanses of protected natural areas, our magnificent natural scenery, and our wealth of wildlife are a point of pride for all Canadians. The residents of Oakville enjoy their close connection to nature. The natural and cultural heritage we enjoy as Canadians enriches our communities and creates jobs by spurring economic growth through tourism. There is perhaps no better example of Canada's natural beauty than our national parks. Recognized around the world and loved by those who visit and work in them, our 47 national parks and four national marine conservation areas are a source of real pride for Canadians. Our national parks are part of our Canadian identity. They allow more Canadians to learn about the environment and connect directly with nature.

To ensure we are able to enjoy our national parks for years to come, budget 2017 provides up to $364 million to the Parks Canada Agency to protect and preserve our national parks. To make it more affordable for more Canadian families to visit and appreciate the outdoors in Canada's 150th year, admission to all national park...”

Gary Anandasangaree (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rs to have had the desired effect. The new Canada child benefit has helped hundreds of thousands of families improve their standard of living. I recently had coffee with someone who works in poverty reduction in the city of Toronto. She confirmed to me how the CCB has affected so many of the people she serves.

I do not have to go far to find families and children helped by the CCB. I routinely run into people who say that it has changed their way of life. Our office has assisted constituents who needed to file their income tax to qualify for the CCB. They have told us the impact it will have on their lives. The CCB is really a game changer.

I want to share some of the statistics from my riding of Scarborough—Rouge Park. In October 2016, the Canada child benefit helped 17,250 children, in 9,930 families, with an average benefit of $670, totalling close to $6.7 million. Let me remind my colleagues that this is approximately $670 per month tax free. These payments were not made to millionaires but to those who need it, based on their income.

This is the type of program that will help grow our middle class. It will allow young people to engage in things like soccer, hockey, gym, and music. It will provide better housing. It will provide better Internet access. It can help families in any way they need to improve their standard of life.

Building on this and other initiatives from the 2016 budget, our Minister of Finance and his team have crafted a budget for 2017 to support Canadians. I am therefore very proud to speak in support of this budget.

I will focus on three aspects of the budget: first, support for caregivers; second, innovation; and third, support for housing.

Last month, at the Malvern Family Resource Centre, our Prime Minister, along with the Minister of Health and my friend, the member for Scarborough Centre, met with many of my constituents who are the primary caregivers for their loved ones. The Malvern Family Resource Centre is a state-of-the-art facility that supports people of all generations with early years programs through to seniors programs. It has incredible leadership, with Girmalla Persaud, its executive director, at the helm. In 2016 it had 559 volunteers, who worked just under 20,000 hours to help this community.

At this gathering, the Prime Minister was able to speak to caregivers about how the proposed changes would improve, expand, and simplify the current caregiver tax credit system by replacing the existing credit programs with the new Canada caregiver credit. Budget 2017 would replace the current caregiver credit, the infirm dependent credit, and the family caregiver tax credit with one single new credit.

The new Canada caregiver credit would provide support for those who need it the most and would help more families who give care to their loved ones. The new credit would provide $6,883 for the care of dependent relatives with disabilities and $2,150 for the care of a spouse, common-law partner, or minor child. It would provide an additional $310 million in tax relief for Canadians over the next five years. It would be indexed to inflation, and it would be subject to no reduction until the dependent family member was making more than $16,163. (1220) [Translation]

In addition to the Canada caregiver credit in budget 2017, our government announced that we will extend EI benefits for people caring for family members and parents caring for a critically ill child.[English]

Budget 2017 would provide an additional $691.3 million, for five years, to create a new EI caregiver benefit of up 15 weeks. Parents of critically ill children would continue to be able to access up to 35 weeks of coverage, with more flexibility to share the benefit among multiple family members.[Translation]

These changes will help thousands of families across the country to support one another, and will simplify the everyday lives of many people in my riding.

I want to take a moment to thank all the caregivers in my community, and those around the country, who look after their loved ones. As we know, governments cannot take care of people as well as those close to them. However, governments can and must support those caregivers. This budget is a great start.

Innovation is very important to our government. We have many innovators. In my riding of Scarborough—Rouge Park, we have great examples of businesses that focus on innovation. At the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, we have a program called the hub, which acts as an incubator of new ideas and businesses. When I met with a Parks Canada official last week, she confirmed that the hub is working toward developing an app to navigate the Rouge National Urban Park, which is also in my riding.

We have many more innovators who continue to build an innovation-based economy. For example, last year's Google Demo Day's award winner, Knowledgehook, is from Scarborough—Rouge Park. This company of the future, started by Travis Ratnam and his team, continues to grow and will contribute to the economy of the future.

It is in this context that I am very excited that budget 2017 would serve as a foundation for our future growth. It focuses on one thing, and that is to help people succeed. This budget is a visionary step toward building the economy of the future.

Here are some elements. It proposes to invest an additional $1.8 billion over six years in labour market development agreements with the provinces. For the average Canadian, this would mean more opportunities to upgrade their skills, receive career counselling, start their own business, and gain experience. However, our commitment would go well beyond by expanding eligibility for Canada student grants and loans each year to an additional 10,000 part-time students, and it would expand eligibility even more to students who support their families.

We would launch a pilot project to test new approaches for adult learners who return to school, at a cost of $287.2 million over the next three years.

We would make changes to EI to help those going back to school, investing in skills development, creating more jobs for youth, and increasing the availability of co-op placements for students.

In this budget we propose a new strategic innovation fund to make high-quality investments in businesses that will bring jobs to Canada.

We would create a new $400-million venture capital fund, through the Business Development Bank of Canada, to help Canadian businesses get a leg up and add value to our economy. We would invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs by partnering with great organizations, like Futurpreneur Canada.

Let me turn to social housing. Good housing is a fundamental need for the development of an individual. It is the centre of one's life. The member for Scarborough—Agincourt and I met with the CEO of Toronto Community Housing on March 28. We went on a tour of six Toronto Community Housing complexes in Scarborough. We were able to see first-hand the need to invest in housing. These complexes, located in my riding and in Scarborough—Agincourt, help thousands of families make ends meet. They provide affordable living and support those who are most vulnerable in...”

Gary Anandasangaree (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...xes on the top income earners. We took away the Canada child benefit from millionaires. Billionaire families are not receiving a cheque every month from this government. We do not believe that those w...”

Gary Anandasangaree (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...o need it based on an income test. We are investing in very important infrastructure that will help families, communities, and cities, and that is the longer-term vision. We can balance the budget, bu...”

Phil McColeman (Conservative)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...It is another year, another Liberal tax hike, and another lost opportunity to deliver for Canadian families.

This budget fails to be innovative and it fails to deliver for families. Families need a job plan. Instead they got higher taxes and more debt, which, as I said, will have to be paid off by future generations.

The Liberals are not growing the middle class; they are growing government, and Canadian families are going to foot this bill.

By his own admission, the Prime Minister tells us that $195 million of the funding for child care will actually go toward hiring bureaucrats in Ottawa. What the Prime Minister cannot tell us is how many child care spaces the Liberals are actually going to create. They hope it is 40,000, but they do not have an actual plan. They hope to balance the budget, but they do not have an actual plan. The pattern has developed and continues to develop.

I can tell members that our previous Conservative government took a much different approach. We focused on supporting families, and we had a plan. That is why we implemented initiatives such as the universal child care benefit, the children's fitness tax credit, the children's art tax credit, tax credits for post-secondary education and textbooks, and income splitting for families.

Unfortunately, since taking office, the Liberals have eliminated these initiatives one by one, with the public transit tax credit being the latest to get the axe.

When in government, the Conservative Party understood that in order to keep up in this global economy and create jobs, we needed to push a real innovation agenda. That is why we created a more efficient and effective national digital research infrastructure system by investing in CANARIE, Canada's world-class, high-speed research and education network. We extended Canada's participation in the international space station mission to 2024 to build on Canada's strong legacy of supporting space exploration. We developed the next generation of innovation leaders by supporting graduate-level research and development internships through Mitacs. We made a landmark investment in post-secondary education by creating the Canada first research excellence fund, with $1.5 billion over the next decade. This investment helped to secure Canada's international leadership in science and innovation. (1245)

We provided $49 million to the Canadian Youth Business Foundation to help young entrepreneurs grow their firms. We fostered world-leading research by investing $220 million in the TRIUMF physics laboratory to support leading research and launch cutting-edge spinoff companies. We provided $1.5 billion to support the private sector in research and development to strengthen the competitiveness of Canada's aerospace sector through the strategic aerospace and defence initiative. We launched the venture capital action plan to increase private sector investments in early-stage risk capital and to support the creation of large-scale venture capital funds. We supported technology innovation by investing $15 million in support of the Institute for Quantum Computing for research and commercialization of quantum technologies, and $3 million to support the creation of the Open Data Institute.

We stood up for the automotive industry by investing $500 million in the automotive innovation fund to support significant new projects in Canada. We also provided over $800 million to support cutting-edge post-secondary research infrastructure through the Canada Foundation for Innovation. These are real, tangible supports for ideas and for entrepreneurs that make innovation happen, as well as real, tangible supports for Canadian families.

That is what is missing from this budget. There are no plans. There are platitudes. ...”

Randeep Sarai (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ble to talk about the real impact budget 2017 would have on their lives, positioning them and their families to succeed not only in tomorrow's economy but in today's.

Our government's commitment to innovation, infrastructure, housing, and protecting our oceans and waterways is what makes this budget and this government's agenda so transformational. It is with great pride that I can say that the decisions the government is taking, along with the policies we are putting forward, are having a positive impact on the lives of Canadians. This past weekend alone at an event in Surrey, I was speaking with Ted Singh, a constituent in Surrey Centre, who I had the good fortune of meeting for the very first time, a constituent whose two children will see first hand the investment in post-secondary education in Surrey.

Late last year, the Prime Minister was in Surrey Centre to personally share the good news of a $45 million investment in Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus, an investment that will have an impact not only today but tomorrow and for future generations of people who call Surrey home. This investment will provide supports, resources, and the means for world-class institutions such as Simon Fraser University for the people of Surrey who have aspirations for contributing to making our community and this country a better place.

My constituents are concerned about the ailing infrastructure that surrounds the city, such as the Pattullo Bridge. I am therefore pleased to see the formation of the infrastructure bank, which will help cities and provinces fund great projects and help the constituents of Surrey Centre get to and from work faster, spend more time with their families, and have more money to do the things they enjoy.

I am pleased that the Canada child benefit is continued in this budget, as more than 22,000 children in my riding are benefiting from the support. They are getting over $700 per month per child, on average, tax free. This is real support for middle class families that live and work in Surrey.

It is with great pride and honour that I can stand here...”

Shaun Chen (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nstruct a record-breaking 50 townhouse units in my riding of Scarborough North. Upon completion, 50 families currently living in unsafe, unhealthy, and overcrowded housing will each have a new and affordable home. This project speaks to the importance of our government's commitment to invest $11.2 billion over the next 11 years to support affordable housing, including the construction of new units. This budget does the right thing by ensuring that Canadians have access to safe, adequate, and affordable places to live.

Scarborough North is home to a number of housing co-operatives. Following the release of this budget, I spoke to a number of representatives of these co-ops. I was pleased to share that this budget would invest $5 billion in a national housing fund, one that would support lending for the construction of new rental units as well as give much needed funds and operational support to social housing providers. This budget would improve the lives of low-income and vulnerable members of our community who rely on social housing for a roof over their heads.

Not only that, this budget would also help improve the lives of new Canadians. Coming to a new country to start a new life is never easy. As a child of immigrant parents, I witnessed first-hand not only the difficulties that new immigrants face, but also just how much the government can do to help new immigrants feel they belong in Canada.

Many of our new immigrants are highly skilled and highly educated. They want to put their talents to use and to contribute to building our great country. Many times, however, highly skilled and educated immigrants face barriers that limit their employment opportunities once they arrive in Canada. Our government recognizes these barriers as a problem and with this budget we are doing something about it.

This budget proposes to allocate $27.5 million over five years starting this year and $5.5 million per year thereafter to support our targeted employment strategy for newcomers. This ambitious program would break down the barriers that bright new immigrants face in fully contributing to our economy. Our plan would improve pre-arrival supports for newcomers so that the process to recognize their foreign credentials can begin before they arrive in Canada. (1315)

We would also put in place targeted measures to test innovative approaches to help skilled newcomers gain Canadian work experience in their profession. One of the main reasons people choose to come to Canada is to seek new opportunities, both for themselves and for future generations. That is why this strategy would do the right thing by helping new Canadians and their families find appropriate work.

When Canadians secure meaningful employment, it grows our economy, which is why this budget is also focused on supporting innovation. I am proud that my riding of Scarborough North is home to many thriving businesses, including Canada Goose, which celebrated a strong IPO last March.

While industries like textiles and manufacturing will continue to play an important role, the global economy is changing. To address the changing nature of our global economic realities and to ensure it continues to thrive for our children and grandchildren, this budget introduces an ambitious innovation and skills plan. This plan includes $2.7 billion over six years for unemployed and underemployed Canadians to receive training and employment supports, an investment that positions Canada as a leader in the changing global economy.

That is not all. This budget would do even more to help our seniors and give them the respect they deserve. I know how important this is for my riding of Scarborough North, which is home to many seniors homes, such as the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, a provider of exceptional care to many seniors in the greater Toronto area. In addition to recognizing the invaluable services that facilities such as Yee Hong provide, our government is recognizing that there are many Canadians who prefer to receive care in a home setting.

Our government is committed to giving patients the care they need in the setting that they choose. This budget would invest $6 billion over the next decade for home care, money that would be used to improve access to home, community, and palliative care services. It would also provide more support to informal caregivers, such as family members working hard to balance full-time careers with caregiving for their loved ones.

Finally, this budget rightfully supports our veterans and their families. Scarborough North is home to many veterans. as well as Royal Canadian Legion Branch 614, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Our veterans have dedicated their lives to defend our country, and they deserve our unwavering support and gratitude.

Last year's budget invested $5.6 billion over six years to give more money to veterans with injuries or illnesses resulting from their military service. Continuing to recognize the sacrifices our veterans have made, this budget focuses on supporting the well-being of our veterans and their families. Our government proposes to help our veterans receive the skills, training, and education t...”

Shaun Chen (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...veterans receive the skills training and education they need to succeed. We will better support the families of veterans who have been injured during their military service. Also, we will invest in mental health because so many of our veterans are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. We want to ensure we tackle those mental health issues and provide the best care for our veterans and their families.”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...Legion, agrees. He said, “Bottom line, this budget doesn’t do enough for our Veterans and their families...How long do Veterans have to wait?”

This budget did very little for the military ...”

Ken Hardie (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...the late Rick Hart.

Budget 2017 would also make a huge difference in the lives of many Surrey families, particularly those people who have come to Canada with the professional skills we urgently need but who face barriers because their credentials are not recognized here. Every day a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, or an engineer is underemployed, these people lose, their families lose, and we lose. Budget 217 would invest $27.5 million over five years, starting this year, to remove those barriers. We would start the process even before the professionals arrived. Once they were here, we would support their efforts to get Canadian accreditation with a loans program to help cover the costs. Finally, a targeted deployment strategy would help them get essential Canadian work experience so they could relaunch their careers.

There are three more highlights from budget 2017 that I would like to mention. I think I can get them in quickly. Each would make a difference in communities across Canada, including mine.

As we all know, housing prices in Metro Vancouver, Toronto, and other cities have pushed home ownership out of reach for far too many families. Our decision to get the federal government back into a national housing strategy responds to the calls for help from the provinces, municipalities, and neighbourhoods. In Surrey, the Guildford neighbourhood, which I share with my colleague the hon. member for Surrey Centre, is where our city's main stock of affordable housing can be found. Budget 2017 would provide $11.2 billion over 11 years across Canada to design, build, renew, and repair homes for millions of Canadians working hard to join the middle class.

Another $5-billion national housing fund would better support vulnerable Canadians: the elderly, the disabled, and women seeking refuge from abuse.

Housing costs are a major source of worry and insecurity in many cities across Canada. Our government listened, we heard, and we have made affordable housing a priority.

Another acutely urgent issue in Metro Vancouver is the opioid crisis. No community or neighbourhood is immune from the tragedy of overdose deaths or the gang-related violence that accompanies the drug trade.

In February, our government provided $10 million in emergency support to help British Columbia respond to the crisis. Illicit drugs took 914 lives last year alone, and more than 320 in just the first three months of this year. This funding builds on the $65 million over five years we also announced in February for a strategy for an opioid action plan. Budget 2017 would enhance that with a further $22.7 billion over five years. (1355)

This budget would build on scores of other initiatives that matter a great deal in Fleetwood—Port Kells and in every community across the country, important measures like the new Canada caregiver credit that would help those needing care and the families providing that care.

Improvements to our family reunification program are helping families reunite more quickly, something that matters a lot in many homes in Fleetwood—Port Kells. We also cannot underestimate the impact of the first full year of the Canada child benefit, over $22 billion in tax-free support for families that need it the most. It is putting food on kitchen tables in Fleetwood—Port Kells and a...”

Mary Ng (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...reat service over many years to that community.

For 30 days in March, I met with thousands of families who shared their ambitions and their goals with me. We spoke about finding good, well-payin...”

Jennifer O'Connell (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...urned, Sharpe suffered from shell shock, now known as PTSD. Faced with having to return home to the families of those who had died by his side, he tragically took his own life.

I want to thank t...”

Stephanie Kusie (Conservative)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ing with me every step of the way. Without their love and support, I would not be here.

Young families in Calgary Midnapore, who are struggling to find work, express concern not only for their c...”

Harjit S. Sajjan (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...government is focused on making sure our troops have all the necessary benefits to look after their families in making sure we have all the right capabilities.

Last year we conducted a thorough ...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... up with a concrete plan to deal with this emerging crisis and to help the hundreds of thousands of families impacted.

Can the minister confirm that she walked away from negotiations with Obama,...”

Colin Fraser (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... is the Minister of Veterans Affairs doing to address the mental health needs of veterans and their families?”

Kent Hehr (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“..., and siblings. It is true that when members serve, their entire family serves along with them. The families are the strength behind the uniform. In budget 2017, we announced a centre of excellence on mental health and PTSD, to advance research, education, and outreach services. This would lead to better mental health outcomes for our veterans and their families.”

Kent Hehr (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...re highly supportive of these changes. It meant more money in veterans' pockets, for them and their families.”

Ken Hardie (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... They are the ones who could have tracked down many millions of dollars in taxes avoided by wealthy families, which may now be helping even more wealthy families avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

The Conservatives believed so much in the vir...”

Sheri Benson (NDP)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...the changes the Employment Insurance Act. Here is an example where the government really could help families, particularly in my riding. Instead of increasing the benefits, instead of making it easier...”

Dean Allison (Conservative)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...d-diming the middle class. It is making the cost of living more expensive for middle-class Canadian families. It is becoming obvious to us in this place and to Canadians across the country that the Li...”

Rachael Harder (Conservative)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... to farmers and fishing properties, thus driving up the cost of insurance for those who are farming families in my community.

Budget 2017 would also increase taxes on tourists who visit Canada o...”

Maryam Monsef (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ever gender-based violence strategy that would focus on prevention, support for survivors and their families, and a more responsive judicial system.

Chapter 5 in the budget is an important numbe...”

Tom Kmiec (Conservative)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nsit passes, Canadians will see their pockets far emptier than they have ever been before and their families will feel it far heavier than they ever have.

There has been a lot of criticism in th...”

Peter Fonseca (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House to speak to budget 2017, and how it will help our families, our infrastructure, our children, and our seniors.

I am optimistic about the budget. It is a good budget, but there is an aspect of this year's budget that is both unique and historic. Our government has been called Canada's first feminist government, and we are very proud of that distinction. More important, we are determined to live up to it, so that those words become the real and tangible efforts that help all women succeed.

The budget 2017 gender statement represents the government's first comprehensive effort at reporting on gender-based analyses of budgetary measures. Gender-based analysis identifies the ways in which public policies affect women and men differently. Budget 2017 identified more than 60 measures as having differential gender impacts, but we can do more.

We have a real opportunity to show how we considered and prioritized outcomes for women. In this bill, Canadians will find the kinds of things they should expect in a federal budget implementation act: a focus on skills and innovation, infrastructure, and tax fairness, to name a few, examples of things that will help middle-class Canadians succeed. These measures were developed with gender equality in mind. Empowering women to become economic drivers equal to that of men can have a real and positive effect for our economy.

Recent history has shown that as women have become more educated and more established in the workforce, Canada' s economy and the incomes of both men and women have grown. Canadian women are among the most educated in the world, something we should be so proud of, and make up 47% of the labour force, yet women are still paid less than men in exactly the same positions. In this area, Canada lags behind similar countries.

Barriers are particularly evident among younger women with at least one child. They are still far more likely than men to sacrifice careers to perform unpaid work at home. As policy-makers, it is our obligation to consider and to take action to address the inherent bias that persists in these areas, not simply because it makes economic sense, but because it is the right thing to do.

Well before budget 2017, our government started taking action on gender-based challenges. We rolled out the Canada child benefit to better support families and lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. We increased the guaranteed income supplement top-up benefit to boost support for the most vulnerable single seniors who are disproportionately women. I would now like to discuss a few measures in the bill.

Through this bill, our government is taking steps to help improve the current caregiver credit system that applies to Canadians who are caring for their loved ones. Budget 2017 simplifies the existing system by replacing the caregiver credit, the infirm dependant credit, and the family caregiver tax credit with a single new credit, the Canada caregiver credit. This new non-refundable credit will provide better support to those who need it most. It will apply to caregivers, whether or not they live with their family member, and it will help families with caregiving responsibilities.

Budget 2017 assessed proposed tax measures, including the Canada caregiver credit, to determine their gendered impacts. By applying a gendered !ens, budget 2017 will promote the fair and consistent treatment of women and men under the tax system. Statistics Canada estimates that more women than men are caregivers. However, we also know that a slightly higher proportion of men claim the caregiver tax credits.

Our government is also committed to meeting Canadians' demand for health care services. With the passage of the bill, the government will provide funding to provinces and territories for home care and mental health services in 2017-18 as an immediate down payment to provinces and territories that have accepted the federal offer of $11 billion over 10 years.

Clearly, the demand for home care services is growing with an aging population. Today, approximately 15% of hospital beds are still occupied by patients who could and would prefer to receive their care at home, or who would be better off in a community-based setting.

What is more, a majority of those Canadians who have taken on the responsibility to care for their loved ones are still in the workforce. They are sandwiched. They are men and women who are likely to spend a significant amount of time in caregiving activities. The time to support them is now. (1700)

Women also account for nearly two-thirds of all home care clients. Paid care is mostly provided by female health care providers. The targeted health care investments in this bill would be used to train additional front-line home care workers, and increase employment opportunities for women.

When it comes to mental health, scientific research has made great strides to improve our understanding of it and its prevalence. Unfortunately, we know that an overwhelming number of Canadians will be affected directly or indirectly by mental illness at some point in their lives.

Furthermore, family violence is a key factor for poor mental health, suicide, and substance abuse. Many organizations have noted that victims of family violence are predominantly women.

By providing the stable, predictable, and long-term funding needed to shorten those wait times for mental health services, outcomes for many groups, including women at risk, can be improved.

There are other examples of measures from this budget that stand to benefit women. This bill would allow parents to choose to receive employment insurance parental benefits over an extended period of up to 18 months at a lower benefit rate of 33% of average weekly earnings. The existing benefit rate that we have now of 55% over a period of 12 months would continue to be available. This measure recognizes that every Canadian family is different, with different needs when it comes to how a family manages work and family responsibilities. Working parents need more flexibility to navigate the challenges that come with a growing family.

In conclusion, we know this is just a start and that making progress on these issues will demand both continued effort and a clear sense of what we need to accomplish. We must change the way that we create policies to level the playing field so that everyone has a real chance to succeed.

The bill is the first that seeks to implement budget measures that were developed under a lens of gender-based analysis. More work is still to come. I encourage my fellow members to support this bill and the progress that it represents. We need all Canadians to be at their best. We cannot allow anybody to fall behind. We are in a very competitive global world. We need everybody doing their best, and being provided with the opportunities to succeed.

By building that ladder, by providing those rungs so that our women and men can succeed in the workforce, in their families, in the community, that will build a better Canada for all of us.”

Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...anada's 1% wealthiest. We saw a decrease in tax for Canada's middle class, and millions of Canadian families in every region of our country benefited. There is so much more in terms of just addressing...”

Erin Weir (NDP)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...he date itself, I believe it is far more meaningful for children to go to the ceremonies with their families than to do it as part of some sort of mandatory school activity.

I would also point o...”

Marilyn Gladu (Conservative)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...heduled earlier or later in the week, permitting students to attend community ceremonies with their families, if they desire.

Personally, in my role as MP, I can truthfully say that I attend at ...”

Alaina Lockhart (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...as Canada Day and Victoria Day, it will reconfirm the commitment of the House to veterans and their families, and those who are serving today, and will show our unwavering gratitude for their sacrific...”

Kim Rudd (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...revenue to put money back in the pockets of people who need it the most by giving the money back to families through rebates, by cutting personal income tax and small business taxes, and by investing ...”

Kim Rudd (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“Madam Speaker, I will say again that, unlike the Conservatives, we are focused on supporting middle-class Canadians and their families at every stage—”

Kim Rudd (Liberal)

May 4th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...educing taxes for nine million Canadians; a Canada child benefit that helps nine out of 10 Canadian families and will help raise 300,000 children out of poverty; and enhancements to student loans, whi...”

John Brassard (Conservative)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...r. Speaker, this morning, parliamentarians of all stripes joined members of the military, veterans, families, and mental health advocates for the fourth annual Sam Sharpe breakfast. Each year, the Sha...”

Kerry Diotte (Conservative)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...up without MS. I want MS to leave my family. I want a cure for MS, for my mom and for all the other families living with this terrible disease. I know the way to find a cure is by raising money for re...”

Georgina Jolibois (NDP)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ortant than the relationship with first nations, Métis and Inuit, yet he is specifically excluding families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

Uncertainty and criticism around the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls continues to pile up. Across the country, including in my riding, local men, women, and families are doing the work. They go door to door, put up posters, and search, hoping to find their missing loved ones. The government said great things, but there is no action. When is the government going to do the right thing and help these families?”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ster had an opportunity to personally apologize to Afghanistan veterans while fundraising for their families, but he cancelled.

If the defence minister's reputation with our troops is so damaged...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e there to support the troops. This is an annual event that raises funds for our veterans and their families. He, of all people, knows why this is important. Sadly, but for no apparent reason, the def...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ass, and especially for women, by introducing the Canada child benefit, which helps nine out of ten families and reduces child poverty. We have moved forward with a child care program and we are fight...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...y community organizations, and that is why our government has taken so much concrete action to help families facing insecurity, whether it be the Canada child benefit, the $11.2-million investment in affordable housing in our most recent budget, or the $7.2 billion allocated for child care. We know that we need to do more to help families.”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...family member affected by a mental health problem. We all know the challenges that our communities, families, and our economy are facing. (1515) [English]

That is why budget 2017 p...”

Stephanie Kusie (Conservative)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... concerns and heartbreaking stories about the jobs crisis from Albertans. Students and hard-working families from all walks of life are worried about how they will get by in these uncertain times.

...”

Mary Ng (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... is critically important to reducing congestion, getting to work on time, and getting home to their families after a long day.

Could the Prime Minister please update the House on the investments...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...l help cut commute times, foster economic growth, and allow Canadians more time to spend with their families and friends.”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ng around. We are going to ensure that through delivering more money to the pockets of middle-class families through investing in things like transit, waste water treatment plants, and flood protectio...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e middle class; introduced a new Canada child benefit that gives more money to 9 out of 10 Canadian families, and lifts hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty; and strengthened the Canada pension plan to help Canadians have the secure and dignified retirement they deserve.

I want to assure Canadians that we are not done. There is still work to do. [Translation]

This year, we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation. If we look beyond 2017, there are many challenges to be met. I would like to draw your attention to what we are doing to support Canada’s greatest strength: its skilled, hard-working, creative, and diverse labour force.

Both young people in school and people whose career has spanned several decades are wondering what kind of education and training they need in order to get a good, well-paid job and to be properly equipped to succeed in this evolving economy.

Today, the changing nature of the workplace means that people are changing jobs several times over the course of their working lives. The emergence of artificial intelligence and automation, coupled with the transformation of entire industries, are realities that we cannot ignore.

In budget 2017, our government laid the groundwork for preparing Canadians to be ready for the economy of tomorrow, and to have more employment opportunities today.

Some of these measures are included in the bill we are considering today. Budget 2017 invests, first and foremost, in skills and training, so that middle-class Canadians, and all Canadians, in fact, can take advantage of the opportunities they need in order to succeed, now and in the future.

By supporting Bill C-44, we will help to ensure that Canadians are able to benefit from the opportunities for success afforded by the economy of tomorrow.

I would like to give the House an overview of the measures that this bill contains.

The Government is firmly committed to helping Canadians of all ages receive the training and skills they need to succeed in the economy of today and tomorrow.

The tuition tax credit plays an important role in this effort, and recognizes the cost of enrolling in post-secondary and occupational skills courses.

Currently, students who take occupational skills courses, such as learning a second language or basic literacy or numeracy training, at a college or university, are not entitled to the tuition tax credit, but those who take similar courses at a non-post-secondary institution are entitled to it.

To improve fairness, Bill C-44 will expand the range of courses eligible for this credit to include occupational skills courses that are undertaken at a post-secondary institution in Canada, and to allow the full amount of bursaries received for such courses to qualify for the scholarship exemption.

The government is also committed to helping working parents who need more flexibility to navigate the challenges that come with a growing family.

Bill C-44 would allow parents to choose to receive EI parental benefits over an extended period of up to 18 months at a lower benefit rate of 33% of average weekly earnings.

For people who want to keep the 12 months of parental leave, employment insurance parental benefits will continue to be available at the existing rate of 55% of earnings. (1540)

Bill C-44 proposes to allow pregnant working women greater flexibility. It proposes to allow working mothers to claim EI maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date if they so choose, expanded from the current standard of eight weeks. [English]

People are at the heart of our plan. We want to provide the middle class, and those working hard to join it the opportunities they need to succeed. In order to ensure our continued prosperity well into the future, we must help Canadians prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow, while ensuring Canadian employers have access to the kind of talent that can help companies innovate and grow, leading to more well-paying jobs for Canadians.

This means that we need a fair, secure, and targeted immigration policy. Long processing times for work permits is making it difficult for businesses to recruit top talent. Enter the government's global skills strategy, which sets an ambitious two-week standard for processing visas and work permits for global talent. The strategy would support high growth Canadian companies that need to access global talent in order to facilitate and accelerate investments that create jobs and growth, and global companies that are making large investments relocating to Canada, establishing new production or expanding production, and creating new Canadian jobs.

Canada is also planning to implement a targeted employment strategy for newcomers. This strategy would have three components: improved pre-arrival supports, so that newcomers can begin the formal credential recognition process before arriving in Canada; a loan program that would assist newcomers for the cost of having their foreign credentials recognized; and targeted measures to test innovative approaches to help skilled newcomers gain Canadian work experience in their profession.

The strategy would help reduce barriers, and support newcomers as they put their skills to work in the Canadian economy. (1545) [Translation]

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston has called upon all Canadians to join in the building of a nation that is both smart and caring. He said that a smart nation learns from the past, embraces the future, and looks to the world with confidence and respect, while a caring nation recognizes that the measure of any society’s success lies in its ability to help others, particularly the vulnerable and marginalized among us.

We are a better nation if we continue to care about one another so that we continue to be a Canada where we look after our own.

Three measures in Bill C-44 offer greater support for Canadians who need it. [English]

The first measure is offering support to our veterans. Canada's women and men in uniform have served their country with bravery, honour, and dignity, putting their lives at risk to protect the values we cherish most. Our veterans deserve our greatest recognition and respect for their service. Bill C-44 would help veterans transition from military service to civilian life, and better support the families of ill and injured veterans, including caregivers.

In addition to providing more money for veterans to go back to school, Bill C-44 proposes to enhance the career transition services program. This measure would equip veterans, Canadian Armed Force members, survivors, and veterans' spouses and common-law partners with the tools they need to successfully navigate and transition to the civilian workforce.

Bill C-44 also proposes to provide a more generous benefit directly to caregivers to better recognize, and honour the vital role they play in supporting our ill and injured veterans.

The second proposed measure is the new Canada caregiver credit. The government is taking steps to help improve the current caregiver credit system that applies to Canadians who are caring for their loved ones. Bill C-44 would simplify the existing system by replacing the caregiver credit, infirm dependent credit, and family caregiver tax credit with a single new credit, the Canada caregiver credit. This new, non-refundable credit would provide better support to those who need it the most. The new credit would apply to caregivers whether or not they live with their family member and will help families with caregiving responsibilities.

The new Canada caregiver credit would provide tax relief on an amount of $6,883 in 2017, in respect of care of dependent relatives with infirmities, including persons with disabilities, parents, brothers, and sisters, adult children, and other specific relatives; $2,150 in 2017 in respect of care of a dependent spouse or common-law partner, or minor child with an infirmity, including those with a disability.

Families will be able to take advantage of the new Canada caregiver credit as soon as the 2017 tax y...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...peaker, it is very important for us to have a budget that is going to help our economy and Canadian families. It is important to take steps to improve our situation.

What I can say is that every measure in our budget is going to provide real assistance to our economy and Canadian families. Every measure in our bill stems from a measure in our budget. That was the spirit of our p...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Madam Speaker, that is in fact exactly what we are doing. We are recognizing that families come in all different shapes and sizes. In some situations, families will want to have the mother or father take 12 months of parental leave, and that is entirely appropriate for that family. That is the situation that is possible within our current system.

We also recognize that some people might prefer to stretch that out for 18 months, because it might make it easier for them to manage the challenge of their particular family situation.

By creating that flexibility, we are allowing people to manage their situations so that they can actually stay attached to the workforce, even if they want to take more time off work. We believe that we are doing exactly what the member opposite is asking us to do. We know that this will help families better accommodate their individual situations and allow us to have a more effective workfo...”

Gérard Deltell (Conservative)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nce. Let us remember that, when those changes were introduced, over a year ago now, the Minister of Families forgot one little detail, which was to index those changes. If the government had not run t...”

Gérard Deltell (Conservative)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... office. Thank God we were in office for nine years, because we gave Canadians, especially Canadian families, the help and tools they needed to help themselves. (1610) [Translation]

We offered tax credits to help families and tax credits for help at school, for textbooks. They have been eliminated by the Liberal government. We created tax credits to help families who enrolled their children in sports activities. They have been eliminated by the Liberal government. We created tax credits for children’s arts activities. They have been eliminated by the Liberal government. Now, as hard as it is to believe, the government has eliminated a tax credit for public transit users. I did not see that one coming at all. Of the 250 or so tax credits that Canadian families may be eligible for, the Liberal government, that constantly boasts about its exploits and constantly preens itself for its lovely great ecological principles, has eliminated the tax credit for people who use public transit. Honestly, if someone had told me this two weeks before the budget was tabled, I would have laughed. [English]

The Liberals decided to cancel and to abolish a tax credit for transit. This government is talking about bringing in policies. It is quite important to protect the heart of our world, and the government shall protect it.

I will remember all my life when the Prime Minister said two months ago that he was here for three great reasons, and then he named his children. He was here to protect and to give his children a better heart.

Look at the result. He cancelled the transit tax credit. It is all wrong, but so typical of the Liberals. They say something, then they reverse it. [Translation]

What eliminating these tax credits and creating new taxes means, in our view, is that the government is not creating winning conditions for taxpayers to keep more money in their pockets, particularly with the money they have.

What I have shown is that, at the end of the day, the Liberals did a terrible job of administering the support system for families by forgetting to index the numbers, but they are very proud of giving $2 billion more than what we gave when we were in government. Need I point out that this money does not exist? We do not have it. If we had it, we would happily hand it out. The big difference between this government and ours, when it comes to helping families, is that during our last year, we did it with a zero deficit, with a balanced budget, and with a plan for tackling the debt. That was our plan. We were living within our means.

This government is borrowing and running up deficits, and it is no big deal. The deficit will be zero in 2055, life is beautiful, and they are handing out money they do not have. No head of household could manage their budget by using a credit card all the time and always asking the bank to lend them money. At some point, reality catches up. Reality is going to catch up with this government in October 2019; of that we can be sure.

Now I would like to talk about the omnibus nature of this bill. I said earlier that this 308-page-long bill includes not only budgetary measures, but also things that have absolutely nothing to do with the speech delivered by the Minister of Finance on March 22. Among other things, the bill sets out the new mandate of the parliamentary budget officer.

When I was at the National Assembly, I wanted Quebec to have a parliamentary budget officer. To my delight, we have one here in the House of Commons, in Ottawa, in the federal government. How wonderful. For 11 years, that person has been diligently keeping watch over the public purse independently from the House of Commons, from the government and parliamentarians. In this omnibus bill, the parliamentary budget officer is being given a new mandate that makes no sense. Henceforth, the Liberal government would have the parliamentary budget officer submit his game plan for the year. To whom? To you, Madam Speaker. Please do not feel singled out, as he will submit his plan to the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Speaker of the Senate as well. It is unheard of.

There are 17 countries that have a parliamentary budget officer and only one of them, Korea, works this way. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if 16 countries believe one thing and only one believes another, perhaps the 16 are right. The government is following Korea's example and requiring the parliamentary budget officer to present its game plan to the House of Commons and the Senate. In our opinion, this does not make sense.

We are not the only ones to think so. In an interview with Le Devoir, among others, the parliamentary budget officer said that he fears that his job will be politicized:

I am more concerned about the Speaker of the Senate than the Speaker of the House of Commons, because the Speaker of the Senate is appointed by the Prime Minister's Office whereas the Speaker of the House is elected by his peers. Without wanting to seem too naive, he is technically neutral. One of them is more closely connected to the Prime Minister's Office than the other.

That was Jean-Denis Fréchette, the current parliamentary budget officer, who said that this is not the right move.

Therefore, let us be prudent, because he is not the only one saying so. (1615) [English]

Kevin Page, the former parliamentary budget officer, said in an interview with Bill Curry of The Globe and Mail that the bill appears to take away the power of individual MPs to ask the PBO to provide cost estimates of various government initiatives. He said, “I would worry, under this legislation, based on all the interference we saw from various political actors and bureaucrats. This legislation creates the facade of independence...but on the other hand it completely takes it away.” [Translation]

It is not a Conservative that said that. It is the former parliamentary budget officer. He said that this measure was just a facade and that it could politicize the work of the parliamentary budget officer or, at worst, make it so that the parliamentary budget officer is no longer able to undertake projects on his own initiative to undertake the analyses of his choice. He would have to set out his game plan and it would have to be approved by the Speaker of the House and the Speaker of the Senate. That is inappropriate. People all across the country are speaking out against the new approach proposed by the Liberals, which is completely unacceptable.

I would like to quote Manon Cornellier from Le Devoir, who is not known for being any more Conservative than the next person. She also used the words “facade of independence”. She said that the parliamentary budget officer “will no longer be able to undertake studies on his own initiative” and that “this marks the end of initiatives to address unforeseen circumstances”.

She went on to say, and I quote, that “the Liberals will only allow committees the right to make these requests, which is very convenient since a majority government controls those committees”.

She ended on a rather scathing note by saying:

Unfortunately, adopting these changes, which will diminish parliamentarians' ability to hold the government to account, is more or less a sure thing, since all budget bills are subject to party discipline.

Unless...[and I will look my colleagues opposite in the eye as I read this part] the Liberal members stand up and pressure their government to remove this reform from the bill and hand it over to parliamentarians. It would be in the Liberals' interest to do so. Otherwise, as soon as they return to the opposition benches [in 2019], it will not only be the PBO whose hands are tied, but theirs will be too.

This Liberal government proposal, within an omnibus bill, which aims to change how the parliamentary budget officer operates, is completely unacceptable. That is why we strongly oppose Bill C-44, a bill that is bad for Canada's economy and one that flies in the face of the Liberals' promise not to introduce omnibus bills, especially when some fundamental things are still missing from its 308 pages. That is why I am seeking the consent of the House to move the following motion, seconded by the member for Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: “this House declines to give second reading to Bill C-44, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2017, and other measures, since the Bill, in addition to increasing taxes and making it more difficult for struggling families to make ends meet, is an omnibus bill that fails to address the government's promise not to...”

Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Privilege

“...re—and the Canada child benefit.

However, the problem I have with the assistance offered to families with children is that the Liberal Party has been promising a national child care program since Jean Chrétien was in office in 1993, but we still do not have one. That would be the most effective way of helping families with children to reduce their child care costs. In some cities, like Toronto and Vancouver, child care can cost up to $70 or $80 a day per child.

Quebec's approach to child care clearly demonstrates that a national child care program is the best way to fight poverty, help families, and help women get back into the workforce.

If they want access to more revenue to p...”

Arif Virani (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Privilege

“...ssness partnering strategy beyond 2018-19.

As my second component, I would like to underscore families and child care. I am the husband and father of two young children. My boys are three and six. My riding of Parkdale—High Park is home to countless families just like mine. These families have reached out to me to talk about our government's first act, which was to cut taxes for the middle class. They have also welcomed the Canada child benefit, which targets tax-free benefits to those who need it most.

For those raising children in Parkdale—High Park and around the country, our first budget last year provided an initial $500 million for early learning and child care. Building on this, this budget would invest an additional $7 billion to support the creation of high-quality child care spaces across the country. This would mean up to 40,000 new subsidized child care spaces.

What this would mean for Parkdale—High Park and ridings around the country would be more options for parents who are literally fed up. It is from personal experience and from others in my riding that I know about people who sign on to countless child care waiting lists, literally the moment they conceive a child. Those people need a greater supply of much-needed daycare spots, and they need options that will make it possible for them to return to work, including for women to return to work. That is something our government firmly believes in. This unprecedented investment would both address the supply of child care spaces and help drive down costs by boosting the number of subsidized spots.

Budget 2017 would do even more for families. We fulfilled our campaign commitment to introduce more flexibility and choice for parents on parental leave. These changes would allow parents to choose to receive their current benefits over an extended period of up to 18 months, rather than 12, and spend more time with their young children in those key early months.

On women and gender parity, the third subject I would like to discuss, this budget was a historic first. For the first time in Canadian history, in 150 years, a federal budget included a gender statement. The statement reflects the impact of programs, across government, on women and reflects our commitment as a government to ensuring that the goal of gender equality permeates every single thing we do as a federal government. (1720)

As an example, we believe that women deserve to feel safe, supported, and protected in communities, so on top of our historic child care investment, I was heartened to see $100.9 million allocated in the budget over the first five years, and $20 million thereafter, to establish a national strategy to address gender-based violence.

In the past, I have supported work on this issue in my riding of Parkdale--Hyde Park, particularly at The Redwood shelter, a shelter for women and children fleeing violence. I have seen the amazing work being done in my community at places like The Redwood, but I have also seen first-hand the critical need for investment and resources to end gender-based violence.

Budget 2017 would do more. It would address the critical need for funding for women abroad. I am proud that our government has endorsed what is known as the Dutch initiative and would be dedicating $650 million in international aid to the education of women and girls and to empower women to maintain control over their reproductive rights.

I am proud to serve in a government with Canada's first ever gender-equal cabinet and in a government that has introduced Bill C-25, which would improve gender diversity on corporate boards in the private sector.

We know that more needs to be done, but budget 2017 is an important step in the right direction toward achieving true gender equality across all government programs.

The fourth area is indigenous persons. In my role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, I am committed to our goal of rebuilding and repairing our relationship with indigenous peoples and to supporting the preservation of indigenous languages and culture. The mandate letter of the Minister of Canadian Heritage has an express commitment to provide funding and to enact legislation to promote, preserve, and enhance indigenous languages. I am honoured that the hon. minister has asked me to assist her with this project.

Building on the significant investments in budget 2016, budget 2017 would continue the important work of true reconciliation with indigenous persons. We would establish a new fiscal relationship that would lift the 2% cap on annual funding increases and move towards sufficient and predictable funding for first nations communities. (1725) [Translation]

Budget 2017 allocates $225 million to provide access to affordable and culturally appropriate housing for Indigenous peoples living off-reserve. It also provides $300 million for the construction of housing in Canada’s north, and support for territorial governments to improve housing conditions. These investments will help approximately 3,000 families find adequate, suitable, and affordable housing. Budget 2017 also provides $225 million for housing providers who serve Indigenous peoples not living on reserves[English]

We would also dedicate $828 million to improving health for first nations and Inuit, including $305 million for the non-insured health benefits program.

We would target mental health for first nations and Inuit, with $204.2 million going toward improving mental health services. We would build on our commitment to home care by investing $184 million for palliative and home care for first nations and Inuit communities.

The fifth area is transit and infrastructure. In my riding of Parkdale-High Park, I have heard time and again about the need for infrastructure investments in Canada, particularly to get people moving to work and school. Budget 2017 would deliver on this important commitment.

In budget 2017 we have committed $20 billion over the next decade, in partnership with the provinces and territories, for public transit projects that will shorten commutes, decrease air pollution, and allow Canadians to spend more time at home with their families. What would that mean in Parkdale--High Park? It would mean more subways, more streetcars, and more buses. It would mean access to more transit and greener transit, because our budget commitment would also include $21.9 billion in greener infrastructure.

The last subject I want to talk about as I conclude is vulnerable Canadians. What would the budget do for vulnerable Canadians? There is a new health agreement. There is $5 billion for mental health around the country and $6 billion for long-term care.

For low-income families, a dedicated fund of $13 million would be established to provide affordable access to the Internet for low-income families.

What would it do for asylum seekers? There would be legal aid for refugee applicants. I hear time and time again in Parkdale—High Park that we want to establish an open and compassionate program, accessible to all. The money dedicated, $60 million over five years, to enhance people's access to the refugee system would do just that.

There would be money dedicated to those who are victimized by hatred. We would double the security infrastructure program.

There would be money dedicated to newcomers who have problems integrating because their foreign credentials are not being recognized. There would be $27 million dedicated to foreign credential recognition.

For the LGBTQ community, there would be $3.6 million to protect and promote equality for people of different sexual orientations.

This government reflects a commitment to progressive values, housing, indigenous persons, women, families, and our most vulnerable. I will be supporting this budget. I urge everyone in this House t...”

Randall Garrison (NDP)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...nto Canadian society, and make a contribution which will allow them to support themselves and their families. I was pleased to sit down at this meeting today and talk about those kinds of successes.

The Liberals quite rightly raised the goal of having 25,000 Syrians come to this country. In my riding, what was most impressive was how people with no particular connection to Syria stepped forward. They were not Muslims necessarily, and they were not from the Middle East. They did not have any particular reason to step forward, but as Canadians they felt that they should do their part. Many were from families that had immigrated to Canada, some of them from refugee families in previous generations, Hungarians and other people who had fled their homeland. It was so...”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... advance child care in Canada.

We need a universal child care system that is national, so all families have equal access; affordable; and with quality care. It is the smart and responsible thing to do. The cost of child care in large cities rose almost 10% in the last two years, sometimes as high as $1,700. My sister paid more for child care than for rent.

Canadian families need action now. There is no doubt child care is essential to getting women into the workforce. Dr. Pierre Fortin, professor of economics at the Université du Québec in Montreal, told the status of women committee last month the Quebec child care system increased the number of women in the workforce by 70,000 in 2008.

In my riding, women's groups, student unions, and community child care centres all agree, accessible and affordable child care is absolutely necessary, so that women can go to work, attend school, and live in safety. As Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella said, “Child care is the ramp that provides equal access to the workforce for mothers.”

If that were not reason enough, universal child care is good for the economy. Professor Fortin studied the Quebec child care model, and concluded there is no net cost to taxpayers. In fact, he calculated that in 2008, the provincial and federal governments got a surplus of $900 million from the universal child care program in Quebec. The economic benefits of universal child care could also be felt in other provinces.

Economist Robert Fairholm predicts that the $10-a-day child care plan proposed by the B.C. NDP in this current election would create 69,000 jobs, and will make enough revenue for the government to build and operate the child care system.

Investing in child care will also create good jobs for those who work in the child care sector. Last week, I heard from daycare operators in my riding that they cannot pay the early child care educators what they need to make a good wage. That is unjust to the women educating our children, and means they often have to leave the field, which is disruptive to children in their care.

Parents cannot afford to pay child care fees that are any higher, so the government must act to invest in a system with fair wages for early childhood educators.

If the federal government is unsure about what action on child care should look like, the Liberals can look to models that already exist in Canada. In Quebec, the universal system of low fee child care is a real success, providing quality care for children, and helping women get back to work.

My province of B.C. used to have a universal provincial child care system. It was cancelled by the B.C. Liberals when they first took office in 2001. The B.C. NDP has pledged of $10-a-day child care which would have real economic benefits.

This week, the Alberta NDP government launched its $25-a-day child care, which parents and working mothers say is just what they need to balance child care costs and work.

Access to affordable child care is what is needed to lift people out of poverty, and to make sure that women can get to work. It is time for the government to take leadership on child care. Why is the government not keeping its child care promise to Canadian children, women, and families?”

Serge Cormier (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...tle the issue of the Canada child benefit. On December 12, 2016, in her question to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, my colleague claimed that the Canada child benefit will lose its value by 2021. She also said that the government was breaking its promises and letting our children fall through the cracks. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In response to her question, the minister pointed out that the new Canada child benefit would help lift half a million Canadians out of poverty. He also reminded her of our recent announcement that the benefit would be indexed starting in 2020-21. The purpose of that is to guarantee that the real value of benefits paid to Canadians will not be eroded over the long term by the rate of inflation.

As far as early learning and child care is concerned, the minister also said that over the next few months we will be launching a new framework for early learning and child care to answer questions on the affordability and quality of child care services. In budget 2017, we are proposing to invest $7 billion over 10 years, starting in 2018-19, to support and create better quality, flexible, fully inclusive, and affordable child care spaces across the country.

Part of that investment will be used to improve access to early learning and child care spaces that are culturally appropriate for indigenous children, whether they live on or off reserve. Over the next three years, these investments could increase the number of affordable child care spaces for low- and modest-income families by supporting the creation of as many as 40,000 subsidized spaces. They could also make the return to work more affordable for parents by allowing thousands of parents to rejoin the workforce once the cost of child care is reduced.

Part of this $95-million investment will be used to address data gaps in order to better understand what is involved in early childhood education in Canada and monitor progress. What is more, $100 million will be allocated to innovation in early learning and child care.

These investments build on the initial investment of $500 million announced in budget 2016 for early learning and child care to deliver on this framework. That includes $100 million to enhance indigenous early learning and child care. We have already entered into discussions with the provinces and territories regarding the development of the framework.

We will also consult with our indigenous partners in order to develop a separate framework for indigenous early learning and child care that will reflect the unique cultures and needs of the children and families of first nations, Inuit, and Métis communities across Canada. (2005) [English]

The government will work in co-operation with provinces, territories, and indigenous partners to provide help to families most in need. It is important to note that once they are in place, the framework will offer all the necessary flexibility to support Canadian families to have access to affordable, high-quality and truly inclusive child care, regardless of wh...”

Serge Cormier (Liberal)

May 3rd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...rtant issue for the member opposite, as it is for me. I have two young children and I know how much families need these new services.

Our Canada child benefit will help lift more than 300,000 children out of poverty by 2017, which represents a 40% reduction in child poverty in Canada. Nine out of ten families will receive more benefits than they did under the former system.[English]

We are wor...”

Steven Blaney (Conservative)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...I hereby ask all MPs present here today to first think of victims of impaired driving and their families and to vote tomorrow to support Bill C-226 to proceed to committee for further review so we...”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ilment killed three people and injured two more. I send my deepest and sincerest condolences to the families, friends, and workers who experienced this tragedy.

For the people of Woss, I cannot fully express my sense of heartbreak.

I want to acknowledge the emergency response efforts from the residents of Woss and the neighbouring communities, the RCMP Victim Services, BC Emergency Health Services, North Island Critical Incident Response Network, North Island Crisis and Counselling Centre Society teams, doctors, nurses, health professionals, and site leaders.

I am thankful for the kindness of the community in providing food for the workers and families and the immediate community meeting where people came together to share their shock and gri...”

Phil McColeman (Conservative)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...unded and available. Lives depend on it.

On behalf of the many affected Canadian women, their families and their friends, I ask all members of Parliament to join me in helping Ovarian Cancer Can...”

Terry Beech (Liberal)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...50th anniversary to acknowledge our collective desire as Canadians to provide a better life for our families, our communities, and for future generations.

One specific individual, Bajrangi Dass ...”

Luc Berthold (Conservative)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...tariffs that will apply to all regions of Canada are going to directly or indirectly affect 210,000 families.

What has the Prime Minister done since March 10, 2016, when he promised a new agreem...”

Karine Trudel (NDP)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...o understand that these countervailing duties are affecting thousands of jobs and that thousands of families are going to suffer as a result.

How is it possible that the Minister of Natural Reso...”

Amarjeet Sohi (Liberal)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d waste-water facilities. These investments will have a real and tangible impact on communities and families while ensuring they have safe and clean water to drink.”

Michael Cooper (Conservative)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...thers, sisters, friends, neighbours, colleagues are gone, taken. It is a crisis that has torn apart families and devastated communities. It is a crisis that is not slowing down.

The opioid crisi...”

Matthew Dubé (NDP)

May 2nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... November 2016, which was 128. That is enormous. In December, as the holidays were approaching, 142 families lost a loved one because we did not act fast enough. I believe that no one in the House, wh...”

Todd Doherty (Conservative)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rve our community and our country. It is a refuge, a home away from home for our warriors and their families while they are receiving treatment for injury and illness. Allan started Honour House after...”

Thomas Mulcair (NDP)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister dragged his feet on the softwood lumber file, which affects 200,000 families in our communities. He has no plan to compensate people for job losses. He has no plan to m...”

Thomas Mulcair (NDP)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...at the Prime Minister has had a chance to ensure that the arrests and criminal records stop for all families, he refuses to do so.

The Prime Minister himself has admitted to smoking pot while he...”

Thomas Mulcair (NDP)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... he refused. Why the double standard? Why is there one system for rich, well-heeled, well-connected families, and another for regular families?”

Todd Doherty (Conservative)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ast week, so I am asking the Prime Minister. Will he stand today and tell the hard-working forestry families what his plan is now that they are facing uncertain times?”

Yves Robillard (Liberal)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...olding a public consultation to hear what our constituents have to say.

Would the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell us what the deadline is for holding consultations?

Marilène Gill (Bloc Québécois)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s, the fifth in 35 years.

This is going to be really devastating for Quebec, our regions, our families, and our communities. Forestry workers know that they cannot count on the 40 Liberal MPs fr...”

Jim Carr (Liberal)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...forestry industry in this difficult period. We will continue to work with producers, workers, their families, and the provinces. Canadian workers can count on us.”

John Barlow (Conservative)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Privilege

“...ns, I speak with their voice, the voice of Albertans: farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and families.

I cannot imagine the betrayal they would feel if I were blocked from having their vo...”

Rachael Harder (Conservative)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Privilege

“...isis, which is significant in my region, and includes many people in Lethbridge, their lives, their families, their future.

I will lose the ability to speak to legislation. I will lose the abili...”

Matt Jeneroux (Conservative)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...Although months have passed since I asked the Minister of Infrastructure when Alberta's struggling families can expect the Liberal government to present a plan that will actually create the jobs they need, nothing has changed. In fact, Alberta's unemployment rate continued to rise last month, and jobs in the natural resource sector crumbled. It has become clear that the government has no clear plan for job creation and simply continues to collectively bury its head in the sand, ignoring Alberta's unemployment crisis.

The reality remains that thousands of Albertans are out of work and struggling to provide the basic necessities for their families. What was the government's answer in budget 2017? It eliminated tax credits to help the oil...”

Rodger Cuzner (Liberal)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...on the minds of all of us here, certainly on the government side. There is no question that Alberta families are facing difficult times and that many middle-class Albertans feel anxious about having a...”

Matt Jeneroux (Conservative)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... together, we will get out of this crisis. Such platitudes are doing nothing to help our struggling families as the number of unemployed Albertans grows every month. Albertans need more than the empty...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

May 1st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... as well as the RCMP, along with border towns, are being strained.

There have been reports of families who have had people illegally crossing the border knock on their doors in the middle of the...”

Darshan Singh Kang (Liberal)

April 13th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...uru, Guru Gobind Singh ji.

All across Canada, at their local gurdwaras and at home with their families, Sikhs will participate in colourful parades, ceremonies, and celebrations and will reflect...”

Candice Bergen (Conservative)

April 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s at a cost of $133,000 to the Canadian taxpayer, he is at the same time nickel-and-diming everyday families who want to plan a modest vacation or maybe a long weekend with their loved ones. Passports are going up. Gasoline is going up under this Prime Minister. Uber will be going up. Even beer and wine will be going up under this Prime Minister.

Why does the Prime Minister think he is entitled to make Canadian families pay for his excessive spending?”

James Bezan (Conservative)

April 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...isterial order that is only returning some of the danger pay for some of our troops.

Military families who are no longer receiving this military danger pay are now turning to food banks to get b...”

Maryam Monsef (Liberal)

April 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...der-based violence strategy is framed by three pillars: prevention, support for survivors and their families, and a responsive legal and justice system.

Malala is a living reminder of how one gi...”

Kevin Waugh (Conservative)

April 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ustice minister continues to stand by as accused murderers and even rapists go free.

How many families will be denied justice before the minister finally does her job?”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

April 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rst thing we did. We are committed to tax fairness. That means we are going to think about Canadian families first. We are going to continue with measures that are going to help families so we can have a better economy. We know that works.

What we are seeing with the changes we put in place is that our economy is becoming more resilient. We are seeing more jobs. Behind those jobs, families are being more successful. This is what we are working toward in making our economy better....”

Cathay Wagantall (Conservative)

April 13th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...reas hospice palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and re...”

Mark Warawa (Conservative)

April 13th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... Kaulius was tragically killed by a drunk driver, a person who chose to drive while impaired.

Families for Justice are Canadians who have lost a loved one, killed by an impaired driver. They bel...”

Karen Vecchio (Conservative)

April 12th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...hrough bullying, harassment, hate, and violence. In some cases individuals can be rejected by their families, kicked out of their homes, and pushed out of school as a result of who they are. No one sh...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

April 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...em for the middle class. We created a Canada child benefit that gives more money to nine out of ten families and will lift 40% or hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.

Every day, we ...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

April 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...them on the wealthiest 1%, and delivering a Canada child benefit that helps nine out of 10 Canadian families and will lift hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty right across this country.”

Dianne L. Watts (Conservative)

April 11th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ut being out of touch. I hear that the reason that the tax credit was taken away is that low-income families making $12,000 per year could not use the credit and that it is only for the rich, that the...”

Garnett Genuis (Conservative)

April 11th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...e same, by the way, is true of men. Men are also very concerned about child care, about support for families, about safe communities. That should be obvious to all members, but sometimes it is not reflected in the way we talk about things. There has been a lot of discussion recently about how we make the House of Commons more family friendly. Sometimes those issues are discussed as if they were only of concern to women, but they are of course a concern for men as well. How people integrate work with family life is something that men and women both have to pay attention to.

I think that is some important context as we proceed with these discussions.

I do want to pick up on some of the themes in terms of specific issues that have been raised by colleagues throughout this debate. There are, in particular, three key policy areas that we can discuss with respect to the particular impact on women and reflect a discussion that has happened at the status of women committee and that is happening in Canadian society more broadly.

Obviously, when we talk