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: 767 Speeches
Senate: 114 Speeches

House Senate

Bills

Active: 0

Regulations

Filed: 3
Proposed: 0

Regulations

The House

Ms. Ruby Sahota (Brampton North, Lib.)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s.

Bill C-76 would introduce new expense reimbursements to provide support to candidates with families and candidates with disabilities, or those who may care for someone with a disability. Thes...”

Mr. Joël Godin (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, CPC)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...and make many sacrifices. With the holidays approaching, we will soon return to our ridings and our families, who share us with the Canadian people. I want to sincerely thank my wife, Isabelle, and my...”

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

December 13th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...b skills they need to find gainful employment.

I am also thrilled to announce that over 7,000 families in Saint John—Rothesay are benefiting from an average Canada child benefit payment of $670 a month. These investments in progressive social programs will help lift thousands of my constituents out of poverty and ensure that more families in our community have roofs over their heads and food on their tables at every passing Chri...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...record inequality and a profound family debt crisis, Jagmeet Singh believes in investing in people, families and communities. He represents a change from the same old, same old story we see in Ottawa....”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rrie, Ontario. He spoke about the 38 deaths in 2017 alone, the 38 lives that have been lost and the families that have been decimated. Our community is reeling trying to solve this crisis. It is all h...”

Hon. Candice Bergen

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, thousands of families have suffered greatly as a result of this crisis, and cruel comments like those only make t...”

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte told us that 38 people had died in Barrie, leaving their families and loved ones mourning their futile deaths due to the opioid crisis.

The Leader of t...”

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...st how serious it is? Does she have an inkling of the devastating effects of those 38 deaths on the families of the deceased?

Will the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons repeat wha...”

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

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s and cut pay specialists that led to the Phoenix pay system. It is their side that sent cheques to families of millionaires. That was their focus.

I understand that they tried to cut their way ...”

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

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...use the Conservative approach failed. It focused on the wealthy by sending cheques to millionaires' families and increasing TFSA limits for the wealthy, thanks to boutique tax credits.

We took a...”

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

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...eality.

We are putting a price on pollution, which is going to bring emissions down and leave families better off. We are investing historically in Canada's public transit system, which will hav...”

Mr. John Barlow (Foothills, CPC)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...orkers are struggling to pay their mortgages, heat their homes and buy Christmas presents for their families. The Prime Minister's solution to this crisis is empty words, higher taxes and more unemplo...”

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

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...olumbia without even consulting the mayors and regional districts. This deal will kill jobs and put families out of work. In 100 Mile House, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Mackenzie, Prince George, Fraser-Fo...”

Mr. Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Centre, Lib.)

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ressing urgent social challenges.

This being our last day in the House, would the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell us more about the social finance fund?”

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

December 13th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e next 10 years.

This plan is part of a bigger plan to support our middle class and help more families join the middle class.”

Ms. Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia—Lambton, CPC)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...methods, people who did not have enough food for a day are now able to sustain themselves and their families. The profits from their improved yields went into rainwater collection for drip irrigation,...”

Mr. René Arseneault (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...edgwick and Saint-Quentin, from Edmunston to Upper Madawaska and from Upper Madawaska to Lac Baker, families are getting ready for Christmas eve.[English]

Laughter and music will soon be heard f...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...easing taxes for the wealthiest 1%. We introduced the Canada child benefit, which helped nine in 10 families and lifted 300,000 children out of poverty across the country.

We know that there is ...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...putting a price on pollution is the best way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that families will be able to adapt to this change and prosper during this economic transformation period...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... the largest emitters in Canada. The full cost of the carbon tax will fall to hard-working Canadian families, commuters, soccer moms and small businesses. Worse yet, we know now that the carbon tax wi...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...pting regulations to cut methane emissions. We are moving forward in a way that is going to support families and protect them for the future. The Conservatives have no plan at all. That is unacceptabl...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...on to large emitters that can afford to hire lobbyists to get a special deal. Hard-working Canadian families and commuters have to bear the full brunt of the Liberal carbon tax. Now we find out that t...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...o avoid paying the carbon tax. However, that special deal is not available to hard-working Canadian families, commuters, suburban moms or small and medium-size businesses that have to pay the full bru...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ouse, Saskatchewan are forced to hitchhike across the province to get to appointments, to see their families or just to live a normal life.

People with disabilities cannot wait until after the e...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...is family. I hope all parliamentarians and all party members enjoy some time with their friends and families and connect with their constituents.

In the spirit of giving, I have given the Prime ...”

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

December 12th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...y Christmas and happy holidays. We know that this is a time of year when we are a long way from our families. We still have a couple of more days, at least, of work to do in this House, so we know tha...”

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... women do not have enough courage and confidence to tackle some of those difficult things that face families in communities right across this country. I felt it was a bit insulting. This young woman s...”

Mr. Nathan Cullen

December 12th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... politics. However, she saw it as important, as did I. A lot of us put a lot of energy into it. Our families made some sacrifices. We listened to Canadians.

MMP, the system my friend described, was overwhelmingly supported, as it is by the evidence, and as it is by our global partners in democracy. Even for those who do not follow the intricacies of voting systems, I would say look at the results. How do countries that use first past the post do when measuring economic, environmental and social measures? Are they more equitable? Are they more green? Are they doing better on the economy? The committee heard about all the research from the OECD, which is the developed countries of the world, the free democracies, Overwhelmingly, the OECD countries that use a proportional voting system get better outcomes, not just on the environment and social issues, which we might guess, but also on economic issues.

Aside from the actual way the vote is cast, most Canadians are curious about a couple of things. One is whether they will have a direct representative, someone they can call. Second is whether the kind of government they are going to get will produce better results for them, their families and their communities. The evidence on that scale is overwhelming.

I will end on this...”

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... have the final say. According to a 2016 Ontario study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, families vetoed the donor's wishes in one in five cases, which is huge.

I would also like Cana...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...dvice to government on how to best implement affordable national pharmacare for Canadians and their families, employers and governments. [English]

Over the course of the summer and into the fall...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

December 12th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...t should pay all workers equally. Forced overtime means workers are unable to spend time with their families and unable to see their children before bedtime. It means longer hours walking longer route...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen

December 12th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...ives of workers. Postal transformation is taking its toll on the workers' bodies, mental health and families.

Despite the Harper Conservatives' imposed legislation in 2011 being deemed unconstit...”

Ms. Pam Damoff (Oakville North—Burlington, Lib.)

December 10th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...which last year raised more than $350,000 in toys, gift cards, cash and food for almost 5,000 local families in need.

The Gift of Giving Back food drive inspires and empowers Oakville and Burlin...”

Ms. Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor—Tecumseh, NDP)

December 10th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ber 20, at age 96, leaving behind Margaret, his wife of 68 years, and their five children and their families. If Alex were here, he would want me to stand up and herald the 70th anniversary of the Uni...”

Mr. Sean Fraser (Central Nova, Lib.)

December 10th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...e and was also a founding member of SAFE, a network of volunteers that has sponsored Syrian refugee families for resettlement and provides housing, clothing and other essential goods.

In 2010, s...”

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

December 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...n 2015, we committed to supporting the middle class and those working hard to join it. Middle-class families today are better off than they were under the Conservatives and they are finding it easier ...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

December 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ers. Canadian farmers want to be able to produce and sell their milk without U.S. interference, and families want to be able to purchase milk made in Canada that they can trust.

Farmers cannot understand why they were sold out by the current Liberal government. Why have the Liberals betrayed farm families and our food security in Canada?”

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

December 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...eated in the Canadian economy over the last three years, the fastest growth in the G7, and Canadian families by this next year will be $2,000 better off than they were under the previous government, w...”

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

December 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...g and murdered indigenous women and girls. The independent commission's mandate was clear, that the families had to be at the centre of its work. We are working—

Ms. Jenny Kwan: Where is the after-care for families?

Hon. Carolyn Bennett: After-care was very much part of the plan of the commission and of its budget. After the interim report, we increased the money for healing. We will continue to do whatever it is to support those families.”

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

December 10th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we obviously feel for the workers in Oshawa, and their families. We have invested a great deal in the auto sector in Ontario. Almost $400 million in invest...”

Mr. Angelo Iacono (Alfred-Pellan, Lib.)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...Congratulations to the people at the clinic for the work they do and the support they provide to families.

Congratulations to all those little hearts that keep on beating every day.”

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

December 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...dam Speaker, it is the time of year when the shorter days and colder weather bring our friends, our families and our communities closer together. The Christmas season is also a particularly wonderful ...”

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

December 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...d I am disappointed in the Minister of Infrastructure. Their inaction on this file has stranded 250 families and placed both indigenous and non-indigenous families in economic hardship and forced them to commute on what is essentially a logging road, at times in near perilous conditions.

If emergency services were needed, it is very likely access to these families would not be possible. Further disappointing, the Buckridge community has been told that it...”

Hon. Bill Blair (Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Lib.)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...igration. Then they went a step further. They cut health care for those same individuals, for those families and their children. It was a move that our courts described as cruel and unusual.”

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

December 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d four years to get the job done, and they have not done anything on pipelines. Today in my riding, families are struggling to make ends meet, food banks are running low, and this month, families will choose between making their car payments or heating their homes.

The Prime Minister said that Canadians are better off under his plan, but his no-more-pipelines bill, Bill C-69, is a threat to the livelihoods of Canadians who work in the energy sector. When will the Liberals finally put families first and kill Bill C-69?”

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

December 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... the details of which are transparent and are on our website, that will actually leave middle-class families better off. If the hon. member does not accept the answer from me, I suggest that he talk t...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

December 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ew years from now. How much will that tax cost in higher gas and home heating prices for struggling families?”

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

December 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... of our plan. We are implementing a plan that will actually result in a net benefit to middle-class families. When we are moving forward with a plan, it is actually a feature of our federal law that this money goes back into the pockets of families. I will watch very closely in the next campaign when the hon. member campaigns on a commitment to take that money from the families in his community.”

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

December 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...riding have been washed out and impassable for eight months. Over 250 indigenous and non-indigenous families are being put at risk. Children as young as five years of age are spending up to five hours...”

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

December 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... of problems, crises, and regional divides that need the attention of members to undo the damage to families, businesses and workers.”

Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of Status of Women, Lib.)

December 6th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... advocate for stricter gun control. We stand in solidarity with them and with all survivors and the families of those who have been impacted by gender-based violence.

We continue to be inspired ...”

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

December 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ing up the motion without the resources behind it, what does that mean to Canadians from low-income families? Will they have less representation at trial if facing the horrific scene of a sexual assau...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

December 6th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...h family and friends and reflect on the year that has passed. While most will spend time with their families, hundreds of volunteers will spend it tending to the less fortunate across our community an...”

Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Youth Economic Opportunity), Lib.)

December 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ted against. Our plan sees wage increases and more workers actually working than at any other time. Families are $2,000 better off under our plan.

While the Conservatives talk their rhetoric, th...”

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

December 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... took to not have scheduled production for its Oshawa plant. Of course, our hearts go out to the GM families and people in the ecosystem.

However, we are investing in the auto economy in Ontario...”

Mr. Bob Bratina (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, Lib.)

December 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nt, but can the minister inform the House what steps he is taking to ensure that veterans and their families receive timely decisions?”

Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Youth Economic Opportunity), Lib.)

December 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d taxes for nine million middle-class Canadians and put more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 families with the Canada child benefit. In the fall economic statement, we took another step to supp...”

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...issing and murdered indigenous women and girls. The mandate of the independent commission is clear: families must be at the centre of its work. We have committed to giving families the answers they have long been looking for about the institutional failures that resulted ...”

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. The independent commission's mandate is clear that families must be at the centre of its work. We are committed to getting the answers, which have been...”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker we do indeed need to make sure that the families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls are at the centre of this inquiry and ar...”

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rship. For too long it had not moved forward. We did that because we know we needed healing for the families, we needed justice for the victims and we needed to put an end to this ongoing national tragedy.

That is why we extended the time and mandate of the inquiry to ensure that all families could be heard. We gave it the extra funding it requested. We are looking forward to seeing...”

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, as of January 2019, families will be paying $411 more per year than they did in 2018 for the same basket of groceries.

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we introduced a historic plan to fight poverty in Canada and help Canadian families. The Canada child benefit, which the NDP voted against, is delivering more money to nine out of 10 families throughout the country and has lifted 300,000 children out of poverty. By increasing the guaranteed income supplement for seniors and making historic investments in affordable housing across Canada, we are helping families. Still, we know a lot of work remains to be done, and that is what we are doing.”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...g for minimum wage, good luck in getting any type of healthy diet, and this at a time when Canadian families are struggling with the worst debt loads in the industrialized world.

When will the g...”

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d for the Canada child benefit that is delivering more money every month to nine out of 10 Canadian families and lifting hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty. They should be supporting our pla...”

Ms. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, CPC)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...-working construction men. Let us talk about the fact that these men work hard to provide for their families, that they pay taxes and that they support the local community.

My question is simple...”

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we are focusing on the workers and their families who are going through a difficult time and need the support of every member in the House.

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tamine in my riding and in the prairie provinces are escalating and affecting many people and their families in various communities.

I am proud to say that the city of Winnipeg has launched a ta...”

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

December 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...an doubled Canada's refugee numbers. We have provided a new home to more than 1,400 women and their families who endured the brutality of Daesh, 85% of whom are Yazidi.

We are not stopping there...”

Mr. Len Webber (Calgary Confederation, CPC)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...t as many as one in five potential organ and tissue donors has their final wish overturned by their families at their time of death. That is 20% of families who are overturning the wishes of their deceased loved ones. That is just sad. The decision by their families are robbing those in need of a life-saving transplant of a chance to live. To me, this is unconscionable and has to change. We can and must do better.

It is beyond my understanding how we can allow people to die at a rate of five a week, while at the same time burying, incinerating or putting to rest perfectly good organs every single day. My daughters know I want to be an organ donor, and they know I expect them to follow through on this wish.

As the Christmas holidays approach, families will gather in every corner of the country. I encourage willing organ donors to please speak to their families during this time, to make sure their families know that their final wish is to be an organ and tissue donor, and to let them know how they would feel if they were to find out the family failed to honour their wish.

Throughout my organ and tissue donation advocacy work, both here and in Alberta, I have been approached by many people who have donated the organs and tissues of their deceased loved ones. Every single one of them has made it clear to me that they found the ability to donate to someone in need as a very essential part of their grief and healing process. Their ability to find some good in a time of utter grief and loss was profound and everlasting. Without exception, they encouraged me to let other families know that sharing their loved one made accepting their loss so much easier.

Their loss has purpose, and their gift has brought unimaginable relief and joy to another family in need. By honouring the wishes of their loved ones, they have allowed grandparents, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers to live. Their gift has meant that many parents have not had to see their children die. That is a legacy to leave for their loved ones.

We all have our own reasons for supporting this legislation. Some members in the House are living organ donors, the real heroes among us. Some members here have families in need of a life-saving transplant. Some members themselves, or their family members, have...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, Lib.)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ch an important issue in this country with tremendous sensitivity in understanding how this affects families and individuals. I have had the opportunity to see life from such a program and it is remar...”

Mrs. Deborah Schulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... and improve the outcomes for eight other people. Out of one family's pain came joy for eight other families who were forever grateful for her final act of kindness.

Living donors who are at the...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...nce renewals, which has increased registration. However, even with everything in place, some 20% of families refuse to transplant a registered donor's organs.

In its recent study on organ donati...”

Ms. Yvonne Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, Lib.)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...reflections on that decision. Obviously, this bill will go to heart of what many Canadians and many families might face in this difficult situation they might face in the future.

We also know that the bill before us today is one of the pieces of legislation the Minister of Health and our government have been following through on in their mandate. The minister has been working with provinces and territories on this very legislation to try to facilitate some collaboration, some partnership, across the country when it comes to an organ and tissue donation and transplantation system that would give Canadians timely and effective access to the kind of care they need.

I think most of us who listened to our colleague from the NDP cite the statistics of the numbers of people currently on wait-lists for organ and tissue donations and transplantation and of those who have died waiting can agree that far too many people are still on those wait-lists. (1655)

We can also agree that far too many Canadians die waiting, waiting for organ and tissue transplants that are necessary for them to continue to live and have a good quality of life.

I do not think any Canadian wants that to happen. It is all our responsibility to allow for a system that will ensure more people become organ donors, that there is a system in place to allow those who need transplants to get them. It is all our responsibility as Canadians that if we can bring life to someone, we bring life to that person.

In my riding, I have a very close friend and a family that went gone through such an experience. The family was faced with the decision upon the death of its son, which was very sudden, on whether to donate his organs for transplantation. That was a difficult decision, one I cannot even imagine. At a time when his parents were already shocked, heartbroken and in despair, they made a decision that their son's organs would be donated and used for transplantation.

Just recently, they had the opportunity to meet an individual who received one of those organs, an individual who today is enjoying a good quality of life, bringing joy to his family, to his grandchildren, watching his grandchildren and his children continue to grow and be a part of their lives.

As difficult as it was for her, her husband and her daughter at that time, knowing that in some way their son had been able to give this gift of life helped them through what had been one of the most tragic and difficult situations in their lives. It has helped them look at grief in a different way.

It was probably a couple of weeks ago when I was listening to CBC Radio's The Current one morning. She was on the radio, talking about this situation and so was the recipient who had received the heart as part of that donation. It was one of the saddest yet most inspiring stories I had heard in a very long time.

I do not think any of us wish for any family to be placed in that situation. By allowing this as a question, as a part of the Canada Revenue Agency work that it does through the application process, in reaching out to all Canadians, creating that awareness and allowing Canadians to make that decision to become a donor, we not only give them a sense of comfort in the decision they make, but we give their families a sense of comfort as well. Hopefully, at the end of the day, we are able to bring light to more Canadians who need it.

I am happy to support Bill C-316. I know many members of the House will, including government members. I am proud of the fact that as a government we have already stepped up to do many of the things outlined in the bill. In addition, we have been able to invest more into research related to transplantation, this year it is $100 million additional, to ensure these transplantations are successful.

We are continuing to work with research agencies, with science, along with families to ensure we can improve the system of organ and tissue donation in Canada.”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

December 5th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...nd best practices to front-line health professionals across the country who help veterans and their families every day.”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon

December 5th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...lion over the past three years in benefits, services and additional programs for veterans and their families. We are not done. We will continue to support veterans and improve the services and support...”

Mr. Dan Albas

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...this morning that there will be a 3.5% increase in the cost of groceries, groceries that feed their families.

CPP takes away from those people who are working hard today and gives it to them in ...”

Ms. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, CPC)

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ccording to a recent Ipsos Reid poll that was released just after Christmas, almost 50% of Canadian families are within $200 a month of not being able to pay their household bills, not being able to put food on the table, not being able to pay their mortgages or rent and not being able to pay for the fuel for their vehicles that take them to work to earn their next dollar. To make matters worse, the prospect of recovering from this dreadful place in which we exist looks rather bleak under the current government and its policies. We face a looming job crisis in Canada caused by the government's failed economic policies and yet the Prime Minister insists on villainizing those who actually create the jobs that keep our economy afloat. I am talking about the women and men who dare to take a calculated risk, to invest capital and create jobs by creating local businesses.

We might remember the small business tax the government tried to sneak through in the summer of 2017. According to the Prime Minister, 1.4 million Canadians who have led by vision, have taken substantial risk and have worked hard to start and operate their businesses are nothing more than what he called tax cheats. Their businesses, according to him, are not job creators. According to him, they are simply tax havens. They are tax havens for the so-called wealthy. That is rather rich coming from the Prime Minister, who has never worked a day in his life and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

The Prime Minister was not talking about multinational corporations when he said that. In fact, they are protected. They get the easy route. Instead, he launched an attack on locally owned businesses that sustain our communities. I am talking about the hairdresser we have relied on for years, the family doctor we go to when a child is sick, the cashier who works at the local hardware store, the farmer in Picture Butte in my riding and the college student who just got her first job as a welder. According to the Prime Minister, it is unfair for those who create these jobs to invest some of that money in their company for the further advancement of their well-being and, of course, job creation for others.

However, thanks to the resistance of Canadians and the fact that they pushed back and joined the Conservative Party of Canada in the House as the official opposition, we were successful in pushing back on those changes and making some headway. Collectively, hard-working Canadians took a stand on behalf of small business owners. It is proof that Canadians will not sit idly by as the current government damns our country to a poor future.

Once again, Conservatives are appealing. It is not just increased small business taxes and payroll taxes that are hurting local businesses; it is also the carbon tax. This summer, the federal government granted special exemption to Canada's biggest emitters, but despite providing breaks to these companies, the federal government still intends to impose a carbon tax on local businesses and families.

My question is simple: In what world does that make sense? If, in fact, the carbon tax is being put in place to reduce emissions, then would it not make sense to tax those putting the most pollution in the environment? We have no choice but to conclude that the carbon tax is not actually about reducing the carbon footprint or taking pollution out of the environment. The carbon tax is just another excuse to apply a tax to the hard-working people of this country.

Each and every day I wake up and read the news, I see that investment is fleeing. I am watching companies close their doors. When I walk through the downtown core of my local riding in the city of Lethbridge, I see signs in windows that businesses are shutting down. They are being driven away because of the Liberal government's policies. (1030)

The truth of the matter is that the government will continue to impose a huge carbon tax on families and these local businesses. However, it will not reduce the carbon footprint. We still need...”

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

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...es' strategy of giving tax breaks to their millionaire friends and taking support from middle-class families is not one that will lead to economic growth; it is one that leads to the inevitable result that we saw under 10 years of Stephen Harper.

Our government has a plan to grow the economy in a way that works for everyone, and the results are demonstrating that it is working. First and foremost, our economic growth record is characterized by support for middle-class Canadians.

We need to look no further than the Canada child benefit, which has put more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadian families and stopped sending child care cheques to millionaires. At the same time, it has lifted 300,000 Canadian children out of poverty. These statistics are very important, but what matters to me is that there is a human story behind these policies.

I can point to a conversation I had with a young woman from my hometown in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. She told me that September was always a difficult time of year emotionally for her, because she could never afford a new outfit for her kids on the first day of school. After she started receiving more money from the Canada child benefit, she told me she was proud to be able to take care of her kids in the way her neighbours are able to, when she sends her kids to school in September. These are the kinds of human stories that breathe life into these policies.

It is not just the Canada child benefit. We have implemented the Canada workers benefit for those who are living in low-income households but are busting their tail to get ahead. At tax time, this is going to put up to $500 more in the pockets of hard-working Canadians.

I note in particular that the motion addresses heightened payroll taxes. The only thing I can think of that the Conservatives are referring to is our strengthening of the Canada pension plan. We want to ensure that seniors can retire in dignity, not just today but for future generations. That is why we have made these enhancements. If the Conservative Party wants to repeal that plan, the Conservatives should just come out and say so.

We have invested in a national housing strategy to the tune of $40 billion and created, for the first time, a national poverty reduction strategy. It is going to cut homelessness in half in this country. We know these investments are important, not just because they are the right thing to do, but because they are the smart thing to do. These investments are going to allow Canada to experience economic growth, not just for the wealthiest few but for all Canadians.

It is not just these social and economic policies that are helping grow our economy. We have taken steps to attract serious investment. I note in particular that LNG Canada recently announced the largest single private-sector investment in the history of our country. (1045)

This is no coincidence. We have implemented policies to encourage this kind of investment. We have reformed our immigration policies so that we can attract more talent. We are investing in innovation. Recently, in the fall economic statement, we demonstrated that we are willing to change the rules around how we tax the manufacturing sector by allowing 100% writedowns for manufacturing equipment, because we want companies to invest in their factories to create more jobs that will put Canadians to work.

At the same time, we are making historic public investments in infrastructure to the tune of $180 billion. What this translates to in my community as a local member of Parliament is a new twin highway between Sutherland’s River and Antigonish, a new trades innovation centre at the Nova Scotia Community College campus in Stellarton, and a new institute of government and centre for innovation in health on campus at StFX. We have investments in small craft harbours in excess of $15 million, which will help nine small rural fishing communities get jobs in the short term, and provide fishermen with a safe place to land their catch for generations to come. These are the kinds of investments that create jobs in the short term, but set the stage for long-term economic growth.

There is some rhetoric around high taxes in the motion today. It is interesting, because one of the very first things we did as a government was cut taxes for the middle class and raise them on the 1%, and the Conservatives voted against it. When it came time to discuss small business taxation, we are actually reducing the small business tax to 9%, which is the lowest rate in the G7.

When it comes to pursuing new trade opportunities, which the motion suggests we should do, we have secured access to the North American market by renegotiating NAFTA. We have completed the CETA negotiations. We have completed the CPTPP negotiations. We are focusing on export diversification and trying to enhance interprovincial trade. Our record on trade is impeccable, and it is helping to grow the economy and support the communities that I represent.

When it comes to innovation, we are also making serious investments, for example, by announcing the largest investment in research in the history of our country, and by investing in superclusters, like the Ocean Supercluster for Atlantic Canada, which is going to create thousands of jobs by developing expertise in regional hubs.

As I mentioned earlier, the results speak for themselves. We have had historic job gains over the past few years, the economy is doing well, we are experiencing a great rate of growth, our unemployment rate is low, wages are growing and business profits are up.

However, I will take some time in my role as parliamentary secretary to speak to some of the troubling comments in the motion and in the speeches I have heard this morning with respect to the need to combat climate change.

The motion has demonstrated that the Conservative mission in the next election is to oppose meaningful action on climate change. It is really difficult to have a debate about solutions to this threat when certain members of the opposition do not seem to believe that there is a problem to solve. It is hard to debate solutions when we cannot agree that there is a problem.

I do not like that I have to do this, but for the benefit of those present, scientists have understood the potential impact of increased pollutants in our atmosphere for about 150 years, since the middle of the 19th century. The vast majority of the world's scientists agree that climate change is not only happening but that it is the result of man-made industrial pollution. The IPCC has recently warned us that if we do not take meaningful steps to address this problem, we are going to suffer dire social and economic consequences.

The cost of ignoring climate change is too great to ignore.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

Mr. Sean Fraser: I am being chided from the other side by people sarcastically suggesting that the consequences will not be dire, as I am giving this speech. It is remarkable. Perhaps there is a generational divide, but on this side of the House I can say that there is not a single MP I have talked to in our caucus who does not believe that climate change is real.

We may not be able to point to any given weather system and say that it is the result of a single industrial player from the other side of the world, but we know with a high degree of confidence that, as the result of increased man-made industrial pollution, we are experiencing more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, and the cost of this is pushing $5 billion. I lived in Calgary when we experienced significant floods in 2013. We can look at the forest fires that are ravaging western Canada. We can also look at the floods in New Brunswick.

It is hard to tell somebody whose cultural and traditional practices in northern Canada may no longer be possible that climate change is not real. It is difficult to tell somebody who cannot get insurance for flooding that has impacted their home that climate change is not real. For those here who disagree that we should take climate action seriously, and they were elected to this House, I have hard time understanding that they deserve to be here. (1050)

The other thing that really bothers me is that there are certain Conservatives who are unwilling to accept that there is a golden opportunity to fight climate change when it comes to growing the green economy, by investing in energy efficiency, for example. There is a company in my home community, the Trinity Group of Companies, which is helping make homes more efficient, bringing power bills down for people in the communities that I represent. It started with a dream of just two guys who were doing home repairs and they have added dozens of employees and they are doing work all over Atlantic Canada. These are the kinds of investments that make it apparent that, when Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has indicated there is a $23-trillion opportunity in the green economy, it is not a joke. We want to be on the front end of that wave to take advantage of the jobs that we know can result from making investments in the clean economy.

I want to take some time to highlight some of the environmental policies we are moving forward, in particular, the fact that we are putting a price on pollution, which is very important. It is not a difficult policy to comprehend. A lot of Canadians do not appreciate that up until now, it has been free to pollute in Canada and the cost of that pollution has been downloaded to taxpayers. We want to change that. We do not think it should be free to pollute in our country. We are moving forward with a plan to put a price on pollution, so polluters will pay when they degrade our atmosphere.

At the same time, we are going to return the revenues to communities and to Canadians to ensure that families are left better off as a result of this plan. This is not a brand new policy invention that has never existed around the world. There are many jurisdictions that have implemented this with a high degree of success. In B.C., Alberta, California, Quebec, the European Union and previously in Ontario, we have seen economic growth in clean energy sectors as a result of moving forward with these kinds of plans.

In Australia, when a price on pollution was implemented, emissions actually came down and when it got rid of the price on pollution, emissions predictably started going back up. It is interesting who actually comes out to support our plan. We have leading scientific experts. We have leading experts in economics. This year's Nobel Prize winner in economics was awarded the prestigious prize for his research that identified this kind of a path forward to fight climate change as being effective and practical. In fact, he pointed to the system in British Columbia as a model that the world should be adopting.

There are religious organizations saying that this is the right path forward. There are indigenous communities saying this is the right path forward. The National Farmers Union voted overwhelmingly to intervene in the court case to demonstrate that this is the right path forward because they know that the agricultural sector faces the highest risks of climate change.

There are youth groups across the country that support putting a price on pollution. The provincial government in British Columbia supports the federal government's jurisdiction to put a price on pollution. In fact, Conservatives support a price on pollution, just not in the House. If we look at Stephen Harper's former director of policy, he has indicated the kind of policy that we are implementing today is the right path forward to fight climate change. If we look at Doug Ford's chief budget adviser, a few years ago before the Senate, he indicated that the number one thing we could be doing to transition to a low-carbon economy would be to move forward with a price on pollution.

We have former Conservative prime ministers who support this kind of an approach, whether it is Kim Campbell, Brian Mulroney or Joe Clark. The fact is that Stephen Harper indicated back in 2008 that putting a price on pollution was a sensible path forward. I suspect the opposition to our plan to put a price on pollution comes not from a place of doing the right thing by the environment, but trying to capitalize on a populous wave of politics that has been seen to succeed in other parts of the world.

The motion also refers to our effort to revamp the environmental assessment process. We are moving forward with a plan that will restore public confidence that was lost under Stephen Harper. We can build major projects in this country, but we need to respect our environment and include the perspective of indigenous peoples at the same time. We are putting in better rules that will allow one review for one project, which are going to give more predicable timelines and are going to allow us to get things done, but get them done in the right way.

I mentioned the Trinity Energy Group that is benefiting from investments in clean technology. We have serious investments in green infrastructure in excess of $9 billion that are going to improve the treatment of our water and waste water. After years of having nature and conservation budgets slashed, we have made the single largest investment in nature and conservation in the history of our country, with $1.35 billion. We are making serious investments in public transit to get more people travelling together rather than taking their individual vehicles to their workplace. We are phasing out coal by 2030. The Conservatives had no plan to do so until 2062. This is not only going to have a positive environmental impact but a positive health impact on our communities as well. We know that when Canadians live near coal plants, there are higher rates of things like childhood asthma that drive up the cost of care and do not do the right thing for our kids. (1055)

The fact is the Conservatives have failed to recognize not only that we need to take meaningful action but that if we do we can capitalize on an incredible economic opportunity.

I mentioned that it is hard to have debates about solutions when we cannot agree that there is a problem to solve. I heard a recent radio interview by the member for Cariboo—Prince George, who was asked squarely whether he believes that climate change is real and is man-made. He refused to answer the question. I have seen the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke suggest that this whole climate thing is just a jig of some kind. The member for Saskatoon—University has indicated that this whole thing is just a silly agenda. In an editorial recently, Joe Oliver, the former Conservative finance minister, suggested that it is not really worth doing anything about this problem. Recently, we have seen the Ontario provincial government's plan, with Doug Ford, who the hon. Leader of the Opposition seems to be taking his marching orders from, rolling something out that is not going to have a meaningful impact on climate change and has no pact to meeting any kind of goal that is going to allow us to avoid the dire consequences we are concerned about.

I mentioned that I was somewhat disappointed we had to have this debate today. Frankly, I find it remarkable that the Conservatives chose to waste a day of parliamentary debate for me to stand here and highlight the success of our economic and environmental policies to date, while confessing that their strategy to grow the economy is to abandon progress on the environment and social files. This demonstrates to me that they are suffering from a real lack of leadership and an extreme lack of vision.

In light of this, before I conclude, I would like to look at the actual text of the motion itself.

If I look at point (a), the Conservatives talk about a looming job crisis, when we have added over half a million jobs and unemployment is at a historic low.

They talk about the auto manufacturing sector. I have watched them try conflate the losses in Oshawa at GM to a price on pollution, which is disingenuous and hurtful to the people who are having a difficult time right now. It is in a jurisdiction where there is no price on pollution. It is simultaneous with other closures in states in the U.S. where there is no price on pollution. In fact, General Motors itself supports the kind of price that we are putting forward that returns revenues to families. If the opposition wants to dabble in the realm of post-truth politics, I invite its members to peddle their nonsense elsewhere.

When the Conservatives are looking at NAFTA negotiations and the steel and aluminum tariffs, I have seen one of their members stand up in the House and suggest the reason they are there is because our policies are somehow actually having a negative impact on the national security of the U.S., which is ridiculous.

When it comes to softwood lumber, we are not only investing $100 million in innovation in the forestry industry, we protected our dispute resolution clause that allows us to have an objective remedy.

I could pick from one of 100 things here. When we look at trade, we have secured NAFTA, CETA, CPTPP. The Conservatives suggest there are higher personal income taxes. The reality is the middle class is paying lower taxes today and the 1% is paying more. They talk about business taxes, which have come down to 9%, the lowest in any G7 country.

I am proud of the record we can stand on. There is hardly an element of truth in this motion.

The Conservatives' strategy in the next election seems to be to trick Canadians into supporting them, because they know they do not have the ideas to convince them. The fact is our economy is growing, our families are better off, our emissions have come down and the environment is benefiting from better ...”

Mr. Sean Fraser

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ly matter here because we cannot put forward disingenuous arguments like that without hurting those families in Oshawa.

Ontario does not have a price on pollution. The three American states that experienced the closures the hon. member raised in his question do not have a price on pollution. General Motors, if one were to look at its website today, states that it supports a carbon pricing system that returns revenues to families, just as our policy that we are implementing does. I would be happy to share that quote with my colleagues.

We are moving forward with a price on pollution that will leave middle-class families better off. At the same time, we are making investments that will help create jobs.

I...”

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

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... of these renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing. We are talking about thousands of families and households that are living in poverty and who need help now. Unfortunately, they have n...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s a lot of my comments on the energy sector. I come from the suburbs of Calgary, where a great many families are still hurting three years after this government took power. It has failed all of them. There are a lot more people who are unemployed or underemployed today, and much of that relates to policy decisions made by the federal government. I will refer to some of them in trying to itemize the case against the Liberal government's economic policies thus far.

One of the things in the motion members will notice is that there are a litany of issues the energy sector and energy workers are facing today in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and different parts of British Columbia. We have a government that is intent on phasing out the oil sands, but it is also hurting the energy industry and energy workers who depend on those jobs.

We have a Prime Minister who twice now has said that he wants to phase out the oil sands. The first time he said it was a mistake. The second time, he actually said it in Paris in its legislative assembly. Perhaps he thought Albertans would not catch on, but we did, and we know that he has it in for us. He has it in for the industry that accounts for over 20% of Canada's exports, in dollar figures. That is an incredible amount when compared to the auto sector.

We all saw the news of General Motors shutting down its plant in Oshawa. I, as an Albertan, and I know many of my constituents back home, feel the pain. We understand the pain of losing a job and being told that one is not welcome to come back to work tomorrow and is no longer needed. We understand it, because it has been going on month after month in the province of Alberta. People have been losing their jobs or have been told that they are not needed five days a week anymore. Someone working in construction may come in one day a week. A person cannot feed a family on one day a week of work.

There is a great Yiddish proverb that says, “If things are not as you wish, wish them as they are.” I wish the government would take that advice. Stop saying one thing and doing another. Stop wishing for the end of certain jobs in the private sector. Why not wish them all to succeed?

We have been given an incredible natural endowment of oil and gas. Alberta is also the sunniest province in Canada. It has the most sunny days of any province in Canada, which is a great boon for the solar power industry. There is quite a bit of renewable energy being developed and that has been developed by energy companies, because they are in the business of energy, whichever way it is delivered. Why not promote all of them? Why not defend all of them? That is what Alberta needs and what Canada needs.

We need a government that wants to champion the private sector, not meddle in the private sector. Let it expand, create jobs and do what it does best: provide prosperity for Canadian families. We do not need a government plan. We do not need a government strategy. We do not need government tinkering with different rules. However, that is exactly what we have here. We have a government that is more intent on creating plans and strategies and strategies for plans to plan for strategies, creating more jobs in the public sector here in Ottawa, instead of allowing the private sector to simply do what it does best. We do not have a champion.

Many members have said this already, and I am sure many members will come after me and say it. We have a government that has cancelled pipeline projects. The government strangled energy east to the point that TransCanada could not continue. We have a government that defeated northern gateway. We will hear government caucus members say that it was actually a court decision. Well, that is not true. There was an order in council cancelling northern gateway passed in 2016. Order in Council 2016-1047, passed November 25, 2016, cancelled northern gateway.

The government has crowed about a $40-billion investment in LNG, while we lost $78 billion in LNG development. That $40 billion was approved back in 2012 by the regulator. It was recently approved to go ahead by the private sector, but only after it got assurances in the final deal that it would be exempted from British Columbia's carbon tax, that it would be exempted from basically the last three years of bad economic policy passed by both the Liberal government and the provincial NDP government, in the case of British Columbia. If that is not an indictment of how bad things have become, I do not know what is. (1200)

The $40 billion project, approved in 2012, can only go ahead this year with the proviso written into the contract that the past three years of bad economic policy do not apply to them. I do not know what we could call that, other than that it is a form of corporate welfare. This project could not go ahead because the government has been intent on strangling it, making it impossible for them to continue to develop the project, create the jobs and the prosperity to ensure that they can provide taxes and pay royalties to different levels of government. We have a government that is intent on making it more complicated.

When I talked about our needing a champion, I want to reference one of my constituents who is always willing to send me detailed technical information. David Robinson sent me information about New York State pursuing a court case it has brought forward. It is a civil lawsuit against a bunch of oil companies, stating that they failed and disguised the carbon emission costs in their regulatory filings. It specifically targets the Alberta oil sands and Alberta corporations. This is a huge danger to publicly listed companies, especially those based in Alberta and Canada. With this lawsuit there is the potential that a state government and the attorney general of that state, Barbara Underwood, would force the companies to undertake massive write-downs if the state wins this case. Why is the government not championing the cause of Alberta and Canada's energy sector to protect our good name before the courts? The U.S. has a very litigious culture, but it is pursuing this exactly so that it can undermine our continued prosperity and ability to develop our resources. We do not develop our resources just for the purpose of developing resources; we develop them because they provide prosperity, jobs and income so that workers can feed their families. What the vast majority of people want is to be left alone. That is what we hear from countless Albertans. The slogan we have adopted is, “build that pipe.” We really do not care anymore which pipe it is; just build that pipe.

First, we hear the government members say that the previous government did not get it done. What they mean to say is that the previous government did not get a pipeline built to tidewater. It is difficult to get any pipeline built by a private corporation nowadays in Canada because the government and many of its caucus members were helped by volunteers and all of the different environmental groups that are adamantly opposed to any type of development at any time. Therefore, it is quite rich for the government to now turn the argument on its tail and deny that it got help from those environmental groups that opposed all development.

Second, what is ridiculous is that northern gateway got to tidewater. Energy east would have got to tidewater. The Anchor Loop upgrade that was proposed, completed and built by Kinder Morgan expanded shipping out of Burnaby. The Enbridge Line 9B, the Keystone pipeline, not the XL but the basic pipeline that went to Cushing, eventually went to tidewater in Freeport, Texas.

Therefore, to say that the previous government did not get it done is simply to ignore the facts as they are presented.

There is an order in council that cancelled northern gateway. That is an indictment of the government's ability to get any pipelines built. The people who have suffered from three years of bad economic policy are Albertans and Canadians who need these jobs in the energy sector. Canada's number one export is energy. The vast majority of jobs in Alberta are either directly or indirectly related to the energy sector. We have a government that for the past three years has been trying to impede Albertans' prosperity, the jobs that provide for our families and the opportunity that comes with that.

As I have said before in the House, we have...”

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

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ans and, most important, creating those good middle-class jobs that we want for Canadians and their families.

Three years ago, Canadians chose a government committed to growing the middle class ...”

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

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ood and how the Liberal government's failures have impacted the hard-working foresters and forestry families who depend on forestry and softwood for their livelihoods.

I want to give kudos where they are due. The very first time the word “softwood” was mentioned in the House was December 7, 2015, and it was by none other than the member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. I want to go on record that I was the second person to say the word “softwood”. At no other time in the House has the importance of softwood and fighting for our forestry families been more evident than on this side of the House with the Conservative caucus.

It was not mentioned in the mandate letter to the minister and it was not mentioned in the first throne speech by the current government. As a matter of fact, the very first mention of softwood in Hansard by a Liberal member of Parliament was January 29, 2016. That is shocking. As I said, there was no mention of it in the minister's mandate letter and no mention of it in the Speech from the Throne. This is a $69-billion industry that provides a quarter of a million direct jobs and approximately one million indirect jobs. That is huge, and there was not one mention of it by the government. It has failed hard-working forestry families and rural communities. Over 600 communities across our country depend on forestry and yet the government, its economic policies and its failure to take action on critical issues are failing.

These are jobs in communities where there are often few other options: rural communities and northern communities. Forestry is one of the largest employers of our indigenous people, over 12,000 people, and an industry that works with over 1,400 indigenous-owned companies and suppliers. Softwood lumber is now being held ransom by an increasingly protectionist U.S. administration and the government's failure to act when it mattered the most.

The Liberal government has failed time and time again. There is so much fodder for us to use in today's motion. It is like a pre-Christmas gift. The fall economic update tabled just a few weeks ago did nothing to protect forestry jobs. The failed economic policies of the government are having a severe impact on Canadians right across our country. (1245)

Two weeks ago, notices of mill closures, work curtailment and layoffs swept through my province, British Columbia. There were hundreds of job losses in my riding alone. These are families who, just weeks before Christmas, are now facing tough times. What do they get from the gov...”

Mr. Matt Jeneroux (Edmonton Riverbend, CPC)

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...or employees who now cannot afford to put food on their tables, or have Christmas dinner with their families or even celebrate Christmas, for that matter.

Is the member aware that these people a...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... Manitoba and New Brunswick over the carbon tax. I want to repeat that this tax hurts Canadians and families who still need gas every day to get around. This tax is going to increase the cost of food,...”

Mr. Alain Rayes

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ad to contend with catastrophic tax reform. The last study that came out shows that 81% of Canadian families are paying more taxes.

The government is even to blame for removing public transit ta...”

Mr. Michael Levitt (York Centre, Lib.)

December 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...resource centre, which many of my constituents rely on. MFRCs are a tremendous help to our military families who are the strength behind the uniform.

Our service men and women make extraordinary sacrifices for our country, so it is essential that we ease their burden wherever we can, particularly the career disruption that comes with moving postings.

That is why last week I had the honour to announce the launch of the government's military spousal employment network. This network will support military families by connecting them with public and private sector employers who understand the realities of service.

Military families are integral to the operational success of the Canadian Armed Forces. Anything we can do to ease their burden is worth every effort. I thank our CAF service women and service men, and the families who stand behind them each and every day.”

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

December 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rs in rural areas, despite the Prime Minister's current fearmongering. Instead, we heard from rural families afraid for their safety, targeted by repeat offenders coming from urban areas who know poli...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

December 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...the first place.

No one understands why the Liberals are choosing to wait for communities and families in Canada to suffer and giving up our best shot at removing them. Canadians want to know no...”

Mr. Pat Finnigan (Miramichi—Grand Lake, Lib.)

December 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... on poverty that will produce annual reports to highlight our progress.

Could the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell the House how the poverty reduction act fits in with ...”

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

December 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nt to thank and congratulate the member for Miramichi—Grand Lake for all his hard work on behalf of families. It is very much appreciated.

Bill C-87 is a crucial component in reducing poverty. It supports the $22 billion in historic new investments we have made since 2015. Those investments are lifting 650,000 Canadians out of poverty. This is only the beginning, because those historic investments are part of a longer-term plan to support middle-class families and provide additional support to those working hard to join them.”

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

December 4th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...st time in history, in its 2018 budget, recognized the challenges faced by communities, workers and families that depend on seasonal work.

As the member knows, in budget 2018, we announced a historic $230-million investment that we are currently implementing together with the provinces and territories. We are eager to keep working hard for families that are themselves working hard to join the middle class.”

Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...0 workers in Oshawa, but the impact is much broader. It impacts not just the workers but also their families and all the businesses in the community that depend on the economic activity provided by th...”

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

December 4th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... provide quality jobs and sustain our regions, which are already having a hard time retaining young families.

Just as our dairy farmers feel abandoned by the current government, Quebec's forestry industry is also not very pleased about the signing of the USMCA. These workers are just as Canadian as people from Montreal or Toronto. They pay their taxes like everyone else. The government has a duty not to forget about them. However, we see that that is exactly what the members opposite are doing. The Liberals are not only killing jobs in the regions by refusing to defend our interests in trade agreements, but they are also trying to increase the cost of living. It is a double whammy.

In addition to racking up annual deficits of $20 billion that help the government buy votes without having to worry too much, since future generations will be the ones to pay for it all, this government is imposing a new carbon tax nationwide. Canadians will not have the opportunity to assess the impact of that tax before the next election. My hon. colleague, the member for Carleton, regularly asks the government to tell us how much its proposed carbon tax will cost middle-class Canadian families. The government has systematically refused to answer and prefers to hide behind platitudes ...”

Ms. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, CPC)

December 3rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...stations. They buy coffee from local Tim Hortons. They sleep in our hotels. They take care of their families. They pay their taxes. They build the roads, bridges, schools and hospitals that we use eac...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

December 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... management system.[Translation]

The announced closure of the GM plant is devastating for the families of 2,500 workers and their communities, but it is not just workers in Oshawa who are concerned about their families. All auto workers across Canada are worried. The Prime Minister needs to do more than simpl...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

December 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...uto workers after GM has turned its back on them.

The GM plant closure is devastating for the families of 2,500 workers and for thousands more whose livelihoods have depended on that plant for 1...”

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

December 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...r. Speaker, our record speaks for itself: faster processing of spousal sponsorships, reuniting more families than ever before, making sure that we invite people to become Canadian citizens when they h...”

Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk (Kildonan—St. Paul, Lib.)

December 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, every day in this country, indigenous children are taken away from their families, their communities and their culture. Across Canada, indigenous children represent just 7.7% of all kids under 14 yet make up 52.2% of kids in care. In Manitoba, this number is as high as 90%. It is appalling.

Could the Minister of Indigenous Services please update the House on the government's work to keep indigenous families together?”

Hon. Jane Philpott (Minister of Indigenous Services, Lib.)

December 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ion should mark a turning point to say, “No more”: no more scooping children; no more ripping apart families; no more lost children who do not know their language, their culture and their lineage.

...”

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

December 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ve suffered so much from the oil crisis, especially the hard-working people who work hard for their families. Those people have been insulted by the Prime Minister himself last weekend.

I want t...”

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

November 30th
Hansard Link

Government Order

“...ivered, by Canadians to other Canadians, to make sure that poverty does not enter the lives of many families. In total, this is part of our commitment to eliminating poverty, reducing it substantially in this term of office and moving forward with even more aggressive strategies.

The investments some wanted with the announcement of this strategy are actually also forecast and have been pushed forward into this year, next year and beyond. For example, the national housing strategy, which is an integral part of reducing poverty in this country, is not just the $5.6 billion investment made in our first two years of office. It is also $40 billion that is locked into multilateral and bilateral agreements with provinces and territories over the next 10 years. In other words, it is a 15-year project, in many ways, to deliver affordable, safe and secure housing for Canadians right across the country. Some of that is in new housing builds. Some of that is in supports for rent supplements through the new Canada housing benefit and some of that is in simply honouring the operating agreements that were set to expire and allowed to expire by the previous government.

We also have a $7.5-billion investment, with provinces and territories and indigenous governments, in early learning and child care. This is another substantial investment that will make a transformative change in the lives of Canadian families, and most importantly, Canadian children, to make sure that we eliminate poverty and the challenges many families have accessing child care and early learning opportunities.

There are other measures on the horizon as well. We have announced an expert panel to show us the way to implement pharmacare. It is not something we can simply switch a switch and cut a cheque for. There are complications in terms of how to integrate it with provincial plans, how to integrate it with doctors' offices across the country and how to create a national formulary. All these things are part of delivering that program, but at the end of the day, what the program is going to do is deliver more affordable health care to vulnerable Canadians right across the country. Again, it will be a step in the direction of eliminating poverty.

The reason this is so critical to us is found in the international covenants we signed on the United Nations' sustainable development goals. We know that the sustainable development goals are focused as much on the elimination of social inequity, poverty, gender inequity and racial inequity as they are on sustainable and prosperous development on the economic front. We need to make sure that as we build a strong country, we do not leave people behind, because the precious resource we have is, in fact, Canadians who contribute to the success of this program.

The poverty reduction strategy has to be seen as much more than simply a series of programs that support vulnerable Canadians. It has to be seen as a major way of rethinking our economy, rethinking our social programs and rethinking our footprint in the coming century to make sure that we build the most resilient generation of Canadians ever. That is the goal of the poverty reduction strategy. That is the goal of many of our social programs, when taken together as a coordinated approach to reducing poverty.

As I said, there is much more to do. We know that EI reform is critically important in reducing poverty. We know that the work we have done on EI reform has made it easier for seasonal workers to sustain their employment in industries that stop and start based on the natural cycle of the economy in some parts of the country. We also know that making EI quicker and easier to receive is one of the ways we do not create cracks that people can fall between. We know that working while on benefits, extended maternity benefits and all the changes we have introduced to EI to make it more flexible and more accessible to Canadians are ways we are focused on reducing poverty and some the challenges Canadians face from time to time.

At the end of the day, there is more to do, because eliminating poverty is not something we can rest on after we have made investments. We have to constantly look for new gaps in society and new areas where poverty starts to lock in. For example, we have an aging population. We know that seniors are aging into poverty differently than they did a generation ago, partly because of precarious work and partly because of a changing economy, which is seeing benefits and pensions reshaped even after people have paid into them for many years. Therefore, pension reform and the changes we made to the GIS are part of our poverty reduction strategy.

When we looked at poor seniors and seniors who were living in difficult and marginalized economic circumstances, we saw that one of the things that was driving certain pockets of seniors' poverty was gender. We knew that when women lost their partners, they sometimes lost their full pensions. We knew that women living alone did not suddenly cut the expenses of living where they were living simply because a member of the family was no longer partnered with them to pay the bills. The boost we made to the guaranteed income supplement and the reform of CPP were all forward-looking measures that were part of our strategy to end poverty. They were not announced as part of the strategy. They were part of the work we have been doing over the last three years. However, they have projected positive results into the future and will help us meet the targets spelled out in the poverty reduction strategy.

Focusing in on building a strong middle class and focusing in on fighting climate change and providing adaption strategies to municipalities is also part of the poverty reduction strategy. If we look at natural disasters that have rocked this country, whether it is the fires in Fort McMurray, the floods in New Brunswick, the challenges in northern Ontario and Manitoba with water or the droughts that have hit some parts of this country, we know that as the economies are damaged in those parts of Canada, one of the things that also happens is that low-income Canadians suffer even more. (1010)

Getting those communities back on their feet means that we have economies those people can tie their lives to and move forward with. Minimizing the impact of climate change over the next decade and century will be just as critical in reducing poverty, because it will have a different impact on low-income Canadians.

We also know that poverty is different in the north and in remote communities. Access to healthy food and country food is becoming more difficult in places like the territories. With climate change, animal patterns, such as the herding of the caribou, pushes available food further away, or unfortunately, eliminates it altogether, in some circumstances. It changes access to healthy food and therefore has an impact on the way poverty is measured in northern communities.

As climate change moves forward, we know that some of the ice roads disappear, and therefore food security in the north is challenged. I was in the territories visiting Behchokö to look at some of the housing challenges there. The road we came into Behchokö on was like a roller coaster. I asked the member from the Northwest Territories when the road would be replaced, and he said that it had been replaced two years ago, but climate change had allowed the tundra to melt. The thaw-and-freeze cycle was heaving the road, and in doing so, destroying a very important investment, making it almost worthless as soon as it was finished.

These challenges have an impact on the economics and on the health and welfare of Canadians in the north. We have to turn our attention to that, because building strong infrastructure, like the connecting road between Yellowknife and Behchokö, is part of how poverty is reduced in those communities.

Access to health care is a critical driver in sustaining one's employment. If there is not access to the major centres in the north, and there is not access to the food and distribution centres in the north, we drive poverty into those communities.

When we look at poverty reduction and how we measure it, beyond just income and the large economic numbers previous formulas have looked at, access to these critical services is just as important. From that perspective, and from the perspective of the investments we are making in infrastructure, we can see that stronger transit infrastructure in major cities is also something that helps reduce poverty. If people can get to school, get to work and get home more easily, more reliably and more cheaply, with a more robust transit system across the country, it can have an impact on the quality of their lives. It is an impact that actually enriches people's lives by not taking as many dollars out of their pockets to pay for transit, by having the government step up and do that. It makes those things they need to have a better quality of life that much easier to access because of a stronger transit system.

All these investments do one other thing that is critically important. They deliver good-paying, often unionized, jobs to communities right across the country. It is the same thing with the housing policy. It is creating investments that not only sustain society in a progressive way but also create jobs and tie in supply chains. It means a good, strong economy focused on doing what this poverty strategy says must be done, which is eliminate poverty right across this country from coast to coast to coast.

We also need better data. We cannot simply rely on anecdotal evidence. We need to know whether racialized women are receiving health care at the same rate as other groups of women. We need to know whether indigenous children are faring as well coming out of the school system as non-indigenous children. We need to know exactly how government support for low-income communities impacts the economies in the communities where those dollars land. When the Canada child benefit lands in communities by the millions, right across this country, we need to understand the transformational change that has in people's lives so we can figure out where the gaps are and fill those gaps with new investments.

For example, when we make investments in child care, we need to know which families are getting it, which are not, and why not. If they are not getting it, we need to then loo...”

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

November 30th
Hansard Link

Government Order

“...ata, and I will share some information.

I have had the opportunity as the shadow minister for families, children and social development to go across Canada and speak to people on the ground. A couple of weeks ago, I was in Hamilton at the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. One of the biggest discussions there was on the point in time count. We wanted to compare the 2016 and 2018 data. When this came out in 2016, I thought it was really important to collect that data. We need to know what is leading to homelessness. We need to know how many are homeless. If we have these numbers, we can know if we have reduced it or if it has increased. I am okay with that.

However, people on the ground are coming out and saying that they were told to do one thing in 2016, and with the point in time count, they were told not to go to certain areas. I actually heard this from people who were doing point in time counts. They were told not to go to those areas because poverty was flourishing, those streets had people who were homeless and they did not want those people in the count. (1035)

This comes down to the people working for the Government of Canada, who were telling them not to go into those areas where poverty had increased.

I also have heard from the people in Kelowna. The trip to Kelowna was really interesting, and I sat and spoke to people at OneSky. They are doing absolutely fantastic work. However, they shared with me the concern that they did the point in time counts in 2016 and 2018, and they also did a name list, something that is really a wonderful measurement on this that we can talk more about in another discussion. They said that the factors they got in 2016 and 2018, through the point in time count endorsed by the government, was in a 24-hour window. Let us say that John, who has been on that street corner for 364 days asking for assistance, happens to not be on that corner that day. His name does not count because he is not there in that 24-hour period.

What we see is that the counts are being done in a very micro amount of time. When the same organizations from Kelowna are going out and doing a name count, we see that those numbers actually almost quadruple. They actually are saying that their point in time count will show less than 100, but when they did a name count of people out on the streets, they are talking about 400 people. That is a huge significant difference.

If we are going to talk about metrics, let us make sure we are getting our metrics straight and let us be sure the measurements we are using are the same from one year to another year and not putting some challenges there so that we get different results.

One thing that I also heard that was really important was, “You keep on counting us but we still don't have a home”. This is something that I want to bring to the attention of the minister, the parliamentary secretary and the government. It is lovely to collect this data; however, the people who are being asked for this data want to start seeing results. They are tired of doing these things and not seeing anything at the end of the day.

I now want to switch the page and talk about the national housing strategy. We have had some private members' bills that have come through, so we have had an opportunity to talk about housing in those areas. Let us actually talk about what the national housing strategy does.

Over one-third of this announcement is not new money. It is money that we saw in the 2016 and 2017 budgets. Therefore, when we talk about the national housing strategy, we are looking at old money and we are looking at some new money. A substantial portion requires provincial money. When the Liberal government talks about $40 billion, it is not $40 coming from the Canadian government, but funding that has to be matched. We have to make sure that those provincial governments are going to be at the table. Agreements have been signed, and kudos on that. However, we also have to make sure that these are agreements that the provinces are not being forced to make.

One of my biggest concerns is that the need for housing is now. We have heard our NDP colleagues talk about the need for housing. I recognize that we still see these challenges. We know that shelter use in Canada has actually increased under the government. It has not decreased. It has increased. More people are needing shelters.

What we look at is the strategy that goes from 2016 and then up to about 2029. We have the $40 billion for 10 years. We see that it is end-loaded. The emergency is today. The emergency is not 10 years from now. Are we saying that for a person who has lived on the streets for two years, we will add 12, and that person will get their money then? We also have to look at that. Some of my biggest concerns are around throwing money at things without really solving the problem.

Right now at the status of women committee, we are studying shelters. We have had some fantastic witnesses who have come in. If we are looking at where the housing issues are; we have to look at the actual housing continuum; we have to look at the shelters, we have to look at the subsidized housing; we have to look at affordable housing and supportive housing. Then we also have to look at what is actually attainable for Canadians.

One of the biggest challenges we are seeing, which is something that the government has not addressed, is that we see people being kept in shelters because there is no room to move out of that continuum. Here is just a little news alert: Every day somebody is looking for a shelter across Canada. There are always people looking for help, whether it is women leaving abusive relationships or people who just cannot financially support themselves and their housing. They are looking for places. However, the continuum of housing is broken and the government continues to allow it to be broken and continues to expand the problem. When somebody goes to look for affordable housing, there are problems. One example is a young woman I know of who moved into a place in June, into second stage housing. She is stuck in that second stage housing because there is no housing available. The housing markets are not there.

Therefore, when we look at the national housing strategy we can talk about affordable, but what is the plan to actually get affordable housing built? What is the plan to break it down and make sure that we are working with all our communities, from the developers and the landowners to the people who are actually out there with the hammers? We have seen huge gaps, and the government is not addressing them. (1040)

We talk about this all the time, but there are a few quotes that I want to share with the House. The reality check is here.

CBC News posted on June 13, 2018, “Between 2014 and 2017, chronic homelessness in the city climbed by 21 per cent, while the use of emergency shelters rose by 16 per cent.” Under the Liberal government the city of Ottawa has seen an increase in chronic homelessness of 21%. How is the government addressing that?

From the same source, here is a second quote about a report entitled,“Homelessness in Ottawa: A Roadmap for Change”. This report examines how the city's 10-year plan is faring and offers suggestions on how to turn the tide. “While the report contains some good news—577 people were able to move into their homes since 2015, thanks to the city's use of Housing First model—Deans acknowledges Ottawa is not trending in the right direction.”

We are talking about a document that was just put out that looked at housing from 2014 to 2017. The people from Ottawa are saying we are not going in the right direction, and this is under the Liberal government.

I also want to share a few quotes that talk about housing first.

The Liberal government talks about housing first, and let us be honest: the reason it does not like it is that the Conservatives put it in. It is that simple. We have seen many of our pieces of legislation that were done between 2006 and 2015 repealed, only because they were Conservative policy.

I want to read a few items, and these are really important and critical points.

From the Mental Health Commission's final report:

Over the two-year period after participants entered the study, every $10 invested in HF services resulted in an average savings of $9.60 for high needs.... Significant cost savings were realized for the 10 per cent of participants who had the highest costs at study entry. For this group, the intervention cost was $19,582 per person per year on average. Over the two-year period following study entry, every $10 invested in HF services resulted in an average savings of $21.72.

From the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, Tim Richter has spoken on this. People working in housing across Canada will understand who he is. I recognize that the parliamentary secretary knows him as well. He has indicated that we won't prevent and reduce chronic homelessness in Canada without housing first. Removing the housing first investment target could be risky because communities may drift away from the housing first investment, harming efforts to reduce homelessness.

Finally, the last quote is from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, which:

strongly objects to the government policy decision to remove the (65%) Housing First investment target.... Reaching Home leaves open the door for federal funding to be diverted toward homelessness interventions that are neither evidence-based nor best practice.

I just wanted to bring up that information, because we can sit here and talk about what a great deal the government is doing on the national housing strategy, and applaud, and all of these kinds of things, but we have people on the ground who face homelessness every day, who face clients every day, and these are the reports we are getting back.

Last night I appeared on a panel on CTV. We were talking about the emerging crisis that we have with immigration and the costs. The PBO indicated that over the two-year period from July 2017 to March 2019, if the government stays on track, it will spend $1.1 billion.

We really need to concentrate on the fact that the government has no true policies for the people who come into this country and does not have a plan on how we are going to assist these new immigrants.

Here is a quote from Toronto, which has seen a spike in refugee claimants and shelters this year, with average nightly numbers climbing to 3,191 this month, more than six times the level of two years ago.

Toronto Mayor John Tory has issued increasingly urgent calls for additional funding from federal and provincial governments. He says 41% of those in the city's already-strained shelter system are now refugee claimants. By November, this year is projected to hit 54%. As a result, for the first time the city is temporarily housing people in student residences at two community colleges, spaces that are filling up fast.

With yesterday's PBO report, we recognize that the cost of new immigrants into this country is basically on average what a minimum wage worker would make over the course of one year. That is what the Liberal government is spending because it does not have a plan. I wish it would start listening to what Canadians are saying. (1045)

I want to turn now to a positive note. The social finance fund was mentioned in the mini budget last week. Although it was supposed to be an economic statement, we saw a heck of a lot of spending included in it. The fall economic statement would make available $755 million on a cash basis over the next 10 years to establish a social finance fund, with an additional $50 million over two years in an investment and readiness stream. This is something our government started studying in 2011 and 2013. In 2015, it was in our federal budget. Therefore, this is something the Conservatives do believe in. However, part of the problem I have with this is where is the Liberal government going to find this money? We are already talking about an $80 billion dollar deficit, and now we are talking about what we are going to do next. That is one of my concerns.

We also have to remind ourselves that with 10-year programs we have to see where that money is being spent. If we are talking about social programs being financed through this social finance fund to help meet urgent needs, including homelessness, this money is once again back loaded and does not appear for the first two years in this mandate. That is really important. This is money that would be spent after the 2019 election. Like everything else the government proposes, it would be spent after the election so that the government can include it in its platform for its four-year mandate. These are huge concerns to me as well.

The child benefit is something the Liberals constantly talk about. They say that the Canada child benefit has lifted 300,000 children out of poverty. Anything that we can do to help our children, we will always support, but we also have to make sure that what government is doing is on the right track. Part of my concern is that if the Liberals are saying they are doing all of these things and we see less than half a per cent decrease in child poverty, we have a problem.

The current government is truly on a poor track. It has a poor track record, and its program performance is horrendous. We support measures that purport to reduce poverty and provide a fulsome approach. We oppose the carbon tax because we know it will be one more cost for these low-income people. The government is coming out with one of its policies, and it is not a climate change policy. It is an economic and social engineering policy. There is nothing there that says what will happen. I cannot take a supposed train that would not go from my house to my workplace. It does not exist. Like any other consumer, I will be in my automobile, just like the many other Canadians who do not have public transit. We will be in our automobiles and will be gassing up and paying 11 cents more a litre because of the government. I applaud the Government of Ontario for banning this ridiculous carbon tax.

We have something that has come out with 87 different programs in it. In the last few months, we have seen job losses: at GM this week, 2,800 jobs have been lost; at Bombardier, 5,000 jobs have been lost; and we cannot forget about the people in Alberta. One hundred and ten thousand jobs in Alberta have been lost because of the Prime Minister and Bill C-69 and because the ridiculous policies I have cited. The Liberals look at what they want, but they do not look at what Canadians want and need, and they need jobs.

On this entire poverty reduction strategy, how come we are not asking about how we can stay competitive in Canada, how we can retain jobs here in Canada and how we can create jobs in Canada? We do not see that discussed in Bill C-87. We know there are many ways of looking at poverty, and there are many different pillars. One of the pillars is a strong fiscal position and an economy that is creating jobs. We do not see job creation. If we saw job creation we would not have 110,000 people in Alberta losing their jobs. If the government were worried about poverty reduction it would be putting in place initiatives that keep people working in Canada and not putting them in the employment insurance program. Employment insurance is not the option Canadian workers are looking for. They are looking to go to work every day. They are looking at putting bread and butter on the table for their families. Their job is to go out there and get a job as a family member to be able to do that for their families.

Bill C-87 is gutless. It is worse than what Seinfeld would say. It is “filled with ...”

Mr. Marco Mendicino (Eglinton—Lawrence, Lib.)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...es who were forced to flee Iran and other Arab countries due to religious persecution. These Jewish families were devastated as they were forced into exile and forced to experience injustices, the mos...”

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, NDP)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... funding. Many people are reporting a decline in services for individuals living with HIV and their families. If we want to end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and prevent the virus from spreading...”

Mr. Peter Schiefke (Vaudreuil—Soulanges, Lib.)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ea and now has over 700 members who cross our whole community. In times of crisis, they support our families by pooling their resources to provide needed meals, transportation, child care and pet care to families who are in crisis.

Thanks to the dedication of these volunteers, our community is str...”

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

November 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...usly to the various fundraisers being held in my riding this Sunday. Their donations will help many families receive Christmas baskets and enjoy the wonderful holiday season.”

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

November 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...arks the end of Adoption Awareness Month. Throughout this month, we take special notice of adoptive families and community partners across Canada and celebrate the joys and challenges that exist for families formed by adoption.

For me, adoption is a topic that is close to home. My husband, Mike, was adopted at birth. Last week, I had an opportunity to meet with Adopt4Life—Ontario's Adoptive Parents Association, who were in Ottawa along with the Adoption Council of Canada, and faculty and students from the University of Western Ontario to raise awareness about how Canada can better support families formed by adoption and how adoption has changed over the years.

We spoke about the importance of attachment between children and their parents in families formed by adoption. Attachment is a crucial aspect of human development. This is often disr...”

Mr. David Sweet (Flamborough—Glanbrook, CPC)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...Brith is doing truly outstanding work in honouring and educating people on the horrors that Jewish families and individuals have faced, while also promoting awareness of many other great injustices.<...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation, Lib.)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...injuries.[Translation]

Our government knows how important it is to support veterans and their families. That is why we reopened Veterans Affairs offices. We believe that veterans' access to serv...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Well, Mr. Speaker, our plan certainly is not to hammer school children, consumers and families with higher taxes and then the quote the lobbyists of CEOs to defend it all. In fact, those...”

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

November 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...erty has been introduced in the House.

I congratulate and thank my colleague, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, for his commitment to those most in need. With this bill, he is following in the footsteps of Ed Broadbent, who got a motion to eliminate child poverty passed in 1989. He is also following the example of Tony Martin, Jean Crowder and so many other political figures who made the fight against poverty the primary reason for their involvement.

If we look at the figures, we can see that such a bill has never been more timely. This month, we marked National Child Day and National Housing Day. We know how important these days are. They were created not as a time to celebrate, but rather to sound the alarm. They raise awareness about the issues and hard realities that some of our fellow Canadians face in those areas. They provide an opportunity for community organizations and associations to speak out against the injustice. Canada is a rich country with a wealth of resources, yet we allow our children and fellow citizens to grow up and live in poverty.

The figures are alarming. One in six Canadians lives in poverty. That is 5.8 million people, including 250,000 who end up homeless every year and 1.7 million households living in substandard or unaffordable housing. Unfortunately, that is not all. Children are even worse off: 1.4 million Canadian children live in poverty. That is 200,000 more children than last year, and more than one in three of these children live in an indigenous community.

Because this situation is urgent, and because the bill is part of the New Democrat legacy, we will be supporting this bill. However, I must say I am shocked, because I myself introduced a poverty reduction bill in February 2016, just over two years ago. That bill was developed after long consultations with organizations from across the country. It had the support of many anti-poverty agencies, and it built on the community work I have been doing for decades to improve the lives of the people of Saint-Hyacinthe and Acton Vale in my riding of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.

The purpose of Bill C-245 was to strengthen Canada's social and economic safety net. I wanted to add social condition to the Canadian Human Rights Act, so that poverty would no longer be grounds for discrimination. I also included community organizations, the municipalities, the provinces and the territories as privileged partners in this poverty reduction strategy. Make no mistake, if our federal role is to give guidance and show leadership, then we cannot do without the support of these stakeholders, who work on the ground every day to help those who are most in need.

Most of the Liberals and Conservatives voted against Bill C-245. Why? The Liberals said that they were going to do better to significantly reduce poverty in Canada. Did they keep that promise? I do not think so.

Let me be clear. Bill C-87 is necessary, but it barely scratches the surface of what needs to be done to eliminate poverty. I would like the Liberal government to tell me what concrete, urgent action it is taking to eliminate poverty in Canada. The minister announced that this plan would make Canada a leader in poverty reduction. I do not think that is true.

I commend the efforts that have been made so far, such as the Canada child benefit, but to be honest, we still have a long way to go. Bill C-87 sets the minimum targets recommended by the United Nations. There are no new investments and no new programs. What does this bill really do? It establishes minimum targets, a very debatable poverty line, and an advisory council.

As far as the poverty line is concerned, I have to wonder whether Canada really hopes to become a leader in poverty reduction by lowering its standards. That is the issue. Members should know that anti-poverty organizations are afraid that poor people will not longer qualify for subsidy programs, because this metric excludes them from the government statistics. The poverty line used by the Liberals is the market basket measure. Let me reiterate this for the House: this measure is a smokescreen that masks the reality of poverty in Canada. (1225)

Economist Andrew Jackson has demonstrated that using the low income measure, 828,000 seniors live in poverty. Using the market basket measure, the number would be 284,000 over the same period. That is a difference of about half a million seniors. Is the government really okay with using the lower figures and leaving half a million unaccounted-for seniors out in the cold?

In addition to turning a blind eye to poverty, this indicator does nothing to lift people out of poverty. It measures the income needed to purchase a basket of basic goods. Since Canadians whose income exceeds that threshold are no longer considered poor, they are no longer counted in the government's statistics. That is not right.

The market basket measure excludes many day-to-day expenses, such as health care costs, day care fees and support payments. Even those who reach that income threshold are still living in poverty. Being able to meet those basic needs does not mean one is no longer poor—far from it. People in that position live in uncertainty, and the slightest unexpected expense can cause tremendous financial stress.

This week my team spoke with representatives of Comptoir-Partage La Mie, a food bank in Saint-Hyacinthe. Every week volunteers there provide support to nearly 200 families in financial difficulty and provide them with food to help make ends meet. People must not assume that assistance is given first come, first served. Each case is examined individually in order to provide the most appropriate assistance and maximize the limited resources each family has. Their poverty level is $100 above the basic income. When you work on the ground every day, you realize that people in need are not there to try to take advantage of the system.

The precariousness is real, and with a margin of only $100, these people are not wealthy. They have just a bit of wiggle room to pay their bills and perhaps some unexpected expenses, like if their car breaks down, for example.

These organizations have limited resources, yet they work miracles in our communities. I commend them. They have limited resources because they receive very little assistance from the federal government. Still, they manage to face reality and realize that being able to afford only the basic necessities does not mean getting out of poverty.

That is why I am so disappointed to find this government, that claimed to be so ambitious, incapable of seeing that poverty is overtaking Canada's children and families. The bill cannot merely be about reducing numbers. We must implement concrete measures.

There must be a review of existing programs. Today many families do not receive the Canada child benefit, especially in remote indigenous communities even though poverty and insecurity are rampant in those communities. Of the 20% of poor children in Canada, one in three lives in an indigenous community.

Poverty is an endless cycle that affects entire families. To break this cycle, we must address the structural inequalities that affect these children from birth.

We must also reform the unfair EI system. For almost 30 years, the government has not contributed a single cent to the employment insurance fund. After 20 years of Conservative and Liberal reforms, this system is in a pitiful state and unable to provide families with the help they need. It is not acceptable that we are living with a system that has not been overhauled since the 1970s and that excludes 60% of our workers.

EI reform would help lift thousands of families out of precarious situations, and even out of poverty. However, we cannot forget that because EI has such a low qualification rate, these workers are being denied access to training adapted to their needs. I am talking about the so-called middle class and those who are working hard to join it.

The less fortunate should not have to fight for access to federal benefits. Since we are not all equal in the face of poverty, we must expand access to EI and make the Canada child benefit available to everyone. We should make sure that grandparents who have guardianship of a child are also eligible. The same goes for our seniors.

I want to commend the initiative to make the guaranteed income supplement automatic for seniors at the age of 65. The NDP had been calling for this for decades. (1230)

However, the reality is that many more seniors do not receive this benefit, even though they are entitled to it. I wrote an open letter in January to inform my constituents and I received hundreds of emails and calls. There were a lot of people who were disappointed to learn that it was not automatic.

Why not expand this measure to all workers who worked their whole lives to build this country?

The government must also adopt the low income measure for calculating poverty. The low income measure sets the poverty level at half of the median income, which is more realistic. It also also for international comparisons, which should interest the government, since it was to be a leader in the global arena.

The government must set more ambitious short-term goals. On November 5, the day before this bill was introduced, British Columbia adopted a bill to reduce child poverty by 50% in five years. Anti-poverty organizations are calling for a similar measure.

Is the government really going to wait more than a decade to do something, letting a generation of children grow up in poverty?

We need to get these measures in place faster so we can help Canada's future generations now. Let's not fool ourselves. These programs are a step in the right direction, but they address only part of the problem.

We cannot radically reduce poverty in this country unless we attack it on all fronts. We need to be bold and adopt fairer and more ambitious measures for Canadians.

Reducing poverty calls for profound social change. Sending out cheques is not enough any more. When child care costs $80 per day per child, the Canada child benefit is not nearly enough to change peoples lives' and give them a little breathing room at the end of the month. What we need is a universal, affordable, nationwide child care system.

The government made an election promise to launch a full-scale attack on poverty, not just a superficial one. I am now asking the government to keep that promise and put its money where its mouth is. Canadians need a complete overhaul of our public policies and services.

Martin Luther King said that true compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. Attacking the root causes of inequality is the one and only way we can hope to put an end to poverty.

Let us attack it, then, beginning with a universal, affordable child care service. Campaign 2000 and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives have described such a service as a cornerstone to poverty reduction.

This service is crucial so that parents no longer have to choose between expensive child care and going to work. It is especially important to reducing poverty among women, who are more often affected when it comes to having to choose between child care and going back to work.

Affordable, high-quality child care for everyone would also help give children from disadvantaged backgrounds a more equal start in life.

The same thing goes for uninsured medical expenses and dental costs, which are not included when calculating the poverty level and pose a heavy burden on family budgets.

How can we talk about an equal and just society if we are not all equal when it comes to health care costs?

Bringing in drug and dental plans is more than necessary, it is essential if we truly want to address inequalities in an effort to eliminate the scourge of poverty.

We keep saying that work is the way out of poverty and guarantees dignity. However, work is not accessible to everyone. Let us bring in guaranteed income for people in need. I am talking about people who cannot work because of physical or mental limitations. Believe me, it is not a choice. It is the weight of a disability that they suffer daily. It is our role, that of parliamentarians, but also that of the government, to provide these people with a decent income to live on. Bringing in a basic income guarantee would help maintain dignity and reduce the stigmatization that our constituents go through every day.

Having a fair tax system also goes a long a way to reducing poverty. (1235)

To tackle the root causes of inequality, let us overhaul the income tax system to better redistribute wealth to the most vulnerable groups. To reduce poverty, we must look at society as a whole. We must reconsider the causes of inequality. The gap grows every year, and the wealthy keep coming out on top, while the income of the middle class remains hopelessly stagnant.

The government cannot sell us a brand-new poverty reduction strategy with no new programs or funding, as I mentioned, and then turn around and increase tax breaks for the rich. I would like to remind members that we are losing $8 billion a year because of a lack of political courage. Let us put an end to this travesty. Community organizations keep saying that this bill is a good starting point but does not do enough to address the challenge of poverty in Canada.

Campaign 2000, Citizens for Public Justice, Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté, FRAPRU, the Elizabeth Fry Society, the Broadbent Institute, and many other organizations are asking this government to set the bar higher. The OECD recommends measures to support employment, offset low incomes and increase affordable full-time child care services for families.

I want to acknowledge the tremendous work that employees and volunteers at community...”

Hon. Filomena Tassi (Minister of Seniors, Lib.)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...d to our communities. We are grateful for the contributions that our seniors make to our homes, our families, our places of worship and our workplaces, and we want to ensure their vibrant participation.

However, as a government, we recognize it is our duty to make sure that seniors have the support they need to thrive and to prosper. I am honoured and humbled to serve in the role of minister of seniors. When I was first appointed, the Prime Minister asked me to do something very important. He asked me to travel across the country and to listen to our seniors, their family members and organizations that work with and for seniors, and I have been doing that. I concede that income security is stated as something that is important to our seniors.

Also, let us look at the factors facing Canada's seniors today. Study after study has shown that women are especially vulnerable to financial difficulties. In fact, almost all single female seniors who live in poverty rely on government benefits as their major source of income. For a number of seniors, old age security and the guaranteed income supplement are not extra sources of disposable income. For many, they are the only sources of income and are used to pay rent and to buy food.

Our government knows the facts. We have taken steps to improve seniors' income security. That is where the old age security program comes in. The old age security program, OAS, has a clear purpose, and that is to provide a minimum level of income to seniors and contribute to their income replacement in retirement. The OAS program is actually composed of a number of benefits. First is the OAS pension, which is paid to everyone who is 65 years of age and older who meets the residence and legal status requirements. Second is the guaranteed income supplement for low-income seniors. Third, are the allowances for low-income Canadians aged 60 to 64 who are the spouses or common-law partners of GIS recipients, or who are widows or widowers. (1255)

Recognizing income security as an issue for seniors, when we came to office we immediately repealed the previous government's measure to move the eligibility age for OAS and GIS from 65 to 67. This act, in and of itself, prevented 100,000 seniors from entering into poverty. The benefits under the OAS pension are putting thousands of dollars into the pockets of the lowest-income Canadian seniors each year.

Another of our actions was to increase the guaranteed income supplement by up to $947 per year for the most vulnerable single seniors. This improved the financial security of close to 900,000 seniors and is lifting approximately 57,000 seniors out of poverty. It was the right thing to do.

Last year we launched a new automatic enrolment for the guaranteed income supplement benefit for those who are entitled to it. The GIS provides much-needed monthly non-taxable benefits to OAS pension recipients who have a low income. As of last December, when eligible seniors are automatically enrolled for OAS, Employment and Social Development Canada automatically reviews their household income to see if they are eligible for GIS benefits. If they are eligible, they are automatically enrolled without needing to apply. There are now 210,000 seniors receiving this benefit as a result of automatic enrolment.

Each month over 18,000 individuals turning 64 years of age are automatically enrolled in the OAS pension. This means that these clients are also being automatically assessed for their eligibility for GIS without ever having to complete an application.

Our actions to improve seniors' income security does not stop there. We have also enhanced the Canada pension plan for today's workers. This enhancement will increase the CPP retirement benefits people receive when they retire. It will also provide larger benefits for contributors with disabilities, widows and widowers. This also means that contributions are increasing accordingly, typically by 1% for most people. Enhanced benefits will grow over time as people work and contribute to the plan. Today's youngest workers will receive up to 50% more from the CPP when they retire. These changes to the CPP will reduce the number of families at risk of not being able to maintain their quality of life in retirement by a quarter.

...”

Mr. Darrell Samson (Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Lib.)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... basic needs. Shortly after coming into power, we introduced the CCB, which contributes directly to families with kids to help them. In my riding alone, $5.2 million per month is received by families through the CCB. That is $60 million a year. That is happening across the country. It is very important.

We have invested $40 billion over 10 years in a national housing strategy. In the riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, 155 units have been built in the last year and a half. That is an investment of over $1 million.

On affordable housing, our government is focusing on vulnerable people: seniors, veterans, families fleeing domestic violence, and people with disabilities. Homelessness is very challenging a...”

Mr. Joël Godin (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, CPC)

November 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...o Bill C-87, an act respecting the reduction of poverty.

On November 6, 2018, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development introduced the poverty reduction bill. According to the summary, the bill “enacts the Poverty Reduction Act, which provides for an official metric and other metrics to measure the level of poverty in Canada, sets out two poverty reduction targets in Canada and establishes the National Advisory Council on Poverty”.

I want to begin by telling the government that poverty exists in Canada. They can implement measures, set up an advisory council and create organizations that will assess and consult, but I can say right now, on November 30, 2018, that poverty still exists here in Canada. Unfortunately, one in six Canadians are living in poverty. I think it is important to consider that and to implement the measures necessary to meet these people's real needs.

The act provides for the creation of a national advisory council on poverty. This council would be considered a full-time committee and its members would be employees of the Government of Canada. The government is adding a layer of bureaucracy and expenses that will serve its machinery before serving the poor. That is the unfortunate part of the bill being introduced today. We are not against helping the poor, on the contrary, but we should be looking after them and not the Liberal machinery of government.

There is no need to bring in legislation to change how the government measures poverty. We all know that there are poor people in Canada. What concrete action will be taken tomorrow to improve the comfort and quality of life of these Canadians who have the right to be respected? This could have been done quickly and concretely with the structures already in place. However, the government prefers to put in place measures, mechanisms and structures.

Creating an official poverty line could help the government because it creates an illusion. We know that this government likes to wave a magic wand and use smoke and mirrors. However, we know that there are no results and that we are light years away from seeing any, just like a balanced budget.

I remind members that during the 2015 election campaign, the government told Canadians that it would run a small deficit and then balance the budget in 2019. We have no idea when the budget will be balanced, so I am compelled to say that the government misled Canadians.

More than 1,000 people representing organizations from across the country attended workshops and breakout groups on more than 40 topics, with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. Once again, the people who work with organizations and with the less fortunate have solutions, and they are saying that this bill does not meet its objective.

Our leader, the Leader of the Opposition and member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, introduced a bill supporting new parents. This bill would have eliminated taxes on maternity and parental benefits. This is one of many meaningful measures. The Conservatives are working to help real people: workers and the less fortunate. (1325)

We can work with them to find meaningful solutions, instead of creating organizations and structure, which creates more red tape, since public servants must be hired. Money is being thrown around everywhere, but it is not going to the right places. I can suggest measures. All my colleague from Québec has to do is ask and I would be happy to make some suggestions.

The Liberals are also hurting Canadian families by cancelling measures. They say they want to help the poor, but the got rid of income splitting and tax credits that helped Canadians families, such as the children's fitness tax credit and the post-secondary education credit.

C...”

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

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ificant investments in Canadian children through the new Canada child benefit, which helps Canadian families meet the high costs of raising their kids. This new benefit, or CCB, is tax free. Compared to the previous system of child benefits, the CCB is also simpler, more generous and better targeted to those who need it most. It has left nine out of 10 Canadian families better off. (1020) [Translation]

In keeping with our commitment to reduce inequalities and to offer all Canadians equal opportunities to succeed, the Canada child benefit, or CCB, provides even more financial assistance to the low- and middle-income families who need it most. Roughly 65% of families receiving the maximum CCB amount are headed by single parents, of whom over 90% are single mothers.

Since July 2018, the Canada child benefit has been indexed to keep up with the cost of living. We implemented that measure two years ahead of schedule. Thanks to the middle-class tax cut and the Canada child benefit, by this time next year, a typical middle-class family of four will receive on average about $2,000 more each year. That is $2,000 more than they could expect to receive under the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper.

For single-parent, average-income households with two children, or for families with two children where only one parent is earning an average income, the benefits are even more significant. When the tax-free Canada child benefit and other benefits are added to family income, those families pay effective personal tax rates of less than 2%, which means they keep more than 98% of what they earn.

Through these measures, more families will be able to buy things such as healthy food, warm clothes or winter boots for their growing children. On average, families who receive the Canada child benefit get $6,800 every year. The CCB has helped lift more than 520,000 people out of poverty, including nearly 300,000 children.

That is not all. Salary increases for average Canadians are currently outpacing inflation. If the current trends hold, 2018 is on track to see some of the highest salary increases since the 2008-09 recession. Generally speaking, as we look at the legislative provisions to implement the measures in budget 2018, our economy is strong, healthy, and growing.

Since 2015, we have also been looking beyond our borders in order to reach new, modern trade agreements that will create jobs and help us be more competitive around the world. The fact that Canada is the only G7 country to have trade agreements with each of the other members of the G7 is a testament to the work we have done internationally. The recently negotiated USMCA will give the international business community the confidence it needs to continue investing in Canada.[English]

The many innovative domestic and international economic measures we have put in place mean Canada's economy is strong and growing. Our economic growth rate of 3% in 2017 was the highest in the G7, and we expect to stay among the fastest-growing economies this year and next year.

Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, the past three years have seen the creation of more than half a million new full-time jobs. These new jobs have pushed the unemployment rate to a 40-year low. For the average Canadian worker, wage growth is outpacing inflation. If current trends hold, 2018 could mark one of the strongest years of wage growth in almost a decade.

Confidence is nearing historic highs, both among consumers and business owners, and leading to business expansion and the hiring of new employees.

All hon. members know that small businesses are a key driver of Canada's economy and account for 70% of all private sector jobs. When small businesses succeed, Canada succeeds. That is why we cut the small business tax rate to 10% last January and will lower it to 9% effective January 1, 2019.

In 2019, the combined federal-provincial-territorial average income tax rate for small business will be 12.2%, by far the lowest in the G7. Several federal departments and agencies, including the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada, are working hard to help these important job creators succeed and thrive.

This overall positive outlooks reflects Canada's many competitive strengths, including a highly-skilled labour force, preferential access to global markets and a strong research and start-up capacity in emerging fields. We know that nurturing and expanding these competitive strengths demands policies that keep the focus on people and gives every Canadian the means to contribute fully to our society and our economy.

Wage growth is outpacing inflation for the average Canadian worker, as I mentioned, and we could see that growth mark one of the strongest years of wage growth in a decade.

Overall, as we consider this legislation that would implement measures from budget 2018, it is important to note that our economy is strong, healthy and growing.

I would like to briefly describe the essential pillars of Bill C-86.

The legislation includes an important measure to further stimulate economic growth, namely the new Canada workers benefit. The Canada workers benefit is an improved version of the current working income tax benefit. It is designed to encourage people to enter and stay in the workforce.

Under the Canada workers benefit, a low-income worker earning $15,000 annually could get almost $500 more in benefits in 2019 than he or she would get this year. In addition, the Canada workers benefit's expanded eligible income range would ensure that more workers would be entitled to it.

The new CWB would also be more accessible than the benefit it replaces. The legislation includes amendments that would allow the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the benefit amount for all eligible tax filers, even if they do not claim it. These improvements to ensure access to the new benefit could be particularly useful for people with limited mobility, those who live far from points of service and those without Internet access. (1025) [Translation]

The government estimates that, as a result of these changes, an additional 300,000 low-income workers in Canada will receive the Canada workers benefit for the 2019 tax year.

This is a major step forward in reducing inequality in Canada. What is more, it is estimated that the investments in the new Canada workers benefit will help lift roughly 70,000 Canadians out of poverty.[English]

Another important aspect is addressing gender inequality, which is a vital component of the bill. Canadian women are among the most educated in the world, but they are less likely to participate in the labour force than men and are more likely to work part-time. Canadian women are too often working in unpaid jobs, which prevents them pursuing the opportunities that would help them reach their full potential.

There is an under-representation of women in leadership positions and the vast majority of Canadian businesses are still run by men. No economy can claim to be operating at full capacity if women are not being offered the same opportunities, including at leadership levels. Gender equality benefits everyone and benefits the whole economy.

We know that the participation of women in the labour market has been one of the key drivers of our economic growth in recent decades. During the past four years, the increased number of women in the labour market accounted for about one-third of real per capita GDP growth in the country. Indeed, RBC Economics estimates that adding more women to the workforce could boost Canada's GDP by as much as 4%.[Translation]

The increased presence of women on the labour market is increasing household income and making a big difference to hard-working families across the country.

We need to establish an economic climate that will give all Canadians, particularly women, the opportunity to succeed and be leaders.

That being said, the gender budgeting act, which is part of budget implementation act, 2018, no. 2, will make gender budgeting an integral and permanent part of the federal budget-making process.

The bill will also convert Status of Women Canada into a new department, the department of women and gender equality, which will be responsible for the advancement of equality in respect of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The gender gap remains too large and the evidence shows that taking steps to reduce that gap is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do.

Finally, I would like to talk about the measures that we are taking to protect the environment, which are an essential component of Bill C-86. We believe that putting a price on pollution is the best way to reduce emissions because it will encourage businesses and households to make more environmentally friendly choices and find more innovative solutions.

It is clear to us that pollution should not be free. Canadians are aware that that is the reality and that this is the right thing to do. We can see the costs of polluting everywhere. All one has to do is watch the evening news or take a look at the paper to see that droughts, floods and forest fires are becoming regular occurrences. That is not to mention the effects of pollution on our physical and mental health.

By implementing these measures to protect our precious environment, which is under increasing threat, Canada joins 67 other jurisdictions that have already taken this important step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Together, these jurisdictions represent about half of the global economy and more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. (1030) [English]

Despite efforts in some quarters to persuade Canadians otherwise, this is not an attempt to add to federal coffers. Provincial systems will apply in the several jurisdictions that are either already implementing their own carbon pollution pricing systems that meet the federal benchmark or are on track to do so.

The federal fuel charge will apply, starting in April 2019, in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick. Those governments have not developed a system to price carbon pollution that meets the federal benchmark.

In those four provinces, the federal government proposes to return the majority of direct proceeds from the fuel charge directly to individuals and families through climate action incentive payments, starting in early 2019. Every dollar will remain in the province of origin. For most households, these payments will help offset their increased costs related to pollution pricing and help them to make more energy efficient, greener choices. The remaining proceeds that are not returned directly to households will go toward providing support to sectors within these provinces that will be particularly affected.[Translation]

We estimate that climate change will cost our economy $5 billion a year by 2020. If we want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change, we have to accept the fact that polluting our environment costs us dearly and that it is very logical that polluters pay for the damage they cause.

Canadians can rest assured that they do not have to convince this government to protect the environment because we truly believe that doing nothing would be a failure to live up to our responsibility as federal legislators and would also betray current and future generations of Canadians, who have the right to a healthy, peaceful and prosperous life in a healthy environment.

Our shared quality of life and our economic prosperity are closely linked to the environment we live in. That is why it makes sense to build an economy that benefits all Canadians while protecting our environment and seeking to repair the damage we have already caused.

We want Canadians to feel confident about the future, to be better prepared for what awaits them and not to be concerned about those elements that sustain life, namely, the air we breathe and the water we drink.

The essence of this bill is that we are investing in Canadians, we are sharing the fruits of our strong economy with all Canadians, and we refuse to renege on our environmental commitments. Budget 2018 will help make a better Canada for all Canadians.

For these reasons, I am very proud to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-86, the budget implementation bill, at third reading. I think it gives Canadians measures that will grow our economy, which has always been our goal, and also protect the environment. We believe that these two things go together.

We also think that a greener economy, a green shift towards renewable energy sources and more effective environmental decisions offer some worthwhile business prospects. As has been proven many times, this is also a major market.

Furthermore, we think that putting a price on pollution is the right thing to do. As I explained in my speech, more than half of world economies have put a price on pollution. Quebec has done so since 2013, and British Columbia has for many years. These two economies within Canada are seeing impressive growth records and have had economic success. This shows that the environment and the economy can and must go together.

Furthermore, a measure like the Canada workers benefit reflects another essential pillar of our goal, as a government, to reduce inequality. For too long, under the former government, our government lacked leadership on reducing inequalities. In fact, the previous government created more inequalities than it reduced.

The measures we have implemented since taking office prove that we are different. We raised taxes on the wealthiest 1% so we could reduce taxes for nine million middle-class Canadians. The previous government sent cheques to millionaires' families, but we put a stop to that with our Canada child benefit. We decided to make that system much more progressive so we could help those who needed it most, and that move is clearly having an impact.

That is one way our government's approach differs significantly from the approach taken by the previous government. We are absolutely committed to reducing inequality and poverty in this country by means of a very ambitious strategy spearheaded by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Another way we are different is our national housin...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...at is a good problem to have, but it is a major challenge that we must address.

I look at how families are doing. Even the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, which provides help to those less fortunate in my riding, is seeing what a positive impact the Canada child benefit is having on local families. They have more money at the end of the month, especially those who need it most. That is w...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s of the middle class, has failed to look after the interests of upper energy workers, upper energy families, and then draw attention to a clause found in the BIA, this omnibus piece of legislation, that I think is deserving of an amendment. Mr. Speaker, I am going to request that two minutes before my time is up, I be given notice so that I can move an amendment. Before that I would like to provide commentary as to why I am moving it.

This BIA is the second bill to implement provisions in the budget. The government has added more deficits and more accumulated debt in the last three non-recession years than I think at any time in modern history by any government. The prior government had a great recession to deal with. Governments before that in the 1990s had to deal with the debt wall they had hit and simply could not borrow more money. Difficult choices were made then. The government is basically laying the groundwork for those difficult choices to come in the future. Future governments will be constrained by difficult choices they will have to make.

We all know that the debts accumulated today are the taxes of tomorrow. If we value social programs, if we value retirement pension plans, if we value the services provided by the government, we have to ensure the proper management of government finances and that is not what we are seeing from the government side of the House. It is not what we see in this piece of omnibus legislation.

At the Standing Committee on Finance which I sit on, multiple members, even the members of the New Democratic Party, brought up the fact that the government repeatedly broke promises to not introduce more omnibus legislation. I note that twice already the Speaker has ruled and has divided up the budget bill, and taken out parts that violate the rule that measures found in the budget must be connected to measures found in the budget implementation act. The two cannot be separated.

The budget is three times the size of what was promised in 2015. Canadians made a choice in 2015. We can agree to disagree on the wisdom of that but they made a choice. They were promised multiple series of measures. The budget was supposed to be balanced by 2019, and it will not be. In fact, there are deficits and new debt as far as the eye can see. The government cannot give us in this chamber, at committee, or in public a fixed date of when the budget will be balanced.

We know that the Department of Finance has produced numbers showing that 2045 is likely the date when the budget will balance itself. Hopefully, it will not come to that and we will find some way to balance it before then.

An often-stated goal of the government is to ensure that we have the best GDP growth in the G7, the best GDP growth in the OECD. Different metrics are used to look at it. I am actually looking at OECD data right now. When looking at the data, we see that we have the weakest growth in North America. In 2019, we will be behind Mexico and the United States. In 2018, we are behind Mexico and the United States. The farther back we go, the more often we see that is the case. Actually, there is only one year in the last few years where we had stronger growth than they did. As well, when we project it into the future, that weakness in growth continues.

Our closest competitors, the places to which we are losing manufacturing jobs, the places to which we are losing energy jobs, the places to which we are losing auto jobs, are having stronger growth. That relates to the policies of the government: high carbon taxes, higher taxes in general, uncertainty in the investment climate, $78 billion lost in LNG development. That all adds to an epic failure of leadership on behalf of the government.

This second budget implementation act continues that failure. It continues a record of failure.

In my home province of Alberta we have lived it for three years now, dealing with a government that has as its sole intent the phase-out of the oil sands. Initially, when the Prime Minister said it, he said it was a gaffe, a mistake. He repeated the same thing in Paris at France's legislative assembly. He repeated it in French of course, hoping that we would not know what he had said, but we do. It is twice now he has said it.

There is a tanker ban on the west coast. It is a false tanker ban because it does not apply to the south coast of British Columbia. (1050)

Bill C-69 is regulatory legislation that would ensure that no major energy infrastructure project ever gets built again in this country. I am sure a government caucus member will stand and say I am wrong, that I have made a mistake, that a $40-billion LNG project is going ahead. What Liberals will not tell us is that LNG project was approved in 2012 and the recent decision was a business decision to proceed, but wait: The contract says it is exempt from the carbon tax. It is exempt from many of the measures introduced both by the federal government and the B.C. provincial government, so it makes business sense to proceed.

That is telling. It is telling that the decisions being made by governments over the past three years are costing jobs and investment and only when they are removed does private business proceed with construction and provide the much-needed, much-wanted middle-class energy jobs.

That is also telling of the business climate we live in. We had an emergency debate yesterday on the plight of energy workers across Canada. Energy jobs are fleeing this country. Alberta is often called Texas north. I prefer to think of Texas as Alberta south as so many families from Alberta are there. They are just trying to make ends meet. They are trying to pay their mortgages, send their kids to good schools and save for their retirement. They will go where they need to go.

They have skill sets that it took Alberta a generation to attract and develop. It was not easy to convince people to come to Alberta. Typically, when people fly from eastern Canada to western Canada, they fly over Alberta and head to the beautiful west coast. To convince people that it is worth staying in our province, they have to be provided great benefits, great pay and a great place to live to raise their families. We have done so, but it took us 25 years to get there. In the span of three years, the Lib...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...profoundly deep debt loads, the the highest debt loads in our history and the highest debt loads of families in any industrialized country on this planet. Those debt loads were prompted by government policies over the last 30 or 40 years, the refusal to provide supports for affordable housing or pharmacare, the refusal to provide supports for families.

What we saw, both in Bill C-86 and the mini budget, was a cascade of money for corpo...”

Hon. Larry Bagnell

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...asing financial assistance for the poorest students, increasing financial assistance to the poorest families and, in the most recent budget, increasing the income tax credit for working people that wi...”

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

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ies for women; it has also driven economic growth, boosted family incomes, and helped more and more families join the middle class. Canada today is a much richer, healthier and more equitable country ...”

Mr. Pat Kelly

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rents want choice. Parents want money in their pockets so they can choose how to spend it for their families.

In that election, I recall a Liberal saying that we cannot give parents cash, becaus...”

Mr. Pat Kelly

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... construction season but has not happened.

Men and women want to be able to provide for their families and have financial security for their families, and for that they need jobs and economic management, low taxes, a strong economy and inves...”

Mr. Pat Kelly

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... for Canadians. It is not good for the city of Toronto or the city of Vancouver. It is not good for families who need a place to live. However, it helps the government's bottom line when we have runaw...”

Mr. Mark Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands, Lib.)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... of $3,000, to a maximum benefit of $1,355 for single individuals without dependants and $2,355 for families, couples and single parents.

The Canada workers benefit will put more money in the po...”

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

November 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...In Langley, the Christmas Bureau is providing gifts and food hampers to hundreds of children and families through the support of donations from local families, businesses and organizations.

I would like to commend these schools and organization...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...d crisis and seek meaningful compensation.

It is time for the Liberals to take on big pharma. Families deserve answers and accountability.”

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

November 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...nues to plummet, while world prices have recovered. Businesses have closed, investment has fled and families are finding it harder to make ends meet. This is the reality with which Albertans are faced...”

Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier—Maskinongé, NDP)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...vernment should have known that GM would soon be closing its doors. Rather than supporting Canadian families, the Liberals threw billions of dollars at rich corporations, like GM, without any guarante...”

Hon. Patty Hajdu (Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...plant is extremely discouraging and our thoughts are with the women and men who are affected, their families and their communities. We have heard that this is part of GM's global restructuring plan and may impact workers in the U.S. and globally. This is extremely troubling news. We feel for everyone who is impacted by this decision.

Right now our priority is auto workers and their families. We are working with all partners to support our auto workers, their families and Oshawa during this difficult time.”

Hon. Mélanie Joly (Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, Lib.)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d deal and we got a good deal.

This agreement will be good for our economy, good for Canadian families and good for our middle class. It will preserve jobs, foster growth, expand the middle clas...”

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

November 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tion fund, we are creating opportunities for Canadian technology and for Canadian workers and their families.”

Mr. Matt Jeneroux (Edmonton Riverbend, CPC)

November 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, families in my community are not polluters. The St. John's Board of Trade, the Chamber of Marine Com...”

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

November 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ker, Canadians understand the importance of high-growth mining companies in supporting middle-class families and helping us transition to a clean economy. I hear from resource exploration companies th...”

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

November 29th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ighting for indigenous languages, even though there might be little or no benefit to them, to their families, to their personal histories or to their old vision of what Canada might have been. Nonethe...”

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

November 28th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...en the Sterling truck plant announced it would be closing its doors and moving out of Canada.

Families across the region were impacted by these job losses. Auto haulers, cafeteria employees, secondary suppliers, all of these companies and workers fell victim to these closures. We need to support the families of Oshawa by all levels of government working together.

I urge the government to work with all federal party members to find a solution for the workers and families in the Oshawa region.”

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

November 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e jobs for the future is to take genuine action on climate change and support our economies and our families to thrive through the transition to a lower-carbon economy. That is what we are doing. The ...”

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

November 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...io, we agreed we were going to put partisanship aside and focus on how we were going to support the families that are suffering and worried because of the decisions taken.

On the question of the...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

November 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the announced closure of the GM plant is devastating for the families of the 2,500 workers and the community. However, it is not just workers and families in Oshawa who are worried about the future; it is all auto workers across the country.

<...”

Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP)

November 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the closure of the GM plant in Oshawa is terrible news for thousands of families. Workers are angry.

How can a government hand over billions of our dollars to a compa...”

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

November 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...As I told the workers' representatives yesterday, we will be there to support the workers and their families, who are going through tough times. We are also developing an industry plan that will focus...”

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

November 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...particularly in Oshawa right now, to make sure that we are doing everything we can to support those families.”

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

November 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...d them on the wealthiest 1%. We delivered a Canada child benefit that helps nine out of 10 Canadian families

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

November 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ted to build to pipelines when he was elected, now they are all gone. This crisis harms workers and families in every single province.

Instead of empty platitudes, what exactly will the Prime Mi...”

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

November 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...past three years. We have ensured that we are improving services, that we are improving supports to families, and that we are giving veterans the services they need, including following through on a p...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ng and murdered indigenous women and girls. All those women and girls had names, are loved and have families and communities that continue to search for justice in a system that does not view them as equals.

If indigenous women were viewed as equals in Canadian society, we would not mourn with the families of young indigenous women lost in child and family care. We would not have to continue to fight for an inquiry into the systemic oppression indigenous women face. We would not have a Highway of Tears, and in 2018, we would not have to call for justice for the indigenous women forced into sterilization.

When first nation, Métis and Inuit women and the organizations that support them call for justice and propose changes to the justice system, we should be listening. Not only should we be listening, we should do everything in our power to bring those changes and reforms into effect.

Canada has a long history of oppressing and excluding indigenous women from systems of justice, but surely Canada's future is one that includes the voices of indigenous women. For this reason, I am proud to support this bill my friend in Saskatchewan, who serves our province in the other place, has brought forward, which is now being considered here. Bill S-215 would amend the Criminal Code to require a court to consider that when a victim of assault or murder was a first nation, Métis or Inuit female person, this fact would constitute an aggravating circumstance for the purpose of sentencing.

It is not without precedent that consideration of aggravating circumstances has been given to other groups in society. Among others, police officers, transit workers and animals have been identified as vulnerable within the Canadian justice system by virtue of the line of work and social position they are in when they are the victims of a crime.

The evidence exists for indigenous women to be given similar status. A 2014 RCMP report, reports from the Native Women's Association of Canada and reports from Amnesty International all affirm that indigenous women are three to four times more likely than other Canadian women to be murdered, sexually assaulted or made missing. Aboriginal women are seven times more likely to be targeted by serial killers. Statistics Canada has reported that being indigenous is a significant risk factor for women to experience violence, but that is not the case for indigenous men.

I myself am an indigenous woman from northern Saskatchewan, and I repeat these statistics here not for my benefit but for the benefit of my colleagues present in the House today. My family and community are Dene. Most of the constituents in my riding are first nation or Métis. My constituents know how difficult life is for indigenous people in Canada, because they see and experience Canada as indigenous people.

Our families suffered and survived residential schools. We feel the pain of colonialism every time young indigenous persons lose their lives, either from suicide or the violent actions of others. We feel the isolation of the north when we have to hitchhike for medical care. We know the danger of what it is like to be indigenous, because in virtually every way, our lives are governed by a colonial system that puts our communities at a lower status than those of non-indigenous Canadians.

Like many indigenous women, I am personally affected by the injustice of violence against women. My auntie Janet Sylvestre and my friend Myrna Montgrand are among the 1,200 women and girls who were murdered and made missing. To this day, their killers are not known. Happy Charles, from La Ronge, has been missing for a year and a half, and her family remains determined, despite a lack of answers.

I understand that we do not make policies or decisions as a government from the stories of individuals or from the anecdotes of history. However, at certain points in history, the stories of individuals become the narratives of a country if those stories are told again and again. This story of violence against indigenous women has been repeated far too often for us to think of it as a footnote. (1135)

Our stories exist to teach us lessons and guide our future. If we learn nothing from the continued story of violence against indigenous women from the stories of Happy, Janet and Myrna, among so many others, we do nothing but silence those who bravely step forward to speak. This narrative of violence must be accounted for in Canada's laws so that indigenous women are no longer targeted and overwhelmingly the victims of violence in Canada.

Of course, the bill is not without concerns. I have heard and read the debates about how Bill S-215 would be unfair to aboriginal offenders who could be sentenced to more time in prison, and as a result, would be more likely to reoffend in the future. In particular, the bill, if implemented, could potentially negatively interfere with the section of the Criminal Code known as the Gladue provisions. To this I have two responses.

First, as my colleague from Manitoba has said, the Gladue provisions of the Criminal Code are not meant to reduce prison time. The Gladue provisions are intended to ask the court to consider alternatives to prison, such as restorative justice and rehabilitation programs. Programs like these retrain and heal offenders and thereby decrease the likelihood that they will reoffend.

Furthermore, the Gladue principles do not call for sentences outside the range of legally available penalties. A court cannot substitute a sentence just because someone is indigenous. The practitioners of violence would still get the punishment the law calls for, even with the aggravating circumstances the bill would put in place. It is even questionable whether the Gladue principles could be applied to violent crimes, with the Supreme Court ruling that for serious offences, there may not be any reduction in imprisonment for aboriginal offenders.

Second, I want to speak about the balance of rights for indigenous women in the justice system. It says a lot in a debate about how we can help indigenous women and their families get the justice they are owed when we put the concerns of the offender over the concerns of...”

Mr. Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Centre, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...olence against indigenous women and girls; and in increasing health support and victim services for families and survivors.

A broad-based, holistic approach is the best way to ensure better prot...”

Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...f child benefits, the CCB is simpler, more generous, entirely tax free and better targeted to those families that need it the most. With the CCB, nine out of 10 families with children are now receiving more money each month than under the previous system. To ensure the CCB keeps up with the rising cost of living, we indexed it last summer, two years ahead of schedule. This means the Canada child benefit will provide even more financial assistance to the low and middle-income families that need it most, such as single parent families. The extra support it gives makes a big difference for those working hard to make ends meet, like single working parents. The additional support from the CCB helps pay for things that can make a real difference in a child's future, like nutritious food, sports activities or music lessons.

The government also cut taxes for the middle class, and those cuts are now helping more than nine million Canadians.

By this time next year, as a result of these two measures, a typical family of four will receive about $2,000 more each year in benefits than it received in 2015.

However, there is another factor with respect to the Canada child benefit that is not often talked about, and that is the stress it takes away from the enjoyment of life for low-income families, the working poor that have children, and their ability to do the job and participate in the general community. The Canada child benefit lessens that stress. It gives them the opportunity to fully participate in the social and economic affairs of the nation.

The bottom line is that this means more money in the pockets and bank accounts of hard-working Canadians, more money to help with the high cost of raising their children and more money for them to save, invest or spend in their own communities. We are seeing the benefits of that across the economy. Canada's economy is strong and growing, and our plan is working.

The budget implementation act also includes an important measure that would directly invest in those Canadians who want to work. I am talking about the Canada workers benefit, or CWB, which would allow low-income workers to take home more money while they work. The new Canada workers benefit is a more generous benefit that will replace the current working income tax benefit as of next year. The CWB is designed to encourage more people to enter and stay in the workforce and to help more than two million Canadians who are working hard to join the middle class.

Under the new CWB, low-income workers earning $15,000 annually could get almost $500 more in benefits in 2019 than they are getting this year. In addition, the CWB's expanded eligible income range will ensure that more workers are entitled to receive it. This will be a big improvement for those Canadians overall. Improvements in the new Canada workers benefit will lift approximately 70,000 Canadians out of poverty.

Bill C-86, which we are dealing with at report stage, really builds on our commitments made in the last election. It is another step along in the process to ensure that all Canadians have the best chance to participate in our social and economic affairs as a nation, as well as to ensure families are more prosperous and have more tools at their disposal to participate in our great count...”

Mr. Mark Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...enefit, which was a great change from the previous government, in that this benefit went to support families that needed it more than families that did not.

How does the member see the role of child care in this discussion aroun...”

Mr. Daniel Blaikie

November 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...arly in its mandate the government brought in the child benefit, which did something for low-income families. The funny thing is that that is not in keeping with the government's theme either. Looking at the changes to parental leave under EI, how are low-income families going to be able to access that? They already have low incomes and cannot afford to live on 33% of their income. The extended parental leave time is for who? Is it for low-income families that want to spend more time at home with each other, or is it for the high-income families the government said it was taking on when it eliminated the original UCB?

This is the thing. Early on, the Liberals implemented a couple of their election commitments to workers and low-income families, and that is now supposed to forgive everything else they do for their Bay Street buddies a...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...-86.

We heard the news this morning with respect to General Motors, and the workers and their families are in our thoughts. Our government will do everything we can to support them during this period.

Canadians are an ambitious lot and they expect the same from their government. They expect us to be ambitious. They expect us to be bold. They expect us to be trailblazers. In this globally competitive world in which we work, operate and compete, we know that Canadians can compete and succeed globally, which is what they are doing. We also know that our strong economic performance is not only about a strong economic record of performance; it is also about ensuring that all Canadians benefit from strong economic growth. Yes, our government has been bold on pursuing policies that will ensure a robust and strong future for our economy and our workers and help those middle-class Canadians working hard and those who wish to join the middle class and are working hard, but also to ensure that all Canadians benefit. That is what our government has been about since we were elected in October 2015.

In Bill C-86, our poverty reduction targets are one of the things that defines this government. First, we are aiming to reduce poverty levels to 20% below the 2015 level by 2020 and to 50% below the 2015 level by 2030. That is ambitious. We put out a policy paper on that, “Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy: Opportunity For All”, which I looked at over the weekend. That paper is telling of what our government's values are and the values for Canadians and how we are going to lift up Canadians, but we are also going to ensure that those people who take risks are rewarded.

Corporations are enjoying after-tax profit levels that can be measured by margins at a very high level. They are doing well. Wage growth has rebounded from the previous government's era of policies that basically led to stagnation. Employees are doing well. Workers are doing well. That is what our government is about.

Since 2016, the Canada child benefit has provided an extra $25 billion to families in Canada over five years. The guaranteed income supplement provides $647 million or roughly $3 billion or $4 billion over a couple of years, helping 900,000 single seniors across Canada, our most vulnerable, and lifting hundreds of thousands of them out of poverty. The Canada workers benefit provides $3 billion over five years, lifting 70,000 Canadians out of poverty and helping two million Canadians from coast to coast to coast who are working hard. For someone earning approximately $15,000, that is an extra $500 a year. Those are our policies. That is our values statement on where our government is taking this country.

In 2017, we had 3% economic growth and this year it is around 2% and change. We are going the right way. Recently, the Governor of the Bank of Canada was at the finance committee, a committee which I have the pleasure of sitting on. He stated that our economy is chugging along nicely, benefiting from strong export growth and good business investment levels. We have seen that, and we should be proud of that.

Bill C-86 also introduces a number of measures that will benefit my kids in the future. There is pay equity legislation to ensure equal value for equal work. That would benefit women. My two daughters at home will know that the work they do will be rewarded the same as other work. That is very important and should be applauded. We have said that the ministry for women is a full ministry getting full resources. Again, we must reduce and remove structural barriers that women face in this country. We must also help other countries pursue those endeavours, because we know that for Canada and Canada's economy to truly succeed, all Canadians must be full participants. That includes under-represented groups and all Canadians.

I am proud of Bill C-86. There is a lot in it. There is a lot we went through during committee. There is a lot that will strengthen our foundational economy and move us forward. We will do it in a very measured, prudent way. (1300)

As many members know, and many of my colleagues have repeated a few times, I spent approximately 22 years in the global financial markets in New York City and Toronto. I was a credit rating analyst which basically means I looked up the ratings of corporations and sovereigns. Canada's AAA rating is thanks to former finance minister Paul Martin. It has been that since our government many years ago. We will maintain our fiscal anchor, our fiscal target and the targeted debt-to-GDP ratio is going to decline. It is going to hit about 28.5% in the 2023-24 period. Again, we are undertaking measures that will strengthen our economy, help the middle class, help those Canadians wishing to join the middle class. We will do it in a measured, prudent manner. That is what we see in many of the measures in Bill C-86.

One of the things that is emphasized by economists is this thing called the labour force participation rate. We see now in Canada looking at working age Canadians, 15-year-olds to 64-year-olds, we are at the highest rate of labour force participation in our history. Why is that? Yes, we have created 550,000 jobs in Canada, a majority of them full time and a majority of them in the private sector. I say “we” very humbly because it is risk-takers across the country, entrepreneurs, small business owners like the ones in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, very successful people who invest their time and resources, who take risks and yes, hire and employ folks.

What has happened is the labour force participation rates have risen for all groups, including women and under-represented groups. That is what we need to succeed. That is what we are seeing. Bill C-86 contains those types of measures: pay equity legislation which is groundbreaking; a ministry for women; child-rearing drop-in positions; a new parental sharing benefit. It is said that the sincerest form of flattery is imitation, and those provisions are similar to the ones that are used in the province of Quebec. When two parents can share benefits, they get an extra couple of weeks. In Quebec, the labour force participation rate for women is much higher than in other parts of the country. With this, we will improve that. We have learned a measure from la belle province.

On the poverty reduction targets, I cannot emphasize this more than to say that we will be going from one in eight in poverty, about 12% of the population today, to about one in 10 in 2020, which is 10% and we have targeted one in 17, which is roughly 6%. Currently, we have lifted 650,000 Canadians out of poverty by the measures we have introduced in the last three years. That is something worth recognizing, but we need to recognize there is more work to be done.

I often like to say that we have done a lot for our economy. There are a lot of good things. We have created 550,000 jobs. We have attracted a lot of investment. LNG was approved in my home province of British Columbia. I say it is my home province because that is where I was born and raised. However, our work is not done until all Canadians can succeed, have a good job with benefits, good pay and provide for a brighter future for themselves, and most importantly, their families as many of us do here. That is what is important. That is the material in Bill C-86. It was...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... 2016, we introduced the Canada child benefit, which is a monthly tax-free benefit designed to help families with the high cost of raising children. To date, the CCB, as it is called, has helped lift more than 500,000 people, including 300,000 children, out of poverty. We have also indexed it to inflation. In my riding of Don Valley East alone, the results have alleviated 17,000 children out of poverty and 9,000 families.

Our government has launched Canada's first-ever national housing strategy, a commitm...”

Mr. Brad Trost (Saskatoon—University, CPC)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ckers, and other safety-related issues.

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the families of the crash victims that members of this place, members of the provincial legislatures in ...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...een around for 29 years now.

Toys for Joy works tirelessly to bring the magic of Christmas to families in need in the northern part of my riding, namely in Grand-Sault, Saint-André, Drummond and New Denmark.

This year's gift drive will take place on Saturday, December 1, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Toner Home Hardware. The committee will be accepting donations of new toys, money and empty bottles and cans.[English]

Each year, the Toys for Joy committee provides for over 250 families with more than 500 children.

The committee relies on donations only, and each year its success is made possible by the help of countless volunteers, the committee itself and generous donations from individuals and businesses.

My thanks for the generous giving of all, whose contributions impact so many families in need.

Help us bring a smile to a child this holiday season.

Last but not lea...”

Mr. Bob Bratina (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...o-cultural groups and languages, making it one of our nation's most diverse cities. Among these are families who originated in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I had the pleasure of travelling through mu...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... its global restructuring. Our thoughts are with those people whose jobs will be affected and their families. We understand today's news will have a significant impact on the whole community as well a...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the families in Oshawa need to hear that the Prime Minister has not already given up on a century of the...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...he Canadian economy for over 100 years.

Today, more than 2,500 GM workers in Oshawa and their families found out that they will have one more year of work at most. These workers are the best in ...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s part of its global restructuring. Our thoughts are with those affected by this decision and their families.

We understand today's news will have a significant impact on the whole community as ...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ncement that it will be shutting down its plant in Oshawa in 2019 is terrible for workers and their families, and it is terrible for the Canadian economy as a whole.

Today, workers want to know ...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are obviously with the GM workers and their families.

I spoke to Premier Ford this morning, and we agreed to work together to help these w...”

Mr. Guy Caron

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ed his disappointment, but what concrete actions is he planning to take for these workers and their families?”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... news for Oshawa and the surrounding region. This has a significant impact on the workers and their families. We as a government recognize that. I started my career in an automotive company and I unde...”

Mr. Dean Allison (Niagara West, CPC)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, it is a difficult time in Oshawa today. Our thoughts are with the GM workers and their families. Oshawa is devastated.

The Prime Minister needs to put a plan in place immediately. Full effort should be made to support Canadian workers and their families at this very difficult time. When will the Prime Minister release a plan for the auto worke...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, obviously, this is a very difficult time for the workers and for their families as well. This is very difficult for the local community. I spoke with the local mayor, Mayo...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ced significant job losses in Oshawa. We understand how difficult this is for the workers and their families. That is why we reached out to the local leadership there and the union. That is why we rea...”

Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...lant, there are around seven indirect jobs essential to the local economy. More than 5,000 Canadian families could be affected by these layoffs. The NDP was right in calling for a national automotive ...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...aker, I am very disappointed in today's announcement by GM. My thoughts are with the workers, their families and their communities affected by this announcement. This decision is apparently part of GM's comprehensive plan and will affect operations and workers in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. This is terrible news, and I feel for the workers and their families.”

Mr. Scott Duvall (Hamilton Mountain, NDP)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ays later, GM announced its plan to close its Oshawa plant, shattering the lives of more than 5,000 families with the ripple effect. This is devastating for these Canadians who have kids in school and...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ogram would actually save a lot of money.

When will the government take meaningful action for families, seniors and businesses and create a universal pharmacare program?”

Mr. Murray Rankin (Victoria, NDP)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...p>Mr. Speaker, last week, the Liberals gave $14 billion in tax breaks to rich corporations and left families struggling to make ends meet. Now Canadians and Canadian businesses are continuing to spend...”

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

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...hole, there are many who are feeling the effect of today's announcement by GM. The auto workers and families that live in the region are a critical part of our community and economy. They are friends and neighbours and I want to assure them that we are here for them during this very difficult time.

Could the minister please share with the House what our government will be doing to help the workers and their families impacted by GM's decision today?”

Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of Status of Women, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... the courage of silence breakers, we now understand more than ever that gender-based violence hurts families, individuals and it scars for life. It also costs our economy $12 billion a year, which is ...”

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

November 26th
Hansard Link

S.O. 52

“...with Mr. Durant that led to General Motors we have today.

We can express our sympathy for the families impacted, but on this side we do not want to explore giving up on the conditions that led t...”

Mr. Scott Duvall (Hamilton Mountain, NDP)

November 26th
Hansard Link

S.O. 52

“...ing news for the 3,000-plus workers who will lose their jobs. It is also devastating news for their families, for the city of Oshawa and the surrounding communities, for the province of Ontario and for the entire country.

The effects of this closure will be huge. The economic and human effects will be felt far and wide, beyond just Oshawa and the GM facilities. Up to 30,000 people who work in jobs dependent on the auto sector could also be affected. That is 30,000 more families that will experience the incredible hardship of a closure like this.

I have some personal experience with a closure like this, as the president of my local union. When Stelco announced its major closure, I saw the effects on workers and their families. The stress of the closure and the financial hardship even led some of my members to take their lives.

Make no mistake, the effects of this closure will be severe and difficult. That is why we need to have a debate about what can be done immediately to help the workers, their families and the community.

Both GM and the Premier of Ontario may be saying the ship has sail...”

Mr. Scott Duvall

November 26th
Hansard Link

S.O. 52

“.... They want us as parliamentarians to address how we might protect the well-being of them and their families.

We owe it to the workers and their families to try and find a solution. That is why we must have this emergency debate as soon as possi...”

Mr. Bryan May (Cambridge, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

S.O. 52

“...This is of course terrible news for the women and men whose jobs will be affected, along with their families and the community. I understand today's new will have a major impact on the community surro...”

Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...my riding alone, it will increase to $5.6 million from 2018 to 2023 for children in very low-income families.

Another area that helps low-income families is day care. As members know, we had a national day care program under the Hon. Ken Dryden....”

Hon. Judy A. Sgro (Humber River—Black Creek, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... colleague for quite a long time and he is always the champion for the underdog and for many of the families in Yukon who struggle with the high cost of living, of food and so on.

I would like t...”

Mr. Darrell Samson (Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Lib.)

November 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...important, and those working hard to join it. In my speech, I will also talk about veterans, women, families and, of course, seniors.[English]

Before I get started, I will talk about what I would describe as Canada being a just society. Our government is working extremely hard to make sure that all Canadians are part of that just society. Throughout my speech, I will touch on that.

Mr. Speaker, as you can understand, we expect the wealthiest 1% of Canadians to pay more to help ensure we have the best country in the world, and that is extremely important. The second piece is ensuring that the middle class is strong and that we create opportunities and good jobs for the middle class. We have to make sure that we help those trying hard to join the middle class and that is a very important focus of our government. We want to move people from below the poverty line to the middle class as well and we want to make sure that people in the middle class do not fall below the poverty line. It is a very important approach. This is what I call a just society and that is why we are asking all Canadians to contribute to that vision.

Let us look at what our government has done, is doing or will do as we move forward. The unemployment rate has dropped to 5.7% from 7.2%. That is very impressive. That is the lowest in 40 years. That is something to talk about and is extremely important. Almost 700,000 Canadians are finding new, good-paying jobs. That is what is important in our focus on the economy.

We are seeing the effect of the Canada child benefit, which is tax free. We are seeing major investment in this area. For example, in my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, people are receiving $5.2 million a month. That is right, $5.2 million a month or $60 million a year. That is happening right across this country. If we play with the numbers, that is 338 times $60 million on average. Billions of dollars have been invested and are having an effect. What is really helping the economy is that money is being spent right away by families because it is needed and it is contributing to the economy. That is what it is all about and that is why it is very important.

The fall economic statement delivered last week has very important strategies, one of which is the accelerated deduction for companies that want to purchase equipment to be more competitive. They are seeing three times the deduction. If we use computers as an example, before the investment would have been about 27.5% and now the first year they can deduct 82%. It is quite impressive.

Now let us talk about families. They are extremely important in my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook. We are investing in the EI parental sharing benefit. The second parent is receiving up to five weeks more to spend more time with his or her family, which is very important. We have established an advisory council on pharmacare. We know this is extremely important to Canadians. We have been talking about it for years, but it is time to take action, and I believe we will see that in the very near future. (1615)

To help low-income Canadians, we have introduced the Canada workers benefit, which will help over 300,000 more people. Over two million people will benefit from that investment. The BIA will enact that process. One will not need to apply for it; it will be automatic.

Then we see changes to the labour code that would give up to five days of paid leave for individuals experiencing family violence. Those are added features that are very important.

We have invested almost $10 billion for veterans. When I was going from town hall to town hall and from legion to legion, one of the most important things they asked for was to bring back the option of a monthly pension. Veterans can achieve that goal now. There are three phases to it: the pain and suffering compensation, additional pain and suffering compensation, and income replacement, which would be up to 90% of pre-release salary. Those are major investments for Canadian veterans who have risked their lives, and for their families.

When the Conservatives were in power, it took 10 years of service to get a veterans ...”

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

November 23rd
Hansard Link

S. O. 57

“...his point. We will not even have one day of debate in total on a bill that will impact thousands of families across the country.”

Hon. Patty Hajdu

November 23rd
Hansard Link

S. O. 57

“Mr. Speaker, in fact, the labour disruption is affecting thousands of families across the country, including Canada Post workers, of course. It is certainly affecting the...”

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

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e fall economic update has done nothing for workers who rely on the energy sector to care for their families. The Prime Minister stands idly by and does nothing to address the deep discounts in Canadi...”

Mr. John Nater (Perth—Wellington, CPC)

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ervices in rural and remote communities.

Rural businesses across Canada are disadvantaged and families are continually frustrated by slow, unreliable Internet service. There was nothing in the L...”

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

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ies have all announced sweeping forms of labour force reductions. With Christmas just 32 days away, families are now facing tough choices.

Why is the Prime Minister and the minister neglecting hard-working forestry families?”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...king in safe environments. They are working so much overtime that they cannot get home to see their families.

Today the Liberals are betraying working people. When they come for one worker in Ca...”

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

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...o celebrate National Housing Day, because since 2016, our housing investments have helped a million families across Canada. Yesterday we also celebrated the first anniversary of the national housing s...”

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...diate loss of government benefits, which forces them back to work long before they are ready. These families deserve some compassion and support from their government. Instead, the Liberal government shut down debate on the issue and also voted against creating bereavement leave.

Words are not enough. When will that Liberal government take action to actually show these families the compassion they need?”

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

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ed and proud to answer this very important question.

We know and feel how difficult it is for families living in difficult circumstances to go through the hardships our colleague mentioned. That...”

Mr. Gabriel Ste-Marie (Joliette, BQ)

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... a dangerous political conflict that inflicting casualties on the population. This is worrisome for families in Quebec who are about to be deported, since their safety is clearly compromised.

Th...”

Hon. Hunter Tootoo (Nunavut, Ind.)

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Campaign 2000's 2018 report card, released this wee...”

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

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... outside of poverty. That is why we have invested in the Canada child benefit, which is helping the families of 11,000 children in Nunavut and lifting many of their parents out of poverty. That is why...”

Hon. Carla Qualtrough

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rely on a cheque to buy food, even a day or two delay can be quite consequential for them and their families.

I can assure the member that we have sufficient and significant evidence of impact o...”

Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Youth Economic Opportunity), Lib.)

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“....

Canadians expect their hard work will bring about a better quality of life, one where their families and children have greater opportunities and a bright future ahead of them. As well, after a lifetime of hard work, Canadians have earned a safe, secure and dignified retirement. That is why we have some concerns with the bill before the House today.

Bill C-405 was introduced in the spirit of providing greater flexibility for companies to address their pension deficits and protecting Canadians' retirement security. However, the bill contains problematic and unnecessary changes that would endanger Canadians' hard-earned pension benefits.

To give a bit more context, I would like to remind the House of some of the measures the government is undertaking to support Canadians' retirement goals.

In June 2016, we reached a historic agreement with the provinces to enhance the Canada pension plan. The strengthened CPP will provide more money to Canadians when they retire, so they can worry less about their savings and focus more on enjoying time with their families. Increased CPP contributions will be slowly phased in over a seven-year period, starting ne...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... trash heap of abandoned election promises from 2015: electoral reform, treating veterans and their families with dignity and fairness, balanced budgets and moderate deficits, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I would like to know how purchasing a leaky, second-hand pipeline for $4.5 billion works there. The fact is, our greenhouse gas emissions increased significantly in 2017. Let us not forget the promise to never use omnibus bills. The Liberals wanted to create an open and transparent government. Let us also remember restoring home mail delivery, and they crossed their hearts and hoped to die. All of this brings us back to Canada Post and its refusal to bargain a fair and equitable collective agreement with its CUPW union members.

If we leave the spin unexamined, we are supposed to believe that this is yet another case of greedy unions exploiting public funds to pad their executive coffers. Let us examine the facts. I am sure the Prime Minister would like to hear the facts.

Workplace injuries at Canada Post have increased by 43% over the last two years, largely as a result of postal transformation, which requires workers to walk longer routes while carrying heavier loads. Today, the disabling injury rate for a letter carrier is eight times the average of the rest of the federal sector, a sector that includes longshoremen, mining, road transport and railways. A request via Facebook from CUPW Mike Palecek for stories from injured workers yielded more than 450 responses in a matter of a couple of hours, and the stories are heartbreaking. We should be ashamed of a government that allows, and in fact seems quite prepared to condone, its Crown corporation's exploitation of workers in this way.

It is as if we are back in the dirty thirties. We hear stories of workers unable to put their children to bed because of forced overtime and being unable to return home until their routes are completed, walking in the dark in unsafe areas. (1440)

We hear stories of workers being told to wear a headlamp, as if that would solve everything. We hear stories of strained relationships because of the stress of the long hours endured by workers and about moms whose children think they have bad parents because those parents are unable to attend sports or school events or tuck their children in at night.

Think of this time of year, workers out late in the dark, navigating snowbanks and icy sidewalks. Workplace injuries are avoidable and preventable. It is unconscionable that the CUPW members are asked to endure this kind of risk just to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, food, I might add, that workers are unable to share with their families and homes that they are unable to enjoy and find rest in because there are not enough hours...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...for the rest of the route. It is not fair. It is not right. Again, they are women trying to support families.”

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

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... 45,000 people, they are attacking a public service, and they are attacking middle-class people and families. Those people have a constitutional right, upheld by the courts, to do what they are doing right now, and they are doing it in an extremely respectful and peaceful manner. Moreover, not only are their rotating pressure tactics minimally disruptive, but important cheques, such as old age pension, welfare and employment insurance benefits, are still being delivered on time. (1520)

Postal workers are so respectful of their fellow citizens in need that during the lockout in 2011, they volunteered their time to deliver those cheques. Those are the people we are talking about. They have guts, and their communities appreciate them. They are respectful, and the one thing they want is for Canada Post and the federal government to respect them. Right now, they feel betrayed by the Liberal government, which made them promises but is now stabbing them in the back. That is what is going to happen.

On the subject of the process, the most important thing is to talk about these people, their families, workers' rights and free collective bargaining. That is the issue. However, I cannot remai...”

Mr. Ken McDonald (Avalon, Lib.)

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ople can get their mail.

Does the member think it fair to let people strike while seniors and families are not getting their mail, cheques or parcels, and at the same time bring business activit...”

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

November 23rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ay the Liberals continue to trample 50,000 workers' right to negotiate, so this is affecting 50,000 families in this country. The Liberals continue to act as though this right does not exist, as thought postal workers are not human beings. These people have families and want to see their kids in the evening. The Liberals keep going on about how important w...”

Mr. Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...imes the national average. There is a whole bunch of postal workers, people in our communities with families, being mandated to do overtime every day because their routes are expanding and they do not...”

Mr. Dan Ruimy (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, Lib.)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ns. Nearly nine million Canadians, 30% of our population, live in those areas. I think all of those families depend on Canada Post.

We simply cannot ignore the impacts that any disruption in mai...”

Ms. Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Lib.)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ns. Nearly nine million Canadians, 30% of our population, live in those areas. I think of all those families who depend on Canada Post. I have received many calls, emails and visits from constituents ...”

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

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...of the biggest reasons they are at the table today, and the impacts that has had on their lives and families.”

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...arious events throughout their annual Festival of Trees.

Crossfield's Winter Wonderland gives families an opportunity to make crafts together and take photos with Santa.

In Airdrie, the Fe...”

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

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...el in 40 years and salaries are going up. Things are looking good for the middle class and Canadian families. We will stay the course.”

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

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...them.

We know what matters to Canadians. They want to make sure that there are jobs for their families for today and for their children for tomorrow. They want to see their incomes go up, wages ...”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Liberal economic statement was a slap in the face to Alberta families. Albertans today are protesting in the streets against the Prime Minister and his failure to get pipelines built. Nothing in the fall economic statement gave anything to Alberta energy families. Instead, he prioritized $600 million in corporate welfare for the media.

Why is the ...”

Mr. Terry Sheehan (Sault Ste. Marie, Lib.)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...cial and economic symptoms of precarious work.

The ultimate purpose of my motion is to enable families in Canada to thrive and to support themselves with dignity and respect. We need a national definition that applies specific indicators to identify precarious employment in order to accomplish this objective.

Motion No. 194 has been well received by my constituents in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie. It is a riding that has experienced the many challenges of employment insecurity, but it is also a riding where hard-working, employed folks tell me that they are not able to afford to go to the dentist, that they cannot take any time off work when they are sick because they cannot afford to lose a day's pay, or that they fear losing their job. As a result, they go to work sick instead of taking care of themselves, and they may also end up making other co-workers and their clients sick.

One constituent told me about the panic she goes through when her child is unwell, knowing her family will lose a day's pay or more. Imagine the anxiety and the stress created for families in these situations. Too many Canadians are facing these types of difficult circumstances and have too few options.

My constituents work very hard. Canadians work very hard, and they deserve some stability for themselves and their families.

There is a vast amount of research available on different aspects of precarious empl...”

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

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...matters, Liberal policies are stifling private sector investment that creates jobs for hard-working families.

Failed policies have made it more difficult to do business and create jobs in Canada...”

Ms. Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, NDP)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...provide any benefits, job security and the ability to build a future for them and potentially their families.

Let us be clear. Today's economic system paves the way for low wage jobs or stagnating incomes for the working class, This is at a time where the fortunes of the country are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a handful of people, namely big CEOs.

I am reminded of the way in which it is a systemic issue. Black Lives Matter activist, Hashim Yussuf, who spoke at our national forum, made it very clear by saying, “The system isn't broken, it was built this way”.

The stories we heard are a reflection of what is happening across Canada. Precarious work causes mental health issues, anguish, physical health issues and it prevents our society from moving forward. That is why I find it difficult today to stand here and talk about a motion to study it, rather than fix the problem. This is a testament of the government's preference to disguise its inaction as action or “caring”. The Liberals love to use that word.

We have seen this play out before. I am even reminded of what the Liberals have done on pharmacare. They know what the problem is, but they cannot seem to muster the political will to actually fix it.[Translation]

There are solutions to the precarious work crisis. We toured the country to get a better sense of the problem and to come up with solutions. We consulted workers, students, teachers, experts in academia, trade unionists and community advocates. People are aware of the problem. We are not even close to finding a solution. The harsh reality is that the government has to invest in Canadians. It has to modernize the Canada Labour Code, but also change its hiring practices and trust workers. That means setting aside the interests of their cronies in big business.

What the government should have done is take action. I want to share with the hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie and with all hon. members of the House the call to action launched by the people who took part in our tour and the forum, “The Precarious Generation: Millennials Fight Back”. It was a call for action that was heard by the NDP, but clearly not by the Liberal government.

The time has come for Canada to implement a decent employment policy. The emergence of precarious work is a clear indicator that the status quo is not working. Too many Canadians with full-time jobs are unable to escape the cycle of poverty. Most of the new jobs being created are part-time, low-paying jobs with few or no benefits. We can and must do better. We can start by introducing a $15 minimum wage, regulating temporary placement agencies, combatting sub-contracting, including in the public service, and putting an end to the exploitation of migrant workers by giving them a path to citizenship. (1745) [English]

We must also do more to improve the social safety net, something the government is well aware needs to happen. As Canadians, we say that we are proud of our social safety net, but thanks to precarious work, young Canadians are experiencing first-hand why we need to expand it. Many millennials have no private benefit plans. With only 38% of Canadians able to access employment insurance benefits, many also face precarious unemployment. We must therefore change El and bring in a universal 360 hours of work measurement so people can access it.

We must implement public insurances where the private sector is increasingly failing, like pharmacare and dental care. We must also put an end to the housing crisis and implement a national housing strategy that leaves no one behind.

As I stand in the House, I think of the hundreds of young people who were part of our national tour on precarious work and part of our forum. I think of with what sincerity they shared the anguish and stress they were going through.

I remember hearing from parents and families who are worried about the future of their kids because of the rise of precarious work.

<...”

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

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...vernment would create success.

What we meant by success is so important. It was peace for the families, for them to be able to share their tragedies, knowing that someone cared and was listening...”

Mr. Marc Miller (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Lib.)

November 22nd
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...and girls.

Our government gave the inquiry an extension in order to provide more time for the families to be heard. This extension will also provide additional time for institutional and expert hearings and to finalize the report. After listening to survivors and family members, indigenous organizations and the provinces and territories, the commission asked for more time to carry out its important work. This request for more time had to be balanced with the needs of the families, foremost, who have been waiting years for answers.

Our government is confident that this six-month extension will enable the commission to deliver on its mandate to provide recommendations on the systemic causes of violence against indigenous women and girls. However, we have not waited for the final report to act. Since the inquiry was officially launched on August 3, 2016, we have been making progress. We have taken immediate action with investments in women's shelters, housing, education, and the reform of child and family services. As well, we have responded to the inquiry's interim recommendations by providing nearly $50 million in additional investments.

Canada is dedicating an additional $9.6 million over five years to support the RCMP's national investigative standards and practices unit. Funding was also provided for organizations with expertise in law enforcement and policing to review police policies and practices.

Our government is increasing health supports and victim services for families and survivors. We are also expanding the family liaison units that were set up to help families navigate the system and get the information they need. We have also allocated an additional $38 million to assist the inquiry with its operational needs during the extension and to provide aftercare to families and survivors who testify.

We remain committed to working with indigenous governments...”

Mr. David Sweet (Flamborough—Glanbrook, CPC)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...government books.

Over the last three years, the Liberals have raised taxes across the board. Families are paying $840 dollars more today, on average, than they were in 2015. Young families in the riding I represent, Flamborough—Glanbrook, just cannot get ahead.

The Prime Minister has recklessly squandered the surplus that was left to him and has spent the cupboards bare. Now our federal debt is skyrocketing, with no end in sight. Canadians are realizing that it is the future of the next generation the Prime Minister is mortgaging for his own electoral gain, and that is just not right.

We may not know yet what is going to be in the minister's statement, but I can hazard a guess that there will be lots of sunny ways words, and there will not be any real initiatives to make life more affordable for struggling families and those most vulnerable. There will not be any help for our steel fabricators, who are be...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rew up, the cradle of Ukrainian settlement in Canada, which celebrates the arrival of the first 125 families.

In 1903, my father-in-law's family came by train to lnnisfree to clear land and plan...”

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

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... Canada child benefit, for a total of $6.5 million a month in his riding.

We are investing in families across the country, and we are growing our economy, which the Conservatives never managed t...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ined by 50% so far, businesses are less competitive because of bad tax reforms, and 80% of Canadian families are paying more taxes today than three years ago under the previous government.

The q...”

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

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...vesting in Canadians and in their future by investing in public transit and support for businesses, families and seniors. We are contributing to economic growing, which the Conservatives were unable t...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...coming. What message is he giving to thousands of CUPW workers whose physical and mental health and families are compromised because Canada Post refuses to negotiate fairly? How is the Prime Minister ...”

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

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e wealthiest, whereas we are investing in the middle class. We have helped children, we have helped families, we have helped seniors, we have helped our entrepreneurs, and we have cut small business t...”

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

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... more money every year than under the Conservative government. Why did the member not invest in the families in his riding?

We are seeing record levels of growth across this country. We are seei...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rthermore, we did so without raising anyone's taxes.

The Prime Minister targeted middle-class families with higher taxes, generating more money for the government to spend. And he has spent. How...”

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

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...hat.

The Conservatives' approach was to continue to send child benefit cheques to millionaire families. We stopped sending them to the wealthiest Canadians so that we could give more to the ones who actually needed this approach. The other thing is that they made their child benefits taxable, and so families would spend every month and then have to give back to the government at the end of the year...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...year in free nanny services that every other Canadian has to pay for out of their own pocket. Those families understand, because they know how to balance their family budgets and know that budgets do ...”

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

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e promised to in the last election. We have invested in infrastructure, we have given more money to families who need it, and it has delivered real growth for the Canadian economy, growth in wages and...”

Ms. Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, NDP)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ediate action, put a stop to this horrific act, and bring justice to the indigenous women and their families that were violated?”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Immigration has left families and caregivers in the dark for months on what will replace the current caregiver program.

Mrs. Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre, Lib.)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Could the Prime Minister please explain how the government's poverty reduction strategy will help families like those in Scarborough Centre?”

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

November 21st
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...in and in the things that mattered most to them, good, well-paying jobs, more help for hard-working families and an economy that would offer every Canadian a real and fair chance at success.

In the years since, we have delivered real progress to the middle class and for people working hard to join the middle class.

We started by asking the wealthiest to pay a little more so that we could lower taxes for the middle class. We introduced the Canada child benefit to help families with the high cost of raising kids. These two measures alone have made a tremendous difference in the lives of Canadian families.[Translation]

Next year, middle-class families of four will get about $2,000 more each year to invest in the things their families need, whether it is nutritious food or new winter boots for growing kids. The Canada child ...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

November 21st
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...hey really mean is aggressive cuts in services, cuts that would make life harder for people and for families. That is not what we want for Canada, and it is not what Canadians want for themselves.[Translation]

We choose a different path: one that is a targeted, measured and fiscally responsible; one that encourages businesses to invest in growth, and create more good, well-paying jobs for middle-class Canadians; one that makes it clear to businesses that if they have a choice to invest on either side of the border, Canada is the smart and sensible choice. This path ensures that our federal debt-to-GDP ratio continues on a steady downward track.

It is worth remembering that we already have the best balance sheet among our key allies, and that our government has made an absolute commitment to maintaining that competitive advantage in a volatile world.

I will tell you why it is important to get the fundamentals right. As much as we are taking positive actions today to help grow the economy and invest in middle-class jobs, the reality is that there are challenges all around us.[English]

The challenges range from the uncertainty about the global economy to concerns about lingering trade disputes to the challenges facing the oil and gas sector in Alberta, which is contending today with very low crude oil prices. The market prices are so low compared with international benchmarks. That is why we are matching our words with actions, to ensure that we can achieve greater market access for our resources in the right way.

Let there be no mistake. We could have ignored the concerns of business leaders, decided not to make the investments and the changes that are part of the fall economic statement, and we would have had a lower deficit as a result. To have done so would have been neither a rational response nor a responsible one. (1615) [Translation]

We are choosing, once again, to trust Canadians—the people who put their trust in us. We know that if we give Canadian businesses more opportunities to succeed and grow, they will do just that. One of the greatest opportunities for Canada's economy is connected to the global shift toward clean growth.

In 2016, our government worked with provinces and territories, in consultation with indigenous peoples, to reach Canada's first ever national clean growth and climate action plan. It is a comprehensive plan that invests in public transit, phases out coal power, invests in clean energy, prices pollution and supports energy efficiency across Canada.[English]

Conservative politicians here in the House and in some provincial capitals want to bury their heads in the sand and ignore what is happening to the climate and to the economy. They want to make pollution free again and let our kids and grandkids deal with the consequences. We are not going to let that happen. Pollution was free, so we had too much of it. This is the root of the problem, and we are going to fix it.

After three years of strong action, Canada is now poised to lead and succeed in the global clean growth economy, an opportunity that is estimated to be worth $26 trillion in the next dozen years. To help get us there, we are announcing our intention to create an advisory council on climate action that would give our government expert advice on how we can further reduce pollution and encourage economic growth in two crucial areas: the transportation sector and the building sector.

We intend to name two Canadian clean growth leaders, Steven Guilbeault and Tamara Vrooman, to help lead that work.

It is not enough to simply clean up the economy. We need to make a cleaner economy more affordable to middle-class Canadians. That is why our government will not keep any of the revenues from pricing pollution. We will return every single penny to provinces and territories where we collect it, and 80% of Canadian families will be better off as a result.

Our government is confident that if we give Canadian ...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

November 21st
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...hing in this mini budget responds to the needs of Rajinder and Rah, who are among the many Canadian families experiencing the record level of family debt, the worst in our history and worst in the ind...”

Mr. Jean-Claude Poissant

November 21st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...egulatory compliance and to protect Canadian wheat.

The government supports farmers and their families and is working hard to ensure prosperity for Canada's agriculture and agrifood sector now a...”

Mr. Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP)

November 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...occasion, one way or another, to deal with court proceedings, especially if they are victims or the families of victims, that they are often outraged at the amount of time it takes to get justice. Of ...”

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

November 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ovide support to veterans, Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members in active duty, as well as their families. They keep alive the memory of the courage and sacrifice of those who served our country.

Mr. Jati Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, Lib.)

November 20th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...qui—Fraser Canyon has a high concentration of farmers and it is important that both individuals and families receive support throughout stressful situations.

I am pleased farmers will have impro...”

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

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e generous, fair and tax-free Canada child benefit that gives more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families and is lifting hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty. We now have some of the lowest...”

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

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rvatives keep putting forward non-refundable tax credits. We knew that directly delivering money to families with the tax-free Canada child benefit, unlike the taxable benefits they put forward, was t...”

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

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ds to action. We put a price on pollution for the entire Canadian economy and we will help Canadian families through this transition.

We have invested in renewable and green energies. We have in...”

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

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rity measures and cuts and the Liberal Party's plan to make investments and give more money back to families.

Next year, the average family will have $2,000 more in its pocket than it did under the former government, which preferred targeted tax credits that inevitably benefited wealthier Canadians. We took a different approach that focused on more inclusive growth and giving more money back to families, and it is working.

The economy is booming. Over the past two years, 500,000 full-tim...”

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

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nce because it fosters dependence on government.

I would argue that the 18,000 children whose families receive more because of the Canada child benefit are hard-working Canadians, that the Canada child benefit is helping them to make ends meet and we stand by that policy that has taken 300,000 kids out of poverty. By next year, Canadian families will have $2,000 more in their pockets than they had under the previous government.”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...re calling for universal affordable child care. Costs here are among the highest in the world. Some families pay more for child care than they do for rent, and our system barely serves one in four kid...”

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

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...llion national housing strategy.

We are heavily focused on reducing child poverty, supporting families and making sure we build the most resilient generation of Canadian children in the country'...”

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

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...5 billion in child care. We have invested in a national housing strategy. EI reforms have supported families as well. This government is committed to lifting children out of poverty: 300,000 so far, 6...”

Mr. Michael McLeod (Northwest Territories, Lib.)

November 20th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...re.

Energy generation is both a significant source of carbon pollution and very expensive for families and businesses. Can the Minister of Infrastructure tell the House what the government is do...”

Mr. Marco Mendicino

November 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...troduced the Canada child benefit plan, which has put more money into the pockets of nine out of 10 families and has lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. By doing that, we will see...”

Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley—Aldergrove, CPC)

November 20th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...There is not usually a week that goes by where I am not honoured to present a petition on behalf of Families For Justice. Every member of Families For Justice has lost a loved one.

Markita Kaulius lives in my riding. She is the president of Families For Justice. She and Victor lost their beautiful daughter to a drunk driver. She was 22 years old when she was killed.

In these petitions, the petitioners are asking that the charge of impaired driving causing death be called “vehicular homicide”, and that if a person is arrested and convicted of impaired driving, there should be an automatic one-year driving prohibition. It sounds reasonable. Also, if a person is convicted of causing bodily harm while impaired, by being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, there should be a minimum mandatory sentence of two years imprisonment. If a person is convicted of causing a collision while being impaired and a person is killed, they are asking for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment.

In the last Parliament, the government introduced a bill to toughen up laws on mandatory minimum sentences, which is what Families For Justice is asking for. It did not include calling it vehicular homicide. It was dealing with the mandatory minimums, getting tough on crime.

At the end of the last Parliament, Families For Justice contacted each of the leaders. The current Prime Minister wrote a letter to Families For Justice and said that he would support getting tough on crime. Sadly, Bill C-75 would remove impaired driving causing bodily harm, failing to provide a bodily sample and blood alcohol over the limit from indictable offences and make them hybrid offences. In actuality, this would take these offences, at the choice of the prosecution, out of federal court. Because they could be summary convictions, they would be put into provincial court. The federal government would be downloading onto provincial courts.

In British Columbia, I have been regularly shocked to see cases being thrown out of court by judges because they have gone on too long. We then end up with the federal government downloading all these indictable cases onto the provincial court. The Criminal Code being enforced will exasperate provincial justice, by making serious offences like kidnapping, abducting a person under the age of 14 summary convictions. Why should people who would abduct a child, who could be charged with a serious indictable offence, with a 10-year maximum, now have a summary conviction available to them? This would be two years less a day and put into the provincial courts.

The government says one thing and does something totally different. It promised Markita Kaulius, Families For Justice and other Canadians that it was going to get tough on crime. We hear regularly ...”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...nd are being hospitalized for these eating disorders. More than one million Canadian sufferers and families have been negatively affected physically, emotionally and financially by these struggles.

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rs could serve their sentences on weekends and look after their kids during the week. It has broken families, and kids have been forced into foster care because that flexibility no longer exists.

<...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... their kids.... Even if the person gets their children back, they will have been removed from their families....that experience of being taken from your family and put into foster care....is incredibl...”

Mr. Anthony Housefather

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...p>On the issue of impaired driving, I agree it is an incredibly serious offence and for those whose families are affected, the victims of impaired driving, there is nothing we can say to console those...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ce that mandatory minimums have been harder on indigenous women than anyone else and have broken up families. In fact, 68% of court challenges are related to mandatory minimums.

Have the Conserv...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...al discretion, the pattern observed was that there were more indigenous women in prison, that their families were taken away and that their children were incredibly damaged on their return, maybe even...”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nadians at a disadvantage, weaken our public safety and national security and place undue strain on families and communities.

Canadians deserve better. In 2019, I suspect we will get a better ju...”

Mr. Gordie Hogg

November 8th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...h gangs in the Surrey area and the challenges there. About 40% of gang members are from South Asian families. We have been actively working with them in responding.

The issue of administrative r...”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with the workers, families and communities affected by this morning's announcement.

We are always concerned any ...”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with the workers, families and communities affected by this morning's announcement. We are always concerned to learn a...”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our hearts go out to the workers, their families and the communities impacted by this morning's announcement. We are always concerned to lea...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...We will not stop working until these unfair tariffs are gone. It is what Canadian workers and their families expect, and it is what we will do.”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, again, the Conservative Party strategy seems to be to mislead Canadians on the cost to families.

We know that when we move forward to protect the environment by putting a price on pollution, we are actually going to leave middle-class families better off at the end of the year.

I look forward with great anticipation to the next...”

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

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e exempt. He has suggested that small businesses will be stuck with the bill. He has suggested that families will be worse off. These are all falsehoods.

We are moving forward with a plan that i...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

November 8th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...830 million.

It is time for the Prime Minister to stand up to big pharma and seek justice for families. Will he launch a criminal investigation into opioid manufacturers and seek compensation fo...”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...he Second World War, with 26 men and one woman who signed up to serve.

As they do every year, families in this community and all other Canadian communities plan to remember those brave men and women on Remembrance Day. Veterans' Week is a time for everyone to come together and salute all Canadians who have served in uniform, including those mentioned from the community of Royalton and all those who participated in these hard-fought battles. We honour all men and all women who had a role in defending our freedom. We also honour the families of fallen soldiers who have sacrificed so much. We thank them for their service and for mak...”

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ion camps. They died for two reasons: they were Jewish and they were turned away. The survivors and families of several survivors are here today for this historic moment. I sincerely hope that this le...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... even worse for women and children. In my riding, 24% of children and 42% of female-led lone parent families live in poverty. This is three times higher than the general population, as a single mother...”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... he never refused an interview. Once he told me, as a family man, and I quote, “Politics is hard on families so when I am with my kids, I am with them 100%.” I try to follow that advice as much as pos...”

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...have a plan to address the impacts of climate change both by growing our economy and protecting our families and the environment.

The Conservatives have no plan and will try all sorts of differe...”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...vernment is, and continues to be, committed to supporting and honouring Canada's veterans and their families. Unlike the previous government, we ensure that the necessary funding is made available to veterans when and where they need it. That is why we were happy to support the NDP's motion yesterday.

What the Conservatives did in office was to cut services for veterans, including service offices, to create a fake balanced budget for the election.

In three years, we have increased financial supports by over $10 billion, putting more money in veterans' pockets and increasing mental health supports, and we are delivering on the promises we made to veterans and their families.”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...esting in the continuum of mental health services or expanding a range of services available to the families of medically released veterans, or reopening the nine shuttered offices. We have done nothi...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...today.

Aluminum workers from Kitimat to Saguenay are desperately trying to defend their jobs, families and communities. Why will the Liberals not listen to the workers' call and tell the U.S. ad...”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...vestments and innovation and creating the clean economy, while at the same time supporting Canadian families through this transition to a cleaner economy.

That is our plan. What is theirs?”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ow, and that is exactly what we are doing. We are putting a price on pollution while we are helping families through this transition toward a cleaner economy. That is our plan. The Conservatives have ...”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rted a continuum of mental health services. We have expanded the range of services available to the families of medically-released veterans. We have increased, by $42.8 million, the service—”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...existed before the new veterans charter. We now know the Prime Minister deceived veterans and their families. The Liberal pension for life scheme moves away from the one veteran, one standard model and takes a half a billion dollars away from veterans and their families.

Why did the Prime Minister make a promise he knew he could not keep?”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...me Minister clearly had his other hand behind his back with his fingers crossed. Veterans and their families do not like being lied to or deceived.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the Liberal pension for life scheme means no new money and in fact means less money for veterans and their families? While he is at it, why does he not apologize to veterans for lying to them?”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...solid commitments to improve the employment insurance system so that it meets the needs of Canadian families.

We created the new family caregiver benefit, we made the rules for EI sickness benefits more flexible, and we simplified the application process so Canadians can get their benefits more easily.

The Conservatives did not understand what a huge impact some illnesses can have on Canadian families, but we are working steadily to improve the employment insurance system.”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...s Canada turned away. We apologize to the 907 German Jews aboard the MS St. Louis, as well as their families. We also apologize to others who paid the price of our inaction, whom we doomed to the ulti...”

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

November 7th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ry, just as it is hard to recognize ourselves as Canada from ripping indigenous children from their families and putting them in residential schools, and ignoring the plights of people over the genera...”

Hon. Michelle Rempel (Calgary Nose Hill, CPC)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...understand why the members of this community are waiting years and years to be reunified with their families who are under severe threat of death, yet someone can cross the border at Roxham Road and e...”

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...tition signed by many residents of my riding of Hochelaga.

The petitioners note that Canadian families are working harder than ever, but they are still struggling to keep their heads above water...”

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP)

November 7th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...e World Economic Forum ranks Canada 80th out of 145 countries when it comes to pay equity, that our families and our economy are also being undermined because women earn less than men, and that many p...”

Mr. Kelly McCauley

November 7th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...w up in Ottawa and came here after 10 years in Jerusalem.

We have a lot of ties with a lot of families. The deputy governor of the Bank of Israel is a Canadian lady from McGill. One of the young...”

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

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...2015, the average middle-class family is going to be $2,000 better off. That is important for those families, because they can spend the money on the things they need to raise their children, but it is also important for our economy.

What did we see? We actually saw that people took that disposable income and put it back into the economy. What that led to was not a global economic change, a world change, but in fact a Canadian change, reflected most demonstrably in the fact that the Canadian economy grew at the fastest rate among G7 countries in 2017.

What does that mean for Canadians? That means we are in a better position, a more resilient position, to deal with what we see in the future. Most importantly, middle-class Canadian families across this country are better off, because they will have more money to spend on what matt...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... about how we make a real difference for Canadians who are trying to make sure they can raise their families in dignity. We started with some measures that deal with the anxiety Canadian families are facing and that was, importantly, a middle-class tax break. For those people earning between $45,000 and $90,000, we reduced the taxes in that category from 22% to 20.5%, a 7% decrease. We then added on the Canada child benefit which helped those families even more, raising hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.

We realized we needed to do more. The increase in the guaranteed income supplement dealt with single seniors who found themselves in poverty. Of course, for Canadians anxious about their long-term future, we negotiated with the provinces to make sure we could actually enhance the Canada pension plan.

These are the sorts of measures that have made a real difference for families today. They make a real difference for families and people who are looking toward the future. We will continue to fight for Canadian families to make sure they have the capacity to raise their children and be confident about the futu...”

Hon. Bill Morneau

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...measures that have made a real difference in terms of their ability to take home more pay for their families. By lowering middle-class taxes, by increasing the Canada child benefit and by increasing the guaranteed income supplement, we have put people in a position where they actually have a greater amount of take-home pay. That is critically important.

By putting a price on pollution, something we do not want but by giving back a rebate to families so they will have more money, in 2019, middle-class Canadian families will find themselves more than $2,000 better off, especially if they are in the four provin...”

Mr. Greg Fergus (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ce on pollution, the federal government will put most of the direct proceeds back in the pockets of families in those provinces.

The government is also in the process of developing options for direct support to sectors of the economy that will be particularly affected in backstop jurisdictions. That includes small and medium-sized businesses, municipalities, non-profit organizations and indigenous communities.

Direct proceeds from the carbon price collected in New Brunswick will remain in New Brunswick. Direct proceeds collected in Ontario will remain in Ontario. Direct proceeds collected in Manitoba will remain in Manitoba, and direct proceeds collected in Saskatchewan will remain, as one might guess, in Saskatchewan. The climate action initiative payments made to individuals and families will help offset the increased costs associated with the price on pollution and will reward families that make cleaner, more sustainable consumer choices.

Since residents of small commun...”

Mr. Lloyd Longfield (Guelph, Lib.)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...l Canadians receive the tax benefits and credits to which they are entitled, so that they and their families have the resources they need to succeed.

In budget 2018, the government introduced th...”

Mr. Gary Anandasangaree

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...d the way that our pricing on pollution has been undertaken, 90% of the money will go back to those families in communities who need it the most. That is our fundamental—”

Mrs. Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre, Lib.)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...plain how the Canada child benefit is making an impact in his community and what he is hearing from families about how it is helping them in their day-to-day lives?”

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

November 6th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... Running deficits is irresponsible because that is not our money.

I know that the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is a credible person. He is an honourable man whom I respe...”

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

November 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“.... Speaker, our government remains committed to supporting and honouring Canada's veterans and their families.

Unlike the previous government, we are ensuring that funding is in place to support ...”

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

November 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...vernment is, and continues to be, committed to supporting and honouring Canada's veterans and their families.

Unlike the previous government, we ensure that the necessary funding is made available to veterans when and where they need it. What the Conservatives did was to cut services to veterans, including service offices, to create a fake balanced budget.

In three years, we have increased financial supports by over $10 billion, putting more money in veterans' pockets, increasing mental health supports, and are delivering on the promises we made to veterans and their families.”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...r. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question. Our thoughts are with the workers, families and communities affected by these store closures. We are always concerned when we hear abou...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...obviously raises a very important issue. We understand how difficult this is for the workers, their families and the communities impacted by these store closures. Of course, these store closures have ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, the current government has raised income taxes on middle-class families by $800 per year on average, while taxing the wealthiest 1% $4.5 billion less. It has raise...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Liberal plan, pollution is free if it is a large industrial corporation. The Liberals are saying to families, “Don't worry. If you can figure out how to pump 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases out of y...”

Hon. Carla Qualtrough (Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Lib.)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... Speaker, we absolutely understand the impact that work disruption is having on employees and their families. That is why our government has been encouraging both parties to reach a fair deal for ever...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 6th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with the workers, families and communities affected by these store closures.

That transaction was scrutinized to...”

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

November 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ple were severely injured in accidents. We wanted to transfer them quickly and it was difficult for families to make those decisions. They were dealing with the very difficult situation of a loved one...”

Mrs. Deborah Schulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ould not be living if it had not been for her tragedy. Thus, from one family's tragedy, eight other families have been blessed to have their loved ones still with them.

This is a huge gift, not ...”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...s a country.

We have the opportunity to drastically change the lives of individuals and their families.

In a 2016 study, the health committee found that close to 4,500 people were on the w...”

Mr. Matt Jeneroux (Edmonton Riverbend, CPC)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ssue donation can impact more than 70 people. Of course, even more people than that are impacted as families get to keep their loved ones alive longer because of donation. However, only a quarter of Canadians are registered to donate.

Our organ donation rate is among the lowest in the world. Currently, almost 5,000 Canadians are waiting for a transplant on which their lives depend. Sadly, about 260 Canadians lose their lives every year while waiting for a transplant that, sadly, never happens. That is about five deaths per week, or one death about every 30 hours, that could be prevented if they had a viable donor. Ninety per cent of Canadians say that they support organ and tissue donation. However, in practice, less than 20% have actually made plans and registered to donate.

In the past 10 years, the number of deceased organ donors has gone up by 42%. The number of people needing a transplant has also gone up in that time. Therefore, a more effective method is needed in order to increase the size of the organ donor base in Canada. The proposal of the member for Calgary Confederation is so simple and yet so smart. Implementing it could mean a huge increase in the number of organ donations in Canada, and my friend is proposing to add an option on tax revenue forms, where people can declare whether they would like to register to be an organ or tissue donor. If they check yes, their names and information are given to their provincial government and added to an organ donor database.

Almost every Canadian fills out these forms annually. Making registration for organ and tissue donors easier will save more lives. It will be the same process for everyone, no matter what province they live in. There is no need to create new computer and database systems, because the existing system can do that job.

This method will reach the most potential donors at the lowest cost. It will also help identify organ donors when someone dies outside of his or her province of residence. The new system proposed by the member for Calgary Confederation will be more efficient at identifying donors, resulting in more lives being saved.

Earlier this year, our country suffered a horrible tragedy when 15 young men and one young woman from the Humboldt Broncos hockey team died after a bus crash. After that tragedy, there was a spike in the number of people who signed up to become organ donors. I wish it had not taken such an unfortunate accident to encourage people to become organ donors. However, I am glad to see organ donation on the rise.

The current process to register to become an organ donor in my province of Alberta involves going online to put one's name on the organ donation registry. This was spearheaded by the member for Calgary Confederation while he was a member of the legislative assembly, and it is so great to see him work so hard to continue this good work on a national scale here in Parliament.

It is so important to have the registry, and the number of organ donors has risen since it was implemented in 2013, but it is just not front of mind for most people. With so many things going on in our lives, we do not always remember to complete this type of task. Bringing the option of organ donation right to Canadians instead of waiting for Canadians to come to a website will no doubt result in an increase in the number of registered donors in Canada.

Currently, the only proactive approach by governments is to register Canadians via the driver's licence registration process. However, the percentage of Canadians with a driver's licence is dropping in every age category. While young Canadians are our future donors and they have the healthiest organs, less than 70% of 19-year-olds obtain a driver's licence. This indicates a 20% drop from the previous generation.

In Canada, only 1,600 people are added to organ transplant waiting lists each and every year. On top of that, there is also a limited time in which organs can be viable for transplant to a matching donor on the waiting list. It is typically less than a day after death. With the continuous decline of driver's licence registrations, Bill C-316 is a sensible solution to gather more donors, decrease the numbers of Canadian patients on donation wait-lists and, ultimately, save more lives.

Kidney donations are the most common organ transplant in Canada, followed by the liver, lungs and heart. A study done by Canadian Blood Services examining organ transplants between 2006 and 2015 found that transplants benefit both patients and provincial health services. According to the study, “Kidney transplantation is the best therapy for patients with end-stage kidney disease. Compared to dialysis, it can more than double a patient's life expectancy. Although the data in this section speaks primarily to the benefits of kidney transplantation, other types of transplantations, such as lung, heart and liver, are also beneficial.” (1145)

The same study found that transplants can save governments money because of reduced hospital stays. It is estimated that Ontario alone already loses approximately $100 million every year to support the care of those on the waiting list for a donated kidney. The study states:

Liver, heart and lung transplants may also reduce costs for governments. Although there is limited information on the cost avoidance associated with the transplantation of organs other than kidneys, a U.K. report states, “there is some evidence that the care of patients with life-threatening organ failure may involve many days or weeks of in-hospital care, including significant time in intensive care (which is very expensive), that would be avoided if transplantation had taken place.”

It is evident that organ and tissue donation benefits patients, families and taxpayers because of decreased health care costs. However, other countries are far ahead of Canada in terms of successful transplants. As I said earlier, Canada has a low organ donation rate. Figures from 2015 show that only 1% of Canadians who die in hospital donate their organs. We lag behind many other countries, including the United States, in registered donors.

In Europe, many countries have opt-out organ donation systems. This means that all citizens are automatically registered as organ donors and have to deregister themselves if they do not wish to be a donor. It is because of this system that Spain leads the world in the number of registered donors.

However, the system proposed by the member for Calgary Confederation achieves a happy medium. It will reach almost all adult Canadians without being heavy-handed. Canadians do not want the government telling them what to do. With the tax form system, Canadians can decide for themselves what they want to happen to their bodies. This would be a most convenient system for potential donors.

Additionally, it would be practically free to implement, because it would utilize existing documents. This system is economical for taxpayers and would ultimately help to save more lives.

Many of us do not like to think about it, but we never know when or if we will need an organ donation. Our lives could change in an instant. Many families have been put in a position where they have to wait for life-saving organs or tissue to become available. This is an incredibly nerve-racking wait. Often, families do not know whether the donations will come in time.

In Edmonton right now, a young girl from Okotoks is waiting to receive a number of life-saving organs. Thousands of other Canadians are in the exact same situation. The wait is agonizing for these families. I would like us as parliamentarians to do everything we can to decrease the number of families in this situation.

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-316 would be a great amendment to the Canada R...”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... friend and colleague from Jonquière.

Canadians love our military and RCMP veterans and their families. We thank them for their service and sacrifice. However, thanking veterans and their families is not enough. Words must be backed by action, so I am pleased to rise in this place today and put forward this motion. If passed and implemented by the government, the motion will dramatically improve the lives of veterans and their families at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The motion seeks to end the practice of leaving hundreds of millions of dollars unspent each year at Veterans Affairs Canada and instead transfer those dollars to the next year for the sole purpose of improving services for veterans.

While the motion is inherently non-partisan and forward-looking, we must provide some historical background to demonstrate why it is needed.

In the nine years of the Harper Conservative government, more than $1.1 billion of spending that was approved by Parliament for the Department of Veterans Affairs was left unspent. This money was left unspent while the government cut more than 1,000 full-time jobs at Veterans Affairs and closed nine regional offices. The effects of those cuts are still being felt today, as there is a tremendous backlog in the administration of nearly every program and service delivered to veterans through Veterans Affairs.

Canadians were unhappy with this practice among others and voted for change in 2015. Throughout the 2015 election campaign, the Liberals campaigned on ending lapsed spending and improving services at Veterans Affairs Canada. Unfortunately, they have been unable to deliver on either commitment in their government.

In its first three years, the Liberal government has left $372 million unspent at Veterans Affairs and has done so while meeting just 12 of its own 24 service standards for that department.

Some may argue that lapsed spending is nothing more than an administrative issue and that this money is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but New Democrats disagree. Presently the Department of Veterans Affairs employs 2,609 full-time employees across the entire department. Had it chosen to spend the $372 million that was left unspent, the government could have hired over 5,000 more full-time caseworkers instead of the 260 it has done so far. Making use of the lapsed spending in this department could make a real difference in the lives of veterans, especially if it is dedicated solely for the purpose of improving services as prescribed in this motion.

Ending lapsed spending in the department is important, but the motion proposes so much more than that. Passing and implementing it will ensure that each and every one of the 24 service standards at Veterans Affairs are met and do so within the existing operating budget of that department.

What does that mean exactly?

We can view all of the 24 service standards on the Department of Veterans Affairs website, but in real life it means that when veterans or family members call the department for help, they will actually get their calls answered quickly. It means that hundreds of caseworkers, who are so desperately needed, can finally be hired and that the veteran to caseworker ratio will never be more than 25:1 again. It means that those caseworkers will finally be able to clear the backlog of applications for disability benefits and that future applicants will receive their decision in a timely manner.

Indeed, if the motion is passed, it will clear all the backlog for all programs and services at the department: for long-term care applications, for rehabilitation programs, for career transition programs, for earning-loss benefit applications and for the war veterans allowance program. It will mean that if veterans or their families are unhappy with the department's decision to deny them benefits, they will be able to appeal those decisions and receive a resolution quickly.

In short, if the motion is passed, it will mean that we can finally fix the Department of Veterans Affairs once and for all, without spending a dollar more than what is budgeted and approved by Parliament. Carrying forward unspent money at Veterans Affairs and using it to improve services is a no-brainer, but make no mistake. We know that meeting all 24 of the existing service standards is just as difficult as it is important.

However, I was greatly concerned to read in a Globe and Mail article, published on October 9, that a departmental official confirmed that Veterans Affairs was actively working on lowering its service standards instead of trying to meet its current targets. Lowering the service standards at Veterans Affairs is not a solution to these problems and it is not in the best interests of veterans and their families. We can and we must do better.

I am proud that New Democrats were the first to uncover the problem of lapsed spending at Veterans Affairs in 2013 and I am proud to rise today on behalf of New Democrats to offer a solution.

Lapsed spending at Veterans Affairs was first raised in the House by former New Democrat member of Parliament John Rafferty back in 2013. As the Conservatives cut 1,000 jobs and closed nine regional Veterans Affairs, John sought answers on behalf of the constituents of Thunder Bay—Rainy River. Why were they losing their regional office? Why would his constituents be forced to drive to another province to receive face-to-face service from Veterans Affairs? Surely there was $5 million available somewhere at Veterans Affairs that could keep the Thunder Bay and other offices open. (1225)

As usual, John's instincts were correct. He requested a departmental briefing, and during that presentation, a budget line simply titled “lapsed” was discovered.

Veterans Affairs officials confirmed that this money that had been approved by Parliament was left unspent. In the same year the Conservatives were closing nine Veterans Affairs offices to save $5 million, New Democrats found that the department was failing to spend more than $170 million of its approved budget. With $170 million, the government not only could have saved those nine offices, but could have opened hundreds more.

On behalf of New Democrats across Canada, we need to thank John for working so hard on behalf of veterans and his constituents. There is no doubt in my mind that the Thunder Bay Veterans Affairs office was reopened as a direct result of his hard work. Everyone in this place sends him strength, good wishes, and all the best while he fights his health battle right now.

While it is true that the government plans to spend more money in the future, and some benefit levels are increasing for some veterans, the current level of service provided by the department to the same veterans is completely unacceptable. After all, what good will more program spending be for veterans and their families if no one in the department is there to answer their phone call or process their applications. The $10 billion the government talks about will not help anyone if there is no one there to answer the phone.

Finally, I have heard that some in this place believe that the transfer of lapsed spending from one year to the next is prohibited. This is false. In a 2015 report titled, “Why does the government lapse money and why does it matter?”, the Parliamentary Budget Officer wrote:

The Government manages an administrative framework to accommodate the shifting of lapsed funding from one year to the next.

I have a copy of that report in both official languages for tabling at the conclusion of my remarks.

New Democrats have a proud tradition of supporting Canada's veterans. I would also like to thank former NDP MP Peter Stoffer and the current member from London—Fanshawe for their outstanding work on behalf of veterans and their families.

To my colleagues here in all parties, we have a real chance today to do something very special for Canada's veterans. Together, we can finally end lapsed spending at Veteran Affairs, and deliver the high level of service that Canada's veterans and their families need and deserve, and were promised.

I urge my colleagues across political lines to support this motion so that we can all return home and deliver this good news in person to our veterans and their families this Remembrance Week.”

Mr. Francis Drouin (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...'s veterans bravely defend the peace and security we all enjoy. Making sure that veterans and their families have access to the support and services they need when they need them is a major priority for me and for our government. That is why our government committed to do more to support the families of Canadian veterans. That is also why we are keeping our promise.

Veterans Affairs Canada has changed considerably over the past three years. The department is guided by a new vision focused on the general well-being of our courageous Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and their families. Every year, we are putting more money toward programs and benefits for veterans based on their comments and recommendations. We are providing more and better support for veterans and their families. They told us of the need for flexibility, and we incorporated that into many of the programs and benefits we offer.

Every year, Veterans Affairs Canada estimates the number of veterans who will be applying for and receiving program benefits and calculates the amount of money needed accordingly. If fewer veterans use the programs or if fewer benefits are needed in a given year, then the money is returned to the fiscal framework, but never at the expense of a veteran who needs our services. What really matters is that every veteran who is entitled to a benefit receives it, whether we are talking about 10 veterans or 10,000. I think the minister has made that statement several times.

Veterans Affairs Canada is committed to providing flexible programs and services that are able to meet the changing needs of veterans and their families in order to ensure the smoothest transition possible. That is why we have launched a number of new and improved programs this year after consulting the veterans community and stakeholders on what factors contribute to a successful transition.

Family is a recurring theme. I know that we all understand the importance of families to the well-being of veterans. If a soldier becomes sick or injured in the line of duty, families and caregivers become an essential part of the veteran's post-service life.

Consequently, the Minister of Veterans Affairs increased the benefits available to veterans and their families. On April 1, we rolled out eight new and enhanced benefits connected to education, training, financial security, families and well-being. All of these benefits were developed with the well-being of veterans in mind.

I am pleased to say that, so far, the response from veterans has been exceptional. The career transition services were revamped to provide access to more people who have completed basic training. Furthermore, eligibility was expanded to include veterans, their survivors, their spouses and common-law partners, as well as members of the Canadian Armed Forces. They now have access to job search training, career counselling, information on the labour market, and information on the education and training they need to meet their career objectives.

All of these benefits were developed with the help of professionals who understand military culture. We have approved more than 950 applications since April 1.

We have also established a new education and training benefit to help veterans achieve these goals, fulfilling another campaign promise of helping veterans return to school and obtain the education or training of their choosing after their service. Veterans receive funding to attend the college or university of their choice. This new benefit covers up to $40,000 in tuition and other expenses for veterans who served six years and up to $80,000 for those who served up to 12 years. The money can be used to pay for tuition, course materials and living expenses. This is a flexible benefit that includes $5,000 for personal and professional development training. Almost 1,400 applications have been approved to date.

Those are just two of the new initiatives put in place since April 1 of this year. Six other measures were also implemented early in the year to better support members of the Canadian Armed Fores in their transition to civilian life after military service. The numbers speak for themselves. We are in a better position today to meet the needs of veterans and their families than we were in the past.

Leaving military service means big change for service people and their families. We know that community support can help. That is why Veterans Affairs Canada expanded the veteran family program to all 32 military family resource centres to ensure uninterrupted access. Military family resource centres used to be for active military personnel only. Now medically released veterans and their families will have access to military family resource centres across Canada where and when they need support. They will also have access to an information line and www.cafconnection.ca.

We know that when military personnel are on active duty, their families serve as well. That is why family members are part of the equation in developing veterans' rehabilitation plans. Family members can also access counselling and other services if that can help their veteran.

That is also why Veterans Affairs Canada eliminated the time limit for spouses, common-law partners and survivors to apply for its rehabilitation services and vocational assistance program. This change removes unnecessary pressure and provides more flexibility to adapt to post-service life.

Another new initiative is the veterans emergency fund. Now, a veteran or family member can request emergency financial support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After all, emergencies do not just happen from nine to five Monday to Friday. We know that many veterans need our help.

These new benefits are part of an overall well-being package that combines financial recognition of pain and suffering, income replacement, and a host of wellness services and programs to help veterans and their families successfully transition to life after service.

With the pension for life announced by Veterans Affairs Canada, our government's total investment in veterans over three years comes to $10 billion.

The Government of Canada's support for Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and their families starts not at the end of their mission, but at the beginning.

We pledged to make sure they get the respect, support, care and economic opportunities they deserve, and we are delivering on our promise every day. (1255)

That is why we go back to Treasury Board throughout the year to ask for more money to make sure all veterans and their families get the benefits they are entitled to. If there is money left over at the end of the fiscal year, that just means we were prepared to support even more veterans and their families.

We have made a lot of progress on supporting our courageous veterans, and there is still a lot left to do. The government will never stop working to improve the lives of our veterans and their families.”

Mr. Shaun Chen (Scarborough North, Lib.)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...nadians, and that is the well-being of our veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families.

First and foremost, it is important to recognize that we might not be here in this place having this conversation were it not for the sacrifices made exactly 100 years ago during the First World War and the sacrifices made since then all over the world by the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is with that formidable legacy of service and sacrifice in mind that our government is committed to providing all veterans and their families with the services and benefits they need, when they need them.

As the veterans community evolves and expands, so do its needs, hence the required flexibility and demand-driven nature of the programs and services Veterans Affairs Canada provides. Many departments within the government deal with lapsed funding each year. They make estimates on spending, and the money can only be used for the purpose for which it was intended. In other words, this is part of regular operating procedures.

Veterans Affairs Canada, similar to many government departments, faces the challenge of accurately forecasting its variable funding requirements due to the quasi-statutory nature of its programs. This necessitates Treasury Board approval before program funding can be adjusted.

It is very important that Veterans Affairs funding be quasi-statutory. In Canada, the veterans population consists of over 600,000 former Canadian Armed Forces members and their families. The population of ill and injured veterans served by the department is closer to 200,000. Since we stand ready to help any veteran who needs assistance, that 200,000 grows as more and more veterans come forward. Whether 10 or 10,000 more come forward, the funding model allows Veterans Affairs to provide programming and benefits without having to go back to Parliament every single time more resources are needed.

Over 90% of Veterans Affairs programs and benefits are considered quasi-statutory in nature, meaning they meet the definition of being non-discretionary, demand-driven and based on need or eligibility. The amount of this funding is dependent upon the number of clients who apply for benefits and their eligibility for programs. This is what makes it so hard to estimate exact numbers.

It should also be pointed out that over the past three years, 98% of the funds available for these quasi-statutory programs was spent to support veterans and their families with the benefits and services they needed. The remaining 2% represents the flexibility required to ensure sufficient funding within the budgets of each of 26 separate programs to support all veterans who are approved for benefits and services.

These are the very programs at the heart of this department and our government, the very programs that ensure our veterans have access to the services they need, and the very programs that our veterans and their families rely on to live their very best lives.

Nothing called for in this motion is not already being done.

Funds for Veterans Affairs quasi-statutory programs are returned to consolidated revenue and then used again in subsequent years to ensure access to these programs and benefits.

Our government is committed to supporting the health and well-being of our veterans. Just as veterans and their fallen comrades have made sacrifices to preserve our future, our government is committed to protecting them and their future.

That is why we committed almost $10 billion over the last three years to make it easier for the women and men in uniform who have served this great country to access the benefits they deserve.

In 2015, we pledged to make it easier for veterans and their families to access services, to do more to support families, to streamline benefits, to reduce the administrative overhead, to improve the client experience with Veterans Affairs Canada and to help our brave women and men make a successful transition to life after the military. These were ambitious goals, and our government has delivered progress and real change.

A lot of time and money has been spent on establishing new programs and improving existing ones, and now the focus is on service delivery excellence. We know this is an area that requires our utmost attention.

In 2016, we increased the disability award to $360,000, the amount that veterans and the veterans ombudsman said it should have been at for years.

We increased income replacement to 90% of a veteran's pre-release salary.

We expanded access to better address career limitations as a result of illness or injury.

We reopened the nine offices closed by the previous Conservative government and, given the need, we opened a brand new office in Surrey and expanded our outreach to the north to assist underserved communities.

We started the process of hiring more staff after the previous government made cuts, creating an artificial budget surplus.

We established an education and training benefit. We improved the career transition benefits offered to veterans and their families.

We introduced the pension for life, a monthly tax-free payment for life recognizing pain and suffering that resulted from a service-related illness or injury.

The veteran community has told us loud and clear that we need to make it simpler, easier and more user-friendly to access the programs and services provided by the department. They have told us about the effect of the backlog of applications for benefits and services and the time they have had to wait for decisions to be made.

That is why our government has taken concrete measures to improve service delivery, taking the initiative to reach out to veterans and their families to get the information needed to support claims and to explain benefits.

It is also why, with all of these new and enhanced benefits and services and increased efforts to inform veterans of what is available to them, application rates have increased exponentially in recent years. For example, over the past three years there has been a 32% increase in disability benefits applications.

This means veterans are more aware of the benefits they may be eligible for, which is good news. It also means the department needs to add to the capacity to respond and to evaluate those applications in a reasonable amount of time. This will allow them to respond more quickly and with increased flexibility, so that veterans can choose the suite of benefits and services that suit their particular needs.

Many changes have already taken place. Staff now triage claims to ensure that veterans who apply for mental health services receive priority in their evaluation, so that they can receive treatment without any delay.

Through additional staffing and process improvements, the department has been able to increase the number of disability claims processed and allow a larger number of veterans to receive decisions on their applications. For example, 96% of first applications completed for PTSD are approved.

To keep up with the rise in demand and ensure that veterans get services and benefits when they need them, our government is spending $42.8 million over two years, starting in the 2018-19 fiscal year, to improve service delivery at Veterans Affairs Canada.

The increasing number of applications continues to outpace the increase in capacity at the department, so progress is ongoing to hire new employees to help ensure that veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP personnel and their families are provided with the best possible services when and where they need them. (1310)

C...”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ly manner?

When VAC finally communicates to Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and their families using veterans-centric plain language and when it ensures all veterans have a clear understanding of every benefit they qualify for upon release and every benefit they may need to access over time, we will be on the road to succeeding to care more effectively and efficiently for our veterans.

One of the biggest challenges to veterans receiving their benefits is an over-complicated chain of command, where upper management does not embrace change and case managers are not empowered to do what is best for veterans as quickly as possible. There does not appear to be a desire to work with DND to create a seamless transition for our veterans if it means a change to the structure or the composition of VAC.

There continues to be a culture that insists VAC must determine if medical release is due to service before VAC will provide benefits, when DND already makes the determination when a member no longer meets universality of service and is released. Yes, of course future decisions by VAC will need to be made as veterans age. However, upon medical release, there is complete clarity already provided by DND on whether they qualify for services from VAC. It is already there at release.

Timely service and peace of mind for an injured veteran should be the determining factors, not protecting the turf of a department. The truth is that the majority of the cohort of case managers the Liberals claim they have put in place, 400 of those 470, were already budgeted for by the previous Conservative government.

At the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, we heard that case managers were not properly trained and up to speed on veterans benefits. They are overworked, stressed and often feeling helplessly caught between veterans in dismay and those up the chain of command. VAC needs to stop operating like an insurance program.

VAC needs to be transparent in what it is actually providing to veterans. Today, we heard one of the members of the Liberal Party talk about the education benefit, $40,000 for someone who has served for six years and $80,000 for someone who has served for 12 years. Unfortunately, that is not a transparent presentation to veterans or Canadians because those funds are a taxable benefit. (1330)

Therefore, when veterans think they are going to get $40,000 to go to school, at the end of the year they find out that it is a taxable benefit and they owe the government in taxes. I wonder if the government has come to any decision as to how much of that benefit it hands out is actually clawed back and how much it gets back through taxes from our veterans. It is misleading.

As well, the member across the way said that with the education benefit, veterans would get to go to the school of their choice. I have been approached by many veterans who wanted to take advantage of that program. One of them was actually okayed to go ahead and registered with the institution. The veteran then heard back through the case manager that the people higher up did not think the school qualified. It was devastating.

As well, the member across the way said that the emergency funds were available 24/7. What he is saying is that people can call in 24/7, but he did not tell truthfully how long it took for the department to actually get those funds out the door to a veteran who was in an emergency crisis situation. Our committee should take a look at that.

Under no circumstances should the men and women who have served and have come home physically or mentally injured find themselves fighting for benefits they were told would be there for them and their families when they signed on, willing to die for their country.

The minister has indicated on ...”

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...then the money goes back to the Treasury Board and is not spent. Veterans are ripped off, and their families are ripped off.

We have an opportunity in this House to do something right, to say th...”

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

November 5th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ithin that range will benefit from more accurate weather warnings. That will enable individuals and families to quickly take appropriate action when bad weather is forecast, including planning related...”

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...en.

Trump's unjustified tariffs are having a devastating impact on Canadian workers and their families. No wonder Mexico announced that it would not sign the deal until the tariffs on its worker...”

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

November 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...he same time. I am proud that we have implemented a price on pollution that will leave middle-class families better off.

If there is a nightmare, it is going to be during the next campaign when ...”

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

November 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... they pay a price on pollution.

Stephen Harper's former director of policy has indicated that families can expect to be better off. Doug Ford's chief budget adviser has advocated on behalf of putting a price on pollution. Even Stephen Harper back in 2008 suggested that the plan going forward should involve an effective price of $65 a tonne. The fact is that families will be left better off under our plan and it is—”

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

November 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... protect the environment includes putting a price on pollution. This is going to leave middle-class families better off.

If members do not believe me, they can look to Stephen Harper's former director of policy. They can look to Doug Ford's chief budget adviser. They can look to the Noble prize winner in economics from this year. The fact is that we are moving forward with a plan that will protect our environment and leave families better off.

I am disappointed that the Conservatives want to take money from their co...”

Hon. Bill Blair (Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Lib.)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... asylum.

It is also a good opportunity to remind all Canadians who these people are. They are families with children. Almost half of them are children. They are thoroughly vetted by the RCMP to ...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...aker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question.

Our thoughts are with the workers, families and communities affected by these store closures. We are always concerned when we hear abou...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...stand the concern raised by the member opposite. Of course, our hearts go out to the workers, their families, and the communities impacted by these store closures. We are always concerned and always r...”

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Lib.)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with the workers, their families and the communities impacted by these store closures. We are always concerned any time we h...”

Hon. Hunter Tootoo (Nunavut, Ind.)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker,

[Member spoke in Inuktitut]

My question is for the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. This is in follow-up to my question last week. I do not b...”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

November 5th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... of the lake due to the uncontrolled outflow of water. It is affecting businesses, the environment, families and the future of the lake.

Being that the uncontrolled outflow of water on Round Lak...”

Ms. Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ur government knows that Canadians are working hard to build a better life for themselves and their families. Some low-income Canadians are working two or three jobs. They work really hard. Like all Canadians, these workers deserve to be rewarded for their hard work with a fair chance to succeed.

With budget 2018, our government took a step in that direction. This is one more step towards growing our economy in a way that benefits the middle class and those working hard to join it.

In its most recent budget, our government introduced the new Canada workers benefit, which will come into force in 2019. It is an enhanced version of the working income tax benefit.

This new benefit will put more money in the pockets of low-income workers. It will not only increase benefits for those who received it for their employment income, but also expand the income range to make more workers eligible. For example, with this new benefit, a low-income worker who earns $15,000 per year will collect up to $500 more in benefits in 2019 than in 2018.

That is the kind of real help that will benefit over two million Canadians. Most importantly, we believe this measure will lift about 74,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2020. That is not all. In budget 2018, our government also increased the maximum benefit provided through the Canada workers benefit disability supplement by an additional $160 to offer greater support to Canadians with disabilities who face financial barriers to entering the workforce.

This benefit will also be issued automatically, which is good news.

However, it is possible to do even better. The bill that we are discussing today will make it easier for workers to access the benefits they are entitled to, as our government promised in the last budget.

Accordingly, the bill proposes to make changes that will allow the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the benefit for any taxpayers who did not apply for it on their income tax return.

It is not a problem if people forget or fail to complete the benefit schedule of their income tax return. The Canada Revenue Agency will still do the calculation. If the person is entitled to the Canada workers benefit, he or she will receive it. Thanks to the CRA's new automatic enrolment system, as of 2019, all those who are entitled to the Canada workers benefit will receive it, whether they applied for it or not. That is very good news for Canadians.

In closing, I would like to point out that this is not the only good news. The Canada workers benefit is just one of many measures to help those who need it most.

There is also the Canada child benefit, a key initiative for strengthening the middle class. Thanks to this measure, nine in 10 families now have more money in their pockets. Over three million Canadian families are entitled to over $23 billion in annual payments. (1010)

This money will help them give their children a good start in life by providing them a safe environment, healthy food, and the opportunity to participate in recreational activities such as music and sports.

The Canada child benefit has helped lift more than half a million people in Canada, including more than 300,000 children, out of poverty. In addition, this benefit has been indexed to cost-of-living increases since July, two years sooner than initially planned.

Another measure is the increase in the guaranteed income supplement for seniors living alone. This increase improves the financial security of nearly 900,000 Canadian seniors, 70% of whom are women. This measure is very much appreciated in my riding, Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

These are excellent examples of smart, responsible investments made by the Government of Canada in the interest of families, communities and the economy. These investments leave more money in the hands of those who ...”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“Madam Speaker, I listened carefully as my colleague talked about poverty, families and children, yet there are still 1.2 million children living in poverty in Canada, and 38% of aboriginal children live in poverty. Those statistics have not changed in 10 years. Once again this year, statistics show that, despite the Canada child benefit, there are still 1.2 million children living in poverty. We know everything that has been announced, but we need more than just half-measures to give families the help they need.

As a member from Quebec, my colleague knows very well that a universal, affordable child care program is the solution to help families. We can give them $2,000, but if they have to pay $60 a day for child care, what is the poi...”

Ms. Linda Lapointe

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ed annually to the cost of living. That is two years earlier than planned.

Some three million families are receiving $23 billion in annual benefit payments. This is already helping Canadian families immensely. Our economy is doing well. We have created 500,000 jobs in the last three years. Unemployment has never been so low. The economy is doing well.

I am sympathetic to what my colleague is saying. We are fortunate in Quebec to have more affordable child care, but the Canada child benefit is a measure that is having an impact on all Canadian families.”

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... social initiatives ever taken by any government was the Canada child benefit, where nine out of 10 families with children will benefit. Those who need it most get the most. For my riding of Scarborough—Guildwood, which I have the honour to represent, that means $100 million a year. A lot of kids are growing up in Scarborough—Guildwood and there are also a lot of poor families in Scarborough—Guildwood. The combination of the two means that benefit is of real significance to those families.

That means there is money ending up where we want it to end up, mainly in the hands ...”

Mr. Martin Shields (Bow River, CPC)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...e to finance its massive deficit spending. It will cost people more to heat their homes, feed their families and fill their gas tanks, and it will have a devastating impact on the agricultural sector....”

Ms. Kate Young (London West, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...iolence and respect for women and girls. This month, let us stand in solidarity with victims, their families and loved ones and recognize their courage and survival.”

Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ockets, increasing mental health supports, delivering on the promises we made to veterans and their families.”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...putting a price on pollution that is going to actually see polluters pay more and make middle-class families better off.

I am curious when the Conservatives are actually going to come up with th...”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ne by 2022. This is going to have the impact of putting more money into the pockets of middle-class families.

I am extraordinarily disappointed that the Conservatives seem committed to campaign ...”

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

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... provinces where it is collected and it is going to put more money into the pockets of middle-class families.

One final time, I am pleased to share that I am disappointed that the Conservatives ...”

Hon. Carla Qualtrough (Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...m Speaker, we understand absolutely the impact the work disruption is having on employees and their families. That is why our government has been encouraging both sides to reach a fair agreement as so...”

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Madam Speaker, all members of the House share the deep angst of the families who have tragically lost children to crime. That is why I asked for a thorough review by th...”

Ms. Pam Damoff (Oakville North—Burlington, Lib.)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...fford has gone through or any family that has lost a child in this manner. My heart goes out to all families who have lost children to crime.

I will start by discussing Bill C-83 and some concer...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

November 2nd
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... to make a positive impact on not only the lives of people living with episodic diseases, but their families as well. This motion would also bring about much needed awareness about episodic diseases. As I have learned after listening to my colleague, MS is not the only disease classified as episodic. The list includes diabetes, epilepsy and cancer. Awareness is an important step in finding a cure.

In June of this year, the government tabled Bill C-81, an act to ensure a barrier-free Canada. Although it offers some help to strengthen support for Canadians with disabilities, it will take time to pass, and time is critical to people living with these terrible diseases. We are waiting for what amendments would be added moving forward, but welcome amendments that would address the needs of those affected by episodic diseases.

Private members' Motion No. 192 will offer parliamentarians a perspective on how people with episodic disabilities live their lives, and how their families are affected by these diseases. MS alone affects 77,000 Canadians, which is one in 385 Canadians. Every 77 seconds, someone is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in Canada. It is surprising to know Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world. It is often referred to as “Canada's Disease”. Sixty per cent of adults diagnosed are between the ages of 20 and 49, and women are three times more likely to be diagnosed than men and MS, along with all other episodic diseases, has a lasting impact on the lives of so many.

In my riding of Barrie—lnnisfil, my constituents have taken leadership in the fight against MS. The Mandarin MS Walk is one of the largest walks in the country, bringing together hundreds of participants and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. This year alone, it raised $200,000. I am very pleased to have attended this year's event, as I do every year with my colleague from Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte

This past weekend, I was at a fundraiser and bought this band at the Two of a Kind Craft Market put on by the Simcoe Muskoka chapter of the MS Society of Canada. It is simply amazing to see what the constituents in my riding are doing, and their leadership should not go unnoticed. It is why I have taken the time to mention them today. The time spent and money raised by these initiatives are proof that Canadians are taking action, and so should their parliamentarians.

Now, besides recognizing that episodic diseases take a toll on a person's body, we must remember that these diseases also take a toll on the lives of family members and their way of life. Many of those living with these diseases and their families are treated differently. Finding work is hard due to the unpredictability of the disease. Access to resources such as student assistance and apprenticeship programs is hampered, and supports for families are minimal at this time.

Private member's Motion No. 192 is an opportunity to right ...”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“..., our elected officials, constituents, party members and supporters, I thank our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. Canada's very existence as a thriving free and inclusive society is thanks to their service and sacrifice. Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Amiens, Canada's 100 days, are words and events that every Canadian should know and remember.

More than 650,000 Canadian men and women served in uniform during the First World War. More than 172,000 of them were wounded and more than 66,000 gave their lives. It is hard to imagine the enormous struggle and burden carried forward by surviving veterans who were expected to reintegrate into our society while suffering from various physical, emotional and psychological challenges for which diagnosis and treatment were simply not available. The families: The loss of parents, children, siblings, cousins and other kin and the love and devotion they gave survivors was the burden carried by families on our behalf.

In addition to the First World War, we also take this time each year to remember the service and sacrifice of other veterans and families who have selflessly defended our country and our interests in many conflicts and operations: the South African or Boer War, the Korean War, the Second World War, the Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan, the ongoing battle against ISIL, and the numerous NATO and United Nations peacekeeping operations. Of course, I also thank all of our women and men in uniform who diligently stand on guard for our country at home and abroad in peacetime each and every day.

For our part, New Democrats remain committed to improving the lives of Canada's veterans. We see our work for veterans as having three important aspects: communicating with veterans, their families and their advocates to find the most appropriate ways our government can honour their service and serve them moving forward; proposing ideas and policies that will honour their service and sacrifice and provide them with the care and love they deserve; and working with all parties in this place to enact effective legislation and hold our government to account should it fail to meet its sacred obligation to our veterans and their families.

I would also like to mention some specific injustices and work that must be tackled by parliamentarians for our veterans and their families as we move forward. This place and our assembled committees should commit to studying the possible side effects that exposure to mefloquine and related drugs may have had, and could have, on the quality of life of veterans and their families. Homelessness is an enormous social injustice that we must commit to ending, but particular...”

Ms. Monique Pauzé (Repentigny, BQ)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...ar ended 100 years ago. So many young lives were destroyed, so many people were injured and so many families were torn apart forever. It was a horrible war, and very little consideration was shown for human life. Our soldiers served in some of the worst conditions imaginable, and now we are fortunate to be able to live comfortably, something that we too often take for granted.

The main lesson to be learned from that conflict was a popular refrain at the time: never again. That is really what everyone hoped for, and why the League of Nations, the predecessor to the United Nations, was created. It was meant to open dialogue and find ways to prevent future conflicts.

Thanks to the sacrifices made by our soldiers and by all of our citizens, we came to value and appreciate peace. Their sacrifices are what taught us to value human life.

Unfortunately, other conflicts followed and tore so many lives apart, specifically during the Second World War, the Korean War, various peacekeeping missions we have been involved in, and more recently, the conflict in Afghanistan and the fight against ISIS in Iraq.

This week is an opportunity for us to say thank you to all those who gave their lives and all those who served in any conflict or in any Canadian Armed Forces mission to defend our freedom. This week also serves as a reminder for us as legislators that it is our duty to do everything in our power to prevent the events of the last century from happening again.

We must also do everything in our power to support our veterans in their hardships. We know that the problems are many. We are talking about an alarming suicide rate, mental heath problems, homelessness, addictions and the list goes on. We need to be there for them and help them in any way we can.

Veterans' Week is also an opportunity to thank the families of veterans and of all those currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. They are often forgotten, but the families of soldiers suffer greatly when their father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister is s...”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e government's main achievements to date.

We instituted a new support system to help Canadian families with the high cost of raising children. The Canada child benefit is simpler, more generous, tax-free and better targeted than the former benefit system, and it has helped nine out of 10 families get ahead.

The Canada child benefit provides even more financial assistance to the low- and middle-income families who need it most, which is in line with our commitment to offer all Canadians equal opportunities to succeed. Single-parent families account for about 65% of recipients who receive the maximum Canada child benefit amount, and over 90% of these families are led by single mothers.

I calculated what my mother would have received when she was raising me and my brother as a single mother, and it would have made her cry to see how generous the benefit was and to see what an incredible difference it would have made in our lives, in the same way it is making a huge difference in the lives of many Canadians. The difference is noticeable in my riding and in local Saint Vincent de Paul shops, because our approach is much more progressive than the former government's program, which sent cheques to millionaires' families.

In budget 2018, the government also introduced measures to index the Canada child benefit to the cost of living as of July 2018, two years earlier than planned.

From day one, our focus has been on strengthening the middle class and economic growth. To help Canadians keep more of their hard-earned money and use it as they see fit, one of the first things the government did upon taking office was cut taxes for the middle class, a move that is helping over nine million Canadians.

A typical middle-class family of four will receive about $2,000 more each year as a result of the middle-class tax cut and the Canada child benefit.

For single-parent average-income households with two children, or for families with two children where only one parent is earning an average income, the benefits are even more significant. When the tax-free Canada child benefit and other benefits are added to family income, those families pay effective personal tax rates of less than 2%, which means they keep more than 98% of what they earn.

Because of these changes, more families will be able to pay for things like healthy food, back-to-school clothes and new winter boots for growing kids.

These are changes that will actually improve the lives of children and parents across the country. (1120) [English]

Since 2015, the government has made historic investments to support our communities in infrastructure, innovation, science and research.

The government has also secured new and modernized trade agreements. In fact, we are the only G7 country to have trade agreements with every other G7 country. The recently negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada agreement, UMCA, will give those in the business community the confidence they need to continue to invest in Canada. They can rest assured that this critically vital trading relationship is safe and secure.

With all of these measures in place, it is no wonder that the economic picture at home is encouraging. Our economy is strong and growing. Our economic growth, which stood at 3% in 2017, was the highest in the G7, and we expect to stay among the fastest-growing economies this year and next.

On another good news front, thanks to the hard work of Canadians, the past three years have seen the creation of more than half a million new full-time jobs. These new jobs have pushed the unemployment rates to nearly 40-year lows.

There is yet more good news on wage growth. For the average Canadian worker, wage growth is outpacing inflation. In fact, if current trends hold, 2018 could mark one of the strongest years of wage growth since the great recession of 2008-2009.

With more money in their pockets, Canadian consumers have a reason to feel confident about their financial situation. Consumer confidence is near historic highs. This is not only the case with individual Canadians, but also for the companies they run.

After-tax profits for Canadian businesses have nearly doubled since 2015. This means that companies have more money available to invest, to create good new jobs and to spur economic growth.

This positive outlook reflects Canada's many competitive strengths. Some of these strengths are our highly-skilled labour force, preferential access to global markets and a strong research and start-up capacity in emerging fields. We know that keeping and expending these strength demands government policies that keep the focus squarely on people and give every Canadians the means to contribute fully to our society and our economy.

The second budget implementation act before us is intended to implement items from budget 2018 that put people first. By passing the measures in this bill, we will take further steps to invest in Canadians, grow the middle class and help those working hard to join it. Through this bill, more people will have an opportunity to succeed.[Translation]

This bill includes an important measure to stimulate economic growth, namely the new Canada workers benefit, or CWB.

Starting in 2019, the new CWB will represent an improved version of the current working income tax benefit. The CWB is designed to encourage more people to enter the workforce and to help more than two million Canadians who are working hard to join the middle class.

With increased maximum benefits, the new CWB will provide even more support to the people who receive it. In addition, the CWB's expanded eligible income range will ensure that more workers are entitled to it.

Under the new CWB, a low-income worker who earns $15,000 annually could get almost $500 more in benefits in 2019 than she is getting this year. That amount of money can really change things for many Canadians.

Starting in 2019, the government also plans to improve how this support is distributed by allowing the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the benefit amount for all tax filers who did not apply for the benefit. Automatic payment of the benefit to eligible tax filers is a measure that would be particularly useful for people with limited mobility, those who live far from points of service and those who do not have Internet access.

It is estimated that, as a result of this measure, an additional 300,000 low-income workers will receive the new CWB for the 2019 tax year. Overall, improvements to the new CWB will lift approximately 70,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2020.

I would now like to talk about another main component of this bill, and that is greater equality. Although Canadian women are among the most educated in the world, they are less likely to participate in the labour force than men and are more likely to work part time. Canadian women are often called upon to meet unpaid work demands, which prevents them from pursuing opportunities that would help them reach their full potential.

What is more, the under-representation of women in leadership positions remains a reality. The vast majority of Canadian businesses are run by men. It goes without saying that our economy is not operating at full capacity when the women who want to participate in it and hold leadership positions cannot do so.

For us, it is clear that gender equality would benefit everyone. The participation of women in the labour market has been one of the strongest sources of economic growth in recent decades. Over the past 40 years, the increased number of women in the labour market accounted for approximately one-third of real per capita GDP growth in Canada. Higher female workforce participation rates have also increased household incomes and helped families move into the middle class.

However, there are still far too many missed opportunities because of the gender gap. There are many factors that contribute to that gap, but taking action to close it is not just the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to strengthen the middle class and grow Canada's economy. (1125)

According to RBC Economics, if the labour force participation rates of women and men were equal, Canada's GDP could see a boost of as much as 4%. That would be enough to partially offset the impacts of an aging population.

Our government recognizes the essential role of gender equality in building a strong economy that benefits everyone. That is why we are committed to developing budgets taking into account the fact that the choices made and policies adopted affect different people in different ways. Reviewing proposed budget measures from a gendered lens is one way to ensure a more equitable and efficient use of government resources.

In order to ensure that this is achieved immediately, the bill before us today enacts legislation to promote gender budgeting. This measure will ensure that government policies to advance gender equality and inclusion are not just an option but rather a requirement in the preparation of future federal budgets. Since rules are not enough to bring about real change, this legislation also introduces reporting requirements to ensure proper accountability.

There is also another way in which this bill would foster opportunities for women and men and help all Canadians realize their potential and fully participate in the economy. For most Canadians, the best time to start a family coincides with the parents' prime career-building years. Right now, new parents can use EI benefits to ensure their financial security while they are taking time off from work to care for their children. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that the burden of child care still falls disproportionately on women. We know that women and families are better off when parental responsibilities are divided more equally. That is why the government wants to make the EI system more flexible and encourage a more balanced sharing of responsibilities, so that both parents get to spend time with their young children while pursuing careers.

To support young families and promote gender equality at work and at home, the act proposes a new EI parental sharing benefit that will encourage a more balanced sharing of family and work responsibilities by providing five additional weeks of benefits in cases where both parents agree to share their parental leave. This period will be extended to eight weeks if the parents opt for extended parental benefits. This optional incentive will encourage the second parent in two-parent families to share equally in parenting responsibilities. New mothers will have more flexibility to return to work sooner if they wish. Equitable parental leave could lead to fairer hiring practices, which would reduce conscious or unconscious discrimination against women by employers.

In budget 2018, the government took an innovative approach to the systemic undervaluation of women by announcing legislation to reduce the gender wage gap in federally-regulated workplaces. This legislation is included in the bill we are debating today. Requiring equal pay for work of equal value is an effective means of reducing the gender wage gap, promoting an improvement in women's gains and increasing women's contribution to the economy. That is why the government is now introducing pay equity legislation for federally-regulated sectors.

The new pay equity act, which will apply to approximately 1.2 million Canadian employees, requires federal public and private sector employers that have 10 or more employees to establish and maintain a pay equity plan. This plan would identify and correct differences in compensation between men and women for work of equal value. The legislation also establishes a pay equity commissioner who will report annually to Parliament on the administration of the act to ensure it has a real impact. The commissioner's role in facilitating dispute resolution, conducting compliance audits and imposing monetary penalties for violations of the act will ensure enforcement and proper accountability. (1130) [English]

A last major aspect of the second budget implementation act is the steps it takes to protect our environment. Canadians know that polluting is not free. Costs are paid with droughts, floods, wildfires and our health. Canadians expect polluters to pay, because it is the right thing to do for future generations.

Climate change is expected to cost our economy $5 billion a year by 2020. Simply put, if we are to reduce the greenhouse gases causing climate change, pollution can no longer be free in this country. To act otherwise would be a betrayal of our responsibilities as federal lawmakers and a betrayal of future generations of Canadians, and I would argue, of my generation.

Putting a price on pollution is central to the government's plan to fight climate change while growing the economy and building a brighter future for all Canadians. Pricing pollution is the most effective way to reduce emissions, because it creates incentives for businesses and households to make cleaner choices and find innovative solutions.

This act legislates a pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution with the aim of having pollution pricing in place in all provinces and territories in 2019. As part of this plan, the government has established a Canada-wide federal standard for reducing pollution and has given provinces and territories the flexibility to choose a system that meets this standard and that works best for them.

Furthermore, all proceeds from pollution pricing from jurisdictions that have signed on to the federal system will be returned directly to the government of these jurisdictions. In provinces that have not committed to pricing carbon pollution, the federal government will return the bulk of direct proceeds directly to individuals and families residing in those provinces through climate action incentive payments. For most households,...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...hold debt. I would encourage him to read the study the OECD published this summer, which shows that families in Canada are taxed less than in any other G7 country and that, by this time next year, they will have $2,000 more in their pockets than they had under the previous government. That is because of steps our government has taken, some of which are in this bill. Our government cut taxes for the middle class. We made the Canada child benefit more generous and more progressive. That is having a major impact on Canadian families because it means they have more money left at the end of the month to buy the things families need.

In that respect, I think anyone who compares our record of the past three years...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nt, but we have asked why the Liberals have not provided the same exemption to small businesses, to families and to others. We still do not have an answer to that question. Of course, that is the high-tax hypocrisy. We have again the three steps of every single tax increase: insult, tax hike and then high-tax hypocrisy. Those are the three steps that we can count on the Liberal government engaging in every single time it wants more of Canadians' money.

What motivates this three-step approach to increase taxes? The answer is it is to fund out-of-control Liberal spending.

Spending has grown at 7% a year since the Liberals took office. That is about three times the combined rate of inflation and population growth, depending on the year. In other words, spending is vastly outpacing the need. Those 7% a year spending increases have to come from somewhere. The government has to source that revenue. It started to do so by borrowing. The government's deficit is three times what the Prime Minister promised. Instead of balancing the budget next year, as the Prime Minister promised while putting his hand on heart during the election campaign and saying it would be gone, now Finance Canada says the deficit will continue until the year 2045, under which plan, the debt will grow by nearly half a trillion dollars until then.

This is all happening in a time when the government's own documents admit it has been the beneficiary of enormous short-term good luck. In the government's annual report, which came out about two weeks ago, the government admits that its revenue is higher by about $20 billion because of factors outside of the government's control: record low interest rates, higher than usual oil prices, a booming U.S. economy, a stronger than normal world economy, a housing bubble, which is slowly coming to an end in Toronto and Vancouver, all of which generate more revenue for the government. In other words, good fortune has fallen out of the sky onto the government's lap. The Liberals admit that in their own financial documents.

If they have an out-of-control deficit that is three times the size they promised in times of good fortune, how big will the deficit become when the luck runs out? The Liberals have not answered that question. I have asked the finance minister, at times painfully, 14, 15, 16 times in one committee session, when the budget will be balanced. He utterly refuses to answer. The Liberals have not told us under what conditions would a government ever balance a budget.

It does not matter what one's economic philosophy is, everyone agrees that there should be some point in the business cycle when the budget is balanced. I believe we should ascribe to have a balanced budget all the time, but even if one is a Keynesian economist, one ought to believe that at least when the world economy is roaring and commodity prices are high and interest rates are low, at that point in an economic cycle, for God's sake, the government ought to have a surplus to squirrel away for when times turn bad. However, even under that Keynesian thinking, the government is not living up to the obligation to balance the budget when times are good.

What are the consequences of having these massive deficits? The answer is that, in the short run, we start to pay higher interest costs. The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that by the year 2023, our expenditure on debt interest will go from about $24 billion to $40 billion, a two-thirds increase in about half a decade. This means we will be spending more on debt interest than we currently spend on health care transfers. That means more money for bankers and less money for doctors and nurses. Canadians will pay taxes to get nothing in return except to pay off the wealthy and privileged bond holders and bankers that lent us the money and therefore own our future tax receipts. (1155)

When I ask residents of my riding what they want their tax dollars spent on, they say roads, hospitals and other essential services that allow them to live their lives. They never tell me that they want to spend it on enriching bankers and bond holders. That is exactly the consequence of government decisions to pile up new and unnecessary debt on the current generation and on generations yet unborn.

That is the immediate consequence of higher spending, but there is the medium-term consequence which of course is higher taxes. Those consequences are already starting to become known. Middle-class Canadians are already paying $800 more in income tax than they were when the Prime Minister took office.

As I said earlier, small businesses are paying higher taxes to support the government's spending habit with new penalties for saving within their companies or for sharing income and work with family members. Those tax increases are in addition to the new ones that take effect on January 1, that is, higher payroll taxes for workers and small businesses and of course the carbon tax itself. Deficits today mean higher taxes tomorrow. That is exactly what the government is delivering, both higher taxes and deficits at the same time.

That is the underlying motivation for the three-step Liberal process for raising taxes. We will see it again and it will not be long. Soon there will be another billing which the Liberals will actually give a name to. They call moms and grandmothers polluters. They call small business people tax cheats. They call people who put their children in sports or who take the bus wealthy. Then they proceed, after having demonized those patriotic Canadians, to raise their taxes.

The last step is always to look at the fine print and how much the Prime Minister will have to pay for this tax increase. Oh, he will pay nothing. How convenient. Of course, we could not possibly allow a multi-millionaire trust fund recipient to have to bear any extra burden at all. Life is already too tough living in a government-funded mansion with government-funded nanny services. He and his friends and those who have influence on him are always protected from the costs that they impose on middle-class Canadians.

I propose a different three-step plan: first, control spending; second, balance the budget; and third, lower taxes for all Canadians. That sounds like a three-step plan we can all get behind.

On that optimistic and exciting note, I move:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: “the House decline to give second reading to Bill C-86, a second act to implement certain provisions in the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018, and other measures, since the Bill fails to address the fact that deficits are three times what the Prime Minister promised, that the Department of Finance admits that the budget will not be balanced until 2045, and that the average income tax bill for middle-class families has increased by $800, not including new carbon taxes and payroll tax hikes.”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... tax credit did little to increase participation and tended to disproportionately benefit wealthier families. Income-splitting similarly resulted in high-income households receiving more than low-income families.

I do not know if the member has been through that, but I have. I was raised by a sin...”

Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Battle River—Crowfoot, CPC)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ets, it was very obvious by every one of those budgets that we were making life more affordable for families and seniors. We were making life more affordable for businesses, as we lowered taxes and cr...”

Mr. Joël Lightbound

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... put into their TFSAs. I wonder what the number was.

This summer, the OECD said that Canadian families were the lowest taxed in the G7 and that by this time next year, they would have $2,000 more in their pockets than they had under the previous government.

The member keeps quoting a study by the Fraser Institute that fails to take into account the Canada child benefit, the authors of which say that the CCB is a transfer program that fosters dependence on government, a disincentive to hard work and independence. People in my riding who are receiving the Canada child benefit are working very hard. They are not dependent on the government, but they find the benefit very useful in making ends meet and in raising their families. Does the member agree with that statement and will he stop failing to take account of the ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... to put aside their money in a way that shelters it from high taxes by big government.

As for families, the previous Conservative government cut taxes by $30 billion, which the Parliamentary Bud...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...eatest housing and homelessness crisis we have seen in our country's history. Seniors, students and families are not able to keep a roof over their heads because the price of housing has soared, and the federal government, since the elimination of the national housing program, has done nothing to build housing, to put roofs over people's heads, so that families can settle in, feel comfortable and not have to feel they have to struggle between paying f...”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...d the situation is.

My colleague talked a lot about the challenges facing Canadian and Quebec families, such as debt and housing problems, but another thing missing from the Liberal program is a...”

Mr. Peter Julian

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...hat they spent a billion dollars on CRA. The reality is that this money went to going after regular families to take away their benefits and going after people with disabilities who were accessing the...”

Mr. Shaun Chen (Scarborough North, Lib.)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...o exactly that.

In my multicultural riding of Scarborough North, hard-working individuals and families are benefiting from the programs and initiatives our government has introduced. Let me share the story of the Zhang family.

A proud mom and dad who recently immigrated to Canada to build a better life and a brighter future for their children came to visit me in my constituency office, along with their newborn baby girl. The Zhang family can rest assured that their daughter will be supported by the Canada child benefit, money that can be used to help pay for such baby essentials as diapers and clothing. Indeed, since our government introduced the Canada child benefit, over 300,000 children across this great country have been lifted out of poverty.

The 2018 budget would ensure that families such as the Zhangs would continue to receive adequate assistance through the Canada child b...”

Mr. Shaun Chen

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ented growth among G7 countries. We will continue to fight hard and do good for Canadians and their families.”

Ms. Pam Damoff (Oakville North—Burlington, Lib.)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ur economy grows. Measures like the Canada child benefit, or CCB, mean that nine out of 10 Canadian families have more money to help them with the high cost of raising children. Even more importantly, the CCB has helped to lift more than half a million people, including 300,000 children, out of poverty. The CCB, which is targeted to middle-class families and those working hard to join the middle class, is simpler, tax free and more generous than previous child benefit programs.

In fact, residents in Oakville North—Burlington have received payments helping 25,670 children with an average yearly payment of $4,930. The CCB has put over $70 million into the north Oakville and north Burlington economies in the past year and over $245 million into the Halton economy. Not only is that money helping families, it is also growing the economy and creating jobs in the community.

Another critical step we have taken to reduce poverty was the national housing strategy, a 10-year, $40-billion national housing strategy aimed at reducing homelessness and improving the availability and quality of housing in Canada. Over the next 10 years, the strategy, which will be funded jointly by the federal, provincial and territorial governments, will help reduce homelessness and the number of families living with housing needs and strengthen the middle class.

People think that my commu...”

Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Battle River—Crowfoot, CPC)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ed to increase its program spending.

Why has such grave concern been expressed about the many families across the country who are unable to balance their household budgets and are accumulating d...”

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...on scheme”. He wrote:

It certainly will take money from consumers, businesses and high-income families and reallocate it to others using tax rebates (minus, of course, the cost of administration, which is never zero). But it’s so much more irrational than that. More accurately, it’s a plan to raise business costs and give imports an advantage at the very moment that our economy is already burdened by a tax regime judged far less attractive than those of our economic competitors, using levies that economists agree are too low to seriously affect emissions but are enough to harm the economy.

Using the concern Canadians have for the environment as cover for the Liberals' wacky left-wing wealth redistribution scheme failed Ontario. Phony concern for the environment will be exposed this time also. Canadians are smart. They know a tax grab when they see one. Contrary to claims being made about the new carbon tax being revenue neutral, Canadians are not fooled by that nose stretcher.

The federal carbon-taxing system sets out two mechanisms for taxing carbon: one, a charge on fossil fuels for fuel producers, distributors and importers, and two, an output-based pricing system for industrial facilities. Fuel charges specific to each type of fuel, including gasoline, aviation fuel, natural gas, coal and combustible waste, among others, are meant to reflect a carbon pollution price of $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019, rising by $10 per tonne every year to reach a total of $50 per tonne in 2022. For example, a carbon price of 4.42¢ per litre would apply to gasoline as of April 2019, and would rise to 11.05¢ per litre by April 2022. Taxes on fuel for home heating and for transportation are examples of direct taxes.

While the government has indicated that 80% or 90% of the direct carbon taxes collected may trickle back to the households as a re-election bribe with the other 10% or 20% handed out as exemptions to others hard hit by the new carbon tax, what is not accounted for are the indirect carbon taxes. The HST that would be added to the carbon tax is an example of an indirect tax. These indirect carbon taxes, which represent about 70% of the new carbon tax revenue that would be collected, would increase the cost of other consumables by about $522 per household. Therefore, while the election bribe may return an amount of what has been paid by families directly, Canadians would get nailed by the hidden taxes, which are more difficult to calculate. (1330)

For taxpayers in Ontario, they have seen this story before with electricity prices. First, Ontario ratepayers were told that huge increases in the price of electricity were necessary to pay the owners of industrial wind turbines, who just happen to have close political ties to the Liberal Party. These taxpayers were told it was necessary to stop man-made global warming, or I mean climate change, or is it pollution, or whatever other label the Liberal Party thinks will fool people. Then the carbon tax that was added onto Ontario ratepayers' electricity bills was given a misleading title of “global adjustment” to fool some gullible consumers that somehow this amount was not just another tax. With this, the Liberal Party proceeded to increase the carbon tax on electricity, ending up in a new term being coined in Ontario of “energy poverty”.

Ontario is now burdened by some of the highest power rates of any jurisdiction in North America, throwing households into energy poverty and forcing industries to close shop or move to the United States. Ontario taxpayers have been suffering with carbon taxes for years.

This week, in my riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Sandvik Materials Technology in Arnprior announced it will be closing its doors and moving production south to the United States by the end of 2019. Sandvik, which makes steel pipes and tubes, currently employs 160 people at the Arnprior facility. It opened in 1975 and now, after 43 years in business in Canada, those jobs will be lost, thanks to Liberal policies. With high electricity prices, the tariff on steel, which the government has failed to resolve even after selling out Canadians with the failed NAFTA negotiations, rising interest rates, and the massive hike in taxes that is coming with the new carbon tax, the line-up at the border is only going to get longer.

Bill C-86 should have been a plan to control government spending. The fiscal policy of the government, which has been essentially to keep spending levels and deficits elevated until1 at least after next year's federal election and beyond, is not sustainable. The Liberal Party has been taking on debt for little gain.

Thanks to the spillover effect of a booming American economy, our economy is running at capacity, but rather than directing the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates to slow our economy, a faster drawdown on deficits would ease pressure for rate hikes. This would help the country's most indebted households, who are disproportionately young urban families with huge mortgages in places like Toronto. An Environics Analytics study has already calculated that rising interest rates will squeeze out of households an extra $2,516 each year. Add higher mortgage payments to the new Liberal carbon tax that is set to escalate every year and all the other tax increases and the future looks bleak for average middle-class Canadian families.

According to Craig Wright, the chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada, “At this...”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...When I speak to this bill, I would like to focus my thoughts on the hard-working middle-class families in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, who, like Canadians from coast to coast to coast, know that our government is working for them to build a stronger economy and a healthier environment, not only for today but also for generations to come to ensure that our children, much like my children, will have a prosperous future and confidence knowing that our government made the right decisions for their future.

I also wish to salute the entrepreneurs in the city of Vaughan, who run over 12,000 small and medium enterprises. They know they have a strong advocate in me as their MP and in our government to ensure they have the tools to compete and succeed both domestically and globally.

Our government is committed to building a strong middle class and helping those working hard to join it. We know the results to date and are very proud of our record: a record low unemployment rate; over 500,000 or 600,000 new jobs created in the last three years, the majority of which are full time; and, amazingly, over 500,000 job vacancies in Canada. A majority of the jobs that have been created in this great country have been from the private sector, another thing we should be proud of.

There are many elements in Bill C-86 that I could speak to, everything from the pay equity act to the Canadian gender budgeting act to the wage earner protection program to the enactment of a department for women and gender equality act, which, as a father of two young daughters, I am very proud of. It would establish a department for women and gender equality to assist the minister in ensuring that we as a society and a government advance equality with respect to sex and sexual orientation. There are even amendments to the Bank Act to strengthen provisions that apply to a bank in relation to the protection of customers and the public. Canadians expect and deserve the strongest consumer protection standards when dealing with their financial institutions and we will deliver on that.

However, I wish to focus my time this afternoon primarily on one aspect of Bill C-86, which for me represents our government's commitment to building a more prosperous country and that would ensure that all Canadians benefit from economic growth and a more inclusive and fair society.

Division 21 of part 4 of Bill C-86 enacts the poverty reduction act, which sets out for the first time in our country's history targets for poverty reduction in Canada from coast to coast to coast. The poverty reduction targets our government has put forward are ambitious and realistic, and are lifting and will lift hundreds of thousands of Canadians out of poverty from coast to coast to coast. Our government aspires to achieve a poverty reduction target of 20% below the poverty level in 2015 by 2020, and 50% below by 2030. These targets are not just numbers, because behind them are the stories of hard-working Canadians from all walks of life and all parts of this great country. Canadians are ambitious and steadfast. They expect nothing less from their government. When we look at the measures behind the poverty reduction act we can not only be proud of the work we have done as a government but, more importantly, also of the work we have done as a country.

The pillars of our poverty reduction strategy are based on the following: dignity to lift Canadians out of poverty by ensuring that basic needs are met; opportunity and inclusion to help Canadians join the middle class by promoting full participation in society and equality of opportunity; and resilience and security to support the middle class by protecting Canadians from falling into poverty.

How do we achieve these targets? Let me list the measures that our government has put in place: the transformational Canada child benefit; a 10% Increase in the guaranteed income supplement; the Canada workers benefit; and the profound national housing strategy, a $40 billion plan over 10 years, that will see housing needs reduced or eliminated for over half a million Canadians across this country. In my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, we will see more than 150 units of affordable housing built in 2019.

Moreover, investments in public transit under the PTIF 1 and now PTIF 2 will deliver sustained secure funding for public transit across Canada. (1345)

There is also the Canada workers benefit, which in budget 2018 provided a tax benefit that will put more money in the pockets of low-income Canadians. In fact, it is estimated that over 70,000 Canadians will be raised out of poverty, and over two million Canadians will receive assistance, from the CWB. Someone making $15,000 a year will receive $500 more from the CWB in 2019 than in 2018.

In Bill C-86, our government will enact changes that will ensure that an individual who is eligible to receive the Canada workers benefit can receive the benefit without having to claim it. Enrolment will be automatic. No Canadian will be left behind by our government, and the automatic enrolment mechanism that we have included in Bill C-86 is one further step to ensure this.

In achieving our poverty reduction targets, we also need to consider the transformational social program that we introduced, the Canada child benefit. We are delivering it to families who need it, not millionaires but hard-working, middle-class families across this country. In my riding alone, it equates to about $5 million a month, helping over 17,000 children and 9,000 families, with an average payment of over $500. That is real change that is working for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. That is real change that is benefiting middle-class families from coast to coast to coast.

We also indexed the CCB two years ahead of schedule, which will mean hundreds of extra dollars for families to help them pay for their kids' sports activities, to save for their education or buy clot...”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ood future for their children, having good jobs for themselves, being able to spend time with their families and ensuring we are doing the right things for the economy and the environment. Whether it ...”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... Stoppers, Loblaws and Partage Vanier organized a fun-filled and safe Halloween fun zone for Vanier families.[Translation]

The goal was to promote safe celebrations in Vanier. Organizers set up tents at two locations in the neighbourhood. They also hosted games and handed out candy.[English]

They also organized a pédibus to encourage families to trick-or-treat together in their own neighbourhood.

Volunteers of all ages worked ...”

Hon. Kent Hehr (Calgary Centre, Lib.)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...overnment is proud to support the YW, and we commend its leadership in helping vulnerable women and families find a safe place to live.”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...r three years, Canadians have seen sunny ways turn into stormy days, pipelines into pipe dreams and families burdened with tax after tax after tax, but there is still hope. With the election less than...”

Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier—Maskinongé, NDP)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...t opened up more than 10% of our dairy market. The effects of these policies are hard and they hurt families. Hard-working families are feeling betrayed by the Liberals. The Liberals have used our supply-managed farmers as ...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ases.

Again, if the Liberals are going to exempt the big corporations, why do they not exempt families and small businesses too?”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nment at the same time. Our plan includes putting a price on pollution that will leave middle-class families better off.

It is interesting that the Conservatives have finally found the courage to stand up for the middle class, which they have been lacking for several years.

When it came to small business owners, we reduced the small business tax to 9%, which the Conservatives opposed. We implemented the Canada child benefit, which leaves nine of 10 families better off. We are taking steps to make life more affordable for seniors.

I would enc...”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...om our government but from folks like Stephen Harper's former director of policy, that middle-class families will be better off as a result of this plan. In fact, Doug Ford's chief budget adviser conf...”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...

Can the Minister of Finance tell the House about the measures we have taken to help Canadian families and grow our economy?”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...[Translation]

I can say that our investments have already made a real difference for Canadian families across the country.[English]

It is true that what we are seeing are unemployment rates among the 40-year lows. We are seeing a level of growth that is helping families across the country. Importantly for the constituents in Vaughan—Woodbridge and across the c...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ent failed to provide timely access for language training for many of the new arrivals, yet refugee families that do not respond quickly to the CRA are penalized immediately. Not only are those payments stopped, but, in two cases, refugee families were billed $27,000.

Is that why the government is giving the CRA $1 billion to crack...”

Mrs. Deborah Schulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, our government has enhanced the Canada child benefit to give money to nine out of 10 families. It has lifted thousands of children out of poverty.

We are aware that sometimes indi...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... means increased hours and longer delivery routes that take a toll on worker health and safety, and families suffer.

Because of the corporation's inflexibility, CUPW is pushing back against unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. Effective today, the union has declared a national ban on overtime. Workers understand that self-care benefits them, their families, the corporation and its customers.

Why does Canada Post not get it? When will the go...”

Hon. Hunter Tootoo (Nunavut, Ind.)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Canadians would be horrified and embarrassed to see...”

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

November 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...at is why the national housing strategy is investing $240 million in Nunavut alone to provide 3,000 families in Nunavut with a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why our first budget invested $80 million in Nunavut alone, an additional $80 million for the families there. That is why we are going to work with other governments to make sure that every fami...”

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...at have all kinds of special deals they made with the Prime Minister. However, the average Canadian families, the ones who have small businesses, are the ones who are going to pay the difference. Ther...”

Mr. Darrell Samson (Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Lib.)

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...Preston—Chezzetcook is on the outskirts of Halifax-Dartmouth. It is a community where we have young families, fishermen, the largest black cultural centre and many Acadians. It is a diverse community that I am very proud to represent.

When we talk about budget 2018 and previous budgets by our government, it is clear that the path we are on is to build a strong economy for all Canadians. In my speech today, I want to touch on three major areas in this budget implementation bill: what it means for families, what it means for our veterans, and women's potential economic benefit when they are much more involved in entrepreneurship and building strong companies.

I cannot go into the text before talking about how our economy is doing now.

After three years, we have seen the Canadian economy grow and continue to prosper. Over 600,000 new jobs have been created. It is a strong sign of our government moving in the right direction when people want to invest and when we are creating good jobs for the middle class.

As well, we should note that the unemployment rate in Canada has dropped from 7.2% to 5.7%. Yes, members heard me correctly. At 5.7%, it is the lowest unemployment rate in Canada in the last 40 years. It is very impressive.

I also want to talk about the Canada child benefit. This is an investment in Canadians and in Canadian families. It is an investment in young families, which is extremely important. The riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook is one riding out of 338 in Canada, and in my riding alone the families are receiving $5.2 million per month. That is $60 million per year in the riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook.

I am not the only lucky one, because all 338 members of Parliament have this Canada child benefit going to their constituents, which means anywhere between $40 million and $80 million invested in families in their ridings.

Speaking about families in this budget implementation bill, I want to talk about the EI parental benefit. That is a very important benefit that recognizes some of the challenges in life. It is creating more flexibility for Canadian families. If they split or share those benefits, we are adding five extra weeks of benefits.

As well, when talking about families, we have to talk about pharmacare. Our government is moving forward. We have established an advisory committee that will report shortly. We also had the permanent committee present its report on pharmacare. I believe we will see some positive news on pharmacare very soon.

We are also introducing, of course, the new Canada workers benefit. This new benefit will add 300,000 Canadians to the middle class. That means over two million Canadians will now have access to this benefit, which is very important. With BIA 2, we will ensure that these individuals do not have to apply; it will happen automatically, once again making life easier for Canadian families. (1620)

I also want to talk about some changes in the labour code that will provide five days of paid leave to victims of family violence employed by the public service, as well as five days of personal leave, three of which would be paid. Those are major changes that will make life better for Canadians.

Touching on veterans, this is a very important topic for me. My riding has the largest number of veterans and military per capita, with 23% being veterans. We have introduced the option of a pension for life. Veterans already have a lump-sum pension, which we had introduced, but now they will have the option of a pension for life.

Depending on their pain and suffering, veterans could have up to $1,150 a month. If they have additional pain and suffering, they could receive another $1,500 a month, or a salary replacement of up to 90%. That is what our government is doing to support our veterans and their families. I hear when I am travelling around my riding how important it is for veterans to have access to that.

I have to talk about the ID card for veterans and a story, believe it or not, that I still have trouble with. When veterans tell me this story, it is painful to hear: The former Harper government cut the ID card for veterans. If anyone can help me understand that, please do so, because that is amazing.

Our government has just introduced a new ID card. The new ID card will have a veteran's photo and rank on it, as well as his or her service record and service number. It will not only recognize veterans' service, their hard work and what they have done for Canadians, but it will also help them access programs and services, which is extremely important.

Talking now about women, we have invested in a new entrepreneurial strategy for supporting women in industry. We have invested $1.65 billion over three years for new financing opportunities for women in industry, and we have also invested $150 million through regional tailoring of the needs in rural communities across Canada.

Also, pay equity is included in this budget implementation bill. That is extremely important. When the opposition talks about the 400 pages, it is because 200 pages alone talk about pay equity and all the consultation we have done. Our government will bring legislation forward in the very near future in this area.

In closing, I want to say that the riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook and the province of Nova Scotia will greatly benefit by many of these investments.

However, talking about rural broadband, an Internet connection for rural communities is essential if we are going to allow those communities to prosper and grow.

We have seen also the investment in home care and mental health. Those are big investments that will help all Canadians, including Nova Scotians and of course the people in the riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook.

We also support families with challenges such as dementia and autism. We have seen some investment in those areas as well.

This is moving forward. This is a strong budget that we are implementing here. It is consistent with the other budgets that we brought forward and I am very pleased to be a member on this side of the House supporting Canadians, supporting the middle class, supporting veterans, supporting families, supporting youth and so on.”

Mr. Darrell Samson

November 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...s for middle-class Canadians. He could be talking about the Canada child benefit and how much money families in his riding are receiving. Families in my riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook are benefiting by $5.2 million a month, $60 m...”

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

October 31st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...e of Jessica Martel, who was brutally murdered in an act of domestic violence.

Across Canada, families live in fear, and many victims have nowhere to turn. Jessica was one of those victims. She ...”

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

October 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...lution. That is what the essence of our plan is.

We are moving forward in a way that supports families and indeed, yes, supports small and medium-size businesses as we go through the transition ...”

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

October 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rbon tax.

Why is the Prime Minister making pollution free and taxing individual Canadians and families?”

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

October 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...

Why is it that when the Prime Minister brings forward a plan, it is individual Canadians and families that bear the brunt? Why is the Prime Minister giving a big break for polluters and a big t...”

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

October 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... supported a continuum of mental health services. We have expanded a range of services available to families of medically-released veterans. In budget 2018, we announced $42.8 million to increase serv...”

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

October 31st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...terans since 2016. We have invested over $10 billion in our veterans in supports for them and their families and ensuring there is treatment and support for mental health, for PTSD. We have reopened t...”

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

October 31st
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...tion.

The Government of Canada strongly supports the supply management system, farmers, their families, and producers. Dairy, egg and poultry producers and processors have strong roots in our ec...”

Mrs. Bernadette Jordan

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e on a base ahead of election day. Often they are required to vote in a different manner than their families. This system made sense when it was established, but it is no longer practical.

That ...”

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e or two people attending to a number of residents. They know who these people are. They know their families. They know quite a bit about them. It makes perfect sense to allow that person to vouch for...”

Ms. Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...n has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has chosen to serve selflessly. He is known for helping families through loss and grief, mentoring youth, training up leaders and opening his home to those ...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... the disability tax credit or Canada child benefits.

Why are the Liberals denying benefits to families who deserve them?”

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

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s and benefits to which they are entitled, as we recognize that they are essential for middle-class families to make ends meet.

We have made significant progress in getting benefits to eligible ...”

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, Liberals should be targeting tax havens, not targeting families.

The Prime Minister made a snide comment yesterday about the NDP when I asked him abo...”

Mr. Matt Jeneroux (Edmonton Riverbend, CPC)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, identity theft is not a joke. Millions of families suffer every year. The Prime Minister is putting Canadians' personal information and identi...”

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

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...n, we campaigned on a commitment to protect the environment, grow the economy and help middle-class families. I am pleased to share with the hon. member that our plan to put a price on pollution applies to heavy emitters as well.

Our plan is actually going to leave middle-class families better off. Stephen Harper's former director of policy said so and we have confirmed that. ...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ries in 2013. This strange rule applies in countries that do not even follow sharia law. Meanwhile, families like Sarah's are blocked.

It has been six years and Sarah still cannot unite with her...”

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

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are breaking their promises.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Families promised to improve EI sickness benefits, but they are not doing anything. Was it all just ...”

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

October 30th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... remind all members of the House that employment insurance has an important role to play in helping families, especially those struggling to get by, because it is vital that they receive the high-quality services and benefits they need.

I am also pleased to say that since 2015, we have reformed the five existing special benefits and added two others. All these benefits, including sickness benefits, now have added flexibility, making them more responsive to families' actual circumstances.”

Mr. Mario Beaulieu (La Pointe-de-l'Île, BQ)

October 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ruelty on Saturday. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to offer my condolences to the victims' families and friends. I also want to pledge our solidarity with the Jewish community, which is going...”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...The Canada child benefit is making a real difference in Châteauguay—Lacolle because it is helping families meet their needs while also driving our local economy. In July, for example, 10,763 families in my region received an average of $561 that month, for a total of over $6 million.

I was a single mother myself 35 years ago and I recently met another single mom from Châteauguay, Catherine. She told me how this benefit helps her buy clothes for her eight-year-old son, Devin, and pay some bills. Catherine's situation is just one example among many of how everyone benefits when Canadian families are doing well.”

Mr. Dean Allison (Niagara West, CPC)

October 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...o not have a subway. What we have are regular Canadians who need to heat their homes and feed their families.

This Liberal election gimmick will punish people who cannot make a dramatic lifestyl...”

Mr. David Sweet (Flamborough—Glanbrook, CPC)

October 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... by the words “we are one” in our actions, in their memory.

May God bring Shalom/peace to the families of the victims.”

Mr. Anthony Housefather (Mount Royal, Lib.)

October 29th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...laces we worship to protect us.

I want to express my deepest sympathies to the victims, their families, their friends, the congregation, the people of Pittsburgh and the entire American Jewish c...”

Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e official opposition, I would like to extend our thoughts and our prayers to the victims and their families and to the entire Jewish community. These kinds of hateful acts must be condemned in the st...”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...urgh on Saturday. Our hearts are with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and across Canada. May the families of those murdered be comforted, and may the injured recover quickly and fully.

We are...”

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ppalling act of anti-Semitism. The hearts and prayers of all New Democrats go to the victims, their families and to Pittsburgh's Jewish community. However, this senseless attack is merely the latest e...”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...n Saturday. Our hearts are with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and across Canada.

May the families of those murdered be comforted, and may the injured recover quickly and fully. We are worki...”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...on pollution, which I know even Stephen Harper's former director of policy has indicated will leave families better off. That was confirmed when the Prime Minister made the announcement just last week...”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ts and look at the numbers from last week's announcement, we can actually confirm that middle-class families can expect to be better off in every jurisdiction where the federal backstop applies. The reason for this is very simple. Businesses and industry are paying into this fund as well and the rebate is going to go to Canadian families. They are going to have more money to deal with the cost of living. No matter how much the opposition raises concern about this, we cannot mask the fact that families will be better off.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...paid by big polluters as well as others. At the same time, we are ensuring that a rebate accrues to families so middle-class families are left better off.

I point the hon. member to the statement of Mark Cameron, Stephen Harper's former director of policy. If he does not believe me, he can look to his own side to demonstrate that families will be made better off as a result of the plan we are putting in place. We are moving forw...”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ned that the Prime Minister's carbon tax will drastically increase their production costs. Farmers, families and seniors are worried that this cash grab will make the cost of everything more expensive...”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ronment ensures we are going to put a price on pollution and we are going to make sure middle-class families are left better off. This is not a difficult concept. We are going to make sure that life i...”

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...deal, Trump's unjustified tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum are having devastating impacts for families in Canada. Canadian workers throughout the country are losing their livelihoods. In fact, w...”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... NDP, to clearly support it.

With this policy we are no longer sending cheques to millionaire families that do not want or need the money, so we can send them to middle-class families and those working hard to join the middle class.

I very much appreciate this debate a...”

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

October 29th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...not only going to protect our environment, but will put more money into the pockets of middle-class families.

For all those who are opposed to our plan, I would ask them to go back to their cons...”

Hon. Jim Carr (Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.)

October 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...these would-be exporters to get in the game, and these chapters are about showing workers and their families that trade can work for them. Israel is clearly thinking longer term to future-proof its ow...”

Mr. Dean Allison

October 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...t save the environment. It will only hurt Canada's economy, Canada's small businesses, and Canadian families. (1740)

Canadians are not fooled by the carbon tax. They know the Prime Minister's carbon tax is a tax plan dressed up like an emissions plan. Canadians see it for what it is, another tax or an election gimmick. Only the Liberals could argue that a new tax will mean money in our pockets while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To make matters worse, the Prime Minister is personally withholding documents that show the true cost of the carbon tax, both for families and businesses. The reality is that the Prime Minister's carbon tax will make everything more expensive, from driving to work to feeding our families to filling our gas tanks. Canadians will see through this election gimmick, and we will hold the government and the Prime Minister to account for it.

I know the Liberals will keep on repeating the same old tired message they have been repeating, a message that asks for our plan. I would like to be very clear. The Liberals do not have an environment plan. They have a tax plan, an election gimmick. It is another tax. It is nothing more. However, they have no plan to lower emissions. We believe that it is more important to arrive at a plan that will actually reduce global emissions, and that takes time to carefully consider. I would also like to be very clear that we will be unveiling a detailed and comprehensive environmental plan before the next election.

On top of taxing Canadians more through the carbon tax, the Prime Minister and the Liberals are working against Canadian jobs in the oil and gas sector, making our economy even more uncompetitive.

The Liberals have no plan to get the Trans Mountain expansion built. Thousands of workers have already lost their jobs because of the Prime Minister's failure to get any pipelines built. Canadians have lost their jobs because of the Liberals' damaging anti-energy policies. This cannot continue. The Liberals' anti-energy policies have driven more than $100 billion of investment out of Canada in the last two years. Talk about being uncompetitive; this is totally unacceptable.

The Federal Court of Appeal gave the Liberals clear direction to address their failure to properly consult with indigenous communities on the Trans Mountain expansion. However, instead of following those directions, the Liberals announced that they will launch another process, with no timeline, that will only further delay construction.

Canadian families cannot wait until next year for a plan. For the workers and communities affected by the Pri...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

October 29th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ocent people were murdered in a place of worship. I would like to send my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims, the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, the Jewish community in Canada and, frankly, all over the world. We stand resolutely against such an atrocity. We also stand resolutely against discrimination and intolerance in all of its forms: anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia, racism and intolerance, however it is expressed and wherever it is seen.

As representatives of our communities in this chamber and as leaders and politicians, we must condemn, in unequivocal terms, not only these acts of hatred, but also the words that so often form the pretext and context that make committing these actions a little easier for people to contemplate.

I want to talk about the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement in two major ways. First, I want to talk about the agreement itself and some of its promising aspects. Second, I want to talk about its impact on the Palestinian community in Israel and what ought to be part of our progressive trade policy in that respect.

The modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement, called CIFTA, emanates from a background in which Canada and Israel enjoy a rich and fruitful commercial relationship, with room to grow our trade ties and our ties in every other respect, culturally, socially, economically and politically.

Since the original Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement came into force over two decades ago, two-way merchandise trade has more than tripled, totalling $1.7 billion in 2017. Israel's economy has significant potential and offers diverse commercial opportunities for Canadian businesses, given its strategic location in the Middle East, solid industrial and scientific base, abundant natural resources, particularly in the agricultural and agri-tech sectors, and its well-educated, dynamic population.

A modernized CIFTA will enable Canadian companies to take greater advantage of these opportunities with expanded market access and by creating more predictable conditions. The modernized agreement also reinforces Canada's broader engagement with Israel.

Some of the highlights of this agreement are as follows.

It will create more favourable conditions for exporters through important non-tariff commitments and will establish mechanisms under which Canada and Israel can co-operate to address and seek to resolve unjustified non-tariff barriers that may arise.

The modernized agreement contains provisions related to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, which will assist Canadian IP rights holders to do business with greater confidence in the Israeli market.

The revised goods market access chapter will provide new and improved market access for Canada, particularly in the areas of agriculture, agri-food and fish and seafood products. Changes to the rules of origin reflect many aspects of Canada's current approach, including recognizing the presence of global value chains and the integrated nature of North American production, as well as streamlining the provisions for obtaining preferential tariff treatment.

Interestingly, there is a labour chapter, which is a first for Israel in a free trade agreement. This will help to ensure that high labour standards are maintained, with recourse to labour-specific, enforceable, binding dispute settlement mechanisms, where non-compliance can lead to monetary penalties.

The environment chapter is another first for Israel and will ensure environmental protections are maintained, with recourse to a chapter-specific dispute resolution practice. (1810)

There is an innovative chapter on small and medium enterprises that will improve transparency and commits both parties to co-operate with a view to removing barriers and improving access for SMEs to engage in trade.

There is also a corporate social responsibility article that references voluntary OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises in broad application to this agreement. With respect to that clause, the New Democrats would prefer to see a corporate social responsibility chapter that actually has some binding teeth to it and does not rely on a voluntary mechanism. However, we can explore that when the agreement gets to committee.

Most of all, the modernized CIFTA will provide new and improved market access for virtually 100%, up from 90%, of current exports of agricultural agri-food, fish and seafood products. In the agricultural and agri-food sector, 92% of Canadian exports will enter Israel duty free in unlimited quantities under the modernized CIFTA, up from the current level of 83%. In short, the agreement offers the potential for deeper, broader and more prosperous commercial relations between our two countries. In that respect, we all should support this.

However, I and my party have serious concerns with the agreement and with the bill. There are no human rights protections in the bill and no recognition of the rights of Palestinians living in their sovereign territories occupied by Israel. Canadians expect their government to sign trade deals that respect human rights, international law and our foreign affairs policies. Put succinctly, the bill does not conform to these expectations. Without them, the Canadian government is not respecting Canada's commitment to a peaceful and just settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The agreement appears to cover products made in Israeli settlements in occupied territories. Neither Canada nor the United Nations recognizes these settlements as part of Israel. In fact, these settlements are illegal. They clearly violate the fourth Geneva convention, which prohibits the settlement of territories acquired by war and the movement of indigenous people in those territories, among other things. In fact, there is virtual global unanimity that the territories seized and occupied since 1967 by Israel, the West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza and East Jerusalem are not part of Israel, but form the basis of a sovereign Palestinian state. Indeed, those territories are a fraction of the land awarded to the Palestinian people by the United Nations partition of 1947.

This trade agreement appears to fail to distinguish between the State of Israel and these occupied Palestinian territories. This is unjustifiable and perplexing. The European Union has, since 2015, required products from the occupied territories to be labelled as such, yet article 1.4.1(b) of CIFTA stipulates instead that the agreement applies to “the territory where its customs laws are applied.”

Under the terms of the 1994 Paris protocol, Israel and Palestine are part of a customs union under which Israel collects duties on goods destined for the Palestinian territories. However, the existence of a customs union does not change the fact that the West Bank, where illegal Israeli settlements have proliferated, remain occupied territory and legally part of Israel.

As stated, Palestinians have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967. That is 51 years. The Canadian government's own policy does not recognize permanent Israeli control over these territories and stipulates that Israeli settlements, occupation and control violate the fourth Geneva convention and many UN Security Council resolutions.

As stated as recently as 2016 at the United Nations Security Council:

The Security Council...Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace; (1815)

It went on, though, to call upon all states, including Canada, “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

I am gravely concerned that this agreement fails this international commitment. It puts us afoul of international law. Products made in the occupied territories in Palestine must be labelled as such. To fail to do so amounts to a countenance of illegal annexation of territory.

More broadly, I wish to speak for the millions of Canadians who want to see peace in this region and the creation of secure and sovereign states of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace. I have had the privilege of visiting this region twice as a parliamentarian, both in Israel and in Palestine, and the unvarnished reality is clear to those who care to view it objectively. Israel has not only not complied with its obligations under the Geneva Convention, it has, over time, steadily and consistently increased its illegal settlements in Palestine. After 51 years, this is not an occupation; it is an annexation. It continues an illegal blockade of Gaza by air, land and sea creating what has been called “the world's largest open-air prison” and creating the conditions for what every NGO and international body that is working in Gaza has called a large-scale humanitarian disaster, leading to malnutrition, economic deprivation and death.

The Israeli military routinely violates the rights of Palestinians on a daily basis, including applying military law to children, of whom some 500 languish in Israeli jails in flagrant contravention of international law. The Israelis routinely deny Palestinians equal access to water, power, building permits and free movement. I myself suffered the indignity, along with my Palestinian hosts, of being denied entrance into cities on the West Bank at Israeli checkpoints. There is a series of Israeli checkpoints throughout the West Bank which every day force Palestinians to be separated from their families, their workplaces, their cities and their farms.

Many Canadians now ask: Why is the C...”

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...p>Service providers tell stories of homeless people and those at risk of homelessness. They tell of families looking for a home to call their own, and seniors at risk of eviction or living in hotels. Single people are living four to a home in bachelor suites, and families are worried that they may lose their children because they cannot find an appropriate home....”

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...women who made significant contributions to the war effort by supporting wounded soldiers and their families, both in Canada and abroad, and by manufacturing military equipment here at home.

I a...”

Mr. Michel Picard (Montarville, Lib.)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...s women's organization will celebrate 50 years of work improving the living conditions of women and families and promoting our cultural and artisanal heritage.

This organization enables the wome...”

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...latives are hunters, and the first nations in my riding are also hunters. We shoot game to feed our families. The government is going after the wrong people. We are not the criminals; we are hunters. ...”

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ey directly to households. This will...encourage lower emissions, while also ensuring that Canadian families will not be negatively affected.””

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...anchers' bottom lines and these additional costs will eat into the livelihoods of hard-working farm families.

Why is the Prime Minister so set on punishing beef producers with higher costs for i...”

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...cially around transportation.

These plants are the heart of our communities. They allow young families and local businesses to prosper. The Liberals are dumping a tax on them that raises the pri...”

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... affecting employers like Moore Packaging in Barrie. They are affecting the 300 employees and their families that will be hit with this tax.

The Liberals are telling these people when they take ...”

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... that we need to take action on climate change. We need to make life more affordable. We are giving families more money that they will pay—

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...igation to stand up for Canadian workers. What is the Liberal plan for protecting workers and their families in light of this mess?”

Mr. René Arseneault (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ation]

Nevertheless, there is still work to be done to stay on the path toward growth for our families and workers.

Could the Minister of Finance give us a brief update on the Canadian eco...”

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

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...nvestment. It means increased uncertainty and further job losses. Hundreds of thousands of Canadian families and the workers in the energy sector depend on the resource sector. They are calling it the...”

Mr. Marco Mendicino (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Lib.)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... are proud to be building a bridge that will last 125 years and will improve the quality of life of families in the Montreal region. The structure will be finished by the end of December, but some of ...”

Mr. Gary Anandasangaree (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism (Multiculturalism), Lib.)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...ren or seniors. It is an enormously difficult situation. Oftentimes people are separated from their families for many years.

I know of the hard work of many of these mothers, particularly, and I want to thank them for their sacrifice. These women have worked so hard to build a life for themselves and their families. It is that bold and difficult journey that has really bolstered the community to the numbe...”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...c prosperity in Saskatchewan while at the same time building a better life for themselves and their families.

I am proud to represent the residents of the Saskatoon Confederation Park neighbourhood, and it is with extra pride that I say this neighbourhood includes the largest population of Filipinos in my city. Of course, at one time, the community was much smaller, but that did not deter Rose Lacsamana and her family who, 10 years ago, opened a Filipino store targeted at the small but growing Filipino community. It is this type of leadership and forward thinking and risk taking, by Rose and many others, who built up a business and while doing so, built up our community. It is through these efforts of local Filipino Canadian business owners that Saskatoon was able to welcome newcomers from the Philippines with open arms. I thank Rose and her husband JR for their venture, the Global Pinoy Food Store, and for believing in our community to grow and prosper. I congratulate them for 10 years of service to our community.

One of my favourite things to do as an MP is to attend citizenship ceremonies in my riding. During my constituency week in October, I attended not one but two ceremonies. Both were, of course, very special, but one was extra special for a couple of reasons. First, it was Citizenship Week in Canada. Second, we were gathered at the wonderful Saskatoon Farmers Market and I want to thank Erika Quiring, operations manager at the Saskatoon Farmers Market, for hosting us. Third, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship organized an opportunity for me and other community leaders to host table conversations with our brand new citizens.

I met lvan and his family from Iran and Rachel who was there with her sister. Rachel was nervous and shy, but very happy to be getting her citizenship and happy to be together again with her sister and other extended family. Rachel came to Canada from the Philippines as a live-in caregiver. She had waited many years to get her citizenship. It was wonderful to share that day with her. It reminded me of the many women who come to my constituency office for help, who are raising other people's children, having come to Canada, many from the Philippines, as live-in caregivers, the women whose children are growing up without their mother, the women who are working hard to earn money so that one day they can be reunited with their own children, the women who, like Rachel, dream of one day attending their own citizenship ceremony.

The members of the NDP have long been champions for the Filipino community and my colleague from Vancouver East has continued those efforts. One of the most important yet invisible contributions of Filipino Canadians is the many ways in which Filipino caregivers help raise our children and run our households. (1705)

Since 1992, some 75,000 Filipinos have become permanent residents of Canada through the federal government's caregiver program. The sales pitch was hard to resist. They would help raise our children for two years, and we would reunite them with theirs and give everyone a shot at permanent residency. Last year alone, some 23,000 Filipinos came to Canada under the program, but it has become a victim of its own success.

In 2015, the backlog of applications for permanent residency was 17,600 names long. Citizenship and Immigration Canada promised swift action and announced plans to expedite the approval process, but for many, the wait, which now averages over 50 months, and that is after two years of employment, is torture. At home, their kids are growing up without them, and with rock-bottom wages in the Philippines, going back is not a viable option. With the recent announcement by the federal government that the program will end in 2019, these women are understandably very concerned.

It is not a secret that women who are employed through the caregiver program are vulnerable and sometimes face harsh working conditions for very little pay. At the same time, they are isolated and far away from their homes and families. Most of them do not get to see their children for many years. They come and work under conditions that most of us would find trying, all for a chance at a better life. The least we can do is offer them better workplace protections and a pathway to permanent residency in a process that is clear, stable and not fraught with delays or uncertainty.

Currently, the average application processing time for live-in caregivers is four and a half years. The NDP is calling on the government to take immediate action to end the backlog and processing delays that are keeping an estimated 40,000 live-in caregivers from reuniting with their families.

We have always believed that if one is good enough to work here, one is good enough to stay. I hope that in addition to celebrating Filipino heritage month next year, the federal government will also be modernizing our immigration policies and processes and giving priority to reuniting families.

All around my community I see the good work brought about by members of the Filipino community, and their efforts are supported by residents of all different backgrounds.

I was proud to participate in the Flores de Mayo Fiesta celebration, which last year raised funds for the Filipino Heritage School in Saskatoon, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017. Founded in 1996, the Filipino Heritage School is dedicated to preserving the Filipino language and culture, strengthening unity within the community and promoting intercultural understanding. The school's success is the collaborative effort of parents, families and teachers collectively working together to teach the Filipino language and culture.

<...”

Mr. Joe Peschisolido (Steveston—Richmond East, Lib.)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...is the Filipino community. It is more than a community. It is made up of individuals who love their families and who, as has been stated, believe in faith, community and church.

I feel blessed to have gone to the birthday party of a granddaughter of one of my good friends. I saw the love and commitment to one another, but also the love and commitment to Canada and to the community. I was just chatting with my dear friend, Tony Rodriguez, who has just become the grand knight of the Knights of Columbus over at St. Paul's Church. When I asked him, “Why are you doing this? You're so busy”, he said, “Because I want to give back to the community”.

Members of the Filipino community are fiercely proud of their Filipino heritage or perhaps are even more fiercely Canadian. Every June 12th for the past 20 years or so, I have been over at city hall where we have a flag-raising ceremony where we are celebrating in Richmond, as I am sure is done all across the country, independence day for the Philippines. Beside that, we have the Canadian flag. We stand and we sing proudly. I do not sing that well but I do proudly sing both national anthems. That is a testament of a community that not only contributes here in Canada, but also acts as a bridge by deepening our links to the Philippines.

I mentioned earlier on the Knights of Columbus. The whole idea of giving back to the community is integral to the Filipino community. I had dinner a couple weeks back at Ed and Mercy's café and restaurant, Little Ongpin. When I go there, it is not just having a meal. It is sharing and talking to all folks in Richmond. It is not just folks of Filipino background who are there, but everyone. That is a testament that the Filipino community is not just celebrating Filipino culture but also Canadian culture.

I am sure we will officially recognize the month of June every year as a celebration for the Filipino culture and heritage. However, I would argue that it is also a recognition of Canadian culture because, as time goes on, 800,000 Canadians of Filipino background are moulding and shaping our culture. That is a wonderful thing. As our Prime Minister always says, diversity is a strength, not a weakness. It is an ongoing process where Canadians, wherever they come from, come to Canada and contribute not only to benefit their own families but also contribute to benefit Canada. They change, I would argue, for the better the natur...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...obs to contribute not only to our communities but also to better their own lives and those of their families and the people around them.

Filipino Canadians run over 30 newspapers and magazines a...”

Mrs. Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre, Lib.)

October 25th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...crifices made by Filipino caregivers and the need to do more to end their separation from their own families. It is a statement I fully support.

The Filipino Centre Toronto recently moved to Sca...”

Ms. Sheri Benson

October 25th
Hansard Link

Adjournment Proceedings

“...er housing needed on reserves and it is not enough to bring clean drinking water to the schools and families forced to live in third-world conditions. It is a big problem that needs big, bold action. ...”

Mr. François Choquette (Drummond, NDP)

October 19th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...p>Linda Lallier of South Durham told us, “You know, supply management is really about people, about families for the most part, who are passionate about their work, and it is about the next generation...”

Mr. Wayne Stetski (Kootenay—Columbia, NDP)

October 19th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ss outreach and prevention. Tears were shed in that room, with heartbreaking stories about homeless families and individuals due to the lack of social housing, the lack of support for people with ment...”

Mr. Rémi Massé (Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, Lib.)

October 19th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...50,000 people out of poverty since 2015.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development tell the House how our government continues to help Canadi...”

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)

October 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... sense. Attending parole hearings can be a very difficult experience for victims of crime and their families, and we have seen that demonstrated in recent days. They cannot possibly be expected to ret...”

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

October 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...line workers every step of the way so that they can be safe. We are for providing victims and their families the rights and the tools so that they can remain whole, so that they are not revictimized a...”

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

October 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...on an unreliable tool that fails to keep drugs out of prisons but does a very good job of deterring families from visiting... The effects on children of being denied a visit to a parent are also deepl...”

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

October 18th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... of ending violence against women and children, spurred on by the incredible loss and sorrow of the families of over 20 missing and murdered women and girls who have disappeared on the infamous Highwa...”

Mr. Chris Warkentin (Grande Prairie—Mackenzie, CPC)

October 18th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...tax that makes Canadian farmers less competitive and limits the prosperity of our hard-working farm families.”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

October 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...industrial killer of all time, so why has the government chosen to leave Canadian workers and their families exposed to it?”

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

October 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...it meets our expectations in terms of what we wanted to see in the regulations.... especially [for] families who have lost their loved ones over the last many decades in this country to asbestos.””

Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Youth Economic Opportunity), Lib.)

October 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...n 40 years. It is no surprise that as we are cutting taxes for small businesses, for Canadians, for families and stopping to send cheques to millionaires, our economy is one of the best in the G7.

...”

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

October 18th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ve invested $40 billion in a national housing strategy, 25% of which will go toward women and their families; dedicated $7.5 billion for child care; created a new parental sharing benefit; and are sup...”

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

October 18th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... the pen and during my wife's 10 year teaching career in Bowden, we both had many interactions with families who had relatives incarcerated at the penitentiary, as well as interactions with community ...”

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

October 17th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...se who are alive today thanks to organ donation. Last week, I had the privilege of meeting with the families of organ donors and recipients in my riding, such as Carole Du Paul, whose husband died a f...”

Mr. Ramesh Sangha (Brampton Centre, Lib.)

October 17th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...r for Canada and certainly in my riding of Brampton Centre. The income of thousands of middle-class families depends on the growth and success of these SMEs, which make our communities strong.

C...”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall

October 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...controlled outflow of water.

The uncontrolled outflow is affecting business, the environment, families and the future of Round Lake. The uncontrolled outflow of water from the lake is the result...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

October 17th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“... Minister to reconsider and stop the cold-hearted closure because of its massive impact on workers, families, the town and the region, but the Liberals proceeded with that closure on September 1.

<...”

Mr. Mark Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands, Lib.)

October 17th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“....

The past year has been defined by many powerful stories, spearheaded by survivors and their families. Movements such as #MeToo, Time's Up, as well as the global women's marches have shone a light on the ongoing challenges faced by victims and survivors, as well as the harsh realities that continue to hold us back.

Bill C-65, introduced last November by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, represents the historic step this government is taking to prevent and address the issues of gender-based violence, particularly in federal workplaces.

Bill C-65 is built on the pillars of prevention, response and support. It will ensure that employers take steps to protect employees from these unacceptable behaviours, to respond to them when they occur and to offer support to those affected.

Sexual harassment and violence in the workplace is sadly nothing new. We know that legislation alone will not solve this problem. No one action will bring an end to gender-based violence. We must continue to do what we can. It will take a collective whole-of-government approach, alongside employers, employees, colleagues, family members and friends to move the needle forward.

To support our approach, in budget 2018, our government announced it would be providing $34.9 million over five years to support training and education, provide resources, such as an outreach hub accessible through an 800 number, and to support enforcement. Addressing gender inequality and gender-based violence has been a central theme to this government since day one.

Bill C-65 is historic and supports the first-ever gender-based violence strategy, which was launched by the Minister of Status of Women in 2017. Since the launch of “It's Time: Canada's Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence”, Status of Women Canada and federal partners have been working to find ways to take action on prevention, provide support for those affected and make changes to the justice system so it is responsive to the needs of women who experience harassment and violence.

In budget 2018, we expanded the gender-based violence program, with $29 million over five years, so more organizations, such as rape crisis centres, could help more high-risk women facing violence. This program supports the testing and implementation of practices that will help the gender-based violence sector do more for indigenous women and their communities and underserved populations, such as women living with a disability, non-status, refugee or immigrant women, LGBTQ2, gender non-conforming people and ethnocultural women.

It includes preventing dating violence and equipping health professionals to provide appropriate care to victims with an additional $31 million over five years; $5 million to enhance the development of preventative bullying and cyberbullying initiatives; enhancing support by $19.3 million over five years for the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre to increase the investigative capacity of the RCMP; providing $2 million over five years to support sexual assault centres in close proximity to Canadian bases so members of the Canadian Armed Forces have access to a full spectrum of supports to address gender-based violence; an additional $14.5 million over five years to address human trafficking by establishing a national human trafficking hotline, including an online portal and a referral mechanism to social services and law enforcement; and up to $5.5 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, to work with stakeholders, including the provinces and territories, toward developing a harmonized national framework to ensure consistent, comprehensive and sustainable approaches in addressing gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions across the country. (1610)

In June 2018, the Minister of Status of Women marked the first anniversary of the strategy. Concrete steps forward this past year included: 7,000 new or repaired shelter beds for survivors of family violence; 2,225 sexual assault case files classified as unfounded were reviewed by the RCMP; over $4 million in funding to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to protect children from sexual exploitation on the Internet and additional funding to establish a survivors' network; $20 million to support projects to address gaps in supports for gender-based violence survivors and their families; and the launch of the first ongoing national survey on gender-based violence in Canada.

Hon. Erin O'Toole (Durham, CPC)

October 17th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...one expert told me repeatedly, “You don't wind up a plan at the worst possible time”. In fact, many families in the Ottawa region where we sit would know that they are still providing an annuity for t...”

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

October 17th
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...iding those businesses, it could drive some of those small businesses out of work. That means their families and employees would lose out. We have to be conscious of that as well. We need a plan that ...”

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

October 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e behaviours can have long-term negative effects, not just for people who experience them and their families but for employers as well through lost productivity, absenteeism and employee turnover. Underpinning these realities are the many power imbalances and gender norms still in our culture that have led to unacceptable tolerance of these behaviours for far too long and it is time they stopped.

One of the key building blocks leading up to this proposed legislation was listening to Canadians. The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour engaged Canadian stakeholders and experts to gather their experiences and perspectives on these issues. Members of Parliament and senators were also consulted to ensure the government could fulfill its commitment to making Parliament a workplace free from harassment and sexual violence.

This engagement of Canadians resulted in the report released last November, entitled “Harassment and sexual violence in the workplace public consultations--what we heard”. In this report, Canadians indicated that incidents of harassment and sexual violence in the workplace were not only under-reported, but also they were often dealt with ineffectively when they were reported. The report found that women reported more sexual harassment and violence than men and that people with disabilities and visible minorities reported more harassment than other groups.

These discussions with stakeholders and experts provided insight on how to address these and other issues and helped inform the bill we are discussing today.

Bill C-65 would strengthen provisions in the Labour Code by putting into place one comprehensive approach that would take the full spectrum of harassment and violence into consideration and would expand the coverage to cover parliamentary workplaces, including the staff of Parliament Hill.

Simply said, the bill would prevent incidents of harassment and violence, respond effectively to these incidents when they would occur and support victims, survivors and employers.

The legislation we are discussing today also aligns with “It’s Time”, Canada’s strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence, which I was privileged to help the Minister of Status of Women launch last year. The title, “It's Time”, was selected because it was time to learn more about the pervasiveness of this problem. It was time to believe survivors. It was time to invest in effective solutions.

Developing this strategy was a key priority of this government upon taking office. Listening to Canadians was a critical first step. As part of this engagement, approximately 300 individuals from over 175 organizations shared their views during meetings held across Canada. The Canadian public was also invited to provide comments via emails and through an online survey in which over 7,500 Canadians participated.

In addition, the Minister of Status of Women created an advisory council of experts on gender-based violence and engaged with provincial and territorial colleagues to receive additional feedback to further inform the strategy.

Our government has invested nearly $200 million in this first-ever federal strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence. The strategy takes important steps to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families and promote a responsive legal and justice system. The strategy will fill important gaps in...”

Mr. Terry Duguid

October 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nder-based violence in the workplace, out there in Canadian society, to support survivors and their families, and to develop responsive legal and justice systems.

I would remind all members in t...”

Mr. John Barlow (Foothills, CPC)

October 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ook at us to personify their values and the things that are important to them, their friends, their families and certainly their communities.

It is our duty to act in a manner that behooves a me...”

Mr. Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Centre, Lib.)

October 16th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ear coming forward after experiencing these inappropriate behaviours to protect themselves or their families.

I want to begin by thanking the hon. Minister of Employment, Workforce Development a...”

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

October 16th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...R, and the whole community is looking forward to welcoming these amazing athletes, along with their families and spectators, to Red Deer.

Right on the heels of this rodeo will be the always exce...”

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

October 16th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... but they rightly received worldwide condemnation, particularly for the tactic of targeting migrant families where children are separated from their families and caged. This is a human rights abuse, not an opportunity to make bank.

Could the f...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ent reduced taxes by $30 billion with a preponderance of that money going to low- and modest-income families. That is why poverty fell by almost one-third during the previous Conservative government a...”

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

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...is too bad they also voted against the Canada child benefit, which benefits nine out of 10 Canadian families, representing an average of $2,300 more. In my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, I consistently hear about how the Canada child benefit is helping families fund their kids' day-to-day activities.

It was also noted about what is called “refundable” or “non-refundable” tax credits. A lot of the boutique tax credits the opposition party member referenced in his comments were ones working middle-class Canadians could not take advantage of because they did not have taxes payable, and only benefited wealthier working Canadians. It is a little fact that was missed.

Turning to Bill C-82, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said the following:

The conclusion of this multilateral instrument marks a new turning point in tax treaty history. We are moving towards rapid implementation of the far-reaching reforms agreed under the BEPS Project in more than 1,200 tax treaties worldwide. In addition to saving the signatories form the burden of bilaterally renegotiating these treaties, the Convention will result in more certainty and predictability for businesses and a better functioning international tax system for the benefit of our citizens.

Bill C-82 basically follows our government agenda from budget 2016. In chapter 8, we talked about making our tax system fairer, simpler, more efficient and also ensuring all organizations, enterprises and high net worth individuals follow the tax rules that everyday businesses and people in my riding follow. It is great to see Bill C-82 come to the House for approval, and it is great to see our party is shepherding this as quickly as possible.

On a personal note, I sat on the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants user advisory council for a number of years. I understand full well the importance of working with our international partners at various accounting institutions in the world, and also with our partners for multilateral purposes, including the base erosion and profit shifting deal.

To give an indication of the annual losses that are occurring, the OECD estimates 10% of global corporate taxing income, or approximately $100 billion to $240 billion is lost, where little or no overall corporate tax is being paid. This agreement is far-reaching. Working together in the OECD G20 BEPS project, over 60 countries developed 15 actions to tackle tax avoidance, improve the coherence of international tax rules and ensure a more transparent tax environment. Leaders of OECD and G20 countries, as well as other leaders, urge the timely implementation of this comprehensive BEPS package.

That information comes right from the document I was reading over the weekend on the multilateral convention to implement tax treaty-related measures to prevent BEPS from OECD. I encourage my colleagues to read it because it is an interesting document. (1215)

It pertains to our economy and ensuring we have a strong middle class and that we continue to help those who are working hard to join the middle class. It pertains to ensuring that all corporations in Canada with operations in the world and vice versa, those foreign entities that operate in Canada domestically, pay their fair share, much like all our residents do in each of our ridings. With that, it is great to stand up and speak to Bill C-82.

Taxes paid by Canadians are what fund the programs and services that make our country thrive. When the wealthy use international tax avoidance schemes to avoid paying what they owe, it is the hard-working middle class, those folks in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge, who foot the bill. That is unacceptable.

Tax fairness continues to be a cornerstone of our government's promise to Canadians to grow a stronger middle class. In each of our three budgets, the government has passed laws on both the international and domestic fronts to enhance the integrity of Canada's tax system and give greater confidence that the system is fair for everyone. I encourage some of the opposition folks here this morning to look at our budgets. They are actually great documents that pertain to tax fairness for all Canadians, especially with respect to putting in resources. Over $1 billion was invested in the CRA, after those many years of cuts by the Conservatives. The Conservatives are synonymous with cuts to the system and the CRA. We want to ensure that all institutions in Canada are paying their fair share, because we know all hard-working Canadians go to work, pay their fair share of taxes, and want to make sure they create a better standard of living for their families and a better future for their children and for all Canadians.

Since our first budget in 2016, the government has continually strengthened the ability of the CRA to crack down on tax evasion and combat tax avoidance with increased funding. This funding has supported transformational changes to the CRA's compliance programs, allowing them to better target those posing the highest risk of tax avoidance, and more effectively fight tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

Today we take another step toward levelling the playing field and ensuring all Canadians pay their fair share of taxes. With this legislation, the Government of Canada is upping the ante in the fight against aggressive international tax avoidance and safeguarding the government's ability to invest in the programs and services that help the middle class and people working hard to join it. Whether it is putting in place a 10% increase in the guaranteed income supplement for our most vulnerable seniors, increasing the Canada workers benefit for those hard-working Canadians at the lower end, giving them that bump up, that extra few hundred dollars a year to make a big difference in their lives, we are doing those things while ensuring that our tax system is sound, efficient and fair for all Canadians and all Canadian organizations.

Ensuring tax fairness is complex. I know that for a fact because I sat on the CICA user advisory council. Understanding tax and accounting language does require a certain amount of specialization. It requires that we work with a wide range of partners at home and around the world, which is what we have done with the legislation we are debating today.

Bill C-82 would implement treaty-related measures to counter base erosion and profit shifting, also known by its acronym BEPS. This term refers to tax avoidance strategies through which businesses and wealthy individuals can use gaps and loopholes in tax rules to shift profits inappropriately to low-tax or no-tax locations. It would also ensure that transfer pricing is done fairly.

My riding is blessed with entrepreneurs of all different stripes. The city of Vaughan has over 11,000 SMEs. We have some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country. I applaud their efforts. I meet with them regularly. I like to listen to what is working to ensure they have the skills and resources for their workers and that they can invest in their Canadian operations, and they are doing that.

That is why our unemployment rate is at a 40-year low. That is why our growth rate is near 3%. That is why firms across the world are choosing Canada to invest in. I am proud of that. However, we also need to make sure that our social programs are funded, that investments are made in early learning, that we enhance the Canada pension plan, that we reduce taxes for nine million Canadians. Yes, we ask those who are very fortunate and privileged in our society, those who are doing well, to pay a bit more. I think that is fair. I wish my colleagues on the opposition benches would appreciate that as well.

With that, I would like to close by saying that Bill C-82 is a good piece of legislation. It concerns an instrument that has recently been ratified by our counterparts, by many European countries, by France, Australia, Singapore, and some of the South Asian countries which have also adopted it in the last few weeks. (1220)

It is something that moves the needle forward on combatting aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion, which is something good for our society. It makes our society fairer but at the same time allows those companies and corporations that do the right thing day in and day out to make the right decisions for their employees and their employees' families. I will end with that.”

Mr. Francesco Sorbara

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ions is actually quite shameful as it ignores the Canada child benefit that is going to millions of families. It is literally a $5-billion increase to families from coast to coast to coast. It is shameful as the institution named earlier should have h...”

Mr. Darrell Samson (Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, Lib.)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...to increase those for the most fortunate, which is extremely important.

When I speak to young families in my riding about the Canada child benefit program, they recognize how important that investment is in their families for their children. It is essential. It is very touching to hear young families share that information, and it is not just in my riding but right across the country. In the riding of Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, which I represent, $5.2 million per month—yes, everyone heard me correctly, $5.2 million per month—goes to young families. That represents $60 million a year. If we multiply that by 338 members, everyone can see h...”

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...child tax benefits, and they will point out that the government is targeting single mothers. I know families that have never gotten child tax benefits, because they cannot prove that they actually live in this country. They will make single mothers jump through every single hoop imaginable and will never ask the same of the Bronfmans or of any trust fund friends of the Prime Minister.

The idea that the government is serious about offshore tax havens is a joke, because we can see how it targets child tax benefits and targets single mothers. If the member had any dignity, he would stand up and say that what is happening against single mothers and young families across this country is unconscionable.”

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ree people are working in their own best interests and figuring out how to make ends meet for their families, we can simplify and improve their lives. We are not doing that. We have been doing the opposite for the past three years. From this so-called middle-income tax cut, a Canadian who is earning $48,000 is saving $81.44 off their taxes. If we include carbon taxes, increased payroll taxes, depending on the provincial jurisdiction, where they are probably paying higher provincial taxes as well, costs are rising, including the costs of everyday essentials.

There are think tanks that say that the number one item on the average family's pay slip is taxes. They are paying more for taxes than for the essentials of life: rent, food, electricity or natural gas. For the first time ever, the average family is having to pay more in taxes than for anything else. We do not spend enough time talking about how to create more wealth and to broaden the base that has been a way of ensuring that more Canadians and corporations are at least paying a little bit into the system. When we pay into the system, it makes us part of it. There is a certain ownership in what the Government of Canada and what the Parliament of Canada do on our behalf. When we have to put a little money into it, we really do care what is being done with it. (1255)

The Liberals said in their campaign platform that a so-called tax hike on the top 1% would bring in $3 billion more. The Department of Finance then produced an estimate, saying it would bring in an extra $2 billion. The government actually lost money in its first year; $4.5 billion to $4.6 billion less money being brought in. Those are not my numbers. Those are Statistics Canada and CRA numbers, which say the government is bringing in less money than it did before.

The top 1% of income earners pay 20% of all taxes. The top 8% of income earners, including every member in the House, every cabinet minister, are paying half of all taxes right now. That is an incredible amount, just in the share of national revenue, that we are asking an increasingly smaller group of people to pay. It also speaks to the administration and the idea of taxing the rich, fleecing the rich, on a personal income side, which has been a total failure of the government.

Now we have Bill C-82, in which the Liberals want to go after multinational corporations and big business, and I am all for it. It is a fantastic idea. We have a tax treaty of tax treaties. It should be done right. I am glad we are at this point where we can talk about it.

However, where are we talking about the wealth creation to get small businesses and entrepreneurs to start creating more jobs, to want to invest? We had the aborted attempt by the Minister of Finance's department, and by him as well, to tax small businesses more because they were not paying their fair share. I heard loud and clear from general practitioners and small business owners in my riding who were just trying to make ends meet. They wondered how they could keep growing their small family businesses and eke out an existence to pay for the schooling for their kids and to continue living.

Calgary continues to have the highest unemployment rate in Canada. The reason for that is that the Government of Canada is in no way interested in ensuring that the energy industry of Alberta continues humming along. Most high-income earners come from Alberta. The Government of Canada has made changes to the tanker ban on the coast of British Columbia and the introduction of Bill C-69, which has passed through the House and is in another place. Every regulatory and legislative measure that the Government of Canada has been able to use to constrict and put the energy industry of Alberta into a pretzel, it has done it. The Liberals have succeeded in reducing our incomes. They have succeeded in undermining the ability of Albertans and Alberta families to make a living. They are not helping to create the wealth that they want to tax. We shoul...”

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...Liberal Party. They have been using the massive resources of the CRA to go after single moms, young families and small businesses.

We see one of the great and I think really disturbing political frauds in the last few years. The government says again and again it is committed to getting money to young families through the Canada child tax benefit, but what it does not say is that it is clawing that money back through a whole series of measures, which are actually cruel in their implementation, and targeting people who have no capacity to defend themselves.

I could give a few comparisons to show how unfair this system is in terms of how the Liberals look after the friends of the Liberal Party.

Let us talk about the need to deal with the tax avoidance system. The problem with the super rich not paying their part has a massive impact on the erosion of our economy, and our ability to make investments and to build an economy that is fair and just across this country. We are learning now that tax avoidance is upwards of $3 billion a year, but there may be $70 billion to $240 billion being held offshore and out of access to the Canada Revenue Agency.

What is the Canada Revenue Agency's response to such massive tax avoidance? Well, we saw how the government made a deal with KPMG after it was found out that KPMG was involved in establishing scams for those who had $5 million to blow. Now, not many people out there in television land probably have $5 million to spare, but if one is friends with the Liberal Party it is likely one may and could be set up in offshore tax havens, which is cheating.

When a small business in my region gets caught out not paying its taxes, the government brings the full weight of the law down on it. There is no mercy. I have never seen mercy from the CRA, ever. If one is not paying one's taxes, that is the way it has to be. However, why would the government make an agreement, why would the Prime Minister make an agreement, with KPMG, people who are tied to the Liberal Party and people who are tied to getting federal contacts, to give them an amnesty for avoiding taxes? That does not happen if one is a single mom with an overpayment on EI.

Let us talk about Stephen Bronfman, who is a very close friend of the Prime Minister. He is the Liberals' top fundraiser. In fact, he is so good at raising funds, he helped raise $250,000 in two hours for the Liberal Party. I mean, they just travel in different circles than the rest of us Canadians do. When Stephen Bronfman gets named in the Panama papers, one would think that would be a serious question for the legitimacy of the friends of the Prime Minister and the need to deal with tax loopholes and unfairness. However, the Prime Minister came out and said immediately that there was no investigation needed. He was a friend of his. Know what? No investigation happened. (1320)

My young daughter, who just starting working and makes minimum wage, is being audited for the second time. She was audited last year and is being audited a second time. I told her to get used to it. A young student trying to pay her rent might get audited by the CRA all manner of times, but I would never call the CRA to say she's my daughter and does not need to be audited. That would never happen. However, the Prime Minister went public, said Stephen Bronfman is a good guy and does not need to be audited, when he was named in the Paradise papers, and it never happened.

Who else was named in the Paradise papers? There was Leo Kolber. This was about the trust that was set up for the Kolber family. For those who do not know and are not part of the Laurentian class, Leo is a Liberal senator and a very well-placed Liberal bagman. He was named.

Paul Martin was named, but I guess that should not be surprising. Paul Martin made his name by keeping his ships offshore so he did not have to pay taxes. Paul Martin was named in the Paradise papers. Jean Chrétien was named in the Paradise papers.

Then, of course, there is the finance minister. Morneau Shepell had its Bahamas subsidiary. What would anyone be going to the Bahamas for, one of the notorious tax havens? Of course, there was lots of tax work to do there and Morneau Shepell had its subsidiary in the Bahamas. When the government says it is going to take special measures to deal with the Bahamas, set up with the finance minister, does anybody in any place in this country think it is going to be looking after the little guy? I do not think so.

It keeps going on and on. There is the Minister of Infrastructure. There was a report in Le Journal de Montréal about the Minister of Infrastructure and the transfer of payments to shareholders of a company in, wait for it, the Turks and Caicos. Folks back home who work at the mill, at the mine or at Tim Hortons might wonder why someone would have shares in the Turks and Caicos and wonder where it is. It is well known for offshore finance operations. Maybe we will be talking, if we have enough time, about the privatized infrastructure bank that was set up. I bet a lot of people from the Turks and Caicos will be very interested.

I am not being mean to just the Liberals. We can talk about the famous Nicole Eaton, a senator. When a bunch of documents were released from the notorious Bahamas, it turned out that she was a director of a corporation called Mount Bodun Limited and said she had no idea how she was named as a director of this corporation. That stuff happens to me all the time. I find out I am a director of a corporation in the Bahamas. Shrug, shrug, how did that happen? I guess it is the world that they are travelling in.

Let us go back to the illustrious upper chamber. Of course, we could not have this discussion about offshore tax havens without talking about Liberal Senator Pana Merchant. It was said that her husband “moved nearly $2 million to secretive financial havens while he was locked in battle with the Canada Revenue Agency”, and she gets paid until she is 75 by Canadian taxpayers to represent our interests.

What happens is really interesting. When rich people like these move assets around outside the hands of the CRA, what happens? Nothing happens. That speaks to the fundamental problem we are seeing, the unfairness, because ordinary Canadians pay their fair share of taxes. They work really hard, they are diligent and they pay their fair share. Therefore, when we see the super rich and the friends of Laurentian and Liberal class not paying their share, we have a problem, unless one thinks that the CRA is the most relaxed, laid-back organization and does not like making life difficult for anybody over taxes.

Let me give an example of what happens for people who are not super rich. Let us talk about what happens for the working poor and how they get treated. Let us also talk about the Canada child tax benefit, because again the great fraud that is being perpetrated by the government day in, day out is this great miracle of the child tax benefit that everyone gets and brings everyone out of poverty. What Liberals do not say after they make those announcements is that they use the resources of the Canada Revenue Agency to claw it back, and the vast majority of cases coming through my office right now—and I have talked to many members of Parliament—are single moms being denied the child tax benefit because of the loopholes that they are being forced to jump through. What are some of those loopholes? (1325)

A young father came into my office. His wife left town and left him with the kids. He did not know where she went. He had to quit his job to look after the little children. He was cut off from his child tax benefit because he could not prove where she was. At Christmastime the neighbours were putting together food hampers for the family because the family had nothing.

It is not just single moms. A young couple was told after getting the funds to go back and prove who they were, prove that they were married and where the children were, even though they had always had the children. Single moms are being told they are being cut off because they cannot prove they have their children. They say the children go to the local school, but the government will not accept report cards as proof anymore. It is not fair to make a single mom jump through those kinds of hoops when we would not make Stephen Bronfman do it.

I know a wonderful young Cree mother who has the most beautiful little girl and in six years that mother has never received any child tax benefit. Why? The government does not believe she actually lives in the country. She is not living in the Turks and Caicos. She is living in social housing. She is working and raising her child but she is not getting a single dime from the government. Officials tell her she has to go to the doctor or the dentist, but that is not good enough. Then she has to go to the landlord. They even told her to get the mailman to sign something confirming where she lives. She has paid her taxes every single year.

There are mothers who do not have proper housing, so they are couch surfing. When they are couch surfing, CRA says their address indicates that they are staying with their folks and it is cutting them off. CRA will make single moms jump through all kinds of hoops, but would not make anybody whose name is in the Panama papers go through that.

One of the other things the CRA has come up with is that for people to get the child tax benefit, they have to show proof of insurance on their residence and on their children. The people I represent such as single moms in poverty do not have insurance. I guess if someone is the finance minister and cannot remember he owns a chateau in the south of France, he probably thinks it is great: “We should just find out what people's insurance is.” What kind of idiotic loophole is it, telling a poor mother to prove she has insurance for her kids and maybe the CRA will give her the benefit? If she had insurance, she probably would not be so desperate to get the child tax benefit.

The government talks about the middle class and those wanting to join it. If it were a Liberal drinking game and the Prime Minister gave a speech, he would be bombed after the first five minutes if he had to respond every time he said the middle class and those wanting to join it. I do not want to be mean to the Prime Minister, but I think he and I grew up in different middle classes.

When I was young and starting out, my wife and I started a small business. We barely made ends meet, but we paid our taxes. We paid our employees. We worked really hard. I was really surprised when the Prime Minister talked about small business in the 2015 election. He worried they were being used as millionaire tax dodges.

For two terms I was on the Tri-Town and District Chamber of Commerce in northern Ontario. I did not know anyone sitting around that table who were there because they were establishing millionaire tax dodges. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and people work really hard. It seemed to me such a disconnect that the Prime Minister said we would have to watch small businesses because they are millionaire tax dodges, but then of course, he would know because he set up three numbered companies to handle his income, his investments and also the money he was getting as a member of Parliament to do public speaking so it would lower his tax rate. From his perspective, everyone else must be doing it, but other people are not doing it.

What do we need to do? We need to start addressing tax fairness in a coherent manner. We need to review the overall tax system. The last time it was reviewed was in the 1960s. We are in a very different world now in terms of tax avoidance, in terms of corporations not paying their share. More and more the cost of social services is being downloaded onto municipalities. Single households and people in the middle class pay a very good chunk of taxes. (1330)

We need, number one, an overview of the tax system. We need a really clear sense of where tax avoidance is happening. I was really surprised to see that the government fought so hard against the Parliamentary Budget Officer over the simple question of identifying where the tax bleeding is happening. If we can see where the tax bleeding is happening, we can start to make changes.

Then we need a government that will spend more time going after the superbillionaires who are hiding their money in the Turks and Caicos than going after single moms. That should be a fundamental principle that all members in the House, regardless of their political ideology, agree with. Young people, single mothers and young families who are trying to get by should not have to bear the kinds of burdens CRA is putting on the...”

Mr. Charlie Angus

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... card were sufficient, the CRA would not be telling single moms to go find a doctor. They are. Many families in the north do not have doctors, so the CRA tells them to go to a dentist. If the health c...”

Mr. Charlie Angus

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...f that they have children? This happened before Christmas. We were making Christmas hampers to help families actually have Christmas because the Liberal government cut off single moms and young single families at Christmastime. How is that possible in this country right now?”

Mr. Bob Bratina (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, Lib.)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...anada child benefit. I am wondering if the statistics are correct for Timmins—James Bay, that 8,900 families receive benefits for a total amount in the 2016-17 year of $64 million. Would that be accur...”

Mr. Lloyd Longfield (Guelph, Lib.)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rank leaves behind his wife, Mary-Eva, of 60 years this coming May, his sons and daughter and their families. Frank and I never had a conversation where he did not mention how proud he was of his kids...”

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

October 15th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...My sincere congratulations to both Pascale and to Hongliang Yu, to their proud parents and their families. Full marks go to Paul McLellan Head of School at Rothesay Netherwood and Pierre Morin, dir...”

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ins for these have gone through the roof because of Donald Trump's policy of seizing and separating families at the border and putting them in privatized prison camps.

Does the finance minister ...”

Mr. Raj Grewal (Brampton East, Lib.)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“... strong community in Canada that has come together and stepped up to bring some of these vulnerable families to Canada as refugees.

Will the minister please update the House on the status of the...”

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...adians for almost 10 years. That means both Conservatives and Liberals failed to protect and inform families. In the meantime, Canadians put their kids on school buses to go to class, on field trips a...”

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

October 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ult harvest worse and wiping out all remaining profits.

Will the Liberals quit attacking farm families and scrap their punishing carbon tax?”

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

October 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...tention to the report of Stephen Harper's former director of policy who indicated specifically that families can expect to be better off with the results of our plan being implemented. It is not just him. I would also point the member to the news last week that Professor William Nordhaus won a Nobel Prize in economics for identifying a plan that would actually lead to families being better off. He pointed specifically to the Province of British Columbia as a world le...”

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

October 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s an opportunity to learn more about autism and how we can help people living with autism and their families and friends. Autism spectrum disorder is a condition that remains misunderstood by many people.

Can the Minister of Health tell the House about the measures the government is taking to raise awareness and help families?”

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Minister of Health, Lib.)

October 15th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ur government recognizes that autism spectrum disorder has a profound impact on Canadians and their families. That is why, in budget 2018, we invested more than $20 million in helping families and launching new community initiatives. We are also making major investments in research to better meet the needs of Canadians with autism spectrum disorder and their families.”

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

October 5th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...for its work in the past 10 years helping hundreds of young people on the autism spectrum and their families.

One out of 66 children born in Canada is on the spectrum. However, services to suppo...”

Mr. Bob Benzen (Calgary Heritage, CPC)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...He has been leading the charge against the tax by outing it as "the absolute worst tax for Canadian families, Canadian businesses, and the Canadian economy” and one that “does nothing for the environm...”

Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier—Maskinongé, NDP)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...l producers as bargaining chips. When Liberals abandon supply management, they abandon middle-class families and the next generation of farmers.

My question is very simple: do they realize this?...”

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lévis—Lotbinière, CPC)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...al provinces are pulling out of this tax, which is unfair for Canadians, especially for low-income families. We know very well that this tax is used to pay the huge debt the Liberals have created.

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

October 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...y has indicated that this government's plan is going to put more money into the pockets of Canadian families and at the same time lead to a reduction in emissions. It is disappointing in the extreme t...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our priority is to provide veterans and their families with the benefits and support they need. These benefits apply to 129,143 veterans with service-related illnesses or injuries. Last year, 1,400 veterans received benefits and, to the extent that it helped their recovery, services for their families. We also know that our investments in financial security, career transition, training and hiring new staff will ensure that veterans and their families receive the best services.”

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

October 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...this week Veterans Affairs confirmed that they have no idea what services are provided for veterans families and the number of people who are using them. It is the Liberals' responsibility to track th...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...rvices. We will continue to deliver them. Our priority is to provide benefits to veterans and their families. Last year, 1,400 veterans out of 129,143 ill veterans received them. We are there to meet ...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, to be clear, we are not talking about benefits for veterans and their families. We are talking about benefits for the adult children of veterans. Veterans who are injured...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...terans received this service through all agencies. We work tirelessly to provide veterans and their families with the care that they need.

Unlike the Conservatives, we believe that when veterans...”

Mr. Ali Ehsassi (Willowdale, Lib.)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...markets. On this side of the House, we recognize the prosperity of hard-working Canadians and their families is directly linked to diversifying into new markets.

From the ratification of CETA to the recent conclusion of the USMCA framework, our government has long understood a commitment to free and fair trade is absolutely vital. As the only G7 country that is a signatory to all three of these agreements, once CPTPP enters into force, Canada would have 14 trade agreements that would provide preferential access to 51 different countries. Combined, this represents access to nearly 1.5 billion global consumers and over 60% of the global economy.

The complicated progression of this agreement on the global stage, as I have said previously, serves as further proof that these values are currently under attack from protectionist forces. In light of such pressures, I am truly proud of our government for having taken the lead in negotiating this progressive free trade agreement.

Before I continue, I would like to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Trade Diversification for their hard work on this file, as well as the members of the Standing Committee on International Trade for their insights and contributions. Moreover, as a former international trade lawyer myself, I would like to thank and congratulate former colleagues in the public service who helped make this important agreement a reality.

It was as a trade lawyer that I gained valuable first-hand knowledge into the tangible benefits that well-crafted trade agreements provide us with every day, and it is from that very same perspective I approach today's remarks. In particular, I would like to discuss six broad elements of Bill C-79 to highlight the very benefits this agreement would have for Canadian businesses, exporters, workers and families. My hon. colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles focused on the preservation of our cultural sector. In turn, I will talk about market access, the service sector, investment, government procurement, and small and medium-sized enterprises. (1305)

Speaking first on market access, implementing the CPTPP will eliminate over 95% of taxes being imposed on over 99% of Canada's total exports. From making our machinery, equipment and business services more competitive, to protecting and preserving our unique culture, we are improving market access for Canadian business and have secured an amazing deal for Canadians. In fact, the vast majority of related tariffs will be eliminated immediately upon enactment of Bill C-79. After that, we will see the gradual introduction of more products being included in this list of tariff exemption over a period of 10 to 15 years.

To cite just a handful of targeted market access benefits, Bill C-79 would enhance market access opportunities for Canadian pork, beef, fruit and vegetables, malts, grains, cereals, animal feeds, maple syrup, wines and spirits, processed grain, sugar, chocolate confectionary and processed foods and beverages. It would also eliminate 100% of tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood products, benefiting the salmon, snow crab, herring, lobster, shrimp, sea urchin and oyster industries. In addition, we would see the elimination of 100% of tariffs on industrial goods and consumer products. Finally, tariffs on all Canadian exports of forestry and value-added wood products would be eliminated.

Delving into services, the CPTPP emphasizes the importance of transparency and predictability in order to give Canadian service providers more secure access to CPTPP markets, including a range of sectors for professional, environmental, mining-related, IT and financial services. In the face of a rapidly-evolving and modernizing global digital economy, the importance of these changes cannot be overstated.

Speaking of investment, this government has gone above and beyond the original conditions set in the TPP to better protect our investors, using Canada's negative list approach. Investors will be protected by provisions such as expropriation and denial of justice, backed by robust mechanisms for the resolution of investment disputes.

On non-tariff measures, Bill C-79 proposes to implement provisions related to non-tariff measures. Non-tariffs measures, as members are aware, refer to provision introduced regarding technical barriers to trade that will protect the key market access gains written into the agreement for the unnecessary and discriminatory regulatory burdens.

Moving to small and medium-sized enterprises, this government recognizes the importance of SMEs to the Canadian economy, which to do this day represents approximately 90% of our private sector jobs in Canada that will benefit from the provisions of this agreement. As a result, we have made it a priority to support SME access to the relevant data and information, a first among Canadian free trade agreements.

Provisions such as improved transparency, enforceable provisions on state-owned enterprises to promote fair business practices and an electronic commerce framework for cross-border data flows and server localization requirements have been made available to better protect Canadian businesses and encourage them to enter into the global market. These new measures will not only place Canadian businesses on the global value chain, but help them compete and thrive.

When our government came into office in 2015, in keeping with our commitment to evidence-based policy-making that listened to the needs and interests of Canadians, we held extensive consultations on the CPTPP, including over 41,000 correspondences and 265 interactions and meetings with more than 530 stakeholders. We did so to ensure a deal that promoted the creation of new jobs and benefits for Canadian families. The end result of this process is an ambitious and progressive trade agreement that will not only benefit Canadian businesses, workers, and families, but will certainly serve as a landmark for global trade arrangements moving forward.”

Mr. David Yurdiga (Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, CPC)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Private Member's Business

“...d all episodic disabilities impact most Canadians, not only the affected individuals but also their families and their friends who must come together to manage the illness. No one should have to face MS or any disability alone. There is an undeniable fact that episodic disabilities are treated differently than other chronic diseases and disabilities by government policy. These inequalities have negative effects on those living with episodic disabilities and their loved ones.

This motion seeks not only to address concerns for people living with MS, but for all Canadians living with episodic disabilities, including cancer, HIV, epilepsy, Crohn's disease, diabetes, arthritis, and the list goes on. The motion looks to support individuals living with episodic disabilities until one day we find a cure.

We need to remember that a cure is possible. Though there have been great improvements for people living with MS, there is still much unknown about this disease. However, researchers are zeroing in on what causes MS and are exploring ways to repair the damage it causes and ways to prevent MS from occurring. The best current evidence suggests lifestyle, environmental, genetic and biological factors all contribute. All these areas are being actively examined.

Studies funded by the MS Society are asking if certain risk factors such as gender, age, family history or lifestyle habits impact a person's susceptibility to MS. Until we find the answer, Canadians with episodic disabilities face challenges securing employment, income and disability supports. They struggle daily to access treatments, comprehensive care, housing and moving around in the communities where they live. For these Canadians, research is crucial to obtaining new treatments and a better quality of life.

Multiple Sclerosis impacts hundreds of thousands of Canadian families every year. Our country has the highest rate of individuals affected by MS in the world, with over 77,000 Canadians living with MS or approximately one in every 385 Canadians. That is a large number. Women are three times more likely to be diagnosed than men. These are moms, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and friends.

Christine Sinclair, two-time Olympic bronze medallist and a Canadian women's national soccer team captain, knows first-hand the impacts of MS as her mom lives with MS. She recently shared a story in a MS Society blog post. (1320)

She writes:

When you’re a kid, your parents are indestructible, and that’s what my mom was to me. Indestructible. But as years went by, I watched MS chip away at aspects of her life, and her fight against the chronic disease became tougher and tougher....

Today, my mom is still the strongest person I know and my number one champion. She currently resides in a care home, which can be challenging at times. Cognitively, she’s still my mom—friendly, social, and as sharp as ever—but physically, she’s placed in a facility where she is 20 years younger than everyone else.

MS is typically diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40. These are peak years for Canadians who are getting an education, establishing careers and raising families. A student with MS may not be able to hold a pencil and complete an exam. A person with MS has difficulty holding down a job, because the disease is unpredictable in nature and causes lateness, absence and sometimes even an inability to type on a keyboard. A new mother diagnosed with MS may have difficulty holding and feeding her own newborn baby.

People living with MS are our co-workers, our families, our friends and our children. These are the people who are impacted by the disease every d...”

Mr. Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West, CPC)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Private Member's Business

“...eing taken away.

What is going on with the government that it is allowing the CRA to go after families that have a loved one suffering from autism and now saying "you don't qualify"? Here is a h...”

Ms. Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.)

October 5th
Hansard Link

Private Member's Business

“...ish all of my colleagues a happy Thanksgiving. I hope that they enjoy every moment spent with their families and return well-rested on October 15.”

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

October 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... which is poverty reduction.

Over two million Canadian children live in separated or divorced families. Of these, lone-parent families are the most financially vulnerable of all family types and are more likely to depend upon social assistance.

There are couple of other important statistics.

Right now, there is well over $1 billion in support payment arrears in this country. In the vast majority of such cases, 96% of all such cases, the arrears relate to money owed by men to women.

The data on the economic challenges of single parenthood are quite stark. In 2016, the median net worth of Canadian couples with children under 18 was over $300,000, while the median net worth of single-parent families was less than one-sixth of that, $57,200.

Separation and divorce can cause a financial crisis for some families. The benefits of sharing family expenses often disappear as a second home must be established. Some parents need to significantly change their work hours to accommodate their changed parenting schedule, which can affect their income and their employment opportunities. This is what I hear when I speak to families in my riding of Parkdale—High Park. I hear far too often from single mothers who are struggling to access spousal and child support after a marital breakdown. Bill C-78 will directly benefit these residents of my community and the residents of so many other communities in a similar situation right across Canada. It will help lift those individuals, whether they are mothers or children, out of poverty. It will mean less time fighting out support payments in court, which is costly and time consuming, and creates a court backlog. It will mean more tools to allow single parents to identify and locate the assets of their former spouses, and more tools to enforce the actual payment of spousal and child support to single parents and their children.

Allow me to explain. I want to first turn to the payment of child support reducing the risk of poverty.

The sooner a fair and accurate amount of child support is established after parents separate and payments are made, the better the outcomes are for the child in question. The payment of child support is a key factor in reducing the risk of child poverty, especially for low-income, single-parent families. (1025) [Translation]

Parents have a legal obligation to support their children financially after separation or divorce. Children have a legal right to that support. Federal, provincial and territorial child support laws require parents to disclose specific income information, including income tax returns, and set out penalties and consequences if a parent fails to disclose this information. This includes imputing income, which means that the parent’s income is assumed to be a certain amount for child support purposes, and the child support order is based on that income.

Most parents dutifully meet their legal obligations. However, some parents do not provide complete and accurate income information, despite the possible penalties and consequences. This is a significant issue that has serious consequences for children and families going through the family justice system, as well as for the system as a whole.

Family law practitioners and judges often say that income disclosure issues are one of the most contentious areas of family law. Failure to comply with disclosure obligations can put significant pressure on the family justice system. It may also discourage parents from reaching agreements through family dispute resolution processes, such as mediation. If income cannot be properly determined at the outset, it may also prevent families from benefiting from other family justice services such as administrative child support calculation or recalculation services.[English]

I want to turn now to the costs associated with the non-disclosure of income.

The financial and emotional costs to parents seeking income disclosure are significant. They are legally entitled to financial information from the other parent. However, when financial disclosure is not made, they must ask a court to order that the information be provided. This creates significant costs for families and can lead to overburdening of the family justice system, including the courts. The other parent may still not disclose his or her income information, even after the court has ordered it. In these situations, the court may then impute the income of the other parent.

Although imputing income may work adequately in some situations, it is very difficult for the court to determine a fair amount of support that reflects a parent's true ability to pay in the absence of complete and up-to-date income information. Imputing income may result in child support amounts that are too high, which, in many situations, will not be paid or result in support payments that are too low and thereby prevent children from benefiting from the support of both parents.

Consistent with our government's commitment to poverty reduction and to meeting the needs of low- and middle-income families, Bill C-78 would bring much needed changes to middle-class Canadians. It would limit the negative consequences of income-related disputes for the family justice system and parents. Bill C-78 also proposes much needed changes to help reduce child poverty.

I will turn to one aspect of the law that would be amended here, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act. Amendments to this act would ensure that a separating or divorcing parent's failure to meet their income disclosure obligations would not prevent the establishment of a fair and accurate amount of support. We would amend this particular law to allow the federal government to release an individual's income information, including information from tax returns, to a court for the purpose of establishing, varying, or enforcing a support provision.

The income information to be released would be listed in the regulations, and important safeguards would be included in the act. An application for information under this legislation would not be permitted if the court were of the view that a release of information would jeopardize the safety and security of any person. Where information is released to a court, it must be sealed and kept in a place to which the public has no access.

The release of this income information would help ensure that child support amounts reflect the parent's true capacity to pay. It would also reduce legal costs associated with ensuring income disclosure for a parent, as well as the associated use of court resources. Child support orders would be made more quickly, more accurately, with less conflict and less expense, helping the very women I mentioned at the outset, the 96% of recipients of spousal and child support in Canada who are women. (1030) [Translation]

The legislative amendments we are proposing will also allow the disclosure of income information to child support recalculation services. Recent information on a parent's income is needed so that those provincial and territorial recalculation services, which provide an administrative service, can do their job. They are an important tool in ensuring access to justice for parents who pay or receive child support. These services help update child support amounts through a process that is fast, more effective, low cost and non adversarial.

These recalculation services recalculate the amounts indicated in child support orders and agreements based on a parent's current income. However, they cannot proceed with the recalculation on income allocated or when no income information has been provided. In such cases, parents have to go through the courts to amend the child support amount.

These amendments to the act will reduce costs, not only for parents but also for the justice system, by allowing administrative services to recalculate to obtain the income information they need. Agreements with the provinces and territories on the disclosure of information will be updated in order to guarantee the protection of income information disclosed to the services responsible for doing the recalculation. [English]

Bill C-78 also proposes amendments to the garnishment provisions. This act provides for the payment of salaries and pension benefits payable to current and former federal employees to another person to help satisfy family support. Amendments to the legislation would help reduce child poverty by making the process more efficient so that families receive the support they are entitled to in a timely manner. For example, the amendments would prioritize garnishment for family support debts over all other debts, other than debts to the Crown, which allow for earlier garnishment where possible.

In conclusion, separation and divorce can be difficult emotionally and financially for families and children. That most Canadians dutifully meet their obligations when it comes to both th...”

Mr. Arif Virani

October 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... bill complements that. It is a staggering figure that two million children in this country live in families that have experienced a divorce. It is equally staggering that over a billion dollars of sp...”

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

October 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...stice services, Bill C-78 is part of our government's commitment to improving access to justice for families going through separation and divorce. Under the pen of retired Supreme Court Justice Cromwell, the action committee on access to justice in civil and family matters stated that early management of legal issues and encouraging informal dispute resolution were key to improving access to justice.

Bill C-78 recognizes the need to improve access to justice and offers guidance, information and tools to help families going through separation and divorce, including people who represent themselves, as well as lawyers and courts involved in family law issues.

Bill C-78 encourages the use of family dispute resolution processes. These are defined as out-of-court processes used by parties to help them resolve their family law disputes. Negotiation, mediation and collaborative law are examples of such processes. These are often less expensive and faster than litigation and allow parents to actively participate in creating arrangements that are in the child's best interests.

Part of the role lawyers play is to ensure that parents who have family law issues have the relevant information on family dispute resolution. Bill C-78 would create a duty for lawyers to tell parents about family justice services that could help them resolve their disputes, and to encourage them to try family dispute resolution where appropriate.

In addition, if the case is before the court, the bill gives judges the option to refer parents to family dispute resolution where available. Bill C-78 also introduces duties for parents involved in a family law matter to try to resolve their issues through a family dispute resolution process where appropriate.

That said, family dispute resolution processes may not be appropriate in all circumstances, including where there is family violence. For this reason, Bill C-78 only encourages the use of these procedures where appropriate. Courts and lawyers must evaluate each of these situations on a case-by-case basis and take into account families' circumstances, including whether there is family violence, before encouraging the use of family dispute resolution. In addition, other service providers, such as certified mediators, play a critical role in screening for family violence and power imbalances in order to promote a fair and equitable process.

There are numerous ways that Bill C-78 would facilitate the resolution of family disputes and help parents reach out of court agreements focused on the best interests of their children. For example, it proposes changes to custody and access language, the definitions in the old version of the act, to use terminology that is more neutral and child focused and reflects the actual tasks of parenting, such as parenting time and other terms used in the act. It also includes a non-exhaustive list of criteria to help determine what is in the child's best interest, as well as criteria to assist parents dealing with relocation issues. This additional information will help parents make informed and child-focused decisions and better understand what the outcome might be if they were to go to court. This in turn is intended to help reduce litigation.

Our government is bringing forward some innovative thinking to help improve the family justice system. There are issues currently determined by courts that are administrative in nature and that could be handled outside of the court. Bill C-78 will expand the range of matters that child support services may address and will allow them to perform tasks currently that were in the sole purview of the court itself.

Many provinces and territories have child support services that recalculate support orders, for instance. Bill C-78 proposes several measures to make these services more efficient. This includes the recalculation of interim child support amounts in Divorce Act orders. In addition, the bill would allow child support services to recalculate child support amounts at the request of a parent, for example, if there were a job loss. Currently, the Divorce Act requires that recalculation be done only at fixed or regular dates.

The bill also includes a new approach allowing for the calculation of initial child support amounts by provincial or territorial child support services, where possible. This will allow administrative services, as opposed to courts, to calculate, based on relevant income information, child support amounts based on child support guidelines.

These proposed additions and improvements to the Divorce Act would make it easier, less costly and less adversarial to determine or recalculate child support amounts. (1040)

Changing Divorce Act orders when parties live in different jurisdictions can also be costly and cumbersome for families. Bill C-78 proposes to improve the process to change a support order for parties living in different provinces or territories.

Currently, two courts are involved, a court in the applicant's province that makes a provisional order and a court in the respondent's jurisdiction that confirms the order. The new process would involve only one court and would eliminate the need for the current first stage hearing, thereby saving time and money. Because this new system mirrors that in most provinces and territories, it would also ensure consistency whether interjurisdictional proceedings are conducted under the provincial legislation or under the Divorce Act.

The bill also includes provisions to improve processes in international child support cases. These changes are an essential step for Canada to become party to the 2007 Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, which was signed in May 2017.

The 2007 convention is an international agreement that provides a low-cost and efficient legal framework for cross-border establishment, modification, recognition and enforcement of family support obligations. It will be of particular interest to Canadian families and children, as it provides a means for a parent to obtain child support from a former spouse living in a different country.

Another way in which Bill C-78 would increase access to justice and improve the efficiency of the family justice system is by amending the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act. This act is used to help parents enforce support. The bill proposes to amend it to permit, in certain limited circumstances, the release of income information when parents do not provide it.

Accurate income information is key to determining fair child support amounts. This change would help to accurately determine child support amounts and enforce support orders, as well as to reduce time spent in court to obtain this information. Proceedings to obtain this information currently take up a lot of court time and resources and this can be expensive for people who are trying to obtain support and is not a good use of family resources.

When this information is given to a court, it would be sealed and kept in a location to which the public has no access, and the court could make any order necessary to protect the confidentiality of the information.

While the bill encourages resolution of matters outside of the court system, there are some matters that require formal court resolution.

Budget 2018 announced funding to expand unified family courts, fulfilling one of the Minister of Justice's mandate letter commitments to Canadians. The family court in my riding of St. John's East has benefited from this.

Unified family courts provide one-stop shopping for the family justice system by combining jurisdiction over all family law matters into one court. They also provide access to a range of family justice services, such as family law information centres and mediation services to help families through a range of family law issues, including separation and divorce and other services.

Funding is essential for the delivery of family justice services which fall within provincial and territorial jurisdiction. In budget 2017 our government committed $16 million per year for family justice services on an ongoing basis. This funding will increase Canadians' access to family justice by supporting provincial and territorial programs and services, such as mediation, parent information, education and support enforcement.

We have to work together to improve the accessibility and the efficiency of the Canadian family justice system. Bill C-78, along with the expansion of unified family courts and sustained funding for family justice services, will help support Canadian families going through separation and divorce and the over two million Canadian children who live in separated or divorced families. This is a great step forward and I trust that the changes we have proposed will bring posi...”

Mr. Michael Cooper (St. Albert—Edmonton, CPC)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“... Canadian society has evolved considerably in these last 33 or 34 years, including the structure of families and, unfortunately, the increased prevalence of divorces and marital breakdown. It is about time that Parliament moved forward to consider a comprehensive update to the Divorce Act.

In terms of the substance of this bill, let me say that we are open to looking at it carefully. On the surface, it would seem that this bill contains a number of positive measures. Among the key substantive aspects of this bill is the updating of terminology, encouraging families to settle disputes outside of the court, improving child support enforcement, and preserving the well-being of impacted children. All of these measures, on the surface, appear to be a step in the right direction. (1055)

In terms of the road to reform, it has been, as I mentioned, a long time coming. We saw a very thorough review undertaken by Justice Cromwell, back in 2013. One of the key recommendations from the Cromwell committee was the need to update terminology. Right now, under the Divorce Act, the terminology is quite adversarial, and that is not helpful as families deal with what is often the most difficult and challenging time couples can face when they are in a situation of marital breakdown.

Among the changes Bill C-78 would make would be to change the language to make it less adversarial, in accordance with the recommendations of the Cromwell committee. In what ways would the bill make the language in the Divorce Act less adversarial? For example, it would replace the term “custody” with the term “contact” and the term “access” with the term “parenting”.

Another aspect of the bill is that it would encourage parties to try to settle disputes through mediation or alternative dispute resolution. Far too much money is spent in our courts, and to the degree that families can settle their marital matters outside of court, outside of what is, by definition, an ad...”

Mr. Michael Cooper

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...tary secretary in a constructive manner to hopefully craft the best possible legislation for women, families and children in Canada.”

Mr. Michael Cooper

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...mic issue of family violence. We have always stood up for the safety and well-being of children and families as Conservatives. Again, I reiterate that I, along with all my colleagues, intend to work c...”

Mr. Michael Cooper

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...wyers, I guess, to some degree, benefit, although I do not think any lawyer takes comfort in seeing families in these disputes expending all kinds of money to no end.

As I mentioned, it is encou...”

Mr. Randeep Sarai

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...se four would have a great impact on making the process more efficient and more cost-preventive for families.”

Mr. Ali Ehsassi (Willowdale, Lib.)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“... of the child and would make federal family law more responsive to the modern-day needs of Canadian families. Family law, as has been noted by all of the speakers today, is both complex and broad and as a result, there are significant gaps and inefficiencies, which existing laws have not adequately addressed. Bill C-78 seeks to remedy these gaps through a wide-ranging series of common-sense adjustments.

Today I will focus on six key elements of Bill C-78: strengthening the best interests of the child provisions, enshrining primary consideration into family law, important changes to terminology, modernizing the Divorce Act, creating contact orders and setting new relocation guidelines.

Allow me to start with the best interests of the child test. The best interests of the child test has been a fundamental part of family law in Canada and in many other countries for decades. Under the Divorce Act, courts must consider only a child's best interests when making decisions about who may care for or make decisions about a child. The Divorce Act, however, gives surprisingly little guidance regarding this test.

In 1998, the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access called for the Divorce Act to include a list of criteria considered to be in the best interests of the child. Many others have added to this call, including academics, child advocates and the Canadian Bar Association. With Bill C-78, our government is answering their calls and taking important steps to address existing gaps and inefficiencies in the family law system.

The proposed criteria for the best interests of the child would emphasize critical elements of a child's life. They include a child's stage of development, ties to loved ones, cultural identity, and personal views and preferences. However, the list is not closed or exhaustive. If a particular factor in a child's life is especially relevant—for example, if the child has medical needs or participates in competitive sporting events—courts could consider these factors where appropriate and relevant.

Adding definitional certainty to the best interests of the child test in the Divorce Act promotes children's interests. It also promotes another one of the bill's key goals: improving access to justice. In some Canadian jurisdictions, over three-quarters of family law litigants are self-represented. Also, a list of best interests of the child criteria in the Divorce Act would help parents better understand their legal responsibilities. It would assist them to better frame their negotiations on arrangements for their children and more often come to agreements outside the court system. Alternatively, if parents cannot agree on their own, this clarity would help self-represented litigants to better frame their arguments in legal proceedings.

Allow me now to move to the second point, which is primary consideration. The reference to “primary consideration” is crucial to the values embodied in Bill C-78. Emphasizing primary consideration would ensure that courts prioritize a child's physical, emotional and psychological safety, security and well-being. Courts would weigh all other criteria in regard to this primary consideration. Doing so would ensure that the best interests of the child remain paramount in protecting families from the negative outcomes often related to separation and divorce.

I will move to th...”

Mr. Jim Eglinski (Yellowhead, CPC)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...C-78 is well overdue and is needed.

I listened in depth to the conversation about separation, families relocating, the court sitting down and evaluating a mechanism to look at both sides, and th...”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...it can through these difficult circumstances. We understand very well how traumatic divorces are on families.

We are overall pleased with the intentions of Bill C-78, especially the promotion of child welfare and the measures to combat family violence. We have always stood up for and believed in the safety and well-being of children and of families.

However, where this goes off the tracks for me is in the fact that the counterintuit...”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...ere the legal system needs to do what it needs to do to deal with very violent circumstances within families. That is important. I am not denying it.

It was not I who compared the legislation to the Titanic, but Robert Harvie, a family lawyer, mediator and arbitrator. He is also the advisory board member for the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, and past law society of Alberta bencher. This is a man who knows his stuff. He indicated:

While we uniformly acknowledge how damaging and inappropriate litigation is to resolve family disputes, at the same time, at the same time, funding and support for alternate forms of resolution is so scant as to be almost nonexistent, while the funding for the litigation machine only grows.

I personally know of scenarios where couples find themselves in an overwhelmingly difficult circumstance, where both individuals realize they are facing divorce and know that they have to get through that process and are very concerned for their children. I am talking about scenarios where we could do a great deal more to help couples deal with the circumstances they are facing through other methods than having to go through the legal system, where lawyers charge huge amounts of money and litigation is the natural path for them to take.

This is unlike what my friend did, an amazing lawyer who solved most of the issues that came to his desk through arbitration and mediation without going to court and without expensive litigation. That is the point I am trying to make. That is not a priority of the legal system when people within it are told to go work at legal aid, rather than the government investing within Canada in these types of services in our legal system to see healthy families continue to thrive.”

Mr. Blake Richards (Banff—Airdrie, CPC)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“... bill is an expression by the federal government that progress was needed in the way that separated families were treated under the law”. I would certainly agree with that. It goes on to say that “However, much of what is being proposed has been already implemented in out-of-court settlements, as well as in decisions made by judges.”

The second article is entitled “What’s in a name? Divorce Act amendment not enough to reduce parental conflict”. I will not read any passages from it, because I think the title speaks for itself.

The third is the article my colleague read from, but I want to read from some different parts of it. It is entitled “Bill C-78 amendments to the Divorce Act: ‘Rearranging the deck chairs’”. (1210)

I would like to read a little from that article. First, the author, someone who has vast experience in family law in my province of Alberta, says:

I would go further and suggest most of Bill C-78 is an expression of “good intention” without sufficient substance to accomplish real change.

That is quite a typical statement that could be made about many of the initiatives of the government. Often it tends to focus on symbolism, talking points and these kinds of things, rather than on really accomplishing anything that would achieve the kinds of objectives it often speaks about. I am not going to say that this is necessarily the case. The author of this article is certainly positing that, though.

The author goes on to say:

Also noted is that Bill C-78 is 190 pages long. The current Divorce Act is only 41 pages long. As self-represented litigants now comprise 80 per cent of the parties before many courts, one might reasonably ask how they will navigate through legislation that is over four times longer than the previous version—which was already difficult for a nonlawyer to digest.

So. My take?

Bill C-78 is a huge new ship, with some very nice looking aesthetic additions—but, with too few lifeboats.

And the iceberg is still coming.

Those are comments of the author of that article.

Obviously there may be some things we need to look at that may need to be addressed with this piece of legislation. However, as I have already stated, I believe that the objectives that are trying to be achieved here are laudable. I certainly hope that this bill will actually be found to address those or can be amended or changed in ways that would make sure that it would do just that. It is something that does need to be done. It is important.

I certainly discovered, during my time both as a member of Parliament and, as I mentioned, in my experience with family law, with my son, which ultimately worked out positively, that there were far too many parents, mainly fathers, and grandparents whose children and grandchildren were being deprived of time with them. That needs to be fixed.

That is part of the reason I am so proud to be part of the Conservative Party of Canada, which has the following policy regarding shared parenting. I will read the policy into the record:

The Conservative Party believes that in the event of a marital breakdown, the Divorce Act should grant joint custody and/or shared parenting, unless it is clearly demonstrated not to be in the best interests of the child. Both parents and all grandparents should be allowed to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children and grandchildren, unless it is demonstrated not to be in the best interest of the child.

That is a very important principle and one that I fully support and believe in. It is one we should be seeking to achieve here.

I will just tell a brief personal story. I was a child of divorce as well. My parents divorced when I was about 12 years old. I have two brothers. After my parents divorced, I spent some time living with each of my parents, and actually both of my brothers did the same, at different times.

My parents, as in most divorces, I suppose, certainly did not get along very well. To this day, I would say that they probably do not get along very well. The key point, however, is that they were able to put aside those differences when it came to their children and tried to do what was right to make sure that their children were able to maintain a strong, positive relationship with both parents. Even though, at times, my brothers and I did not live in the same house, and, in fact, lived in cities that were an hour apart, they made sure that we had the opportunity to continue to have a very strong relationship as siblings. I would say today that I have maintained that with my brothers and with both my parents. That was important, but it is not a common enough story.

That is why these changes are so important and why it is important that this bill is done in the right way and is not just about symbolism, that it is actually going to accomplish the objectives.

I certainly hope that after examination in committee, and after any amendments that might be required, it will be possible, through this piece of legislation, for more children and more families to achieve that goal of ensuring that the relationship remains with both parents and with a...”

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

October 4th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...protecting children, particularly children who are exposed to domestic violence, children born into families, through no fault of their own, who experience things that can have a generational impact. ...”

Mrs. Sylvie Boucher (Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix, CPC)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...

The Conservative Party is working and will always work in the interests of victims and their families, and we believe that, in cases of divorce, the Divorce Act should allow for shared custody or shared parenting responsibilities unless it is clearly demonstrated that this is not in the best interests of the child. Both parents and all grandparents should maintain close, meaningful relationships with their children and grandchildren—unless it is shown that this is not in the bests interests of the child, of course.

All of this will have financial implications. To expand unified family courts, the government is planning to spend $77.2 million over four years beginning in 2019-20, plus another $20 million per year to create 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Federal family laws have not been updated significantly in 20 years. According to the 2016 census, there were over 2 million children whose parents were separated or divorced, which is a huge number. Between 1991 and 2011, 5 million Canadians separated or divorced, which is also a huge number. Of those 5 million people, 38% had a child with their ex-spouse at the time they separated or divorced. Some 1.16 million children of separated or divorced parents lived in single-parent households, and 1.2 million children lived with a step-parent.

Single-parent families, especially those headed by women, which was my case for a very long time, are more likely to be poor than two-parent families. That is so true. Studies have shown that child support is a key factor in lifting families out of poverty following separation or divorce.

It is hard for single mothers or single fathers—let us not forget about them—to feed their children properly if they are earning $12, $13, $14, or $15 an hour and not getting support payments. We know that young children need a lot of protein. As they grow they eat a lot. Apparently boys eat more than girls do. I have daughters only so I cannot speak to that, but we do have to take that into consideration. We have to focus on single-parent families, but we must put the child first in a bill such as this. The child's well-being is essentia...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...nt of it. The 2016 census shows that over two million children were living in separated or divorced families. Five million Canadians separated or divorced between 1991 and 2011. Of those, 38% had a child together at the time of their separation or divorce. This affects over one-third of the Canadian population, children of those who are part of a divorce situation. In addition, 1.16 million children of separated or divorced parents were living in a lone parent family. Another 1.02 million children were living in step families.

I will also be taking another perspective. I have had meetings with several of my constituents on the implications and impact of Bill C-78, and of course I am here to represent my constituents. Later on, because I received several letters, I will be reading one letter in particular into the record. The hope is that when the bill does go to committee, there will be reflection on what people across the country would like to see as changes to this legislation.

There is a lot to support in Bill C-78. It is rather robust legislation, 190 pages. When we contrast that to the Divorce Act, at 41 pages, there is a lot to consider and reflect on within the bill. There are some things to support and some things that need to be changed when we get to committee.

The reduction in delays of the justice system would save costs. Another thing I have witnessed over my years in the emergency services is the devastating impact divorce can have on families. There is a cost not just to fathers but to mothers as well, and that impacts the family.

What does Bill C-78 attempt to do? The bill was tabled on May 22. The proposed bill amends the Divorce Act to, among other things, replace terminology related to custody and access with terminology related to parenting. This is a simple modification, but it reflects modern times. It establishes non-exhaustive list criteria with respect to the best interest of the child. All of us in the House, and quite frankly across the country, are interested in the best interest of the child. It creates duties for parties and legal advisers to encourage the use of family dispute resolution processes. As I said before, the cost associated with divorce is debilitating for many. Some parents simply cannot recover from those costs.

There are things to like about the legislation. It would modernize the Divorce Act, but, more important, as we get it to committee, we will get to hear from stakeholders. (1240)

As I said earlier, I want to read into the record a letter that I received from Mr. Andrew Corbett, a constituent of mine. He is part of a Simcoe County support group called “Fathers Equal Parenting”. This is a letter that was subsequent to a meeting we had in my constituency office in Barrie—Innisfil and it provides a different perspective, a different context.

Today we are debating Bill C-78, which the government has proposed, but it is also important, I believe, and I think you will agree with me, Mr. Speaker, to find those contrasting views, those things that can help parents across the country. The letter states:

As one of your constituents I am writing to express my concerns about Child Custody legislation and the recent Bill C-78. Bill C-78 fails to give sufficient credence to the views of the vast majority of Canadians who support a Rebuttable Presumption for Equal Shared Parenting when it comes to Child Custody law.

Although there may be some plausible, positive measures in the new government initiative, Bill C-78, there are a number of serious deficits in this proposed reform of child custody legislation. Notwithstanding, I believe that there are tenable solutions to significantly improve Bill C-78.

Andrew further wrote:

Canadians overwhelmingly support Equal Shared Parenting. In recent polls, nearly 80% support Equal Shared Parenting, country-wide. Moreover, many countries have adopted shared parenting, or have endorsed shared parenting, and are proposing legislative changes. Furthermore, social science research and literature has strongly came in favour of shared parenting, concluding that children in these relationships have superior academic, emotional, social and economic futures with drastically lower incidence of substance abuse, crime, and incarceration.

In view of the changes in social norms and family structures in the intervening 33 years since the current Divorce Act was passed, our child custody legal system requires fundamental structural changes. While the government initiative with bill C-78 should be commended for its housekeeping changes, we really need to make lives better for children and their parents, with reform of a more fundamental nature. I ask you to advocate a number of amendments to Bill C-78. I ask that you advocate for legislative change that incorporates accepted social science research findings and the consistently expressed views of the Canadian public. A rebuttable presumption in favour of Equal Shared Parenting is the appropriate course of action in light of the research and the consistent polling data over many years (ie. about 80% in favour). Interests groups, including Bar Associations and other interest groups, will surely oppose. In summary, the following points need to be incorporated into Bill C-78.

Canada needs a rebuttable presumption of equal shared parenting. This principle should be the starting point for “best interests of the child” deliberations.

Adopt continuity of family relationships as the definitional basis for the “best interests of the child” standard.

Amend proposed relocation clauses to place the onus on the relocating parent for changes in parenting responsibilities and arrangements.

Include arbitration as an explicit component of dispute resolution options.

Include provision for a “Parental Coordinator” to mediate and, if necessary, to break deadlock situations in day-to-day implementation of the Parenting Order.

Andrew goes on to say:

On paper the proposed Bill C-78 seems to support some admirable measures but I ask that you advocate for a less adversarial family justice system with implementation of the following:

Further implementation of the Unified Family Court;

Support for alternative and non-adversarial dispute resolution (e.g. expansion of such programs as “393 Mediate” where free, low cost mediation is provided in courts.);

Increased legal Aid Funding (wider access to justice in the family system is essential);

In conclusion, a Rebuttable Presumption in favour of Equal Shared Parenting will set the stage for equality and serve to reduce conflict stemming from unwarranted senses of entitlement; reduce excess legal expense, thus allocating family finances for the needs of the family and children; and promote the “best interest” of Canadian children to enjoy a decent relationship with both parents. Many like-minded Canadians support these changes. Now please propose these changes.

He thanks me for reading the letter. I will submit this into the record.

I have asked Mr. Corbett to come to committee once this bill passes through the House of Commons so that he can testify and submit his own view on where Bill C-78 needs to be approved. Many people believe that Bill C-78 is a good piece of legislation, but there are some amendments that could provide a better, solid piece of legislation that is in the best interests of Canadian children and their families.”

Mr. John Brassard

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...ok after our children to make sure that we have a safe and secure environment for not only them but families, understanding that we need to make sure that there is a responsibility on the part of parents to be looking after their children. Not all of that responsibility lies on the part of the government. At least that is a fundamental belief that I have. We need to encourage parents to accept the responsibility of parenthood.

I will say in contrast to that that there are some difficulties and some hypocrisy on the part of the government, specifically as it relates to Bill C-75 where it has made some changes that directly impact crimes against children. However, I do not want to get into the weeds on Bill C-75.

Absolutely governments across this country, and throughout the history of this country, have always believed in the rights of children while making sure that we have a safe and secure environment for children and families as well.”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...te and fair maintenance is determined in the case of a marriage breakdown or divorce, that supports families, particularly low-income families who sometimes have a tough time ensuring that fair maintenance is provided. I suppose that contributes to it.

I hope, though, that this is not the only thing we will rely on to reduce child poverty. I am a new MP, a first-time MP in this chamber, but I can look back at the history. Back in the day when Ed Broadbent was an MP, many years ago, he actually proposed a motion in this House. It was unanimously passed, by every single member of this House. It said we needed to end child poverty.

However, to this day, we still do not have a national strategy to get there. Why is that? We have one piece here. I am sure government members will get up and say the government is doing this and that, and it is all fantastic and wonderful. However, it is not really. Those are all little patchwork pieces coming into play. Bill C-78 will contribute to that, but it is also just a patchwork piece.

What if we actually brought forward a national strategy to end child poverty, a comprehensive approach that would look at all the different approaches to achieving that goal? Would that not be in the best interests of a child? We would actually be able to realize the words and the intention of this very chamber, when Ed Broadbent brought forward his motion that received unanimous consent so many years ago. (1305)

That would be a positive way forward. I hope we can achieve that. It would be a significant piece toward ending child poverty.

The other thing that would be a significant piece toward ending child poverty would be the provision of affordable housing. Many people have a tough time accessing affordable housing. Where I come from in Vancouver it is almost impossible to get access to safe, secure, affordable housing.

The government will say it has put forward a national affordable housing strategy, which was introduced two years ago. The problem with that is that 90% of that money will not flow until after the next election. It is not as if people who are homeless today can say they will sleep under an alcove and feel really good about it until two years from now when the money flows.

Also, when the money actually does flow, having come from the non-profit sector I know it often takes, at minimum, three to four years to get a project built. That means it is another five, six or seven years before someone actually gets access to housing.

Access to housing would be a significant component to the fight against poverty. Would it not be great if in budget 2019 the government said it would flow the money right now, because the crisis is before us right now?

All of that would contribute to this equation.

I have met some women in my community of Vancouver East who are faced with domestic dispute violence but do not feel they have the option to walk away from the relationship, because they cannot access housing and have no other means of supporting themselves. This is heartbreaking.

Therefore, while the bill aims to provide some support for that, we have to look deeper than that. We need to make sure that women and families also have the option of walking away from a relationship by ensuring they have some resourc...”

Ms. Jenny Kwan

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...On the question around linguistic and cultural recognition particularly for indigenous children and families, absolutely I would support that. This is Canada's shame in history, with the residential s...”

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...n, as that is not only a large percentage but is a growing percentage of the arrangements that many families have in Canada now.”

Mr. Arif Virani

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...statistics that I have unearthed.

Two million Canadian children live in separated or divorced families. Sixty per cent of all cases where there is a maintenance enforcement program involved are ...”

Mr. Alupa Clarke (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...lls have to get paid and children have to eat. Budgets need to be balanced, something that Canadian families do all the time. Our Prime Minister is unable to keep that promise.

The other promise...”

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

October 4th
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Government Orders

“...lent job when it came to shared custody and shared parenting. That has become a nuance for many new families. If I was asked 20 years ago, when I look at that, shared parenting was not really an option. Now many families are looking at this. When the Canada Revenue Agency gave people the opportunity to divide their benefits, it became very beneficial for many of those families.

The only question I will have for the government with respect to this, what does 40% mean? A lot of times when we look at those numbers, it can be very difficult. We have to recognize that when someone has custody of his or her child, is that child in school? Is that parent picking the child up from school? Is the child sleeping in that parent's home? So many factors have to be looked at. I want to ensure that when we talk about the 40% for parenting, that it is looked at with a microscope.

As a person who has had a divorce, I understands what it is like to raise children who have come from that situation. It has been very difficult. If we talk about child support, I am pleased to see in the bill that child support does not have to go in front of a judge or to a court and that it can be done at an administrative level. For many families, this is a huge barrier, whether it is having to pay the legal fees or having to go through the entire process. Making it easier for families is very important.

We have to understand that there are barriers to that as well. My ...”

Mr. Arif Virani (Parkdale—High Park, Lib.)

October 4th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... its sexual education curriculum to bring it into the 21st century, to address things like same-sex families, gender identity, online bullying and consent, but the new Ontario government has seen fit ...”

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

October 4th
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Statements by Members

“...als to recognize that their carbon tax-and-spend agenda is failing Canadian businesses and Canadian families.”

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

October 3rd
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Statements by Members

“...victory and wish them all the best in the years to come. There is nothing I want more than to serve families alongside these new MNAs.”

Ms. Anju Dhillon (Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, Lib.)

October 3rd
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Statements by Members

“...rd the HMCS Charlottetown, I realized just how much the sailors sacrifice. They are away from their families for months at a time. They go beyond the call of duty. They risk their lives. Their motto, ...”

Hon. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC)

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...iberals are in favour of putting the comforts of criminals ahead of the rights of victims and their families.

Under our Conservative government, we listened to Canadians and took steps to correc...”

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

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, our government places the highest priority on ensuring veterans and their families have the support and services they need when and where they need them.

The member kno...”

Mr. Omar Alghabra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.)

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...nt into Canada.

This means more jobs and more prosperity for hard-working Canadians and their families. The CPTPP would deliver 10 new markets on a level playing field so more Canadian businesse...”

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)

October 3rd
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...been instructed that the fine art of diplomacy does not tolerate amateurs.

The livelihoods of families are at stake. Canadians cannot afford a government that puts its own political interests ah...”

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

October 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ght feel to people who live with the pain of crimes that have been committed against them and their families, the conclusions of this review that has already been undertaken, from what I understood fr...”

Mr. Michel Picard (Montarville, Lib.)

October 2nd
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ndments or changes.

Our government recognizes the impact these decisions can have on victims' families, and we certainly do not take these matters lightly. However, we also recognize the importa...”

Mr. Adam Vaughan (Spadina—Fort York, Lib.)

October 2nd
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...fortunately, it is the centre of child poverty in Canada. Despite historic investments in children, families and housing by this government, more than one in four Toronto children live in poverty.

...”

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

October 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we fully support our dairy producers, their families and their communities. It was a Liberal government that created the supply management syste...”

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

October 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we fully support our dairy producers, their families and their communities. A Liberal government created supply management, and it is a Liberal ...”

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

October 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. We fully support our dairy producers, their families and their communities. After all, it was a Liberal government that created supply managemen...”

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)

October 2nd
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, cases like this one are heartrending for all Canadians, especially for the families of the victims. Through the review that I have requested, we will determine whether all rel...”

Mrs. Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre, Lib.)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...s, and there is no more important job than caring for seniors and children. They leave behind their families to care for our families in Canada. It is a sacrifice that is hard for many parents to contemplate, but it speaks to just how strong their will is to build a better life for their families. We need to do more to bring these families together sooner.

Filipino Canadians are making a difference in all walks of life, fro...”

Mrs. Salma Zahid

October 1st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“... advocate for them and will continue to be a strong advocate to make sure that we can reunite their families in Canada as soon as possible.”

Ms. Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, NDP)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...e many Filipino caregivers here in Canada who are far away from their original homes and from their families.

Much of the Filipino community's human rights and work stems from their own community's experience and that is what I would really like to focus on today.

When I rose in question period last week, I asked the Prime Minister about addressing the need for a national, affordable, accessible and high-quality child care program in Canada. The lack of such a program has forced families to navigate a patchwork of options, not all equally accessible or effective for their needs.

For a large number of families here, hiring a caregiver from the Philippines is their best option.

I have had the honour of working with and getting to know personally Filipino caregivers from across the country. Their dedication to their work, to their community and to their family is truly inspiring. However what our immigration system subjects them to is an injustice.

Under the old live-in caregiver program, we forced Filipino women to come to Canada, leave their families behind, live in the home of their employer and work for at least two years before they could apply for permanent resident status and reunite with their family here in Canada.

Caregivers in Canada are treated differently from any other stream of economic migrants in that respect. Filipino caregivers must jump through more hoops and cannot bring their family with them at the outset.

The live-in caregiver program was ended after far too many stories of employer abuse and hardship were made known to the public.

Despite knowing about the systemic hardships involved in the program and the risk of abuse, thousands of Filipino women left their families in the Philippines to come to Canada to care for our families, hoping that one day, after all their hard work, they would be able to secure a better life for their own children by finally reuniting with them here.

Tragically, their PR applications were not given much priority in terms of processing efforts or immigration levels plan space. As a result, an application backlog was created and swelled to tens of thousands. That meant that for thousands of caregivers in Canada, in addition to having to wait two years to even apply, it would take years before an application would be decided.

I met caregivers who, due to these unjust delays, were separated from their families for nearly 10 years. They missed life's milestones. They missed graduations. Relationships and marriages broke down. Loved ones passed away. All while they waited.

In addition to those hardships, they had to keep paying to renew their work permits and they had to keep paying for their family members to have their medical exams done.

They had to continue to respond to IRCC on time, but IRCC did not have that same responsibility to respond to them. In some cases, children aged out of the system. That is, by the time the application finalized, the dependent children were too old to be considered dependants. Families were permanently broken up by our system's backlogs.

Since getting a true sense of this issue I have been taking on live-in caregiver applications from across Canada and my office continues to advocate tirelessly for their completion. (1130)

I was pleased to see that the minister announced that 80% of the backlog would be clear by the end of this year, but at the same time I was heartbroken. It means that for 20% of those families, there will be another Christmas apart. It does not matter how many stories I hear, because I can never really imagine what that feels like. However, these women are so strong. In the face of all of this hardship, they continue to be some of the most dedicated, optimistic people I have ever met. The hope of bringing their family together keeps them going.

The current caregivers program, caring for children and caring for high medical needs, has seen improvements to the system, but it has also put in place additional hoops that caregivers must jump through to stay. The minister quietly had the department post online notice that these programs would be ending next year. I have questioned the minister in this place on what plan there is to replace these programs. It is still unclear.

It is my hope that all members of this House support the motion before us today to recognize the contributions and heritage of the Filipino Canadian community. However, it is also my opinion that to truly recognize those contributions, we must work together to put in place a just caregiver immigration stream, one that recognizes that if they are good enough to work here, they are good enough to stay. That means permanent residence on arrival, a stream that has in mind the best interests of not just the employer's family but of the employee's family as well. That means ending the forced separation of caregivers from their families. Let us not just recognize the contributions of the Filipino community to our country; let us commit to making sure that people are no longer forced to spend even one more Christmas apart.

There is still much work to be done. In addition to this issue, there is also the medical inadmissibility situation, whereby some of the caregivers are forced to leave their family members behind because one member of their family unit has a medical inadmissibility issue. Because of that, the entire family is being rejected. We have to ask what is wrong with this picture. Canada is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, yet we have a policy in place that discriminates against people with disabilities. This is wrong. Caregivers are impacted by this. We want to honour them, and creating a heritage month to recognize the Filipino community is welcome and absolutely to be supported.

To honour that motion and the words behind it, let us also put policies in place and change our immigration policy to ensure that those women who come here to take care of our families are not leaving their families behind, that we are not forcing the break-up of families. We can do this. Canada can do better. Let us honour the Filipino Canadian community with a...”

Mr. Bob Saroya (Markham—Unionville, CPC)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...inalienable right to freedom and independence”.

Celebrations are held each year at this time. Families and friends gather together. There are often parades and fireworks. In my riding of Markham...”

Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk (Kildonan—St. Paul, Lib.)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Private Members' Business

“...were strong. They were highly skilled. They were determined to make a life for themselves and their families, and that is exactly what they did. The community grew. By 1972, another 1,211 garment workers in total had come to Winnipeg. Today, the community exceeds 77,305 active citizens.

Their total population in Canada is approaching a million right now. According to the 2016 census, there were 837,000 Filipinos. It is a strong and vibrant community, as we have heard from others. However, it is also one that understands the importance of democracy and political activism. Liberal democracy has been a vital goal of Filipinos throughout time. We have seen that play out in Canadian politics, in their activities at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

I am proud to say that Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan actually lives in my riding of Kildonan—St. Paul. He was the first member of Parliament of Filipino heritage to be elected into this House in 1988. He served until 1997. I wish Dr. Rey well. He is strong, healthy and still politically active.

Fifty years ago, the women came to the garment industry primarily to make a big difference, and that is exactly what they did. When they came, they got a free ticket to Winnipeg and $125 spending money. We can only imagine. I am hoping they also got a parka if they came in November.

It was a tough group of women who came. They earned $1.20 an hour doing piecework, which is not easy work. Did they give up or go back? No. They stayed. They shared a house or accommodations, and they worked together. Now they are a thriving community of professionals, health care workers, administrative workers, tradespeople, entrepreneurs and politicians, and are well integrated throughout Canadian society.

We see many of them involved in schools or at church. On Sundays they are often barbecuing at Kildonan Park. They bring their fishing heritage and traditions, and we see many rods in the Red River. Across many of the 100,000 lakes in Manitoba, we see Filipino families catching fish for the barbecue later on at Kildonan Park. We see them in sports, in culture...”

Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... year to modernize military family support programs. This will provide more support to our military families when members are deploying or during long periods of absence. We are also helping to stabilize family life for Canadian Armed Forces members and their families, which frequently have to relocate. Through our seamless Canada initiative, we have started...”

Mr. James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, CPC)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...always getting breaks. We want to make sure that we keep our streets and communities safe, and that families of victims have an effective voice.

As Conservatives, we are very proud of our record...”

Mr. James Bezan

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ould be helping them. By doing that, we will be able to get that help to military members and their families quicker.”

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

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...e topic here today and I do want to set that aside. The goal here is removing, as I have heard from families, from veterans and from serving members, a major obstacle to those who need help with serio...”

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

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ess. Conservative are committed to keeping our streets and communities safe for Canadians and their families. We took decisive, concrete steps to hold offenders accountable for their actions, which ar...”

Hon. Kent Hehr (Calgary Centre, Lib.)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...rs are partnering with our government to build 161 affordable housing units for low-income seniors, families and individuals. This affordable housing project in Calgary was the first to receive federa...”

Mr. Robert Morrissey (Egmont, Lib.)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ves of Captain Glen DesRoches and Moe Getson, it reminded me of the risk faced by fishers and their families every time they take to the water. I would like to take this opportunity to send my heartfe...”

Mrs. Sherry Romanado (Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne, Lib.)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ll seniors and to recognize the invaluable contributions they have made and continue to make to our families, workplaces, and communities, and to Canada.[English]

Seniors worked hard for us, and...”

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

October 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...This agreement will be good for Canadian workers and businesses. It will also be good for Canadian families.”

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

October 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, I will start with supply management. We fully support our dairy farmers, their families and their communities. This agreement will open up access to markets, but the most importan...”

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

October 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ke concessions on supply management. Unfortunately, today we have our answer. Over 200,000 Canadian families depend on dairy, yet the current government just sacrificed domestic production. Our farmer...”

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s decision. For once, will the Prime Minister do the right thing and stand up for victims and their families instead of criminals?”

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

October 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...e active in their communities, contributing so much to society, yet too many are being left behind. Families struggle to support their elderly loved ones. Seniors poverty is on the rise. Too many are ...”

Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Minister of Health, Lib.)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...investment of $10 million to improve understanding of mental health for black Canadian youth, their families and communities in order to strengthen informed policies, programs, and interventions. This...”

Mr. Raj Saini (Kitchener Centre, Lib.)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...financing initiative will increase the amount of affordable rental housing options for middle-class families struggling in expensive housing markets across Canada?”

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

October 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...uring a $2 million investment from the rental construction financing initiative, which will give 20 families in Kitchener a safe and affordable place to live.

This is all part of the national ho...”

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

October 1st
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we fully support our dairy producers, their families and their communities. It was a Liberal government that created the supply management syste...”

Mr. John Brassard

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...the previous government was, in contrast to the current government, to look after victims and their families to make sure that within the criminal justice system they were looked after. The emphasis in the Victims Bill of Rights was not on criminals but on the victims.

This piece of legislation would enshrine the Victims' Bill of Rights into the National Defence Act, putting a statute of limitations of six months on summary hearing cases and clarifying what cases should be handled by a summary hearing. Bill C-71 would have instituted these changes as well had it passed the previous Parliament.

The main difference between this legislation and Bill C-71 is the addition of the Gladue decision into the National Defence Act. This addition will mean that aboriginal members of the Canadian Forces facing charges under the National Defence Act would face lighter punishments and special consideration if convicted. (1520)

We have heard on this side of the House during the debate all day that it could result in sentences that are less harsh versus other CAF members, so the question of fairness comes into it. Members could undermine operational discipline, morale and anti-racism policies.

The vast majority of Bill C-77 is based on the previous Conservative government's bill. We are going to support this bill, but we are going to seek some amendments at the committee stage. Excuse the cynicism, but it is our hope that this bill and some of those amendments that come at committee will be looked at by the government side. I know that we will have lots of stakeholders who come to committee. There will be recommendations from those stakeholders, including first nations communities and other advocates for military justice and civil justice in this country. It is our hope that the government will listen to all the information that comes forward and will deal with some of those considerations. Again, the government has not shown that commitment in the past to being open to many of the recommendations, not just from the Conservative side but from the NDP side as well. We are hoping that the Liberals will do that.

The previous bill had hundreds of consultations. They had stakeholders. Victims and members of communities came forward and spoke to Bill C-71. We landed at a good place with that piece of legislation. However, the Gladue decision certainly made changes to that.

I am fortunate, as you are, Mr. Speaker, to be close to a military base, base Borden, or camp Borden, as it was known in the past. In the time I have spent at base Borden and with base commander Atherton, as well as Chief Warrant Officer Charette, many people who serve have come and gone. When I was the critic for veterans affairs, I used to travel across the country meeting with military members, veterans and stakeholders and their families. The first question I would ask when I was in front of them was how many had gone through b...”

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

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...the criminal impacted their lives, how this activity has destroyed, for example, the lives of their families.

The Victims Bill of Rights also talks about restitution orders and the fact that victims have the right to have the court consider making restitution to them by the offender.

There are a number of other things in the Victims Bill of Rights, but that lays the foundation for us for Bill C-77. The bill is about enshrining that Victims Bill of Rights in the National Defence Act. It also puts a statute of limitations of six months on summary hearing cases.

We heard this morning about the various levels of discipline and how the defence minister , if we trust him, was trying to make some changes that would speed up some of the discipline cases on lesser offences. We are hoping that what the Liberals are saying is actually true.

This is virtually a copy of something that was presented three years ago by the former Conservative government just before the last election. I guess the good thing is, as I mentioned, the Liberals have taken this on and have decided that they are going to bring the bill forward in much the same fashion and structure that it was before and introduce those changes.

There are some differences. We have talked a bit about them as well. One of the main differences in this bill, and probably will be one of the main things that will be discussed at committee, is the addition of the Gladue decision in the National Defence Act. For those people who are not familiar with that, it instructs the courts to take into consideration an aboriginal person's background when he or she is sentenced. On occasion, when that is applied, it may mean that the sentencing itself or the sentencing process will be different for that individual than it would be for a non-aboriginal person. (1545)

People have questioned whether this should be considered in the military. Is it appropriate that in the military, where everyone is subject to the same structures of discipline, where we try to bring about equality and equal participation, someone would have a different sentencing structured or a different level of punishment than other people would based on these kinds of considerations? I am sure we will be bringing forward those issues and asking those questions at committee.

Our government made it a priority to stand up for victims. That is why we brought forward the Victims Bill of Rights. That is also why we saw our Bill C-71 come forward prior to the election, in pretty much the form being presented by the current government. We know that the priority of government, on this side of the House anyway, should be to protect the safety of its citizens. We take that responsibility very seriously.

Putting the rights of victims back into the centre of the criminal justice system was important to us. It was something we spoke about many times and made it the centre of a number of different pieces of legislation, the guarantee that victims would have the right to have a more effective voice in the system and that they would be treated with courtesy and compassion. I think we are all familiar with situations in the past years where often victims seemed to be harassed more than they were treated with compassion and respect when they came forward with charges. We were determined to try to reverse that trend and ensure people were treated with respect, while keeping our streets, our cities and communities safe for Canadians and their families. That was why we took so many concrete steps to hold people accountable for their actions. ...”

Mr. Larry Maguire (Brandon—Souris, CPC)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“... Minnedosa, Neepawa, and other areas.

They are our friends and our neighbours. They and their families are part of our communities. Many will know that due to our quality of life and the amazing...”

Mr. Larry Maguire

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...es, with French and English, and learning more from each side, as well as the opportunities for the families to be able to use that centre better. This is purely an example of why we wanted to have th...”

Mrs. Rosemarie Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC)

October 1st
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...alling record of putting the rights of dangerous criminals ahead of the rights of victims and their families. Just last week, the Liberals voted against our Conservative motion calling on their Minist...”

Ms. Jennifer O'Connell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Youth Economic Opportunity), Lib.)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...rams and services that Canadians need while keeping taxes low for small businesses and middle-class families is important to our government, and to all Canadians.

When our government took office more than two years ago, we made a commitment to invest in growth while upholding the principle of fairness for all taxpayers. A fair tax system is key to ensuring that the benefits of a growing economy are felt by more and more people with good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and everyone working hard to join it. The government is taking action on multiple fronts to ensure that all Canadians are paying their fair share of tax.

Let me remind hon. members that one of the government's first actions was to cut taxes for the middle class and raise them on the top 1%. In total, more than nine million Canadians are benefiting from this tax cut. Then we moved to provide simpler, more generous and better targeted support to those Canadian families with children that need it most. We did that by replacing the previous child benefit system with the Canada child benefit. Compared to the old system of child benefits, the Canada child benefit, or CCB, is simpler, more generous and better targeted to those who need it most, and it is tax free. Nine out of 10 families are better off under the CCB, and the benefit has helped lift 521,000 individuals, including nearly 300,000 children, out of poverty. On average, families benefiting from the CCB are receiving $6,800 per year to help put healthy food on the table, pay for lessons and buy clothes and supplies for school. The CCB is especially helpful for those families led by single parents. These families are most often led by single mothers, who have lower total incomes on average, and so benef...”

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

September 28th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...f dollars worth of investment because of the government. Investment is fleeing; we are losing jobs, families are worse off than they were before; and we are going in the opposite direction in what mos...”

Mr. Matthew Dubé (Beloeil—Chambly, NDP)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“... year's Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day, let us pledge our love and support to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives keeping us safe, those who battle with the c...”

Mr. David de Burgh Graham (Laurentides—Labelle, Lib.)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...sport veterans to the mountaintop by helicopter.

I want to express my sincere respect for the families and descendants of the victims. It is our duty to remember all of the aviators and soldiers...”

Mr. Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, NDP)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...ing up for my constituents and everything that comes with the challenges facing our underprivileged families, with our transportation issues and access to the shores of the river. It has also meant de...”

Mrs. Sylvie Boucher (Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix, CPC)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ts is a supra-constitutional statute, which includes the right to information for victims and their families. It is unacceptable that Tori Stafford's parents were only informed after their child's kil...”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ong advocate for veterans in Canada. For their contributions and sacrifices, all veterans and their families deserve to be supported and treated with respect by their government, yet when Mr. Bruyea p...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we have made sure to inform veterans and their families of the benefits and programs available to them. It is important to explain what the pension...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...ns for serious crime, be addressed. This will ensure that we continue to support veterans and their families when they need help.”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“..., let us talk about respect. [Translation]

We on this side of the House fully understand what families go through every time the Conservatives rake up a situation like this. Imagine what these families must be going through. Imagine how painful it is to recall each of these cases.

For p...”

Mr. Richard Martel (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, CPC)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...g that a civilian would no longer be able to receive benefits from a program for veterans and their families if he or she is in prison. If not for the pressure applied by Conservatives, who forced the...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...s opportunity to say that this petty politics is insensitive. It shows a lack of compassion for the families. We answered the question. Unlike the Harper Conservatives, we understand that when a veter...”

Mr. Stéphane Lauzon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...case.

All I am asking our colleagues opposite is to show some compassion and to think of what families must go through every day. They are putting back on the table a very sensitive and delicate...”

Ms. Kim Rudd (Northumberland—Peterborough South, Lib.)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...th the OECD and the G7 when it comes to children being able to complete post-secondary education in families where their own parents did not. This means that more young people are able to get the skil...”

Hon. Pierre Poilievre (Carleton, CPC)

September 28th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“..., in the fall of 2017, the government announced small business tax changes that would have punished families for selling their businesses to their children. If a farmer sold his farm to his kids, he would pay a dividend tax rate of nearly 45% instead of a capital gains tax rate of 25%. If he sold that same farm to a foreign multinational, he could pay the lower tax rate.

In other words, there is a massive penalty for farmers selling their farms to their own kids, but a tax break for selling those same farms to a foreign multinational and having that multinational turn those children into tenants on their ancestral lands.

Because of the ferocious backlash led by the Conservatives and spontaneously ignited on the ground by Canadian taxpayers, the government has decided to put that change on hold until after the next election when it will surely be back. However, small businesses and farmers are not stupid. They know what bullet they dodged and are not going to risk having that change brought forward again.

What have many of them done? According to some of the most respected accounting firms in the country, many of them did their farm sales immediately upon learning that the government had put the change on ice. Therefore, those people will pay a one-time tax on that transaction in the 2017 year. After that year is gone, so too will future revenues, because those transactions will not repeat themselves every single year.

Finally, the government proposed to punish families that shared the work and earnings of a company. It calls that “sprinkling”. I can understan...”

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

September 27th
Hansard Link

Routine Proceedings

“...f of Tamil Canadians and their allies in solidarity with the courageous efforts of protesting Tamil families of the disappeared from the north and east of the island. Beginning in February 2017, Tamil families of the disappeared have protested continuously across the north and east for over 500 days....”

Ms. Sheri Benson (Saskatoon West, NDP)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...gency shelters are 90%, up 10% over the last while. Of that group that are using shelters, more are families with children. They are the fastest-growing percentage of those accessing shelters.

T...”

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ortage of rental housing units, the lack of federal government funding for social housing, too many families spending over 30% of their income on housing and increasing homelessness are only a few examples of the causes and consequences of that crisis.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, CMHC, housing is considered affordable if it represents 30% or less of a household's income. Households that spend more on housing are considered to be in core housing need.

According to the 2016 National Household Survey, 24% of households spend more than 30% of their total income on housing costs. That is one in four Canadian households. Of Canadian households that are renters 40% spend over 30% of their income on rent.

This means that households in core housing need are too often forced to choose which basic needs they will meet.

In a wealthy country like ours, no one should have to choose between buying groceries and paying rent.

The purpose of this motion is to correct this situation and to obtain strong support from the House to ensure that the government meets its international commitments.

A few months ago, the government announced its national housing strategy with great fanfare. The fundamental problem with the strategy is that, as usual, the Liberals are not following through on their promises. I am not casting doubt on the housing minister's goodwill, but he probably needs to talk to the Minister of Finance. When the Minister of Finance announced the funding that would be invested in social infrastructure, including housing, he postponed 90% of those investments until the final year of this government's term.

Despite the urgent and long-standing need for housing, the government thinks it is a good idea to withhold 90% of the money that is supposed to go towards improving living conditions for Canadian families and maybe starting to meet our international commitments. Why is the government withholding this money? Is it so it can be offered up in 2019 as a kind of pre-election treat? That is simply shameful.

That is not all. The vast majority of the funding announced largely depends on increased collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners. Funding that would come from the provinces and the private sector was even included in the national housing strategy, but without their consent.

How long will it take for families affected by the housing crisis to finally see any of this money?

With this motion, we are calling on the government to bring forward 50% of the federal funding allocated to the national housing strategy before the next election and to invest that money in the following: housing for indigenous communities; the construction of new affordable housing, new social housing units and new co-op units; a plan to end homelessness; the renovation of existing social housing and old housing stock; the expansion of rent supplements; and the administration of programs that meet the special needs of seniors and persons with reduced mobility. (1025)

I will now elaborate on a few of these calls for action. The housing situation in indigenous communities could not be more dire, and federal authorities, which have full authority in this area and fiduciary obligations towards indigenous peoples, are aware of this.

I am not making it up when I say that the federal authorities are aware of the situation. As proof, I offer the response to a request for information submitted to the government by my colleague from Timmins—James Bay about the infrastructure needs of first nations. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada had this to say about housing conditions:

According to a needs assessment study based on the National Household Survey 2006, the housing shortage on reserve is expected to rise to approximately 115,000 units by 2031. Data from the 2009-2011 National Assessment of First Nations Water and Wastewater Systems indicates that 20,000 units need to be built on reserve in order to reduce the average number of persons by household to four people per home (on-reserve average), and 81,000 houses are needed to reduce it to the 2.5 Canadian average. Moreover, as of 2011, almost 41% of households on reserve are dwellings in need of major repair and mould or mildew has been reported in 51% of units.

That is what the government said.

Although departmental officials were aware of this situation, the government decided to fund the construction of only 300 new housing units per year in 2016 and 2017, which is only 3% of what is necessary. Moreover, if we take into consideration the fact that the housing shortage will rise to over 115,000 units over the next 15 years, it becomes very clear that the government will have to do a lot more to meet housing needs in indigenous communities and ensure that they too have the right to housing.

We are also calling on the government to invest in the construction of new affordable housing, social housing and co-operative housing units, as well as in the renovation of existing social housing and old housing stock. This is probably not the first time that members have heard me talk about this, because it has been my pet issue for a number of years now. However, it seems I need to repeat myself.

Until the federal government withdrew from the social housing sector in 1994, nearly 650,000 social housing units were built in Canada under long-term agreements with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Those agreements, effective for 25 to 50 years, made it possible for social housing providers to give rent subsidies so that tenants did not have to spend more than 30% of their income on housing. Hundreds of these agreements have gradually been expiring over the past decade or so. From 2006 to 2013, over 45,000 social housing units were affected by the expiry of agreements, and that has had an obvious impact on poorer families. Just last year, the number of households affected climbed to 140,000.

Despite all th...”

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

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...t the Canadian government's renewed involvement will have as big an impact as possible for Canadian families in the decade to come.

Is she aware that approximately one-third of the more than $40...”

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

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...s and all orders of government. As I will demonstrate shortly for members, hundreds of thousands of families are already benefiting. (1040) [Translation]

Investing in housing goes well beyond just bricks and mortar. As our Prime Minister said, all Canadians deserve to have a home, a place where they feel safe, where they can have confidence in their future and focus on themselves and their family.

It also means building inclusive communities for everyone and making sure that all Canadians have affordable housing that meets their needs. Unfortunately, too many Canadians simply cannot afford suitable housing. At this time, approximately 1.7 million families in Canada are in housing need. These families are living in housing that is overcrowded, unaffordable or in need of repairs. In addition, nearly 25,000 Canadians experience chronic homelessness every year.

In many urban areas, the housing supply simply does not meet the demand. The people building our communities, by which I mean middle-class Canadians and those working hard to join them, including teachers, nurses, store clerks, construction workers and so on, are struggling to make ends meet. This situation is unacceptable and must change.

My role as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is to improve the lives of all Canadians. That is why one of our government's priorities when it was elected was to immediately increase investments in housing, and that is what it did starting in budget 2016. That budget included a $2.7-billion investment for two new initiatives to increase the supply of affordable rental housing across the country. Budget 2016 also made an additional commitment of $2.3 billion to immediately improve housing conditions for low-income households, seniors, northern and indigenous communities, and survivors fleeing unfortunate situations of family violence.

Our first budget also included nearly $112 million in new investments over two years in the homelessness partnering strategy. This significant new investment represented an increase of 50% in the funding allocated to the strategy and the first increase in federal funding to combat homelessness since the strategy was implemented in 1999.

My colleague from Saskatoon West is well aware that, since 2016, we have invested over $4.7 billion in affordable housing through various programs, including the affordable housing initiative, long-term federal-provincial-territorial social housing agreements, and the social infrastructure fund. By so doing, we have helped 945,000 households, including families, seniors, women and children fleeing domestic violence, indigenous Canadians, people with disabilities, people with mental health problems and addiction issues, veterans, and young Canadians, and that is just the beginning.

In November 2017, we announced the Canadian government's very first national housing strategy, a 10-year, $40-billion plan that will help more Canadians, starting with our most vulnerable populations, obtain affordable housing that they can call home.

The goal of this ambitious plan is to ensure that all Canadians have access to housing that meets their needs and is affordable. Our plan will produce results for Canadians. Over the next 10 years, 530,000 additional families will finally be able to afford housing that meets their needs. Moreover, during this period, we will reduce chronic homelessness by more than 50%.

My colleague from Saskatoon West also knows, and will agree, that this is an historic strategy and an opportunity to implement lasting change that only presents itself once in a generation. That is why we consulted Canadians and experts across the country when developing the national housing strategy. I am very grateful to everyone for the time and effort they spent to participate in this important but all too rare conversation and for sharing their many ideas with us. These consultations meant that developing the strategy was truly a collaborative process.

The key pillars were a collaborative effort as well. We brought all the stakeholders together so that we could address each community's unique housing needs. After all, as the member for Saskatoon West knows, solutions for the housing needs in her riding are very different from the solutions needed in downtown Toronto or in Iqaluit, for example.

In the spring, we started introducing the key pillars of this ambitious plan. For example, we launched major initiatives to build up housing stocks, including the national housing co-investment Fund. This $13.2-billion fund will create 60,000 affordable housing units, and repair or renovate up to 240,000 units. Approximately one-third of the fund will be allocated to financial contributions, and the rest will be used for low-interest loans.

Since this is a co-investment fund, the partners will play a key role. The program encourages the provinces and territories, social and community housing providers, municipalities, the private sector and indigenous governments to work with the Canadian government to come up with solutions tailored to their communities' needs. It will focus on what Canadians really want and prioritize projects that exceed the usual affordability, energy efficiency and accessibility requirements. It will be aimed at individuals, communities, and partnerships and will come with specific targets for supporting survivors of family violence, seniors, and people with developmental disabilities.

In April, we also signed a historic agreement for a housing partnership framework with all of our provincial and territorial partners, at our first meeting in over a quarter century. This framework represents $7.7 billion in funding, which will be combined with equivalent contributions from the partners and invested in programs that meet the unique needs of Canadians, whether they live in a remote community in Nunavut, an urban area in British Columbia, a small municipality in Prince Edward Island, or anywhere else across Canada.

So far, Ontario, British Columbia and New Brunswick have signed bilateral agreements based on this historic framework. We expect to sign agreements with the other provinces and territories by April 1, 2019.

We also launched an initiative to keep federally administered community and social housing affordable, a critical step in protecting low-income Canadians in housing need. Each of these steps is based on other housing initiatives and programs that our government has implemented since it was elected in 2015. (1045)

For instance, in 2016, we announced the rental construction financing initiative. Interest in the program far exceeded our expectations, so much so, that we extended the initiative in budget 2018 and increased its funding, which now stands at $3.75 billion.

By 2021, the rental construction financing initiative will have helped create 14,000 new affordable housing rental units for middle-class Canadians. This is filling a gap between housing assistance and the rental housing market, where it is needed the most. (1050) [English]

Similarly, the affordable housing innovation fund will create 4,000 new units over a five-year period by investing more than $200 million in innovative financing models and unique designs.

Finally, to stretch our investments in new construction even further, we are making approximately $200 million worth of federal lands available to community housing providers at a discount or at no cost.

This past summer, we also launched a new homelessness strategy, a 10-year $2.2-billion plan to reduce homelessness by 50%. This plan, called “reaching home”, will give more communities more funding and tools to fight homelessness on their terms. It will lead to better solutions for youths, seniors, women fleeing violence, veterans, people living with disabilities and those from LGBTQ2 or racialized communities.

There is also new funding to improve the situation of indigenous people living in cities, who are eight times more likely to experience homelessness than other Canadians. Our plan also includes new funding for the territories so they can tackle the unique challenges of homelessness in the north.

To stretch our homelessness investment as far as possible, we have created tools to help streamline the process to get people into housing and to coordinate the support services they need stay in stable housing over the long term.

This work represents an incredible achievement over just two years. I am proud of how we have been able to collaborate with Canadians and other stakeholders along the housing continuum to launch programs that will make a lasting difference, but of course there is still much more work to do.

As I mentioned previously, we are working hard with provincial and territorial partners to sign bilateral agreements with all provinces and territories by April 2019. I know that members and other Canadians are particularly concerned about the difficult housing conditions in indigenous communities. Under the national housing strategy, $225 million has been invested in improving housing for indigenous families living in urban centres. An additional $200 million has been allocated to support urban ind...”

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

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“Mr. Speaker, I thank the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development for his speech.

I just wanted to point out that many...”

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

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...le to go and buy a house for the first time that is $300,000? Possibly it is not. There may be some families who have that opportunity, but many families, many first-time homebuyers, many parents and many families who are trying to get in there with their newborn child cannot afford a $300,000 home.

<...”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...eeing more seniors at our homeless shelters than ever before. Young people are losing hope. Working families are struggling to make ends meet. People living with disabilities or accessibility issues are finding it harder and harder to find a place to live.

This month I held three town halls in my riding to hear from residents about this issue. They made it very clear that this is the most important issue affecting people in our riding. We were fortunate to have experts come and sit on panels to talk about the situation.

One group that was there was the BC Non-Profit Housing Association. It brought forward the housing affordability definition. We can all agree that if someone is spending more than 30% of before tax income on rent and utilities, it is no longer affordable. In my riding, over 50% of renter households are spending more than 30% of their income. In fact, a quarter of renter households in my riding are now spending over 50% of their income. This is outrageous. There is no way people can put money aside to buy a home at some point in the future, or just to meet simple needs such as clothing, medicine and food. People are struggling. They are having to work two or three jobs just to make a living, never mind setting aside money for retirement.

I think about the most vulnerable. In British Columbia, someone on income assistance receives a housing allowance of $375 a month. Thirty-six months ago, the average price of a home in the most affordable community in my riding, which is Port Alberni, was $192,000. Today, it is $303,000. People are moving into our community and commuting out because it is the most affordable place. The problem is that people have to have an income that is almost 50% higher than the average median household income to be able to buy a home now, which now costs $303,000.

More and more people are not able to buy a home and more inequality is happening. People who can afford it are coming in and buying five or 10 houses. They are renting them out and driving rental prices up. As we know, people living on low incomes struggle to make ends meet. When they cannot pay their rent, they are pushed out onto the street to find another place to live. However, when there is a vacancy rate of .01%, they cannot find a place to live. Those rents are now higher than the threshold of $375 a month. More and more people are turning to the street or shelters. They are falling through the cracks or living in precarious situations.

In a question earlier, I identified that to buy a house in Parksville or Courtenay one would need to have an income of over $140,000. Less than 6% of the people in those communities earn over $140,000. It is completely not working for people in our communities. We have heard loud and clear from local governments. They are calling on the federal government to invest in their communities immediately. This is an absolute crisis. When there is nowhere to live and young people are losing hope, it is a big problem for all of us.

We can look at where we were in the 1970s and 1980s when 10% of our housing was non-market housing. Today, it is 4%. The Conservatives' approach that the free market will resolve it and we will just build more supply has not worked. It has completely failed. The Liberals' approach that they will roll out money over 10 years if they are re-elected and house 50% of the homeless people in Canada does not work for 50% of the homeless people because they are not going to have a place to live. As well, 10 years is too long.

We have seen bold investments from the Province of British Columbia. It has shown the Government of Canada what urgency looks like. It has rolled out $1 billion this year and is going to roll out $7 billion over the next 10 years. It would be great to have a federal government that does not just give it $31 million a year in transfers but actually matches the funding. This is an opportunity to support people who are falling through the cracks, but also the local economy. (1140)

We have heard the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce say loud and clear that this is the most important issue. Dianne Hawkins said, “Employers and their employees have been impacted by the lack of affordable housing and income inequity which exists in our area. Access to safe, quality, affordable housing and the supports necessary to maintain it create one of the most powerful social determinants of health. The Comox Valley needs a continuum, or wide range of housing solutions that target a full spectrum of population groups.” They are saying that it is actually limiting economic growth in the region for small and medium-sized enterprises.

We need to create diversity. There are countries that are doing it. In Europe over 30% of the housing stock is non-market housing. In Vienna, it is over 40%.

I was fortunate enough to live in a co-op housing project that was built in the 1970s and 1980s when the federal government actually invested in housing, before it started downloading in the 1990s. In 1993, Paul Martin cut federal transfers on housing to the provinces, downloaded on the provinces and then the provinces started downloading on local governments. I sat in local government. I remember how hard it was for us to come up with the capacity to deal with this complex situation. Most municipalities do not have the capacity, aptitude or resources to take on this problem on their own. They are relying on senior levels of government to invest and get involved.

When people cannot find a place to live, it affects their mental health. It affects child welfare. That is a huge problem in British Columbia and it is connected to housing. One of the most important determinants to health is housing. The stress this is causing families is unbelievable. Is this what we want? Is this the type of society we want in the future for our children? Do we want them to live under so much stress and have to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet? We know that 30% of single women over the age of 65 are living in poverty. We are failing them. This is an opportunity to help them.

I think about working families a lot. The most important investment one makes in life is a home. Right now, so few people ...”

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

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ntry. It is a 26-unit passive housing. It is providing housing for elders, youth aging out of care, families and kids going to university in Nanaimo.

I can assure members as well as the modular ...”

Mr. Wayne Stetski (Kootenay—Columbia, NDP)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...sted living spaces and no rooms. The Housing Society coordinator has a long list of individuals and families looking for housing. He receives calls every week from those trying to find a place to live. They are willing to move to Kaslo, but they cannot find a place to live.

George and Mary are an older retired couple who have lived and worked in Kaslo for many years. However, they could no longer manage living in their home. They sold their house last month and they now have to move, but they cannot find any place to go in Kaslo. There are no spaces available, so they are being forced to move to Nelson, which is an hour away, leaving their friends behind. They are fortunate they can afford a facility in Nelson.

A disabled gentleman from Fernie discovered bed bugs at a seniors residence. As a result, he effectively became homeless. He had nowhere to go and he ended up sleeping outside. Travelling to Cranbrook was not an option for him either, as the Salvation Army shelter is only open in the winter.

The city of Nelson has affordable and social housing units, but vacancies are rare. Youth homelessness is a problem. There are families living in their vehicles.

Alan, a Nelson senior with a minor disability which prevent...”

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...rksville at my town hall earlier this month. Her name is Lisa. She said, “I'm here to represent the families. My children are moving away because there is nowhere to live...they are moving to Europe...or come home to their parents' house because there is nowhere to live.”

We know families are worried. In the member's community, are families worried about where their children are going to go? Are their children moving away? What is happening to the youth in the member's community, and how does that affect the culture and the intergenerational connect for families? We know that with no affordable child-care plan, a lot of families that are young and starting out do not have the money to pay for child care in their commun...”

Mr. Gordie Hogg (South Surrey—White Rock, Lib.)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...et their needs.

A home is more than just a roof over one's head. It is a place where Canadian families can thrive, where children learn and grow, where parents find the stability to succeed in the job market and where seniors can live in dignity. About 1.7 million Canadian households are in what is called “core housing need”. These people are living in homes that either cost more than 30% of their income or are unsuitable for their circumstances.

Safe, adequate and affordable housing underpins inclusive communities and economies that thrive. Community housing, or social housing, refers to government-subsidized housing that is funded under a range of federal programs developed over time to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. It has been at the heart of Canada's response to housing challenges since the 1940s when we created housing for veterans returning from the Second World War. It has since provided housing for a variety of low- to moderate-income Canadians, from immigrant families looking to start their lives in Canada to seniors aging in place in their communities. That is why for three consecutive budgets, the government has made significant investments in creating affordable housing. In the past two years, the federal government has invested more than $4.7 billion in funding and subsidies of affordable housing projects across Canada. As a result, some 945,000 families will have a home that meets their needs and that they can afford, like in Surrey where government support for community housing has meant that 144 families in the Totem Housing Co-Operative, the Common Ground Housing Co-Op and the La Casa Housing ...”

Mr. Gordie Hogg

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... year, where they were actually in the ground building a facility. I just made reference to the 144 families who are experiencing the changes with respect to Totem Housing Co-operative, Common Ground ...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo—Ladysmith, NDP)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...ment, Chris Beaton and his team, have just transformed it and it has become much more of a home for families.

The John Howard Society is hands-on in Nanaimo. It works with men on parole who are ...”

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... such as an opioid crisis and other emerging trends. A safe roof over the heads of people and their families is so important to achieve. That is echoed across the country.

It is also important to note in the motion the role of the private sector. There are a number of different options available for us in the private sector. However, the government continues to make decisions that erode housing options.

The area I represent has one of the highest rates of child poverty. Most recently, not only have we been waiting for investments for federal housing, but there has been an order in council from the government, the cabinet, to eliminate housing from our market. I will get back to that in a second.

I represent the town of Sandwich, the oldest European settlement west of Montreal, where the war of 1812 was fought and where the underground railroad was located. Today, it also has one of the highest rates of poverty. It is an area challenged with immigration supports to ensure people get back to school. There are single one-parent families. It is recognized, even through third-party reports, as being one of the most challenged in the nation, most recently by Campaign 2000 to end child poverty. The riding-by-riding analysis shows, sadly, that we are just outside the top 10.

This area has one-third of Canada's daily trade to the United States? What did the government do? It gave a private American billionaire, Matty Moroun, who has his tentacles through the history of the Liberal Party, permission to build a new bridge and, at the same time, to demolish single-family and multiplex homes for affordable housing, which they bought. If that was not bad enough, the repercussions were already being felt because they bought these homes and boarded the doors and windows. We lost schools, mostly Forster High School. We lost the post office, which was the longest-standing post office in Canada, from the 1800s, at one point delivering mail by horse and carriage. We lost places of worship and businesses. (1250)

For those who are not familiar with an order in council, it is essentially a decree from prime ministers and their cabinets that avoids all scrutiny, that is the will of them in their moment, that they know everything and that they issue that law, have privilege, the right without coming through the chamber or even the unelected chamber.

The Liberals gave this billionaire, an American who was sentenced to prison because of his conduct in the U.S., the keys and the process to continue to have homes boarded and locked up, Now he wants to do that to another 30-40 homes. The situation has become so grave that he has decided to erect lawn signs on these properties, calling for their demolition. He had the green light, the special permission and the privileged access from the government to do another border crossing without any terms or conditions. There are not even any terms for community benefits. Ironically the Liberals voted for its private member's motion to do a community benefit project. They ignored advice from their members. I think the motion is buried in some committee somewhere, but it has not seen the light of the day here. It is just another Liberal motion that has gone to another place, probably to show they did something during their four year tenure. We have not seen it come back here.

What is happening right now? We have another war on the city streets of Windsor at a time when housing is at a crisis point.

Although Windsor has had the blessing of lower housing prices than other places and affordable housing has been attainable to a certain level, that has shifted radically in the last five years. Hundreds now are without proper accommodation. The market is increasing. More people are flocking to the city. We have issues over opioids and other social problems, which are multiplying. The perfect storm is taking place at this point in time and more and more people than ever before do not have a place for their families at the end of the day.

The Liberals are very cognizant of this and of their partner, ...”

Mr. Dan Ruimy (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, Lib.)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“... than 300,000 housing units. We are going to reduce or eliminate housing needs for 530,000 Canadian families across Canada. We are going to protect an additional 385,000 households from losing an affo...”

Ms. Linda Lapointe (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Lib.)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...recedented leadership on this file, which is so important for the health and well-being of Canadian families.

I would especially like to point out that the government went to great lengths last year to consult Canadians on how to improve housing outcomes for everyone. The minister visited my riding together with representatives of affordable housing advocacy groups and associations. He took the time to consult the people in my riding. This was a commitment we made in budget 2016 in order to identify innovative ideas that could be included in Canada's first ever national housing strategy.

At the end of June 2016, a national conversation on housing was launched at the end of a productive meeting of federal, provincial, and territorial ministers responsible for housing. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the CMHC, led consultations entitled “Let’s Talk Housing” for four months.

Between June 28 and October 21, 2018, the CMHC and the provincial, territorial, and municipal governments held a number of consultation activities on Canada's national housing strategy. The consultations included online initiatives and live events organized in cities and regions of Canada, during which time a tremendous amount of information was gathered. The opinions, ideas, and points of view of thousands of Canadians and dozens of interested organizations were gathered and recorded.

The consultations had three objectives. First, we wanted to encourage Canadians to actively reflect on the issue of housing, what it means to our communities, and to talk about it. We did that in spades.

Second, Canadians were invited to share their points of view on a long-term vision for housing in Canada. They were also invited to identify themes and significant results related to housing, and to find innovative solutions and approaches to housing. That was also definitely accomplished.

The third purpose of the consultations was to help develop a national housing strategy, which I will get to in a few minutes.

I would like to take this opportunity to summarize some of the engagement activities that took place last summer and early autumn.

Online activities included a CMHC social media campaign called Let's Talk Housing to promote the consultations. Canadians shared more than 1,900 ideas via social media. The campaign was so innovative and effective that it won two MarCom platinum awards from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The CMHC also won four gold awards in various video categories and honourable mentions in a number of website categories for its “Let's Talk Housing” consultations.

Over 6,300 Canadians also took the time to participate in a nationwide survey on the national housing strategy through the “Let's Talk Housing” website. Over 130 ideas were submitted on the CMHC's idea sharing platform, and over 475 online written submissions were received from individuals and organizations such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the National Housing Collaborative.

The CMHC also organized a total of 22 roundtables to gather input from experts and advocates on Canada's national housing strategy. (1320)

Furthermore, 21 focus groups were held with vulnerable populations, including people with lived experience of homelessness, recent immigrants, low-income Canadians, and people with disabilities, to give people who face daily housing challenges a chance to participate in the development of the national housing strategy. This was a worthwhile initiative.

We also conducted public surveys, and some MPs organized town halls in their ridings. I also want to mention that all MPs received information and materials to help them communicate with their constituents. We reached out to indigenous peoples, who often experience some of the harshest living conditions in Canada. CMHC hosted round tables with housing experts on indigenous housing in rural, remote and urban areas, as well as on northern housing.

Meetings were held with national indigenous organizations, and we supported their own consultation forums. The result of all these efforts was a report entitled “What We Heard”, which was released by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development in a Facebook event on National Housing Day, November 22, 2016. I urge all MPs to visit the website letstalkhousing.ca and to read the “What We Heard” report.

For now, I would like to say that a clear and common message came from the consultations, and that is that Canadians want better results when it comes to housing for people in need. Some clear themes also emerged during the consultations. For example, Canadians and housing stakeholders believe that the national housing strategy should encompass the full spectrum of housing while giving priority to those who are most in need. Housing must be incorporated into the other support services that vulnerable people may need. Housing providers need better access to capital to make it easier for them to build more affordable housing units. What is more, most participants favoured policies that enable local communities to propose solutions to housing problems.

More specifically, Canadians want their national housing strategy to reduce or eliminate homelessness in Canada. My riding of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles covers Deux-Montagnes, Saint-Eustache, Boisbriand and Rosemère, which are northern suburbs of Montreal. We have shelters to help homeless people there. Homelessness is not just a problem in urban areas. It is also a problem in the suburbs. Unfortunately, homelessness is a daily reality for some people in my riding. Shockingly, nearly 1,000 people access homeless shelters there every year.

I want to come back to what Canadians want from their housing strategy. They want priority to be given to the housing needs of low-income and vulnerable people. They also want the strategy to address the unique challenges faced by indigenous communities and the growing housing affordability issues faced by lower and middle-income Canadians, particularly in our larger cities. They want a strategy that will forge inclusive, sustainable communities and that will ensure that our social housing sector remains strong.

Those who took part in the consultations did more than just identify problems. They also identified options, proposed innovative solutions and helped focus on measurable results. All of this information and these perspectives will be taken into account when the government finalizes the national housing strategy's key initiatives.

As the minister said, the purpose of the national housing strategy is not to duplicate or replace existing provincial, territorial or municipal housing plans or strategies. Rather, its purpose will be to better coordinate the efforts of everyone involved, including governments, housing stakeholders, and indigenous and other organizations. We must work together on a common vision and results in a spirit of mutual respect.

First of all, we are taking a whole-of-government approach with the national housing strategy in order to look at housing in a global context and support the social and economic advancement of individuals and families. In addition, in partnership with the provinces and territories, we are working toward impl...”

Ms. Linda Lapointe

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...but I am afraid she is wrong. People in my riding, Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, met with the Minister of Families, and when they took a look at the national housing strategy, they were very pleased.

...”

Ms. Christine Moore (Abitibi—Témiscamingue, NDP)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Business of Supply

“...es. In most small towns, the only affordable housing available is for seniors. There is nothing for families.

There are urban centres in the various RCMs of my riding that have benefited from so...”

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

September 27th
Hansard Link

Statements by Members

“...s; and all the people who went out of their way to check up on seniors, bring food and hot water to families with babies and deliver ice to help keep food and medicine refrigerated. This shows that in...”

Mr. Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway, NDP)

September 27th
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Statements by Members

“...a crisis. Millions of Canadians are struggling to find appropriate housing for themselves and their families.

In every province, the dream of home ownership has been crushed for young couples. Renters cannot find affordable housing, and they face reno- and demoviction. Employers cannot attract the employees they need, small businesses are closing, and families are being separated as folks are forced to leave the communities they grew up in.

Des...”

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

September 27th
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Statements by Members

“... of the residential schools. As each shirt proudly declares, every child matters. Their traditions, families, communities and dreams matter.”

Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, ensuring that veterans and their families know about the benefits and programs available to them is essential to my job as Minister o...”

Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 27th
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Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, we are committed to supporting Canada's veterans and their families and ensuring that they are aware of all the benefits they are entitled to. I engage regular...”

Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, ensuring that veterans and their families are aware of the benefits and programs available to them is an important part of my work as...”

Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 27th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, ensuring that veterans and their families know about the benefits and programs they are entitled to is essential to my job as Ministe...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

September 27th
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Oral Questions

“... announced that a civilian could no longer receive benefits from the program for veterans and their families if that civilian is in prison. However, the government refused to say whether Christopher G...”

Mr. Alain Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska, CPC)

September 27th
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Oral Questions

“...Christopher Garnier, who savagely murdered a police officer, under a program for veterans and their families.

Everyone—the Conservatives, the NDP, the Green Party and the Bloc—voted in favour of...”

Hon. Seamus O'Regan (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

September 27th
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Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, ensuring that veterans and their families know about the benefits and programs they deserve and are entitled to is essential to my job as Minister of Veterans Affairs. That is why it is so important to explain what is involved. That is why I have hosted over 40 veterans town halls across the country. It is why we are working so hard to explain the pension for life as clearly as we can.

More effective programming will help veterans transition to civilian life with dignity. More effective benefits will help in supporting families, and more effective supports will help get ill and injured veterans well again.”

Mr. Francis Drouin (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)

September 27th
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Oral Questions

“...it to help parents share the work of raising their children more equally.

Can the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development confirm to the House that the government is still on track...”

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

September 27th
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Oral Questions

“... thank and congratulate the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell on all his hard work on behalf of families.

We know that improving gender equality means more prosperity for everyone. That is w...”

Mrs. Shannon Stubbs (Lakeland, CPC)

September 26th
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Statements by Members

“...r annual family trip. Every penny donated there and by others is given to cancer patients and their families for medical bills, travel and parking costs, and other expenses not covered by insurance. Haying in the 30s currently supports 40 people a month.

My thanks go to Edgar for his labour of love and selflessness. I am so proud to represent families like his and communities like Mallaig that reflect the very best of what it is to be Canadi...”

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

September 26th
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Statements by Members

“...r that our government is delivering for the people of Cloverdale—Langley City. We are investing in families. The enhanced, tax-free Canada child benefit means more money for over 12,000 families in my communities, making things like school supplies and sports more affordable for kids.<...”

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

September 26th
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Statements by Members

“... Contardi and Loredana Presutto, who desire to make a difference for children with autism and their families. Like Temple Grandin, they believe that, “There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what he cannot do.” In just three short years, Waves of Changes for Autism has raised community awareness and provided much-needed financial resources to families.[Translation]

Tomorrow evening, I will join more than 1,000 guests at the third annua...”

Mr. Michael McLeod (Northwest Territories, Lib.)

September 26th
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Statements by Members

“...ourage everyone to wear orange and come together to remember residential school survivors and their families in the spirit of reconciliation.”

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

September 26th
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Oral Questions

“...cant impact on various communities. We will continue to work with indigenous peoples to ensure that families like the one just mentioned are treated fairly, given every opportunity and, most important...”

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

September 26th
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Oral Questions

“... gender-based violence that will work to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and promote a responsive, legal and just system.”

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

September 26th
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Oral Questions

“... national housing strategy, which dedicates 25% of the funds to projects for women, girls and their families fleeing violence. This means at least 7,000 spaces maintained or built for survivors of fam...”

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

September 26th
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Oral Questions

“...his does not occur moving forward. This ensures that we will continue to support veterans and their families who need our help, while maintaining the integrity of the system.”

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

September 26th
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Oral Questions

“...in his heart that this is wrong and is an insult to our Canadian Forces members, veterans and their families.

I taught my children that no matter how deep a hole they may dug themselves into it ...”

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

September 26th
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Oral Questions

“... as conviction of a serious crime. This ensures that we will continue to support veterans and their families that need our help, while maintaining the integrity of our system.”

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

September 26th
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Oral Questions

“...ure this does not occur moving forward. This ensures we will continue to support veterans and their families that need our help, while maintaining the integrity of the system.”

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

September 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“Mr. Speaker, families in Thérèse-De Blainville and across Canada got a pleasant surprise this summer when they received the Canada child benefit and got a little more tax-free money in their pockets.

This government indexed the Canada child benefit two years ahead of schedule. That means families are getting more money right now, instead of having to wait until 2020.

Could the Prime Minister tell the House how the Canada child benefit continues to help families?”

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

September 26th
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Oral Questions

“...credible impact of the Canada child benefit.

Every time the kids head back to school, we hear families across Canada tell us how important this benefit is. It means new clothes, hot meals and new books. The reason why we can do this is that we put an end to the Conservative practice of sending cheques to millionaire families. We are proud to be investing in Canadian families, because it means investing in our communities and, above all, in Canada's future.”

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

September 26th
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Oral Questions

“... with the Canada child benefit that is putting more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadian families and lifting hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty.

This is something we will continue to work on because we recognize how investing in children's future now makes life better for families and for communities.”

Mr. Ron McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, Lib.)

September 26th
Hansard Link

Oral Questions

“...Mr. Speaker, the opioid crisis is a national public health crisis that is devastating individuals, families and communities across this country.

At the beginning of September, the governments o...”

Ms. Sheila Malcolmson

September 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ple trying to access the CRA, or seniors trying to navigate the Canada pension plan and the GIS, or families waiting for key answers from Citizenship and Immigration about whether their family members...”

Mr. David Yurdiga (Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, CPC)

September 26th
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Government Orders

“...ivate member's motion aims to shed light on the fact that people living with disabilities and their families face several challenges in securing employment, income and disability support. They struggl...”

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

September 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...to ensure a barrier-free Canada. I think all of us in the House have a story about someone in their families, or their friends or their circle of network who has experienced some kind of barrier to pa...”

Mr. Martin Shields (Bow River, CPC)

September 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...boldt involving the hockey team, was not only the deaths as as result of that accident but what the families had to go through.

An individual became a paraplegic as a result of that accident. He...”

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

September 26th
Hansard Link

Government Orders

“...ves by funding infrastructure upgrades for thousands of Canadians. That is the way to help Canadian families and people with reduced mobility. This fund is still being used today to build projects in ...”

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

September 26th
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Government Orders

“...speak to Bill C-78. The bill, which I tabled on May 22 of this year, would help support and protect families, especially children, from the negative outcomes and conflicts that are the sad reality of separation and divorce.

Our government has taken great strides to strengthen the Canadian family justice system. In budget 2017, we created ongoing funding for federal, provincial and territorial family justice activities through the Canadian family justice fund. In the same year, we also signed two international family law conventions. This year in budget 2018, we announced funding to expand unified family courts, fulfilling one of my mandate letter commitments. However, despite all this progress, we still need to do more.

Separation and divorce can be difficult for families, especially for children. We know that the impacts can be wide-reaching. Over two million children live in families with separated or divorced parents. There is no other area of law that touches as many Canadians.

Federal family laws should help families resolve their disputes quickly and effectively, but these laws have not been substantially updated in over 20 years and were in desperate need of modernization. Over the past two decades, families have changed and our justice system has changed. Our government understands that much should be done to improve federal family laws and the family justice system to better meet the needs of all Canadians.

Bill C-78 advances four critically important goals: promoting the best interests of the child, addressing family violence, reducing child poverty, and improving the efficiencies and accessibility of the family justice system. I will address all of these in turn.

I will begin with the best interests of the child. The best interests of the child test is the cornerstone of family law. It is the only basis upon which decisions about who may care for a child can be made under the Divorce Act. This test has been called a child's “positive right to the best possible arrangements in the circumstances”. It allows courts to consider how to best foster the child's overall development and protect the child from conflict and the disruptive effects of divorce at such a vulnerable point in the child's life.

Despite the importance of the best interests of the child test, the Divorce Act currently provides minimal guidance on how courts should apply this test. Bill C-78 would change this. It proposes an extensive, though not exhaustive, list of criteria for courts to consider when making decisions in the best interests of the child.

The criteria we have proposed include elements such as the child's needs, given the age and stage of the child's development, the child's relationships with important people in his or her life, especially parents but also others such as grandparents, and the child's culture and heritage, including indigenous heritage.

One criterion in particular, the requirement that courts consider the views and preferences of the child, giving due weight to the child's age and maturity, demonstrates Canada's ongoing commitment to its obligation under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This criterion encourages parents and courts to consider the voice of the child in determining parenting arrangements reflecting the importance of children expressing their views in matters that affect them.

The most significant change that Bill C-78 would bring to the best interests of the child test and the lens through which all other factors would be examined is the provision that would be called the “primary consideration”. This would be a requirement that courts consider the child's physical, emotional and psychological safety, security and well-being. It would help ensure that the most critical elements of the child's well-being are always the centre of focus and of any best interests analysis.

Also, to further the best interests of the child, we are proposing to remove the terms “custody” and “access” from the Divorce Act. For years, these terms have been criticized for fuelling conflict between parents. Custodial parents have been long seen as the winners of custody disputes and access parents have long been seen as the losers. The terms are relics from property law, reflecting a time when children were legally considered to be their parents' property. (1625)

To help parents collaborate and focus on their child's best interests, we are introducing terms based on parents' responsibilities for their children. Instead of custody orders, courts would make parenting orders. Parenting orders would address parenting time and decision-making responsibility. Two provinces, Alberta and British Columbia, and many of our international partners, such as Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, have replaced property-based language with this sort of language focused on the child-parent relationship. In Canada, even where custody and access are still on the statute books, many judges, lawyers and other family justice professionals have already begun to abandon property-based language in their orders and agreements about children, favouring language focused on the parent-child relationships.

Another major change Bill C-78 proposes with the best interests of the child in mind is the creation of a relocation framework in the Divorce Act. Relocation or moving with children after separation and divorce is one of the most litigated areas in family law. The stakes are often very high, particularly when a proposed move would involve a significant geographic distance. The bill creates notice requirements for parents proposing to move, best interests criteria for courts to consider in relocation cases and rules for courts to apply depending on the parenting arrangement in place for the child. This would help courts and parents make informed, child-focused decisions.

Canada has recently taken steps to advance the interests of Canadian children in international family law disputes. On May 23, 2017, Canada signed two international family law conventions. One of these conventions, the 1996 convention on the protection of children, would make it easier for Canadian parenting orders to be recognized and enforced in other countries that are also party to the convention. This would provide better assurance to families that travel or relocate to another convention country that their Canadian court order would be respected. Bill C-78 also includes amendments that are necessary for Canada to become a party to the convention. The other convention is the 2007 child support convention, which would help with poverty reduction, as I will discuss a little further on.

The next aspect of Bill C-78 that I would like to address is family violence, an issue of great importance to our government and to all Canadians. Most provincial and territorial family laws address family violence in separating couples, but federal family laws are conspicuously silent. It is long past time to address this silence.

Although separation may be a means of escaping an abusive relationship, evidence shows that spouses are at an increased risk of violence at the time of separation. We are also learning about the lasting effects of trauma such as family violence on children's developing brains. The impact can be debilitating and lifelong. More can and must be done to prevent this from happening. Bill C-78 includes three amendments to address family violence in the Divorce Act and one in the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act.

First, we have proposed an evidence-based definition of family violence in the Divorce Act that highlights common indicators of abusive behaviour. Coercive and controlling behaviour which is known to be particularly dangerous is highlighted.

Second, we have proposed a distinct set of best interests of the child criteria to help courts make appropriate parenting orders when there has been family violence. These include considerations such as the nature, seriousness and frequency of violence.

Third, we have a provision that would require courts to consider whether there are any child protection or criminal orders or any other proceedings that could influence an order under the Divorce Act. This provision would help prevent conflicts between courts, such as a family law order that gives a parent time with a child in a manner that conflicts with with a criminal restraining order. (1630)

Finally, we have proposed an amendment to the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act that would restrict the sharing of personal information in situations of family violence where a family member's safety may be at risk.

Together, these measures would help courts better address family violence at a time when family members are particularly vulnerable, and help prevent family violence as families adjust to their new post-separation arrangements.

Next, I will explain how Bill C-78 would address poverty reduction, and child poverty specifically. Many families who go through separation and divorce experience a dramatic increase in expenses. The transition from a single family home with separate expenses to two homes with duplicate expenses can be a great burden. Shifting child care responsibilities can affect a parent's ability to find and maintain employment. These changes make many families vulnerable to poverty. Therefore, it is critically important that families receive the child and spousal support owed to them and that these amounts be fairly and properly calculated, reflecting accurate financial information.

Bill C-78 includes several measures that would help reduce poverty and help families recover from the financial crisis many experience as part of separation. First, we have proposed changes to the Div