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: 1797 Speeches
Senate: 132 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 0

Regulations

Filed: 0
Proposed: 0

The House

Wayne Long (Liberal)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ccess, but also a city with many in great need. We lead the country in child poverty. We have 1,300 families on a waiting list for affordable housing, and many who are homeless and need a helping hand.

We have started a sandwich program for the hungry at our constituency office, and the response has been uplifting. We have families, seniors, and many others who are hungry drop by on a daily basis. My office is their offic...”

David Lametti (Liberal)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...n in Verdun is celebrated by the largest urban sugar shack in Montreal and perhaps the world.

Families, friends, and visitors, I will see you on “the Well”.”

Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ouncil to develop guidelines surrounding reimbursement for travel by sitting prime ministers, their families, and guests.

Prior to our government taking office, there was no such policy that exi...”

Kent Hehr (Liberal)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, budget 2017 focuses on the overall well-being of veterans and their families by investing in mental health supports, educational opportunities, and career transition services. I can say we remain committed to a pension-for-life option, and this too will better serve veterans and their families.

This builds on the momentum we saw in budget 2016, when we delivered $5.6 billion in new financial security for veterans, bettering our earnings loss benefit as well as our disability award. To that end, 67,000 veterans will be receiving more money in their pockets very soon and bettering outcomes for their families.”

Wayne Long (Liberal)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...lders in Saint John—Rothesay, my riding.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development inform the House of the benefits of this strategy for Cana...”

Pat Kelly (Conservative)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...However, taxpayers need to know why they are paying more for food for a three-hour flight than most families of five spend in a month. Could the Prime Minister not have packed his own lunch?”

Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ouncil to develop guidelines surrounding reimbursement for travel by sitting prime ministers, their families, and their guests. Prior to our government taking office, no such policy even existed.”

Marilyn Gladu (Conservative)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...spice palliative care, which is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illnesses. The petitioners call on the...”

Brigitte Sansoucy (NDP)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ibre optic network is to co-operatives and all SMEs. I would add that it is also very important for families.

The CoopTel project is a major project aimed at bringing five RCMs online, over hund...”

Jim Eglinski (Conservative)

March 24th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ng of Yellowhead, multiple towns rely on funding from the province to provide housing to low-income families and seniors. Housing co-ops make a valuable contribution to affordable housing by providing lodging to approximately 250,000 Canadians across Canada. The town of Rocky Mountain House has two housing co-ops, serving 28 families. The town of Hinton has 47 unit complexes. The town of Edson has 24 units. The town of Drayton Valley has 26 units, with another 20 to be built. Even in Jasper National Park, co-operative housing units exist.

Our party supports a multi-pronged approach to affordable co-operative housing, involving provincial, territorial, and municipal governments. Motion No. 100 attempts to do just that. It calls on the government to develop a federal co-operative strategy to promote and support Canada's co-operative sector through consultations with provinces, territories, municipalities, indigenous communities, and co-operative groups.

Our previous Conservative government worked with all governments and indigenous groups to develop and implement affordable housing solutions by committing close to $2 billion to build new units, and to repair and update existing social housing. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, better known as CMHC, has largely been the government's tool by which financial aid programs have been delivered. Our party spent almost $19 billion on housing through CMHC since 2006, a lot more than in the present budget.

Through initiatives such as the investment in affordable housing, the IAH, and the housing first initiative, we empowered Canadians and fought homelessness at a fundamental level. Our Conservative Party also sought to minimize difficulties by equipping CMHC with a wide range of tools to enable home providers to plan for the end of funding, and to allow for flexibility in specific programs, especially in regard to renovations and capital repairs.

If federal funding agreements end, tens of thousands of low-income households across the country, including seniors, newcomers, lone-parent families, people with disabilities, and others, are in danger of becoming homeless without the government's reinvestment in co-op housing.

Co-ops and other community housing programs built under federal programs are aging, as all of us are, and have to devote more of their revenues to covering rising maintenance and other operating costs. Most will have to re-mortgage their properties to carry out major renovations and upgrades in the near future. This is why a renewed commitment from federal and provincial governments to support affordable housing for low-income residents in co-ops and other housing communities is necessary.

All Canadians should have a reasonable opportunity to own their own home and have access to safe and affordable housing.

In his mandate, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development has been tasked with renewing federal leadership in housin...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...y, and I have seen first-hand how the job-killing policies this Prime Minister promotes are hurting families and businesses.[English]

It is my pleasure to rise on behalf of our Conservative caucus and all Canadians who are concerned that their tax dollars are not being respected, to respond to the Liberal budget. As Conservatives and as the official opposition, we are here proudly as the voice of the taxpayers.

I have had the opportunity to travel this country quite a bit in this role, and I have seen first-hand how the job-killing policies the Prime Minister promotes are hurting families and businesses. In Medicine Hat, I visited a greenhouse that is set to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, in fact exactly $750,000, to accommodate the Prime Minister's new carbon tax at $50 a tonne.

On Canada's proud east coast, I met families who are finding it harder and harder to save after the government hiked the cost of textbooks and after-school programs for their kids. The Prime Minister likes to talk about cleaning up the tax code, but he forgets that all of the tax credits that he is taking away from families made life more affordable for them. The truth is that regular Canadians feel like they are being nickel-and-dimed to death by the Prime Minister.

He promised a lot in the election. He made a lot of commitments, but now it seems like a lot of rhetoric. For all the money that he spent, and for all the taxes Canadians have to pay, what are the results? The Prime Minister is now in his second budget, clinging to this failed Liberal idea of taxing and spending because it seems impossible for him to understand what regular Canadians are actually going through out there.

Canadians needed a break. That is what they were hoping for in this budget, but they did not get one. We, on this side of the House, are not surprised. After all, this is the same government that broke its promise to lower taxes on small businesses, broke its promise to limit its deficit spending to only $10 billion, and broke its promise to balance the budget, all within six months. (1015) [Translation]

These broken promises are proof to Canadians that the Prime Minister does not understand the everyday challenges families and workers are facing.

Canadians are not looking for bigger, shinier promises that will cost millions but never arrive. They are looking for common-sense solutions to the most pressing problems.[English]

What are those most pressing problems? They are about getting new jobs for our young people, and people keeping their jobs and getting to keep more of their hard-earned money while the Prime Minister makes life more expensive.

I was at a function this morning with a lot of small business owners. One of them said that he works 15 hours a day, seven days a week, and in this budget the Prime Minister says he is going to target small business owners because he thinks they are sheltering money. That small business owner said that he invests every cent he has back in his business. He buys new equipment, hires another employee, and expands his business, and the Prime Minister thinks that somehow he is using the tax system to hide taxes.

This is the kind of attitude the Prime Minister has toward small business owners. This year's budget is just a sequel to last year's budget of his nickel-and-dime plan. Last year, it was textbook and education tax credits, which were cancelled. That cost families up to $600 per student. The Prime Minister made after-school programs more expensive, to the tune of hundreds of dollars. For a regular family, hundreds of dollars is a lot of money. If a family can write off an expensive registration for hockey, soccer camp, arts classes, or piano lessons, that is a big deal to a family, and those are all gone.

The Prime Minister steamed ahead with the higher small business tax. He got rid of the hiring tax credit for small businesses, which are struggling across the country. They want to hire more people.

We need to provide them with those incentives. Why would he take away an incentive to hire more people in this country? This year they are raising money off the backs of small businesses again by hiking EI premiums and CPP premiums.

They are raising taxes on Canadians who use the bus. Really? If a person takes the bus to work every day, or to school every day, and likes to enjoy a beer at the end of the day, guess what? They are taxing that too. They are even taxing our Saturday night plans. If we want to grab an Uber to go to the pub to have a glass of wine with friends, or a beer, they are taxing all of that. They are taxing Uber ride-sharing. They are taxing our wine, our beer. Why? It is because they are looking for every possible cent they can find in the sofa cushions to fund more government spending.

In short, they are making everyday life more expensive for regular Canadians. What do they have to show for it? They promised more growth. Guess what? There is none.

Despite continuing to squeeze taxpayers, there is not even in this budget new support for the Canadian men and women in uniform who help keep us safe. The Prime Minister just does not seem to get it. The more we watch him, it is like he does not understand what regular people are going through out there.[Translation]

This budget is proof that the Prime Minister is out of touch with the needs of working people. Any family across this country will tell you the anxiety they feel about losing their job. Any student will tell you that their biggest anxiety is whether or not there will be a job for them when they graduate, a job that pays enough to cover their student loan payment and maybe a car loan payment someday. They have reason to worry because wages are not going up, and the jobs out there offer fewer hours of work, which means less money in their pockets. (1020) [English]

This budget is proof that the Prime Minister is out of touch with the needs of working people, because any families we talk to across the country will tell us about the anxiety they feel about maybe losing their jobs. Students will tell us that their biggest anxiety is whether there is going to be a job to look for when they finally graduate, a job that will pay enough for them to be able to buy a car one day, get a car loan, get a house or a condo, and pay back a student loan. They have reason to worry, because wages are not going up and the jobs out there on offer are offering fewer hours of work, meaning less money in their pockets.

For all the Prime Minister's grandstanding plans, let us remember back to the election. He promised to not raise taxes; he has raised them. He promised to balance the budget; he has not. He promised to spend $10 billion on infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, which is what most people think of as infrastructure; he has not. What do we have for it? Less growth. We are not seeing the growth he promised, so what is all this spending for?

With an aggressive American administration looking to attract every available job to its side of the border, time is running out to get serious. This budget missed a huge opportunity to protect the Canadian economy from the policies of the Trump administration. We were all waiting for it. We were hoping that he would recalibrate. This is a real threat to our economy. That country is our biggest competitor and our biggest customer. There is a lot on the line. There is a potential border adjustment tax. There are potential changes to NAFTA. He had a chance to change course, and he did not.

Lower taxes and less red tape are the tools to do exactly that to keep us competitive. However, instead of competitive solutions, the Prime Minister offers, and we are not surprised, more spending. As for his buzz words programs, how do I say this? I think yesterday they even invented new words. I thought that was a George Bush thing, but now, apparently, our Prime Minister invents new words as well. These kinds of programs do not reach the vast majority of Canadians. They will never see a benefit from these kinds of programs, as great as the Prime Minister thinks they are. All those people out there who are waiting for a signal from the government are the ones who are going to face much more intense competition from a low-cost, low-tax United States.

If the Liberals think people's jobs are fashionable enough that they might make a good photo-op after the budget, the Prime Minister might show up there. There is a good chance that they might be able to get a photo with him. They will be lucky. If they have a super cluster venture capital accelerator, then they are in luck, because this budget was made for them, but I do not think there are a lot of them in Portage—Lisgar. Maybe one day.

The truth is that graduates are looking at this and saying that they are struggling to pay off debt, let alone save a bit of money. They are looking at this budget and thinking, “What's in it for me”, because that is what people look for. There is not a lot. There is not a lot in it for the guy who is working on the oil drilling rig. There is not a lot in it for the person running a family farm. If someone drives a truck or owns a hair salon, those jobs are not fashionable to the current Prime Minister, and there is nothing in this budget for them. I hate to break it to those people, and it is not funny, but those jobs are not Liberal favourites. The Liberals are picking favourites, and the rest of the workforce will pay for it. The rest of the people in this country, families and businesses, will pay for that.[Translation]

As it stands, these billion dollar programs are not really about the average working Canadian. Families and businesses were looking to this budget for a sign that the Prime Minister had done his homework, figured out a plan, and would be moving beyond his haphazard tax-and-spend approach.[English]

As it stands, these billion-dollar programs are not really about the average working family. They really are not. Families and businesses were looking for a sign in this budget from the Prime Minister that he had done his homework, that he had listened, that he had figured out a plan and would be moving beyond this haphazard tax-and-spend approach. However, the opposite is true. There is actually no fiscal plan in the budget. An economist made mention of that yesterday. When is the last time there was a budget with no fiscal plan? There is no fiscal plan. There is no plan to return to balance. There is no appreciation of what this will cost. There is no accounting for the programs and the jobs they will create. There is no costing or measurement of the amount of GDP associated with these programs. The Liberals have not done their homework.

Despite the Prime Minister's promise to return to balance, he admitted yesterday that he has no intention whatsoever of returning to balance. Not only did the Prime Minister break his solemn commitment during the election to spend only $10 billion, but the upcoming deficit for this year is $29 billion. In fact, since November of last year, which is just six months, the Prime Minister blew through an additional $13 billion. Taxpayer money has disappeared into a black hole of photo ops and international trips, which have produced zero growth. Let me rephrase that. There is growth. Do members know where that growth is? It is in the size of government. Yesterday, the comment was made that this is unprecedented growth in modern times. That is how it was described. There has been 12% growth in the size of government. When taxpayers look at that, they think, “What is happening? That is not the bargain we were told we were going to get when the Prime Minister got elected”.

The budget also admits that the Prime Minister's infrastructure plan is not on track. It is right there in black and white. Very little of the billion dollars that was earmarked has gone to roads and highways and ports. It sounded like a good idea. We want shovels in the ground. We want people working. Those are the kinds of things Canadians expected when he said he was going to spend on infrastructure. That is not what happened. The construction sector has actually declined by 3.3%. Money is not getting out. Projects are not being built. Shovels are not in the ground. That means that jobs were not created in the construction business.

What is worse, the Prime Minister has not ruled out the idea of selling off Canadian airports to pay for an infrastructure plan that he even admits in this budget, still, after two years, is vague and unfinished. Let us be clear about that. The Prime Minister is still considering selling off Canada's airports to fund what amounts to a $40-billion shot in the dark for an infrastructure bank. Remember, the infrastructure bank was never mentioned in the election. This was not a promise the Prime Minister made. However, guess what? Canadians will be paying for it.

Something else that is very concerning in this budget is the notion of targeting small business owners. There is a shot across the bow in this budget that is very concerning for small business owners. If they are professionals, people who are accountants, doctors, dentists, lawyers, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and I could name a lot of people who are professionals, who work hard in our communities, who serve their communities, who are small business owners, the Prime Minister thinks they are hiding money in the way they manage their money, and he is coming after them. He has done that in this budget. He is also warning in this budget that he is coming for more.

We know the Liberals are squeezing farmers. They are even squeezing campground owners, who are small business owners. They are squeezing everyone who is a small business owner, because he thinks, as he said in the election, that small businesses are a way to shelter money and that somehow small business owners are cheating the system. (1025)

I think back to the guy I talked to this morning who works 15 hours a day, seven days a week. That is what small business owners do, and they take a risk to become small business owners. We should thank them, because they take a risk.

They are not living off the government. They are not living off the taxpayer. They have taken a risk and invested their hard-earned dollars to create jobs and to invest in the community. Many of them give back to the community through charitable donations and community work. These are the people who are the backbone of our economy, small business owners, and that is who the government is targeting. Where are its priorities?[Translation]

Canada's Conservatives are here to be the voice of the taxpayer. Taxpayers are regular Canadians: moms and dads, workers and small business owners, seniors and students. All of them have been hit by Liberal tax hikes generated by reckless Liberal spending. Canada’s Conservatives will fight to keep money in everyone's pockets at every turn. However, this Prime Minister does not get that.[English]

I will end by saying that Canada's Conservatives are here to be the voice of the taxpayer. Taxpayers are regular Canadians: moms and dads, workers and small business owners, seniors and students. All of them have been hit by Liberal tax hikes generated by this Liberal reckless spending, and Canada's Conservatives will fight to keep more money in the pockets of taxpayers.

Why? I think back to the fellow I talked to this morning and so many other people I have met across the country. They have worked hard, with early mornings, late nights, and long commutes. They have made sacrifices for their families. The Prime Minister does not seem to get that.

We know that responsible governing tod...”

Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...the budget about that either. However, there are some surprises. There are unpleasant surprises for families and the middle class. For example, the Liberals have done away with the tax credit of $150 to $200 a year for people who take the bus to work.

I would like to hear what the Leader of the Opposition thinks about this Liberal measure that is going to hurt families across Canada.”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... ridiculous. This has to end.

We will be the voice of the taxpayers, and we will stand up for families and stand up for small businesses.”

Bernadette Jordan (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...position how she considers not investing in child care something that is going to help middle-class families.”

Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...s and social democrats. The government cannot be asleep at the switch like this for two years while families, the middle class, and workers struggle to make ends meet.

The Minister of Finance cannot tell the Liberal caucus that they will just sit back and only invest when it is advantageous for them. That shows contempt for the people who get up every morning at six o'clock to take their children to school and then go to work by car or bus to try to pay their bills, while their buying power diminishes, their wages stagnate, and personal debt rates reach unprecedented levels.

Not so long ago, we learned that the household debt-to-income ratio had reached 167%. That is unprecedented. People are being paid less, whereas food, rent, and houses are becoming more expensive. Furthermore, increases in productivity never really benefit employees, only the owners, whose profits keep growing. (1045)

What happens then? People go into debt. They run up their credit card, their second credit card, and their line of credit.

What is the government offering these people and these families in its budget? Nothing.

The message we want to send the Liberal government is that we cannot wait. We do not have the luxury of time. The government does, since the election is two and a half years away, but people in our communities do not. They have to pay their bills right now.

That is why the NDP believes that yesterday's budget is a missed opportunity. It completely misses the mark. It does not meet the urgent needs of the people. It meets the needs of the Liberal Party and its friends, who will have the advantage, and who will continue to benefit from unfair and unjust measures. In fact, the budget is good for the rich, the millionaires, the privileged, and those who run major corporations; they get to keep their tax breaks, which the Liberals promised to abolish or address. The reality is that they are keeping them.[English]

It is the big budget of nothingness. It is a big budget of nothing, or “wait and see, it's coming”. When is it coming? Maybe it will come for the next federal election. However, for the next two years we will have peanuts, or almost nothing, from the Liberals. It is quite easy to put big numbers in a press release, to say they are spreading billions of dollars in innovation, housing, public transit, and all of that, but what is in the budget for 2017? It is a column of zeros, and in 2018, it is the same thing.

Then, suddenly, when we look closely at the budget for 2019, wow, it is wonderful. There are hundreds of millions of dollars for investing in our communities, just in time for the next federal election. I can imagine the finance minister talking to the Liberal caucus, saying not to expect too much from this budget because they are taking a break. They are taking a break because the election is just two and a half years away. They will keep the money for that time.

It is a little ludicrous for the Liberals to show shiny objects to the population, saying they will invest billions of dollars, when actually it is supposed to come only in 2022, 2023, or 2024. There will be five or six other budgets before that. It is quite ridiculous to make people think they will get help and real investment in their communities right now, when actually nothing will happen. It is wait and see.

People cannot wait. People do not have the luxury of waiting two years for the interests of the Liberal Party. There are 4.5 million people in our country who are living in poverty. Some 990,000 children are living in poverty. The majority of children in first nation communities are living in poverty. They do not have the luxury of waiting. They need our support, and the Liberal government is failing its responsibility and the promises it made to Canadians to invest in infrastructure, housing, innovation, and public transit. However, all the measures and the rules that benefit the millionaires and the CEOs are still there. They will still put in their pockets huge gifts that are paid for by the hard-working Canadians and taxpayers of our country.

This budget missed the target. That is why the NDP will oppose it. As I said earlier, when we look at it, it is clearly a budget in favour of the members of the Rideau Club and those who are working hard to join it, but not for average and ordinary Canadians. (1050)

Let me give some examples of that. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal said three times to the federal government that it has to invest $155 million to close the gap for children in first nation communities. The federal government is challenging that in court. Shame.

At the same time, it has voted in favour of a motion in the House of Commons to give that money for children in first nation communities, but what do we see in the budget? We see nothing, zero. We should have expected at least $155 million, but there is nothing. It is a broken promise from the Liberal government.

However, what we still have is the tax loophole for stock options for the CEOs of this country. It is still there, and it is costing us $800 million per year to give that to the richest of our society. That fiscal measure, the 87% benefit goes to 1% of the population, and if we look at two-thirds of that fiscal measure, we see that more or less $600 million benefits 75 people in this country. That is two-thirds of that fiscal measure that the Liberals have promised to abolish, but it is still there.

To govern is to make choices. The Liberals could have made the choice to help children of first nations. They have chosen to keep the measure to help CEOs and the one per cent of the richest of our society. This is not the kind of choice that a progressive or social democrat would make. (1055) [Translation]

Here are some very straightforward examples of the shameful, appalling choices the Liberals made in their budget, choices that fly in the face of their election promises.

Number one, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal told the Liberal government to invest $155 million in the well-being of first nations children. That is significant. Most of the first nations children in our communities live in poverty, and the tribunal says that $155 million is the minimum needed, yet the government is challenging that in court. There is nothing in the budget for first nations children. What about the $155 million? It is not there. Instead, the government kept the tax break for stock options for corporate CEOs. That is still there, even though the Liberals promised to close that particular tax loophole.

In recent weeks, the NDP has been asking the Liberals to keep that promise. Why? Because it is costing our society $800 million. Who benefits? Eighty-seven per cent of the money invested, or rather, given away, with this tax break goes to 1% of the population, the richest 1%.

If we take a closer look at this loophole, we see that two-thirds of the cost of this measure benefits 75 people, this while four million people live in poverty and children on reserves need help. The Liberals are not helping them; instead, they are choosing to maintain a measure that benefits their millionaire friends and the ultra-rich elites.

To govern is to make choices. The Liberals had the choice of helping first nations children or keeping measures that benefit the ultra-rich.

Well, the Liberals once again wanted to hang on to the measures that benefit the rich. The mask is off, and we are discovering the Liberal Party's true colours.

I have another simple example: what could be better to help people get around our communities than public transportation? It helps our economy, it helps families, and it is good for the environment because it reduces greenhouse gases. Is there anything in this year's budget for public transit? No, nothing. Zero. Nada.

Incidentally, the Prime Minister had promised Montreal $775 million to extend the blue line in that city's subway system. The budget does not even mention the Montreal subway system, let alone its blue line. There is nothing. The only measure related to public transit—hold on to your hats—has to do with a tax credit that gave people who take the bus an extra $150 or $200 at the end of the year. This reduced people's taxes a bit and encouraged them to use public transit. What bright idea did the Liberals have? They decided to eliminate that. It no longer exists, even though it really helped families and middle-class Canadians.

Other tax measures remain, however. For example, 100% of ...”

Raj Grewal (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...to crack down on tax evasion and combat tax avoidance, make existing tax relief for individuals and families more effective and acceptable, eliminate ineffective and inefficient tax measures, and provide greater consistency in the operation of tax rules.

Going forward, we will continue to eliminate poorly targeted and inefficient tax measures and make our tax system more fair and efficient. The government is committed to taking these steps because we know and understand that fairness is essential to ensuring Canadians have confidence in their tax system.

Last year in budget 2016, our government committed to undertake a wide-ranging review of increasingly complex tax expenditures that now exist. This review of federal tax expenditures has highlighted a number of issues regarding tax planning strategies using private corporations, which can result in high-income individuals getting unfair tax advantages. A variety of tax reduction strategies are available to these individuals that are not available to other Canadians. An example of such a strategy is the use of private corporations to reduce taxes through sprinkling income to family members.

Budget 2017 sends a strong signal that the government is taking action to ensure that high-income individuals cannot use strategies involving private corporations to gain unfair tax advantages. The government will release a paper in the coming months setting out the nature of these issues as well as proposed policy responses. In addressing these issues, the government will ensure that corporations that contribute to job creation and economic growth by actively investing in their businesses continue to benefit from a highly competitive tax regime.

A fair tax system requires constant attention. Ongoing legislative adjustments are needed to ensure that rules are functioning as intended, and they do not result in some taxpayers paying less than their fair share, for example, through complicated tax planning arrangements.

To ensure the tax system operates as fairly and effectively as possible moving forward, the government will continue to study, identify, and address tax loopholes and tax planning schemes. Tax evasion and avoidance is unfair to the vast majority of Canadian individuals and businesses that play by the rules. (1220)

The measures in budget 2017 will build on previous investments to support the Canada Revenue Agency in its continued efforts to crack down on tax evasion and tax avoidance. To do this, the CRA is increasing its verification activities, hiring additional auditors and specialists with a focus on the underground economy, developing robust business intelligence infrastructure and risk assessment systems, and improving the quality of investigative work that targets criminal tax evaders.

Budget 2017 will invest an additional $523 million over five years to support these efforts. As CRA has a proven track record of meeting expectations from targeted tax compliance, budget 2017 accounts for the expected additional revenue of $2.5 billion over five years from these measures that crack down on tax evasion and combat tax avoidance.

We know that in a globalized world it is not enough to simply concentrate our efforts here at home. We need to have an international focus as well. To this end, Canada is part of a coordinated international effort to address what is known as base erosion and profit sharing or BEPS. BEPS refers to tax planning arrangements used by multinational enterprises to unfairly minimize their taxes. Canada has implemented, or is in the process of implementing, agreed international standards under the BEPS project.

This includes recently enacted legislation which requires large multinational enterprises to provide information about the international distribution of their activities. This information will enable tax authorities to better assess tax avoidance risks. We will continue to work with our international partners to ensure a coherent and consistent response in fighting tax avoidance through BEPS.

Over the past year, we have worked to build a fairer tax system that benefits the middle class. Our review of tax measures identified opportunities that make existing tax measures more effective, equitable, and accessible to all Canadians. Specifically, budget 2017 proposes to simplify and improve existing tax measures for caregivers, persons with disabilities, and students.

Right now, Canadians who are caring for loved ones face a caregiver credit system that is complex and difficult for families to navigate, so we have simplified it by introducing the Canada caregiver credit. This new non-refundable credit will provide greater support to those who need it the most and will apply to caregivers whether or not they live with the family member who is receiving the care. This measure will provide $310 million in additional tax relief over the 2016-17 to 2021-22 period and will support families struggling to take care of loved ones.

Canada is a country founded on the belief that...”

Raj Grewal (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...hat I never understood about the NDP is its ongoing rhetoric about the working class. Working-class families work in all different sectors, whether they be forestry, aerospace, taxi driving, or truck ...”

Kevin Sorenson (Conservative)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...presented in its last year's budget. Budget 2017 needed to include no further tax hikes on Canadian families, businesses, seniors, or students, but instead needed immediate measures to encourage compa...”

Hedy Fry (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.

It is not only child care. It is looking at how we can help families adjust to the world of work so that they can be more flexible. It is allowing women who are...”

Harold Albrecht (Conservative)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ed the phrase, “if they choose”. I wonder if my colleague recognizes that there are hundreds of families in the country, even if they chose institutional child care, would not be able to access it...”

Karine Trudel (NDP)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...on in that area. In Quebec, we are lucky to have a good child care system, but elsewhere in Canada, families have to pay a lot of money to send their children to day care.

Right now, the government is offering mere peanuts to meet families' child care needs, and these measures will not take effect for another year. Once again, we...”

Francesco Sorbara (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...mational Canada child benefit will provide over $20 billion of direct tax-free payments to Canadian families this year.

Strategic investments in infrastructure, the lowering of taxes for over nine million middle-class Canadians, and pursuing trade policies that saw Canada complete a progressive and standard-setting agreement with the European Union are all providing a solid foundation for a brighter economic future for all Canadians for years to come.

Let us examine the specific measures in budget 2017 that focus on what I called our three-pronged approach: innovation, infrastructure, and skills training. In our fall 2016 economic statement, the government announced that it would invest $81 billion in infrastructure for the next 11 years. I am proud to announce that within budget 2017, we see those details. This will include nearly $21 billion to support social infrastructure in Canadian communities, including $7 billion over 10 years to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across Canada.

I wish to highlight this specific investment in Canadian families with a quote from Marni Flaherty, chair of the Canadian Child Care Federation, as follows:

We are pleased that Canada’s federal government has taken this significant first step in committing to a multi-year funding plan. Moving forward, creating fundamental changes in how Canada supports the middle class – and all families – in accessing high quality and affordable child care will require increased funding, planning and coordination.

Over $11 billion will be invested over 11 years for an inclusive national housing strategy. There will be $1.8 billion invested over 10 years for cultural and recreational infrastructure. An additional $10.1 billion will be invested in trade and transportation projects from coast to coast to coast. We need to get our goods and services to market to export and we need to break down bottlenecks.

I applaud the strategic investment of $152 million to provide consistent and effective security screening of travellers and workers. Air Canada commented as follows:

Air Canada today said it welcomes funding in the Federal Budget that will improve airport security screening processes at Canadian airports. This will benefit travellers by reducing wait times and should enhance the overall travel experience.

Airports are key economic drivers with, for example, in Toronto, GTAA, a key economic cluster as the second largest employment zone in the country.

Canada also faces a rapidly changing global economy and for us to succeed, we must foster citizens to be global leaders in their fields and have our creative and entrepreneurial citizens propel the economy forward. Our plan on innovation and skills training meets this challenge and will position our citizens and companies to succeed not only at home but also on the global stage. (1320)

Budget 2017 contains a number of measures on innovation. We all know that Canada is positioned for innovation with the most highly skilled and educated workforce and one of the best places for openness in trade and investment.

Briefly, there are three I wish to highlight, which will help companies scale up and identify those with the greatest potential. These measures include establishing Innovation Canada, a new single window at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for business innovation programming to help coordinate and simplify innovation programs. Second, $950 million will be invested over five years to support business-led innovation superclusters that have the greatest potential to accelerate economic growth, and up to $400 million will be invested in the Business Development Bank for a new venture capital catalyst initiative.

I am proud of our commitment and the compassion we demonstrated for Canadian families. Our commitment to Canadian families is steadfast. We understand that Canadians face a job market that requires lifelong learning, and we are there to help. As an old proverb states, if you give people a fish, you feed them for a day; but if you teach people to fish, you feed them for a lifetime.

Our government will invest $2.7 billion over six years to help more unemployed and underemployed Canadians access the training and employment supports they need to find and keep good jobs. Additionally, $225 million will be invested over four years to identify and fill skills gaps in the economy, to help Canadians be best prepared for the new economy.

Our budget follows through on a promise to parents. Our budget will let parents, at their choice, extend their parental leave for up to 18 months versus the 12 months currently. This is important as it will provide enhanced flexibility to families, particularly in areas where there is a current shortage of child care spaces or where there is a prohibitive cost for child care spaces. As we all know, the gap between 12 months and 18 months in child care is great, because a lot of child care centres do not offer the service for kids between those ages, or younger.

Additionally, there is a new employment insurance caregiving benefit of up to 15 weeks to cover situations where individuals are providing care to an adult family member. As well, expectant mothers will be allowed to claim EI maternity benefits of up to 12 weeks before their due date versus the current standard of eight weeks. Taken together, these measures are smart investments to assist Canadian families.

A few other measures that I believe are noteworthy include an initiative for better data collection in the Canadian housing market, with a $39.9 million investment to establish a housing statistics framework to address housing data gaps identified by the federal, provincial, and municipal housing working group. Our government's actions to date on the housing market are to ensure a sound housing market for all Canadians. Better data collection will strengthen our ability to ensure that home ownership remains robust and that our housing market remains sound.

Finally, a measure on which I hope to comment in the future is the introduction of the new Canada caregiver credit, which will vastly simplify the current system. It will replace the caregiver credit, the infirm dependent credit, and the family caregiver tax credit. With a single new tax credit, we will be better able to support those who need it the most. It will apply to caregivers, whether or not they live with their family member, and help families with caregiving responsibilities.

It is this type of measure that reflects the values of this government, and it will make a real and positive difference in the lives of Canadian families. It makes me proud to be part of a government that introduced budget 2017 with those types ...”

Francesco Sorbara (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...Speaker, I will take a holistic approach and look at all the pieces we have put in place to support families across Canada. There is the introduction of the Canada child benefit, and the investment of funds for child care spaces across Canada. We need to sit down with our provincial counterparts and ensure that the money is being delivered for child care, which is very important. Also, there is our Canada summer jobs strategy for youth, and a number of programs we have put forward for innovation. These will all make a difference not only for our economy but, more importantly, for Canadian families.”

Judy A. Sgro (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...Canadians when it comes to building a strong nation. The foundation of a nation always goes back to families and children and what kind of support we provide for them.

Over and above all of my colleague's great comments about the things we are doing, the housing issue is a critical one, because if people do not have a roof over their heads, it makes life very difficult. Many families in the Toronto area are truly struggling with this very issue.

I would like to hear m...”

Francesco Sorbara (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ch will assist those Canadians who need it the most: our seniors, disabled veterans, and low-income families. It is of paramount concern within the GTA that individuals have access to affordable housi...”

Xavier Barsalou-Duval (Bloc Québécois)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...eeling from this terrible tragedy.

The Bloc Québécois offers its sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the attack in London.”

Irene Mathyssen (NDP)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...eleased from the military until all benefits, pensions, and supports are in place; more support for families of veterans; and that Veterans Affairs use evidence of successes in allied countries to app...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Council to develop guidelines surrounding reimbursement of travel by sitting prime ministers, their families, and their guests as well.”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Council to develop guidelines surrounding reimbursement of travel by sitting prime ministers, their families, and guests. Prior to our taking office, no such policy existed.

This government is w...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ents they should have, which resulted in excessively slow growth. Now we have to invest in Canadian families and infrastructure to boost our growth rate. This is very important to our fiscal position....”

Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...o take the bus in the morning.

Why are the Liberals getting rid of this tax credit that helps families and promotes public transit while maintaining the gifts for their millionaire friends?”

Marc Miller (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er way with more than 1,400 projects approved totalling over $15 billion.

In my riding, 6,000 families are better off thanks to this budget. Millions of families throughout Canada are better off. That makes me very proud.”

Emmanuel Dubourg (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nance presented the government’s plan. It is an ambitious, visionary plan that makes middle-class families the priority, both in Bourassa and elsewhere in Canada.

Can the Minister of Finance t...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ice to develop guidelines surrounding the reimbursement of travel by sitting prime ministers, their families, and guests. Prior to our government taking office, no such policy existed.”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...adians.

It was this government that introduced the Canada child benefit to give more money to families with children who needed it the most so they could actually do what they needed to do for their families.

What was consistent throughout it all? The Conservatives voted against it every time...”

Mike Lake (Conservative)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...n Alberta there has long been significant government support for people with autism. Other Canadian families have not had the same experience, some mortgaging their homes to get help they desperately ...”

Jane Philpott (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...y for early learning and child care in the order of $7 billion that would be of great assistance to families affected by—”

Yasmin Ratansi (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...hat will help people get to work on time, and at the end of the long day, back home faster to their families. In my riding, and in many urban ridings, constituents tell us that this is very important to them. That is what constituents told us in our budget consultation processes. They want better infrastructure. They said that commuting times were taking away from their productivity.

In our consultations, we heard as well about cleaner sources of energy. Therefore, our budget proposes to help build communities that are cleaner and less reliant on sources of energy that pollute the air, harm the environment, and compromise our health. Constituents who suffer from asthma and other breathing issues are thankful that our government is so keen on cleaning the environment.

Hard-working Canadians also need decent, affordable places to live. I am glad our government listened to the people and is investing $11.2 billion in this area.

In the area of a clean growth economy, I would like to expound on some things. Canadians understand that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. The government agrees. That is why our government is further investing $21.9 billion in green infrastructure. This is on top of the $5 billion it invested in the previous budget.

The investment of $21.9 billion in green infrastructure will support the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. We will support projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver clean water, safely manage waste water, help communities prepare for challenges that result from climate change, and help build a cleaner, better connected electricity system. This is welcome news to my young constituents who are focusing their sights on jobs of the future. (1615)

I would also like to talk about how social infrastructure can help transform communities and help overcome social economic barriers to a truly inclusive society. From early learning and child care for our children in their first years, to home care that supports us in our final years, social infrastructure helps Canadians at every stage of their lives. Building on an initial investment of $3.4 billion over five years announced one year ago, the government will invest $21.9 billion over 11 years to support social infrastructure in Canadian communities, including early learning and child care, affordable housing, cultural and recreation infrastructure, and home care.

In my riding of Don Valley East, there are many families who have to choose between one parent working or both parents working. If both parents are working, they have to look for affordable child care. Child care spaces are expensive or unavailable. It is a question of supply and demand. I am very proud that budget 2017 provides $7 billion over 10 years toward the creation of child care spaces. This will greatly help not only my constituents, but Canadians who are aiming to join the middle class. The investment of $7 billion is over and above the investment we made in 2016.

The government will work in co-operation with provinces, territories, and indigenous partners to provide help to families most in need. A portion of the investment will be dedicated to improve access to culturally...”

Nathan Cullen (NDP)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...e. I have the budget document here. If I look through the budget and look at spending on supporting families through early learning and child care, that is their money. In 2016-17, the Liberal budget says zero, and for 2017-18, the Liberal budget says zero.

If this is so important—and it is; we know affordable child care for families is critical not just for families, but also for the health of our economy—budgets are about choices. The Liberal Minister of Finance and the Liberal government made the choice to spend zero dollars allowing Canadians to access affordable, safe child care for their families.

Why pretend at this? Why back-load this? Why put the hope out there to all those Canadians, to all those single working moms, and I was raised by one, that somehow there is something coming when there is not? Maybe there will be in two years. We will see in next year's budget the number three years from now is actually real, but with the vast majority of child care money spent after the next election, one could only take away the conclusion that this is all about politics and not about families. Why spend zero dollars this year and zero dollars next year when it comes to helping families access child care? It is a simple, straightforward question.”

Yasmin Ratansi (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ber opposite is calculating the figures, but if one looks at the $3,600 per child that was given to families, the child care spaces are above and beyond the Canada child care benefit, which has lifted...”

Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...t, and will be given to caregivers whether they live with their family members or not. It will help families with caregiving responsibilities. This new Canada caregiver credit will provide tax relief on an amount of $6,883 in 2017 in respect of expenses for care of dependent relatives with infirmities, including persons with disabilities.

The forces of inertia, of immobilization, of standing still, of 10 years of darkness characterize what happened in the past decade of the ancien régime. It may give voice to an opposition, but as the Governor General has said on December 4, 2015:

Let us not forget...that Canadians have been clear and unambiguous in their desire for real change. Canadians want their government to do different things, and to do things differently.

Budget 2017 proposes to increase financial support for Canada's clean technology sector by making available more financing to clean technology firms. Nearly $1.4 billion in new financing, on a cash basis, will be made available to help Canada's clean technology firms grow and expand.

Budget 2017 also proposes to invest $400 million over five years, starting in 2017, to support projects that develop and demonstrate new clean technologies, that promote sustainable development, including those that address environmental issues, such as climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil.

Budget 2017 also proposes to adopt clean technology in Canada's natural resources sectors, with $200 million over four years, starting in 2017, going to Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

This is not all. In housing, budget 2017 proposes to invest more than $11.2 billion over 11 years in a variety of initiatives designed to build, renew, and repair Canada's stock of affordable housing, and help ensure that Canadians have affordable housing that meets their goals.

I think about the 1,500 homeless people who I find in my riding. They are asking for housing not just in the suburbs, but in their neighbourhood where they can receive supports so they can be successful as well, where they do not have to end up in a prison or the emergency wards taking up valuable resources, but where they can find the resources that society should provide them and they can be housed and healthy as well.

This is what our plan and our budget propose to do.

Our Governor General goes on to state:

Because it is both the right thing to do and a certain path to economic growth, the government will undertake to renew, nation-to-nation, the relationship between Canada and indigenous peoples, one based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. (1630)

This is perhaps one of the greatest budgets we have ever seen for indigenous peoples, and perhaps for all Canadians, $828.2 million over five years to improve health outcomes for first nations, Inuit people, and communities, including mental health services. The opposition should be excited about this.

In education, we have invested $165 million over five years to support post-secondary education and skills training for indigenous peoples. We have also increased funding to the post-secondary student support program by $90 million over two years beginning in 2017. There will be $25 million over five years to Indspire. This will fund bursaries and scholarships for 12,000 Métis, Inuit, and first nations youth in our country, ensuring they can get the education so they can build communities, their families, and a life they deserve.

It is not even done. There will be $18.9 million over the n...”

Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...e a product passed from person to person who can generate money. I do not want to imply that foster families are not doing a good job, because there are many great foster families.

We really need to be thoughtful and considerate about the direction in which we move...”

Robert Kitchen (Conservative)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...t many do not tend to think about is the financial cost. It is common that those with ALS and their families will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to manage this disease. These expenses come in many forms.

Most people with ALS prefer to live at home with their loved ones, while they battle their disease. This means that homes need to be retrofitted to allow for greater accessibility, as those afflicted with the disease often end up wheelchair-bound due to the muscle degeneration. Ramps may need to be installed, doorways may need to be widened, and these things come at a cost.

There is also an expense of medical equipment that is often needed when people with ALS choose to live at home. If they have issues with swallowing, they might need to purchase a suction unit to ensure the saliva does not built up and flow into their lungs. As the disease progresses, it might be necessary to purchase or rent a special bed to ensure that people ALS is as comfortable as possible. Other costs associated with ALS include medication, which can sometimes be extremely expensive.

There is also the aspect of travel costs. I live in a rural riding and in order for one of my constituents to see an ALS specialist, he or she would have to drive for hours to get there. This means paying for fuel, food, and potentially accommodation in places like Regina or Saskatoon, which are two to five hours away.

All this is to say that ALS a challenging disease to manage just on the financial side of things, and anything that can done to find a cure should be done. (1810)

There is also an emotional cost to ALS, which is impossible to quantify. The people who are diagnosed have to cope with the knowledge that their condition is incurable and that they will soon lose the level of physical independence they are accustomed to. They also feel pressure to get their affairs in order, as ALS can progress rapidly once it is diagnosed. These are just a couple of the issues that people with ALS need to confront while dealing with the disease.

Families and friends are also affected when a loved one is diagnosed with ALS. As many people with ALS wish to stay at home, family members will often take on the role of caregivers. Being a caregiver is not easy. It is physically and emotionally exhausting, and it only becomes more difficult as the disease progresses and the person with ALS begins to rely on more help more often. Caregivers sacrifice a lot when they assume that role, and I commend them for all they do in that regard.

Respite care beds cost $32.94 per day, based on income, in Saskatchewan. This service is provided to give relief to the family and other primary caregivers of a dependant person living at home. Caregivers may also need to quit their jobs or take a leave of absence to assist a loved one who has ALS. This adds to the financial burden that many families face after receiving a diagnosis, and it can be emotionally taxing as well, given that both...”

Brigitte Sansoucy (NDP)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...his issue is particularly important to me, because today the daily fight by ALS sufferers and their families needs a high profile, constant engagement, and unwavering political support. As we will surely recall, in 2014, the fight against ALS attracted major visibility through the ice bucket challenge. It gave real hope to those with the disease, their families, caregivers, and researchers. Many media personalities agreed to get involved, and $16 mill...”

Joël Lightbound (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...be remembered for his exemplary devotion to his community.

Without a cure, patients and their families have very little reason to hope. Motion No. 105 acknowledges the tragic death of over 1,000 Canadians with ALS each year and the fact that 1,000 more Canadians are diagnosed with the disease annually.

The motion calls on Canada to take the necessary steps to fight this terrible disease.[English]

Through this motion, the House is being asked to reiterate its desire and commitment to work with the provinces and territories to combat ALS through research and awareness.

I am here today to express that the Government of Canada is committed to addressing ALS. We understand that continued research efforts stand to improve our understanding of this disease and lead to improved treatments and cures. Importantly, research also stands to offer hope to thousands of patients and families facing ALS. That is why our government is supporting Motion No. 105.

In order to cred...”

Eva Nassif (Liberal)

March 23rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ome facts in relation to the second. (1840)

The costs involved for people with ALS and their families range from $150,000 to $250,000. Costs include care and equipment, as well as potential loss of income if patients or their family members are forced to stop working. Most people with this disease receive treatments outside of hospitals, and they count on their families and the community to meet their medical needs.

We saw how the viral success of the infamous ice bucket challenge helped raise awareness about ALS. In Canada, nearly $20 million has been invested over the past two years in research into this disease thanks to funds raised as part of that challenge. Brain Canada, with the support of Health Canada, matched all funds raised. This proves that people care about this issue, they want research to be subsidized, and they want a cure.

In Canada, funding for ALS research usually amounts to between $1.5 million and $2 million. That is not enough to discover new treatments that might put an end to this debilitating and fatal disease. Canada has always been a leader in science and technology research.

Let us take advantage of our wealth in human capital in these fields in order to make lasting progress. Imagine what leadership from the government would help accomplish for Canadians and for the global fight to find preventive and proactive solutions to ALS. Imagine alleviating the huge financial burden on our health system and our patients. Imagine the relief of all these families who can only helplessly watch their loved ones fade away.

This goal is not unattainab...”

Fayçal El-Khoury (Liberal)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...of Laval—Les Îles includes a remarkable Hellenic community of more than 11,000 people.

The families who had the courage to immigrate to Canada, to integrate, and to share their cultural herit...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...on, so we can make for a better work-life balance for the many individuals in this House with young families. This is so that members can do a better job of working efficiently here in Ottawa while se...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tion on how to improve the functioning of this Parliament in a way that meets the needs of Canadian families and Canadian members of Parliament. The fact is we are happy that we are launching in an op...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...wealthiest 1% of Canadians. It was this government that introduced the Canada child benefit to help families with children who need help the most, to ensure that they get the most. It was this governm...”

Sheri Benson (NDP)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...fit. It was supposed to help nine million children out of poverty, but in my riding, there are many families that have to jump through one hoop after another just to submit a claim. What good is a benefit if families that really need it are not getting it?

How many eligible parents have yet to receive...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... social policy innovation in a generation. It is because we are not sending benefits and cheques to families of millionaires anymore that we are able to help nine families out of 10, families with six million children across Canada who receive on average $200 per month, non-taxable,...”

Anne Minh-Thu Quach (NDP)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...vice alimentaire communautaire, the SAC, has been providing a unique food assistance program to the families of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield since 2001. It may have to close its doors in June, leaving many vulnerable families with nowhere to turn unless the federal government takes urgent action.

A letter was sent to the minister one month ago, but the organization and my constituents have not received a response. A growing number of families in the region are having difficulty putting food on the table. Last December alone, the use...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...introduce an even more solid program to make our society more inclusive and to ensure that Canadian families that are struggling have a better chance to flourish and succeed.

I would ask the mem...”

John Brassard (Conservative)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... Minister probably thinks a certain Carly Simon song was about him.

When Canadian seniors and families are paying for the Liberals' tax-and-spend agenda, who thought a cut-out was a good idea, a...”

Candice Bergen (Conservative)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...alliative care and the approach that is needed to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

While I am on my feet, I move:

That the House proceed to orders of the day.

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“...ends in the United Kingdom at this time, knowing that they are facing a tragedy. We think about the families who are facing something that is indescribably difficult. I would like to start by saying that it is important for all of us to reflect upon. (1630) [Translation]

I am pleased to rise in the House today to table budget documents for 2017, including notices of ways and means motions. The details of the measures are contained in these documents, and I am asking that an order of the day be designated for consideration of these motions.

I also wish to announce that the government will introduce legislation to implement the measures in the budget.[English]

As Canadians come together to celebrate Canada 150, we proudly reflect on the generations that came before us, generations that built a country on the belief that with hope and hard work they could deliver a better future for themselves and for their children, and for their grandchildren. That optimism and that confidence helped define us as a country.

Sharing those beliefs with others made Canada a beacon of diversity, openness, and generosity around the world. Yet, over the last few decades, the middle class and those working hard to join it have fallen behind.

Everyday folks who work hard to provide for their families are worried about the future. They are worried that rapid technological change, the seemingly never-ending need for new skills, and growing demands on our time mean that their kids will not have the same opportunities they had. And who can blame them?

For a decade, middle class struggles were simply swept under the rug. People were left without a clear vision at a time of unprecedented change. However, the good news is that Canadians, on their own accord, worked hard and persevered. We have always been resilient, innovative, able to adapt and prosper in the face of change.[Translation]

Knowing that, we put together a plan to ensure that, in a changing world, Canada's middle class and those working hard to join it can—and will—succeed.

A year and a half ago, our government set out to deliver the kind of change that would make a real difference for Canadians. We said we would help people retire with dignity. We said we would ask the wealthiest 1% to pay a little more, so we could cut taxes for the middle class. We said we would make smart, responsible investments in our communities.

That is exactly what we did. We have delivered on behalf of Canadians, and we are just getting started.[English]

We realize there is much more hard work in front of us than behind us, but I remain inspired that we are on the right path.

One of the most memorable moments I have had as Canada's finance minister actually happened in a taxi cab in Toronto. On the way home one night, my taxi cab driver, Mian, recognized me and we started chatting. Then he did something that surprised me. He called his wife and put her on the speakerphone. They wanted to talk to me about the difference that the Canada child benefit had made in their lives.

You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that this benefit gives nine out of 10 Canadian families with kids more help with the high cost of managing their family.

In Mian's case, with three children aged 11, 9, and 10 months, the Canada child benefit means that he and his wife receive about $300 more each month than they did a year ago. That is an extra $3,600 tax-free every year, money that can be put toward groceries, school supplies, and new clothes for going back to school.

There are countless other stories just like this one across the country, each a sign that confidence is building and our plan for middle-class prosperity is working.

Stories like Dave's, a plumber from British Columbia who took advantage of a training program supported by the federal government to get his Red Seal certification last year. Now he has a well-paying job and is able to return to work in his community.[Translation]

There is also Nebis, a mother of three from a remote Algonquin community in Quebec. The Canada child benefit has helped keep her three kids enrolled in hockey this season. (1635) [English]

Mian, Dave, Nebis, like millions of middle-class Canadians, want to see progress for themselves and their families. They want a government that puts people first. They want a government focused on creating good jobs today, while also preparing Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow. They want a government that puts our skilled, talented, and creative people at the heart of a more innovative and globally competitive Canada.

Here is our plan.

Across the country, we are building stronger communities.[Translation]

We are doing it by creating jobs, shortening commutes, ensuring clean air and water, and improving quality of life for millions of Canadians.

In the last year and a half, 744 public transit projects have been approved.[English]

In Calgary and Ottawa, long-awaited and transformative light rail transit projects are under way.

In Montreal and Vancouver, riders can look forward to a more enjoyable commute thanks to rehabilitation work being done to the metro and SkyTrain systems.

We are repairing nearly 50,000 social housing units, to make sure families have a safe and secure place to live. We have lifted 18 long-term boil water advisories in first nations communities. Our work continues, because we will not stop until every child in Canada has access to clean drinking water.

Ten years from now, our cities, towns, and northern and rural communities will be healthier and better connected. Our air and water will be cleaner. More Canadian goods will get to international markets, and modern, efficient public transit systems will get hard-working parents home more quickly at the end of a long day.

As we look to the coming decades, we also see the potential of new innovations to transform our lives. Self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, genomics, quantum computing, mobile payments, the sharing economy, these ideas are changing our world for the better, just like the innovations that preceded them.

A few decades ago, we never could have imagined how mobile computing would impact our lives. Thanks to e-commerce platforms, an Alberta farmer can sell top-quality beef to millions of potential buyers all over the world. [Translation]

Cutting-edge research from Montreal has led to breakthrough treatments for multiple sclerosis.[English]

We must see the immense opportunities that these changes bring with them, opportunities for progress and prosperity.

While the rapid pace of change can seem dizzying at times, we must never lose sight of what is driving these breakthrough innovations, people, people like Mian, Dave, and Nebis. Therefore, as we create the jobs of tomorrow, we will support a culture of life-long learning to help workers and their families adapt to the changing demands of our time. We will help students get the skills and work experience they need to kick-start their careers. We will make it more affordable for thousands of parents of young children to learn new skills while raising their families. We will give people who have lost their jobs the chance to go back to school for further training, helping these Canadians to advance their careers, and turn challenges into opportunity. [Translation]

To give our young people the best possible start, we will promote hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, and math, especially for young women, girls, and indigenous youth.[English]

Building on work being done by impressive organizations like Ladies Learning Code and Actua, we will encourage students to learn coding in the same way they learn to read and write, preparing our kids for the jobs of the future.

Budget 2017 is about creating good middle-class jobs now, and in the years to come. To do that, we need to focus on our strengths, where we can lead globally and create good jobs for Canadians.

In this budget, we are making investments in six economic sectors where Canada can lead the way: digital, clean technology, agrifood, advanced manufacturing, bio-sciences, and clean resources.

In the realm of digital technology, I know two things to be true: one, Canada can be a world leader; and, two, we just cannot afford not to be. (1640) [Translation]

That is why we will launch a pan-Canadian artificial intelligence strategy, and bring together Canada's main centres of AI expertise to drive investment and job creation across the country.[English]

In agrifood, too, we are positioned for success. By 2050, global demand for food is expected to rise by 70%. That means more demand for prairie canola, Atlantic crab and lobster, and B.C. berries. It also means more jobs in the fields of southwestern Ontario and on the maple syrup farms of Quebec’s Eastern Townships. We will help farmers, producers, and processors build their businesses globally, and do so sustainably.

Canadians know that our environment and our economy go hand in hand. It is why we have worked with the provinces and territories to adopt the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. This not only means cleaner air to breathe; it means business and investment opportunities. That means jobs installing solar cells, manufacturing electric cars, or developing cleaner fuels will be in high demand.

Luckily, our energy sector is already well positioned to not only compete but to lead.

By investing in clean tech and responsible resource development, we will preserve our environment for future generations, create great jobs, and re-stake our claim as a leading supplier of energy to the world for the next 150 years.

Our plan is clear. Smart, ambitious investments in people, communities, and high-growth industries lead to opportunity, opportunity lead to jobs, jobs lead to a more confident and growing middle class, and a more confident, growing middle class is the only path to strong and sustained economic growth.

The government’s role in all of this is to lend support to those who are driving us forward and to make sure that everyone has a real and fair chance at success. This means ensuring that our most basic needs are met, and health and well-being are at the very top of that list. [Translation]

Though our universal health care system is a source of pride for many Canadians, we know that more can be done for families caring for loved ones. It is why this budget provides support for caregivers helping loved ones at home and makes it easier for Canadians living with disabilities to get the tax relief they need. [English]

We believe that whether their ailments are physical or mental, Canadians deserve the best possible care that we can provide. They deserve our help. I am pleased that with leadership from the Minister of Health over the last several months, we have reached health agreements with nearly every single province and territory.

Through these landmark agreements and historic health transfers to provinces and territories, representing over $200 billion over the next five years, we will reduce stress for families. We will ensure that every young person under the age of 25 gets the mental health support he or she need and deserve.

Having had the honour of representing and meeting families in St. James Town and Regent Park in Toronto, I have seen first hand the challenge of affordable housing. Therefore, it is my privilege to announce that the government will be investing over $11 billion, the largest single commitment in budget 2017. This is in support of a national housing strategy to protect every Canadian's right to a safe and affordable place to call home. (1645) [Translation]

Our government has shown, and will continue to show, national leadership on housing. We will prioritize support for vulnerable citizens, including seniors, indigenous peoples, survivors fleeing domestic violence, persons with disabilities, those dealing with mental health issues, and veterans. [English]

The decisions we make and the policies we create impact men and women differently. [Translation]

In order to make laws and develop policies and programs that are in the best interests of all Canadians, we have to know what kind of impact they will have.[English]

We know, for example, that while Canadian companies are getting better when it comes to hiring more women, they are still less effective at promoting women to senior roles, and we know that fewer women join or stay in the workforce than men. That means that as a country, we are not taking full advantage of the talents, insights, and experience of more than half of our population. It makes no sense. We need to do better.

Therefore, as a first step, we have asked the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders to quickly advise us on how we can better empower women entrepreneurs and remove barriers for women in business.

However, not all obstacles to progress are as obvious, so in budget 2017, we did something that should have been done a long time ago: we published the government’s first-ever gender statement. This is an assessment that ensures all budget measures, not just those aimed specifically at women, help us advance the goals of fairness, gender equality, and stronger workforce participation. [Translation]

We realize that this is just the start, and we look forward to feedback on this first effort, which we will then build into future budgets. [English]

Another challenge we must confront is access to quality child care. Too often we hear stories of single parents living in poverty because the cost of child care is so high they cannot afford to go back to work. That is not acceptable in our country.

To help low- and middle-income families with the costs of child care, we are committing $7 billion over the next decade to increase the number of high-quality child care spaces available across our country. In order to provide immediate relief, this will be working together with provinces and territories. We know that doing this could create up to 40,000 new subsidized child care spaces over the next three years. Canadian parents deserve our support, and we are delivering.

We know that strong partnerships between the federal government and indigenous communities are crucial for our success. Over the next five years, funding for indigenous peoples will have increased by over 27% from what it was when our government took office, well in excess of what would have been provided under the decades-old 2% funding cap. It will contribute to a higher quality of life on reserves, while setting Canada on a path toward true reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

This work continues today, both because it is a recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples and because it is essential to our economic future. [Translation]

Together, we will build stronger, more resilient communities and renew our nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis.[English]

We will help break down employment barriers, with a focus on skills development, training, and better education. We will provide greater access to mental health, wellness, and suicide prevention services, while working with indigenous communities to combat substance abuse.

This is our plan for Canada. For it to succeed, we all have to do our share. I have been very fortunate in my life to have had a successful career in business and I have always paid my fair share of taxes, but it can be tempting for some to be too aggressive in their tax planning. Our review of federal tax expenditures, for example, highlighted a number of issues around tax planning strategies using private corporations. These are strategies that can result in some very wealthy individuals getting tax breaks at the expense of others. [Translation]

Canadians expect a fair tax system. Our government is committed to taking action on this issue, and we will have more to say on this in the near future.

One of our government's very first actions was to raise taxes for the wealthiest Canadians, so that we could cut taxes for the middle class. Because of this tax cut, nine million Canadians see more money on their paycheques. These measures are making a real difference in people's lives.

We also gave the Canada Revenue Agency more resources to detect, audit, and combat tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. (1650) [English]

Going forward, we will close loopholes that result in unfair tax advantages for some at the expense of others. We will eliminate inefficient tax measures, especially those that disproportionately benefit the wealthy. We will work with the provinces and the territories to crack down on those who hide their identity to avoid paying taxes. Let me be clear. All Canadians must pay their fair share of taxes, period. [Translation]

Canada has always played an important role on the international stage. Going forward, as needs change, so too will our approach. In international assistance, for example, we remain committed to helping the world's poorest and most vulnerable, and we will continue to modernize our efforts so we can deliver better results, improve transparency, and foster innovation around the world.[English]

To support our women and men in uniform in increasingly complex and unpredictable times, our government will soon release a new defence policy for Canada, following extensive consultation and analysis.

We also know that as a trading nation, our future depends on openness and investment. That means never missing an opportunity to remind the world of what makes Canada a great place to live, to play, and to do business. Nowhere is this truer than with our neighbours to the south.

Canada and the United States have the most successful economic relationship in the world, supporting millions of middle-class jobs on both sides of the border. We are proud of this fact. We are also proud to have recently concluded CETA, free trade agreement that will create jobs, reduce red tape, and give Canadian businesses preferred access to half a billion potential customers across the European Union.

As we prepare for the global economy of tomorrow, we will put our best foot forward, always looking to develop strategic partnerships to attract talent and investment, partnerships that will help our companies succeed, create good middle-class jobs at home, and do well globally.

Canada 150 reminds us all that we have a lot to be thankful for. [Translation]

Economically, our talented, skilled, educated, diverse, and innovative workforce gives us tremendous potential for growth. Our values, our stories, and our cultures shine for the world to see. Our two official languages open the doors of the entire world to us and make our country unique.[English]

Our natural resources and natural beauty are unparalleled, allowing us to share the joys of building a campfire with our kids, hiking with a college friend, or swimming in cool, clean waters. In fact, this year we are putting our national parks on full display, as we invite Canadians and families from around the world to enjoy them, free of charge.

Most important, we have begun to...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

March 22nd
Hansard Link

The Budget

“... on the most vulnerable in our society by taking children out of poverty. It is having an impact on families. Because of the Canada child benefit, families will have more money to spend, money that will be going into our economy.

What we are...”

Carol Hughes (NDP)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...hat palliative care and hospice palliative care help improve quality of life for patients and their families as they cope with terminal illness.[English]

These services provide relief from pain ...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...se call on the government to ensure that Budget 2017 includes: (a) no further tax hikes on Canadian families, businesses, seniors or students; (b) immediate measures to encourage companies to hire you...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...it is the Conservative Party's responsibility to tell the Prime Minister what hard-working Canadian families expect to see in his budget tomorrow.[Translation]

Canada’s Conservatives are the voice of the taxpayer. We focus on results for Canadians.[English]

Budget day used to be an exciting time for Canadians. Looking at some of our past Conservative budgets, I was thinking about the day before the budget in the 10 years we were in government. It was an exciting day, because we all knew that the next day, we would be giving Canadians a break. For all those people back home who are working hard, who are struggling, who are working in their small businesses, who are worried about their kids, we knew we would be giving them a break. We did that in every consecutive budget, so it was an exciting time.

Our plan created 1.1 million net new jobs. It cut taxes to their lowest level in 50 years and increased health transfers to the provinces by 70%. We had a very aggressive free trade agenda. We introduced tax free savings accounts so families could save for their retirement and for their future. We introduced income splitting so couples could afford to have a family. Business confidence was high. However, today, the day before this budget, people feel anxiety. There is anxiety all across the country, and people are wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. Question after question keeps coming up. I have never seen anything like this before a budget day in the House of Commons.

Small-business owners are wondering, families are wondering, “Are the Liberals going to raise capital gains taxes?” They say they are, we just do not know when. “Are they going to come after our homes? Are they going to come after my business?” These are the questions people are asking. “What tax credit are they going to take away from my family that I use day in, day out to make life more affordable? What is next? What taxes are the Liberals going to raise?” These are the kinds of questions Canadians are asking.

Business investment is at an all-time low. Business confidence is low. This is the kind of business climate and economic climate the Prime Minister has created.

This will be the Prime Minister's second budget, and we are now encouraging the government to seize this opportunity to change course, but all indications are that it will not. There is so much anxiety, in fact, that the Liberals are not even going out to their ridings after the budget.

I think back to the 10 years we were in government. Not only was the day before a budget exciting, because we knew we were going to give hard-working Canadians yet another break, but we were excited to get out to our ridings to tell everyone about it. We would meet with our chambers of commerce. We would meet with all of the families and business owners in our communities, excited to tell them about how we made their lives more affordable.

Do members know what the Liberals are doing? They are staying here for the weekend for an emergency caucus meeting. I guess they are a little embarrassed about what might be in this budget and what might not be in this budget.

After a year and a half, the evidence is clear. There are a lot of broken promises and there is a lot of spending, but no results for hard-working Canadians. Let us go back to the Prime Minister's original election promise, that he was going to borrow his way to prosperity. He was going to borrow only $10 billion in order to grow the economy and create jobs. On that first part, on the borrowing, Canadians got a lot more than they bargained for. On the second part, the job creating, they got far less than they deserved.[Translation]

The promise to borrow no more than $10 billion has been forgotten, broken even before last year's budget was presented. The deficit is now much higher—we will know how much higher tomorrow—because of an irresponsible policy of increased spending that has been described as unprecedented in modern times.

In a report that was quietly released right before Christmas, the Department of Finance admitted that the government will not be able to balance the budget for at least 30 years. Under the Liberal plan, the next generation will be forced to pay down our generation's debt. Canadians who are 18 years old today will not see a balanced budget until at least the age of 50. (1015) [English]

Imagine, a Canadian who turns 18 years old today will not see a balanced budget until he or she is 50 years old. I do not remember this being in the Liberals' election platform.

The Prime Minister broke one of his key election promises when he said that he promised to balance the budget by 2019. He still believes, apparently, that the budget will balance itself, and those words are just as foolish today as when he said them during the campaign.

What have Canadians actually got for all of this spending and red ink? Growth is no higher than before the borrowing began. The Prime Minister is not growing our economy; he is just growing the size of government.

Let me repeat that. The Prime Minister borrowed all of this money. He put the next generation in debt and this generation in debt and he has not actually created any growth. He is not creating the jobs that he promised, so what was it all for? It was to grow the size of government.

Imagine: the Prime Minister actually promised to add 0.5% to GDP in 2016. He was very specific. However, Statistics Canada data shows that the economy grew no faster than initially projected. The only thing he is growing is the size of government.

He promised he would spend this money on infrastructure, but guess what—the infrastructure funds are not flowing into critical projects like roads, highways, or bridges. I know that people in my home province of Alberta hoped the government would get the shovels in the ground so those jobs would be created, but in fact the construction industry shrank by 3.3% last year. The shovels are not in the ground and jobs are not being created through infrastructure projects.

Now the Prime Minister is looking for more money anywhere he can find it to fund his pet project, the so-called infrastructure bank, because apparently there are not enough banks in Canada. All of us are concerned that the money that the Liberal Party and the Prime Minister desperately needs will come from a sale of important assets, such as Canada's airports. Private investment might be beneficial for Canadian airports, but the complete lack of transparency about a proposed sale leaves Canadians asking a lot of questions, such as whether this is in our national interest, whether this is just a fire sale to fund the Prime Minister's reckless spending, or whether it will increase costs for travellers, businesses, or airport authorities.

This is not about a vision or strategy. It is just because the Prime Minister has run out of money and needs to find more. A botched airport sell-off does not protect Canadian travellers and could also lead to dramatically higher costs, but we have none of those questions answered.

Of course, this morning, as usual, the Prime Minister creates all kinds of anxiety and then says the government may not do that. That creates a lot of conflict. Once again, he says he is backing away from this idea of selling off strategic assets like airports, but yesterday the Prime Minister refused to actually commit one way or another. It is not good enough to keep Canadians guessing about such a critical issue. He does this on taxes. He does this on everything. This constant indecision and lack of any clear plan or vision for our economy is creating anxiety all across the country. The Liberals move from one thing to another, from one idea that they float out there to another. They actually have no real plan.

Whether it is airports or other assets, the Prime Minister should not be selling off the furniture because he ran up the credit card. That is not a vision for this country.[Translation]

Canadians pay among the highest air transportation costs in the world. Canadian families who want to go on vacation and entrepreneurs who need to travel to build and grow their businesses should not have to pay for this government's mistakes.

The rumours that airports are to be sold off at a garage sale are problematic and not just because of the costs involved. Canadians have every right to question whether selling those airports is in Canada's best interest or is simply a way for the Liberals to finance their out-of-control spending. (1020) [English]

We also know that lurking behind of all these ideas of selling off strategic assets to an infrastructure bank, there is this idea that the Prime Minister is very welcoming to Chinese government-owned companies and their interest in buying up Canadian assets. In fact, Conservatives feel he is ready to sell just about anything to them. The sale of Canadian airports or any other strategic Canadian assets to companies with links to foreign governments must first meet a test of national interest, always, because they are strategic assets, but we have no transparency on this as well.

Let us remember that this is the same Prime Minister who held closed-door cash-for-access fundraisers where he met with people from the Chinese government and then weeks later reopened national security reviews on the sale of Canadian companies to companies that were controlled by the Chinese government.

When they hear this, Canadians rightly wonder, “Is our national security for sale to the highest bidder?” Canadians have good reasons to be concerned about the Liberals selling off assets, and we demand more transparency. Canadians do not want to see a fire sale in tomorrow's budget or the next budget. In fact, since the Prime Minister took office, Canadians are actually working less. Their paycheques are not rising, and they feel it.

The young people of our country feel it the worst. The youngest workers have now lost over 40,000 full-time jobs just in the past year. We have a youth unemployment crisis. What did the Prime Minister do? He promised an EI break for workers who hire youth. Then what did he do? He broke that promise, and instead he raised EI premiums on businesses, making them less likely to hire.[Translation]

We want the budget to include immediate measures to put young Canadians back to work and address the youth unemployment crisis.

However, as we have seen, creating a realistic plan to stimulate the economy and help Canadians find good jobs is simply not a priority for this Liberal government.[English]

However, that is not what we are going to see tomorrow. This will be a budget written by Liberal government consultants, and it will grow the size of government. For some reason, Liberals are enthralled with these latest glossy, jargon-laden consultant schemes, all about moon shots and innovation strategies, but it is really simple when we are thinking about innovating the economy. As economist Jack Mintz says, if we want to create innovation, we have to create an attractive business climate, cut red tape, lower taxes, and boost entrepreneurs' confidence in the economy.

I have a lot of confidence in Canadians and I know they are going to see right through this. They know that these buzzwords and these brochures do not actually put people to work. These flashy programs also come with a $1-billion price tag, and this bill gets paid by the millions of regular Canadians who are not so lucky to work somewhere that the Prime Minister wants to go visit for a photo op, such as New York.

Canadians see this Prime Minister's priorities. If people are fashionable and well connected and work in a certain sector that he thinks is sexy, then he is very generous. However, for the taxpayer—well, they have to pay up. They have to pay up to $2,500 per household for a new national carbon tax, and add another $2,200 per household for higher CPP premiums. Then they have to give back their family tax cut on income splitting, watch their tax-free savings account get slashed, and say goodbye to their kids' arts and fitness tax credits and the textbooks and education tax credit if they are students.

The Liberals have an innovation program for every government consultant, but to pay for it, they have a tax hike for every Canadian. Frankly, families cannot take any more of this. With the cost of living rising, the last thing they need is more government. The last thing they need is their government looking for new ways to nickel-and-dime them.[Translation]

This government is taking far more from Canadians than it is giving them, and that must stop.[English]

The situation calls for a change in direction, and that is what everybody was hoping to see tomorrow, especially when we know the United States is about to slash taxes and cut red tape to pull investment and job growth south of the border. We are already seeing it. There is a reason that business investment is already leaving Canada to go to the U.S.[Translation]

We cannot meet these challenges with decades of deficits, an ever-increasing tax burden, and a government that cares more about pleasing major foreign investors than helping Canadian families get by. (1025) [English]

Tomorrow Canadians, regular Canadians, want to see a plan that makes their jobs and their families a top priority. They want a break from the government. They want a plan that gets spending under control, focuses on real-life job creation, and stops these nickel-and-diming tax hikes.

As the voice of the taxpayer, we will be judging tomorrow's budget on whether it meets those priorities. Canadians can always rely on the Conservative Party and the opposition to put them and their families first. That is why we are calling on this House to adopt our motion today.”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...for health care so that people did not go without the essential services that they needed for their families.

However, the current government is going completely in the opposite direction. All of the money it has spent has done nothing to create growth or create jobs. All it has done is grow the size of government, and who is paying for it? It is the hard-working people of Canada. They are paying for it. Every time we turn around, there is another tax increase, another fee increase, all to pay for the Prime Minister's pet projects. Who has to do this? This is all on the backs of hard-working people.

Every day the Liberals find another way to nickel and dime Canadian families and take away from them the things that we gave them to make life more affordable, even the tax-free savings account. This is after-tax income. People have worked hard for it. They are saving for their retirement, and the Liberals are taking half of that away.

There was a tax credit for textbooks. People use these things so that they can make life more affordable if they have students in their house. There was a tax credit for tuition. These are the kinds of things that they just keep taking away from families. They are nickel-and-diming Canadians to pay for their own priority, which is growing the s...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...way benefit the taxpayer?

At the end of the day, we have the Prime Minister nickel and diming families and businesses over and over again with tax hikes, and his solution is to give a benefit to...”

Kevin Sorenson (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... are some of the things we know about.

We know that in former budgets Conservatives supported families, especially seniors. We created things like tax-free savings accounts and changes to the RR...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...rom low- and middle-income households. This will help an estimated 247,000 students from low-income families and 100,000 students from middle-income families, as well as about 60,000 low-income part-time students each year.

We are doing more. Starting August 1, 2017, students from low-income families will only have to contribute $1,500 per school year, with contributions rising to a maximum of $3,000 for students with a higher family income. This change will allow students to work and gain valuable market experience without having to worry about the reduction in their level of financial assistance. It will also simplify the application process for student financial assistance, making the Canada student loans program more transparent and more predictable for our youth. Furthermore, students with identified employment barriers will not be expected to make a contribution, including students who self-identify as indigenous, students with permanent disabilities, and students with dependents.

In November 2016, we also increased the repayment assistance plan threshold to ensure that no students will have to repay their student loan until they have reached earnings of at least $25,000 per year. We estimate that about 23,000 additional borrowers will have lower, more affordable payments if they apply for their repayment assistance plan.

Helping families plan for education expenses is also key and very important. The Canada learning bond is money the Government of Canada deposits into registered education savings plans for children to help save for their post-secondary education. The government is committed to working in collaboration with the provinces and territories to promote the benefits of early savings for post-secondary education in RESPs for all Canadians to ease access to the CLB for low-income Canadians. These measures are making post-secondary education more affordable for Canadians. (1040)

Post-secondary education is an invaluable asset in today's job market, but employers are looking for more than a person with a degree. They also need the experience and the skills to succeed in today's workforce. That is not something we can teach in a classroom.

That is why our government has invested more than $73 million over four years to support the student work-integrated learning program. One might ask what exactly this initiative is. The goal is very simple: the program will help ensure that students develop the foundational, entrepreneurial, and business skills required to secure meaningful employment in high-demand occupations in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business.

We need to work with colleges and universities to prepare the next generation of Canadians for the highly skilled jobs that are out there, and we need to ensure that Canadian employers can bring about and benefit from co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities. Under our government, more students and workers will have access to co-op placements, work-integrated learning opportunities, and summer jobs so they can get the skills they need and their employers need.

Let us take a moment now to talk about seniors. I have covered the extensive support we have provided to youth, and now I would like to turn my attention to seniors.

Seniors are among the most valuable members of our society. They actively contribute to their families, to our communities, and to our economy, but they can also be among the most vulnerable of our society, especially low-income seniors.

We are proud to report that Canada has one of the lowest rates in the world of seniors living in low income. Our latest numbers indicate that, in 2013, 3.7% of our seniors were considered low income. However, Statistics Canada tells us that about 192,000 seniors still live below the low-income cut-off. These valued Canadians are struggling to make ends meet at a time in their lives when most are not able to work. Our government believes that all Canadians deserve to live out their senior years with respect and dignity. They should also be able to have peace of mind knowing that their needs will be taken care of. We also have to keep in mind that the demographic composition of this country is changing very fast. I, for one, know that in the province of New Brunswick, where I am from, we are actually at the point that the death rate is outnumbering the birth rate. It is very concerning.

Predictions are that seniors will make up nearly one-quarter of the population by 2030. Millions more Canadiens will be eligible for the OAS and the CPP over the coming years. We are talking about hard-working Canadians who contributed to this country their entire lives and paid into the tax system. When they enter retirement, it is time for us to give them the support they need in recognition of the contributions they have made to Canada during their entire working years. That is where the old age security program comes in.

The old age security program, also known as OAS, has a clear purpose: to provide a minimum level of income to seniors and contribute to their income replacement in retirement. The OAS program is composed of a number of benefits. The first is the OAS pension, which is paid to everyone who is 65 years old and older and who meet the residence and legal status requirements. The second is the guaranteed income supplement for low-income seniors. The third is the allowances for low-income Canadians from ages 60 to 64 who are the spouses or common-law partners of GIS recipients or who are widowers or widows.

The previous government increased the eligibility age of OAS from 65 to 67 years old. These changes were set to take place starting in 2023. However, changing the age of eligibility is unfair to Canadians who have worked hard their entire lives and cannot, for a variety of reasons, continue to work at the ages of 65 and 66. This government will not leave low-income seniors high and dry at a time when they need our support the most. That is why our government set specific goals to support Canadian seniors and ensure economic security for them. (1045)

First and foremost, we have repealed the previous government's measures to move the eligibility age for old age security and the guaranteed income supplement from 65 to 67. This will put thousands of dollars in the pockets of the lowest-income Canadians each year as they become seniors.

We are not just maintaining the status quo. We are taking clear steps to help lift thousands of seniors out of poverty. In this spirit, we are increasing the guaranteed income supplement for low-income seniors by 10%. This will give one million of our most vulnerable seniors up to almost $1,000 per year. This is much needed support for our most vulnerable in our society. We will also consider a new seniors price index to make sure that the old age security and income supplement benefit keep up with seniors' actual rising costs.

Let us take a moment now to talk about the CPP, Canada pension plan, measures. Retirement income security starts with a good, stable, public pension program. This is more important than ever at a time when many Canadians are not saving enough for their retirement. In particular, middle-class families without workplace pension plans are at a greater risk of under-saving for retirement. A third of these families are at risk. While those in workplaces where pension plans are faring a little better, 17% ...”

Gérard Deltell (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s, the purchase of textbooks for school. This government that spouts lofty principles about helping families has eliminated a number of tax credits.

Worse still, the Liberals are all proud to say that they are spending $2 billion more than the previous government. Of course they are, they are creating a deficit. They are sending the bill to our grandchildren; they will be paying for it. Which brings me back to the picture I spoke of at the start of my speech. The Minister of Finance, surrounded by children. Of course, he told them that he will be sending them the bill later and that they are the ones who will be paying for his mismanagement.

Let us not forget that this government overlooked one small detail in its new family allowances. It forgot to factor in inflation. This is just a small detail. This small oversight turned into a $20-billion mistake. It is incredible. Any low-level accountant working for a small business, whatever it is, forgetting to factor in inflation would be quickly kicked to the curb. Now this government is patting itself on the back, pleased as Punch. They are the nice guys; they can do no wrong.[English]

It is totally unacceptable. To forget the inflation rate when a budget of billions of dollars has to be tabled is the proof without a shadow of doubt. The Liberals have no control when it comes to spending money. This is a signature of the Liberal government.[Translation]

It gets better, as the government's lofty principles do not end there. It claims Canadian workers pay less tax because it was good enough to think of the poor, hard-working folk and to punish the big bad one-percenters, those who make a good living, as if they were criminals. Come on, now! For my part, I dream of the day when the 1% will be the 10%, 20% or 30%. That is what we want. Why attack them from all fronts, on all sides?

Worse than that, these people say that they are the modern Robins Hoods, that they will make the rich pay for the less fortunate. What is the result of their tax changes, really? On Senator Larry Smith's initiative, the parliamentary budget officer was asked to assess the precise impact of these tax changes. The PBO revealed that 65% of Canadian workers saw no difference at all. Those earning $45,000 or less get $0. Those who earn $60,000 have $2 more in their pockets a week. Even worse, the biggest winners are those who earn between $140,000 and $200,000 a year. I admit to my conflict of interest, as I fall into that category of people, like every other MP. Indeed, MPs are paid handsomely. (1140)

That means this measure will benefit us the most. Those people are trying to tug at our heartstrings by saying they want to help the middle class. Well, I am sorry, but when the people earning $199,000 a year are the ones benefiting the most from these changes, that is hardly the middle class.

That is what we, as parliamentarians, have been working with up to now, so we are very concerned about what the government has planned for the budget it will be tabling tomorrow. We are especially concerned about three issues: entrepreneurs, Canadian workers and the management of public funds, and the potential sale of airports. Let me go over those one by one.

The government has been hiding the truth from Canadian workers. False promises, bad management, and saddling our children and grandchildren with crippling deficits is the name of the Liberal government's game.

Canadian workers who get up every morning only to watch half their paycheque drain away in taxes expect to get their money's worth. Eliminating tax credits for families, as we discussed earlier, does not help these people. Even worse are the new pension plan fees that will cost businesses an average of $1,000 more per worker. That is classic Liberal government.

The same goes for the Liberals' coast-to-coast carbon tax, which will hit taxpayers right in the pocketbook.[English]

Just to be clear with everyone, the best example of that is this. The government had a study done by the civil servant about the impact to the average Canadian of the Liberal carbon tax. I thank my colleague, the member for Carleton, who day after day in the House of Commons talked about the reality of the carbon tax cover-up. The government is not so proud of this study because, without a shadow of a doubt, it concluded there would be a lot of money to grab from the pockets of the people instead of helping them.

The carbon tax will have a real impact on the average Canadian. That is why this is totally unacceptable. I extend my thanks for the hard and good job of my colleague from Carleton who has raised the issue in the House of Commons day after day. We also had a debate on it a few days ago. [Translation]

Canadian taxpayers therefore have good reason to be worried about the Liberal government's upcoming budget. Let us talk about entrepreneurs.[English]

For us, the Conservative Party of Canada, entrepreneurs form the backbone of our economy. Those people create wealth. They create jobs. They are real actors for the wealth of the Canadian economy. We shall support them as far as we can. We do not want to make things difficult for them. We must help them. [Translation]

For us Conservatives, small and medium-sized business owners are the backbone of our economy. Need I remind the members of the sad day barely two years ago when the current Prime Minister said quite seriously that, as far as he was concerned, small businesses were a means to save on taxes or even evade taxes?

I understand that he was looking at himself in the mirror when he said that, but I would prefer that he respect those who risk suffering huge consequences and who are creating real jobs and real wealth.

What did the government do for those people? First, it eliminated a number of tax credits that helped stimulate economic activity for businesses. This government is going to increase pension fund premiums for every worker. Not only do employees have to pay $1,000 more for their pensions, but businesses also have to pay an extra $1,000 for each employee.

I would also remind the House that the Liberal carbon tax is going to penalize those who work to grow the economy rather than carbon producers. This is not the right approach, and we do not support it. This is why entrepreneurs ought to be supported, especially since the new American administration keeps saying that it plans to reduce fees and taxes for businesses.

Let us face facts: our Canadian businesses are going to go head to head with U.S. companies, which are both our main competitors and our main partners. They will be facing businesses that will see their taxes go down, while Canadian businesses will see theirs rise. That is not the right approach. We believe that the best way to help businesses is not to invent 36,000 programs, but to lower taxes. (1145)

Finally, let us look at airport privatization. This is worrisome because, to my knowledge, the Liberal platform did not include this measure. Every time the issue is raised, inside or outside the House, the government avoids giving a definitive answer: maybe yes, maybe no, maybe we will do this, maybe we will do that.

We are asking the government to take a firm position against this privatization. We must be vigilant. Let us keep in mind that starting on December 5, the Leader of the Opposition and I have asked about 20 questions in the House. The questions were about a possible tax on health and dental benefits. After he was asked twenty or so questions, the Prime Minister finally rose, here in the House, and said that the Liberals would not tax health and dental benefits. We were very pleased. Common sense had finally prevailed. However, six days after the Prime Minister said this, we had a vote on a motion that said exactly what the Prime Minister had said. What did he do? He opposed it. He voted against what he himself had said. What is the Liberal government's word worth? Nothing.

This is why we are concerned. When we hear the government say one thing, we know very well that it could do the opposite—not to mention that it got elected by promising to run small deficits, when in actual fact these are massive, colossal deficits, and the budget will not be back in balance until 2055. This is ludicrous, preposterous, and unacceptable.

What concerns us about airports?

Let us get one thing straight: airports are not corner stores. They are the gateway to Canada. The same goes for ports. There is an over-arching function to this kind of infrastructure that makes it different from the others. Moreover, Canadians have already paid, through their taxes, to develop the airports that we have today. If they are sold, the new owners will need to make money somewhere. This makes perfect sense in a market economy, of course. We have nothing against this principle, but can it be applied to airports? We do not believe so, because Canadians have already paid for airports with their taxes. By increasing fees and charges, this government will make Canadians pay twice for something they have already paid for. This is not the right thing to do.

We are not talking about jet-setters here. We are talking about average Canadians who go on pleasure trips with their families to see friends across Canada or abroad. Gone are the days when only the proverbial 1% trave...”

Greg Fergus (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... from under that. Now with the Canada child benefit in particular, which helps out more than 12,000 families in my riding, this is a huge initiative that allows people to take advantage of these tax-free benefits and, if nothing else, to do no more harm. At its best, I think it helps them find some financial freedom so they can do the things they need to do to raise their families properly and give their kids great opportunities to play around, to take part in school act...”

Francesco Sorbara (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...deteriorated service lines.

Commuters in Surrey, B.C., will get to spend more time with their families and enjoy a cleaner environment as a result of the expansion of key transit lines. These expansions will reduce travel times and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, something we all must applaud. In the north, residents of Iqaluit will benefit from a new secondary waste water treatment plant that will ensure cleaner water flows back into the environment.

Those are just a few examples of the outcomes we will see across the country.

With more than $10 billion announced in budget 2016, infrastructure projects across the country are already making a huge difference in communities. These projects include nearly 550 public transit projects, including the expansion of more than 80 transit systems that will make it easier to get to work on time, reduce pollution, and ensure that public transportation is there when Canadians need it; more than 700 projects under the clean water and waste water fund that will improve access to clean drinking water and reduce pollution in our lakes and rivers; more than 1,000 projects to retrofit or renovate social housing to repair more than 48,000 social housing units, which will make housing more affordable for families and more energy efficient to live in; and more than 950 housing projects in indigenous comm...”

Karen Vecchio (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... heard a great deal from the government about how it was planning to grow the middle class and help families. However, what did we actually see and what were the end-user effects?

As I have said often in the House, I am the mother of five children. Issues such as the cost of post-secondary education, employment opportunities, affordable housing and taxes are commonly discussed. I want to know that my children have a chance at a good future and a chance to have the same opportunities that I have had.

In a report circulated by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, we have seen statistics comparing 2012 and 2016 data. In 2012, 48% of respondents stated that they felt the next generation's standard of living would be lower. We have actually seen an increase in this number in 2016, and over 58% of Canadians now indicate that they feel the next generation's standard of living will be lower. That is a huge increase, especially when we see these elements that the government is pushing. This same document stated similar findings when asked, “Canadians are increasingly feeling left out of the middle class”.

In 2009, 63.3% felt they were part of the middle class, with 28.9% indicating they were in the working class or poorer. In 2016, just three months following the federal budget and changes to the Canada child benefit and to the tax rate, only 48% felt they were part of the middle class, and a hike to 44.3% felt they were part of the working class or poorer. To me, these are not good results. This document indicates that job insecurity is increasing, saving for retirement is harder, and the growth has not been inclusive.

I would like to focus on the future and on the future of our country. Tomorrow we will potentially hear about a plan focused on the national child program and social housing. We will hear from the Liberal government plans to create new jobs through innovation investments. We may hear how the Liberals are planning on selling capital assets to finance an infrastructure bank. And we will hear that Canadians will be burdened with more taxes, whether it is today or in the future.

The 2016 budget introduced the Canada child benefit, while eliminating the universal child care benefit and the Canada child tax benefit. We saw the cancellation of important tax credits to families, including the child fitness tax credit and arts credit. We saw income splitting eliminated for families. While some families may be receiving more money through tax benefits, is the government making a plan to help families in the long-term?

I am also proud to be from a riding with many smaller municipalities that rely on volunteers, volunteers who include firefighters. In this budget, I fear that important tax credits, including the tax credit for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue workers, will be eliminated. We have to think this. Without these credits, what will be the impact to municipalities like Central Elgin and the municipality of Bayham in my riding that have volunteer firefighters, who not only help with fires but as well the search and rescue missions on the shores of Lake Erie? What will these effects be?

There are also murmurs of the elimination on public transit tax credits, and extremely important in my community, the trades person tool deduction. At the end of the day, people will be paying more taxes.

Through the HUMA committee, we studied a poverty reduction strategy, and the committee is finalizing a report on the findings. Some witnesses clearly indicated that important factors such as skills development, high taxes and unreliable income were issues that were not being dealt with. When looking at some of the strategies that members of the government have spoken of in the past year, we see band-aid solutions. This will is not lead the country to growth and prosperity. We need solid plans, not just more spending.

The government promised to remove the cap on post-secondary education for indigenous people. We know that education will provide important skills development and knowledge that will help those living on a reserve. However, we have not seen or heard anything about about this important issued in the past 18 months. When reviewing the "Pre-budget tour: The State of the Middle Class", PowerPoint presentation put out by the minister, it notes that certain groups remain particularly vulnerable to poverty, specifically indigenous peoples on-reserve. Therefore, will the government do the right thing and remove this cap? (1230)

Youth employment is also a huge concern. In the 2015 election, the Liberal Party focused on youth employment, while scolding the Conservative government for its initiatives and belittling the efforts of the Canada summer jobs programs. Trust me, it happened in my own debates. However, in reality, increases to temporary work for summer students is all we have seen from the government. We need to ensure that we are looking at the labour force and matching it to the skills development. Has the government taken any of these steps to fill the gap in the labour force by ensuring we are graduating students from programs where employment opportunities exist?

I currently have two children in post-secondary education. I know the expenses that are incurred for each year of education, especially since we assist with some of those costs. Those costs include housing, tuition and food. My son pays $950 a month in rent in the city of Toronto so he can go to George Brown College. Each year, costs for each of my children are approximately $17,000. What are we doing to ensure that students have employment to assist not only in their current education, but down the road when they try to pay off these loans? Are we going to ensure that when our children graduate, there is actually going to be employment so they can get on their own two feet?

We know the best way out of poverty is a sustainable, reliable, and decent income. The most reliable method of gaining this income is through a job. We support job creation through tax breaks to small businesses, and avoiding needless government debt.

What is the government going to do to assist Canadians to get ahead? If we are looking at the government's record, we see the following: a decrease to disposable income through the Canada pension plan tax hikes; the cancellation of the small business tax rate; potential taxes on health and dental benefits; and potential user fees. The first three of the four points hurt employers. These employers are the people who employ Canadians in the private sector. It is the private sector that keeps our economy healthy.

According to a study published by the Fraser Institute, Canada has put itself at a disadvantage to attract and retain skilled labour, investment, and entrepreneurs, due to personal income tax rates that in response, truly failed to meet the expected increase in revenues to the government. Therefore, what we have seen is less revenue and more spending.

We have heard for months from the new administration in the United States that it will be focusing on lowering taxes and right now, we do not have a plan to compete with this new reality.

I live in a community with U.S. borders, both to the east and west of my riding, and along the 401 corridor. Over 500,000 vehicles per day travel this highway, with billions of dollars of goods transported through this corridor. My area is filled with agricultural producers and manufacturing facilities that rely on trade and export to the United States. If Canada cannot remain competitive, what will happen to these jobs and to the goods that cost more to produce in Canada?

We need to have a plan to be competitive, and I do not see the Liberal government creating a solid plan that can be implemented immediately. The government must come forward with a low tax plan to remain competitive that in turn will create high-paying jobs.

Just yesterday, I read a quote in the National Post. It said:

Middle-income Canadians may take comfort in the Liberal message, but this messaging hasn’t yet resulted in policies to increase median incomes. At some point, middle-class Canadians may start to wonder when the Liberal message will finally be backed up with cash.

To me, this means income and employment opportunities. I am concerned that the government's plan does not consider any of these factors and we are jeopardizing the future of young Canadians, families, and indigenous people. We need to ensure there is job security, the ability for businesses...”

Steven MacKinnon (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...tors with job training and an ability to grow our businesses in Canada. There is a renewed focus on families, with nine out of 10 families better off with the Canada child benefit, which they can now choose to spend as they wish. One would argue sometimes that this is a Conservative ideal, but I guess it is not something they can support because they voted against it.

My colleague is from southwestern Ontario. We have put all these measures in place that will help families in her very riding. Would the member not agree that these Liberal policies have been good f...”

Karen Vecchio (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, let me go back to the statistics I just read from the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. We have seen a 10% increase in the number of families that feel they are no longer a part of the middle class. If this program is working, then p...”

Dianne L. Watts (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...se call on the government to ensure that Budget 2017 includes: (a) no further tax hikes on Canadian families, businesses, seniors or students; (b) immediate measures to encourage companies to hire you...”

Dianne L. Watts (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s absolutely key to create that environment. The more the job creators are taxed, the more Canadian families are taxed, the more people will leave. They will leave to find better opportunities. That i...”

Raj Grewal (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ass. We have introduced a new Canada child benefit that gives more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families and lifts 300,000 children out of poverty. We have strengthened the Canada pension plan to ...”

Raj Grewal (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ell their constituents, when we on this side are helping the middle class by increasing support for families, that they voted against it? They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Linda Lapointe (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...mong the most important members of our society. As we all know, they are very much engaged in their families and contribute actively to their communities and our economy. That said, seniors, particula...”

Karine Trudel (NDP)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... to those who make more than $90,000 per year.

The government goes on and on about the checks families are getting and all the benefits available to them. Once children turn 18, what happens to ...”

Dan Albas (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... have a household headed for trouble. We should not lose sight of the fact that it will be Canadian families of the future who will be left to pay these bills. Again, with an aging demographic, it loo...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...vative Party, would have the government agree that there should be no further tax hikes on Canadian families, businesses, seniors, or students. That is a no-brainer. We have not seen a lot of economic growth under the Liberal government's tenure to date. It seems reasonable to ask the government to show Canadians that it is willing to make a commitment, ahead of its disastrous budget tomorrow, to stop the haemorrhaging and to stop raising taxes on Canadian families.

We are also asking the government to take immediate measures to ensure companies hire young Canadians and address the youth unemployment crisis. We know that economic growth has slowed under the Liberal government's tenure, and that the people who are most affected by this are young Canadians. Certainly, in my home province of Alberta, that crisis has been magnified to a very large extent over the last year and a half.

We are also asking the government to vote for a credible plan to return to a balanced budget by 2019, as the Liberals promised Canadians in the election campaign. They have completely abandoned this promise, and they are expecting Canadians just to turn a blind eye to it. The Liberals have an opportunity with this motion today to support that.

In this motion, we are also asking the government to not sell Canadian airports. The analogy I used this weekend on a television talk show is that it is as though the Liberals went to Vegas on a drunken weekend bender, got this massive credit card bill, have nothing to show for it except a hangover, and now they are selling Canadian airports to pay for it. We are asking the government not to do that.

That is the form and substance of the motion. Why is it so important that the government do that today?

First, I need to point out the higher tax burden that Canadians are paying under the Liberal government. We want the government to agree to stop raising taxes. Why? Since the Liberals have formed government, and because they have put in place higher Canada pension plan premiums, each Canadian household will pay about $2,200 more every year. That means $2,200 coming directly out of the pockets of Canadian families. For most Canadian families, that is a lot of money and the government has taken that right out of their pockets.

With the Liberals' national price on carbon, which we know will not actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will not do anything to help climate change, that means up to another $2,500 directly out of the pockets of Canadians.

The Liberals cancelled the family tax cut. We know that is about $2,000 per household. They cancelled the arts and fitness tax credit. That is about $225 a child. For a family that is trying to put their kids into hockey, that is a lot of money. The Liberals took that away, so effectively that is a tax increase. The other thing, which is especially for students, is that the government cancelled the education and textbook tax credits, which is another $500 roughly per student.

The Liberals also increased the small business tax rate. That is an average of $1,800 per company. They have also increased employment insurance premiums, which is another $85 per worker.

What is even more important is that the Liberals, if they refuse to stand up and say, “Yes, we agree. It is common sense, and we are not going to increase taxes on Canadians”, and I am not optimistic about it, then they are going to provide Canadians some assurances on what we are hearing is going to actually be in their budget tomorrow. We are hearing that tomorrow's budget will increase the capital gains inclusion rate. What does that mean? The Liberals are pre-positioning this with editorials in the Toronto Star and whatnot saying that the capital gains tax only affects the wealthy. (1350)

However, in reality, there are 1.2 million Canadians who earn less than $50,000 who take advantage of that tax credit. Many of them are low-income seniors. These would be seniors who had bought stocks in a company or something 20 or 30 years ago and are looking to divest some of that. They are going to have a huge tax burden. This is going to send a chill right across the economy. If this is in the budget tomorrow, my God. When we look at competitiveness with our neighbour to the south right now, this is just disastrous. It is not only disastrous for the economy, but it is directly disastrous for those 1.2 million people who want to become part of the middle class and are now not going to be able to afford to do it.

The Liberals are going to tax stock options for employees. We have heard about this. Ending the public transit tax credit is on the table, as is ending the volunteer firefighter tax credit. The Liberals have also been pre-positioning a tax on Internet services, like Netflix.

It is very simple for the Liberals to stand here and say, “We understand all of this damage that we have done to Canadian families, but we are going to give them a break tomorrow, and we are going to stand up and say that ...”

Dan Ruimy (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... our fellow cadets were among the victims.[English]

For over 40 years, these cadets and their families did not see the fair treatment or compensation they deserved. This month, the Minister of National Defence offered a formal apology, along with providing compensation for the former cadets and their families whose lives were changed forever by this tragic incident. [Translation]

The fight for...”

Colin Carrie (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... marks World Down Syndrome Day, a day where Canadians celebrate people with Down syndrome and their families, from coast, to coast, to coast.

Today serves as a platform to share information abou...”

Randeep Sarai (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...t is the number of lives lost last year in British Columbia to the opioid crisis, which has ravaged families and communities across British Columbia. Zero is the number of deaths that occurred at any ...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...erse this cold-hearted tax grab from the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families. The defence minister has indicated that only a small group will have their tax relief restored, while nearly 300 stationed in Kuwait will continue to pay the Liberal's tax for fighting ISIS. I urge all members of this House to stand tonight, on behalf of every member of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families, to ensure that they receive all the benefits, danger pay, and respect they deserve.”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s a break from the Prime Minister.

In the last budget, he hiked taxes on small businesses, on families, and on students, and then we got the national carbon tax and a payroll tax hike, but that ...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e money to nine out of 10 Canadians by stopping the sending of child benefit cheques to millionaire families, which the previous government did.

The fact is, on the tax cut for the middle class ...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ng to see this trend increase as warmer weather increases. Affected communities are very concerned. Families are concerned. Border enforcement issues are concerned. What is more concerning is that we ...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...iberals pulled away these benefits. Trying to pinch pennies on the backs of our troops and military families is wrong and it is immoral.

Will the defence minister support our Conservative motion...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ce to develop guidelines surrounding the reimbursement for travel by sitting prime ministers, their families, and guests. Prior to our government taking office, no such policy existed.”

Blaine Calkins (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, lots of Canadian families travel by plane on a special getaway once a year. On these flights, one could buy a sandwic...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...cil to develop guidelines surrounding the reimbursement of travel by sitting prime ministers, their families, and guests. Prior to our government taking office, no such guidelines existed.”

Mélanie Joly (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Canada 150 vision is rooted in our communities and designed for families right across the country. We are proud to have invested more than $130 million in projects ...”

Cathy McLeod (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls would lead to a brighter future, but families are losing patience. It has now been eight months, and we now hear that the commissioners only have 90 names in their database, yet hundreds and hundreds of families are waiting to hear from them.

The minister needs to take action. There are some very...”

Carolyn Bennett (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tragedy, we are confident that the commission has the tools, resources, and networks to provide the families with the support they need. I can confirm that government officials are scheduled to meet with the commission to discuss how best to utilize the information resources already provided.

We remain steadfast to our commitment and will continue to work collaboratively with all parties to ensure the commission is ready to hear from families this spring.”

Marc Serré (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ent of Canada understands how important mining exploration companies are to supporting middle-class families and indigenous communities and to building a clean, green economy.

Can the Minister o...”

Kent Hehr (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...th the private sector to build those bridges and get those opportunities for our veterans and their families to better their lives. We will continue to do that in our department.”

Marilène Gill (Bloc Québécois)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ment was to blame for the loss of 15,000 jobs in Quebec in one year. That means a lot of people and families, and many villages and regions are emptying out.

Among other things, our workers need...”

Julie Dzerowicz (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... in a career in trades because they provide good-paying jobs, which will help them to support their families and communities in the future.

The federal government is also addressing the importan...”

Julie Dzerowicz (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, when I was canvassing in the last election, I spoke to many families and many youth. They told me that education is expensive and that life is expensive. They w...”

Rachael Harder (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...se actions will benefit everyday Canadians.

One, we call for no further tax hikes on Canadian families, businesses, seniors, or students. Two, we call for immediate measures to encourage companies to hire young Canadians and address the youth unemployment crisis we currently face in our country. Three, we call upon the government to put a credible plan in place to return to a balanced budget by 2019, as was promised to Canadians. Four, we call upon the Liberals to halt all plans to sell Canadian airports to finance their reckless spending.

Today my Conservative colleagues and I are doing what we do each and every day in the House: we are standing up for Canadian taxpayers. We are standing up for those who work hard to make ends meet, to pay their mortgage, to put food on their table, to fuel their car, to care for their children, to enjoy life.

We are taking a stand for those who do not have a job but desperately desire to have one. We are taking a stand for the students who have invested countless hours of time and energy into earning a degree and who are now looking for meaningful employment. We are taking a stand for business owners who have taken risks for the sake of pursuing a dream and by doing so have created jobs and contribute to the well-being of our economy.

Today we are taking a stand for the young and the old and all of those in between. Not only that, we are taking a stand for the generations that are still to come after us, because when all is said and done, we recognize that the decisions we make today will impact those tomorrow. We must do all that we can to ensure a vibrant future for those who come after us.

Today we are calling on the government to join us in this endeavour, an endeavour that will serve each and every Canadian.

Although all points of the motion before us today are certainly worthy of attention, I will focus the majority of my time advocating on behalf of Canada's young people.

Since being elected by the people of Lethbridge 17 months ago, I have had the privilege of travelling from coast to coast to talk to young people across our country, and without exception, they have made one thing very clear to me: despite the finance minister's damning position on job creation for young Canadians, calling it “job churn”, it will not be tolerated by the rising generation. They are insisting that things can and should be different, and I agree.

Allow me to home in on my home province of Alberta for just a moment. It is no secret that Alberta is facing a jobs crisis. From 2015 to 2017, the unemployment rate doubled, going from 4.4% to 8.8%. Today 220,000 Albertans are out of work. Youth unemployment sits at 13.5%.

During November and December, I held six round tables throughout my province, where I talked to young people with regard to their job prospects. Overwhelmingly they reported feeling discouraged by the labour market and the lack of opportunities that are available to them. Many have worked hard to earn their degrees, and they would like the opportunity to use them. Others are seeking to save for their education, for travel, for a house. Others are looking for a job in order to provide for their families, and still others are just simply looking to pay the bills and get by.

The state of A...”

Frank Baylis (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Private Members’ Business

“...re in Quebec City, I attended a number of vigils that were held in solidarity with the victims, the families, and the Muslim community at large. At one of those vigils, I met the widow of one of the m...”

Peter Schiefke (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Private Members’ Business

“... are the lives of Canadian women, children, and men. They are our constituents, our neighbours, our families, our friends, and our fellow citizens. This cannot stand.

In my own community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, two faith leaders, of the Muslim faith and the Jewish faith respectively, whom I respect dearly, have shared with me their concerns about keeping their followers and institutions safe after receiving threats. In some cases, I am sad to report that these led to actual instances of vandalism. Nobody should feel threatened, insecure, or worried because of who they are, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

In 1971, prime minister Pierre Trudeau said that the freedom to be ourselves “must be fostered and pursued actively. If freedom of choice is in danger for some...it is in danger for all.” I wish only to humbly add that, if the will to defend and protect those who are most vulnerable and who are so often victims of discrimination is in danger, then we must do all we can to remind one another that Canada is a community of nations. That is a fixed fact. Therefore, to defend one community is a duty to defend them all. That idea is not new to either this chamber or this country.

In the past, I proudly rose and voted for similar motions condemning discrimination against the Jewish and Yazidi peoples. In February of last year, this House stood for a motion condemning anti-Semitism in Canada, as Jewish communities did face and continue to face ugly and un-Canadian hatred. A similar condemnation was passed by the House in 2011 on the attacks on Coptic Christian communities. (1910)

This government and the House did their parts then. It is time to rise once again and stand in solidarity with our fellow Canadians as we did in 2011, twice more in 2016, and so many times in our storied history.[Translation]

We have a duty at this time to support those in need, and this duty also extends to the next generation, that is, young Canadians. We must pass on a legacy that future generations will be proud of. This legacy begins with motions like this one, since the House is united in what is fair and what is needed.

If the House does not adopt this motion, it will be sending a clear message that Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination are not a real problem in Canada, and this lie will affect millions of Canadians.

As Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Youth, I work with young people because I am convinced that they can make Canada a better place to live for everyone. They are watching us right now. Young people want us to do what is needed and what is fair.

As a father, I want to leave a legacy that my children will be proud of, knowing that their Muslim friends and their families will have the support of the House, as was the case for Jews, Yazidis, and Coptic Christian...”

Greg Fergus (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Private Members’ Business

“... clear that I am a member of a visible minority. When I grew up in Montreal, I was one of two black families in our neighbourhood. It was a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood in Montreal. It was an anglophone Jewish neighbourhood, and we were one of two black families. I felt that I grew up in a minority within a minority within a minority within the larger ...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...litary personnel, recognizing the dangerous work they are doing, but is also about supporting their families back home. Military families are the enablers of our Armed Forces, and they are often dealing with all sorts of hardship...”

Jean Rioux (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...any times, and he knows how important these allowances are not only for our soldiers, but for their families back at home as well.

This is why Canadian Armed Forces members deployed abroad are e...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ly, this is about respecting the brave men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces, and the military families. It is one thing to put out all sorts of flowery language, but honestly, this is about lead...”

Jean Rioux (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...t sustainable solutions, it would rather play petty politics at the expense of our troops and their families.

The minister has become personally involved in this file. He knows what the families of our troops experience and he knows how tax relief and other allowances can help ease som...”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“....

We heard a lot about the disproportionate load of unpaid care that women tend to take on in families, whether it is early on looking after infants, or looking after aging parents near their en...”

Terry Duguid (Liberal)

March 21st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ritories.

Another key action by the federal government involves ensuring that women and their families have a place to turn in their moment of need through access to shelter and housing. The Min...”

Luc Berthold (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...To go back to Bill C-322, we have to look at the basic issue, the safety of Canadians and their families. At the moment, there are certain shortcomings in the bill. Clearly, we encourage people to...”

David Anderson (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“Mr. Speaker, last year, students from Eastend School committed to a We project. Because area families had relied on Ronald McDonald House in the past, they decided to fundraise so others could ...”

Majid Jowhari (Liberal)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... central and western Asia. This festival embodies a wealth of ancient traditions and is a time when families and friends join together at the haft seen table to celebrate new beginnings, exchange gift...”

Dean Allison (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ember put on by GlobalMedic where we packed welcome to canada kits for newly arrived Syrian refugee families. I want to note that the executive director of GlobalMedic, Rahul Singh, also spent some ti...”

Denis Lebel (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... government has lost control of spending and now it needs to create new revenues or cut credits for families. I can hardly wait for Wednesday's budget to see what cuts Canadian families will have to endure after losing their tax credits for sports and culture.

What new cuts will we see? What will these families be in for when they wake up Thursday morning after the budget is brought down?”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...to the occasion by implementing the Canada child benefit, which gives more money to nine out of ten families, while eliminating benefits for the wealthiest families. The Conservative Party voted against the Canada child benefit.”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...althiest 1% and put forward a Canada child benefit that gives more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families.

We have an awful lot we need to get done for Canadians to grow the middle class afte...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s for the wealthy.

We also created the Canada child benefit, which has helped nine out of ten families to raise their children. We have a plan, and we will continue to move forward. We are pleas...”

Alice Wong (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... own small businesses across our nation. It seems he will continue the attack on these middle-class families in the upcoming budget.

When will the Prime Minister end his attack on small business...”

Pierre Poilievre (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e Liberals admit that they do not know what the middle class is? However, this week the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development produced a diagram full of laser beams to clarify. In it, ...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rable seniors; and facts around the major impact that the Canada child benefit is having across the families of six million children in Canada.”

Romeo Saganash (NDP)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...believe that actions speak louder than words. To date, the commissioners have not even met with the families of the missing and murdered women. Today we learned that the commission has the names of only 90 participants. Why?

Why has the process not been announced yet? Why do the victims' families have to find the information themselves? The minister must ensure that all victims' families will be heard.”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the families of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls want justice, but they also want to be heard. Shockingly, the inquiry commission only lists 90 victims, and the government is refusing to provide additional names. The Native Women's Association of Canada has identified 4,000 victims, and we know that might be only the tip of the iceberg. With hearings scheduled in just eight weeks, is the government blocking information to the inquiry? Why is it not doing everything in its power so that all families can be heard?”

Carolyn Bennett (Liberal)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... ITK, and all of the organizations, are working in close collaboration with the commission, and the families will be heard.”

Mark Warawa (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present this petition on impaired driving.

Families for Justice is a group of Canadians who have had a loved one killed by a drunk driver. They...”

Linda Duncan (NDP)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...law and the erosion of democracy.

I met with representatives of the media, representatives of families who had been jailed, representatives of families who had been kicked out of the country. I heard concerns from human rights organizations. I...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...share that ideal and connection to the homeland of our baba and gido and want to make sure that our families' roots of the old country, as we always called it out in the Prairies, are never forgotten,...”

Linda Duncan (NDP)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ommunity and how stalwart it has been across the country in standing up and giving support to their families overseas. It is absolutely incredible and it keeps pressure on us, getting us to speak out....”

Cheryl Gallant (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...sion is concerned, my first concern has been and always will be for our Canadian soldiers and their families. This is a hot zone. Even before the announcement that Canada was extending the Ukraine mission, Petawawa was already preparing for a summer deployment.

On March 9, the Conservative Party, after months of giving the Prime Minister the opportunity to do the right thing, brought to the attention of Canadians the most recent example of how the Liberal Party devalues the dangers inherent in missions like the one we are debating today. The decision to claw back the danger pay of soldiers on the front line in the war against international terrorism has soldiers asking me if their pay will be cut by not receiving the proper recognition of being in a hot zone.

Soldiers remember being sent to Afghanistan without the proper uniforms. Soldiers remember their comrades from the conflict in Afghanistan who were killed or injured by a roadside bomb because the Liberal Party played politics with air support when it cancelled the helicopter contract. In fact, history repeats itself with the same type of politics being played with the fighter jet replacement. Without the proper strategic airlift to get soldiers off the roads, lives were needlessly sacrificed.

Soldiers are asking what else the Liberals will take away besides their danger pay. What happens when the injured soldier comes home?

I brought the case of Warrant Officer Roger Perreault to the floor of the House. His treatment has been nothing short of scandalous. What about the Roger Perreaults and other soldiers like him who are waiting to receive the critical injury benefits they so deserve? To the soldiers and veterans who are watching this debate, I want them to know I have their back.

As a veteran Conservative member of the Standing Committee on National Defence, I am pleased to confirm that through the defence committee, I have been pushing the government to accept the recommendations of the National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces ombudsman, Gary Walbourne, in the report presented last fall to the Minister of National Defence, “Simplifying the Service Delivery Model for Medically Releasing Members of the Canadian Armed Forces”. Specifically, soldiers need to know that if they are injured and no longer meet the universality of service requirement, the support is there.

Of the many problems that I am called upon to intervene in regarding service in the Canadian Armed Forces, the issues surrounding medical release are the most frustrating, both for releasing soldiers and their families. The need to provide the soldier a seamless transition has become an issue of crisis propor...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nger pay, tax benefits, and things provided to those in the armed forces and in support of military families back home that are dealing with long periods of separation from their loved ones who are de...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...abroad. Oftentimes we do not take enough time to appreciate the sacrifice of these people and their families in upholding the law and the Canadian vision of democracy and peace around the world.

..”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rease to 1.6 million Ukrainians without a home, orphans without orphanages to take care of them and families to love them, and widows begging on the street. Also, could she comment on how Canada could...”

Michel Picard (Liberal)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ividuals need support, especially since over 73% of those displaced people consist of single-mother families. Canada's humanitarian response involves meeting the needs of the most vulnerable, particul...”

Kerry Diotte (Conservative)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...fiercest defenders of the values all of us say we support. They are fighting for their lives, their families, their hometowns, their liberty. They want to be living in a free country that respects the...”

Daniel Blaikie (NDP)

March 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ent of the United States, that people crossing through farmer's fields during blizzards with their families is a perfectly status quo way for people to immigrate to Canada, when it is clearly not.

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...heatre of operations. It also takes into consideration the extra hardship that is placed upon their families back home, whether it is their parents, spouses, partners, or kids. They need to have the support because of the extra costs associated with their loved ones not being with them. These soldiers are gone for anywhere from six to eight months at a time and there are extra costs at home associated with things like yard maintenance, house upkeep, taking kids to hockey games, extra babysitting costs. Extra costs that usually do not exist are involved because of one of the spouses being deployed offshore.

This is about fairness. This is about making sure we have the benefits available to support the families who are at home. Without that family support, without that resource for the families, it is hard to find Canadians who want to serve and be deployed for the very reasons that we are talking about today.

Yesterday in the House, the minister was asked a question by the member for Lethbridge. The member asked whether or not there would be retroactive pay for those 15 members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are stationed at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. (1020)

I will quote what the minister said. This is from Hansard. He said:

I would also like to correct the member in terms of the previous government's actions on this. It actually sent troops into Kuwait without the tax-free allowance, something we had taken up.

That is the second time the minister has said this, and it is actually in contradiction to what the minister told me in the past in answering questions on the Order Paper. These were questions on the Order Paper that the minister himself has signed. It said we have documents signed and tabled by the minister saying that all Canadian Forces personnel serving at all Operation Impact Kuwait locations received tax relief effective from October 5, 2014, when we put our troops there, right to September 1, 2016, when he took that away from them. The fact is that tax relief was in place for the entire time we were in government.

Peter MacKay, one of our former ministers of defence, said this had come up on a couple of occasions in the past when we had troops in Afghanistan. The hardship panel, which is made up of civil servants from Foreign Affairs, Treasury Board, and National Defence, goes out there and assesses whether there is risk or hardship living conditions for which deployed troops should receive benefits. On the two occasions it came to the attention of Peter MacKay, he said no. He showed leadership. He said troops may not be down in Kandahar, but if they are up in Kabul they are still in harm's way and still supporting operations for our troops that are on the ground. That is leadership when someone just says no. It is a recommendation. It may be a policy decision by the civil service, but the minister always has the ministerial authority to say no, to say we are going to pay our troops equitably and fairly and recognize the danger they are in, in operations, and recognize the hardship their families are facing at home.

This decision took effect after our troops were already deployed, so they went over there on the promise that they were going to receive the tax breaks and the danger pay. It amounts to more than $1,500 a month, as high as $1,800 a month, which they lost after they deployed. They got there, and halfway through deployment, bang, the government made a decision. The minister did not stop it, and the money was taken right out of our troops' pockets, even though they were under the impression they were going to receive danger pay when they were at Camp Arifjan.

Family members started reaching out to us. It was first brought to our attention on September 2. One family member wrote that this treatment of our service men and women is embarrassing. Military life is exceptionally challenging: her husband makes far less money as a civil engineer in the army than he could in the private sector; their lifestyle is very unstable as they move often; and as he is regularly away for months at a time, her ability to build a career has been sacrificed because they are rarely in the same city for more than three years, and their ability to start a family has been inhibited again and again by the fact that her partner is away for extended periods of time.

She goes on to say that they choose this lifestyle anyway because they are passionate about Canada, a country worth working for, worth continuing to strengthen and build and worth sacrifice; and that to have someone pass a policy that impacts her family in such an essential manner without taking into consideration the implications on the families who readily sacrifice is shocking and disconcerting.

That was the first time we had o...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...cares about the men and women who are serving in the Armed Forces, it should support them and their families with the proper pay. It is unbelievable that there are members who sit on the other side in the government who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces and who are not out there advocating to correct this wrong. All members who serve, especially when deployed in operations, deserve to have the full suite of benefits provided to them as hardship pay and allowances. That danger pay is necessary not only for their own personal well-being and recognition of the sacrifice and danger that they are facing, but in support of the military families at home, the enablers of our men and women in uniform.

Therefore, I have to say this....”

Randall Garrison (NDP)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t the danger pay in the field but the supports the troops need when they get back, the supports the families need when people return home with PTSD, the supports our veterans deserve, and the supports...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...he tax reductions and the increased salaries of $1,500 to $1,800 a month in their pockets for their families. That is leadership. That is something I am proud of that we did as a government, and it is...”

Cheryl Gallant (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... share with the House the additional burdens that are borne by reservists, who not only leave their families but their regular, often better paying, jobs to serve our country.”

Harjit S. Sajjan (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... talking about how we care for our military family. That includes members' support networks and the families and friends who look after them. Members of the military can only perform well if they know their families are supported in their communities while they are away. Their families' welfare is critical to soldiers' peace of mind as they take on overseas assignments. I can attest to this myself.

The Canadian Armed Forces recognize the many contributions of military families and their vital role in sustaining our personnel. That is why the military family services program and the joint personnel support unit are there to keep families strong and resilient. The tools and services they offer address the various dimensions of military families' lives: physical, mental, emotional, and financial. The Canadian Armed Forces also provide access to a broad range of social support networks and professional counselling to aid families of ill, injured, or fallen because we want families to be in the best possible position to support serving members and each other.

It is difficult for people outside the forces to understand the strain on military families. One of the biggest issues they deal with is frequent moves. The government tries to offset the financial hardship that comes with moving under the Canadian Forces integrated relocation program. It provides multiple benefits to military families to pay for their relocation. As well, cost of living adjustments that reflect the realities of financial life in new locations help families when our members are on operations.

Another challenge many family members face is receiving health care as they move across country. Families of active military members do not receive medical care through the Canadian Armed Forces. Only Canadian Armed Forces members receive it. Their families depend on services provided by the provincial and territorial health care systems. They count on family physicians to make space for them in their practices, freeing up a spot, when one military family is posted, to make way for another. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of interest and support by community leaders anxious to rally behind our serving members and their families.

The Canadian Armed Forces' military family services team benefits from the backing of groups like The College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Canadian military and veteran families leadership circle, The Vanier Institute of the Family, and the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research. My wife is a family doctor and she, too, has been part of this, making sure that she educates other doctors on the challenges of military families so they take more military families into their practices.

The Canadian Armed Forces has joined forces with these organizations to develop educational tools for health practitioners across the country. For instance, I recently helped to launch the “Family Physicians Working with Military Families” physician guide. It was developed to give physicians insight into the challenges facing military families to help doctors provide compassionate and patient-centred care. This will go a long way to ensuring members' families receive the support and services they need.

Equally important is caring for loved ones returning from military missions. Transitioning back to civilian life is often difficult, especially when a member is ill or injured. The Canadian Armed Forces work with Veterans Affairs to improve services for ill and injured military members, veterans, and their families. We are currently looking at what more needs to be done as part of the defence policy review. The Canadian Armed Forces also provide leadership in the area of mental health. We have made significant investments to help people at risk for mental health problems to provide them the assistance they need. (1055)

There is no question that we live in challenging and risk-filled times. Just as there can be no doubt about the bravery, commitment, and sacrifice of members of the Canadian Armed Forces who take those challenges on, there is also no doubt that those who dedicate their lives to keeping our values and sovereignty secure deserve the best services, the best care, and the best support possible to help them do their jobs.

Our government's response to the motion before us today reinforces that we all agree that the men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces deserve the best. Neither can there be any debate that this government is committed to supporting our troops, aviators, and sailors, both here at home and wherever they are deployed around the world. Care for forces members is a priority for our government, for our Prime Minister, and for me. We work to keep our service personnel and their families safe and secure wherever their job takes them.

I urge all parties to join us as we su...”

Randall Garrison (NDP)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...g what situation they will be in with respect to compensation, because it has a big impact on their families.

Obviously, the minister has some work to do before we send troops to Latvia, which, again, we have all-party support for doing, but let us make sure they know what they and their families can count on before they go on that mission. The same would be true before we take on an Af...”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...evels of the military, it is something we hold close in our hearts, as we know it is our family and families across Canada who send their family members to represent Canada in the Armed Forces. We can never underestimate what a sacrifice that is, not only for our men and women in uniform but for the men and women who support them.

It is an honour to represent 19 Wing Comox, and it is also deeply humbling. It is the backbone of the community. It is a reminder every day of the protection we enjoy. It is also a reminder of the duty these brave men and women bring to the fabric of our country. It is a reminder of the miracles achieved, even with the constant struggles of underfunding and lack of proper equipment. I deeply admire the tremendous efficiency of the military. It is also a reminder of the close-knit families and the bond that makes Comox so beautiful. It is also a reminder of all of those we have lost.

I have had the chance to forge a relationship with the wing commander in our community. I deeply appreciate the patience and understanding, as I have been taught so much about what happens in our riding and the impact it has on our community.

The battle against ISIS is about intelligence on the ground. I am so proud of the air crews from 19 Wing Comox who are directly involved in Operation Impact, which is Canada's military contribution to the Middle East stabilization force. We are talking about the 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron, which is an integral part of 19 Wing Comox.

With CP-140 Aurora aircraft, our fighting chances are much stronger against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the Republic of Iraq. The CP-140 Aurora aircraft from 19 Wing will undertake important intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions as well as provide overland strike coordination and armed reconnaissance coordination that will provide critical information to the coalition forces. If required, they can provide search and rescue missions. As of March 4, 2017, Aurora aircraft have conducted 732 reconnaissance missions, and I am incredibly proud of that work.

Our priority in this House is to make sure that those who serve in the Canadian Forces have the training, equipment, and support they need to deal with the difficult and dangerous work we ask them to do on our behalf every day. Unfortunately, successive governments have failed to deliver proper funding to the Armed Forces to sustain the types of deployments to which they are assigned and to make sure they have the resources they need to fulfill their role and to keep themselves safe. This includes the government delivering on efficient procurement and on increasing major capital investments in the Canadian Armed Forces as a whole.

It has been a wonderful experience for me to represent my riding and the base that resides in it. I have had an incredible opportunity to tour the facilities and to meet so many people who serve us. I have been impressed by the military's flexibility, how hard the members work to make sure that Canadians are protected every day, and the pride with which they do what they do internationally. They do not give up. They make things work, regardless of how hard that may be. (1125)

It is not just about equipment. The government must also ensure adequate support services are in place for the returning troops to receive the assistance they may need. Just last night this House voted on Bill C-211 on post-traumatic stress disorder. I was very happy to see this bill move forward and have the chance to be studied in committee, so we can develop a comprehensive federal framework on post-traumatic stress disorder in Canada. This is so important to supporting our men and women in uniform, and also to supporting their families that face challenges when they come home.

Recently I had the opportunity to represent Canada at a NATO update. One of the things that I came away so proud of was the incredible reputation of the Canadian Armed Forces. We heard again and again about the willingness, the flexibility, the high level of standards and training that our men and women in uniform have. It just made me feel so proud.

We know, every day, that when we stand up in the international world, we can be proud of the people who serve this country, because they have stepped up for us again and again. I think it is so important that we need to make sure we are helping save lives on the ground now by addressing the deepening humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria and Iraq.

Canada should be a leader in alleviating the suffering of civilians caught in this conflict. Again, what we heard repeatedly is that across the world people who are in crisis trust our amazing soldiers who stand up every day. I think it is important that we look at ways to welcome refugees coming to Canada, especially when we look at the reality of the American President backing away from his country's commitment to refugees. Canada must raise its humanitarian aid to refugee camps in the region, especially in Jordan, as the refugee crisis has continued to bring the Jordanian government and society to the brink of collapse.

This mission requires clarity. I do not know if the Conservatives, while in power, were very honest about the mission from the very beginning. They misled Canadians about our soldiers being involved in the ground combat and failed to make a case for Canada's military involvement.

Now we see the current government following in those footsteps with the latest announcement on the changes to Canada's military role. When the Prime Minister made the initial announcement, he left more questions than answers regarding our role in the fight against ISIS. With increased boots on the ground at the front lines, as the Prime Minister has indicated, we now have to see what commitment Canada has made to a larger military role with no end date and no parameters to define success. It is only right that our men and women in uniform know what they are being asked to do, and know what success looks like.

With Canadian troops deployed in conflict zones, those on the front lines engaging enemy forces should receive the extra tax benefit that previous deployments have received. Canadian troops have seen armed combat in this deployment, yet the government calls this mission advise and assist. We really need to know the truth here. If Canadian troops are engaged in combat operations against Islamic State fighters, how can the government justify taking away the combat tax benefit to our deployed troops?

I just want to close by saying this. I am so proud to see that all members around this House are going to support this motion moving forward. It is so important that, when we ask our men and women in uniform to potentially make the ultimate sacrifice, and when we ask those families to let them go to other countries and face huge challenges, we need to support them in the best way and make sure those families are provided the support they need.”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t the realities that our men and women in uniform are facing and what those challenges mean for the families.

It is true that, when troops come home who have dedicated their lives to fighting for their country, they want to make sure when they get back that the people here appreciate it, and when the government has asked them to make that sacrifice, that it is there to support them in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, in the last while, we have seen continuous cuts to veterans affairs, we have seen services on the ground removed, and we have seen more and more vulnerability for those communities, groups, and families. Absolutely, we need to do better. We hope to see the offices open and those services and s...”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... any of us. This is about veterans on the ground who are struggling every day to survive, and their families are struggling with them. Therefore, we cannot make this about our egos and what we think t...”

Cheryl Gallant (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...of death is very real. The $1,800 per month the Liberals are ripping away from our troops and their families is peanuts to the government compared to the absence of a loved one who is proudly serving his or her country; that loss is priceless. Also, it is peanuts compared to the billions of dollars that are being wasted on the Prime Minister's foreign aid vanity projects.

When the former Conservative defence minister faced the same problem in Afghanistan, he cut through the bureaucratic red tape to ensure our troops would not get shortchanged. (1140)

In 2014, before our troops were ever deployed to Kuwait, our Conservative government ensured they would be qualified for full danger pay. I invite Canadians to fact-check Finance Canada's website.

Liberal apologists are just plain wrong trying to insinuate blame to others for this outrageous clawback policy. The first cuts by the Liberals were done on September 1, 2016. The talk on the military base in Petawawa is to get ready for summer deployment and members are asking me if their pay will be clawed back, if they will have proper uniforms, remembering the decision by the Chrétien Liberals to send soldiers to Afghanistan without proper uniforms, and what else the Liberals will take away.

If the defence minister does not stand up to the Prime Minister's puppet master and take action now, a lot more troops on other missions will be impacted starting this summer. It is wrong for the Liberals to take away $1,800 a month from our troops who are in harm's way. The members of the government really need to ask if the cost of buying a seat on the United Nations Security Council is worth the price of cheapening the lives of our soldiers by clawing back danger pay.

Liberals have no problem borrowing billions, but they undervalue the women and men serving in uniform. When will the defence minister stop funding the Prime Minister's out-of-control spending on the backs of our troops? The defence minister, I want to say, is a proud veteran and should know better than anyone how important danger pay is, not just to our brave women and men in uniform, but to their families back home as well. Soldiers who lived through the decade of darkness of military cutbacks knew that Liberals would cut defence spending when they got in again, but they did not ever imagine that the Prime Minister would literally do it on the backs of military members and their families.

On behalf of the women and men in uniform, I am asking the defence minister to quit taking his marching orders from the Prime Minister, fight for our troops, and reinstate all of the danger pay and benefits for all of our troops who are in the fight against international terrorism. I am proud of the work that our soldiers are doing, especially the special operations forces on the ground today, as well as the air combat mission that is taking place based out of Kuwait.

As a member of Parliament whose riding includes Garrison Petawawa, Canada's largest military base and home to the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, I am very sensitive about the treatment of our soldiers. The soldiers and their families are extended family to me. In our community, we share the highs and the lows and, at the end of the day, we stand together.

When the member for Vancouver South was named defence minister, there was hope among our women and men in uniform that maybe, just maybe, by appointing somebody who had actual service in the military reserves, the Liberal Party was trying to make amends for the decade of darkness. The decision to clawback the pay of soldiers serving in a war zone and the mistreatment of injured veterans has eliminated any goodwill the government may have had when the member for Vancouver South was first appointed defence minister.

The disgust of all things Liberal held by the members of the military community who lived through the decade of darkness and the politically motivated decision to disband The Canadian Airborne Regiment has transferred to a new generation of soldiers. Let us not forget the veterans' disgust at the way tomorrow's veterans are being treated. Veterans are not interested in hearing how many new bureaucrats have been hired or that empty offices are being opened in government ridings. They are not interested in listening to the Liberal Party fight the last election using the same tired campaign rhetoric that was used to confuse veterans and their families.

Mindless talking points scripted by the Prime Minister's Office are not acceptable to veterans. Veterans want action. Veterans are not interested in the fake promises of the Prime Minister. Under the Liberals, our troops feel like they have been kicked in the stomach and their families feel cheated. I call on the Liberal government to finally do its job, reverse that abhorren...”

Blaine Calkins (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... our being away from our homes, because those resources from our pay and salary need to support our families back in our ridings where we actually live.

This is the exact same issue. It is a different way of dealing with it, but it is the exact same issue. These men and women put their lives on the line to serve us. We can have debates about whether or not they should or should not be in a particular theatre of operations, but that is not the point. The reality is these soldiers in the Canadian Armed Forces are deployed right now and 15 of them have lost this benefit going back to September of last year. Another 300 of them are slated to lose these same benefits this year. This is absolutely unacceptable.

We need the House and Liberal members to take the bull by the horns and realize the solution is simple. Ask the Minister of National Defence and ask the Minister of Finance, simply with the stroke of a pen, to fix this problem. This is what happened when the Conservatives were in government. It was brought to the attention at that time to the minister of veterans affairs, the minister of defence. “When the interdepartmental committee recommended the same benefits be stripped” this was back when Stephen Harper was the prime minister, “from our troops who were serving in Afghanistan, we cut through the red tape to ensure these troops received exactly what they deserve”.

I will quote what was said at the time, because the folks who were in charge at the time actually had a compass on this issue. They knew what the right thing to do was. They did not run and hide behind the rules.

“This decision about hardship and risk pay was made by officials; we believe it is incorrect, and the government intends to re-examine it.” This is from the press secretary of former defence minister Peter MacKay on April 10, 2013. “This decision was not appropriate, and we are asking for this decision to be reviewed”. This was said by the then veterans affairs minister on April 10.

“Our troops left with an agreed-upon salary, including risk benefits for those missions, and now halfway through their deployment this government is making significant reductions to the income on which they and their families depend.” That was said by Liberal Senator Roméo Dallaire. (1155)

When our troops...”

Pierre Nantel (NDP)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...h the current government's attempts to pinch pennies when it comes to health care and our military families' peace of mind? Are we not lying in a bed that his party made when it was in government?

Pierre Nantel (NDP)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ry familiar with the reality facing our soldiers, at least with respect to military bases and their families.

We will recall that a while ago there were disagreements about the interpretation of...”

John Brassard (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...m a monetary standpoint is ensure that they get what they deserve and, more importantly, that their families get what they deserve.

I am our party's critic for veterans affairs and I sit on the veterans affairs committee. We have heard a lot of testimony dealing with the transitional aspects of moving from military life to civilian life, PTSD, and occupational stress injuries and how they affect the mental health of our soldiers. These have an equal effect on their families, families that are struggling day in and day out dealing with the fact that their loved ones are deployed overseas, not knowing what they are doing and the dangers they are facing. Think of the added stress on those family members when they are not being compensated in the manner in which they should be.

As I was listening to the debate in my office this morning, I went through some figures. This issue really came up in February, although it has been ongoing since last September. Our defence critic has been speaking to the minister about this. He initiated an Order Paper question. I looked at the numbers this morning and found that, since February 15, almost $1.3 billion has been doled out by the Liberal government for various projects across the country, and that does not include the $650 million that was issued yesterday for reproductive and health issues. The retroactive cost of this benefit to the men and women who serve our country is roughly $3 million, and since this issue came up, the Liberal government has doled out $1.3 billion and $650 million yesterday.

Why? That is the question. Why are we not looking after our men and women in uniform? A simple stroke of the pen would solve this issue. To the families who serve, we have an obligation to help them while their men and women are serving overseas.

What does it say to the families of our men and women who serve, and to those who served, when our government will not look after their financial needs? Not properly compensating them, in this case with respect to tax-free allowances, somehow diminishes the risk that they face overseas. I would suggest that it causes incredible distrust of the government. It causes morale issues among those who are serving. In fact, it would cause morale issues for those who are here at home. It also affects recruitment and the ability to attract people to our Canadian Forces. What does it to say to our recruitment efforts if the government is not going to look after our members and diminishes the role they play by not properly compensating them? Why would I want to get involved in the Canadian Forces if I think that my government does not have my back if I am deployed, and more importantly, it does not have my family's back if I am deployed? It is a great cause for concern.

This is the third time I have said this today. We are spending all day debating this. This issue has been going on since last September. The government has said that it is doing consultations and that it is going to review it. One stroke of a pen would solve this issue.

I am asking the government, on behalf of the families of Canadian Forces members, on behalf of those who serve so bravely, to resolve the problem...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...like to thank him for that and for his advocacy in veterans affairs.

Does the member feel the families that are in his riding are being supported, given the many outreach efforts we are making to get this right? Could the member explain what he thinks we could be doing to make sure those families that are affected by this are supported?”

John Brassard (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...this. I think all of us would agree that we need to correct what I would call an injustice to those families and those who are serving. A simple stroke of a pen could solve this problem. The Minister of National Defence could go to the Minister of Finance, use his ministerial authority, and it would be completed.

On the issue of families and what we need to do to support our members, I think the hon. member brought up a critical point. We need to understand that, when members of the Canadian Forces serve, it is not just they who are serving. It is not just they who are paying the price. Their families are paying the price; their spouses, their children are paying the price.

I have had the opportunity to visit many resource centres across the country, including Base Borden, close to home. I will say that there is a significant attempt among those who are involved in those military resource centres to make sure they help our families. However, at the end of the day, and I think all hon. members in this House agree, we need ...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...both financially and emotionally that is borne by our men and women who are over there and by their families back at home.

Bureaucrats might be sitting in the government lobby right now looking at some sort of technical matrix around risk assessment levels. I am looking at the fact that American soldiers are getting this. I am not quite sure about the difference in salary levels, fair enough, but they are certainly getting tax exemption status.

I pulled up our travel advisory for Kuwait. It talks about a high risk of terrorism. This is not an environment that we would perhaps willingly go into that our men and women in uniform are going into, so this small tax exemption is something that is absolutely reasonable. Going back to my earlier statement, it shows that Canadians understand the true cost of bearing this burden by our men and women in uniform.

I have a few other points, very quickly. The government is probably going to post a budget with close to a $50-billion deficit. To my colleague's point, I cannot understand why it would not, with a stroke of a pen, support our men and women in uniform with this decision. There is precedent for this decision. When we were in government, we had a similar discussion around troops who were deployed in Afghanistan. A decision was made to do essentially what the motion today calls for.

The one thing I want to highlight that was really concerning for me is that the decision to revoke this tax benefit was made after troops had agreed to deploy. In cutting the benefits, the Liberals have cheated our troops and their families out of hard-earned money that they expected, counted on, and deserved. I cannot imagine sending someone out to serve in such a stressful situation, asking them to serve our country and to acknowledge the fact that Canadian freedoms are not a static thing, and then say, “Oh, by the way, a committee of bureaucrats has changed your risk level and you're not getting this, what you budgeted for”.

Our men and women in uniform and their families have to make tough decisions when it comes to budgeting. For some people in the chamber, $1,500 to $1,800 a month might not seem like a lot, but it sure is to the families of these people.

It is really shameful that we are having this discussion here today....”

Sven Spengemann (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ition to civilian life.

These measures are taken so that injured or sick CF members and their families have access to benefits, services and compensation.[English]

For other soldiers, the return home can, in and of itself, be a significant stressor. Readjusting to life in Canada and reuniting with loved ones after experiencing radically different realities can be hard, so the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces make sure to provide adequate support at that point as well. Within three to six months, members have a post-deployment screening with physical and mental health professionals, whose role is quite simply to make sure that they are well in all aspects of their lives, to help them transition to a normal life, to rebuild healthy relationships with their families, and to help flag any signs of an operational stress injury.

For serving members who ...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...enefits for recognition of the risk the troops were facing and in recognition of the hardship their families were going through as they were deployed overseas? Does she believe the minister should hav...”

Todd Doherty (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ews is that the change will not take effect until June 1, 2017, allowing time for members and their families to adjust to this decision. How kind of the Liberals. Instead of taking time to reflect on this choice, the Liberals came up with an equally appalling solution. Instead of restoring the benefits that our troops at Camp Arifjan deserved, they decided to revoke the benefit for all our troops that were battling ISIS. I understand, through the debate, that the Liberals are reconsidering and re-examining this, but I would challenge them to agree to our motion and keep this benefit in place.

The arrogance of the Liberal government is unprecedented. The Liberals are rolling back the tax relief for our men and women who protect our Canadian values, those men and women who ensure Canada remains “The True North, strong and free”. These men and women of our Canadian Armed Forces volunteer to leave their families as they travel abroad to perform dangerous work and put themselves at risk in the service of our country. They miss important milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, births, and deaths.

Instead of providing compensation that is a drop in the bucket for the tax-and-spend Liberals, they are choosing to take away from those who voluntarily sacrifice their lives. Instead of thanking our troops, they are telling our troops that are deployed to foreign third world countries that they are not in enough danger to justify $1,500 or $1,800 a month in additional finances. (1330)

I would like to use statistics because they tell the real story. Here is one for the House. During the last break week, from February 24 to March 5, Liberal MPs travelled throughout Canada on taxpayers' dollars spreading fluff and flowers all across the way and announcing 188 loans, grants, contributions, and government contract awards worth a combined $1.25 billion. I will repeat that for the record, $1.25 billion. Now they are going to trumpet it and say that they are spending dollars and they just announced another $650 million to be spent abroad, when indeed those who are in harm's way here at home and those who are most vulnerable and those who are wearing the maple leaf on their shoulders and protecting and promoting the maple leaf and all of our Canadian values abroad are being told that they are going to receive a pay cut. It is shameful.

The Prime Minister felt it necessary to cut the tax benefits of our military. This is simply unacceptable. The Liberals have known for months now that the Canadian troops who are deployed in the fight against ISIS have not been adequately compensated for the hardships and risks associated with their deployment and yet the decision was still made to cut this financial aid while the troops had already agreed to deploy. In cutting this benefit, the Liberals have cheated our troops and their families out of hard-earned money that they expected and counted on, and most of all, that they deserve.

I was not a part of the last government or the one before that, but all I have heard today and in recent months is that whenever the Liberals have to justify some of the things they are doing, they always like to say that Prime Minister Harper and his government started it and the Liberals are simply following through. They like to point fingers. It is a smokescreen and it is unacceptable. Liberals knew about this. If they believed the words coming out of their mouths, they would stand up for those who are putting their lives in danger for our country and our communities, but I guess it is acceptable to treat our heroes the way the Liberals are treating them. (1335)

Last night, something remarkable happened. The House stood in unanimous support of my bill, Bill C-211, and collectively we sent the message that we in the chamber value the brave men and women who serve our country and our communities. Collectively we have provided hope and I look forward to working with all colleagues to ensure Bill C-211 is strengthened where necessary and passed as quickly as possible, because with every minute, every hour, every day wasted, we are losing lives.

Over the course of the preparation for Bill C-211, I heard tragic stories from the men and women who have served our country proudly. Their stories were deeply personal and will sit with me for the rest of my life. I also had the honour of meeting with surviving friends and families of those who we lost in combat and those we lost here at home because we failed to live up to our responsibility in ensuring our soldiers are whole, that they are healthy, that they have every opportunity to integrate back into our communities and to provide for their families. I am going to say again that they are not healthy. There is tremendous stress placed upon our soldiers and their families when they are deployed, emotional, physical, and financial stress. We need to ensure that we provide every tool possible for our soldiers to be successful in their mission abroad and their mission here at home.

Taking away this tax credit from Canadians who have answered the world's call and are serving our country without hesitation is shameful. It flies against what we all stood together for here last night and against the message that this chamber delivered to all of the Canadians who were tuning in and to members of our armed forces, our brave men and women who put the uniform on every day to serve all of us and our families.”

Todd Doherty (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...not as risky as it was first thought. They are still at risk. They are still not at home with their families. They see the value going out the door. They see the money that is being spent overseas, yet it is not going toward helping to protect them and their families. That is shameful.”

Garnett Genuis (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e of danger pay is to recognize the added challenge, stress, and potential impact on them and their families associated with being in this kind of position. It is to recognize that and to properly com...”

Jean-Claude Poissant (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...porting our local producers.

If we all bite into an apple together, we will show all Canadian families that we—”

Robert-Falcon Ouellette (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...s of this House, know the importance that the uniform carries and the weight that it bears on their families, friends, and communities.

Every day men and women of our search and rescue community...”

Jean Rioux (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ional Defence, who has recognized the government’s responsibility to support the survivors, their families and the estates of those who died from the accidental explosion of a grenade at Valcartier ...”

Georgina Jolibois (NDP)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...irst nations and remain a dark chapter in Canada's history. Children were forcibly taken from their families and homes for the exact purpose of trying to wipe out their languages and their identities....”

Carolyn Bennett (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...t all Canadians can work together to advance the shared journey of reconciliation.

Survivors, families, and communities are still dealing with the intergenerational trauma resulting from Indian ...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... lowered taxes on the middle class. That is why we introduced the Canada child benefit, which helps families with children who need it the most. That is why we recognize we can have a sustainable envi...”

Brigitte Sansoucy (NDP)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ège des médecins du Québec have already expressed support for this. While this government waits, families are suffering to the point of ending the lives of their loved ones.

Will this governm...”

Rachael Harder (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Liberals continue to make life unaffordable for Canadian families. With previous tax hikes that have taken place, it leaves us wondering, with the minister saying that everything is on the table, what is next for our Canadian families.

Stories are coming out every day with regard to potential tax hikes that we could be...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...about the wonderful work the government is doing to support middle-class Canadians and middle-class families.

It is this government that has put in place the Canada child benefit program that ha...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...]

The government recognizes the hardships military life places on those in uniform and on the families that support them. They say that when members serve, their families serves along with them. I could not agree more. We want to give them the compensation and benefits that reflect the demands placed on them by their service.

The military is staffed with talented, passionate, and driven people. Those who put on a uniform do it because they want to serve their country. It is not a job; it is a calling. [Translation]

The amount of money soldiers receive is commensurate with their skills, education, and training, not to mention the fact that they put their lives at risk. Technicians and experts need special training to do their work. In the civilian world, such specialized training would result in a higher salary. The same is true in the military. Men in women in uniform must also be compensated for the additional costs imposed on them by military service.

Every member of a military family will say that moving to a new home every few years is part of their life. Moving is a difficult and expensive process for everyone. Frequent moves are a particular burden that members of the armed forces have to deal with. They are hard on soldiers and their families. We want to help them to be able to better manage these difficulties. The government tries to offset the financial burden that comes with moving from one city to another, such as the loss of capital from selling a house, the real costs of moving and any associated costs, such as travel and meals.

Through the Canadian Forces integrated relocation program, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and airwomen in Canada receive more benefits to help cover the cost of their relocation. The relocation also takes into account the variations in the cost of living in the country. A dollar in Vancouver does not get you as far as a dollar in Gagetown does.

The location of the assignment should not affect the soldiers' quality of life. That is why we provide Canadian Armed Forces members a cost-of-living adjustment to ensure that they can make the most of their hard-earned pay. (1520) [English]

The last thing Canadians want is to have those who serve proudly in our military pay extra because of their sacrifice. Canadians care about the Canadian Armed Forces. We do too. That is why we provide them with world-class compensation and benefits when they are in service, but we do not stop taking care of them when they leave. [Translation]

For many veterans, serving in the forces was their one and only career. Leaving the Canadian Armed Forces and making the move to civilian life can be difficult. The government and its partners offer several transition programs to help members be successful in civilian life. We want them to find new careers that make the most of their work ethic and dedication. The second career assistance network program is the main program offered by the Department of National Defence to help our men and women in uniform prepare to find a civilian job.

The program helps them prepare for job searching, determine the professional path that is best for them, and map out their long-term professional goals.

The government's relationship with private partners opens even more doors. Private programs such as the transition assistance website links soldiers with partners in the business community who want to help.

The helmets to hardhats program helps veterans find work in the construction industry with the help of labour unions. Operation entrepreneur provides training, funding, and mentorship to soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen leaving the armed forces and helps them start a small business.[English]

Transitioning to civilian life is challenging enough. It is even harder when a member is ill or injured. We want members to have fulfilling lives and careers after their service, where their injuries do not hold them back.

Taking off the uniform is not always an easy decision for Canadian Armed Forces members or their families, so the Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Minister of National Defence are working together to close the seam to ensure a smooth transition for members and their families.

In addition, the vocational rehabilitation program prepares Canadian Armed Forces pe...”

Robert Kitchen (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ry family. I wonder if she could comment on what she might perceive some of the effects would be on families when decisions like this become all of a sudden thrown in their laps.”

John McKay (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s a member of the Canadian Postal Corps, ensuring deployed personnel could keep in touch with their families back home.

The Canadian military has a proud history, one that we all should take som...”

Dean Allison (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...they were going to lose a tax benefit, which provided $1,500 to $1,800 per month for them and their families, saving more than $9,000 each over the course of a six-month tour.

If that was not enough, the Liberals went ahead and cancelled the benefit for all Canadian troops in Kuwait as of June 1 of this year. This was done, according to the Liberals, because it is not dangerous enough for our troops to receive this benefit while they are stationed in Kuwait and fighting ISIS in Iraq. I have to repeat this for everyone to really hear it, because it is so stunning. The Liberals ended a $1,500 to $1,800 per month tax benefit, essentially danger pay, for all Canadian troops serving in Kuwait and fighting ISIS.

Removing danger pay does not seem wise when the Minister of National Defence's own parliamentary secretary admitted that “...it is true that our soldiers will be at greater risk”. This refers to the Liberal's decision of February 2016 to put more troops on the ground in the fight against ISIS. More troops on the ground means greater risk. This was acknowledged by the Minister of National Defence who said, “Our people will be in close proximity to the dangers inherent in the region”. Now we are seeing the defence minister take away danger pay for our soldiers serving and fighting in that very area.

One of our Armed Forces members serving in Kuwait said that he believes that the Canadians are the only ones who will not be getting this tax break. When I first read this I thought that I had not read the report correctly. However, to my shock, I found out that it was indeed true. I could not understand why the Liberals would do this. To serve as a comparison, the United States provides tax exemption status to its fighters that are fighting ISIS. It is no surprise that one of our soldiers said that it felt like “we got kicked in the stomach”.

Do the Liberal government, the Liberal defence minister, and the Liberal members of Parliament want our troops in Kuwait to feel like they got kicked in the stomach by their own government who sent them into harm's way to flight a murderous, genocidal enemy? Right now, that is exactly the way it feels. (1545)

We can also listen to Glenda Lindsay, the mother of one of our affected soldiers, who said that she feels as though her son is being cheated. She said, “They're cutting corners at the troops' expense”. Ms. Lindsay has also started an online petition to help rectify this major error on the part of the Liberals. Petition e-882 calls upon the Government of Canada to immediately reinstate and retroactively pay back the tax relief measures for all troops deployed in Operation Impact. I encourage all Canadians watching and listening today to go online and sign their name in support.

Let us face it. As we are sitting here discussing and debating, those soldiers are fighting for our very right to do so. They are defending our right to have this debate in an open, tolerant, accepting society. Our troops will be fighting an enemy that hates these very values and is willing to die to destroy that throughout the world. What do our soldiers get for fighting this enemy? A well-earned and much-deserved tax benefit of $1,500 to $1,800 per month was taken away, just like that. This makes no sense. There is simply no logic to explain why the Liberals are doing this.

Our men and women in uniform volunteer to serve their country against all sorts of threats, in all sorts of dangerous environments, and it is difficult to think of a more dangerous mission than the one now being fought against ISIS. Members of our Armed Forces leave their wives, husbands, boyfriends, or girlfriends to travel abroad to perform extremely dangerous work and put themselves at risk in service to our country. They often miss their children's birthdays, their own wedding anniversaries, and their kids' graduations. Family members of those deployed to Camp Arifjan reached out to MPs to express concern and in search of explanations. They said this treatment of our service men and women is embarrassing. Why would the Liberals even consider taking a tax break away from any of our troops, especially those fighting ISIS?

What also shocked me is that the Liberals have known for months that the Canadian Armed Forces members deployed against ISIS have not been adequately compensated for the hardship and risks associated with their deployment. To be clear, the decision to take away this tax credit was made after the troops had agreed to deploy. What this means is that the Liberals have cheated our troops and their families out of hard-earned money, money that our troops and their families expect, count on; and to be very clear, it is money our troops and their families deserve.

If all of this money is being borrowed on the backs of our future generations, why are the Liberals penny-pinching when it comes to our men and women in uniform? Just yesterday the Liberals decided to spend another $650 million in other countries, but they away tax benefits from our soldiers fighting ISIS. I am not sure I can quite understand the logic of that. Do our soldiers need to transfer and serve in the armed forces of other countries to be properly compensated? I do not think that would be the case.

When I first read the reports of our troops losing this tax benefit, I thought it was definitely bad news and something I could not support. To make matters worse, when we brought it up in the House, the Liberals decided that the best solution to this issue was not to restore the benefits but to revoke them for all our troops fighting ISIS. I thought to myself, what about my son Andrew? As I mentioned earlier, he joined the reserves and has been training. What if he had been in Kuwait and he had lost his danger pay because the government did not think it was dangerous enough to fight ISIS? How would all of us in this place think if it were our sons or daughters who were serving? What would we want our government to do if we were in the same position?

When we were in government, a similar issue came up in relation to our troops in Afghanistan. What we did as a government was very different from what the Liberals are doing. We cut through the bureaucratic red tape, and made sure our troops got the support they deserved. We did the right thing for our men and women, and although we are no longer in power, we will continue to do right by our men and women in uniform. We ask the other side of the House to join us.

We have been listening to the families of those affected. We have raised the issue on multiple occasions. The Prime Minister and his Liberal MPs have no excuse. At this time, the Prime Minister has plans to deploy more troops to dangerous missions in Africa. It is very clear that he is interested in winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council. The Prime Minister and his Liberal MPs should not be penny-pinching when it comes to our troops.

Let me end with family members of deployed soldiers at Camp Arifjan, who said in correspondence with their MPs that this is a country worth working for, worth continuing to strengthen and build and worth sacrifice; to have someone pass a policy that impacts their family in such an essential manner without taking into consideration the implications on the families who readily sacrifice is shocking and disconcerting.

We call upon the government to f...”

Robert Kitchen (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nly occurred after the troops were already deployed, and without any notice.

Immediately, the families of these soldiers began reacting, reaching out to their members of Parliament to express their frustration and dismay that this promised benefit was taken away without any justification for doing so. These families were counting on this benefit to help support them while their spouses were far away from home, serving their country.

In my youth, which was just a few years ago, I was one of these family members, which is why this issue resonates deeply with me, but I will touch more on that later.

Once this matter was raised by Conservative members of Parliament, we took action. We listened to the concerns of the troops' families and committed to standing up for them and to representing them in a way the Liberals refused to do.

In November 2016, the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman sent a letter to the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Finance asking that they look into the issue and ensure that all troops deployed on Operation Impact received equitable benefits.

A few days after this, he raised the issue directly with the CDS at his appearance at the Standing Committee on National Defence. The following month, he raised the issue again with the Minister of Defence at the same committee. The minister responded along the following lines:

For the specific ones that you're talking about, there is some work that the military has to do with Treasury Board as well, but we are working through the complexities based on how this is done to make sure there is more equity for our troops when it comes to deployments.

Finally, in January 2017, the departmental hardship and risk committee announced to the troops that in its December 2016 quarterly meeting it was determined that all tax relief measures to CAF members deployed to Kuwait under Operation Impact would be cancelled and that this change would take effect on June 1, 2017, to allow members and their families to adjust to the decision.

This is absolutely unconscionable. These brave men and women were being given this tax relief because they are putting their lives on the line to serve their country every day. Instead of doing the right thing, which would have been to reinstate the tax benefit after the initial 15 troops lost it back in September 2016, the Liberals have decided to end it all together.

When Canadian troops are deployed, there is an inherent risk associated with that. These risks can mostly be broken up into two parts. The first part deals with what we, and most Canadians, traditionally see as the dangers of being in a combat zone, such as the risk of coming under enemy attack. This is not just a concern for the front line. It affects all troops who are deployed, as they could potentially become soft targets for attacks, including mortars and suicide bombers.

As an example, when our Canadian Forces were deployed to Afghanistan, the high-risk area was deemed to be Kandahar, while Kabul was considered less dangerous. In Kabul, our troops would regularly leave their compound in order to go to the military hospital in Kabul. They would work there during the day and return to their compound at night. My brother, when he was performing these duties, fortunately had no incidents while he and our troops were there. However, as many members likely know, there was an attack on that very same hospital just two days ago, where an ISIS bomber and others dressed up as doctors in white clinic jackets entered and shot and killed 38 people and rising, and wounding many more.

That is just one type of risk that our men and women in uniform have to consider when they are volunteering to deploy. Other risks include environmental risks and diseases. Kuwait is a hot climate and there are diseases that exist there that we are fortunate not to have to worry about here in Canada, such as malaria. (1600)

The drugs used to protect our troops against malaria can have major side effects, as well. Our soldiers need to be protected, but they also need to feel as though their country understands and appreciates the risks that they are taking to serve. By taking away measures that provide tax relief for them and their families, we are doing the exact opposite of recognizing the sacrifices they have made.

I would like to acknowledge that while these troops are deployed, their quality of life changes dramatically. My father was a major general in the Canadian Army, and there were years when my entire family spent time following him around the world to his various postings. I recall that when we lived in Pakistan, the temperature was often so hot that it felt like going out into a blast furnace every time we stepped out of the air-conditioned building.

Our soldiers are expected to be able to work long hours in these conditions, often carrying equipment and gear such 40-pound rucksacks, sometimes seven days a week, for weeks on end, with limited time off. They deserve to be compensated for this, and I cannot understand how the Liberals do not recognize that.

One important aspect that needs to be considered in all of this is the effect that the removal of this tax benefit will have on the families of our troops. When my father was deployed to Cyprus in 1966, my family faced a number of challenges while he was gone. My mother had to step into the role of both parents, and as a child l keenly felt my father's absence. He was not around to help me with my schooling, to watch me play the sports I was so passionate about, or to teach me those day-to-day life lessons that are only available when someone is there, physically, in front of us.

After my father and mother passed away, I came across some of the letters that he wrote to her during his deployments. In them, he expressed his concerns about being away, and he expressed how he was trying his best to figure out how he could help with raising their four children while he was not around. He would indicate the friends and colleagues my mother could contact for help where possible.

One of the issues he brought up was finances. It is something that every household has to deal with, but it becomes infinitely more difficult when one parent is away and often unreachable. I strongly feel that anything that can be done to help our soldiers and their families ease the burden of deployment should absolutely be done. It is shocking that the Liberals do not seem to feel the same way.

One of the roles that I am honoured to hold in Ottawa is that of vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. We regularly hear from veterans of the Canadian Forces who have been deployed to high-risk areas such as Kuwait. One of the recurring things that we have been told is that when it comes to dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs, there is a huge level of distrust. Countless veterans have expressed their frustrations surrounding promises that have been made and broken by the federal government, time and time again. They are tired of hearing platitudes being dispensed by ministers when there is little or nothing to show for it at the end of the day.

Some veterans who struggle with PTSD are even triggered by receiving an envelope in the mail from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is called “brown envelope syndrome” and it is real. (1605)

When the government makes decisions unilaterally and without warning, such as ending this tax benefit, it shows our Canadian Forces members that there is reason to distrust those who are meant to be helping them.

The ending of this tax relief measure for our troops could have been easily resolved back in September 2016. The Liberals could have recognized the error and reversed the decision that took away the benefit for the 15 troops in Kuwait, troops who were already deployed when this decision was made. Instead, they chose to end the tax relief measure for all troops stationed in Kuwait.

The risk in Kuwait is still real. On Canada's travel website, travellers are warned "you should exercise a high degree of caution due to the threat of terrorism." I cannot comprehend how the government can say this, and still deny that our soldiers are at risk due to these same factors.

In making the decision to cut this benefit after the troops were already deployed, the Liberals have cheated our soldiers and their families out of hard-earned money that they expected, counted on, and deserve.

In conclusion, ...”

Robert Kitchen (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“..., that is true I was an army brat. I did not spend a lot of my time on the bases, as many soldiers' families do, but I was fortunate enough to see a lot of the world and I have benefited immensely fro...”

Robert Kitchen (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... they had committed to deploy and were in theatre. That has a huge effect on the soldiers and their families when all of a sudden they are being told that now it is being taken away from them. That tr...”

Cathay Wagantall (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... this tax benefit was made after the troops had agreed to deploy, adding additional stress to their families back home and causing deep frustration for these soldiers while deployed.

The Minister and many Liberals rising to speak today are doing doublespeak when they claim the troops were deployed without benefits.

On record, the minister tabled a response to an Order Paper question on January 30, in which he stated, “All Canadian Armed Forces personnel serving at all Operation IMPACT Kuwait locations received Tax Relief effective 5 Oct 2014...to 1 Sep 2016”.

In February 2016, the Liberal government made changes to Operation Impact that clearly made the mission more dangerous. It withdrew our six CF-18s, and increased the number of troops on the ground.

The minister stated the following in the House of Commons on February 17, 2016, “Our people will be in close proximity to the dangers inherent in the region. There may be times when they will have to defend themselves, their coalition partners, or the forces they are mentoring.” However, his department decided they did not deserve this risk tax benefit.

Since September, families and the soldiers who have been deployed have been reaching out. Our official opposition critic, the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, has responded with a letter calling upon the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Finance to rectify this unfair decision. He raised the issue directly with General Vance and again with the minister himself at the Standing Committee on National Defence.

Ultimately what is the outcome our soldiers are facing, and why did we feel this motion needed to come before the House?

The departmental hardship and risk committee, in its December 2016 quarterly meeting, announced to the troops, not the public, that all tax relief measures to CAF members deployed to Kuwait under Operation Impact would be cancelled as of June 1, 2017, to allow members and their families to adjust to the decision. That sounds like it is full of mercy, but clearly that would not be the case for most families in this circumstance.

This is so in line with the fears and concerns raised with me by veterans in my riding of Yorkton—Melville when they recalled the frightening decade of darkness under the previous Liberal government. Knowing the tax-and-spend ideology of the Liberals, they were afraid that if the they were to form government, they would again fund their extravagance on the backs of everyday Canadians, and our Canadian Armed Forces specifically.

Here we are, looking at my grandchildren reaching the ages of 33 to 45 before the government will supposedly bring in a balanced budget while also bearing a $1.5 trillion debt.

The supposed infrastructure stimulus has yet to have any impact on the Canadian economy. The lowering of taxes for the middle class, while raising taxes on the wealthiest 1%, has failed in two ways. It is costing Canadians $1 billion annually because it is not revenue neutral, as the Liberals had promised in their campaign. The government has removed tax credits and increased taxes on those who can least afford it, effectively penalizing Canadians to lower take-home pay, with no hope of reaching that non-defined Liberal middle-class marker.

Entrepreneurs, our economy builders, along with every household in the country, are being burdened with a carbon tax that increases the costs of absolutely everything, and that will also not be federally neutral.

Significant volumes of Canadian taxpayer dollars are being spent outside of our country by the government to build the Prime Minister's good will with the United Nations. On top of that, as of yesterday's announcement, it is making an ideological shift in the reorientation of Canada's foreign aid strategy, committing $650 million on sexual and reproductive health rights worldwide (1645)

In plain speak, this means the Liberals are intending to legally challenge 125 countries worldwide, mostly in Africa, Latin America, Southern Asia, and the Middle East, where abortion is illegal, where women, their cultures, and the governments do not want it to be part of their maternal health plans. The government will be funding advocacy groups that will work to remove judicial and legal barriers, including the anti-abortion laws in many of these countries.

Perhaps it is time for big brother to come home and to start to focus on the needs of Canadians. If going into a spiralling debt is valid by spending the hard-earned money of Canadians overseas, where is the funding that is needed for 132 drinking water advisories in 89 first nations, and for even more advisories in rural communities in Canada? Where is the funding that returns growth to our small businesses and dependable jobs for our youth, rather than leaving them hanging with no hope but to job churn into the debt-laden never land? Where is the funding for procurement so our armed forces on land, air, and sea can protect our sovereignty and democracy long into the future, rather than reducing their capabilities and losing the deep respect our allies have for our willingness to fulfill our obligations to combat terrorism around the world?

I am glad the motion has the support of all parties in the House. However, as has been said, motions are only carried so far, that it requires more after that. Therefore, I am glad to hear we are all in agreement that this is something we need to do.

However, our armed forces need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when they deploy to train, protect, and fight on our behalf on dangerous combat fields, we have their backs and will not demoralize them or their families by not providing the danger pay and tax benefits they deserve. Canadians want them properly...”

Cathay Wagantall (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... these people were putting everything on the front lines and putting everything at stake with their families for us. That is why this circumstance needs to be rectified, and it needs to be rectified n...”

Luc Berthold (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ds.

These people expect to be treated properly, particularly when they put their lives, their families’ health and their relatives’ health in danger simply by being in danger zones.

The decision to eliminate this tax exemption, which may be worth almost $10,000 for a six-month period, is making soldiers angry, as well as putting their families in danger. Their families sometimes have trouble making ends meet when their breadwinner is away from Canada for six or nine or even 12 months, in some cases, not to mention the problems associated with distance and worry. (1700)

The men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces leave their families voluntarily. They travel abroad to do a dangerous job and they expose themselves to risks. ...”

Luc Berthold (Conservative)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... mistake in 2019. That is the only answer I have for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development for Housing and Urban Affairs.

What I want to say is...”

Adam Vaughan (Liberal)

March 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...find themselves in harm's way on peace missions, wherever they are deployed to make sure that their families are taken care of, that the reward for their sacrifice to this country is properly acknowledged.

There are systems in place to measure and to distribute this income to these families and to deliver the salaries and from time to time they need to be modernized and revised, especially in a world where conditions can change on what looks like a rescue mission that suddenly can become a civil war that suddenly becomes something even more catastrophic than that.

We have to redesign and rethink sometimes the policies that provide compensation to members of our armed forces. This is clearly the situation we find ourselves in now. This policy has existed since 2003. It is largely administered and assessed by an ongoing process inside the Canadian Armed Forces. When we discovered what had happened, we took steps to rectify the situation and made a commitment to the House and we will follow through on that commitment because we have the responsibility to do that not just as a government, but as parliamentarians.

We have challenges and those challenges need to escape the prism of partisan politics sometimes, although we have our fun across the floor, and we need to understand that this commitment to families is a sacred one, just as our commitment to veterans is a sacred one. We can all up our game...”

Alaina Lockhart (Liberal)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rs to wear their ribbons next week to affirm their commitment to keeping all Canadian farmers, farm families, and farm workers free from injury.”

Judy A. Sgro (Liberal)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... has become one of the largest building trade unions, with some 150,000 Canadian members. These are families who contribute to Canada by working each day to build something we can all be proud of.

...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... our system of bail to do justice in this country. It is important that we keep our communities and families safe. It is important that we protect victims. It is important as well that we uphold the C...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... have moved forward on many different measures that will put more money in the pockets of women and families, and by making sure that our most vulnerable seniors, two-thirds of whom are women, will be...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...alities create the opportunities and growth that they would like to create; and working better with families with children through the Canada child benefit. When it comes to the member's question, the...”

Georgina Jolibois (NDP)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls feel they are being left in the dark when in fact they should be properly informed and involved in every step of the inquiry. Worse, northern families do not have access to proper information due to unreliable Internet and other crucial services.

How will the Prime Minister ensure the commitments made to all indigenous families affected by these tragedies are involved and feel like true progress is being made?”

Cathy McLeod (Conservative)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d phoning my office every day. They simply want to know who is responsible for these facilities. If families and patients have complaints, they are lost in an accountability fog. Either the government...”

Jane Philpott (Liberal)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nd reproductive rights.

Access to birth control is of fundamental importance to the women and families of Canada, to be able to control their bodies, to be able to control their reproductive rig...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ional housing strategy that will have a significant impact on the living conditions of our Canadian families, especially those who are most vulnerable.”

Marc Serré (Liberal)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... petition concerning the unreliable land-line service and the impact this has had on the community, families, and businesses in the area. It is unacceptable in 2017 that residents in Canada do not hav...”

Ted Falk (Conservative)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rstood that our ultimate responsibility was to protect Canadians from those who would do us and our families harm.

Providing law enforcement and national security agencies the necessary tools to...”

John Nater (Conservative)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...y precise area, and that is being a long-time Liberal? He comes from one of the most famous Liberal families in Ontario.

Mr. John Barlow: Infamous.

Mr. John Nater: I would not say “infam...”

Brigitte Sansoucy (NDP)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“Madam Speaker, on November 15, I asked the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development if the Liberal majority would support Bill C-245, which I introduced in the House to develop a poverty reduction strategy. The bill responded in every respect to the mandate letter that the minister received from the Prime Minister.

The minister told me that the government was in the process of creating a poverty reduction strategy in Canada. What we did not realize is that the Liberals were going to vote against Bill C-245, shutting down what could have been a real policy to fight poverty, one that would help us avoid delays and improve quality of life for the less fortunate in our society more swiftly.

In that question, I also talked about the report from Canada's food banks. They had just tabled their report stating that one million people in Canada needed to use food banks. The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities is currently studying poverty. The study began in September and will wrap up in June. Representatives from Canada's food banks came to committee and told us that they would like to see a poverty reduction strategy by October 2017.

With the protracted consultations, I am not sure we will meet that deadline. However, adopting Bill C-245 would have made it easier. When we say one million people in Canada, we are talking about one in eight families. That is a lot of people who often have to choose between eating or paying rent.

As part of this study on poverty, we went to Medicine Hat, in Alberta. Two directors of a food bank told us that they were working every day to ensure that one day their food bank would not be needed. We all want a society where we no longer need food banks to feed families.

We will also remember that Statistics Canada just told us that the two richest men a...”

Adam Vaughan (Liberal)

March 8th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...s government is committed to reducing poverty and improving the economic well-being of all Canadian families so they can have a real chance to succeed. Our government is working on its first-ever Canadian poverty reduction strategy. The strategy will provide alignment with, and add to, the initiatives this government has already launched in the last budget and the strategies that already exist at both the provincial and municipal levels, as well as within our first nations communities and governments.

As part of the Canadian poverty reduction strategy, we launched two important initiatives that will support this development. These include a national consultation process and the implementation of an advisory committee on poverty. Through the consultation process, Canadians have the chance to share their opinions and their suggestions for more effectively tackling poverty. They can do this through an online consultation, which also includes discussion forums.

We are also holding in-person round tables with businesses, community organizations, academic experts, and, most important, Canadians with a lived experience who have come through or championed themselves as they succeed despite the poverty they may have endured.

We will also collaborate with indigenous organizations to ensure that the voices of first nations, Inuit, and Métis people are heard through this process.

For the advisory committee on poverty, I invite all Canadians with experience in poverty and with poverty reduction strategies to share their views and apply online at Canada.ca to take part in the selection process. This committee will help identify the best ideas resulting from the public consultations and will also provide expertise and independent advice to the minister.

There is more. Our government has also launched the tackling poverty together project that was done earlier this year in Saint John, New Brunswick. This is an important research project that is currently under way. It is dedicated to understanding poverty and identifying what can be done to lift Canadians out of poverty from coast to coast to coast. The results from the project, which will also involve case studies in six distinct communities across Canada, will help us better understand the impact that poverty is having and opportunities for poverty reduction programs in different communities that have identified poverty as an important issue.

Furthermore, our colleague knows that we have already announced important measures, for example, in budget 2016, that will reduce poverty among children, seniors, indigenous peoples, and all Canadians in need.

These measures are not limited to, but include the following: increasing the guaranteed income supplement with a top-up of almost $947 annual for the lowest-income single seniors, most of whom are women; cancelling the Conservative increase in the age of eligibility for OAS, changing it from 67 back to 65, again helping hundreds of thousands of Canadians; introducing the tax-free Canada child benefit, which is better targeted to those who need it most, low- and middle-income families and, most important, poor families across this country, to prevent them from falling into poverty. We have also doubled the in...”

Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nd equitable tax environment that works well for our workers, those less fortunate, and the poorest families in our country.

Let us put things in context. We live in a society where every year w...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... rate since 2014.

Since the Canada child benefit was introduced in July 2016, nine out of ten families are now receiving more money than they did under the previous system, or nearly $2,300 more on average in 2016-17. Parents with children under 18 will receive annually up to $6,400 more per child under age 6 and $5,400 more per child aged 6 to 17.

Whether these additional funds are used for things like buying school supplies, covering part of the family grocery bill, or buying warm coats for winter, the Canada child benefit helps parents cover the high cost of raising their children. (1045) [English]

As announced in budget 2016, the government is currently conducting a comprehensive review of the federal tax expenditures. It is doing so in recognition of concerns that have been expressed regarding the efficiency, fairness, and complexity of the tax system. The objective of this review is to ensure that federal tax expenditures are fair for Canadians, efficient, and fiscally responsible for all. External experts have been engaged to provide advice to the Department of Finance. This approach ensures the review is informed by a range of perspectives.

I can assure all hon. members that the government remains committed to ensuring federal tax expenditures are doing what they are meant to do and that they are doing it to help middle-class Canadians. In addition, the government is committed to strengthening efforts to combat international tax evasion and avoidance, and we have taken, and will continue to take, this important step and actions to do so.

These efforts help protect the revenues base and give Canadians greater confidence that the system is fair for everyone. Canadians work hard for their money, and the majority of Canadians pay their fair share of taxes. However, some wealthy individuals participate in complex tax schemes to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. This is unacceptable, and it needs to change.

The Government of Canada is working hard to crack down on offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance in order to ensure a tax system that is fair and responsive for all Canadians. In budget 2016, we invested $444 million over five years for the Canada Revenue Agency, better known as the CRA, to crack down on international tax evasion and combat tax avoidance.

These investments by the government are enabling the CRA to hire additional auditors, develop robust business intelligence infrastructure, increase verification activities, and improve the quality of its investigative work. These new investments to support the CRA's effort to crack down on tax evasion and combat tax avoidance are expected to generate around $2.6 billion in taxes over the next five years.

In April 2016, the offshore compliance advisory committee was created to advise the Minister of National Revenue and the CRA on strategies to combat offshore tax evasion and avoidance. However, we also recognize that assessing tax revenues alone is not enough. Once we do an assessment, we need to be able to collect the unpaid amounts. That is why budget 2016 invests an additional $351.6 million over five years to improve CRA's ability to collect these outstanding tax debts.

Canada has been a very active participant in international efforts to address tax evasion. Canada is an active member of the Global Forum which was established to ensure that high standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes are in place around the world. Canada has developed an extensive network of bilateral tax treaties and tax information exchange agreements which provide for the exchange of information that could be extremely critical in investigation processes.

Another international development with regard to addressing tax evasion is the new common reporting standard developed by the OECD and endorsed by the G20 leaders. The standard provides a framework under which information on financial accounts in a country held by non-residents will be automatically shared with tax authorities of the jurisdiction in which the account holder is a resident. Legislation has now been adopted to implement the common reporting standard in Canada, starting July 1, 2017, joining more than 100 other countries.

With our partners in the G20 and the OECD, Canada has been an active participant in the multilateral project to address base erosion and profit shifting, BEPS. BEPS refers to aggressive international tax-planning arrangements undertaken by some multinational enterprises to inappropriately minimize their taxes. Budget 2016 announced a series of actions Canada is taking to implement recommendations from the BEPS project. (1050)

First, Canada has enacted new legislation to require country-by-country reporting for large multinational enterprises. Second, the CRA is applying revised international guidance on transfer pricing. Third, we participated in international work that developed a multilateral instrument to streamline the implementation of treaty-related BEPS recommendations, including addressing treaty abuse. Finally, the CRA is undertaking a spontaneous exchange with other jurisdictions of certain tax rulings.

Going forward, the government will continue to work with the international community to ensure a coherent and consistent response to the BEPS. The government is also taking action in other areas to protect the integrity of Canada's international tax rules. In particular, budget 2016 introduced measures to extend the application of the income tax back-to-back loan rule to royalty arrangements, and to prevent unintended tax-free cross-border distributions of capital to non-residents.

The government has also agreed to strong standards in support of corporate transparency in both the Financial Action Task Force and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

I would like to point out that the proceeds of crime—also known as money laundering—and terrorist financing regulations include requirements for the collection of information on beneficial owners of corporations. Furthermore, the government recently took action to enhance corporate transparency by prohibiting the use of bearer shares.[Translation]

I would now like to draw attention to some of the government's investments that provide a great many Canadians with more equitable opportunities for success.

Last June, the government reached a historic agreement with the provincial governments to improve the Canada pension plan. This agreement followed a review conducted by the Department of Finance to determine whether families approaching retirement were adequately prepared for retirement.

Finance department officials found that around one in four families approaching retirement, namely 1.1 million families, may not save enough to maintain their current standard of living. This is very troubling. Middle-income families are the most at risk. Families with no workplace pension plans are at an even greater risk of not saving enough for retirement. In fact, a third of those families are at risk.

The government is aware of the need to help Canadians invest more. Armed with a higher level of savings, they would be able to more confidently envision their future and their ability to enjoy their retirement years with dignity.

Our government is particularly concerned about the situation of young Canadians, who are likely to be more exposed to market risks and, in most cases, will live longer than previous generations. Young people are faced with the challenge of trying to save enough money for retirement at a time when fewer of them can expect jobs that come with a workplace pension plan.

In short, the actions that our government has taken reflect our commitment to helping the middle class and those working very hard to join it.

In this context, the government firmly believes that the best way to increase prosperity for more Canadians is to invest in today's economy. This is why the government has made targeted investments totalling $50.2 billion over six years as part of budget 2016. These investments will ensure stronger growth right now and increase the long-term growth potential of the Canadian economy.

We have forged ahead in the knowledge that when Canadians achieve their full potential they can build a better life for themselves, their families, and entire communities. In doing so, they are building a better and stronger Canada for current and future generations. (1055) [English]

As Canada's population ages, our prosperity will increasingly depend on young Canadians getting the education and training they need to prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow. That is why, in budget 2016, we increased the Canada student grant amounts for students from low- and middle-income families, as well as part-time students. As a result, more than 360,000 students across Canada will ...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...usands of children out of poverty, and it has made a clear difference in the lives of many Canadian families.

When it comes to our seniors, we have made again some significant investments to hel...”

Dan Albas (Conservative)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...tion by making it more difficult to start and run a business. We know that high taxes hurt Canadian families that are trying to build a brighter future for their children.

If we want to stop driving families and businesses out of this great country, we need to start by lowering taxes to make Canada...”

Ziad Aboultaif (Conservative)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...dit, which were cancelled by the current government, were only trying to do what was best for their families. They used the deductions allowed them by law. I can only conclude that the hon. member who...”

Gord Johns (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t fairness for taxpayers. This is a lot of money that could be going to supporting our children and families, a national child care plan, a pharmacare plan, protection of the environment, retooling ou...”

Francesco Sorbara (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...

Also with budget 2016, we put more money directly into the pockets of low- and middle-income families through the Canada child benefit, a more generous, tax-free, and better targeted benefit that is lifting hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. The CCB is giving nine out of 10 families with children more money every month to spend on everything from school supplies, to school clothes, to sports equipment. Families benefiting have seen an average increase in child benefits of almost $2,300 during the 2016...”

Raj Grewal (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s a result, nearly nine million Canadians pay fewer taxes today.

In today's economy, Canadian families need all the help they can get. This is why we introduced the Canada child benefit, which is a real game changer. The Canada child benefit is making a real difference in the lives of Canadians and their families' budgets. Compared with the old system under the previous government, the Canada child benefit is simpler, fully tax-free, more generous, and better targeted to those who need it most. Because the government is no longer sending cheques to millionaires, nine out of 10 Canadian families are receiving more child benefits than they did under the previous government. Families benefiting saw an average increase of almost $2,300 per year. On a monthly basis, that is almost $190, on average, that families receive directly into their pockets. That is extra money to help Canadian families pay for school supplies, their children's education, and child care expenses.

Further...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...y riding of Essex. They would improve the quality of life and the affordability of life for so many families and individuals.

In the last election we talked a lot about the stock option deductio...”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...eaving most Canadians behind.

Seniors are making choices among heat, medication, and housing. Families cannot afford day care or even the toonie it takes to send their kids on school trips. It i...”

Ruby Sahota (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...n a generation; that is, bringing in the new Canada child benefit. The CCB is giving nine out of 10 families and their children more money every month to spend on everything from school supplies to sporting equipment. Families who benefit saw an average increase in child benefits of almost $2,300 in the 2016-17 fiscal year. The CCB has tremendously helped families in my riding of Brampton North. Raising a family in Canada can be challenging and the CCB has helped ease the financial burden for Brampton North families who need it most.

Our government is also taking important steps to make sure that Can...”

Ruby Sahota (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...er cent of earners in this country. In addition, the Canada child benefit has served nine out of 10 families in Canada; we have raised 300,000 children out of poverty. Many efforts are being made to c...”

Linda Lapointe (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nt social policy innovations in a generation: the new Canada child benefit, which is helping 10,300 families, with 18,870 children, in my riding. The benefit means that nine out of 10 families with children are receiving more money each month that they can spend on things ranging from school supplies to sports equipment

The families this measure helps have seen their child benefits rise by nearly $2,300 per year, for the 2...”

Linda Lapointe (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...pplementary expenditures in the ridings. As I mentioned in my speech, in my riding there are 10,300 families, including 18,870 children, who will benefit from this. That is equivalent to an average of...”

Daniel Blaikie (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ple go out to work every day and they pay their fair share of taxes. They are also looking at their families and noticing that as their parents and grandparents age, they need help with health services. The cost of drugs is high. Yet, we have heard successive Liberal and Conservative governments, no matter what they promise in their platforms, plead poverty. They claim not to have money for a national pharmacare program. They claim it is too expensive and ask where they would get the money. It is pretty hard to believe government, whether it be Conservative or Liberal, that we do not have the money, when we see the amount of money that is bleeding out of the Canadian economy every year because people who make obscene amounts of money do not want to pay their fair share of taxes.

It is hard to believe that we do not really have the money. The problem is that the Liberals and Conservatives would have to stand up to their friends in order to get it. Canadians deserve a government that is willing to stand up to corporate Canada and say, “You are here making money in Canada. You have to pay your fair share.” Companies are making money in Canada and they are making that money because Canadians go to work every day and produce value for those companies. Government should stand up and tell them to pay their fair share so that when a mother gets sick and needs a certain prescription drug regimen, she can afford it. When Canadians are going out to work to produce that value for those companies, the companies should chip in their fair share so that their workers can have proper child care so that their kids have a safe place to be during the day. The workers are producing value for the people and companies that cannot be bothered to pay their fair share in taxes but instead think that sending their money to Barbados is an acceptable way to conduct themselves.

This issue is one of the main drivers for my participating in politics. I look at the old line parties, be they Liberal or Conservative, and the way they fold when powerful, rich folks come to Ottawa to tell them what to do, and I think it is disgusting. Canadians deserve better.

As an example, we thought that maybe the Liberal Party was about to kick its old habit of kowtowing to the rich and powerful in Canada in the last election when the Liberals agreed to close the stock hold loophole for CEOs. It is in black and white in the Liberals' platform. That was a promise. Nothing changed from before the election to after the election, except that the Liberals were elected. They knew they had four years in government and they did not have to keep their promises to Canadians. That was their attitude. The only thing that changed was that they were elected. Then the Bay Street lobbyists came to Ottawa, and the evidence is in the lobbying registry, and spoke to their buddy the minister of high finance and said, “Mr. Minister, please, you can't do this. It is going to cost me so much money I am going to have to get the “B” class yacht instead of the “A” class yacht.”

Can the Liberals go to Canadian families and tell them there is not going to be a national pharmacare plan? Can they go to Canadian workers, the ones who are working for me, and tell them they cannot get reliable access to safe child care because people do not want to be embarrassed when they go down south for a month and their yacht is not the nicest on the dock? Imagine the nerve and the gall of what is being said in those private conversations and what is being asked of ordinary Canadians who not only need help but are working and paying their fair share for a system in this country that they want to deliver on the things they need, be it child care, be it a drug plan, be it investments in home care. (1335)

We have a government that is unwilling to go after tax cheats. It is giving them amnesty. Then the government is saying it does not have enough money for home care so the provinces are going to have to accept the Harper escalator on health care. If the provinces want just a little home care money that the government eked out for Canadians, which was an election promise that was to be flowed immediately, the government managed to find a little of that money but it is not going to give it to the provinces unless they sign on to the Harper escalator.

That is where politics has gone in this country under the Liberal government. It is using promises it made and money that should have been there, that the government promised would be there, to hold provinces hostage unless they accept less health care funding overall, funding which would have a direct benefit to Canadian working families. In the meantime, the government is instructing the CRA to give amnesty to the people who a...”

Shaun Chen (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...has since grown to 386 members who are part of Canada's largest organization for veterans and their families.

Not only do legion members support the brave men and women who serve our great count...”

Mark Eyking (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...s question period, and I am sure they will be impressed.

When members of this House and their families come to visit our wonderful island of Cape Breton, I invite them to drop in to the Wagmatco...”

Murray Rankin (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...e now have the lowest vacancy rate in Canada and some of the highest rents and housing prices. Many families and seniors cannot find housing at all.

Victoria's economy is growing. We have a thriving high-tech sector, and young families are trying to build their careers and start families. We cannot let this housing divide hold our cities back. Our municipalities and provincial ...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e middle class, and that is exactly what we are doing. We are ensuring that nine out of 10 Canadian families do better with the new Canada child benefit, which is going to lift 300,000 kids out of poverty.

These are the kinds of measures we put forward, which are investing both in middle-class families and in their future through historic infrastructure investments. These are the promises we ...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s very important.

Thanks to our investments, we will be in a position to do more for Canadian families across the country. We now know that more jobs were created in the past six months than sin...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...in all that we do. That is why we cut taxes for the middle class. That is why we are giving more to families whose children have greater needs.

The Prime Minister has said many times that he wil...”

Don Davies (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...onal expense; yet the government's proposed framework fails to meet the needs of patients and their families. In fact, more than 30,000 Canadians have signed a petition to scrap the government's plan....”

Jane Philpott (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the impact that Lyme disease has on Canadians and their families. We had discussions at a conference to develop a federal framework on Lyme disease that was...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...se people who had been harmed by fixed-priced contracts could apply to get that money to help their families and help the drywall contractors.

We are proud to help the people of Fort McMurray in...”

Hélène Laverdière (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s that help homeless women have to turn people away because they do not have enough room. There are families with children who have to choose between paying rent and paying for groceries because the g...”

Joël Godin (Conservative)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...now that high tax rates hurt Canadians who are trying to build a good life for themselves and their families.

I was singing the praises of the riding represented by my colleague from Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, but my riding, which has a shorter name, has its own vibrant economy. I am very proud to rise in the House to represent the 105,000 residents of my riding.

Thousands of people in my riding get up every morning and go to work. They work very hard, just like people all across this country. They need a little hope and a little help.

Tax rates also hurt businesses whether they are small, medium-sized or large, because they have to compete locally, nationally, and globally. Conservatives understand this and are committed to making sure that Canadians keep more of their hard-earned money for themselves.

The motion presented by the hon. member, the NDP finance critic, ignores the heavy burden placed on Canadians. That burden has been getting heavier since the Liberal government came to power.

The NDP cannot say it wants a Canadian economy that is good for all Canadians if it thinks the only battle worth fighting is the one against tax evasion. Vision is vital here. Fighting tax evasion on the one hand while bleeding taxpayers and businesses dry on the other is not good enough because it is not really tackling the problem.

We need to be more pragmatic. We need a balanced policy. We need to ensure that companies will want to set up shop here and that Canadians will see their dreams of starting their own business as achievable, that it is possible to start a business that will be viable and prosperous for the long term.

People have the right to make money here in Canada. That goes without saying. When people make money, it creates wealth and the government benefits from that. I hope this government will manage public funds better than it has done. Only then will we be able to provide social programs to everyone who needs them. (1635)

On the one hand, the government says that it cares about the well-being of the middle class. On the other hand, it did not keep its promise to lower taxes for the middle class. Day after day, this government breaks its election promises and misleads Canadians.

The Liberals promised to lower the corporate tax rate to 9.5%, but that has not happened. They promised a “modest” deficit of $10 billion. In my view, $10 billion is huge, but for the Liberals, that is modest. Plus, they said that we would return to a balanced budget by the next election, which will be in 2019. What are the forecasts? If nothing changes, that will not happen until 2055. In 2019, during the next election, Canadians should make the right choice. Everyone knows that we have hit a wall when it comes to public finances.

As for the NDP, it does not understand and does not see, or worse does not want to see, that tax evasion is just one part of the equation. The NDP supported not a single one of the tax cuts for small and medium-sized enterprises proposed by the previous government, that of Stephen Harper. The Harper government saw to creating a healthy fiscal environment for businesses thanks to its tax cuts which brought the general corporate income tax rate down from 22% to 15%. It lowered taxes for small businesses and created measures to attract businesses and make them more prosperous, which is the least we could expect, in my opinion.

When we acknowledge that small and medium-sized enterprises play a key role in our economy, it becomes clear that the government has to see to stimulating the creation of SMEs and to allowing them not only to survive, but to grow, create jobs, and contribute to the economic growth and prosperity of our great country.

Between 2006 and 2015, Stephen Harper's government lowered taxes 180 times. That is a fact. We brought taxes down to their lowest point in 50 years. That is what Canadians need.

Where are we today? Nearly two years later, the Liberal government is asking Canadians to tighten their belts even more. In budget 2016, the Liberal government rushed to eliminate the tax credits created by the Harper government to help Canadian families. That is not all. Who is going to pay off this massive debt? It is Canadian taxpayers, our ...”

Nathan Cullen (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...at at a time of high deficits and growing inequality between the richest Canadians and middle-class families this is a disproportionate benefit for the wealthy. What were the Liberals talking about? They were talking about this little tax loophole that costs the Canadian government $700 million a year in stock options. The Liberals also admitted in their election platforms in both 2011 and 2015 that this tax loophole overwhelmingly goes to the wealthiest Canadians. This is not about entrepreneurship and that go-getter attitude that we want to incentivize. That is not how this loophole is being used and that is what the NDP motion addresses today. We thought the Liberals were going to address this issue in their last budget. Why? Well, because they promised to address it. They said they would. They put a cap on tax avoiders who are aggressive with their taxes.

There seems to be a disturbing pattern with the Liberals. If one is well connected, if one is able to fork over $1,500 for a cocktail to rub elbows with the PM so to speak, if those individuals could be hosts at a private island then Liberal issues rise to the top. The finance minister has lobbied on this issue. Wealthy Canadians have asked him to please not take away this loophole because they love it, those wealthy Canadians who are able to forgo $400,000 a year on average in taxes. Not bad. I guess $1,500 for a ticket to a Liberal fundraiser is worth it if we did a quick cost benefit.

We also know, and we mentioned it in today's motion, that we want to aggressively get at the many tax evasions, the tax avoidances, that come under a number of rubrics, that Canada has become not famous for, but infamous for, that we saw in the Panama papers where the curtain was suddenly pulled back and all the international manipulation of tax regimes was exposed. What was Canada's role in that? What was our reputation? It is called snow washing, a new term we have come across. International accountants advise their international clients that if they do not want to pay taxes, they know that in Canada ownership of a company does not have to be declared but rather could go under a numbered account. If one does not live in Canada, then an individual can set up a company in Canada and declare its profits in another country. It is the perfect place if one wants to set up real action in Barbados, St. Kitts, or wherever it happens to be that income was actually declared because no tax will be paid on it. Canada's reputation just has to be used. These people and companies use the weak and vague laws that we have over corporate governance in this country to hide their money.

We saw this also in the KPMG scam, and there is no other word for it. Even Revenue Canada had the ability to call it what it was. For 13 years KPMG was advising its millionaire clients in Canada that if they wanted to pay taxes they could go ahead and do so, but if those millionaires did not want to pay taxes, they just had to cut KPMG a cheque and it would get their money to a little place called the Isle of Man. (1720)

The Isle of Man is famous for concerts and it is also famous for all the fake companies that get set up. Canadian millionaires hired KPMG to set up the scam. When it was finally uncovered and this was starting to unravel internationally, let us compare what happened in the U.S. to what happened here. The Senate called hearings. A half a billion dollar fine was put upon KPMG. It had to admit guilt. Three people were charged criminally and KPMG had to admit this was exactly what they did.

Let us flip it over to the Liberal-dominated committee here. For those who want to listen to the entire story, CBC's radio program, The Current, had this all playing out. It will drive people crazy, as it did my constituents. They wrote me to say that all they expected was basic fairness. When wealthy Canadians avoid paying their taxes, the rest of them, those who follow the rules, have to pick up the tab.

I will wager that every MP in the House has a horror story of some working-class Canadian, some middle-class Canadian, whom the Liberals are obsessed over, going through an interaction with the Canada Revenue Agency that ends very badly. Regardless of whether the person was in the right or in the wrong, the power of the CRA is incredible.

When this KPMG scam was exposed, no one denied it was going on. Hundreds of millions of dollars were being sent offshore and then gifted back to millionaire families. They are such generous people. They simply moved all their money to the Isle of Man, paid ...”

Luc Berthold (Conservative)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ed an amendment to Bill S-201.

What we are discussing today is protecting Canadians and their families from discrimination based on genetics. Amending the Canada Labour Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act allows us as parliamentarians to do something and to achieve this objective.

In the previous Parliament, the Conservative government committed in its throne speech to adopt measures to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic testing, including in matters of employment and insurance. Various countries, including the members of the G7, have already adopted measures to prohibit any such discrimination. Unfortunately, Canada has not yet adopted this type of measure. Bill S-201 in its entirety, without the amendments proposed by the government party, seeks to bridge that gap.

We have some catching up to do, and Bill S-201 can help us do that. Some of my colleagues shared their concerns by providing concrete examples of discrimination and quoting various representatives, particularly representatives of groups that advocate for cancer patients and those suffering from other illnesses.

What is genetic discrimination? Why is it so important that we address this issue today? I would like to quote the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness, which said:

Genetic discrimination occurs when people are treated unfairly because of actual or perceived differences in their genetic information that may cause or increase the risk to develop a disorder or disease.

We are not talking about someone with a disease, or someone who is suffering, or someone undergoing treatment. We are talking about someone who may have a gene that could eventually result in that person developing a disease.

The Coalition goes on to provide examples.

For example, a health insurer might refuse to give coverage to a woman who has a genetic difference that raises her odds of getting ovarian cancer. Employers also could use genetic information to decide whether to hire, promote or terminate workers.

This is all based on the results of a genetic test. The Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness also said:

The fear of discrimination can discourage individuals from making decisions and choices, which may be in their best interest. For example, a person may decide not to have a genetic test for fear of consequences to their career or the loss of insurance for their family, despite knowing that early detection and treatment could improve their health and longevity.

That is what the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness has said and how it describes the situation.

The concrete examples I just gave are, in my opinion, valid reasons for us as parliamentarians, in whom the voters have placed their trust, to pass legislation that protects them from all forms of discrimination. The voters expect us to act.

We do not want to stop progress. We want to see a continuation of the progress made possible by scientific research. We want to be able to treat more and more individuals thanks to the work of researchers. We want to discover the treatment for diseases faster. We want to know earlier and earlier who is predisposed to one day developing this or that disease. If we can help them prevent these diseases, all the better. (1735)

Indeed, genetic testing identifies those who are predisposed to developing some of these diseases.

That said, as a society, we cannot allow these discoveries to pave the way for discrimination. As I said a few moments ago, we heard from many who expressed their fears and serious concerns, and I must admit that I share their fears.

Some of my colleagues in the House spoke about the cases of individuals who were turned down for jobs or promotions based on the results of tests to determine whether or not they carried certain genes or whether they were predisposed to develop certain diseases. Testimony to that effect was heard in the Senate. Some of my colleagues here could tell horror stories like those. We cannot allow these discriminatory practices to occur.

If passed, Bill S-201 will give Canadians peace of mind, since it will give them the assurance that their genetic history will not be able to be used to determine the future well-being and security of their families.

If insurance companies use that history to refuse life insurance to an individual or his or her family members, we, as legislators, will have failed in our duty to ensure that none of our fellow citizens are discriminated against on this basis.

I am concerned about the Liberal government's plan to make major changes to the legislation that our Senate colleagues introduced and studied. The Liberal government seems to have changed its mind in recent weeks. I am very concerned. That is what I heard in the speech the member just gave. Given what is being reported in the media and the government's proposed amendments, it looks like the government is planning to gut Bill S-201, leaving just a shell. It will take away everything that could have given Canadians extra protection vis-à-vis genetic tests they have taken in the past or will take in the future.

In a piece published on March 2 in Le Devoir, we learned that the Minister of Justice spoke about having to go through the provinces to avoid any confrontation. There was mention of the Constitution and jurisdiction. When it is time to act to defend Canadians, I think it is a real shame that this measure, which was introduced by a government member in the House, is literally being gutted.

The government wants to lift the ban on insurance companies requiring the disclosure of past results of genetic testing. The Liberal government will have decided to let Canadians and their families down if the members from the government majority decide to support the proposed amendments....”

Don Davies (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... Coalition for Genetic Fairness, a diverse alliance of organizations that advocate on behalf of the families directly affected by genetic conditions, folks who are witnessing the disturbing prevalence...”

Pat Kelly (Conservative)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...e the answers that he would get, that he did not want to hear about first-time homebuyers and young families, or about the folly of imposing a uniform national policy on diverse regional markets?

<...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ss Canadians and those who are working so hard to join the middle class. This includes middle-class families' concerns over reduced housing affordability in some regions and taking on high levels of debt, reducing the likelihood that they will be able to afford their properties over the long term if economic circumstances were to change. Those who already own their homes want to know that the market is stable and that the most important investment they have made in their life is safe. This why our government has been focused on housing issues since coming into office. We have taken a series of carefully targeted measures to ensure stability and to promote affordability.

Effective since February 15, 2016, the minimum down payment of a new insured mortgage increased from 5% to 10% for the portion of the house price above $500,000. In October, the government made changes to the mortgage insurance rules and tax measures to help ensure that new homebuyers are more resilient and that the principal-residence exemption is only claimed in appropriate cases. These measures are focused on addressing the buildup of housing debt across Canada. This includes markets such as Vancouver and Toronto, which have seen significant house price increases, but also other areas of the country where buying activity is more modest but new buyers are highly indebted. These measures will require borrowers and lenders to make adjustments in the short term and are expected to lead to a temporary reduction in housing activity. However, they are important in containing risk to preserve the long-term stability of the housing market.

The government is also committed to doing its part to fully understand the range of factors impacting regional housing markets. This is why in budget 2016 we provided funding to Statistics Canada to develop a methodology for gathering data on purchases of Canadian housing by foreign homebuyers. The finance minister also created the federal, provincial, and municipal working group of officials to review the range of factors affecting regional housing markets.

Finally, the government is engaging on housing affordability to support the needs of our most vulnerable population. In budget 2016, the Government of Canada spent $2.3 billion on affordable housing. It will continue to work closely with the provinces and municipalities on this file. My colleague the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is currently developing a housing strategy. We have seen in other countries what can happen to the housing market and economy when housing risks and the leverage are not appropriately managed. In these situations, it is often middle-class families who suffer the most.

It will take time before we can fully assess the impact of all of these measures, and the government is closely monitoring housing and mortgage markets across the country. Measures that ensure a sound and stable housing market and financial security for Canadian families are a part of the government's economic plan, which is based on the notion that, when we ha...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...heir lives. Home ownership is vital to the economic and financial health of Canada and middle-class families. It is vital that we do what we can to ensure that the market is stable and that we provide...”

Jenny Kwan (NDP)

March 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...e people suffered frostbite and had their fingers and toes amputated. People crossing have included families with babies and toddlers, and pregnant women. In one of those crossings, a toddler said to ...”

Joël Lightbound (Liberal)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...rogram also support the healthy development of vulnerable children aged zero to six years and their families. Special emphasis is placed on the inclusion of indigenous pregnant women, children, and families. The Nobody's Perfect parenting program is a strengths-based, educational health promotion ...”

Irene Mathyssen (NDP)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...vention.

I have heard considerable evidence of the toll that PTSD takes on veterans and their families. It is clear that action is needed, and increased services are desperately needed. I am sure that the bill was created with positive intentions. However, I remain concerned that there is nothing here to actually increase services for PTSD.

With nearly one in 10 Canadians experiencing post-traumatic stress at some point in their lives, it is time for federal leadership, to ease the suffering of those struggling with PTSD. I believe it is important to hear from veterans themselves about the impact of PTSD on their lives. I want to share with the House some testimony that was heard at the veterans affairs committee, and informal discussions I have had with veterans that highlight the struggles of so many veterans.

First, Mr. John Kelley Mcleod told the VAC Committee the following:

We're driven. We're fit people when we serve. There isn't anything that we wouldn't do for this nation, including giving our lives. I've often said, having suffered PTSD after serving in Somalia and Rwanda, it would have been easier for me to have lost a leg or two, or to lose two arms. People understand that.

When you come back, they do not understand when you tell them “Well, I have nightmares every day. I can't cope with day-to-day living. I don't like being in crowds.” For me, being a medic in those trades, everything I did at that moment was life and death. People die on the decisions you make, and you sometimes can't do anything.

I deal with that every day, and there are things that still stay with me today that are as clear as they were 20 years ago. That will never go away for me. Then, on top of that, because I served in Somalia and Rwanda, I spent over a year on mefloquine.

l'm getting older now. PTSD should be mellowing for me. I should be getting better, but l'm not getting better. l'm getting worse. I also have a terminal illness. I don't know how much longer I have, but every day I wake up and make a decision, do I live today or do I kill myself today?

Many of the veterans I spoke to said that their PTSD was triggered by financial insecurity, pensions and benefits delayed for months by an inept and dysfunctional veterans department. This is the reality of PTSD. It is terrifying and it is disabling our veterans. I also want to share with the House the words of Mr. Kurt Grant, a veteran who has been involved in the military his entire life. He came from a military family and became an air cadet at 13. He was in uniform for 41 years and deployed eight times. Kurt told us:

According to Veterans Affairs l'm now officially 136% broken; government math. I spent 15 years fighting with my PTSD before I wrote off my car and went into treatment. It's a tough thing to look at the back end of another vehicle and not realize how the hell you got there.

The stigma surrounding PTSD is huge. As much as we want to deny it and as much as we want to sit back and say, guess what, we're going to fix this, it's not going to happen. A cultural change has to take place.

...PTSD is not something that hits you right away. It took me 15 years before I finally collapsed under it.

It is clear that we desperately need to improve services for those with PTSD, and we critically need more supports for veterans specifically. We have heard testimony in veterans affairs committee that group therapy works very well for PTSD. However, there is a catch. It does not work well for veterans when therapy is in a group with civilians. Veterans have gone through traumatic experiences that civilians will never encounter. While they both may have PTSD, their experiences are not relatable. We need to make sure that veterans are able to access therapy with other veterans who understand what they have experienced and what they have lived.

We also need special supports for those living with military sexual trauma, many of whom also live with PTSD. Group therapy is very helpful for healing, but again our veterans are best served when with their peers. They not only need support from other veterans, but also those who are dealing with military sexual trauma. They may not get the support they need by being grouped with veterans or CF members with PTSD, and may not relate as well to sexual assault survivors without a military background. We need to bring men and women with MST together for healing. (1120)

Ultimately, that is what this is about. This is about healing those individuals who have given everything. This is about those who have set aside their lives and gambled on the promise that government was going to be there when they needed it, that government was going to somehow make sure their service was respected and honoured, that their suffering was understood, and that support would be there until the end of their lives.

However, we have military veterans in court against this government and the previous one for failure to make sure they have financial support. We now have a government that is making deals with the provinces and health ministries across this country. The government is saying that it will give them some money, but they have to accept that there will be less. “Oh yes, we'll give you a little bit of money for mental health, but the saw-off is that there is not going to be enough money to make sure that all Canadians are cared for.”

We are in this place to make sure and be absolutely confident that every Canadian who has given something important to this country has the support, services, and respect that we owe them. Our veterans are special, and we all know that. They are unique individuals. They go into the field and they are fearless, because they believe in this country. Let us not take away their hope when they return home. Let us not take away their families. Let us not take away the prospect of coming back to us with a place in our communities tha...”

David Sweet (Conservative)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ave heard gut-wrenching accounts. Beneath the statistics, these are real stories, real people, real families, and real cries for help.

We know that what is stipulated in Bill C-211 is just a fir...”

Pam Damoff (Liberal)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...f us. We have a responsibility to return our military personnel and public safety officers to their families as we received them, mentally well.

Caring for the health of our public safety office...”

Jim Eglinski (Conservative)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...munities, some witness some of the worst that humanity has to offer. Then they return home to their families and try to live a normal life.

When most of us would head in the opposite direction, they are the ones who run toward danger. Their heroic efforts sometimes mean they are left to deal with the haunting images, sounds, and smells, which will stay with these men and women for life. Being a witness to human tragedy and suffering can become difficult to cope with in the days, months and years afterward.

We can look today at what is happening in B.C. Our first responders are dealing with the opioid problem and how it is affecting their jobs.

As a former RCMP officer for 35 years, I personally know what first responders go through, both emotionally and physically when they arrive at a scene.

Many years ago when I was a young air cadet, probably around the age of 12, I remember talking to a lot of different veterans on Remembrance Day, and there were a lot in those days, about their war experiences. I remember one particular gentleman from our community who drank a lot. I remember him telling me that he drank to hide the past and the horrors of war. This was probably the first time I was introduced to PTSD.

As I went through my working career as an RCMP officer, I remember in the sixties when a friend of mine came off an extended period of being undercover, where he intermixed with some pretty wild and dangerous individuals. He could not switch back to a regular life and suffered immensely, both mentally and physically. He eventually had to leave the force. This was PTSD, but we did not know what was wrong with him at the time. (1145)

I had a very good friend who I will call Mr. T. He was a lot like the guy on TV, but he suffered for many years with PTSD. He could not pull those hidden demons from within himself. As his commander, he came to me and talked about suicide. He received help and I worked with him closely over the next decade and even after we both left our careers in the RCMP. He could not get rid of the ugliness with which he had to deal.

As I am saying this, I thinking of Mr. T, as he is not here anymore. He committed suicide two years ago. I wish he had called me as I would have gone wherever he was to help.

I can think of a number of my colleagues who which I worked. A number of them drank too much, but were they doing this due to PTSD? Yes, they were. However, in all honesty, we did not know what it was. We did not know what to call it years ago.

I have to thank those members who have come forward in the last number of years, whether military, RCMP, paramedics, who were proud and strong enough to make public their problems and seek help.

It is out there among our first responders. As government we must work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to ensure that help is there for all first responders.

Unfortunately, there is a stigma around mental health issues, including PTSD. Those who are affected hate to admitting they need need assistance is showing weakness to their peers. Instead, they keep it to themselves, hidden, silently carrying a heavy weight until they can no longer bear it.

According to statistics by TEMA, an organization that supports people with PTSD through research, education, training and peer support, 188 Canadian public safety and military personnel have died by suicide since 2014. Five first responders and four military members have died by suicide in this year alone. That is nine people in only two months.

This is absolutely heartbreaking. These brave people risk their lives to serve their communities, so where are we when they need our help? They have served us, but we have not served them. This is why we so desperately need a national framework to address this issue.

The Prime Minister has already called on his ministers to act on PTSD and make the mental health of our men and women in uniform a priority, and I thank him for that.

In the mandate letter of the Minister of Heath, she is called to “make high quality mental health services more available to Canadians who need them.”

In the mandate letter of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, he is directed to “Provide greater education, counselling, and training for families who are providing care and support to veterans living with physical and/or mental health is...”

Earl Dreeshen (Conservative)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...that brings it home for me. I really do understand what they go through and how difficult it is for families when such tragedies strike home. We have seen it. I think everyone in here has examples where that has happened, whether in the military, or with first responders.

The other experience I had was with the Pine Lake tornado in early 2000. As we were in it, we realized we had to be able to assist, and I was part of that. We saw the carnage that had taken place there. It was really difficult for individuals who were not trained to manage this. However, I think back to the great work done by our first responders in central Alberta. Every year, when we have the anniversary of that terrible natural disaster, we recognize the great work they did, as well as the seriousness of the loss of life.

We all recognize this. We see disasters happen, whether they are natural disasters or those that happen around the world where our men and women in our forces have to take charge or respond to terrible evils. We see it so often. What we have heard today is a great heartfelt response and support for those men and women who put their lives on the line daily and who bring it home to their families.

It is important that we recognize more can be done and that we have to go forward.

Todd Doherty (Conservative)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... are with us on the Hill, because they are the ones who really champion and stand up for us and our families moving forward and every day.

Bill C-211 seeks to establish a cohesive and coherent national framework to ensure our military, first responders, paramedics, police, veterans, and correctional officers get timely access to the resources they need to deal with PTSD. I welcome the revisions that will strengthen the intent of this bill.

I also want to caution all of us here that we should not be doing anything to weaken the intent of the bill, or allow the current or successive governments to not live up to the responsibility that is due to our first responders, veterans, and military.

The bill sends a message to our silent sentinels that this is not a battle they have to fight by themselves. It is up to all of us federal, provincial, and territorial legislators to come up with a plan to ensure no one is left behind, and that our terminology and laws are consistent across the country from the east coast to the west coast. The reality is that experiencing human tragedy affects all of us differently. These incidents and experiences cannot be erased from our memory. Most of us can never imagine what our warriors go through on a daily basis, the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the images. It affects their lives and the lives of friends and families of those who put themselves in harm's way.

We have an opportunity to give back in a s...”

Gagan Sikand (Liberal)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...t can continue to be a strong partner, focusing on infrastructure, Canada 150, and the middle-class families who live in ridings like mine.

Later in the week, the Minister of Innovation, Science...”

Pat Kelly (Conservative)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...tober, which were imposed without industry or consumer consultation, are making it harder for young families to purchase homes. I share the concerns mortgage brokers have raised with me about reduced ...”

Robert Aubin (NDP)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ndard for aggregates used in concrete.

Let us be clear about this. It is impossible for these families to sell their homes without suffering major losses, and it is impossible for them to get fi...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ering taxes for the middle class and increasing taxes for the wealthiest 1%. We have helped 9 in 10 families with the Canada child benefit. We have increased the guaranteed income supplement by 10% fo...”

Denis Lebel (Conservative)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e Conservatives are back in power before then.

Is the Prime Minister going to punish Canadian families by eliminating even more of the tax credits they need?”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e pockets of the middle class so they can spend more and buy goods from our small businesses.

Families will have more money to raise their children. In fact, 9 in 10 families receive more money with our new Canada child benefit. This benefit will lift 300,000 childr...”

Karen Vecchio (Conservative)

March 6th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...points his government has been giving for the last year and a half.

We have been asking about families, and that is something the member, in his response, did not once talk about. He talked about the regular things we are hearing from the Liberal government but did not take into consideration those people who are making $45,000 or less a year. Those are people who cannot afford a hybrid car and therefore are not getting a $10,000 or $15,000 rebate. Instead, they are having to drive cars that may still be emitting, because that is what they can afford, because the government has not focused on jobs.

These are some of the concerns. We can sit here and talk about the price of carbon and having people emit less, but what is happening to those families that have to use an older car because they cannot afford a new one or find a new job or a job that may pay more money, or anything like that? How are we going to do on that?

The government continues to talk about what it is doing for the middle class. What it has done here is target the lower class. They are going to be paying more and more money. They cannot afford those rebates the provincial governments are giving people for automobiles.

I want to know from the member specifically, what is he doing for low-income families who cannot afford the carbon tax?”

Kevin Waugh (Conservative)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...sharing their grief.

The buffet-style restaurant was a beloved institution for generations of families. Baba gave many students their very first job. Customers of all ages were part of that big ...”

Kamal Khera (Liberal)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...For All Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and youth programs free of charge to families in need.

Our country was built on the passion and dedication of leaders like Mr. Gree...”

Pierre Poilievre (Conservative)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...iberal carbon taxes would cascade throughout the economy in the form of higher prices on consumers, families, and businesses, but how much those costs would be are blacked out by the Liberals.

N...”

Catherine McKenna (Liberal)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...security to 65, increasing the guaranteed income supplement for seniors, and ensuring that Canadian families get more through the Canada child benefit. We understand that we need to support middle-cla...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...onsumers, middle-class Canadians, those people who actually need to be able to buy things for their families, are being put in a good situation. That is why we introduced the Canada child benefit. Tha...”

Sylvie Boucher (Conservative)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nce this government came to power, there has been no end to the tax measures that hurt middle-class families. They are forced to pay more taxes and all sorts of exorbitant fees, and we still do not kn...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...less. Those are the facts. We also brought in the Canada child benefit, which will give nine in ten families an extra $2,300 tax-free. This is good for the middle class and Canadian families.”

John Nater (Conservative)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s are refusing to release the numbers that would show the actual cost of the carbon tax on Canadian families. Why the carbon tax cover-up? Will the Liberals do the right thing and release the numbers ...”

Robert Kitchen (Conservative)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... carbon tax that will affect vulnerable Canadians. These constituents need to be able to feed their families and heat their homes without worrying about paying more taxes. Why are the Liberals trying ...”

Kent Hehr (Liberal)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his advocacy on behalf of veterans and their families and his constituents. I know this is an extremely difficult situation. Any time Veterans Affairs is notified of an untimely or unexpected death we undertake a review of that file, and this will be the case.

Our government is committed to expanding access to support the veterans and RCMP and their families. That is why we are working with over 4,000 registered mental health professionals, we are expanding our outreach capability by having nine points of contact reopened, as well as hiring front-line staff. We will continue to support veterans and their families.”

Hunter Tootoo (Independent)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...g with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development had the great pleasure of visiting my riding of Nunavut. W...”

John Oliver (Liberal)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... the lives of thousands of Canadian women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and to bring hope to their families.”

Marc Serré (Liberal)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Private Member's Business

“... and my mother, who had 15 brothers and sisters. They were part of two big Catholic French-Canadian families. I had more than 60 aunts and uncles. I am proud to have grown up in a big, warm family that supported me. Now, my parents, aunts and uncles are all getting older.

I had the pleasure of meeting seniors in their homes and in assisted living centres throughout my riding of Nickel Belt and in Greater Sudbury

Many seniors told me that it is becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Doctors, the health system, and Canada's social programs do not meet all their needs. They also told me that they want to be independent and live at home for as long as possible.[English]

That is why I believe that today's debate on Motion No. 106 is so important and that the aging of Canadian society requires ongoing and serious attention.

By 2035, 25% of the population is projected to be 65 or older, and is expected to account for 60% of health care spending across the provinces and territories. In my mind, there is little doubt that this is unsustainable. That is why Motion No. 106 calls on the government to recognize that improving efficiencies and quality of care for seniors should be a critical priority for the federal government, as the future of Canada's social safety net not just for seniors, but for the entire population is at stake.

Motion No.106 asks the federal government to take action to improve quality of life for seniors. As there are undoubtedly many Canadians who are listening and participating in this debate, I believe the time is now for the federal government and members of Parliament to speak directly to them, to clearly inform Canadians about what the federal government is doing to improve the quality of life for those who are considered seniors now, as well as those who will be considered seniors soon.

Motion No. 106 asks that the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development study the important issues related to the aging of Canadians that will inform the development of a national seniors strategy. That is something that more than 49,000 Canadians have demanded by writing letters to their MPs as part of the Canadian Medical Association's demandaplan.ca campaign.

In an August of 2014 Toronto Star article, Dr. Chris Simpson, incoming president of the CMA, called seniors' care the most pressing public issue in Canada today. He said, “If we can fix seniors' care, we will go a long way to fixing our health care system.” [Translation]

I think it would be a disservice to Canadians if the House proposed a plan for a national seniors' strategy without consulting them first.

In developing such a strategy, we must consider input from experts, such as academics, caregivers, doctors, members of local and national associations, hospital administrators, seniors residences, as well as the seniors themselves. That is why I am calling on the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities to conduct a study to inform the development of a national seniors' strategy and during which testimony will help the committee draft its report, make recommendations, and determine what such a strategy should focus on. (1340) [English]

I will, however, suggest six sectors in the continuum of care that the development of a national seniors strategy should seek to address.

The first sector is wellness and prevention. A national seniors strategy should highlight best practices for improving the social detriments for seniors. There are conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age such as secure income, stable and affordable housing, social connections, and active lifestyles. In doing so, we will reduce the strain on seniors seeking acute care at hospitals.

The second sector that the national strategy for seniors should address is primary care. Primary care can be defined as highlighting best practices for integrating primary and specialist care, facilitating greater availability of advanced training in aging and palliative care, and building knowledge of how to facilitate advanced care planning, including fraud and injury prevention, health promotion, illness, and chronic health concerns. At the same time, more than half of our seniors claim that they take five or more drugs from different classes, and 20% of seniors reported that no medical practitioner had reviewed their medication regime in over a year. The lack of integration among health care systems causes real strain on the health care system, and the CMA reports that between 2006 and 2011 there were almost 140,000 hospitalizations for adverse drug reactions for seniors in Canada.

The third, and perhaps most important, national seniors strategy sector should focus on home care and community support. According to CMA, caring for seniors at home and in their community as opposed to in hospitals is one of the most cost-effective ways that our health care system can meet the needs of seniors who are not fully experiencing Alzheimer's or dementia or who are not critically ill. Clearly, a national seniors strategy should focus on developing and implementing policies and best practices that encourage treating seniors in their homes and enabling seniors to live in their communities as long as possible. This is something that nine out of 10 seniors have said is of critical importance to them. Home care is also the most cost effective and is what seniors want themselves. The 2009 Senate report on aging, tabled by Senators Carstairs and Keon, notes that family and friends provide about 80% of all home care to seniors living in a community and up to 30% of services to seniors living in institutions. A national seniors strategy should pave the way for a comprehensive plan for families and caregivers that takes into consideration the financial needs of family members as well ...”

Deborah Schulte (Liberal)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Private Member's Business

“...s that older Canadians have made, and continue to make, to our communities, our workplaces, and our families.

Supporting Motion No. 106 is an opportunity to look at the challenges and opportunit...”

Karen Vecchio (Conservative)

February 24th
Hansard Link

Private Member's Business

“...ls changed that back to age 65.

The finance council has been established, and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development will not be taking the advice of this council to increase ...”

Garnett Genuis (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, income splitting is a basic tax fairness measure because it ensures that families making the same income pay the same rate of tax and the same amount of tax. That is why I a...”

Pierre Poilievre (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...of Finance has produced numerous calculations of the impact of these taxes on low and middle-income families, and their effect on the gap between rich and poor; an Order of the House do issue for a copy of the Department of Finance’s documents titled “Impact of a carbon price on households' consumption costs across the income distribution” and “Estimating economic impacts from various mitigation options for greenhouse gas emissions,” and any other documents that calculate the cost of carbon taxes on Canadian workers, businesses, and families.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Brantford...”

Linda Duncan (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...w scope. The member is wanting information on what the impacts of imposing a carbon tax to Canadian families might be. Would he also consider amending his call and asking for information on the costin...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s to use as they see fit, whether it means giving it back to consumers, supporting their workers or families, helping the most vulnerable, including communities in the north, or supporting businesses that innovate and create jobs for middle-class Canadians.

Take the case of British Columbia, where carbon pricing is revenue neutral. Since 2008, B.C. has proven that it is possible to reduce emissions while growing the economy and creating good-paying jobs. B.C. has the highest broad-based carbon tax in North America. Its carbon tax sets a transparent and predictable price on carbon while returning all revenues to B.C. individuals and businesses. The price signal creates a real incentive to reduce emissions across the economy.

Again, jurisdictions have the freedom to use the revenues from this source as they see fit. It is their choice. In the case of B.C., it has meant that every dollar generated by the carbon tax is returned to British Columbians through reductions in other taxes. In fact, during the period between 2008 and 2015, the net benefit to taxpayers was $1.6 billion.

It also goes without saying that because of the very flexibility that defines the pan-Canadian framework, attaching a benefit or a cost to households or individuals at large is not as straightforward as the member opposite would have us believe. In fact, it is terribly misleading. (1050)

Since each province and territory has the flexibility to design a system that works for it and to use the revenues as it sees fit, much work remains to be done in the way of further analysis and modelling in collaboration with the provinces and territories before a relevant estimate can be provided.

It is important to understand as well that the memo being debated today and much bandied about by the member for Carleton was written before the current government was in office. Its data in no way reflects our government's pan-Canadian collaboration and flexible approach. It will not help him or anybody better understand the impact of our plan. How could it? It was drafted a year before it was even hatched. Its release could cause confusion for Canadians, industries, provinces and territories, and our partners around the world about Canada's actual plan and the cost associated with it. That is not something to toy with. That is my opinion. Members opposite may feel differently.

Luckily, as the member well knows, the professional public service manages access to information in the Government of Canada and applies certain restrictions to information that is released according to the rules set out by the Access to Information and Privacy Act. The impartiality and non-political nature of this process is important and must be upheld by all members of the House. It is in Canada's best interest that we not undermine these carefully considered decisions with partisan barbs.[Translation]

In summary, pricing carbon pollution will give Canada an edge in building a clean-growth economy, will make Canadian businesses more innovative and competitive, will bring new and exciting job prospects for middle-class Canadians, and will reduce the pollution that threatens our clean air and oceans as well as the health of Canadians.

Together, we will create the clean-growth economy necessary for the collective health, prosperity, and security of this generation of Canadians and the next.

The government's overall approach will be reviewed in 2022 to ensure that it is effective and to confirm future price increases. The review will account for actions by other countries.

As far as Canada is concerned, I am pleased to say that we are working from a position of strength. We are in an enviable fiscal position. Our debt-to-GDP ratio is well above the average for the G7. This means that we have the flexibility needed to implement our long-term vision of ensuring that Canada's economy works for the middle class. If the economy works for the middle class, it works for everyone.

The measures to support the middle-class is what the Canadian economy needs and what Canadians deserve. It is what Canadians wanted and what we provided and will continue to provide in the future.

On January 1, 2016, nearly 9,000 Canadians had more money in their pockets thanks to the middle-class tax cut. This measure was not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do for our economy.

The middle-class tax cut and the measures that go with it help make the tax system fairer to give all Canadians the opportunity to succeed.

Specifically, the government lowered the tax rate in the second personal income tax bracket from 22% to 20.5%. Single individuals who benefit from the reduced second personal income tax rate will see an average tax reduction of $330 every year, while couples will see an average tax reduction of $540 every year. Only the higher income earners, the wealthiest 1%, will pay more taxes with the introduction of the 33% personal income tax rate on individual taxable income in excess of $200,000. (1055)

Finally, the government returned the tax-free savings account, or TFSA, annual contribution limit to $5,500 from $10,000, effective January 1, 2016. Returning the TFSA annual contribution limit to $5,500 was consistent with the government's objective of making the tax system fair and helping those who need it the most.

When combined with other registered savings plans, a $5,500 TFSA annual contribution limit will enable most individuals to meet their ongoing savings needs in a tax efficient manner. Furthermore, indexation of the TFSA annual contribution limit was reinstated. Thus, the annual limit will retain its real value over time.

Another cornerstone of the government's plan to help the middle class and those working hard to join it is the Canada child benefit. The benefit will help parents better meet the needs of their children. The CCB is simpler and more generous than the old benefit system it replaced, and it is completely tax-free. In addition, it does a better job of targeting the people who most need it.

I firmly believe that the many parents who receive this assistance agree that it is greatly needed and appreciated. With the introduction of a much better-targeted Canada child benefit, about 300,000 fewer children will be living in poverty in 2017 as compared to 2014. That means that Canada's child poverty rate will drop by about 40% relative to 2014.

Since the Canada child benefit was introduced in July 2016, nine out of ten families are now receiving more money than they did under the previous system. They are receiving an average increase in annual benefits of $2,300 in 2016-17.

Parents with children under 18 will receive a maximum annual benefit of $6,400 per child under the age of six and up to $5,400 per child between the ages of 6 and 17. Whether these additional funds are used for things like buying school supplies, covering part of the cost of registering for sports activities, helping with the family grocery bill, or buying warm coats for winter, the Canada child benefit helps parents cover the high cost of raising their children.

Finally, the Canada child benefit will be indexed to inflation starting in 2020 so that families can continue to count on this additional support for a long time, with their benefits keeping pace with rising expenses. [English]

As on pricing carbon pollution, our government has achieved other goals through collaboration with the provinces. We have reached a historic agreement with provincial governments to enhance the Canada pension plan. This project was undertaken given our knowledge that one in four Canadian families approaching retirement, 1.1 million families, is at risk of not saving enough to maintain the family's current standard of living. The risk is highest for middle-class families. Families without workplace pension plans are at an even greater risk of under-saving for retirement. In fact, a third of these families are at risk. Saving more through an enhanced CPP will mean Canadian families are more confident about their future and about their ability to secure a dignified retirement. (1100) [Translation]

Our government is particularly concerned about the situation of young Canadians. They tend to have more debt than previous generations and, in most cases, they will also live a lot longer than previous generations. They are faced with the challenge of trying to save enough money for retirement at a time when fewer of them can expect to have a job with a pension plan.

In summary, the measures that our government has taken show our commitment to helping the middle class and those working hard to join it. We have taken action to strengthen the Canada pension plan. We introduced the middle-class tax cut, which benefits nine million Canadians. We introduced the Canada child benefit, which provides additional financial assistance to nine out of ten Canadian families.

We will continue to work for Canadians in order to build a stronger and more equitable economy where all families can grow and prosper.[English]

If it is a real, relevant, and factual debate the memb...”

Gérard Deltell (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... the member for Carleton is very clear. It calls on the government to release a study it did on how families will be affected by the Liberal carbon tax. I would remind the House that the government remains very tight-lipped when the news is not good. The Minister of Finance sat on this study for 10 weeks, a study done by his own bureaucrats that found that if nothing changes, we are heading toward a debt of $1.5 trillion by 2050, with no return to balanced budgets until 2055. I understand why the minister was probably embarrassed by his bureaucrats' work, which is why he kept the study to himself for 10 days.

If the Liberal government is so proud of the Liberal carbon tax and really believes it is going to be wonderful, why does it refuse to release a study regarding the direct, real, and concrete repercussions the Liberal carbon tax will have on Canadian families?”

Elizabeth May (Green Party)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...te, former premier Gordon Campbell.

In this debate, we should talk about real impacts on real families. A revenue neutral carbon tax in British Columbia of $30 a tonne has not hurt our economy. ...”

Richard Cannings (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ason, the Conservatives stopped it when it was doing good things. Hundreds of thousands of Canadian families took advantage of this. It reduced energy costs by 20%, greenhouse gases by three tonnes pe...”

Linda Duncan (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nts allegedly providing analyses of the impacts of the proposed carbon tax on low and middle-income families. The documents the member seeks to have released include reports titled “Impact of a carb...”

Alexandre Boulerice (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...every reason to be concerned about energy costs, because they are causing a lot of trouble for many families across the country. I understand my Ontario colleague's concern about high heating costs, which are causing a lot of trouble for many individuals and families right now.

The NDP believes that a good public power generation and distribution system is part of the solution. In Quebec, we are lucky because the cost of energy is regulated and controlled. We are also fortunate to have many rivers, which means that our energy is renewable. That is important when it comes to climate change, an issue that we are going to talk about shortly.

We must not use the trouble some provinces are having with heating and electricity costs as an excuse to tear down measures that are a critical component of our contribution to fighting climate change and global warming.

I am surprised at the Conservatives' silence on the subject of energy costs even though they were the ones who cut the program. The Liberals' silence surprises me too. Why not bring back the ecoENERGY retrofit program, which I think was a win-win-win program? My colleague talked about it earlier. Why is that program no longer available? It worked. Its benefits were threefold: it lowered heating costs for families because houses were better insulated and lost less heat through their roofs, windows, and d...”

Cheryl Gallant (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...to by the Liberal Party in Ottawa, the future looks even bleaker for young people. It is poor young families, the working and productive middle classes, and the elderly who are most hurt by carbon taxes, as we have seen in Ontario.

There are some observers who claim that the problem with out-of-control electricity prices in Ontario are a result of an unfortunate mix of Liberal greed and incompetence. The situation with British Columbia carbon taxes is no better. According to GEMCo, a not-for-profit corporation formed by Canadian energy companies to demonstrate industry leadership in the development of market-based approaches to greenhouse gas emissions management:

The BC CTax shifts tax burden from large, profitable and, particularly, resource extracting businesses to the public sector, small [less profitable] businesses and low income families.”

Cheryl Gallant (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ing expenses and at least partially deductible from royalties payable by resource extractors (while families pay...[more] after tax income). ...the revenue gap in BC’s income-to-carbon tax shift is...[about] $600-million.

There is nothing revenue neutral about this.

It was further demonstrated that B.C. carbon tax credit payments to low-income families were far less than the gross amount of carbon taxes collected from the same families. There was no recycling of tax revenue to low-income families.”

Shannon Stubbs (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... make ends meet every day.

This Liberal carbon tax is already making things so much worse for families and for businesses across Lakeland, Alberta, and Canada. Before the Liberals unilaterally announced they would force a carbon tax on all of Canada, the finance department completed analysis on how the tax would impact everyday Canadians. Both documents were released through an access to information request, but much of that information was redacted and blacked out.

It is clear there is information contained in these reports that the Liberals do not want Canadians to see. Canadians can be forgiven for asking what the Liberals are hiding, just as when the Liberal members rejected a Conservative motion to study the impacts of the carbon tax on natural resources development in Canada in committee.

However, of course, we know why they are keeping facts from us and why they are resisting releasing this information to Canadians. It is because the Liberals do not want us to know how damaging it will be for businesses, families, communities, and the poor.

This reckless cash grab will harm small businesses. A loc...”

Shannon Stubbs (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...aking, about consulting with Canadians, caring for poor people, the middle class, small businesses, families, and Canadians from coast to coast to coast, they would release that information. They woul...”

Francesco Sorbara (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s year alone it will put over $4.5 billion of incremental new investment in the pockets of Canadian families, versus the old program under the previous government. That works out to approximately $2,300 more, on average, per family. Nine out of 10 families are better off. It assists families to put their kids into recreational, arts, and fitness programs.”

David Lametti (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ide how to reinvest pollution pricing revenue in their economies to support their workers and their families, and to minimize the impact on vulnerable groups.

Pollution pricing systems create an incentive for households and businesses to reduce their consumption of carbon intensive goods and fuels and to choose lower carbon alternatives. For example, households could choose to reduce fuel consumption by either using public transit more often or by replacing their vehicle with a more fuel efficient vehicle.

The cost of pollution pricing to households will vary by province and territory, depending in part on differences in energy and fuel consumption, and the electricity generation mix across provinces and territories. The cost to households will also depend on the design of pollution pricing policies introduced by each jurisdiction as well as the decisions they make as to how to use the revenues from pollution pricing.

An illustrative modelling scenario conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada estimates that the average increase in the cost of energy to households across Canada would be $290 per year when the backstop pollution price reaches $50 per tonne in 2022. This captures the increase in the fuel price, approximately 12¢ per litre, and a modest reduction in the amount of energy used by the average family. Further analyses on the economic impacts of pollution pricing, including analyses of impacts on households and businesses, will become available as each province and territory clarifies the precise design of its pollution pricing system, including how it will utilize its revenues and as experience is gained.

It is important to recognize that the goods and services purchased by low-income people are usually not more carbon intensive than those purchased by higher-income earners. Accordingly, a direct price on pollution does not exhibit a greater burden on low-income families. However, because low-income earners spend a greater share of their income, they may be disproportionately impacted by any price on consumption unless specific measures are taken to compensate them.

There are a number of ways to protect low-income Canadians and vulnerable communities from price increases associated with pollution pricing. Revenue generated from pricing pollution can be used in a variety of ways. Under the pan-Canadian approach to pricing pollution, all revenues raised, as we have stated, will remain in the province or territory of origin.

This gives provinces and territories maximum flexibility to decide how to reinvest the revenue from pollution pricing in their own economies and work to support their workers and their families, and to minimize the impact on other vulnerable groups. Provinces and territories can choose to use pollution pricing revenues to compensate low-income and middle-income families for higher energy costs, for example, while still maintaining an incentive to reduce energy use and thereby helping to reduce emissions. (1225)

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

Alberta's pollution pricing system includes rebates for low- and middle-income households to offset the cost of the carbon levy charged on fuels used for transportation and heating. The Government of Alberta has estimated that six out of 10 households will receive a rebate to compensate them for the cost of the carbon levy. For example, the full rebate amount for a household with two adults and two children will be $540 annually in 2018, when Alberta's carbon levy reaches $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide. This will exceed Alberta's estimate of the total annual cost of the levy for a household with two adults and two children, which is $508 for 2018. Alberta has stated that 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.

<...”

John Brassard (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s? They will pass them on to consumers. Already struggling seniors, already struggling middle-class families and those working hard to join it, will have to pay for the Liberal carbon tax. Again, we d...”

Kelly McCauley (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... the House are concerned about the impact of the Liberal carbon tax because estimates indicate that families could expect to pay up to $2,500 extra every year in new taxes. Families can expect to pay up to 15% more on their natural gas bill, up to 10% more on their power bill, and an extra 11.5¢ per litre for gasoline.

Governments will tax elastic behaviour that has been deemed as bad as a means of eliminating that behaviour, but here is the problem: Heating our homes, turning on our lights, having hot water, and buying groceries are not optional. It seems a little ridiculous that I have to say this, but Canada is cold. Our climate is not conducive to using just less heat, and Canadians do not have the option of turning it off. In winter, Canada is dark. Canadians do not have the choice to decide whether to turn their lights off. The Liberals think that heating our homes is a choice to be taxed, but it is not a choice and all of us as Canadians end up paying higher taxes. The government gets richer and Canadians just get poorer.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change continues to justify this flawed idea by saying that this corporation or that corporation supports a carbon tax. Some do, as they can simply download the price of the tax onto consumers.

I am sure the government has written a manual they call, “how to help the middle class and those working to join it”. Someone on that side of the House did a really lousy job of editing it because they have left in chapters titled, “how to make them pay higher prices” and “how to make them pay higher taxes”.

It follows logically that businesses will shift the burden of the carbon tax. They have a bottom line to meet. They have numbers that have to be hit. The government does not care because it will still get its tax revenue and get an endorsement from groups which do not hold the burden of the Liberal tax. For members opposite, it is practically a win-win, but there is a loser in this equation. It is those Canadians I mentioned earlier who are being forced to pay thousands more in taxes. That is the extent of the warning, that it could be thousands of dollars, because the government cannot even be open and transparent about the numbers used by its own department.

I have to ask, just how bad are the numbers that the Liberals are trying to hide from us? If they will not be open with the facts, and they even vote down the tabling of the blacked-out report the member for Carleton has tried repeatedly to table, how can Canadians learn how much they will be forced to pay?

Reporting on the blacked-out finance department report that the member for Carleton obtained, David Akin of the National Post said that the author is “crystal clear on this point: Pricing carbon, be it through a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, will hit consumers in the pocketbook.”

The author of the finance department report states:

These higher costs would then cascade through the economy in the form of higher prices, thus leading all firms and consumers to pay more for goods and services with higher carbon content. (1335)

It is in the finance minister's mandate letter to engage meaningfully with the opposition. Yet, when the member for Carleton asked the finance minister repeatedly to just release the unredacted report, the minister simply gives us talking points.

In January, I sent around a survey to my constituents with a simple question, "Do you support a carbon tax?" This is what people on the ground are saying, and the Liberals should listen. Keep in mind that my constituents have already been hit with a carbon tax, so they know of what they speak.

One of my constituents said, “I don't believe the Liberals know how much this tax will affect the average family, or those on a senior's pension.” We think they do know, but they just will not release the information.

Another said, “I am a single mom, trying to educate and raise 2 kids on my own. Added taxes are not exactly what I am looking for.” She is probably looking for tax relief, but the Liberals have already cut out her sports tax credit, her education tax credit, and clawed back her TFSA. Where is her help?

Another said, “I am barely hanging onto my job because of cutbacks. I have become the working poor but I am still a taxpayer. Stop this tax please.” That is the forgotten aspect of this conversation. The Minister of Environment repeatedly references the praise of businesses and corporations for the carbon tax, but where is the praise from Canadians on this issue? This constituent is barely hanging onto his job, but at least some corporations are on board.

Another wrote in to say, “I struggle to pay my bills as it is—especially in the winter when gas consumption is highest.” This gets to the heart of the problem the Liberals will not address. Rather than openly provide information that they have about the impact of this tax, the Liberals accuse members on this side of the House of burying our heads in the sand and being deniers, because calling us names is easier than facing the hard truth: This tax will not help.

The Liberal carbon tax will hurt families, because it taxes things that Canadians have no choice but to buy. Rural Canadians cannot just take the bus instead of driving their cars. Not every Canadian is a millionaire who can buy a Tesla with a taxpayer subsidy courtesy of the Prime Minister's friend Kathleen Wynne. And no Canadian can just turn off the heat.

It is not just individuals who will be forced to pay higher taxes. Places of worship, charities, food banks, organizations that help our communities cannot just pass along the tax. We have a jobs crisis in Alberta right now that the government has systematically refused to address. Food bank usage is up 60% this year, and the Liberals want the food bank to pay higher taxes. I am curious about what the government thinks. I wonder if it thinks that the food bank can simply raise prices to customers.

Policies should promote good behaviour. I personally think that food banks are excellent organizations with a meaningful purpose. I would not tax them more. What would I do? Members on this side of the House advocate evidence-based policies that can have a meaningful impact.

In 2012, it was the Conservative government that established regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the coal-fired electricity sector. We were the first country to ban the construction of traditional coal units under these guidelines. Our previous Conservative government also pursued a responsible sector-by-sector approach to regulate methane emissions in alignment with the United States, because we know that joint initiatives in alignment with our North American allies will lead to significant environmental improvements.

We also know that while Canadians can have a meaningful impact in the world, we will never solve the problem of excessive greenhouse gas emissions without buy-in from the world's biggest polluters. Lost in Liberal spin is the simple fact that our previous government was the first Canadian government in history to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We are not going to solve the problem by punishing everyday Canadians for living every day. I will not advocate policies that punish a constituent because he or she needs to drive a great distance to work. I will not advocate policies that punish my constituents for daring to heat their homes in the winter.

The government should practise what it preaches. The Department of Finance should be open and transparent. It should release the documents it has showing the cost of carbon taxes on Canadian workers, businesses, and families.

I want to read from the finance minister's mandate letter:

It is important that we acknowledge mistakes when we make them.

Well, the finance minister should admit his mistake in covering up the costs of the carbon tax and tell us the truth. Canadian workers, businesses, and families, above all, deserve to know.”

Peter Van Loan (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...e to the middle class experience in Ontario.

So deep is the financial desperation of ordinary families that they are, like that woman, willing to swallow their pride and admit for the first time in their lives that they cannot make it on their own. Energy prices have pushed them to the very edge of economic survival. It is into this environment that the Prime Minister and Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne have charged with their carbon tax to push these desperate, vulnerable families over the edge.

The story I told is just the most recent of many experiences I have had. Families have cried while telling me stories of what it is like to live after their hydro has been cut off or how they have had to shut their small businesses because energy costs have made it pointless to continue.

Consider how the dominoes fall. A dry cleaner/laundry is compelled to raise its prices a bit due to increased hydro rates. A customer already feeling the squeeze from higher hydro and gas bills on the family budget now has a new tax on gasoline that increases his commuting cost by 5% in a single day. He makes a decision. He will wash his shirts at home. After all, they are the no-iron kind, and he can get away with that. He figures that he will save enough each month to make up for this new carbon tax and the most recent rise in his hydro and home heating. A few other people come to the same conclusion. Suddenly, the cleaner finds that the three customers a day who represent his marginal revenue, his profit margin, are not showing up anymore. The cleaner cannot go on running his business without making money. The business closes. This is the new economic cycle in Liberal Ontario.

The new carbon tax championed by the Liberals is a tax that consumes what little is left for hard-pressed families at the margins. How crazy is the system the Prime Minister's advisers, Gerald Butts and Katie Telford, pioneered with Kathleen Wynne in Ontario?

The point of the carbon tax, we are told, is to discourage energy consumption. Guess what? Ontarians are actually keen on helping. They have made great strides and have, indeed, reduced their energy consumption by 25% per capita over the past 10 years. How are they rewarded for this reduction in their hydro consumption? Well, last year Ontario actually raised hydro rates, because we saved too much energy. Believe it or not, since conservation reduced energy consumption, hydro rates had to go up to make up for the reduced revenue, because less electricity was sold to consumers.

This is the logic of Liberal energy policy. Raise the cost to consumers so they use less. Consumers use less as a result, but revenue goes down, so the cost to consumers needs to be raised to make up the shortfall. This is the Liberal approach to energy. That is the Liberal approach to taxes and deficits too. Raise taxes, get less revenue, run deficits, decide taxes have to be raised again. Before we know it, we have a carbon tax.

It is not surprising that this is also the Liberals' approach to the carbon tax. They have already built it in for the future. The 5¢ per litre increase my constituents experienced on January 1 on their gasoline is just the first step in the phase-in of the carbon tax. It is already scheduled to go up another 2.5 times when implementation is complete, or about 13¢ per litre in my neighbourhood.

The Liberals say that it will not cost my constituents a thing, because it will be revenue neutral. The Liberals say that because they will spend the tax dollars on things like subsidizing Tesla automobiles. Again, I am not kidding. This is how they define revenue neutrality. It is not a joke. It is for real. The Liberals are proudly subsidizing Tesla automobiles, which cost somewhere between $130,000 and $200,000 or more, with a gift of $15,000 each. It is a big feature. Members just need to go to the Tesla website and they will see it. The Liberals are boasting about this big subsidy. Each of those $15,000 subsidies comes from my hard-pressed constituents paying for it on gas that they can ill afford.

If members have not seen a Tesla and they do not know what one is like, I can tell them where to find them. In Toronto, they just have to go to Rosedale or Post Road. That is where the millionaires have those cars. My poor constituents gassing up in Keswick at the Canadian Tire do not have those Teslas, but they are busy paying for them with every dollar they spend at the pump, funnelling that money down to the millionaires in Toronto. That is what the Liberals call revenue neutrality. That is how this carbon tax is working. (1350)

My constituents in York—Simcoe are exactly the kind of people who get hit the most by the carbon tax, people in the middle class and those struggling to get there. They just want the government to get out of the way and give them the freedom to do so. They live in Keswick, because that is how far out they need to go to afford a home. They need a car or a truck for the long commute to their jobs in Toronto or to work self-employed in the trades, and that is also usually a long drive to the south.

They have seen their hydro costs double under the Liberals, even as they have reduced electricity consumption by 25%, and now their gasoline and natural gas costs, already much higher than the average, are escalating ever higher because of a Liberal idea and determination that taxing them more is a good thing for society. That is right. It is because Kathleen Wynne and the Prime Minister believe it is intrinsically a good idea for them to pay even more for their daily commute and more to heat their homes. It is very difficult to grasp that, but think about it. The Liberals have instituted a carbon tax with the deliberate and conscious intent of forcing those hard-pressed families of York—Simcoe to pay an arbitrary tax increase on their heat and on their gasoline to get to work because it is good for those families.

I sometimes talk about the danger of a few smart people who, because they have educa...”

Francesco Sorbara (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...brated internationally to bring awareness about the impacts of rare diseases on sufferers and their families. In Canada, rare diseases affect approximately one in 12 people, or three million Canadians...”

Richard Cannings (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...$900 million over five years, it leveraged more than $4 billion in retrofit investments by Canadian families. The government got five times the economic impact from its investment. When homeowners inv...”

David Sweet (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...se to voice serious concern that the increasing tax burden the Liberal government is placing on our families has reached a breaking point.

In Flamborough—Glanbrook, young families are the largest and fastest growing demographic. Young couples and parents are working hard in pursuit of their dream to own a home, to make a better life for themselves. We should be rewarding their hard work and not punishing it with new taxes.

When the Prime Minister travels to European galas to lecture others on middle-class angst, he needs to first look at his own actions, because actions speak louder than words: actions like the carbon tax and CPP hike, actions like the cancellation of tax credits families relied on for sports and arts programs for their children, actions taken by the government.

Here is my challenge to the members opposite who talk a big game on reconnecting with the middle class. Long before next Family Day, they should actually go to a local Tim Hortons or a breakfast diner and hear the increasing frustrations of young families before contemplating more taxes to fund the free-spending way of the Liberal government.

Jody Wilson-Raybould (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, certainly, our deepest sympathies go out to the families. We recognize that these were heinous crimes, that they need to be prevented, and public sa...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... it is his signature economic and environmental policy. Why hide it? He will not reveal the cost to families, seniors, and workers. In fact, this is now becoming widely known as the carbon tax cover-u...”

Pam Goldsmith-Jones (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we owe it to Canadian workers and their families to ensure that we have the access we need to the significant Asia-Pacific market. We will c...”

Richard Cannings (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...h home children and their descendants, and what measures will be taken to ensure that survivors and families can take part in this important moment?”

Ahmed Hussen (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d an immigration system that was broken. Applicants faced long processing times, which usually kept families apart. This is why we worked really hard to make sure that we attacked that processing time...”

Peter Van Loan (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ar to be moving in the opposite direction. That ensures that we are not just hurting businesses and families through outright taxes, but through competitive disadvantage we are going to lose employers, jobs, economic competitiveness, and we are going to hurt our economy.

That will effectively reduce energy consumption, no doubt. However, if the policy is to reduce energy consumption by killing the economy and jobs, that is a very reckless policy. That is the policy of this Liberal government and the Ontario Liberal government through the carbon tax it has imposed, which only hurts families.”

Jonathan Wilkinson (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nd territories to use as they see fit, whether to give back to consumers; support workers and their families; help the vulnerable, including communities in the north; or to support businesses that inn...”

Pierre Poilievre (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...order earlier, the debate today is about whether the government should release the cost to Canadian families of this new tax. I have obtained a Finance Canada document, which warns of a cascading effect on prices that consumers, families, and businesses will pay as a result of this new tax. Those documents make reference to data tables in which those costs are laid out for families, broken down by income quintile: the very poor, the poor, the middle class, the upper middl...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ill cause “higher prices to cascade through the economy in the form of higher prices”. Canadian families should have that data, the estimates that show how much a price on carbon will actually increase their cost of living versus whether they think this emissions target that has been articulated by the government is worth sacrificing that cost for. What is more important is even more complicated than that. There are no data. Not only do we not know that, because the government is trying to hide the true costs to Canadians, we also do not know if this policy is actually going to work.

Why did I ask the parliamentary secretary earlier about the price elasticity assumptions, to which he quite hilariously asked if I was trying to trick him? I have never had that said to me in the House of Commons before, but wonders never cease. The reason I asked that question is that we actually need to understand how demand will be influenced by the price on carbon, this tax, to see if demand will actually decrease over time.

For those who are not aware of what price elasticity is, I put this forward to show the Canadian public that I was not trying to trick the member opposite. Price elasticity of demand is the measure of the relationship between a change in the quantity demanded of a particular good and a change in its price. Price elasticity of demand is a term in economics often used when discussing price sensitivity. The formula for calculating price elasticity of demand is price elasticity of demand equals the percentage change in quantity demanded over the percentage change in price.

If Canadians are to evaluate the government on this policy at all, first they need to ask whether this emissions target is something they are willing to accept. (1545)

How do they get to that decision? How much is it going to cost them? Is it actually going to work? Is demand actually going to decrease as a result of this price?

Right now, every single speech that has happened here in the House from the government side has a lot of rhetoric. I notice that the speech given before me was, “There are going to be jobs created. Our demand is going to decrease. This is going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.” It sounds like a snake oil salesman to me. It smells like a bill of goods. It sounds like something is hiding.

Now, if the government wants to refute this principle, wants to say it is not hiding anything and in fact this is an opportunity cost calculation that Canadians want to make, why would it not release these documents?

For those who are listening today, what we are debating is the fact that the Department of Finance actually put together a report on how much it would cost Canadians. How much is this carbon tax and its cascading effect going to cost? We know that the increase in price on a raw good that is produced by a manufacturer is going to be carried down and exponentially increase down to the consumer. The department calculated this. The documents are called “Impact of a carbon price on households’ consumption costs across the income distribution” and “Estimating economic impacts from various mitigation options for greenhouse gas emissions”. These are fancy, complicated titles for saying, “This is how much this policy instrument is going to cost you”.

If the government really was open and transparent, and if the government was confident that this is the policy instrument that Canadians should be saying that, yes, they support, why would it not put those documents out there, outside of the fact that it has something to hide?

We have seen reports recently, and British Columbia's much-touted carbon tax is something that many of you are familiar with. The government, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment, says, “Oh, British Columbia, fantastic, and it's working so well in its supposed revenue neutrality”. However, according to data from reports that have been released, according to the government's own projections, the carbon tax will result in a cumulative $865-million tax increase on British Columbians between 2013-14 and 2018-19. This is because the revenue neutrality of that carbon tax and the tax reductions in other areas have not kept up with the cost increases caused by this carbon tax.

Again, why is this information in this document so important to Canadians? It is because dollars to donuts, it shows that this costs Canadians a lot of money. However, in some ways, we really do not need these documents. The proof is in the pudding, because when somebody is going to fill up their car right now, certainly for myself in Alberta, I know that I am paying more for the same product than I did a few months ago. Has my demand for that product decreased? No. Why? It is because it is cold, and because we should be talking about public transit infrastructure. (1550)

In fact, in my riding in Calgary, the government has delayed investments into public transit projects such as the Green Line in Calgary. There are so many other public policy options that could be looked at, but in terms of being able to do that opportunity cost calculation, in terms of being able to say, “What are you sacrificing over what are you gaining”, Canadians need this information. The government has already produced it. It has looked at it. My issue is that the government has come up with a policy in spite of facts showing that this opportunity cost calculation is not in the best interests of Canadians.

Therefore, if the government were truly transparent, if it actually cared about the environment rather than just taking money out of the pockets of Canadians, it would do two things: it would release these documents and let Canadians decide about its competency based on putting forward a policy instrument without showing Canadians that data; and second, the government would release the price elasticity assumptions that it used when modelling this carbon tax.

I do not think the Liberals have either. I know they do not have either, and because of that, because this is a poor public policy instrument, all of us on this side of the House in the Conservative Party will continue to stand up for middle-class families, workers, their jobs, and their right to prosperity.”

Richard Cannings (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...for a number of years and was suddenly cancelled just when it was getting popular. It did a lot for families across this country to retrofit their homes, to cut their energy bills, and to reduce green...”

Richard Cannings (NDP)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...illion over about five years, it leveraged more than $4 billion in retrofit investments by Canadian families. When homeowners invest in new windows, insulation, and other energy-saving projects, that ...”

Garnett Genuis (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...rnment when it comes to taxes affecting low-income Canadians? It eliminated various tax credits for families; it undid the EI reforms that we brought in; in fact, it is in the process of raising payro...”

Cheryl Gallant (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...he last election using the same tired campaign rhetoric that was used to confuse veterans and their families. Mindless talking points scripted by the Prime Minister's Office are not acceptable to vete...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...to the women and men who have served in times of war, military conflict, and in peace, and to their families who serve along with them. This is especially so for those who were injured in the course of their duties.

While I cannot talk about specific cases, I can discuss how our government is committed to providing veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, the RCMP, and their families with the support and benefits they need and have earned, when and where they need them.

Veterans Affairs Canada provides a range of programs to promote the well-being of those who were injured or became ill in the performance of their duties, including disability and related health care benefits, rehabilitation services, financial benefits, and support to families. In budget 2016 we committed $5.6 billion to increase financial benefits for disabled veterans. This includes increasing the value of disability awards to a maximum of $360,000, increasing the amount of earnings loss benefit to 90% of an eligible veteran's military salary, and expanding access to the permanent impairment allowance for those with career-limiting, service-related injuries.

These enhancements deliver on commitments in the mandate of the Minister of Veterans Affairs and they respond to recommendations from key stakeholders, including the veterans ombudsman.

To increase services to veterans we also began to reopen the nine veterans affairs offices that had been closed across the country, providing veterans with access to services that they need. We are on track to have these offices open by this spring.

This government is and will remain committed to supporting our veterans and their families by providing the benefits and programs they need to succeed in civilian life. I encourage any veteran who feels he or she may have a service-related illness or injury to reach out to Veterans Affairs Canada so their needs can be discussed and support provided wherever possible.

While I have outlined some of the services and benefits provided by Veterans Affairs Canada and the efforts taken to support veterans and their families, we recognize that we can do better and we will. When a specific case issue is raised, I ca...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ieved to date, but there is more work to do to advance the overall well-being of veterans and their families.

I reiterate the invitation to the member across the aisle or any member of the House to meet with me so that we can work together to improve the lives of veterans and their families.”

Pierre Poilievre (Conservative)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ained and made public, is lead to a cascading effect of rising prices on consumers, businesses, and families. Naturally, these three groups want to know how much they will have to pay.

That was the subject of my access to information request of the government.

The government responded by indicating it had tables that calculated the cost of a carbon tax on families, depending on their income. It broke households down into five groups, quintiles: the very poor, the poor, the middle class, the upper middle class, and then the rich. The only problem is these tables have no numbers. They are blacked out so nobody can see them, hence the term “carbon tax cover-up”.

We know, based on the admission of the document, that there will be higher prices for consumers, businesses, and families and higher gas prices, home heating prices, and electricity prices. Groceries that are ship...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 23rd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...rong trend of 2016. However, we know there is still more to do.

We will continue to invest in families and in communities to help the middle class today and build a sustainable future for the entire country.[Translation]

We moved forward knowing very well that when Canadians realize their full potential, they can build a better life for themselves, their family, and their entire community, and in doing so, build a better, stronger Canada for current and future generations.

As Canada's population ages, our prosperity will increasingly depend on young Canadians getting the education and training they need to prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our government is making those investments. We have increased funding for Canadian scholarships and bursaries, for students from low- and middle-income families, and for part-time students. As a result, over 360,000 students across Canada will receive ...”

Frank Baylis (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...s day, one of my proudest achievements is my Chief Scouts Award.[Translation]

I encourage all families to support the Scouting and Guiding movement. I invite parents to consider signing up their...”

Vance Badawey (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ive care, the dedicated staff at Hotel Dieu Shaver work tirelessly to help their patients and their families live life to the fullest.

As a strong supporter of Hotel Dieu Shaver, I want to expre...”

Wayne Long (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...his year. Our shelters are full, and are at capacity across the country.

For older adults and families, the stay is now as long as 20 days. One in four homeless are older adults or seniors, one ...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...thiest 1%.

We brought in a Canada child benefit that gives more money to 9 out of 10 Canadian families, which will help them with the costs of groceries, school supplies, and raising their kids, and by not helping millionaire families with child benefits like the previous government did.

On top of that, we will be redu...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...workers' rights, tossing principles meant to protect jobs and create a brighter future for Canadian families right out the window.

We know that we need to remain welcoming and open to the world,...”

Karen Vecchio (Conservative)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Wynne Liberals in Ontario did not get this advice before ramming a similar tax on small businesses, families, and commuters.

When will the Prime Minister look at how Ontario has been devastated ...”

Gérard Deltell (Conservative)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...he bill.

Meanwhile, the Liberal government is raising taxes on Canadian workers. As a result, families, entrepreneurs, and students are now paying more taxes than they were two years ago.

...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...is the truth.

Thanks to our tax cuts, individuals are paying $330 less in taxes this year and families are paying $540 less. The nine out of ten families who are receiving the Canada child benefit are getting, on average, an additional $2,300 th...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the truth could not be plainer: nine out of ten families with children are better off.

For example, a woman with one child earning $30,000 a year will receive up to $5,400. On average, these families will receive $2,300 more than last year. It is a big change and taxes are lower. Improving ...”

Jim Carr (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...lumber. We are joining forces to address the challenges facing the industry, the workers, and their families.”

Shannon Stubbs (Conservative)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...police. Our advocacy speaks volumes to both the family of Constable Wynn and the thousands of other families who have lost loved ones to previously convicted criminals.

For most Canadians, Satur...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...afety of Canadians here and around the world. Our top priority is to ensure that veterans and their families get the support that they need. [English]

As the member knows, we cannot comment on specific cases for privacy reasons. However, I can discuss how Veterans Affairs provides many programs and services for the mental, as well as physical, health of our veterans.

Canada's veterans now receive more local, in-person government services, as well as better access to case managers than under the previous government. Last summer, Veterans Affairs Canada began reopening the nine Veterans Affairs offices that had been closed across the country by the previous government. We are on track to have every office reopened by spring 2017.

Moreover, we will also open a new office in Surrey, B.C. in May of this year.[Translation]

Veterans Affairs Canada is currently hiring 400 new front-line employees to help veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, and RCMP members and their families to get the best possible service in their own community.[English]

This includes new caseworkers, which will allow us to get to a 25:1 ratio.[Translation]

In budget 2016, we kept our promise to improve benefits for veterans, including by providing them with better compensation, more choices, and more support for planning their financial future.

We are giving more money to veterans who are sick or injured by increasing the disability award to a maximum of $360,000.[English]

We increased the earnings lost benefit to 90% of an eligible veteran's salary at the time of his or her release to ensure stable financial security during rehabilitation.

We also expanded access to the permanent impairment allowance to better support veterans who had their career options limited by a service-related illness or injury and renamed the benefit the career impact allowance to better reflects its intention.

The Department of Veterans Affairs service standard for disability benefits is to process the first application within 16 weeks, and it is taking a hard look at the disability application process to expedite decision-making and to respond to the needs pf veterans promptly. Delivering timely benefit decisions is an area where we can and we must do better. In 2016, we saw a 19% increase in the number of disability claims. This is actually a good thing. It means more veterans are coming forward for help.

We are working at putting in measures to decrease the backlog, simplify decision-making processes, and transfer of medical records.

Veterans Affairs Canada is working diligently with the Canadian Armed Forces to ensure that all veterans and their families receive the support and the programs they deserve.”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 22nd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... me with any concerns they may have and to work together to support our troops, our vets, and their families.”

Judy A. Sgro (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“..., while being slowly trapped within their own bodies. Their physical decline is dramatic, and their families can do little but sit back and wait for the end.

Certainly, members in the House have known many with ALS, and we have watched as these brave men and women have done battle with a relentless foe.

It was less than a year ago that the hon. Mauril Bélanger, suffering the effects of ALS, presided over this House as an honorary Speaker. He had been diagnosed with ALS in the fall of 2015. What should have been a time of celebration for him and his family turned out to be a sombre realization that his world was about to change profoundly and that his time was running out. Worse yet, his wife Catherine and their children were forced to sit back and watch as Mauril first lost his voice, then his strength, and eventually his fight against ALS.

Mauril was not alone. Many of us in this place will remember Richard Wackid, Brian Parsons, and even our former clerk, William Corbett. Each of these people contributed so much to this place and to Canada, yet they were struck down without warning or reason and without mercy.

In the wake of these tragic losses, and hundreds of others, colleagues, such as the member for Dufferin—Caledon, the member for Cape Breton—Canso, and even the Prime Minister, have made emotional statements in the House in support of the fight against ALS. I can even confirm that our Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the NDP, the MP for Portage—Lisgar, the President of the Treasury Board, and many more accepted the ALS ice bucket challenge and took the plunge against ALS. Together we helped raise more than $19 million for ALS research, a significant accomplishment, but we need to think longer term.

Put another way, our parliamentary family has been deeply touched by ALS, and all members and all parties in the House have responded by raising awareness and money. Motion No. 105 is the next step in our fight against ALS.

We know that ALS is an unforgiving and brutal disease that gradually paralyses the body. Someone in otherwise good health will gradually lose the ability to talk, to move, to eat, to swallow, and eventually to breathe. Right now there are approximately 3,000 Canadians living with ALS, and the reason that number is not bigger is because 80% of the people with ALS die within two to five years of diagnosis. As we saw in Mauril's case, sometimes it is significantly less than that.

Let us talk about Mauril for a moment. Mauril's journey with ALS was highly visible due to his role as a member of Parliament, but it shone a light on not only what it looks like to have the disease but on the circle of family members, friends, and colleagues affected when someone is diagnosed with ALS. (1110)

The mobility and communication needs of someone diagnosed with ALS are great and are a tremendous financial burden on everyone involved. It is estimated that ALS has a minimum cost, for families, of somewhere between $150,000 and $250,000. This does not include the loss of salary that often comes about when a family member leaves a job to care for a loved one full time, which is usually required.

Families faced with an ALS diagnosis must make difficult decisions in the attempt to balance the desire for a good quality of life with the cost of achieving it. For example, many people diagnosed with ALS prefer to live at home rather than in a care facility. However, staying at home frequently requires modifications to accommodate wheelchairs, bathroom aids, lifts, and beds, not to mention the nursing care required for someone who is increasingly paralyzed. For a family whose loved one has ALS, these decisions have financial and emotional implications that last long after ALS has taken that person's life.

While there are about 3,000 Canadians living with ALS at any one time, the broader circle of people affected is much larger. It is fair to say that in each of our ridings, people are dying of ALS, and their family members' lives are changed forever, because ALS has a lasting financial and emotional impact.

ALS kills nearly 1,000 Canadians each year, and a similar number are diagnosed with ALS each year. This creates a revolving door of people who have a disease with no cure and no effective treatment, a disease that limits their remaining days in more ways than one. Not only have their lives been significantly shortened, they have been changed by a host of new needs as mobility has declined and the ability to communicate has lessened.

Canadians with ALS have said that their experience with the disease is like being buried alive or dying in slow motion. It is hard to believe that today, in 2017, there is still no cure. There are also no effective treatments, and the causes of the disease are unknown.

Fewer than 10% of ALS cases are inherited from a family member, meaning that at least nine out of 10 people diagnosed with ALS develop it seemingly at random. Each one of us in this room has a one-in-400 chance of being diagnosed with ALS over the course of our lives, which brings me to why research is so important. It is one of the few things people and families affected by ALS can be hopeful about. Research may not change their own path, but they fervently hope that it will change the path for others who will be diagnosed in the future.

Globally there has been more progress in ALS research in the last five years than in the last 100 years. Most leading researchers and clinicians in the field believe that we have the tools today to at least understand how ALS is caused. This means that there is tremendous potential for the development of effective treatments for the first time ever. The limitation in developing these treatments, of course, is resources, resources in the form of research investment.

Historically, in Canada, ALS research has been funded at approximately $1.5 million to $2 million per year through the ALS Society of Canada. There are no other significant Canadian funding mechanisms that focus exclusively on ALS research.

As I have already mentioned, the ice bucket challenge was a huge success, but without an ongoing and sustainable funding mechanism, Canada's ALS research efforts will soon return to traditional funding levels. That means that we are at risk of losing the research momentum at a time when ALS research holds more promise than ever before. Many members participated in that challenge, and in doing so, were part of a tremendous movement that is helping to advance ALS research and provide support and care to people living with the disease.

Motion No. 105, as I said earlier, is the next step.

On the day Mauril presided over this House, our Prime Minister and the other party leaders all encouraged Canadians to support the organizations that are working to find a cure for ALS. Since then, an all-party ALS caucus has been created to better understand the care and research challenges ALS presents, as well as opportunities to address them. (1115)

Today I am calling on all members to live up to that promise. The first part of my motion asks that the House continue its commitment to ALS research and awareness, working with stakeholders in our provinces and territories. Besides being the only significant funding mechanism dedicated to ALS research across Canada, ALS Society of Canada is part of a network of ALS societies with a provincial presence. I support the government's ongoing work with ALS societies across Canada, especially as it strives to maximize our impact toward making ALS a treatable, non-terminal disease.

So often things that we debate here in this place are divisive. Motion No. 105, of course, is not divisive. It is not complex. It does not place one party over another. Imagine the ability for Canadians to be part of a global legacy that could change the meaning of an ALS diagnosis. By investing in ALS research, we could help make that change happen. Families coping with an ALS diagnosis deserve so much more and so much better than the reality that ...”

Colin Carrie (Conservative)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...millions have been raised for ALS, portions of these funds are allocated to help patients and their families who typically spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to care for a loved one, and this is a struggle for families. ALS Canada's provincial chapters use a portion of donations to help these families access care in their community and provide specialized equipment to ALS patients.

We must all remember that ALS does not just affect the individuals, but it affects the families and friends as well. There is nothing worse than watching a person one loves and cares abou...”

Don Davies (NDP)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... the House.

ALS has devastating effects on the many individuals it affects directly, on their families and caregivers, and on our entire public health care system. It is a disease that does not ...”

Francis Drouin (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...her story with us and for not giving up. I also want to acknowledge her husband and the 2,999 other families out there that are supporting their loved ones. We know that 80% of the burden of care is shouldered by a family member. The cost on families can range from $150,000 to $250,000, and that is not counting the loss of revenues should t...”

Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...s and stakeholders that are there to support individuals who have been diagnosed with ALS and their families. We recognize the challenges in health care today. What role should the national government play in dealing with this? I have often taken the approach when I was the health care critic in the province of Manitoba that we need to do more in terms of spending on research.

There are many different diseases and disorders and the government needs to be more proactive in looking at ways in which we can have a tangible impact, save lives, and be there for families. That is one of the reasons we are supportive in terms of acknowledging, and in certain are...”

Wayne Stetski (NDP)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s. My sincere condolences go to Barry's wife, Barb, and to his children, Michael and Ben, and their families.

While we are here today to talk about Rouge park, I would like to take a moment to p...”

Anthony Housefather (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... in this House to join me in acknowledging the Jewish Federation's service agencies, activists, and families in the gallery today and in thanking them for their terrific work in helping others in need...”

Bob Zimmer (Conservative)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...riers and the advancement of inclusion and accommodation of individuals with disabilities and their families.

I wish them well.”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...is a long list of tax credits on the chopping block again. These are credits that seniors, workers, families, and students depend on. We also know that he wants to hike user fees. The Liberals might e...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...r cent.

We brought in a Canada child benefit that gives more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families by doing less for the families that do not need the help and more for those who do. On top of that, we have ensured that w...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... higher CPP and EI premiums, and a carbon tax. That adds up to thousands of dollars a year for many families.

When will the Prime Minister stop misleading Canadians and admit he is making the mi...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...y the way.

The fact is that we also brought in the Canada child benefit to give more money to families that need it and reduce or eliminate benefits for millionaire families. That will reduce child poverty in Canada by 40%.

We are focusing on the middle class...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...p people who need it through tax cuts, for instance, and by creating solutions that will help their families.

We introduced the Canada child benefit, which will help nine out of ten families by giving them more money. Helping Canadian families and the middle class remains our goal and will be the main objective of our budget, which w...”

Jonathan Wilkinson (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ent. Provinces are using the revenue from the pricing of carbon pollution to give the money back to families through rebates, to cut personal income taxes and corporate taxes, and to invest and to cre...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...da child benefit to help the middle class and people who need help. Our plan is to continue helping families across the country. There will be measures in our budget that are good for our economy and for Canadian families.”

Julie Dabrusin (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...portance of evidence-based decision-making. In order to provide affordable housing for middle-class families, I would like the minister to inform this House of the advancement of CMHC's work on escala...”

Alistair MacGregor (NDP)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...on actual victims. This is unacceptable. The criteria for accessing this fund are so stringent that families are getting squeezed out.

Will the minister commit, today, to fixing this fund so tha...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...are the deep concern of Canadians and all members of the House for the very trying circumstances of families of missing or murdered children. The current program that was brought in by the previous go...”

Arnold Viersen (Conservative)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ted about it, but it is also a matter of fact because they already live there and are raising their families there.

I will move on to the Rouge national park, the piece of this bill that has had...”

Tom Kmiec (Conservative)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ng-standing relationship that predates Confederation, both our trade and military relationship, and families crossing the border back and forth.

This agreement, this legislation that would actua...”

Marco Mendicino (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...s and thereby extending the amount of time required for trials. This is unfair to victims and their families who have to wait longer for a resolution of their case. By reducing the number of mandatory...”

Marco Mendicino (Liberal)

February 21st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...law profession, which we are doing. We would want to consult with other stakeholders, including the families and the victims and those who are negatively impacted by crimes. We would want to consult w...”

Catherine McKenna (Liberal)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rnment is also investing in the popular learn-to-camp program, to reach more low- and middle-income families, giving them the opportunity to experience the wonders of Canada's outdoors. Budget 2016 also enabled us make significant investments in tourism facilities and roads to help connect Canadians to nature, while stimulating the economy in communities across the country.[English]

Other highlights in 2017 will include bioblitzes, in collaboration with partners, to foster greater awareness of conservation and biodiversity. Bioblitzes are great examples of citizen science. They are fun events that bring together naturalists, scientists, and members of the public to identify as many species as possible in a particular area. Canadians can contribute to real science while connecting with nature in a personally meaningful way.

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, my hope is that many Canadians, including youth, urban families, and newcomers, will discover Parks Canada for the first time this year at Rouge National U...”

John Brassard (Conservative)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... there is no question that national parks are a big part of our Canadian fabric. They give a lot of families the opportunity to enjoy.

However, the real challenge with the bill before us is the ...”

Pierre Poilievre (Conservative)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Earlier this year, the government blacked out data on the financial burden on poor and middle-class families as a result of the federally mandated carbon taxes.

Are the Liberals covering up this...”

Catherine McKenna (Liberal)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rom floods to winter storms. Prince Edward Island is shrinking at 43 centimetres per year. Canadian families are already at risk from climate change. Canadian insurance claims from severe storm damage...”

Matt Jeneroux (Conservative)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ns and nothing to create jobs.

How many more Albertans need to lose their jobs? How many more families need to lose their homes? How many more businesses need to close their doors before the Lib...”

Jamie Schmale (Conservative)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...fuel to get children to the rink, substantially more expensive. When are the Liberals going to help families instead of burying them in taxes?”

John Nater (Conservative)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...fact, high energy costs are especially hard on seniors living on fixed incomes, on farmers, on farm families, and on small businesses. Now the federal Liberals are taking lessons from the failed playb...”

David Yurdiga (Conservative)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...he current Liberal economy. Now the charitable agencies providing support for these individuals and families have to cut programs as a direct result of the Prime Minister's ill-conceived carbon tax sc...”

Robert Kitchen (Conservative)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...of my constituents are out of work. The Liberals are making things worse by forcing a carbon tax on families that are already struggling to put food on the table.

A carbon tax will increase cost...”

Catherine McKenna (Liberal)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...and raised them on the 1%. That is why we introduced the Canada child benefit, where nine out of 10 families will get more for their children.

We will also take action on the environment because...”

Chandra Arya (Liberal)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...often tell me how important it is to have access to arts facilities in our communities. This allows families to take part in the arts and better understand our stories as Canadians.

Will the gov...”

Jamie Schmale (Conservative)

February 17th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... before the 2015 election.

I am no fan of the Wynne government to begin with. Across Ontario, families are having to decide whether to heat their homes or pay their rent. Communities are facing extremely high hydro prices. I mentioned today the Millbrook arena in Cavan Monaghan. It had a hydro bill in December of over $11,000. If we compared that to a community in New York State, the bill was just over $5,000. We all know this gets picked up by one person, and that one person is the taxpayer.

The government is continually taking money out of the pockets of taxpayers who are having to do more with less. I hear this every day from my constituents. These tax increases brought on by both the provincial Liberal government, in Ontario and federally, are furthering the struggle of many of these families.

Unfortunately, Bill C-18 does not include the transfer of parklands that were exprop...”

Jenny Kwan (NDP)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ancouver. After a welcoming reception, an individual pepper sprayed a group of newly arrived Syrian families, including young children, as they were waiting for the bus to take them back to their temporary lodging. I was horrified to learn of the incident, as I had just left the event. The families were just gathering the children together to get on the bus.

In the nearby community ...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...l-being of those affected by the shooting came from a place of deep personal understanding, for the families of those who died but also particularly for those who survived and now have to live with sc...”

Dianne L. Watts (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...cultures feel welcome and included in our communities, where they can live in peace and raise their families, free from acts of hatred and discrimination.

Today's motion underlines our duty as p...”

Kelly Block (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I want to express my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and injured in the attack at the Quebec City Islamic centre. It...”

Marilène Gill (Bloc Québécois)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...orth Shore, the fishery and forestry sectors provide thousands of jobs for Quebeckers. Thousands of families back home live from the sea and the forest.

Seasonal work is nothing new. No one has ...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...John and my father both served in the Greenfield Park fire department together. Like all department families, we grew up together. Sheila always had a smile on her face and greeted everyone with posit...”

Chris Warkentin (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...alks of life came to hear his greatest works and meet the characters who quickly became part of our families: Dave, Morley, the kids, and the neighbours.

Years ago around Christmas time, my wife...”

David Anderson (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...o for them every day. They are here year after year providing safe and affordable food for Canadian families.

Agriculture in Canada has a bright and promising future.”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...hey need and want. What we have done is help those most vulnerable so they can buy things for their families.

Importantly, we are making investments in our economy so we can actually grow the ec...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nger pay. Will the defence minister show some leadership, do what is right for our troops and their families, and reverse this cold-hearted decision?”

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (NDP)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development recently announced the creation of an advisory committee o...”

Luc Thériault (Bloc Québécois)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Point of Order

“...ndividuals who were shipped from Great Britain to Canada between 1869 and 1948, and torn from their families to serve mainly as cheap labour once they arrived in Canada.”

Joël Lightbound (Liberal)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s them.

I saw it at the vigils where thousands of people came together in solidarity with the families of the victims and with the Muslim community. I saw it in the hundreds of messages of love and sympathy that were received. I can say that I was proud of my community, of Quebec City and of Louis-Hébert, of its people, who have class and heart and who are open people with resilient hearts, men and women of good will whom I saw and heard in my community and from coast to coast.

Inside me there sprouted a hope, a hope that to ignorance we would oppose knowledge, hope that to hatred we would oppose brotherhood, hope that consciences would awaken and rise up, hope above all that the tone might change and that we would finally turn the page on the politics of fear and division. [English]

I realize today, however, in light of this debate about Motion No. 103 and of all the hate that my colleague has received, that the road ahead will be long and that, sadly, the destination remains uncertain.

I would like to rewind the tape a little bit, because whatever specifically caused January 29, whatever motivated this lost soul to act, it is to some extent irrelevant and immaterial; because we have had a problem with Islamophobia in this country long before that; because Canada is not immune to what we have observed in recent years around the western world; because I believe that we are an open and tolerant people. We too have these demons within our societies, and we must address them.

When a mosque gets burned in Peterborough, when a pig's head is thrown at the mosque's doorstep in my riding, when women wearing the hijab in Toronto get assaulted, when we see hate crimes diminish in Canada for all religions but double for Muslims, we have a problem that we must address. It is called Islamophobia, and the first thing we have to do is acknowledge it, because we cannot change what we do not acknowledge.

I believe that what we must do first is to ask ourselves how we got here. How did we let these demons grow and this ignorance, this fear, and too often this hatred take hold in the hearts of some?

When I was a kid, there were no Muslims where I grew up. There was my friend Rafik; there was my soccer coach Mr. Bougouss; there was my best friend's father Ammar; but they were just that, friends, neighbours, members of our community. Some I got along with, others I did not, just like anyone else. However, over the years, for some among us, they became Muslims through the lens of the prejudices that we have been fed.

Boy, have we been fed. We have been fed on social media, by some politicians, and by some in the media who have preyed on that fear with a passion, who have provided simple answers to very complex questions, who failed to say that Muslims are by far the first victims of terrorism, who have failed to say that those who commit senseless acts of terror in the name of Islam make a perversion of their faith and by no way, shape, or form represent Muslims, just like the shooter in Quebec City does not represent Quebeckers or Canadians. (1530) [Translation]

If it is true that a tiny minority is trying to use the peaceful religion that is Islam for political purposes, by trying to force a confrontation of civilizations and thereby taking hostage the 1.6 billion peaceful Muslims of the world, it is also true that if we respond to their rhetoric of fear and division we risk losing what is best in Canada, namely our openness and our inclusiveness.[English]

There is a path forward and it calls for all men and women of goodwill to speak up and to condemn Islamophobia and all forms of racism and religious discrimination. This is what Motion No. 103 is about.

It is not about free speech and does not even come close to restricting free speech. Two weeks ago, I said in the House that if words have consequences, so do silences. Well, here is a good opportunity to speak up, to correct the record, as some have done in the House across all party lines. Beyond that, I call on all members' higher selves, to tone the rhetoric down and to start writing a new chapter in our collective history.[Translation]

As for the opposition motion that is before us today, I will be very honest: I am in agreement with every word. When I was younger and my mother was sick, my adoptive father was Jewish. I have Muslim friends and I am a Christian. Last year I discovered some Sikh colleagues who are ministers and MPs, of whom I am extremely fond.

Yes, we have to combat religious discrimination, of whatever sort. Yes, we have to combat discrimination full stop. However, I am deeply disappointed, for I clearly see signs of a great cynicism hiding behind this motion, and I think we can do much better. I think that we can do more than just play politics here.

I was born under the rose, in Toronto, and I was raised under the lily, in Quebec City. The linguistic and cultural duality that characterizes Canada is an intrinsic part of me. However, I also grew up in an apartment building in Sainte-Foy, alongside families of Romanian, Haitian, African, Brazilian, Arabic, Bosnian and of course Quebec origins. I h...”

David Sweet (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s to the heinousness of this act of terror. The lives of six men were taken that day, leaving their families without husbands and fathers and without brothers and uncles. A total of 15 children were l...”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...n end to the tragedy of murdered and missing indigenous women for 10, 12, or 15 years, and for some families for decades; when I tell them that the MBA students from across the country are pulling in ...”

Luc Berthold (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...here are no worse crimes than hate crimes against totally innocent people. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives or were injured during the attack perpetrated at the Centre culturel Islamique de Québec.

This attack was an affront to the liberty and religious freedoms of Canadians. Places of worship should be havens of peace where people can engage in personal reflection and expression of their faith. Canadians, regardless of religion, race, or origin, must be able to freely express their convictions, and change their beliefs and practices without worry and without fear of coercion or violence of any kind. That is what I believe, and I think all of my colleagues agree with that. (1640)

I would say that sometimes, as is the case today, the example does not always come from the top. What is happening today worries me. When we want a consensus and we want to set differences aside to speak with one voice, we must focus on what unites us rather than what divides us, as we are unfortunately doing today.

I would like to talk about an example that did not come from the top, in my community of Thetford Mines. This is about the dream of a priest and singer. I can give you his name; I spoke to him today and he gave me permission to do so. His name is Robert Lebel. He managed to do something that I thought was literally impossible to achieve when I heard about it for the first time.

Mr. Lebel, a priest and singer, created a space of unity and peace in my riding, called Versant-La-Noël. What is Versant-La-Noël? It was created in 1998. It took two years of reflection before finally bringing a certain group of people together, for our priest to successfully implement his project, which has developed over the years.

In 2008, the dream became reality with the construction of an ecumenical and interfaith pavilion. The ecumenical pavilion became and remains to this day a space for unity and peace where interfaith activities are held. What makes this pavilion such an exceptional place? The building’s architecture itself eloquently speaks of the desire to create a universal fraternity, and it does this in two ways.

First, it features the symbols of the three major Abrahamic religions: the cross for Christians, the star for Judaism and the crescent for the Muslim faith. When you arrive at Versant-La-Noël and you see the building and its three symbols, you cannot help but be impressed and awestruck. No one would think that these three symbols could coexist on the same building. However, this is what is happening in my community.

There are also symbols representing all the various Christian denominations, Anglican, Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox. There are cupolas, gables, and bell towers. In short, room has been made for the expression of all forms of faith and religion.

I firmly believe I should organize a mission to Versant-La-Noël. I would go even further to say that I think the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, which will certainly study one of these two motions—one of them will surely be adopted—should hold at least one meeting in this haven for peace and harmony for all religions.

Once people have spent a few hours with Robert Lebel or a few hours in this really special place, they see things and others in a different light.

Today we speak of an inclusive Canada, a Canada that allows everyone to express themselves without fear. When we are able to bring all these people together so they can talk to one another, we can do some real good, without always having to speak of hate and hate crimes.

I will give a few examples of the activities held at Versant-La-Noël. There are awareness-raising sessions with the various Christian faiths in the region. For more than 10 years now, the centre has consolidated interfaith relations, particularly with Muslim immigrant families who come celebrate the festival of sacrifice and the end of Ramadan or to hold internationa...”

Todd Doherty (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...0 jobs depend on the forestry industry for their livelihoods and to put food on the table for their families. We currently do not have a softwood lumber agreement in place. This has been mentioned time and again, and I will continue to defend our forestry workers.

It is expected that tariffs will soon be levied on our Canadian producers that ship between Canada and the U.S. Prior to the Harper government coming to power, disputes on the softwood lumber had been simmering for more than 20 years. It reached a peak in May 2002 when the United States imposed duties of 27% on Canadian softwood. It was argued that Canada unfairly subsidized producers of spruce, pine, and fir lumber.

The trade war took a toll on Canadian jobs. While we like to tout our record in litigation, thousands upon thousands of people in the industry lost their jobs, including nearly 15,000 forestry workers in my home province of British Columbia.

A quote that was thrown around this chamber quite frequently was “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. Instead of negotiating a new softwood lumber agreement right out of the gate, we have seen inaction on this file and the Liberal government has chosen to put it on the back burner and instead put false promises as well as false deadlines forward.

That is where we stand today, with no deal and our high-quality, well-paying forestry jobs at risk. One certainty we do have is knowing from the experiences of the last four trade wars that this one will not end well. Regardless of where we move with our softwood lumber agreement, there will be losers.

Canadians need results from the government that include protection of almost 400,000 jobs from a new softwood lumber agreement. From conversations I have had with them, Canadians are rightly worried because it is clear there is no plan to protect the high-paying jobs that are created in Canada as a result of NAFTA, including 550,000 auto sector jobs, 211,000 aerospace jobs, and our oil and gas, mining, and forestry jobs.

We need the Liberal government to start recognizing the importance of our rural economies as the backbone of the national economy. The Conservative Party stands for our hard-working families employed in the resources sector. Oftentimes these individuals are working 12 to 14-hour da...”

Luc Berthold (Conservative)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...6,000 residents that is home to a plant called Tafisa Canada. The plant provides employment for 350 families in Lac-Mégantic and generates substantial economic spinoffs linked to all the suppliers an...”

Karen McCrimmon (Liberal)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ving rail safety. That is the top priority for the Minister of Transport. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of the July 2013 disaster.

Our government is committed to finding ways...”

Andy Fillmore (Liberal)

February 16th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...of Canada. Not only that, but as a result of the B.C. revenue-neutral price on carbon, middle-class families got a tax cut of 5% for the two bottom tax brackets. Today, B.C. has the lowest overall personal taxes in the country, thanks to its carbon tax.

In Alberta, the carbon price will provide financial support for those who need it most, covering 60% of households. These rebates, which will start in July, will put up to $520 in the pockets of middle-class families, and that is cash, not conjecture.

This is why our plan gives all provinces and territories the flexibility to decide how they implement a price on carbon pollution. They can use the revenue as they see fit, including supporting middle-class families in ways similar to the B.C. and Alberta examples that I just gave.

The member for Reg...”

Lisa Raitt (Conservative)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ch as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment, while supporting families of Canadians living with autism. Now is the time to tackle the challenge of rare diseases b...”

Jenny Kwan (NDP)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...hat the date for the march is February 14. Valentine's Day is a day when we celebrate love. For the families of missing and murdered women, on this day and every day, their hearts ache for the loss of...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...x reduction. That is why we moved forward with the Canada child benefit, which helps nine out of 10 families. We also know that keeping a competitive tax rate for business is important, and that is th...”

Ahmed Hussen (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e processing centre in Vegreville, we understand this change will have an impact on staff and their families, but we are working very hard to make sure we minimize those impacts. That is why all full-...”

Ahmed Hussen (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...poken with the mayor of Vegreville. I understand this change will have an impact on staff and their families. That is why we are committed to going ahead to make sure we help the community with those ...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we will continue to fight for middle class families, to improve their lot in life today, to make investments that will help them tomorrow.

To be clear, we lowered taxes on middle class Canadians. To be clear, for the 9 out of 10 families that are getting the Canada child benefit, they are getting an average $2,300 more per year.

Every month, they are having a better situation for their families, and we are starting to see that across the country.

We will continue with these efforts on behalf of Canadian families this year and in the years to come.”

Rachael Harder (Conservative)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have already raised taxes on Canadian families. They have imposed a carbon tax, and they have raised payroll taxes.

The finance mini...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ld help them with what they really need.

That will be our continuing focus on how we can help families. That will be executed through our next budget, and the budgets to come.”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...esting $200 million in housing for seniors, we are improving the living conditions of many seniors' families and of the communities in which they live.”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...onomy. That is very important for jobs today and in the future. More jobs means a better future for families, for young people who are currently in school, and for Canada.”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...lowered taxes on middle class Canadians. That is why we introduced the Canada child benefit to help families with children who need it the most. We will continue to invest in Canadians and Canadian co...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...we lowered taxes for the middle class and that is why we are working with Canadians, including the families with children who are most in need. We are going to continue working hard for Canadians.

James Bezan (Conservative)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...r pay for our troops who are in the fight against ISIS, which is causing additional stress to their families at home. This is the same government which admitted that the mission was getting more dangerous after it pulled our CF-18s from the fight.

When our party was in government, we instructed the military to continue to provide full benefits to our troops who were in Afghanistan. Will the Liberals finally do the right thing and restore full danger pay to our troops and their families?”

Jean Rioux (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...y, they use their experience and expertise to promote and support the unit, its soldiers, and their families.

As representatives of the Department of National Defence, like any other soldier, ho...”

Kent Hehr (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ter.

Our government is committed to expanding access to support for veterans, RCMP, and their families. That is why we are working with over 4,000 registered mental health professionals, operate...”

Sylvie Boucher (Conservative)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er of Justice finally keep her promise and show consideration and respect for the victims and their families?”

Alupa Clarke (Conservative)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ho work for the Canada Revenue Agency. These public servants work very hard for Canadians and their families, and, as one can well imagine, they have bills to pay. For the past year, the Phoenix fiasc...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ding of Essex. I am holding an opioid round table this Friday with stakeholders, and very concerned families who are desperate for help for their family members, and for those in their community who a...”

Bill Casey (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...do not know how they can do it, day in, day out? It must have a tremendous effect on them and their families.”

Garnett Genuis (Conservative)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... away from local communities in terms of determining the process of that action.

Communities, families, local governments, and provincial governments are compassionate and seized with this problem, so taking authority away from them to be engaged with their communities is not an effective way to address this crisis. We should, in fact, be doing more to mobilize the knowledge and experience of communities and families in terms of building the kinds of strategies that are going to address specific issues in s...”

Garnett Genuis (Conservative)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...side on that point.

Communities are compassionate. Local governments are compassionate. Local families are compassionate. We need to engage them in a conversation, in a meaningful consultation t...”

Don Davies (NDP)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...An addiction is a biopsychosocial illness that affects 10% of society, probably more if you include families, and it is the most underfunded medical illness in our society.

The problem is that i...”

Sonia Sidhu (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ose involved, from health care providers, to first responders, to educators, to researchers, and to families as well. I want to applaud our Minister of Health, and Ontario's minister of health as well, for leading that conference, which focused on concrete steps and delivering clear results.

Our government has taken action from day one, building on our five-point action plan to address opioid misuse. We have taken concrete steps, such as granting section 56 exemptions for the Dr. Peter Centre and extending the exemption for lnsite for an additional four years. We made the overdose antidote naloxone more widely available in Canada. Our government recently approved three safe consumption sites in Montreal that the community asked for.

Further, at the local level, we have seen action already undertaken. In the city of Toronto, the mayor met with the mayor of Vancouver and other officials in order to plan a proactive not reactive response for Ontario as the crisis drifts eastward. The mayor of Hamilton held a discussion about this as well, and other municipalities have been doing the same. I hope more municipalities will reach out, learn from one another, and take proactive measures in their communities.

The numbers and the experts support this as the right way to public health, and it also delivers cost savings. I see how various aspects of the bill address a lot of the concerns we heard at committee and at the opioids summit. While many members have made note of the urgency of passing the bill, I think the majority of members showed time and time again in recent weeks that they were willing to collaborate to move quickly on this.

I want to reassure members that I believe the bill is an extremely collaborative and well-thought-out bill that responds to experts in the field as well as front-line needs. It gives me comfort to know that this bill would make a difference. (1705)

As others have said before, and I agree, we are in a national public health crisis in Canada. In 2016, thousands of Canadians tragically died of accidental opioid overdoses, and more will die this year. Our government and its partners must work together aggressively to save lives.

If people have friends or neighbours who are hearing the Conservatives' argument that facilities like Insite are the wrong approach, I would encourage them to contact me or other members on the health committee who would be happy to provide non-partisan, evidence-based information on why that does not reflect the safe consumption site model we see working already in Canada. All members of this House can agree that our hearts go out to the families and friends affected personally when a loved one has lost his or her life instead of having...”

David Anderson (Conservative)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...a conversation stopper and it needs to be set aside. We do a disservice to actual victims and their families when we describe what happened to them with the same word that we use to describe insulting...”

Arif Virani (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...f all backgrounds are still grieving across the country. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.

This incident should not be viewed in isolation. It must be seen in context, and tha...”

Luc Berthold (Conservative)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...dings. More than 100,000 litres of heavy oil spilled in the very heart of Lac-Mégantic.

Many families had to leave their homes for several weeks. Many of them were unable to return because the ...”

David Lametti (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...e most tragic events to ever happen in Canadian transportation, and our thoughts are still with the families of the victims of that tragedy.

During his visit to Sherbrooke, the Prime Minister me...”

David Lametti (Liberal)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...oned before, rail safety is a priority for our government, and our thoughts continue to be with the families of the victims of the July 2013 tragedy.

Representatives of the Prime Minister's Offi...”

Jenny Kwan (NDP)

February 15th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...orship agreement holders about their experiences and drive to help those vulnerable individuals and families rebuild their lives in Canada.

I also had the opportunity to hear from the advocates ...”

Don Davies (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...blem with opioid overdoses. This is not restricted to any one place. It is touching communities and families across our country.

We are here debating Bill C-37 because the Conservatives have put...”

Arif Virani (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t, harm reduction not only serves individuals affected by their own addiction but helps friends and families of addicts, and society as a whole. When we stop pushing addicts out onto the street and in...”

Joyce Murray (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rdose deaths last year. They are human beings. Each life, in its own unique way, is interwoven with families and communities. They are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. They lo...”

Matt DeCourcey (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rge, Tim, Greg, Malcolm, Eleanor, Gerard, Tony, Mary, Patricia, Charles, Anne, and Susan, and their families; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

James Bezan (Conservative)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ult. The risk is real. The $1,800 per month the Liberals are ripping away from our troops and their families could have been used to pay for the extra costs of child care, snow removal, or yard maintenance.

When the Conservative defence minister faced the same problem in Afghanistan, they cut through the bureaucratic red tape to ensure our troops would not be shortchanged. Under the Liberals, our troops feel like they have been kicked in the stomach. Their families feel cheated.

I call on the Liberal government to finally do its job, reverse this ab...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... in last year's budget, we introduced the Canada child benefit, which helps nine out of 10 Canadian families with a larger tax-free cheque every month that they can spend on things like groceries, school supplies, new clothes for their kids. These are the kinds of things that make a huge difference and we were able to do it because we ended the Conservative practice of sending child benefits to millionaire families and, instead, delivered them to the people who really need them.

In this year's budge...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... decided to invest in our future, that is, in infrastructure and the middle class, in order to help families right away. Thanks to our plan, we will have a higher growth rate in the future and there will be more opportunities for families and the next generation of Canadians.”

Denis Lebel (Conservative)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ot talking about its repercussions? They are hiding the numbers. It will have an impact on Canadian families. The numbers were redacted in the information our party received.

Why is that? What i...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...at is an effort that is important so that Canadians can be sure the system works for them and their families.”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, I want to assure Canadians that our program will help families who are truly dealing with some extraordinary challenges, by allocating more money. This year, we will continue to add more measures for the middle class, measures that will give more money to families in every sector of our economy. That is our goal. We will continue in that vein and that will be good for Canadian families.”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ves. We introduced important measures in budget 2016 last year to improve the situation of Canadian families and the middle class. That continues to be our focus. The purpose of our review of expenditures is to provide a program that will help the middle class and families with measures that will be really good for the economy over time.”

Shannon Stubbs (Conservative)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...to justify their advice, but is the minister now prepared to do the right thing, respect Vegreville families and rural Alberta and reverse this heartless decision?”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, for almost 30 years families across Canada have been marching on Valentine's Day with Sisters in Spirit to honour the me...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... Liberals in backroom conversations that are not being shared with Canadians. Thousands of jobs and families depend on Canada standing up for a fair deal. When will the Liberal government start tellin...”

Chrystia Freeland (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our government will continue to stand up for our farmers, producers, and their families.

In Washington yesterday and in the meeting with Speaker Paul Ryan, I strongly defend...”

Rob Nicholson (Conservative)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...dealers.

When will the Liberals change their tune and start standing up for victims and their families?”

Eva Nassif (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, homelessness is a serious issue of national importance.

In June, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced additional funding for the homelessness partneri...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Our national housing strategy will expand its efforts across the continuum of housing needs for our families.”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nt is committed to ensuring veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, and the RCMP, as well as their families, have the support they need, when and where they need it.

While we cannot comment on ...”

Marilène Gill (Bloc Québécois)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...is just as important as the word “tweaks”. This is major for thousands of Quebec workers, their families, and our regions.

Other than shedding crocodile tears if negotiations do not go its w...”

Chrystia Freeland (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...or her question.

Our government will continue to defend our farmers, our producers, and their families. We will continue to defend Canada's forestry industry, and that includes Quebec's forestry...”

Karen Vecchio (Conservative)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... did not do this and we are doing this, but I am coming here as a mom. I am the official critic for families, children, and social development, and I am thinking about what we can do that is best for our families and best for our communities.

Many people are giving information regarding safe injection sites and why they work, but I am looking at the communities. One of the most important things to me is having a safe community and having a good place to raise my children and all Canadian children. When we are talking about this, we have to go back to why we are putting in these laws. It is about the safety of Canadians, whether it is the safety of those people who are unfortunately addicted or the safety of the families that are living beside injection sites or living in areas where there is a huge drug issue.

When this started being discussed in December, I sent an op-ed to The London Free Press, which is one of our local newspapers. Immediately following that, I set up an appointment with Dr. Christopher Mackie, who is the medical officer of health and the CEO of the mental health unit. Many people thought we would be on different sides. He comes at it in a more liberated way, and I come at it in a more conservative way, basically because of being a mom. At the end of the day, we had basically no things that were not in common. Our concerns were the same. It was all about making sure that when our children go to school, they are safe. It was about making sure that when people are dealing drugs, they are not interfering in our communities. We recognize that it happens, and it is extremely unfortunate that it happens.

What is happening is that we are moving forward on things that we are really not comfortable with. As a mom, when l spoke to Dr. Mackie, I told him about my discussions with my own children regarding marijuana and about why it is so important for families to sit down and have these discussions. Things like marijuana, heroin, opioids, and all of these things are coming into our children's paths much more frequently, and they are something we do not understand.

I am a child of the eighties, and my teenage years were great in the eighties. We heard of cocaine and marijuana, but we did not see it in our small communities.

Everyone is looking at the discussions we are having, but we have to look at them through a family filter. We talk about gender-based analysis. I want to ask every member of Parliament to look at this through the filter of a parent. That is what I am asking.

In the city of London, when they were putting in a methadone clinic, there were discussions about where it would go. There were so many people concerned, because it was going directly across the street from a high school on Dundas Street in St. Thomas. To this day, five years later, it is still a huge concern, because in that pocket of the community, there has been a lot of turbulence, whether it is crime, increased drug use, or things of that sort. What is it teaching our children as they exit from the high school and there is a methadone clinic across the road? What signals are we sending to our children? Is it saying no to drugs or that we are there to assist them?

We are failing our children. We are failing the next generation by not teaching them right from wrong and not teaching them that the use of drugs and hard drugs is difficult. They are going to have addiction issues. They are going to have problems with brain development.

We are not starting at step one anymore. We are going to step 10 and saying, as one of the members said, let us legalize all drugs. I do not know if he was serious, because he was looking at drugs as not being a crime. Let us be serious. It may not be a crime to use drugs, but what does it lead to?

I have a lot of personal experience in my community with my own family's drug use. It is not me personally, but I have been touched intimately because of drugs. I have known people who have passed away. A person I grew up playing baseball with died right before Christmas, in our own community, from taking carfentanil. I knew this gentleman, Jeff. He died at the age of 46. He was a father with children. He had a son he loved like members would not believe and tons of friends. The problem was that he got mixed up with drugs when he was very young, and that is the life that led him down the path to his death. (1545)

I think what is happening is that we are blurring what is right and wrong, and we are saying that this is how we are going to help. Why do we not start at the front end, which is education and letting people know how to speak to their children and letting people know that the use of heroin is not right? We give so many reasons for saying that we need to have this. Why do we not start at square one and make it right in the first place?

I believe that we have to have places where we can help people rehabilitate. We know that there is a drug crisis, and we need to do better. Where do we start?

I like 90% of this bill. I think it is really important that when packages come into Canada, they are tested, that we do not allow counterfeit companies that come in to manufacture pills, and that we do not allow pill presses or anything like that. I think it is really important to have legislation against that, because it is helping in the war against drugs, and we know that this is happening.

However, when we start talking about the one piece, the safe injection sites and the fact that there would not be consultations in our communities, that is where I have to say stop. As I said, back in the city of London, where, across from H.B. Beal, they have a methadone clinic, there were many parents who came forward to the Thames Valley District School Board to state their opinions.

In a letter I read last year regarding safe injection sites, a woman spoke about her daughter who, at the age of 13, became addicted to cocaine. The daughter, who went into one of these clinics, at the time said that the ability to get drugs was even easier once these clinics were available to her.

We have to understand that it is not a fix. It is a band-aid approach unless we go into it full scale to help Canadians, whether it is Canadian families or Canadian youth at risk. We need to make sure that we are doing better, and we are not do...”

John Aldag (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...uld like to remind all members that we have seen 900 deaths in B.C. in the last year. Those are 900 families affected by this tragic opioid crisis. It is only by working together across all parties that we will actually be able to make Canadians safe, focus on families, give them a safe and healthy upbringing, and deal with those who are facing crises in thei...”

Kamal Khera (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...path forward. Participants heard a number of perspectives on this crisis from people who use drugs, families devastated by opioid misuse, health care providers, first responders, educators, and resear...”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...the highest in the country....During this time close to one hundred of our neighbours, friends, and families have passed away from this preventable tragedy. In four years, overdoses have become a lead...”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...interim. We want them to accelerate their actions and support front-line workers, addicts and their families.”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...perate places, we save money ultimately for the government. We are easier on front-line workers and families, and we allow people to have the dignified life that every Canadian surely deserves.”

Peter Schiefke (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...[Translation]

Problematic substance use and addiction pose significant risks for individuals, families, and communities. Our government is committed to addressing this complex public health issue using an approach that protects public health and maintains public safety through drug policy that is comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, and evidence-based. [English]

Problematic substance use and addiction pose significant risks for individuals, families, and indeed, communities. Our government is committed to addressing this complex public hea...”

Francis Scarpaleggia (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...this approach. However, as we know, drug use and dependency pose significant risks for individuals, families, and communities. Our approach to addressing problematic substance abuse must include preve...”

Alistair MacGregor (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...e committee about young children whose conditions required genetic testing for diagnosis, but whose families felt they could not consent to the testing for fear of genetic discrimination. Without the ...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... number of significant measures to strengthen the middle class.

We have increased support for families by lowering taxes for the middle class and implementing the more generous and better target...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...the rate of change is ramping up. As a result, Canada must look to the future and give middle-class families the confidence, tools, and opportunities they need to have a real and fair chance of success.

Our government continues to implement important measures to create a better future for Canadian families, and we will continue to make the sound investments needed to improve the economy, stimulat...”

Irene Mathyssen (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“Mr. Speaker, last fall I asked the minister about the many veterans and families struggling to access supports from Veterans Affairs. His response to my question left me wondering if he is hearing the many voices pleading with his government to listen and make the simple but important changes needed.

Just last week at the veterans affairs committee, we heard from the spouse of a veteran who highlighted very succinctly what I have been hearing for years. She said that her husband Marc, who was released from the military, was left with the impression that he was just another number. Sadly, this indifference has continued now that he is a veteran. This testimony highlights the fact that we are failing our injured veterans and their families. The Department of National Defence and the Department of Veterans Affairs are failing the men and women who serve this country.

The minister should know very well by now that our veterans and their families are struggling. Medically released veterans have to wait to access their pensions when they leave, putting an already stressed family in financial hardship. Veterans and their families are also left without knowing what supports they will qualify for, leaving them with more questions about the financial resources on which they rely.

In addition to financial support are the psychological supports that must be in place immediately. Waiting for a referral from VAC and the additional six weeks before a veteran can see a doctor at an OSI clinic is shocking and unacceptable. If we are able to immediately help the veteran in need, it will reduce the pressure and potential trauma for the veteran's family.

The current system is failing not only our veterans but also their families. More supports for spouses caring for veterans are essential. They may need help to repair a damaged relationship, resources to assist learning how to live with and help someone with PTSD, and supports for their own trauma. None of these resources should be difficult to access. They should be readily available as soon as they are needed.

These are just some of the struggles that veterans and their families face today. However, I get very worried about the future. As these veterans age, they and their families will struggle again to access specialized care that the veteran might need.

Right now, we have long-term care facilities, such as the one in my riding, Parkwood Hospital, that have expertise in serving the special needs of veterans, but post-Korean War veterans and peacekeepers cannot access these specialized facilities. As a result, these hospitals are slated to slowly shutter their doors.

I notice today that the minister visited my riding and made an announcement that he would open five beds in Parkwood Hospital. These beds have been sitting empty in the hospital for years. We need more beds and space to help veterans. Parkwood has the facilities to help veterans struggling to access long-term care, but the government lacks the political will to make this happen. It is content to download veteran care to the provinces. The announcement today does nothing to address the lack of a long-term plan for modern-day veterans. If we do not start to expand care, we are going to lose the expertise housed in facilities like Parkwood.

With much more work to be done to support the veterans, I wonder what the minister and his parliamentary secretary would like to share with the House in regard to how they will address the financial and health care hardships that medically released veterans and their families face when they leave the military. Will the government enact the military ombudsman's recom...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...e hon. member for raising the important issue of the benefits that Canada offers veterans and their families.

We all know that Canada owes a debt of gratitude to its veterans for their service and sacrifices. We understand that when a man or woman serves in the Canadian Armed Forces, the entire family serves with them. As the mother of two soldiers, I can confirm that. It begins on their very first day of military service and continues until the day they leave the armed forces, or even beyond that.

That is why Veterans Affairs Canada offers veterans a range of services, including financial assistance, support services following an illness or injury, and health and well-being services.

Although Veterans Affairs Canada plays an essential role in supporting our men and women who have served in uniform, it is the veteran's family that plays the main role, particularly when it comes to veterans who suffer an illness or injury.

Veterans Affairs Canada offers resources specifically for the families, such as the family caregiver relief benefit, liaison services, long-term care, and mental health services. (1955) [English]

The role of the family is integral to the work of the department and what we are doing. We have done a lot since November 2015 to improve veterans' access to benefits and resources. We are continuing to look for ways we can better serve them. For example, we have reopened the nine Veterans Affairs offices across the country that were closed by the previous government, including one in Sydney, Nova Scotia. We also opened a new office in Surrey, British Columbia, and we are extending our outreach in the north.

Because mental health is a priority, we are committed to ensuring all eligible veterans and their families have the mental health support they need, when and where they need it. A new operational stress injury clinic opened in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, last June.

We are working hard to find out how we can do better, how we can deliver the resources and services that veterans and their families need, when and where they need them. We are also working to simplify the process for applying for and accessing these benefits. There is a robust arm's-length appeal process to address any issues that veterans or their family members may have with Veterans Affairs Canada.

We are here to listen to veterans and their families. I urge anyone who has an issue accessing benefits and resources to reach out to the depart...”

Irene Mathyssen (NDP)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...g for one another. I know that the parliamentary secretary cares very much about veterans and their families. For many months last year, she sat with me on the veterans affairs committee and heard the same testimony, the same struggles, the same pain that our veterans and their families deal with on a daily basis.

The issues and problems plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs are many. The struggles of veterans and their families are real.

However, an important question remains. What is the government going to do about the barriers that veterans face? What actions, what changes will it make to ensure that veterans and their families will no longer struggle to access services and receive the support that they so desperately...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 14th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...g together over the past year to make that transition as seamless as possible for members and their families. They have closed a number of gaps that were not addressed by previous governments.

Yes, there is still work to be done, and the departments will continue to work to improve, not only the services, but how they are delivered to better meet the needs of veterans and their families.

I am so happy to be working with the member opposite again on this important file.

Alexandra Mendès (Liberal)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...iced funeral services, services that constitute an emotional and financial burden for most Canadian families.

In its report, the Special Committee on Co-operatives, chaired by our late colleague...”

Robert Aubin (NDP)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ins. At the time, traditional banks only lent money to business people, industrialists, and wealthy families. The working class only had access to loan sharks, which charged prohibitive interest rates...”

Peter Van Loan (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...n that, because that kind of investment means jobs that help people in local communities, that help families have more prosperity and the rising standard of living that we as Canadians believe is so important for the future of our families.”

Blake Richards (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nities. What it all boils down to is putting more money into the pockets of Canadians to feed their families and provide better opportunities for their children. That is really what we are speaking about when we talk about trade and economic prosperity.

Under our previous Conservative government, the Stephen Harper government, one of our key accomplishments was that we launched one of the most ambitious pro-trade plans in our country's history. It was probably the most ambitious, in fact. I would like to take a moment, while I am on that point, to add a note of praise. I have heard others who spoke do the same, but it is important that it be said, because credit should be given where credit is due.

I look at the member for Abbotsford, who was the former minister of international trade, and the member for Battlefords—Lloydminster, who was our agriculture minister, and the great and hard work they put in. I know the travel schedules those two individuals and others had to undertake to accomplish some of the things that were accomplished under the Stephen Harper Conservative government. Under the leadership of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself, some great things were done, but it was a lot of hard work on the part of those members in particular. I want to note the legacy they created, because I think that is important. The two of them remain here in the House and continue to work hard in opposition to encourage these kinds of things to continue.

Under the leadership of those individuals, we were able to conclude free trade agreements with 38 countries. Examples are Colombia; the European Free Trade Association, which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland; Honduras; Jordan; Panama; Peru; South Korea; and the 28 member states of the European Union. There were some pretty significant advancements there.

We also concluded, signed, or brought into force foreign investment promotion and protection agreements, FIPAs, with 24 countries. That was more than any other government in Canadian history as well.

One of our historic achievements was the Canada–Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was Canada's first free trade agreement in the Asia Pacific region, which is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. South Korea is not only a major economic player and a key market for us in Canada but also serves as a gateway for Canadian businesses to the entire Asia Pacific region. This agreement is projected to increase Canadian merchandise exports to South Korea by 32% and to boost Canada's economy by $1.7 billion. (1240)

Additionally, in November 2013, our Conservative government released the global markets action plan, which was our pro-jobs, pro-export plan. It was aimed at creating new opportunities for Canadians, through trade and investment, by targeting emerging and established markets with broad Canadian interests.

Obviously, when we look at our record, we strongly support international trade, and we support international trade initiatives that will generate increased economic activity, jobs, and a collaborative relationship between Canada and emerging economies.

Canada should also strive to maximize the benefits we have as a free trading nation and establish trading relationships, beyond North America, with these emerging markets. To that end, it is important that the government vigorously pursue the reduction of international trade barriers and tariffs. This is why we supported Bill C-13, the trade facilitation agreement, which received royal assent not long ago. The trade facilitation agreement will simplify customs procedures, reduce red tape, expedite the release and clearance of goods, reduce costs associated with processing, and make international trade more predictable for Canadians.

Predictability is certainly key. We see the effects when we lack predictability when we look at the current government and its never-ending, constant changes to regulatory processes for energy project reviews. We can see what the lack of certainty creates when the chill is put on investments. Certainty is certainly key when we look at providing opportunities for businesses to help grow the economy. They need to have certainty.

Canadian investors, importers and exporters of goods, and small and medium-sized businesses will certainly benefit from the implementation of the TFA.

Another trade agreement that was successfully negotiated by the previous Conservative government was the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. This agreement will continue to strengthen the Canada-Ukraine partnership in peace and prosperity. Total bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Ukraine averaged $289 million in 2011-15. It is expected to expand by 19% as a result of the implementation of this trade agreement. With this agreement, Canada and Ukraine will eliminate duties on 99.9% and 86% of our respective current imports, thereby benefiting both Canadian and Ukrainian exporters and consumers. Our GDP will increase by about $29.2 million under that agreement, and Ukraine's GDP will expand by about $18.6 million. Canada's exports to the Ukraine will increase by about $41.2 million.

Canada's export gains will be broad-based, with exports of pork, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, other manufactured products, motor vehicles and parts, and chemical products being some of the leading industries. Our previous Conservative government also established market access for beef in Ukraine in July 2015. Canada exported about $35.5 million worth of agriculture and agrifood and seafood products to Ukraine in 2014. These obviously show some of the benefits of trade and trade agreements and what they can mean for Canada.

Let me get to the trade agreement we are talking about today, the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement. Negotiated by our previous Conservative government, CETA is by far the most ambitious trade initiative Canada has ever concluded. Once this agreement comes into force, Canada will be one of the few countries in the world to have preferential access to the world's two largest economies: the European Union and the United States.

The Conservative Party strongly supports international trade initiatives that will generate increased economic activity, drive prosperity and job creation, and foster greater co-operation between our democratic allies. (1245)

A joint Canada-EU study concluded that a trade agreement with the EU could boost Canada's economy by about $12 billion annually, and increase bilateral trade by 20%. It is important to put some sense to what that means for the average Canadian and Canadian families. It is the economic equivalent of adding about $1,000 to the average Canadian family's income. It would add about 80,000 new jobs to the Canadian economy. That is something that the government has failed at to this point. This would be something to help create some jobs to put people to work, and provide new opportunities for Canadian families to increase their income.

When CETA comes into force, nearly 100% of all EU tariff li...”

Blake Richards (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...o focus on that and think about the jobs and opportunities this creates for Canadian businesses and families. I talked about some of the benefits during my speech about Ukraine agreement and the EU ag...”

Yves Robillard (Liberal)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...or their participation in the meetings.

I also want to commend the efforts of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, who just announced two important initiatives related to t...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ase the costs of energy and goods that we sell to the United States. He could stop raising taxes on families.

Does the Prime Minister understand that it is actually his decisions in Canada that ...”

Scott Brison (Liberal)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“.... We need to continue making significant investments in infrastructure and in the middle class, for families and for children. The Conservatives want to reduce investments in families and infrastructure. However, we are listening to Canadians and we are going to continue to ...”

Joël Godin (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... government actually do something concrete, create wealth, create permanent jobs, and give Canadian families some hope?”

Joël Godin (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we must support Canadian workers who get up every morning to support their families. They need to be able to build equity in order to gain a bit of financial freedom. This government is making it impossible for our Canadian families to have more money in their pockets. The government is giving with one hand and taking away with the other. This Liberal government is not telling the truth. Canadians have less money to spend.

Can this government stop reaching into taxpayers' pockets and commit to not cancelling any more tax credits, such as those in the pension plan for seniors and the registered education savings plan for our Canadian families?”

Jamie Schmale (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... off, introduced a national carbon tax. These Liberal tax increases are costing struggling Canadian families substantially more.

Will the Prime Minister quit falsely claiming to support the midd...”

Sylvie Boucher (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...at the Liberals care more about criminals and that they have no consideration for victims and their families.

When will the Prime Minister stand up for victims of crime?”

Jean Rioux (Liberal)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ing in the past. It did not hesitate to do so on the backs of our soldiers, our veterans, and their families. We will take no lessons from the Conservatives today regarding our support to members of o...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...y committee.

Our government is committed to enhancing the economic well-being of all Canadian families. Today, we launched two initiatives to support the development of our poverty reduction str...”

Todd Doherty (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ng familial ties. In Canada, we have a large European diaspora. The agreement will not only connect families and grow our relations together, but also, as the hon. colleague mentioned, help those coun...”

Ted Falk (Conservative)

February 13th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...r, I asked the minister to tell the House how much this tax credit would cost hard-working Canadian families. In response, we did not learn how much the tax credit would cost taxpayers, nor was the tax credit even acknowledged in the minister's response. This is what brings us here tonight.

I cannot believe that yet another measure is being introduced by the Liberal government that will likely cost the taxpayer substantially while benefiting very few. Meanwhile, tax credits that benefit Canadians coast to coast are being revoked. We watched as the children's fitness tax credit and arts tax credit were revoked, and the Liberal government even cancelled income splitting for families. These tax credits and measures that would benefit the average Canadian are being repurposed to finance boutique issues and the Liberal elite.

As the media pointed out, the subsidy is sure to benefit a number of production companies in, of all places, the Prime Minister's home town of Montreal. As Canadians, we should be questioning the priorities of a government that is subsidizing talk shows while running a projected $25 billion deficit, and indeed running deficits almost every year until 2055, according to the Department of Finance.

We should be questioning why the government chose to squander a federal surplus left by the previous government and is raising taxes on Canadians families to finance niche markets like talk shows. Given that the government cannot even follow its own ethical standards, Canadians deserve to know how much of their hard-earned tax dollars are going to fill the pockets of media elites who are friendly with the Liberal government. We should be looking into whose hands this money actually falls. Is this another way to finance cash for access fundraisers concocted by the Prime Minister and his Liberal cronies?

As all of this unfolds in front of us, I worry for my children and grandchildren, who will be saddled with this enormous debt. In the meantime, Canadians will continue to be taxed, unable to decide how to spend the money that they worked hard to earn. We know that the Minister of Canadian Heritage is looking into a Netflix tax and that the government is considering a tax on health and dental benefits. These are taxes that would hurt the middle class, Canadians that the government claim to advocate for.

It is clear that the Liberals will propose tax credits when they help their friends hosting talk shows, but will cancel them when they help ordinary, hard-working Canadian families. Can the parliamentary secretary tell us today, definitively, how much this tax credit will...”

Pierre Paul-Hus (Conservative)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t's entry into force.

That is good news for thousands of people across Quebec, given how many families are involved in all levels of the pork production chain. It is excellent news for hog farme...”

Salma Zahid (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rs came together to stand in solidarity with the victims of the Quebec City terror attack and their families, and sent a message of unity and love. I thank the members for Scarborough North, Scarborou...”

Brad Trost (Conservative)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ive volunteer work. Elim operates a senior's home, provides language training, and sponsors refugee families. In the past year, it has sponsored two refugee families and anticipates a third family's arrival soon. Annually, it provides tens of thousands of d...”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... 60 workers after unsuccessful contract negotiations. Since that time, locked-out workers and their families have lived through a difficult holiday season and long winter.

It may come as a surpr...”

Kelly McCauley (Conservative)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... Autism, where they are leading the country with new ways of helping children with autism and their families; the Elves Special Needs Society, where they help the disabled live their lives with love a...”

Alistair MacGregor (NDP)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...lition released its B.C. child poverty report, which shows the growing income inequality among B.C. families that have one in five of our children living in poverty, a statistic that has not changed i...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e top 1% of Canadians. One thing that is also well known is that we have stopped sending cheques to families of millionaires, and increased family support to nine families out of 10.

These are not only strong figures, but extremely important figures for Canadians who want to confide in the will and the ability of our government to work for middle-class families.”

Romeo Saganash (NDP)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...h overseeing the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women suggested that it was up to the families to decide whether to participate in the inquiry.

I have to wonder how many families know that it is up to them to contact the officials involved in the inquiry in order to participate. We have heard stories about how frustrated and confused the families are feeling.

Can the minister explain to us the changes that have been made to the in...”

Dan Albas (Conservative)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked why the Liberals took away CMHC insurance when Canadian families refinance their mortgages. The talking point in response was about the mortgage stress test...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... housing, we have committed $2.3 billion in budget 2016 for affordable housing, and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is leading the development of this national housing strate...”

Joël Godin (Conservative)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... the back all they want and pretend that they put more money back in the pockets of nine out of ten families, but the reality is that the middle class and families have less money now that the Liberals are in power.

This government wastes money like...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nt also introduced the Canada child benefit, which means, on average, $2,400 more in the pockets of families every month. The member's party voted against that too.”

Kim Rudd (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, as a government, we understand the challenges that workers and their families across the country in the energy sector have experienced over the past three years. We did ...”

Jean Rioux (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...an anyone how important danger pay is not just for our brave men and women in uniform but for their families back at home as well.

I could not have put it better myself. Then the minister respon...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ility and related health care benefits, rehabilitation services, financial benefits, and support to families.”

John Brassard (Conservative)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...follow the lead of our allies and ban the use of mefloquine not only for our soldiers but for their families as well?”

Rachel Blaney (NDP)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development said the reason the Liberals have not delivered on their h...”

Yvonne Jones (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ern and indigenous communities. In fact, yesterday I happened to be in Nunavut with the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs where ...”

Alupa Clarke (Conservative)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...has been trying to minimize the seriousness of the crisis, which is affecting thousands of Canadian families.

When will the minister show some political courage in this matter?”

Alistair MacGregor (NDP)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nment should enshrine it in law. Liberals need to keep their promise to stop fighting first nations families, veterans, and mothers in court.

I have a simple question for the minister. Will the ...”

Andrew Leslie (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...st assured that our government will continue to stand up for Quebec farmers and producers and their families.

Our government will always protect the interests of Canadians and Quebeckers, their ...”

Colin Carrie (Conservative)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ce benefits to women and to seasonal workers.

There are many other amazing Ukrainian Canadian families in my riding. Take for example the Lysyk family. They came from Ukraine, and now are some o...”

Alupa Clarke (Conservative)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...creasing GDP to the benefit of every inhabitant of Ukraine, which will be excellent for them, their families, and their quality of life.

The population of Ukraine is 45.2 million, which is 10 mi...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...to introduce the new Canada child benefit in budget 2016. This measure gives more money to Canadian families in order to help them deal with the high cost of raising children.

Nine out of ten families are now receiving more money thanks to this program. The new Canada child benefit is simpler and more generous than the old child benefit system it replaced, and it is completely tax-free. It also does a better job of targeting the people who need it the most.

Thanks to the new Canada child benefit, about 300,000 fewer children will live in poverty in 2017 compared to 2014, which means that Canada's child poverty rate will drop by about 40%. This new benefit is the most important innovation in social policy in a generation.

A stronger Canada pension plan was a key promise we made to strengthen the middle class. We delivered on that commitment by working in close collaboration and common purpose with our provincial and territorial partners.

A secure and dignified retirement is certainly a top priority for hard-working Canadians. It has been a pillar of Canadian prosperity since the 20th century.

We know that middle-class Canadians are working harder than ever, and many of them are worried about not having saved enough by the time they retire. We also know that young Canadians in particular, few of whom can expect to have jobs that offer a workplace pension plan, find it challenging to save enough money for retirement.

We enhanced the CPP to improve long-term economic outcomes for Canadian families. Although it will take a little time to adjust, these foundational changes to our pension p...”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

February 10th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...erties, and in the creation of hundreds of thousands of housing units, many for low/moderate income families.”

He wrote, “In Canada, Bill C-323 has the potential of achieving the same succes...”

Scott Duvall (NDP)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...formed, it went from coast to coast to coast doing unbelievably hard work and taking time away from families to listen to many citizens across Canada on this issue.

They found out that nearly 90...”

Linda Duncan (NDP)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...king of the promise of providing comparable, equal access to services to first nations children and families. We will get to it eventually. Then we see the breaking of this promise, which is written i...”

Earl Dreeshen (Conservative)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ta economy.

Hundreds of businesses in my riding have permanently closed their doors, and many families have lost their livelihoods, their homes, and their savings.

Albertans want their job...”

François-Philippe Champagne (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...illion Canadians. It then came along with the Canada child benefit, which is helping nine out of 10 families, and then introduced an infrastructure program for $128 billion, something which is histori...”

Denis Lebel (Conservative)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... will have to pay the price.

Can he promise today that he will not cut any other benefits for families who need them?”

François-Philippe Champagne (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Jean.

What I can promise him today is that, while we are in office, we will work for Canadian families and the middle class. That is what we did in budget 2016 and in the fall economic update. H...”

François-Philippe Champagne (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...remember is that the Conservatives voted against that. They have voted against helping middle-class families. They have voted against helping Canadian workers. However, we will continue to do just tha...”

James Bezan (Conservative)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...an anyone how important danger pay is not just for our brave men and women in uniform but for their families back at home as well.

We all knew the Liberals would cut defence spending, but we did not ever imagine they would literally do it on the backs of our soldiers and military families.

Will the defence minister quit taking his marching orders from the Prime Minister, f...”

Kent Hehr (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the well-being of veterans and their families is at the heart of all we do at Veterans Affairs. Delivering timely benefits is an area whe...”

Kent Hehr (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to veterans and their families, full stop. After the previous 10 years with the former government frankly ignoring veterans' concerns by the fact that it closed offices, that it reduced one-third of the front-line staff, it is shocking that we are actually getting this question.

Our government is working hard to ensure that veterans receive the care, compassion, and respect they deserve. Budget 2016 saw us put $5.6 billion in more resources to veterans and their families. We are going to continue to deliver on their behalf.”

Navdeep Bains (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...at we have made.

We have made a commitment to the workers. We have made a commitment to their families. We are investing in the aerospace sector, because this is an important sector that generat...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, for many families, their homes are the most important investment that they will make in their lives. That is ...”

Gérard Deltell (Conservative)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... and they told us that there were 6,000 fewer first-time homebuyers in Canada. We are talking about families, the middle class. That is $220 million less in the Canadian economy.

Why does the government continue to attack families and the middle class in Quebec and across Canada with its bad real estate measures?”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, for many families, their homes are the most important investment that they will make in their lives. That is ...”

Francesco Sorbara (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nfrastructure investments that will grow the middle class and make a real difference day to day for families. The families in my riding appreciate investments in public transit.

Could the minister inform the ...”

Amarjeet Sohi (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...and carpool lot that would reduce congestion and get commuters home faster to spend time with their families. The York region will also receive additional funding under the long-term infrastructure pl...”

Navdeep Bains (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ish]

This incredible team made sure that we put forward a proposition that will help Canadian families, that will create good-quality jobs, that will benefit our communities, and that will stren...”

Niki Ashton (NDP)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...tee meetings across the country. These are people who took time out of their lives, away from their families, and travelled to different communities. They took that time because they felt strongly abo...”

Todd Doherty (Conservative)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...I am not well”; that our veterans or current military know that just as they stood tall for our families, someone is fighting for them, that they know they are not alone, that they can get the care and attention they need when they need it, wherever they need it.

Bill C-211 is about being human. It is about taking a stand. It is not about assigning blame, not passing the buck, not turning a blind eye and saying that it is not our problem. Bill C-211 is about breaking the stigma of mental health injuries. It is about helping them build the courage to come forward and tell their story and seek help.

I have been told over the course of the last year that PTSD is a provincial matter, that this is an issue for the industry to solve. I have also been told that people should know what they are getting themselves into when they sign their job contracts and go into service. I want to reiterate that it is up to all of us to come up with solutions, because lives are being lost.

We are inundated in the media of stories of another veteran or another first responder who have taken their lives and lost the fight due to PTSD. This is unacceptable. Since I tabled my bill over a year ago, countless lives have been lost. This is shameful. We must do better. This begins with education and a willingness to listen without judgment, because less known to the general public are the mental demands that these occupations face. This includes working in a profession that regularly exposes them to graphic scenes and images that anyone would find disturbing and difficult to see.

My bill focuses on first responders, veterans, and military. Even in these three groups, we have differing terms, references, and sector inclusion. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a gentleman by the name of Mark Farrant. He shared with me that jurors, who in accepting their civic duty swear an oath to the crown, in fulfilling their duty to the crown were subject to the horrific crimes committed. They bear witness to graphic details and images over the course of their duty, whether it is nine days, nine months, or 19 months. Then, just as they are sworn to secrecy, they are turned out in anonymity to somehow reconnect in our communities, void of the experience and human tragedy that they have witnessed. They are tossed aside.

While not part of this legislation, it is my hope that bringing this forward and speaking to it tonight, the Minister of Justice can perhaps review this issue, and it can be part of our national discussion regarding mental health. We can talk about those who are impacted by this.

The reality is that experiencing human tragedy affects us all differently. Just as one story is not the same, there is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. These incidents and experiences cannot be erased from our memory. One cannot just hit reset. Instead, the images, sights, sounds, and smells keep playing on a continual loop. Simple things can trigger anxiety attacks or severe depression. (1725)

Staff Sergeant Kent MacNeill of the Prince George RCMP told me recently that for over 16 years he has served as an RCMP in his community. Over eight of those years he has led serious crime investigations. Just in his daily commute, he passes by two sites of horrific crimes. A simple action of dropping his daughter off at school can trigger his PTSD.

Triggers can come at any time and any place, without warning. A noise, a sight, a sound, or a smell can trigger the debilitating effects of PTSD. Most of us can never imagine what our warriors go through on a daily basis. I know there are practical questions that members across the way may be asking. Will there be a cost for implementing a national framework for PTSD? The simple answer to this is yes, it will cost money, but I counter with this. What is the alternative? What is the cost of inaction? How many more lives are we willing to lose before the government, before we, step up to the plate?

If members on all sides choose to vote down Bill C-211, what then are we proposing as a substitute? What is the message we are sending to those who we trust to be there when we are in need, those who without hesitation answer when the world calls? The question we need to ask ourselves today is what value do we place on these brave men and women?

Right now, we have a piecemeal system of scattered provincial legislation. Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have all taken steps to rightfully adopt legislation to deal with PTSD. While we are making progress on this front and we have come a long way in recognizing PTSD, leadership is needed at the federal level. The standard of care varies from one province to the next, and we have people falling through the cracks. Individuals suffering from PTSD have an 80% higher risk of suffering from depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicidal thoughts. As a society and as legislators, we have failed to come up with solutions to help our heroes, our warriors, the families, and the survivors, because a hero in the east should be treated the same as a hero in the west. Let us get this bill to committee so that we can discuss it, and amend it if necessary. Even with this, we have studied this enough to recognize that much more needs to be done and action is required.

Last October, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security tabled the report, “Healthy Minds, Safe Communities: Supporting our Public Safety Officers through a National Strategy for Operational Stress Injuries”. Bill C-211 was tabled before this committee, and I had the opportunity to participate in that study also. The report echoes much of what I am saying today, and indeed the minister's own response to the committee report said:

...the Government acknowledges the needs articulated by Canada's public safety officers and agrees that, in recognition of the daily challenges that are unique to public safety officers in the community, national leadership and alignment are necessary in order to effectively address this multidisciplinary issue.

Bill C-211 is a perfect place to start and is in line with the government's own commitments. Therefore, it is my hope that we can move swiftly, because we will save lives. Every minute wasted, every hour wasted, and every day wasted, we are losing lives. Action is needed. We are at a crisis level.

As I near the end of what I know is a very long speech, I would like to acknowledge that I am the first one to admit when I stand up in this House that it is usually to act as a voice of opposition to the issue of the day, but Bill C-211 transcends party lines and partisan squabbles. It is an opportunity for all parliamentarians to stand together and acknowledge the very real impact that PTSD has had on the lives of our warriors. If members would bear with me, I just want to read an excerpt from another website:

I get up all hours of the night and check the house over and over. I don't even know what I am looking for. I was asleep about a month ago, and I just knew that someone had fired a gun in my living room. I hear people pound on my door in the middle of the night, when in fact there was never anyone there to my knowledge. One night I got up out of the bed.... I don't know what I was looking for, but on my way through the house, I cocked my weapon. On the way through the house, the .357 discharged and shot a hole through my floor.... I need help, but I have dealt with it for the past two years. It is getting harder to deal with.

By nature, our first responders are part of a culture that frowns upon weakness. The job comes first, and feelings, wellness, and family come second. When lives are affected by PTSD, families are left behind to pick up the pieces on their own. Families are forgotten. Only through bipartisan support and co-operation can we hope to achieve effe...”

Lloyd Longfield (Liberal)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...e member has said. Some members have honourably served on the front lines of emergencies. Some have families and loved ones whose lives have been touched by those working tirelessly to protect them. In fact, my grandfather immigrated from England, serving the Royal Engineers in World War I, and spent many months in the Brandon sanatorium, being treated during a time when there was very little known about these disorders.

The government stands proudly behind our country's police officers, paramedics, and firefighters. We stand behind indigenous emergency managers, correctional officers, 911 dispatchers, and border guards. We stand, of course, behind the members of our armed forces and all of the brave women and men who have pursued the noble path of public service and put their safety and well-being at risk for the sake of their communities and their country.

In the Liberal platform, we committed to developing a national action plan on post-traumatic stress disorder and the Prime Minister's mandate letter to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness instructs him to “Work with provinces and territories and the Minister of Health to develop a coordinated national action plan on post-traumatic stress disorder, which disproportionately affects public safety officers”.

Indeed, the research shows that between 10% and 35% of first responders will develop post-traumatic stress injuries in their lifetime. An estimated 70,000 Canadian first responders have already been diagnosed. That is why I am proud to say that our government is hard at work developing the action plan to address post-traumatic stress disorder among public safety officers that we promised during our campaign.

Immediately after our government took office, Public Safety Canada launched an extensive consultation process, beginning with sessions in Ottawa and Regina, to hear from stakeholders about PTSD, other operational stress injuries, and about what kinds of supports they needed. As part of these consultations, we heard directly from public safety officers, as well as from health care practitioners, and all levels of government.

We heard about barriers people face when seeking assistance. We heard about cases of limited access to treatment options, the challenges of geographic isolation, and a general lack of awareness regarding operational stress injuries and PTSD, including a lack of awareness about the symptoms and available supports. We agree with the many voices who told us that much more needs to be done.

In particular, we heard about the need to address three key themes: research and data collection; prevention, early intervention, and stigma reduction; and support for care and treatment. Stakeholders' voices have recently been bolstered by a report from the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, as was mentioned. That committee also heard from a wide range of organizations and individuals, including the Canadian Police Association, the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, and many experts on psychiatry and mental health.

At this point, I want to mention that Mood Disorders Society of Canada is in my riding of Guelph. In fact, Phil Upshall, the society's executive director, has made it clear to me that our nation needs to do more to assist those who suffer from this condition, especially when so many who are afflicted by it are our nation's service members or first responders.

Another unique Guelph organization that is leading the nation in treating PTSD is Homewood Health Centre. Homewood has developed the program for traumatic stress recovery, one of the few in-patient programs of its kind in Canada. The program for traumatic stress recovery helps patients recover from the after-effects of trauma and creates a community that helps trauma patients through the healing process. (1740)

We have to look after those Canadians who have helped us in so many ways by providing safety for our communities, and in the process of so doing, have stood in the way of danger themselves.

The committee also received briefs from Badge of Life Canada, the Royal Ottawa Health Centre Group, and the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, among many others. The final report affirms that the well-being of those who serve our communities is absolutely vital to the safety of all Canadians. The report makes 16 recommendations.

As the Minister of Public Safety wrote in the government's response:

The Committee's Report presents important considerations to inform the Government's approach to supporting those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our communities....

The Report will be a valuable resource as the Government moves forward with its commitment to supporting the well-being and resilience of Canada's public safety officers.

Through all this momentum and action, a clear consensus has emerged. National leadership and coordination are needed to address this issue effectively. Resilience and reintegration and the need for coordinated national research have all been identified as important themes.

There remains a broad view that a national plan must recognize that effective support demands coordinated national baseline research. An action plan must recognize the importance of collaboration in providing access to prevention, education, and training measures as well as to innovative care and effective treatment.

Finally, we have heard loud and clear that we must promote awareness for public safety officers and their families of both the symptoms to watch for and the treatment resources available to them.

Stre...”

John Brassard (Conservative)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...g effects of PTSD, and how it plays on those who wear the uniform and the negative impacts on their families.

PTSD is a condition that is characterized by persistent emotional distress occurring as a result of physical injury or severe psychological shock. It typically involves disturbances of sleep, and constant, vivid recall of the traumatic experience with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is characterized by the onset of psychiatric symptoms after exposure to one or more of these traumatic events. The characteristics of PTSD develop in four domains: intrusion, avoidance, alterations in cognition and mood, alterations in arousal and reactivity. People can react in many different ways. They might feel nervous, have a hard time sleeping, or go over the details of the situation in their minds. Others have more serious symptoms and their lives can be seriously disrupted.

Our society requires that these people continue to do their job, so it is the government's job to ensure that they have the ability to seek the help, should they require it.[Translation]

Bill C-211 will help ensure that men and women who are suffering from PTSD are able to get the help they so desperately need. We need to develop and implement a federal framework on PTSD that provides for best practices, research, education, awareness, and treatment.

We really need people to help. Military personnel, veterans, and police officers are expected to lend a hand when the need arises. The bill calls for a federal framework “to address the challenges of recognizing the symptoms and providing timely diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder”.[English]

Bill C-211 is a private member's bill sponsored by the member for Cariboo—Prince George. I want to highlight and acknowledge all his hard work on this bill. Ever since we were elected to this Parliament, I have had the pleasure and the honour of working with the member on this, and I know how extremely invested he is to ensure that our first responders, our military personnel, and our front-line health care workers are looked after.

These brave men and women do so much for our society and give back in ways that cannot be expressed in words. They give their lives to serve our country. Bill C-211 would require the Minister of Health, the Minister of National Defence, and the Minister of Veterans Affairs to consult with the provinces and territories, as well as stakeholders from the medical community and patient groups, in order to develop a comprehensive federal framework to address the challenges of identifying the symptoms and providing a timely diagnosis for the treatment of these men and women who are suffering from PTSD.

There are some statistics that I would like to share in order to highlight the high PTSD rates among Canadian first responders: 24% to 26% of corrections officers suffer from PTSD, 22% to 24% of paramedics suffer from PTSD, 16% of firefighters suffer from PTSD, 10% to 12% of police officers suffer from PTSD, and 5.3% of military personnel suffer from PTSD. (1800)

We cannot forget those who serve on the front lines of the medical field, including doctors and our hard-working nurses. These statistics clearly highlight that large percentages of workers in these essential professions are suffering.

I want to share the story of Natalie Harris, a paramedic from my riding, who was on the front line and the first on the scene of a brutal double homicide. Natalie, who has become a friend and an inspiration to me throughout this process of supporting the member for Cariboo—Prince George, experienced unimaginable traumatic events while working a shift as a Simcoe County paramedic.

Rather than focus on the event and the effects it had on Natalie, I want to focus on her advocacy to help others who suffer from PTSD. Natalie began her road to recovery by simply telling her story. She told her story to a lot of people. In fact, it was at an event in Barrie that we first meet. That night, I told Natalie that I would help her raise the awareness of the issue at a national level, and here we are.

Shortly after the election, the member for Cariboo—Prince George and I talked about the work that he had done to that point and his plans to introduce this bill.

For Natalie, the work continued in spite of some lapses and triggers. She continued, and continues, to speak out, continues to support others suffering from PTSD through social media and a support group she calls Wings of Change. Recently, Natalie wrote a book, to reach even more people with her story. What an inspiration.

Mental health is important to talk about. Those who suffer from PTSD need better resources.

Bill Rusk of Badge of Life Canada stated:

...there’s more of a chance of [police officers] following through [with suicide] because they have the means readily available to them, as opposed to a member of the public, who might have the same feelings, but not the means readily available.

We have a problem here, and it needs government's attention.

Mental illness, like PTSD, can strike at any time, to anyone, regardless of one's age, race, gender, occupation, or income level. It does not discriminate, and it is non-partisan.

Vince Savoia of Tema shared the sad news from his research on PTSD that roughly 60% of first responders who committed suicide in 2015 were diagnosed with PTSD. These are great tragedies.

We need to give our servicemen and servicewomen the help they need and allow them to live their lives to the fullest, rather than be burdened by their illness. People who are in these professions wake up every single day and know that, when they go to work to support our country and their fellow Canadians, their life is at risk. They perform brave tasks day in and day out and are left with the haunting images, sounds, and smells for their lifetime. Bearing witness to the tragedies and suffering that they see often becomes difficult to cope with.

Through the work of this bill, meetings with stakeholders, and the development of this framework, it is my hope that the men and women who do so much for us are able to have the services they require and know that they are not alone in this fight. We owe it to these servicemen and servicewomen, who serve us relentlessly day in and day out, to address PTSD, as it can severely impact their lives and the lives of their families.

In a larger context, mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians, whether throug...”

Colin Carrie (Conservative)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...r.

I look at the effect this is having in our communities on the people we ask to protect our families and communities every single day, hourly, over and over again. This is a piece of legislati...”

Martin Shields (Conservative)

February 9th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...rious situation has created unending stress and harm in the cattle industry. These are generational families on generational ranches that have raised some of the best beef in the world, generational herds. These are not herds that have just popped up, but have been there hereditarily and were developed decade after decade.

When one animal is identified with bovine TB, immediately CFIA becomes involved, as its goal is to keep Canada TB free so we have that reputation in the international market of trading the best beef in the world. However, we have large ranches with community pastures and many animals from many different ranches use them. When 18 different family businesses became quarantined, this meant a lot of stress on their neighbours as testing would have to occur. As the testing occurred, there were reactors, which meant there were orders for slaughtering.

Over the last three months, these families were stressed as they no longer had an asset they could take to market. These products are not like others. These are live animals. These are generational herds that are produced to sell, but the families could not sell them and they could not do anything with them other than wait for a slaughter order. They had to maintain the herds, feed them and they had to take care of what would be slaughtered. The stress was incredible. It was a part of the founding industry, beef ranching industry in that part of the world.

Eventually thousands of bulls, cows and calves were slaughtered. It left these family businesses in a very rough place.

CFIA had limited resources on the ground to work with this, not realizing the size of this catastrophe for these families. Over time, more staff was allocated to work with the testing. Thousands of animals had to be tested. As they worked through this, local ranchers developed better relationships with these people, but there were problems as these animals were destroyed and because of an arranged payment. However, there is only a one year tax deferral, and these herds cannot be replaced. We cannot go to Walmart and get a new herd.

The families need five years of tax deferrals to start the process of rebuilding herds with the kind of ...”

Carol Hughes (NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...se awareness and education for the chronic situation facing sufferers of eating disorders and their families.

Misunderstood, inadequately treated, and underfunded, eating disorders are considered the deadliest of mental illnesses since they are 12 times more likely to lead to death than any other mental illness.

Recovery starts with understanding. Seeking help is a courageous step, and there is a big role for parents, families, and significant others to play. [Translation]

It is important for parliamentarians t...”

Rémi Massé (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...on-sur-Mer is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. Two hundred and fifty years ago, Acadian families settled in this magnificent area of eastern Quebec nestled between the ocean and the mounta...”

Rona Ambrose (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...oration that said it did not need the money, while making it harder for people, ordinary taxpayers, families, and business owners.

Could he please explain to us, one last time, how this makes an...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...lso our government that created the very generous Canada child benefit, which will help 9 out of 10 families by putting more tax-free money in their pockets.”

Navdeep Bains (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... who made sure that we made this investment. This investment is about workers. It is about Canadian families.

This investment will help secure 4,000 good-quality jobs. It will help create an add...”

Shannon Stubbs (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...osed their doors. However, the Liberals never offered bailouts to the devastated business owners or families that lost everything in Alberta.

Now the Prime Minister expects these same struggling...”

Ramez Ayoub (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nville, work directly in the aerospace industry or in some other related field. Many businesses and families have ties to the aerospace sector. We also have institutions and organizations that are lea...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ts and Canadians have always acted with compassion to those seeking safety for themselves and their families. We will continue to welcome people in need of protection. As I have often said, Canada is ...”

François-Philippe Champagne (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... that all Canadians, wherever they live in Canada, see the benefit of CETA for themselves and their families.”

François-Philippe Champagne (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s of the aisle to join us in explaining CETA to Canadians as well as its benefits to them and their families.”

Tom Kmiec (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...as of the world, again seeking opportunities, chances to create wealth for themselves and for their families to live, work, and play as they wish.

The freedom to associate has to also mean the f...”

Gary Anandasangaree (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ng people go through.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the individual victims and their families and all the organizations that have worked so hard on this issue over the years. In particular, I want to call out the TAIBU Community Health Centre, the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada, the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario, the Black Health Alliance, and Camp Jumoke for the great work they have undertaken over the years. (1845)

If more Canadians were aware of the repercussions and the effects on individuals and families, we would be much more inclined to put research dollars and additional support toward those...”

Jim Carr (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ces have had on Albertans.[English]

As a government, we know the challenges workers and their families in the energy sector have faced over the last three years. While there are some encouraging...”

David Yurdiga (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...er for painting such a rosy picture, but reality is different.

People are losing their homes. Families are living in cars. I had a chance to meet a family, a young father and mother with a young...”

Jim Carr (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...r. Chair, we are not trying to distort the reality nor diminish the suffering being felt by Alberta families. Alberta families are not alone in their suffering because of this downturn in commodity prices in the energy sector. We know there are families in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and elsewhere that are dependent on a vibrant e...”

Jim Carr (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ade unions who understand that these energy infrastructure projects will create good jobs for their families. I have to say I am a little surprised that the member, who would have excellent connection...”

Pat Kelly (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ge broker whose clients recently graduated from university, took out mortgages, and wanted to start families in Calgary. These people now worry they have no hope for employment, and are beginning to take their families and their uncertain futures elsewhere.

I heard from professionals who have come to Ca...”

Thomas Mulcair (NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...f the devastation that has been wrought on the economy in that province and on tens of thousands of families. That is why we are here tonight. We are here to take note of that, and one would hope come up with other than the pious platitudes of the Liberal government and start talking about solutions.

We talk about the immediate effect on those families. I have met some of those families, and there are members of my family who live in Calgary and who have been hard hit by this. There is a 25-year veteran of the oil patch, a senior geologist with two kids in university, so I know what it is like to see up close and personal someone losing his or her job after working so hard for so many years in that sector. That is why it is our obligation to start looking at this long-term, and see what those solutions can look like.

The first thing to point out is that the Liberals promised a great deal on employment insurance, but as we speak today, 6 out of 10 unemployed Canadians cannot access employment insurance. That is the current state in Canada. That has to change.

We also believe that we have to start working toward a sustainable economy. The Liberals talk a good game on that. We talk about losing trust in the Conservatives, but when they pushed through Kinder Morgan under the failed process of Stephen Harper without doing what they swore they would do, and when they said to the Dogwood Initiative that they would redo the process, they did not keep their word.

They pushed that through, and it is not going to get built because they have not respected their word and the people of British Columbia are going to stand up to Kinder Morgan. There is no way it is going to go through in its current form.

Let us be clear, the only way forward, the only way we can protect workers and families is to aggressively pursue the innovative diversified clean economy of the future, and leave the outmoded and unstable energy economy of the past behind.

I remember being in Alberta several years ago and reading a bumper sticker that made me smile, but I was trying to figure out the reference. The bumper sticker said, “God, if you give me another boom, I promise not to blow it this time”. I can understand when I go to Alberta and talk to people who are losing their homes, what it is to live in a boom and bust cycle, and I do not think of the people outside of Alberta, because it is primarily in Alberta that those job losses have occurred in the energy sector

Saskatchewan has had a hit as well, but I do not believe enough people in Canada understand the effect of that boom and bust cycle on families, and how many tens of thousands of families have been hard hit. (1935) [Translation]

The current situation and the...”

Thomas Mulcair (NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“..., because that is what it is, we have to have a long-term plan. We have to ensure we think of those families and communities, first and foremost.

One of the very few economic theories that is ac...”

Darshan Singh Kang (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e.

These times have been tough on my fellow Albertans who work in the energy sector and their families, but our government is working for them. We have their back.

To my fellow Albertans a...”

Amarjeet Sohi (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ruggling as the result of low oil and other commodity prices.

The impact on workers and their families has been considerable with job losses occurring across the province. This is why we are taking action to create jobs and growth in Alberta and the rest of the country. As part of our plan, we are delivering support for workers and businesses, continuing to invest in innovation, and strengthening infrastructure for Albertans and for Canadians. Any job lost means that a family is struggling to make ends meet.

Our government is working hard to support unemployed Albertans and to ensure they find meaningful jobs and opportunities. We have extended employment insurance benefits by up to 20 weeks for all Albertans laid off. We have reduced the unpaid waiting period for benefits from two weeks to one week.

Our government is supporting Alberta's businesses as they adapt to changing economic conditions. The Business Development Bank of Canada has partnered with the Alberta Treasury Branch to make $1 billion available for loans to small and medium-sized businesses in Alberta. This builds on the BDC's previous commitment of $500 million toward new loans and advisory services to help businesses struggling with declining oil and gas prices. The program has an excellent uptake in Alberta. Between April and December of last year, the BDC issued 1,150 loans to Alberta's small businesses and authorized $258 million to Alberta businesses.

Last year, the Prime Minister announced the approval of three major pipeline projects that will add 25,000 new jobs, and many of these jobs will be created in Alberta. One of these pipelines, the $6.8 billion Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project, recently received environmental approval from the Government of British Columbia and the company expects that construction could begin later this year.

We are also delivering on a strong innovation agenda that includes doubling our spending on clean energy, ensuring support for innovation ecosystems through post-secondary investments.

Our government is following through on our commitment to make historic investments in much needed infrastructure that will create well paying middle-class jobs. Our government has already approved 127 public infrastructure projects for a total combined investment of over $4 billion across Alberta in the last year. That means more than $1.1 billion toward 48 projects in Edmonton; more than $2.7 billion toward nine projects in Calgary; over $182 million for 35 projects in northern Alberta; and more than $205 million for 36 projects in southern Alberta.

Major projects, such as Edmonton's Yellowhead Trail freeway upgrade, or Calgary's Southwest Ring Road, are moving forward as a result of these efforts.

These investments will create jobs, provide much needed upgrades to community infrastructure, and leave a lasting legacy in urban and rural communities across Alberta and the country.

Alberta has been a driver for the Canadian economy for many years and we recognize the tremendous economic challenges that Albertans are facing. We are working hard to support Alberta workers, families, and businesses that need our help in the short term, but our work is also helping lay the foundation for economic prosperity in the long term.

When Alberta workers, families, and businesses succeed, Canada succeeds.”

Amarjeet Sohi (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...I would like to ask the member if she supports extending the Canada child benefits to struggling families. Does she support extended EI benefits for laid off workers? Does she support our investments in innovation?

The Canada child benefit will lift 30,000 children out of poverty in Alberta, 30,000 children who are struggling today. This year they will be better off. Next year they will be better off compared to this year. Those are the investments we are making, because we understand that families are struggling.”

Kelly McCauley (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...es that have me speaking today, which is the jobs crisis in Alberta. Our communities are suffering. Families are barely getting by. An entire generation of young people have no career prospects.

I am very fortunate in my riding to be invited to speak at schools. We play a mock parliament. I play the speaker and we divide the classes in half. Recently, I was at a school and asked the principal what we should debate and talk about. At this school, it was not Trump, marijuana, or Pokémon Go. The number one issue on the kids' minds was stress. It was the stress of not knowing if their parents were going to have a job the next day, where their moms' and dads' cars were, why they are not going on vacation, and why their families are breaking up. How old were these kids? They were in grade 7, and the number one issue on their minds was stress, caused by the economy.

It is disgraceful that nothing is getting done about this. In November 2016, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement bragged about all the federal money that is being poured into her home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. She said “We don't just want our fair share. We want more than our fair share.”

In last year's budget, on infrastructure transit spending, Alberta was underfunded per capita by 14%. I have to ask, where is the fair share for Alberta? Why is the infrastructure minister not standing up, like the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, demanding an extra fair share for our province?

The very fact that we have to demand a take-note debate on this issue is proof enough there is a lack of leadership and a lack of concern for Canadians who live in a province that is not as friendly to Liberals as other provinces.

It leads me to ask where are the statements from ministers from Alberta pledging to stand up for their constituents? Where are the statements from the four Alberta Liberal MPs pledging that they will stand up for their constituents? They are nowhere. Where is the acknowledgement that there is even a crisis? Albertans have been shunned by the government, and the Liberal members' silence is deafening.

When the Prime Minister stated he wanted to phase out the oil sands, he was rightly and roundly criticized for such a blatantly inane remark, although I note the Alberta MPs did not join in the condemnation of this ridiculous statement.

Kevin Libin, writing for the National Post, noted the habits of the government to make decisions biased solely against Alberta. Libin asked, correctly, why Alberta's economy was the only one the Prime Minister was plotting to phase out. He continued by wondering when the phasing out of Ontario's vehicle manufacturing industry will begin. He stated:

While the Liberal government is clear it eventually wants Alberta out of the oil business, it says nothing about plans to shut down the other provinces' carbon-intensive industries, whether it is Ontario's auto and steel factories, Quebec's airplane makers—

—who we know just got a big bailout yesterday—

—or Saskatchewan's farmers....

He continued:

Alberta’s been put on notice that its primary industry — one that catapulted the province out of the agrarian era and is now responsible for at least one-fifth of its economy and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs — is being planned out of existence.

The Prime Minister likes to pretend he does not play the politics of division in the country, but it is easy for struggling Albertans to be a little skeptical of the Prime Minister's intentions, and be cynical of his sincerity when he says he is here to help. Trust me, Albertans can do without this kind of help.

The people in my riding of Edmonton West are not faceless statistics. They are real people who have reached out to me with stories, and I would like to share a couple with the House today.

Kathy wrote to me, “My husband works for a large firm. They have and are continuing to lay off thousands. It is very scary living this way, thinking you may be the next to go. What a terrible way for a veteran and their family to have to live, wondering if they'll have a job at the end of the day.” This constituent has served our country, and the government cannot even bother to give him and his family a sense of hope for the future.

Ewan wrote to me to just say, “Fix it.”

I received a letter from a gentleman named Mohammed, who said, “We need to encourage business, not destroy it. We need to get pipelines built, not just approved.”

These are Canadians just like us. They want to work, support their families, and pay their bills. They are husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters....”

Blake Richards (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... and it is quickly reaching a crisis situation. Skilled workers are struggling to provide for their families and they are being forced to leave the province to seek better opportunities for employment.

We would think that a situation as dire as this would elicit support from the federal government. We would think the Liberals would be hard at work, identifying solutions and coming up with a plan. Sadly, that is not the case. The Liberals have no plan to create jobs, but that is exactly what our province needs the most right now.

Instead, we are stuck in a tax and spend cycle with the current Liberal government, a cycle that is not working, a cycle that is not creating jobs. In fact, the parliamentary budget officer reported last October that despite the out of control spending and skyrocketing deficits, the Liberals had not created one net full-time job since they took office, not one.

In comparison, while Canada's employment rate has been falling, rates in the U.S., the G7 and the OECD have all risen. It is very clear that despite more than a year of reckless spending, the Liberal plan has done nothing to increase our economy. Not only has the Liberal economic plan failed, the Liberals keep making decisions that will only make things worse.

If we look back over the past year, the Liberals have cancelled family tax credits for sports and for arts classes. They have cancelled small business tax cuts. They have imposed a CPP tax hike and a carbon tax that will cost families thousands of dollars every year. Then they brought in new rules on mortgages that would make it harder to buy a home.

I stand here today because on this side of the House we believe in fiscal responsibility. We believe in a framework for creating a strong economy, and a plan to create jobs and get Albertans back to work.

The energy sector plays an important role in our economy, and pipeline projects create jobs and they create long-term opportunities for Alberta families. Yet the Liberal environmental review process has increased regulatory uncertainty to major...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... flocked out west in search of good jobs and new challenges, and their hard work has helped support families and communities across the Maritimes. Several of my friends and colleagues have actually ta...”

Garnett Genuis (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...arter of its manufacturing jobs. The impact of Alberta's challenges can be felt across the country. Families in other parts of Canada who could once rely on the support of family members in the energy...”

Nick Whalen (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ential crisis back in 1991, Alberta welcomed so many tens of thousands of Newfoundlanders and their families with open arms, who helped build the oil sands and have great jobs there. Many of them are ...”

Len Webber (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...is a wonderful riding, and there are wonderful people who live there. They work hard and have great families. The population is approximately 112,000 people, and many of those people have been deeply affected by the downturn in the oil industry.

There have been massive lay-offs throughout my riding due not only to the price of oil but also due to the unnecessary taxation implemented by both the provincial NDP government and the federal Liberals on an industry that is already on its knees. The implementation of the carbon tax is an attack on an industry just trying to survive.

To understand the utter devastation that has taken place in the Alberta jobs market, one only needs to look at the Liberal government's record since taking office. While the national unemployment rate has remained steady at 7%, the unemployment rate in Calgary has risen dramatically to around 10%. Behind those unemployment numbers are real people, real families, and they are suffering. Even those with jobs today live under incredible stress not knowin...”

MaryAnn Mihychuk (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...that I approached my role as minister of employment, workforce development, and labour. I saw that families were hurting in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and in my home province of Manitoba.

Glen Motz (Conservative)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...

So far the policies of the Liberal government have failed and they continue to fail Canadian families, making life more expensive and killing jobs. I would like to ask the member opposite when ...”

MaryAnn Mihychuk (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...sts who have made Canada the best in the world in the resource sector.

What we can do to help families is what we have done already. We have cut taxes and provided the Canada child benefit. Families have seen a benefit already. Not only that, in the long term they will see more for educati...”

Richard Cannings (NDP)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nergy industry, whether in solar, wind or geothermal, where they could go home every night to their families. This downturn, this crisis, offers an obvious opportunity to make significant investments ...”

Kim Rudd (Liberal)

February 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...[English]

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, as we have heard to...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rations, including the fact that statistical information must be relevant.

As the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, I have the important privilege of implementing measures that have a major impact on the lives of our families. That includes finding efficient and inclusive ways to support early learning and child car...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...cy as is the case of Statistics Canada, there are serious rules to follow to protect the privacy of families and Canadians. All appropriate rules will be followed by Statistics Canada to protect the i...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...d even outside of the government, while protecting the safety and security of important data on our families and communities.”

Dianne L. Watts (Conservative)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...he collection and storage of data cannot come at the expense of the privacy of individuals or their families.

We also need to ensure that Canadians from all regions are represented equally and f...”

Dianne L. Watts (Conservative)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...uestion. I know that the information would be made public after 92 years; however, individuals have families, children, and grandchildren. Does the member foresee any issues or impact it would have on families as a whole?”

Randall Garrison (NDP)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... information was the census. I wonder if the Conservatives have really thought about the impacts on families in the future who want to resource their origins and find out where they came from. The cen...”

Alexander Nuttall (Conservative)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ronment where Canadians will be prosperous and successful, earn their livings and provide for their families.”

John Barlow (Conservative)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e asking for data that shows the impact the tax will have on our most vulnerable: seniors and young families. Again the Liberals have refused.

If the carbon tax is supposed to be some sort of jo...”

Lloyd Longfield (Liberal)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...r larger cities is squeezing lower-income Canadians out of urban areas.

Would the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development please update the House on the progress of the government'...”

Jean-Yves Duclos (Liberal)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... 2016 invested an additional $2.3 billion over two years, which will directly help 200,000 Canadian families.

We will also be launching this year the first national housing strategy in four decades. This strategy will give our communities and our housing partners the long-term support they seek to meet the housing needs of our families.”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...n the media as extensive and indiscriminate shelling. There is a war going on, and it is destroying families and communities. Children have lost their parents.

I spoke earlier about how a countr...”

Peter Julian (NDP)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ns, and to the trade committee. She does an extremely effective job of speaking out for our regular families across the country that are left aside by many of these trade deals.

Of course we are supporting the Canada-Ukraine trade deal. However, we have had a number of other trade deals referenced in the discussion taking place this afternoon. None of them are fair trade deals. None of them take as a starting point how we can improve the lives of regular families in Canada. That is part of the reason why the NDP and the member for Essex speak out against these bad trade deals that do not put in place the fair trade practices that most Canadians want to see.

For example, she referenced human rights. When we look at Mercosur and South America, they actually have poverty alleviation as part of their trade agreements. There are a number of different models that are fair trade agreements, rather than these right-wing free trade agreements that have all of the weaknesses the member for Essex has cited.

Therefore, I would like to ask the member for Essex this. What is her vision of trade for the future of Canada? How can we build trade agreements that help regular working families across the country, rather than contribute to higher drug costs and to lost jobs as she men...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...credibly important question, because if we look across Canada today, we see that average Canadians, families, and people who are working hard every day feel that trade deals have not served them or wo...”

Bob Bratina (Liberal)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...y solution to eradicate these issues, which affect the very young more than the old, and low-income families more than the affluent. Children in older, poorer neighbourhoods should not be exposed to a...”

Jenny Kwan (NDP)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...sing times for the care workers to gain permanent residence in Canada and to be reunited with their families. In fact, the average wait times for families is four and a half years. The processing time is taking so long that for many families, their medical, criminal, and security checks have expired, and by the way, each medical costs an extra $200 for each individual. It is a huge financial burden.

Immigration lawyer Lobat Sadrehashemi highlighted the injustice caregivers face when compared to other immigration streams at the citizenship committee. She stated:

Even if you look at other programs, such as the Canadian experience class—which does require one year of work, so it's very similar—you'll see that their applications for permanent residence are processed in six months. That's the average processing time. Because they are allowed to bring their spouses on accompanied work permits, they are not separated from their families, whereas live-in caregivers are separated from their families while they are doing their work requirement, and then on top of that, their processing takes eight times longer, and during that time they are not with their families.

With such long delays in processing for some families, their children have aged out and would not be included in the application as they renew the process. As a result of this, lots of families are breaking down. Children have suffered such long separation from their mothers that they...”

Serge Cormier (Liberal)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ugees and citizenship announced that the 2017 target for admissions of live-in caregivers and their families would be between 17,000 and 20,000 permanent residents. This number includes people who are already part of the live-in caregiver program and who will submit an application for permanent residence when they have two years' experience as temporary foreign workers.

Between 2009 and 2013, admissions of live-in caregivers and members of their families on average totalled only about 11,000 a year.[English]

While this decision by the former Conservative government contributed to the backlog, our government is continuing to work on eliminating it. I am glad to report that we are making progress on that front.[Translation]

In early 2015, there was a backlog of 57,000 applicants for live-in caregivers and members of their families who were awaiting a decision on their permanent residence application. As of January 24, 20...”

Jenny Kwan (NDP)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...licants who are on the wait list, it is a wait of six years plus for them to be reunited with their families. I am a mother of two. I cannot imagine what life is like for people to be separated from t...”

Serge Cormier (Liberal)

February 7th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ve with their employer.[English]

Again, the planned admissions range for caregivers and their families in 2017 will be 17,000 to 20,000 permanent residents, notably higher than the levels Canada...”

Bernard Généreux (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...d that there is widespread support for this bill across Canada and especially in rural areas, where families create small businesses and support them from one generation to the next. I sincerely believe that these families must have this opportunity. Just imagine that I were to sell my business to my daughter. I ...”

Karine Trudel (NDP)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“....

As we all know, our small and medium-sized businesses are the bedrock of our economy. Whole families make a living thanks to them.

I am from Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, where life can be ...”

Emmanuel Dubourg (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...rs.

The safeguards in this bill will ensure that the ones to benefit will be the middle-class families. Ensuring the sustainability of small businesses is also essential to the job market.

..”

Jacques Gourde (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... to their children or grandchildren, or to a stranger. We believe that the Income Tax Act penalizes families who want to keep the business in the family.

In closing, for all these reasons, and m...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“.... What is more, the government has lowered taxes for nearly nine million Canadians, and 9 out of 10 families with children now receive higher benefits through our new Canada child benefit program.

...”

Charlie Angus (NDP)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...farm sector in the CETA negotiations and walked away on compensation, when it knows that dairy farm families are going to take a serious hit. Yet the man they are looking to to deal with Donald Trump,...”

Mark Eyking (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...st the fishing trade in my riding and better the quality of life for hard-working fishers and their families.

In agriculture itself, as I know was mentioned here, beef, pork, and canola are agri...”

Charlie Angus (NDP)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...y on the table, because he knew this was going to be a serious multi-billion dollar hit to our farm families. The Liberal government has not put a dime on the table.

I would like my colleague to...”

Bev Shipley (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ability, and trust.

The agreement has all the potential of going ahead and being good for our families and our businesses, but if the government is going to bring in a carbon tax, in it will neg...”

Randy Hoback (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...lly concerns me is the fact that the Liberal government is taking that $1,000 out of the pockets of families and spending it elsewhere. More payroll taxes and a carbon tax are the types of things that...”

Jean-Claude Poissant (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t our agricultural exports by $1.4 billion per year. That means more money for Canadian farmers and families. We are very proud of this achievement.”

Francis Scarpaleggia (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...pride and satisfaction, on the important role they play in the everyday lives of students and their families. (1405) [English]

I am proud to have been a teacher at one point in my ...”

Majid Jowhari (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...itude to an important group of dedicated people who work tirelessly with children, youth, and their families.

Approximately one in seven Canadian children and youth suffers from some form of men...”

Justin Trudeau (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...raising them on the wealthiest 1%. We have put more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadian families by giving monthly child benefits that are non-taxable and more generous than what the previous government did, by not sending child benefits to the wealthiest families.

We continue to look for ways Canada can create good jobs by engaging in the global m...”

Pierre Poilievre (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...er question, asking if Finance Canada had an analysis of the impact of the carbon tax on low-income families. The department responded with nothing, suggesting it had done no such analysis.

Howe...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“.... Speaker, I am pleased to talk about the impact of the taxes we have actually reduced for Canadian families. I am pleased to talk about the impact on Canadian families of the introduction of the Canada child benefit. Those specific numbers are important: for the single family, with a reduction in middle-class taxes, $330 more for that person this year; for the family, a $540 reduction in taxes; for the nine out of 10 families that got the Canada child benefit, an average of $2,300 more per year after taxes.

Th...”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e class and those who want to join it, and that plan has all the measures that really help Canadian families.

In budget 2017, we will continue with our plan. It will be very important for us. We...”

Joyce Murray (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... of British Columbia, which has a world-leading cluster of innovation. Workers and owners and their families, like in Vancouver Quadra, would benefit from the support CETA would provide to small and medium-sized business groups.

Exports play a very important role in the Canadian economy, as we know, contributing to growth, productivity, and employment. Overall, exports of goods and services are the equivalent of just under one-third of Canada's GDP. Either directly or indirectly, export enterprises employ one out of every six Canadian workers. Small businesses alone make up 90% of Canadian exporters and, in 2011, were responsible for $68 billion, or 25%, of the total value of exports.

Small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, are about people. SMEs employ some 10 million Canadians, or nearly 90%, of Canada's total private-sector workforce. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada released a report last year profiling SMEs and their characteristics as Canadian exporters. The report found that 10% of Canadian SMEs exported goods and services in 2011, with export sales accounting for about 4% of total company revenues. We can and need to grow that.

The report also points to superior financial performance by exporters compared with non-exporters. Specifically, exporters generated higher sales, pre-tax profit margins, and returns on assets, on average, compared with non-exporters. As well, exporters are more research and development intensive than non-exporters, spending 8% of annual revenues on R and D, on average, compared with 6% for non-exporters. Exporters are also more growth oriented than non-exporters, with a higher percentage growing their sales by 20% or more per year compared with non-exporters.

SMEs clearly have a significant role to play in Canada's future prosperity, and our government certainly believes in supporting our hard-working SMEs in succeeding in this role, leading to more jobs, a strengthened middle class, and more tax dollars for our important social safety nets.

One way to support SMEs is by ensuring that there are accessible export markets abroad, with advantageous conditions within these markets for them to compete. The findings of the report I mentioned support the government's continued commitment to advancing an SME growth and export agenda through the establishment of new trade agreements. (1530)

Currently, Canada's SME exporters continue to focus predominantly on the U.S., with 89% of exporters selling to the United States and 74% of the value of exports generated by U.S. sales.

With CETA, we will see SMEs diversify their exports and pursue opportunities in the European Union, the world's second-largest market for goods. The EU's annual imports alone are worth more than Canada's entire GDP. The EU is also key for global supply chains, with more Fortune 500 companies than anywhere else in the world. This important access to supply chains is an important avenue of opportunity for the global ambitions of many Canadian people and their families. Of the EU's more than 9,000 tariff lines, approximately 98% will be duty free for Canadian goods when CETA comes into force, with more eliminated, over time, when the agreement is fully implemented.

As well, there are innovations within CETA that will save companies time and money, such as the protocol on conformity assessment, which will allow Canadian manufacturers and certain sectors to have their products tested and certified in Canada for sale in the EU. This kind of regulatory alignment can be particularly useful for SMEs, avoiding the need to set up testing operations outside the country.

CETA will open opportunities for Canadian businesses, including SMEs, in the EU's estimated $3.3 trillion government procurement market. Once CETA enters into force, Canadian firms will be able to supply goods and select services to all levels of EU government, including the EU's 28 member states and thousands of regional and local government entities.

CETA will also provide Canadian SMEs with a first-mover advantage in the EU market over competitors from markets, like the U.S., that do not have a trade agreement in place with the EU. It will allow Canadian businesses to establish their customer relationships, networks, and joint projects first.

Canadian businesses need to be aware of the benefits CETA will bring. We cannot assume that this is always the case. As I remember well, small businesses often lack the time and resources to inform themselves of game-changing international business developments such as free trade agreements.

Plans have been developed to promote recently concluded agreements, including CETA, with SMEs specifically in mind. First, our government is undertaking proactive initiatives to reach out to Canadian businesses across the country and through our missions in the EU market. There is a new CETA web page geared toward Canadian businesses, with links to information and export opportunities. In co-operation with our provincial partners as well as Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada, our government is launching a series of business outreach events featuring technical experts who will be reaching out to small businesses. Outreach is very important to our business community.

Second, we are ensuring, through training, that our teams support international business development through trade commissioners, in Canada or abroad, so that they are fully familiar with the technical aspects of the agreement and can advise their clients about the opportunities they bring. One example is the work the government has done to ensure that trade commissioners can properly advise their business clients on CETA by holding training sessions.

Third, following a detailed assessment, the government will work with specialized industry associations in priority sectors, with a focused, hands-on approach to helping potential exporters.

CETA is an agreement with progressive countries, many of which have strong, or stronger than Canadian, environmental and labour conditions. The inclusion of strong labour and environmental side agreements is very important to Canadians and to our government. As well, CETA's benefits for the Canadian business community are very important to our government. This range of opportunities in the EU and its market of more than 500 million consumers is critical for our country's jobs and the economy.

What a positive initiative this is, and how appreciative I am that our government's former trade minister managed to take this stalled agreement, work with her partners in the EU, and bring the agreement to a close. Our families, our workers, rely on these kinds of jobs. (1535)

This is good for Vancouver Quadra...”

John Nater (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... world's largest market for imports. By ratifying CETA, we give advantage to Canadian farmers, farm families, and manufacturers.

The local economy in my riding of Perth—Wellington is built on agriculture. I am very proud to be the son, grandson, and son-in-law of farmers in my riding. I am proud to support so many hard-working farm families that dedicate their lives to feeding our nation and feeding the world.

For communities, like mine in Perth—Wellington, to survive and prosper, we need expanded markets. CETA would eliminate tariffs on Canadian food products as they were imported into Europe. It would eliminate tariffs of up to 9% on fresh apples, 12% on cherries, 7.7% on flour, and 5.1% on sweet corn. CETA would also establish high duty-free tariff rate quotas for beef and pork to be phased in over the next five years.

I will share a couple of important figures with members.

In 2015, total exports of beef from Canada were $2.2 billion and for pork, $3.4 billion. This is a significant export market that Canada can embrace. We have some of the greatest farmers, especially in the pork and beef industry, in the world and we can harness that great potential. This is also all the more important today as farmers, especially in Ontario, are facing an uncertain future as they deal with the rising costs of production, especially as these are further increased by the implementation of carbon pricing in Ontario and nationally as well.

I want to say a bit about the dairy industry.

As hon. members may know, the great riding of Perth—Wellington has more dairy farmers and dairy farms than any other riding in the country. I am very proud of our dairy industry and I am very proud to represent so many farm families in my riding that dedicate their lives to producing high-quality Canadian milk. Contrary to the fears that often get presented when international trade deals are being negotiated, the three pillars of supply management have been protected, as they were protected in the TPP deal as well. Producer pricing, production discipline, and import control have all been protected in both the TPP and the CETA negotiations. Canadian consumers will be able to drink delicious Canadian milk. As the son-in-law of retired dairy farmers, I will continue to enjoy drinking a good cold glass of Canadian milk.

I might take this opportunity as well to say how proud I am of some of the cheese makers in my riding. The small communities in Perth—Wellington are quickly developing a name for creating some of the greatest new cheese products now happening in Canada. We have a number of small cheese processors that are doing some great work. I am proud of those local cheese makers who do such great work.

The CETA deal would create up to 80,000 new jobs in Canada. Putting that in perspective, that is 80,000 families that would have an individual in that family who has a job. That is 80,000 families that might be able to buy their first homes. That is 80,000 families that might be able to put their kids in that sporting activity, whether it is hockey or soc...”

Diane Finley (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...tunities to get their products and their services to market, to make a living, to provide for their families, and CETA would do just that.

This trade agreement would also establish trading relat...”

Diane Finley (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...cause of the high cost of doing business in Ontario, the skyrocketing hydro prices that are forcing families to choose between buying food and paying the utility bills. That is one of the key things I...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“... ensure that we are supporting these people in terms of recovery from the atrocities they and their families have been through. It means aid to the region, support for rebuilding infrastructure, and a...”

Serge Cormier (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...live outside Iraq, in Turkey and Lebanon, and, at the same time, we are identifying women and their families who live in Irak.[English]

The department is also working closely with welcoming comm...”

Marc Miller (Liberal)

February 6th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ies and can change lives. It helps people get to work and get their children to school. It can lift families out of poverty. It can help businesses grow. Infrastructure helps build better communities ...”

Robert Kitchen (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ood, as their customer base is disappearing. Parents are wondering how they are going to feed their families once their employment insurance runs out. It affects all levels of the population and the e...”

Sherry Romanado (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...tional woman whose commitment to her community helped ensure the well-being of many individuals and families in our riding.

On December 31, Danielle Lavigne passed the torch after 27 years of fa...”

Candice Bergen (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rals and all of their friends, and start doing what is best for Canadians, for Canadian businesses, families, and jobs?”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ld benefit program, which again is going to give Canadians much more money to help them raise their families.

We are going in the right direction, and we are going to continue to move forward.

Gérard Deltell (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e question as usual. However, one thing that this government is not avoiding is cutting funding for families. It has already eliminated tax credits that help Canadian families.

My question for the government today is very simple: will the government commit to not eliminating any more tax credits that help Canadian families?”

Gérard Deltell (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ent's so-called tax cuts.

The fact is that the government scrapped tax cuts that were helping families directly. I see the member from Toronto indicating that he thinks that is not true, but it is. It is time you stepped up and took responsibility for decisions you have made that are terrible for Canadian families.

I am asking you: Will you promise that, in the next budget, you will not get rid of tax credits that help all Canadian families?”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... introduced, the Canada child benefit. This program will help hundreds of thousands of children and families escape poverty. If a single mom with a child under six earns $30,000 per year, she will get...”

David Lametti (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...n. However, our government is funding jobs, programs, and skills training to help workers and their families affected by job losses. We will continue to work with our regional development agencies to ...”

Shannon Stubbs (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e only ones who should be worried. The Prime Minister's policies are making life more expensive for families, and costing them their jobs across the board, not only in the oil sands. Can the Prime Min...”

Bardish Chagger (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...n communities to help create the conditions for growth for good jobs for Canadians to support their families.

When it comes to the member's question, the member knows very well that the Prime Mi...”

Tracey Ramsey (NDP)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, not only is the opioid crisis taking lives and destroying families in Canadian cities, but this public health emergency is also impacting smaller communities,...”

Alupa Clarke (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ing quick action on this file. I do not believe that to be the case, however. In fact, thousands of families have been hung out to dry, without knowing what happens next.

After all this, does th...”

Jean-Claude Poissant (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e. Our agriculture sectors are very closely linked, and we are working to ensure that Canadian farm families continue to prosper.

We are working with dairy producers and processors to modernize ...”

Arif Virani (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rs of the House and all Canadians stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and the friends and families of those who lost their lives last Sunday.

We know that Quebeckers and other Canadian...”

Dan Albas (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s compete with the world, we can and do succeed every day, allowing us to thrive and for these farm families, these small businesses, to flourish.

I say we know now because, of course, as a coun...”

Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ees working there. They are driving cars, renting and buying homes and furniture, and feeding their families. Manitoba has more pigs than people. The vast majority of that product goes outside of the ...”

Rob Nicholson (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... House.

Alzheimer's disease currently affects three-quarters of a million Canadians and their families, and that figure is expected to double within a generation. In addition, three out of four Canadians know someone who is affected by Alzheimer's or dementia. That is 75% of all Canadians.

It is imperative as we prepare to cross the finish line with this legislation that we complete this task together. Canadians are counting on it. It is most heartening to know that in matters of great concern to the citizens of our country and their families that we, as members of Parliament, can work together across party lines to unite and advocate for research, collaboration, and partnerships to find cures, provide timely diagnosis, and offer support for treatment. This co-operation will lead to positive health outcomes for Canadians who suffer from Alzheimer's and dementia, and will reassure their loved ones who provide care. Canadians expect that parliamentarians will work on their behalf to resolve these critical issues.

Members from across the aisle have demonstrated their willingness to work together to ensure that a national coordinated strategy is put in place to alleviate the suffering of Alzheimer's victims and their families. They have brought the very best of Canadian principles to the floor of the House of Commons to ensure that Bill C-233 will be passed for the greater good of Canadians.

I reiterate that no one should have to witness the slow and painful deterioration of a loved one or a family member suffering from this cruel illness. Far too many Canadians endure the long goodbye.

I know that I do not stand alone, as I am joined by many of my colleagues in this House who have dealt with, or are dealing with, a family member, a friend, or a loved one who is suffering from various forms of dementia.

Alzheimer's is no respecter of persons. From former President Ronald Regan to our next-door neighbour, this terrible disease knows no bounds. It takes a terrible toll among its victims and their families.

It is important for me to once again acknowledge and express my gratitude to the mem...”

Alaina Lockhart (Liberal)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...eated new possibilities for better diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life for patients and their families.

The Alzheimer's Society continues to promote the benefits of early diagnosis. As a 2011 study revealed, 50% of Canadians live for more than a year with their symptoms before seeking diagnosis. We need to do better.

Canadian research has highlighted a link between dementia and stroke. Dr. Sandra Black of the University of Toronto has been collecting brain scans of patients with dementia since 1995. These scans uncovered the prevalence of silent strokes, or strokes that leave small holes in the brain without any obvious symptoms. This research has opened the door to the possibility for earlier diagnosis for Canadians using brain scans. It suggests that reducing the risk of stroke may help prevent dementia. Continued research like this is vital. Our investments in this area are essential to changing the course of dementia and unlocking a cure.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, or CIHR, is the Government of Canada's primary vehicle through which we support research and move results into practice. In the last five years, CIHR has invested more than $193 million in dementia-related research. This funding supports the best, most intriguing research questions that Canada's brightest and most promising scientists have to offer. This is research that has the potential for big impacts for Canadians and the Canadian health care system.

For example, Halifax researcher Dr. Janice Keefe has spent 20 years focusing on at-home, family caregivers who she calls "the backbone of our current health system". As Canada's aging baby boomers increasingly care for a spouse or parent with dementia, these family caregivers need support to avoid becoming patients, and not necessarily for dementia. Dr. Keefe co-developed a ground-breaking, evidence-based questionnaire that captures the diverse and complex needs of family caregivers.

The C.A.R.E. tool is influencing policy development and support programs for this often overlooked but vital population. First piloted in Quebec and Nova Scotia, practitioners are now using C.A.R.E. in Ontario and Alberta and it has been culturally adapted for use in France and New Jersey. As the prevalence of dementia increases in Canada, so will the number of caregivers. A tool like this, which helps identify needs and therefore support programs for those who are dedicating themselves to others, is invaluable. (1345)

I am pleased to say that by leading its dementia research strategy, CIHR is acting strategically to focus research efforts not only in Canada but internationally. This approach brings together partners from different sectors to support the latest dementia research related to three specific themes: prevention, treatment, and quality of life for those affected by the disease and their caregivers.

The domestic component of the strategy, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, is known as Canada's premier research hub on neurodegenerative diseases affecting cognition, including dementia. The number of funding partners CCNA has brought together is now up to 15.

With these funding partners from across Canada, CCNA helps accelerate the development of dementia treatments and care for Canadians. To do this, it involves over 350 researchers, who are examining issues important to all Canadians, including specific vulnerable groups, such as indigenous people and those living in rural communities. In this regard, dementia rates in Canada's indigenous communities have been steadily increasing for the last seven to 10 years. Alarmingly, the onset of dementia is now occurring an average of 10 years earlier than in non-indigenous communities.

Drs. Kristen Jacklin and Carrie Bourassa are leading research into how indigenous culture and community affect how people experience dementia. Their team is working with indigenous communities to develop culturally grounded approaches to dementia diagnosis, care, and health education. This research will produce a range of results to help clinicians. It will help them adapt their approach to ensure that indigenous people feel more comfortable and safe when meeting with health professionals. It will also help build appropriate community and cultural strengths into existing programming for people with dementia and their partners.

The dementia research strategy developed by CIHR also has an international component, which has enabled Canadian researchers to participate in key international partnerships across its three themes. Through this component, Canadian researchers have been able to collaborate with colleagues from across the globe.

Canada is recognized as a leader in this domain. For example, Canada was the first country outside of Europe to join the joint program on neurodegenerative disease, the largest global research initiative tackling the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases. Let me give members concrete examples of the research funded through the international collaboration.

This program funds the work of Drs. Jörg Gsponer and Paul Pavlidis from the University of British Columbia. They are working on an international team with researchers from Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands to shed light on the genetic risk factors of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. This fundamental research will help us find new biomarkers as ways to measure deviations from healthy aging, along with novel treatments and diagnostic tools.

Together the scientific efforts through the strategy's domestic and international components have defined Canada as a leader in dementia research. We are proud to support world-class researchers as they participate in the global pursuit of finding a disease-modifying treatment for dementia by 2025.

Dr. Alex Mihailidis, from the University of Toronto, has developed a mobile robot to help people living with dementia. Sometimes people with Alzheimer's disease have a hard time remembering the sequence of steps required for everyday tasks. Dr. Mihailidis has created an automated prompting system, called the COACH, which helps them remember the steps required in basic tasks like handwashing. Already working well in long-term care facilities, his team is now adapting the COACH to help those living at home.

As members can see, the results of research provide hope that new tools, services, and treatments will soon be available to better prevent dementia and improve the outcomes for Canadians living with this terrible disease.

I am pleased to say that through CIHR, the Government of Canada has established a clear research strategy on dementia. This government will continue to invest in dementia research. We know that our investments in research will go a long way to improving the lives of Canadians living with dementia, their families, and caregivers.

It was an honour to participate in today's debate, which highlights ...”

Sheila Malcolmson (NDP)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...sting those with Alzheimer's, and to ease the personal consequences that exist for people and their families every day. I hope people in my region will come to the fundraising walk in Nanaimo on May 7.

It is in that spirit that I speak today on Canada's responsibility to improve care for the hundreds and thousands of Canadians suffering from dementia and to better support their families and caregivers. I support Bill C-233, which calls for the development and implementation of a national and comprehensive strategy to improve health care delivered to persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Here is a call from Susan Barr, who wrote to me from the riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith. She wrote, “I am a senior with Alzheimer's on my father's and mother's line, and am now starting down that dark path of dementia myself.... Unless a dementia patient has sufficient means they have to share rooms with others who often are difficult to live with and/or are violent. I urge you to go and spend two or three hours in a government funded senior's care home with a closed dementia ward and ask yourself — do you want to be treated like this?”

She also describes her brother-in-law, who used to be the gentlest, kindest soul. He has been held in hospital with Alzheimer's for long periods of time because there is no space for him in a care unit elsewhere on Vancouver Island. He has been tied on stretchers and denied showers because of fears about his aggressive behaviour. This is bad for caregivers, for families, and, of course, for the patients.

The need is great. Three-quarters of a million Can...”

John Nater (Conservative)

February 3rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ities and services to individuals suffering from Alzheimer's and other dementias, and also to their families and their loved ones.

Just last night, in fact, I was speaking with my sister who works at a long-term care home in the small town of Milverton in my riding. She told me about a program at that facility called iPods for Memories. It is a great program that provides an individual with Alzheimer's or dementia with an Ipod that has music and memories from the individual's younger days which the person can listen to and have a spark of memory. To see the smiles on their faces, to see the laughter of those individuals who all of a sudden have a happy recollection, a happy memory of their younger days is so important. My sister said that anything we can do as a federal Parliament to encourage programs like that, to encourage the ability of those suffering with this terrible disease to have that spark of memory, to have that opportunity to go back to some of those great memories from their younger days is so important.

Just last month I met with board members from the Alzheimer Society of Perth County. We talked about the importance of the bill and the importance of other opportunities that we as parliamentarians and as Canadians can do to help those who suffer from Alzheimer's and help those whose families are also suffering from the effects of having a loved one with this terrible disease.

..”

Gérard Deltell (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...age under their health insurance, which means that not just the 13.5 million workers but also their families are affected. We are talking about 24 million Canadians. That is a lot of people. (1015)

It is a bad idea because families would have to pay an additional $2,000 on average. For the past two months, many people have been warning the government about the dangers of doing this.

In his January 12 letter addressed to the Minister of Finance, Robert R. Blakely, of Canada's Building Trades Unions said, “In the absence of this benefit, our organizations would be obliged, in the interest of our members, to seek public funding to replace this care, which is vital to the health of Canadians.”

Unfortunately, one province already has this tax, so I know what I am talking about. In 1993, almost 25 years ago, Quebec imposed such a tax.

What can we learn from this exercise? A study by Amy Finkelstein from MIT, published in the Journal of Public Economics in September 2000, states, on page 34:[English]

This represents a decline in workplace coverage of about one-fifth, and corresponds to an elasticity of coverage by employer-provided supplementary health insurance.... [Translation]

When that happened in Quebec, one in five insured workers lost that insurance, and 95% of them did not get it back.

If, God forbid, the government were to go ahead with this plan, millions of Canadians would suffer the same fate. We also need to consider the long-term effect on public health because we are talking about dental care. If people are not insured and do not take care of their teeth, that will lead to problems that will have to be dealt with eventually.

Why are we concerned about the government's interest in taxing Canadians more? Since coming to power, the government has earned a reputation for taking aim at the tax credits that our government introduced, tax credits for the arts, sports, post-secondary education, and textbooks. This Liberal government scrapped the tax credits that we introduced to help families.

In October, the government changed the rules for buying houses, the mortgage rules, without even holding consultations.

Just yesterday, in committee, six different groups directly affected by the move all stated one after the other that the government had never approached them. This directly affects young families and Canadians who want to buy property.

I also want to talk about the current government's disregard for entrepreneurs, the creators of jobs and wealth. What did the government do? It raised Canada pension plan premiums by over $1,000 per employee per business. It cancelled the corporate tax cut that was supposed to bring it down to 9%. It cancelled the employment tax credit. Lastly, of course, this government is introducing its Liberal carbon tax, which will put an additional burden on Canadian families, to the tune of about $2,500 a year.

That is the Liberal way. The government is incapable of managing the country properly. It is creating colossal deficits and debts. Its idea of a solution is to stop helping businesses and families. Instead, it is thinking up new ways to pick taxpayers' pockets.

What is next? The government has decided to review 208 tax credits that are currently in place and generate about $100 billion. Indeed, the Liberal government wants to take another look at each one of these tax credits. We have no problem with that, but we would prefer to know what the government had in mind.

Does it intend to abolish these tax credits altogether, just as it abolished those for arts and culture, textbooks, and those meant to help our families? That is where the danger lies. If, heaven forbid, the government decides to cut tax credit...”

Dan Albas (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...iddle class. It will download complexity onto Canadian employers and leave many Canadians and their families and dependents without the care they need.

Every member in this place has been hearing the same from Canadians of all walks of life.

The Liberals have repeatedly been asked if they would authorize this new Liberal tax grab, yes or no. Likewise, the finance minister has continued to refuse to say no to this new tax grab on employer-provided health benefits. We heard from the Prime Minister who, probably after consulting the latest polls, which show a sharp dip in support of late, changed his mind. Loose lips sink not only ships but tax credits, but in this case, this is a tax grab.

Why has the Prime Minister's support dropped so far that he has backed away from this proposal after leaking it through the media repeatedly? Let us stop for a moment and think about that. The Liberals' number one talking point suggests they are all about helping the middle class. How exactly would taxing employer-provided health benefits help the middle class? Only Liberals would dare to suggest they are helping the middle class by increasing taxes on the middle class. Seriously, who thought that this would be a good idea anyway?

Let us get serious for a moment. For an Ontario family earning $45,000 a year, this Liberal tax grab would have cost that family an extra $1,167 a year. That is a huge increase.

While the Liberals love to boast about the so-called middle class tax cut, let us not forget that the Liberal tax cut did not apply to someone earning $45,000 per year. An individual would have to earn more than that to be even considered middle class by the Liberals to qualify for that tax cut. Yet strangely, those earning between $100,000 and $199,000 are considered middle class and do qualify for this tax cut. For Canada's most vulnerable families there was no tax cut for them, but they should not worry, because there is a huge increase for employer-provided health benefits for them instead. How can any member on that side of the House justify that? There are many good people on that side of the House, and I would suspect most of them would agree that tax fairness is not fair for those earning under $45,000 a year if they get hit with a $1,000 plus tax increase and do not have any offsetting tax cut.

Why are we in this situation? What did Canadians do to deserve a huge tax grab from the Ottawa Liberals on employer-provided health benefits? Here is the problem. The Liberal government was elected on the promise of running modest deficits of $10 billion, with a return to balance in 2019. Every Liberal MP campaigned on this promise. We know that promise, much like the promise for electoral reform, was a complete fabrication. As many seniors in my riding would like to point out, Liberals once promised if elected they would eliminate the GST—oops.

The reality is, at this point in time, that the Liberal government has absolutely no fiscal plan to return to balance. The Prime Minister has never had to balance a budget before and has no interest in doing so now. Already we can see that the Liberal plans to spend their way out of trouble have failed. What should they do now: reduce spending or raise taxes? We all know the answer to this question.

Here is the thing. The Liberals claimed that lowering taxes on one segment of society would put more money back into the economy so we could grow the economy. That is not working, so now the Liberals are going to take that money back in new taxes. It may not be this one, but it will certainly be another one, and that tax will not just be from one segment of society. The proposed health care tax would apply to all segments. I suppose in that sense taking more taxes from everyone is the Liberal definition of tax fairness.

However, to be clear, the Liberals have created a serious problem. They rolled the dice and gambled that their plan to spend their way out of trouble would work to grow the economy, and to be fair, there are some experts who encouraged the Liberals to do exactly what they have done. However, those same experts are now saying—oops—that plan did not work and some new revenue has to be found. (1030)

Again, it may not be dental and health care plans being taxed, but eventually, they will find something. The Liberals have said that they are eyeing other tax expenditures.

Because many of those experts are often paid from tax dollars, they seldom recommend less spending. Therefore, how do we raise taxes? The Liberals could be transparent and say, yes, they are raising taxes and tell us why, but it is much easier to call it a tax fairness plan, where everyone pays Ottawa more money because it is fair, in Liberal speak, and it will help grow the middle class, of course, as paying higher taxes always does.

Of course, I am kidding on all of these fronts, particularly when we talk about applying a tax on families that are not earning more than $45,000. In fact, they were cut out of that middle-class tax...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...n out of poverty, more than in 2014. Since the CCB was implemented in July of 2016, nine out of ten families have received more money than they did under the former child benefit system, or an average of nearly $2,300 per year for the 2016-17 benefits. Parents with children under 18 will receive a maximum annual benefit of $6,400 per child under age 6 and $5,400 per child under 18.

Whether these additional funds are used for things like buying school supplies, covering part of the family grocery bill, or buying warm coats for winter, the CCB helps parents cover the high cost of raising their children.

The Canada child benefit will be indexed to inflation starting in 2020 so that families can continue to count on this additional support for a long time, with their benefits keeping pace with rising expenses.[English]

The Government of Canada also reached a historic agreement with provincial governments to enhance the Canada pension plan, also known as CPP. This plays another key part in providing support to middle-class families. The government undertook this after the Department of Finance examined whether families nearing retirement were adequately prepared for that retirement. Finance officials found that of about one in four Canadian families approaching retirement, 1.1 million families were at risk of not saving enough to maintain their current standard of living and the risk was highest for middle-class income earners. Families without workplace pension plans are at an even greater risk of under-saving for retirement. In fact, a third of these families are at risk.

The government is aware of the need to help Canadians save more. Saving more will mean they are more confident about their futures and about their ability for a secure and dignified retirement.

There was a particular concern regarding young Canadians who tended to have higher debt than the previous generation and, in most cases, would live longer than the previous generations. They face the challenge of securing adequate retirement saving at a time when fewer can expect to work in jobs that will include a workplace pension plan. This is why the government acted to strengthen the Canada pension plan.

Strengthening the middle class and creating conditions for long-term economic growth are the government's top priorities. Tax fairness is an important part of these commitments and adjusting the tax system to ensure it is functioning as intended and contributing to an economy that works for everyone.

The basic Canadian value of fairness is also why, as a part of our international effort to combat tax evasion, budget 2016 confirmed that the government's intention to implement what was known as the common reporting standard.

The introduction of the common reporting standard for the exchange of information between national revenue agencies on financial accounts held by non-residents is an important global development. This multilateral initiative will help enhance tax compliance and reduce opportunities for tax evasion by those who seek to find ways to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Under the legislation passed by Parliament last December, Canada is implementing the standard consistent with our commitment to the G20, and similar commitments, by more than 100 other jurisdictions.

Under the new standard, the Canada Revenue Agency will collect information from financial institutions on accounts in Canada held by non-residents. Tax administrations in foreign jurisdictions will likewise collect information from the financial institutions about accounts held by residents of other countries including Canada.

The CRA will formalize exchange agreements with foreign jurisdictions, having verified that each jurisdiction has appropriate capacity and safeguards in place to ensure the confidentiality of its information. The financial account information will be exchanged on a reciprocal bilateral basis.

The budget also announced plans to implement a new requirement for country-by-country reporting. This is an initiative agreed to under a G20 OECD project that aims to address tax avoidance by multinational enterprises through base erosion and profit shifting. Under the new rules, large multinational enterprises will be required to file with tax authorities information providing high level profiles of their activities in each jurisdiction in which they operate. These reports will enhance transparency and assist tax administration in performing effective risk assessments.

Going forward, Canada will continue to work with the international community to ensure a coherent and consistent response to tax avoidance by multinational enterprises.

In addition, budget 2016 also included resources for CRA to address tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance. This would enable CRA to enhance its assessment capabilities through the hiring of additional auditors and specialists in order to have the resources needed to ensure all taxpayers pay their fair share of taxes.

Finally, our government is committed to ensuring that tax expenditures are fair for all Canadians, efficient, and fiscally responsible.

In budget 2016, the government committed to undertake a comprehensive review of the federal tax expenditures, recognizing that concerns had been expressed regarding the efficiency, fairness, and complexity of the tax system. This work is ongoing and at its heart is the goal of ensuring we invest to grow the middle class and strengthen our economy. We do so in ways that preserve our enviable fiscal position for future generations. (1050) [Translation]

Once again, one of the first measures we took as a government was to lower taxes for the middle class, something that nearly 9 million Canadians benefited from.

We also introduced the Canada child benefit, which provides additional financial assistance to nine out ten families compared to the Conservatives’ intention of sending cheques to millionaires. We have also taken a series of measures to guarantee tax fairness, which is the responsible thing to do.

These measures are in response to our commitment to help the middle class and those working hard to join it. We will continue to work for these Canadians in order to build a stronger and more equitable economy where all families can grow and prosper.[English]

However, as our Prime Minister indicated very clearly ...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...a child benefit. This very generous benefit is helping hundreds of thousands of Canadians and their families.

Over the holidays, I received many Christmas cards from families and people in my riding. They thanked the Liberals for the increase they have received, bec...”

Martin Shields (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...id my taxes and been a good citizen of this country. There are programs in place to help low-income families, but I make too much to qualify for them. There are tax breaks and benefits to help middle-income families, but apparently I don't make enough for those. Where do families like mine fit in? We fall through the cracks. It makes no sense that people who work hard, ...”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Liberal)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...me earners, we recognize that the Canada child benefit program has helped thousands of children and families get out of poverty. As I indicated earlier, our low-income seniors who receive a guaranteed...”

Marilyn Gladu (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t. In our country, we have a definition of who is poor: single people who make less than $23,000 or families who earn less than $40,000. We know who is rich. Those are the people in the highest tax br...”

Cheryl Gallant (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...d out by the federal carbon tax and the decision by the Liberal Party to increase the tax burden on families by eliminating Conservative family-friendly tax credits. Our tax changes, as noted by the n...”

Jennifer O'Connell (Liberal)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...h the middle class. That is why building an economy that works for middle-class Canadians and their families is the government's top priority. Budget 2016 introduced measures that built upon the progress that we launched with the middle-class tax cut, which I will return to shortly. In particular, budget 2016 announced the introduction of the new Canada child benefit. The CCB is simpler than the system it replaced. It is fully tax free, more generous, and targeted more effectively to those who need it most.

Nine out of 10 families are receiving more in child benefits than they did under the previous system. For the 2016–17 benefit year, these families will see an average increase in benefits of almost $2,300, or about $190 extra per month.

The first CCB payments were issued last July. More than 3.2 million Canadian families receiving these monthly payments now have increased means with which to raise their children. With the introduction of the CCB, about 300,000 fewer children will be living in poverty in 2017, compared with 2014. This translates into a reduction of about 40% in overall child poverty, which is a major step forward toward the goal of ensuring that all children in Canada have a fair chance at success.

Finally, by indexing the CCB to inflation, starting in 2020, we will ensure that families can continue to count on this support over the long term.

Even before budget 2016, one of the first actions we took after becoming a government was to introduce a tax cut for the middle class. This tax cut is already benefiting nearly nine million Canadians. By reducing the 22% federal income tax rate to 20.5% for 2016, and subsequent taxation years, single individuals who benefit will see an average tax reduction of $330 every year and couples who benefit will see an average tax reduction of $540 every year.

To help pay for this important tax relief for the middle class, the government raised taxes on the wealthiest Canadians by introducing a new top income tax rate of 33% for individuals with a taxable income of more than $200,000 per year.

We also undertook further measures to ensure that the tax system is fair for middle-class Canadians. For instance, we introduced measures to address underground economic activity, tax evasion, and aggressive tax planning, as well as measures to improve the government's ability to collect outstanding tax debts.

Budget 2016 announced legislative and other actions on both the international and domestic fronts to enhance the integrity of Canada's tax system.

Also, to ensure the tax system is fair for Canadians, efficient, and fiscally responsible, we are undertaking a review of the tax system to determine whether it works well for Canadians, with a view to eliminating poorly targeted and inefficient measures.

Our government also wants to ensure that Canadians who work hard all their lives are rewarded with a secure and dignified retirement; so we are helping Canadians realize this goal. Budget 2016 increased the guaranteed income supplement, or GIS, top-up benefit by up to $947 annually for low-income single seniors, who are much more likely to be low income than seniors generally. This enhancement more than doubles the current maximum GIS top-up benefit and represents a 10% increase in the total maximum GIS benefit available to low-income single seniors. We also cancelled the previous government's increase to the eligibility age for OAS and GIS benefits, which will put thousands of dollars back in the pockets of Canadians as they become seniors. (1205)

We also took steps to enhance the Canada pension plan. Last June, the federal government and our provincial and territorial counterparts came to a historic agreement to enhance the CPP to ensure that future generations of Canadians can count on a strong public pension system in their retirement years.

At maturity, the CPP enhancement will increase the maximum CPP retirement benefit by about half, which in today's dollars will represent an increase of nearly $7,000, to a maximum benefit of nearly $20,000. Because of this, more Canadians will spend more time with their grandkids, rather than worrying about how to pay their rent. The Government of Canada looks forward to the provinces issuing the necessary orders in council to bring the legislation into force shortly.

We have made important progress, but we have more work to do. Canada must look to the future and provide middle-class families with the confidence, tools, and opportunities to ensure that they have a real and fair chan...”

Jennifer O'Connell (Liberal)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s were on the Canada child benefit. It is more fair for Canadians. It is tax-free and does more for families. Another thing we did is we introduced a middle-class tax break.

In terms of the CPP ...”

John Brassard (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...thers me is that one tax credit because I come from a riding where there are a lot of single-income families. In fact, prior to being elected to Parliament, I was one of those families. The fact was that I was able to split my income with my wife by $2,000. The Liberals elimi...”

John Brassard (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...aking what I would classify as a middle-class income, and my wife did not work. There were a lot of families like mine that I worked with who took advantage of that. It helped in keeping my spouse at home and keeping my spouse looking after our children instead of having those daycare expenses. I had no problem with that. Removing it affected millions of Canadian families like mine.

It gets to the point, as I said earlier, that the Liberals should not go around saying that they are giving all of these tax breaks to people, when they are sucking it back from the other side. It is disingenuous to those families. It is a false narrative, and it is something they need to stop doing.”

Dianne L. Watts (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ho is actually creating jobs? They have cut the contributions to the TFSA because seniors and young families do not really need to save for their future or retirement. They have increased the down payment requirements for first-time homebuyers to make it harder for young families to purchase a home and enter the market. They have squandered the $2 billion surplus and tw...”

Pam Damoff (Liberal)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... our vision of a stronger middle class with the introduction of the Canada child benefit.

For families in Oakville North—Burlington, the tax-free Canada child benefit means more money to spend on things that matter, things like new winter clothes, or healthier groceries, or sports programs. The Canada child benefit is particularly significant in providing enhanced support for low-income families, including many single parents. In fact, about 65% of families receiving the maximum Canada child benefit are single parents, the majority of whom are single mothers. This makes the Canada child benefit an effective ladder out of poverty for hundreds of thousands of Canadian children.

With this new support, it will be easier for them to stay healthy as they grow, to succeed in school, and to succeed in life. Our kids will have more opportunities available to them to go on to raise their own families in a country that is more prosperous and fair. This is just one of the many things we are doing for Canadians.

These investments in Canada's middle class are already paying dividends, not just for Canadians but for our overall economy.

The International Monetary Fund, for example, projects that Canada will be among the fastest-growing economies in the year ahead. This remarkable performance is being driven, in part, by the middle-class tax cut and the introduction of the Canada child benefit, not to mention our historic investments in infrastructure. These investments are the foundation upon which we are building a better and fairer Canada in which all have the opportunity to not only succeed, but to share in our success.

If we are going to speak about young people and keeping them healthy and active, as the member of Parliament for Oakville North—Burlington, I am working with my community members to encourage investments and the use of active transportation, such as bike lanes. These investments are good for our economy, our health, and our environment.

Oakville's Crosstown Heritage Trail will receive a significant upgrade, thanks to funding from the Canada 150 community infrastructure program. The important investment in the trail and its pedestrian and cycling facilities is part of the federal government's activities to honour Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017.

The Canada 150 community infrastructure program will preserve and improve our community infrastructure so Canadians and their families can enjoy moments of culture, sport, recreation, and leisure for years to come. I am proud ...”

Linda Duncan (NDP)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ised that it would deliver on the promise so that there would be comparable services for indigenous families and children, and it broke that promise.

We cannot take the word of the Liberals on the promises of electoral reform. They already broke their promises about basic services to indigenous families. What else can we expect the government might be bringing forward? Will it or will it not b...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...hat is what this motion today is about.

We know that the Liberals have raised taxes. Canadian families are probably paying about $2,200 more this year per household because the Liberals have increased the CPP premium. That means $2,200 right off of their paycheques because of that tax hike. Small businesses are saying that that tax hike will cause them to decide whether or not they hire another employee or let one go.

With respect to the carbon tax, not only is it a tax that affects every part of something like the food delivery chain, it affects everything. It will not materially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Liberals have not been able to show any price elasticity data showing that the demand would decrease at the price they have set. All they have done is increase the cost of everything for Canadian families. We estimate that to be another $2,500 per household. Therefore, we are at about $5,000 per household so far.

The Liberals cancelled the arts and fitness tax credit, so for anyone wanting their kids to play hockey this year, that tax credit is gone.

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

What is also interesting is that the Liberals have cancelled the education and textbook tax credits. There are people in my life who are going to school and asking me why this universal tax credit, which helped everyone, was cancelled by the Liberals. That is costing roughly about $440 per person for those who are in university or studying a trade.

The Liberals also cancelled the family tax cut, which is about $2,000 per family.

Therefore, we know that through the cancellation of all of these tax credits, and the imposition of the carbon tax, the Liberals have significantly raised taxes. Regardless of one's political stripe, when we do the math to figure out how much that impacts our family, the Liberals have a lot of explaining to do because they have increased their spending on the other end of that, and for what? We are looking at deficits that we have never seen before in this country. This is not short-term targeted infrastructure spending for one particular project to get people back to work in a region. There is no intent on the part of this government to get back to balance. There is no intent on the part of the government to have any sort of fiscal sustainability.

I will say this. Canadian families or small business listening to this today are saying, “I have to balance my budgets and spend within my means.” All the government seems to understand is how to take more money out of the pockets of Canadians and spend it on bureaucracy. Regardless of one's political stripe, Canadians are saying that is enough.

Why is it so important for the government to vote for this motion to say that it will give Canadians some assurance that it will not raise their taxes? It was noted in the Liberal campaign platform that the Liberals would review all tax expenditures. This came up during the campaign. What does that mean? What is this platform commitment? What are the Liberals doing? I would say this was a hidden agenda, except it is right there in their platform. They are looking at ways to eliminate tax credits, those things that Canadians depend upon to make ends meet. Not only was it in their platform, the Minister of Finance made an announcement that he would do this review. We know that he contracted a third-party agreement in secret, because the Liberals have not released the report that was done. There was a secret panel that looked at all of these tax expenditures, and now there is a list of all of these things to cut, which will raise taxes for Canadians. They want to do that so that they can take taxpayer money and put it into the hands of bureaucrats. That does not help Canadian families at all. That is math that I can do, and it is very bad math. (1330)

What are some o...”

Matt DeCourcey (Liberal)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...Our government then introduced a Canada child benefit that was more generous for nine out of 10 families. In the province I have the honour of living and the riding I represent there are families, some 112,000 children, who are now benefiting more through that child benefit program that...”

Michelle Rempel (Conservative)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s net debt-to-GDP ratio was the lowest in the G7 and the federal tax burden was the lowest level on families in over 50 years. We left a surplus. Now under the Liberals we are looking at however many ...”

Peter Fragiskatos (Liberal)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... skilled soldiers and officers. It also has a thriving association of retired members, friends, and families.

Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Bernie Scheid, and supported by Honorary Lie...”

François-Philippe Champagne (Liberal)

February 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ave an ambitious trade agenda to create jobs for Canadians, to open markets, so Canadians and their families can be better in our country. We have an ambitious trade agenda and we will put it forward....”

Bill Morneau (Liberal)