In Question Period today, the government was asked about topics including parole board training, Quebec tax returns, and discrimination against First Nations children, among others.
Criminal Justice System; Parole Board Training
- (Conservative) reference to the murder of Marylène Lévesque; assertions that Canadians are shocked at the circumstances of the case and the fact that the perpetrator, a violent murderer, was encouraged to seek the services of a sex worker; criticisms that an internal inquiry into the matter is insufficient; calls for the public safety committee investigate the matter; reference to a newly-introduced bill that would mandate new sexual assault training for judges but observations that this legislation is silent on similar training for parole bord members; call for parole board members and officers to receive sexual assault training; calls for the legislation to be amended at committee to ensure the training is expanded; assertions that Marylène Lévesque died as a result of decisions made by people involved in approving a release plan for a violent murderer that encouraged that individual to seek sexual services from sex workers; criticisms that the same parole officers are still hearing cases; reference to a Conservative motion tabled today calling on the House to condemn the parole board’s decision to allow a violent murderer to seek sexual services; calls for the Standing Committee on Public Safety to investigate the case; calls for the two parole board members in question to be dismissed.
Quebec’s Interests; Single Tax Return
- (Bloc Québécois) assertions that the government’s main argument in support of the new NAFTA is that Quebec’s premier asked for it to be ratified quickly; surprise that the government is suddenly enamoured of the Quebec government, questions regarding whether this meant that the government would also support a single tax return for Quebecers.
Quebec’s Interests; Bill 21
- (Bloc Québécois) reference to assertions by the Quebec premier that he would like Quebec’s secularism bill to be supported and not challenged before the courts; calls for the government to respect the legitimacy of Bill 21.
Government Court Cases; Discrimination Against First Nations Children
- (New Democrat) observations that it is incomprehensible that the government would continue to take First nations children to court; assertions that Indigenous children are being denied services by a government that has spent over $8 million fighting those children in court; calls for the government to explain why it is spending millions of dollars fighting kids in court, instead of investing in their future.
Support for Workers; Pharmacare and Dentalcare
- (New Democrat) reference to pensions; assertions that the government is proposing a tax cut which will help the top 10 percent; assertions that workers need help now; observations that millions of Canadians cannot pay for medication or take care of their teeth; calls for the government to invest in universal pharmacare and dentalcare.
Public Health; Coronavirus Outbreak
- (Conservative) suggestions that officials confirmed yesterday that coronavirus can be spread through droplets; assertions that the government does not know where the CZ 311 plane is or if it was quarantined; requests for confirmation of the whereabouts of this aircraft today and what measures were taken to ensure risks of spread from droplet transmission were mitigated; recollections that the plane can contain up to 335 passengers; suggestions all 335 passengers would be within three metres of those affected by the coronavirus; questions regarding how the minister does not know where all these passengers are, their current health status, and where the plane is; assertions that the government has no knowledge of whether proper sanitation processes occurred for the plane; questions regarding whether any others travelling on the plane could be infected and undetected.
Petroleum Sector; Trans Mountain Extension
- (Conservative) suggestions that TMX moving forward is helpful; assertions that Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act, means no private sector pipelines will be built or proposed; reports that constituents in Calgary-Skyview are out of work and hope because of the government’s energy policies; calls for the government to scrap Bill C-69; references to the court decision on TMX consultations; suggestions that this is a victory for the current and future governments as there will be $21.6 billion more revenue; questions regarding what the Minister of Heritage will do with that money; assertions that the government does not have a concrete plan to ensure the pipeline is built; questions regarding what the government will do to counter threats against the pipeline’s construction.
Quebec’s Interests; Immigration and Refugee Policies
- (Bloc Québécois) references to Quebec Premier Legault’s support for CUSMA in response to questions on aluminum; recollections that Legault is also calling for more provincial control over immigration, permanent residency, and the foreign workers program; questions regarding whether the government will accommodate these requests.
Quebec’s Interests; Health Transfers
- (Bloc Québécois) suggestions that Quebec Premier Legault has called for increases in health transfers so that the federal government would cover 25 percent of the costs; questions regarding whether the government would increase health transfers.
Infrastructure Investment; Invest in Canada Program
- (Conservative) reports that the PBO has asked questions about the management of the $186 million Invest in Canada program; suggestions that the program’s transparency, accountability, and performance were found to be lacking; recollections that the PM has said he wants to work with opposition parties; questions regarding whether the PM will work with the Auditor General; assertions that the government had no trouble finding $10 million for Omar Khadr, $12 million to buy fridges for Loblaws, and $50 million for Mastercard; calls for the Auditor General to investigate the Invest in Canada infrastructure plan; calls for the government to commit to granting the Auditor General the resources to perform their duties.
Broadcasting & Telecommunications; Media Freedom
- (Conservative) reference to the recent report on regulation of news media in Canada; reference to assertions made in this report that the CRTC would be best positioned to classify which media outlets are practicing journalism, and suggested they could judge which news outlet exhibit journalistic independence and therefore be exempted from licensing and registration requirements; calls for the government to reject and condemn this assault on free speech; reference to a question answered by the Minister of Heritage yesterday on the topic of how he would define who would be regulated and licensed; recollections that the minister said that “media is confusing”; assertions that Canadians do not want the press to be regulated by the government, CRTC, or any government outfit.
Climate Change; Fossil Fuel Subsidies
- (New Democrat) assertions that the government’s choices have caused Canada to lag behind on its climate targets; criticisms that while the government are letting big polluters off the hook, they are making it harder for families to make ends meet; calls for the government to end all fossil fuel subsidies, and commit to a climate plan that cuts emissions and does not leave workers and communities behind.
Criminal Justice System; Parole Conditions
- (New Democrat) reference to the Marylène Lévesque case; assertions that in that case a grave mistake was made that led to the murder of a young woman; suggestions that harm-reduction strategies and a rigorous parole process work, but in the Marylène Lévesque case a colossal mistake occurred; questions regarding what steps the government will take to ensure such an occurrence does not happen again.
Taxation; Middle Class Prosperity
- (Liberal) statements that by investing in the middle class, the government had put in place a plan for all Canadians; recollections that the government has already implemented a tax cut that would save millions of Canadians several hundred dollars at tax time; calls for the government to inform the house about its next steps to continue growing the middle class and the economy.
CUSMA; Transparency & Accountability
- (Conservative) reference to promises made to dairy farmers that under previous free trade agreements, promises were made to include impact assessment studies on concessions made; assertions that the new NAFTA agreement is on the verge of being ratified but the impact assessment studies have not yet been released; assertions that the dairy sector stands to be negatively impacted by the new agreement; recollections that the Conservatives have asked the government to release all NAFTA-related economic studies and analyses since December 12 to no avail; assertions that all relevant information should be available before Parliament votes on the new agreement; assertions that the government’s refusal to reveal the upsides and downsides of the new NAFTA agreement are not the actions of an open and transparent government; questions regarding what the government is trying to hide.
Carbon Pricing; Support for Agricultural Producers
- (Conservative) assertions that the carbon tax is crippling farming families and communities; comments regarding the world-class Canadian agriculture sector and its stewardship of the land; calls for the government to admit they have failed farming families; calls for the government to exempt agriculture producers from the carbon tax; assertions that farmers pay an inordinate proportion of the carbon tax through direct costs incurred by heating and grain drying, and indirectly through transportation and fertilizer; observations that a recent analysis by APAS reveals that when the carbon tax hits $50 per tonne in 2022, Saskatchewan producers will lose 12 percent of their net income to the carbon tax; calls for the government to admit that the carbon tax unfairly targets farming families.
Quebec’s Interests; Environmental Assessments
- (Bloc Québécois) recollections that the government has quoted Premier Legault’s support for CUSMA with respect to aluminum; recollections that Legault is also calling for Quebec to be solely responsible for environmental assessments of projects in the province; questions regarding whether the government respects Quebec’s environmental sovereignty.
Quebec’s Interests; French Language Rights
- (Bloc Québécois) assertions that the government is using Premier Legault’s support for CUSMA as an authoritative argument; suggestions that the government should also recognize the Quebec government’s authority on the French language; recollections that Legault has called for Bill 101 to apply to federal regulated companies; questions regarding whether the government will respect this request.
Relations with Israel and Palestine; BDS Movement
- (Conservative) suggestions that the boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement continues campaign against Israel on Canadian campuses and in cities; assertions that some BDS members called for sanctions against Jewish professors at McMaster University; suggestions that there is an alarming rise in anti-semitism; requests for clarification as to whether the government considers BDS to be anti-semetic.
Relations with Iran; Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
- (Conservative) recollections that, a year and a half ago, a motion calling for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be listed as a terrorist entity passed the House unanimously; assertions that the minister of public safety voted in favour but has failed to act; references to the IRGC downing a civilian airliner last month; questions regarding why the government has yet to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity; assertions that the government has not taken action against the IRGC.
Youth Employment; Canada Summer Jobs Program
- (Liberal) suggestions that Canada Summer Jobs created more than 70,000 opportunities across Canada last year; requests for an update on this year’s programs and the benefits for employers and youth.
Government Spending; PM’s Expenses
- (Conservative) references to $8 million being spent on a temporary hockey rink, $56,000 for the PM’s vacation, and $1.5 million for minister office renovations; assertions that the government wasted almost $2 million on a bid for a seat on the UN security council; criticisms of government spending; assertions that the government’s policies are killing jobs and forcing Canadians to the food bank; suggestions that the PM is jetting around the world and spent $95,000 on food and drinks in just one international trip; calls for the PM to end his alleged wasteful spending habits;
Democratic Institutions; Electoral Integrity and Free Speech
- (Conservative) recollections that the government has said Canadian democracy is threatened by foreign interference; references to the government violating the Shawcross Doctrine, putting Unifor on the media bailout fund, limiting advertising before elections through Bill C-76, the Elections Modernization Act, proposing motion 6 to control parliamentary business, and changed rules for leadership debates; assertions that a recent report is proposing what could be the largest restriction on free speech in Canadian history and a report that the government spent $430,000 on partisan social media during the last election; questions regarding who is the biggest threat to Canadian democracy.
Public Health; Access to Medical Care
- (Liberal) suggestions that too many people cannot find a family doctor or a primary care team; requests for an update on what the government is doing to help provinces increase access to family doctors or primary care teams.
Environmental Protection; International Resource Extraction
- (New Democrat) suggestions that Canadians take pride in Canada’s peacekeeping and development work; assertions that, while Canadian aid organizations are drilling for water, international mining companies are flying the Canadian flag and poisoning the wells; recollections of the government saying their ombudsman would solve the problem; assertions that the ombudsman has no teeth and that Canada is still inviting these companies to register in Canada without fear of consequences; calls for the government to give the ombudsman the power to do the job.
GHG Emissions; International Emissions Credit Regime
- (Green Party) references to government promises to take responsibility for emissions; recollections that the PM stated last week that the government based decisions on science; assertions that Canada needs to drastically reduce GHG emissions without delay; questions regarding whether the government supports an international emissions credit regime based on real verifiable emissions reductions and that proposals, such as New Brunswick’s regarding Maritime Iron, would never be allowed.
Mentioned During Question Period
Loblaws, Mastercard, McMaster University, Unifor, Maritime Iron.