June 8, 2017

LIB

Anthony Rota

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota)

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Public Safety
Permalink
LIB

Jean Rioux

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to again thank the citizens, service providers, and first responders in the areas most affected by the arrival of asylum seekers, particularly in Emerson, Manitoba, and the Hemmingford and Lacolle region of Quebec. I truly applaud the compassion and generosity these communities have shown towards asylum seekers over the past few months.

The government knows that the influx of asylum seekers is having an impact on Emerson and on border communities in Quebec, and to a lesser extent, British Columbia, and that this has raised some security concerns.

I want to assure the House and all Canadians that government security officials are working together to ensure the integrity of Canada's borders. The integrity of our borders is proactively maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency, who continue to effectively deliver on their respective mandates to enforce the law at and between our ports of entry.

As has already been stated, the safety and well-being of Canadian communities, and the individuals who are crossing the border, are of utmost importance to the government and to front-line officers.

The government is in constant contact with the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency and receives regular detailed updates on the arrival of refugee claimants from the United States who cross the border between ports of entry in Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

The RCMP is the lead responder between ports of entry, and in response to its ongoing assessment of the situation, additional resources have been temporarily deployed to the most affected regions. The RCMP and its partners recognize that the situation is evolving rapidly, so they continually assess it to determine whether they need to adjust their response or their operational requirements.

The RCMP has a multi-faceted approach to border security that includes technology, intelligence, and domestic and international partnerships, especially with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations.

I want to make it clear that crossing the Canadian border without reporting to a port of entry is illegal and a crime under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Customs Act. Anyone caught breaking the law can be arrested and is liable to applicable sanctions. Canada has requirements for entry be it a normal immigration procedure or a refugee claim.

The RCMP is being vigilant. That is why it is stopping asylum seekers crossing into Canada between ports of entry. The asylum seekers are screened and escorted to the nearest port of entry where the Canada Border Services Agency initiates the applicable immigration procedures.

The collaborative and co-operative efforts between the RCMP and its partners, including non-governmental agencies, health authorities, and immigration services agencies, demonstrate a genuine community response to the situation.

For now, the government has faith that the RCMP, together with the Canada Border Services Agency, is handling this complex and evolving situation properly and effectively.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Public Safety
Permalink
CPC

Ted Falk

Conservative

Mr. Ted Falk

Mr. Speaker, I too want to acknowledge the very good work our CBSA officers are doing and the RCMP in providing assistance in between our points of entry in apprehending these illegal migrants.

However, the issue is still one of border security and maintaining our border integrity. There appears to be a loophole in the safe third country agreement with the United States that needs to be addressed. It still is encouraging illegal migrants because of the Prime Minister's reckless tweets. Once they are here, I know our law enforcement officials are very disappointed with how they have to proceed with processing those individuals.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Public Safety
Permalink
LIB

Jean Rioux

Liberal

Mr. Jean Rioux

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency continue to actively monitor the border between ports of entry and to effectively intervene when asylum seekers cross the border from the United States.

The RCMP has temporarily reassigned additional personnel to deal with this situation. The federal government has made it clear that it is prepared to discuss all options to ensure that Canadian law enforcement agencies have the tools and resources they need to do their job.

The government continues to be fully involved in the situation and will keep the House apprised of key changes.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Public Safety
Permalink
CPC

Mike Lake

Conservative

Hon. Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to first say hello to the folks who are watching on our Facebook Live feed. We are broadcasting this on Facebook Live because we want Canadians living with autism, those who follow us, to hear the types of answers we have been getting in the House of Commons. I am hoping that the Liberal member who is going to answer questions today will not just simply read the same talking points that we have been hearing.

We have asked 13 questions on the issue of the Canadian autism partnership. For background, in 2015 the Conservative government of the day invested $2 million in a Canadian autism partnership working group, a group of experts to advise the government on a way forward regarding a Canadian autism partnership. These 12 experts, in concert with seven incredible self-advocates, in concert with the Canadian autism community, consulted and came to the current government in the fall of 2016 with a modest budget proposal of $19 million over five years, $3.8 million per year, and that was subsequently rejected.

We had a motion in the House in the last couple of weeks to fund that Canadian autism partnership, and every single Liberal except for one voted against it. Every Conservative, every Green MP, and every NDP MP voted for it, but every single Liberal but one voted against it.

In the questions that we have been asking, I could summarize in three categories the reasons given for this vote against.

One is the fact that the government is consulting and having meetings on accessibility legislation now. I admit that accessibility legislation is important and will be important when it eventually comes to the House, but the MP member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke summed it up best when he said this during the debate: “However, we have heard yet another one of those speeches that talks about consulting people, thinking about it, working on it later, and finally coming to a conclusion sometime over the distant horizon.” Canadians living with autism need support now, and the Canadian autism partnership would provide that support.

The second of the answers that we continually get in question period from the Liberal government is that the government is investing in things like Ready, Willing and Able and the autism surveillance program. Those programs were put in place by the previous Conservative government. I am very familiar with them because I was a part of the decision process that got them into the budgets in the first place under Jim Flaherty, who had something in every single budget for people living with disabilities. That is his legacy in this House.

The third thing that gets brought up repeatedly and was brought up by the Prime Minister today in question period is the $39 million that has been invested over the last five years in autism research. I suspect that we are going to hear the member talk about that $39 million in his talking points again today.

First, that $39 million was largely invested by our previous Conservative government. Second, very important, on the working group whose advice the government rejected were Lonnie Zwaigenbaum from the University of Alberta, Jonathan Weiss from York University, Stelios Georgiades from McMaster, and Stephen Scherer from Sick Kids, some of the world's top researchers. What those researchers want more than anything is for their research to actually be used to benefit Canadian families living with autism.

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

I look forward to hearing the hon. member, hopefully avoiding his talking points and answering to Canadians living with autism why every single one of his colleagues, except for one, voted against the Canadian autism partnership.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
LIB

Jean Rioux

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the challenges that Canadians with autism spectrum disorder are facing. We know that their families and caregivers have to overcome health-related, social, and financial challenges.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our government is committed to working with its provincial and territorial partners and with the organizations that support these families. I have a great deal of admiration for the dedication of our partners, who provide important services and seek to increase people's awareness and understanding of ASD every day.

We will continue to work with stakeholders, including the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, to ensure that federal initiatives meet the needs of individuals with ASD.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
CPC

Mike Lake

Conservative

Hon. Mike Lake

Mr. Speaker, that speech highlights exactly what I said. I predicted exactly what he was going to say, because he read the same talking points the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister have been reading day after day in the House.

In fact, the hon. member actually credits organizations, like the Sinneave Family Foundation, and Dr. Jonathan Weiss, the very people and scientists working in genomics who are part of the Canadian Autism Partnership working group. Of the 12 experts in the working group, the hon. member just named six of them in his speech. These are the ones who are identifying the challenges and coming to the government in a partnership asking for a mechanism that will provide evidence-based advice to the provinces to help them deliver the services families so desperately need in this country.

If the hon. member is serious about this issue, why did he and every member of his party, except one, vote against the Canadian Autism Partnership?

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
LIB

Jean Rioux

Liberal

Mr. Jean Rioux

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance and the members of the autism spectrum disorder working group for their proposal to set up a Canadian autism partnership. I also thank the alliance for its ongoing dedication to supporting children and families living with autism.

I recognize the scope of the consultation process and how many people were involved in developing the proposal, which takes into account discussions with groups that advocate for the rights of people living with autism.

The federal government will continue to work in partnership with people involved in the field to meet the challenges set out in this proposal.

I see the alliance and the expert working group on autism spectrum disorder becoming important partners in this effort.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
LIB

Anthony Rota

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota)

The hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill not being present in the House to raise the matter for which adjournment notice has been given, the notice is deemed withdrawn.

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until later this day, at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 12:18 a.m.)

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Health
Permalink
LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

I have the honour, pursuant to Section 38 of the Access to Information Act, to lay upon the table the report of the Information Commissioner for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Information Commissioner
Permalink
LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

I have the honour, pursuant to section 66 of the Official Languages Act, to lay upon the table the annual report of the interim Commissioner of Official Languages covering the period from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(f), this report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Commissioner of Official Languages
Permalink
LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

I have the honour to lay upon the table, pursuant to section 11 of the Lobbying Act, the annual report of the Commissioner of Lobbying for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Commissioner of Lobbying
Permalink
LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

Pursuant to paragraph 90(1)(b) of the Parliament of Canada Act, it is my duty to present to the House the annual report of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner in relation to the Conflict of Interest Act for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
Permalink
LIB

Rob Oliphant

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the Canada–Africa Parliamentary Association respecting its participation at the bilateral mission in the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Republic of Botswana in Harare, Zimbabwe, and Gaborone, Botswana, from March 26 to 31, 2017.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Interparliamentary Delegations
Permalink
CPC

Kevin Sorenson

Conservative

Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Battle River—Crowfoot, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts: the 29th report, entitled “Report 7, Operating and Maintenance Support for Military Equipment—National Defence, of the Fall 2016 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada”, and also the 30th report of the committee, entitled “Report 5, Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment and Retention—National Defence, of the Fall 2016 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to each of these two reports.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Public Accounts
Permalink
LIB

Rob Oliphant

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security concerning Bill S-233, an act to amend the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (presentation and reporting requirements).

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with an amendment.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Public Safety and National Security
Permalink
?

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet

NDP

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you were to seek it, I think you would find that there is consent to adopt the following motion:

That, at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Monday, June 12, 2017, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Permalink
LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Permalink
LIB

June 8, 2017