May 30, 2019

CPC

Luc Berthold

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the government.

The Prime Minister does not want Canadians to know the full truth about the Norman case. Yesterday, he forced the Minister of National Defence and the entire Liberal caucus to vote against releasing a memo.

In 2015, they promised that the government would be open and transparent. In 2019, this government is plagued by scandals and secrets.

If the Prime Minister has nothing to hide, why is he imposing a code of silence on anyone who could reveal the truth about the Norman case?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Serge Cormier

Liberal

Mr. Serge Cormier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, once again, as the Public Prosecution Service of Canada confirmed this month, based on this month's decision on the charges against Vice-Admiral Norman, all decisions were made independently. No other factors were considered in the decision, nor was there any influence from outside the PPSC, including political influence.

My colleague should know that the PPSC and the RCMP operate independently from the government. If he does not know this, perhaps he would benefit from a law course. Once again, we will respect this country's judicial process and the deliberations of the committee.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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CPC

Leona Alleslev

Conservative

Ms. Leona Alleslev (Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the government still has a responsibility to Canadians. The Prime Minister promised that he would be transparent by default, and that sunshine is the best disinfectant.

The political interference in the Vice-Admiral Norman case has been disgustingly covered up and Canadians deserve to know the truth. Yesterday, the Liberals voted against releasing an unredacted version of the 60-page document that the disgraced former clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick, sent to the Prime Minister.

What is the Prime Minister hiding? Why will he not tell Canadians the truth?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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LIB

Serge Cormier

Liberal

Mr. Serge Cormier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat it one more time for my colleague. She knows that committees operate independently of the government. She used to be part of our government, so she knows how our committees operate, compared with how they used to operate under the Harper government.

Once again, with respect to the trial of Vice-Admiral Norman, no other factors were considered in this decision, nor was there any outside influence, political or otherwise.

We followed the process. There have been discussions between General Vance and Vice-Admiral Norman regarding his return to work. We will continue to follow the process, and we will wait for the decisions that ensue.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Justice
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NDP

Rachel Blaney

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberals announced funding to deal with the backlog at Veterans Affairs, it is clear that the system is still broken.

One veteran has been waiting over a year for a decision that VAC says takes 16 weeks. He is not the only one. VAC is currently processing claims from October 2017.

Could the minister explain to veterans and the House why, with this new investment that is meant to help the process happen faster, they are still waiting, in some cases years, for the help they so desperately need?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure my hon. colleague that our government is committed to making sure we deliver for veterans. Yes, we did invest 10 billion new dollars, which included $42 million to address the backlog. We hired 630 new front-line staff because there was a major reduction in front-line staff.

It is also important to realize the 66% increase in applications to Veterans Affairs because Veterans Affairs says yes more often. We take care of our veterans.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, climate change is having a detrimental impact on our rivers and watersheds.

Water levels in the Cowichan River are already low for this time of year. Startling new projections predict the river could run dry by July.

This past Saturday, I was on the river helping rescue salmon fry that were stranded in pools from the rapidly receding main river. The situation is dire and my community is calling for leadership.

When will the federal government commit to the funding necessary to raise the Cowichan weir to save this critical watershed and the salmon that depend on it?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Sean Casey

Liberal

Mr. Sean Casey (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we continue to ensure the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. We understand the importance of fishery resources in the Cowichan River to local indigenous groups and the local community. We are aware of the issues regarding the low summer flows and the threats to fish and fish habitat.

The department and the minister have attended meetings with local indigenous groups and provincial and local governments. We are actively engaged in ongoing discussions to find solutions and the possibilities of federal funding.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Cathay Wagantall

Conservative

Mrs. Cathay Wagantall (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, veteran Medric Cousineau has exposed another blow to veterans in the pension for life scam. Veterans with the same injury applying before and after April 1 are not treated equally. Under the Liberals' new plan, veterans will receive less. Why do the Liberals think that veterans with the same injury should not be compensated equally?

Even Mr. Cousineau's Liberal member of Parliament agrees that this is unacceptable and reached out to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister reverse his cuts to veterans, or does he still believe they are simply asking too much?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have always made sure that we take care of our veterans, and we always will. The well-being and financial security of our veterans are vitally important.

I want to be very clear. Injured veterans will be better off under the pension for life than they would have been under the previous government's policy.

Our veterans took care of our democracy and freedom, and we want to make sure that we treat them in a proper manner, and we will.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

The Speaker

If the hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George wishes to offer advice to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, I would encourage him to do that either when he has the floor or perhaps at some other place and time.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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CPC

Alupa Clarke

Conservative

Mr. Alupa Clarke (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in 2015, the Prime Minister, surrounded by Liberal candidates, including the member for Orléans and the Minister of National Defence, who are both veterans themselves, made a solemn promise that under his leadership, veterans would never, ever have to go to court to get their due. He broke that promise.

He also promised to restore the pension for life option in the proper way. That was another broken promise. We are not the ones saying so. It is veterans themselves, the ones who are the most affected by this affair, who are saying that the money is just not there for the pension for life option.

Why?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
Permalink
LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's concern, but he is wrong. The Prime Minister indicated quite clearly that the pension for life will be much better and what is provided for veterans will be much better than it was under the previous government. That is what we promised, and I can assure the hon. member that it is what we will deliver.

We have made sure, and will continue to make sure, that our veterans are cared for properly.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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CPC

John Brassard

Conservative

Mr. John Brassard (Barrie—Innisfil, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister stood in the House and stated that he has instructed the Minister of Veterans Affairs to ensure that no veteran will receive less on a go-forward basis. Veterans themselves have proven that the new Liberal pension for life retirement income benefit is less than the previous benefits it replaces.

Can the minister confirm to the House, and to our veterans who are watching right now, that the new retirement income benefit will be paid out at the rate of the benefits it replaces as of April 1, 2019? When will that happen?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's question, but it comes from a party that slashed Veterans Affairs. It slashed 1,000 jobs at Veterans Affairs and slashed the number of caseworkers, so veterans could not even apply.

We have hired over 650 caseworkers. We have helped over 400 caseworkers to make sure that when veterans apply, they will be approved. In fact, Veterans Affairs is saying yes more often, not to mention the $10 billion we invested to make sure veterans are served properly.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Veterans Affairs
Permalink
LIB

Brenda Shanahan

Liberal

Mrs. Brenda Shanahan (Châteauguay—Lacolle, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is essential that we advance gender equality and invest in women to grow the middle class, strengthen our economy and build a healthy future in Canada and around the world.

However, governments cannot do this work alone. It requires multiple sectors, industries and communities to bring about change.

Could the Minister for Women and Gender Equality please inform the House of the work that is being done by our government to mobilize all stakeholders to achieve gender equality?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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LIB

Maryam Monsef

Liberal

Hon. Maryam Monsef (Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Châteauguay—Lacolle for her advocacy and effective leadership.

We have one million new jobs, one million families with a safe and affordable roof over their heads, the lowest unemployment on record for four decades and 825,000 Canadians no longer going to bed hungry at night, because our plan is working. It is a plan that sees equality as a driver for economic growth.

Women Deliver will offer us an opportunity to work with partners to seize the untold economic benefits that exist for all partners in the global community.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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CPC

Ed Fast

Conservative

Hon. Ed Fast (Abbotsford, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the evidence is overwhelming: The Liberals will not meet their Paris targets. Still, the minister continues to mislead Canadians by repeating that we are somehow going to meet those targets.

Is that why she said, last Friday, “if you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it”? Did I get that right?

When will the minister come clean with Canadians and admit that her so-called climate plan is not as advertised?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Catherine McKenna

Liberal

Hon. Catherine McKenna (Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' climate plan is exactly as advertised. We just had the Conservative Party announce its climate plan: It is the jam-through-pipelines plan.

What does it include? It includes making it free to pollute, in the face of energy companies saying there needs to be a price on pollution. It includes killing the new environmental assessment law that we put forward, which would not only rebuild trust but also ensure that good projects go ahead in a timely way.

The Conservative Party has no plan for the environment, no plan for climate change and no plan for the economy.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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NDP

Wayne Stetski

New Democratic Party

Mr. Wayne Stetski (Kootenay—Columbia, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's forestry sector is a fundamental part of many rural communities, like my riding. It provides high-quality, well-paying jobs that thousands of Canadians rely on to support their families.

In British Columbia, we are seeing temporary and permanent mill closures and shift reductions. The impact of the mountain pine beetle and increasing wildfires pose major threats to our forestry industry, as does the Liberal government's total failure to get a new deal on softwood lumber. U.S. duties are hurting our communities.

Will the Liberals make the removal of U.S. duties on softwood lumber a real priority and secure a fair deal for Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Forestry Industry
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May 30, 2019