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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 245

CONTENTS

Thursday, November 2, 2023




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 245
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Greg Fergus

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[Translation]

Auditor General of Canada

     It is my duty to lay upon the table, pursuant to subsection 21(2) of the Export Development Act, a report of the Auditor General of Canada on Export Development Canada's environmental and social review directive. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(g), this report is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 16 petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

Veterans' Week

    Mr. Speaker, Veterans' Week begins this Sunday, and I wish to encourage all Canadians to participate in activities and ceremonies in honour of those who have served our country and those who continue to serve.

[Translation]

    This week, I will be thinking of all of the veterans across the country. We will remember the 1.7 million Canadians and Newfoundlanders who fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century to defend peace, freedom, democracy and human rights.

[English]

    We will remember the 12,000 first nations, Métis and Inuit veterans. We will remember the hundreds of Black men who took part in the No. 2 Construction Battalion. They risked their lives to support Canada's war efforts, even as they faced systemic racism and discrimination at home and abroad. We must remember them and we must honour them.

[Translation]

    We will remember the 125,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the over 4,000 civilian police officers who participated in peacekeeping operations around the world. We are grateful to them for that.
    We will remember women veterans and the thousands of other veterans and active members who belong to other under-represented groups who had to overcome so many challenges to wear Canada's military uniform.

[English]

    We will also remember the 4,200 Canadian Armed Forces members and 450 RCMP members who participated in one of the largest domestic military operations in our country's history: the Swissair flight 111 tragedy in September 1998.

[Translation]

    No matter where or how they served, every veteran's experience has been unique.

[English]

    This Veterans' Week is a time to reflect on the many ways in which these brave individuals have made a difference both at home and abroad while wearing the uniform.

[Translation]

    In times of war, military conflict and peace, our men and women in uniform have performed the difficult and demanding work required of them, often at great personal risk. At this year's Invictus Games in Germany, I once again saw just how much our veterans have had to overcome. It reminded me that a veteran's support network can change everything.

[English]

    I was reminded of how, when veterans serve, their families also serve with them. This week, I hope that all are reminded of these veterans and their families too. I hope everyone is reminded of their service, their sacrifices and the battles they still fight today.

[Translation]

    In return, we are committed to providing them with the support and services they need, when and where they need them. It is the least we can do for those who have given their all for us.

[English]

    This Veterans' Week, as we mark 75 years since the first UN peacekeeping mission began and 35 years since the UN peacekeeping forces received the Nobel Peace Prize, we reflect on all that our veterans have sacrificed to uphold peace, democracy and human rights.

[Translation]

    We solemnly remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and we pay tribute to veterans and active military personnel for their invaluable contribution to peace and security around the world.

[English]

    On November 11, we will pause to reflect on the sacrifices they have made and the freedoms we enjoy today as a result.
    Lest we forget.
    Mr. Speaker, “All these were honoured in their generations and were the glory of their times.” For me, that verse from the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is inscribed on the walls of the Veterans Memorial Buildings here in Ottawa, captures the valour of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country in uniform in our armed forces, who are the greatest of Canadians.

[Translation]

    It is an honour today for me to speak on behalf of the leader of the official opposition and all Conservatives as we approach Remembrance Week. We honour veterans for the great sacrifices they have made in every mission and conflict in Canada's history.

[English]

    We owe those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, those who have had their lives forever altered and their families who were left behind a debt that we can never fully repay. The instinct to honour our fallen is evident around our country, from Canada's first road of remembrance, established on Shelbourne Street in Victoria, B.C. in 1920, to the Crow's Nest Officers' Club, which was founded during the Second World War by Captain Rollo Mainguy of the Royal Canadian Navy in St. John's, Newfoundland.
    Canadians strive to memorialize our fallen, honour those who fought and returned home and show our support for those who still serve our country in uniform today. Parliament Hill hosts one of the greatest memorials, the Room of Remembrance, which contains the records of Canada's fallen warriors. The names of every man and woman who has laid down their lives in service to Canada are logged in books of remembrance, and each day new pages are turned so Canadians can contemplate the sacrifice of those who gave their lives in service. Each page is a simple list that nonetheless tells a moving story of individuals from every part of our land who spared nothing to keep our country free and who sacrificed everything in defence of all that we cherish today.

  (1010)  

[Translation]

     The name of Sergeant Charles Albani Dominique Parent of Rimouski, Royal 22nd Regiment, appears on page 57 of the Korean War Book of Remembrance.

[English]

    Charles Robert Loft of London, Ontario, a flying officer with 419 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force, is on page 535 of the book that commemorates the Second World War.
    Royal Navy Ordinary Seaman Sidney Macdonald Wheeler of Notre Dame Bay is found on page 204 of the Newfoundland Book of Remembrance.
    Closer to home from me is Captain Nichola Goddard of Calgary, on page 219 of the In the Service of Canada Book of Remembrance. In Afghanistan, Nichola was the first Canadian female combat soldier since World War II to lay down her life in frontline combat.

[Translation]

    Hailing from all regions of Canada and all branches of service, these and other courageous men and women represent only a fraction of the 120,000 Canadians who lost their lives protecting the freedoms they cherished and the country they loved.

[English]

    They remind us of the importance of standing up for what is right and just and the need in a dangerous world to defend our values and freedoms. We must always strive to honour our fallen while showing our support and appreciation for our veterans and our men and women still serving in Canada's armed forces. All of them have served Canada with bravery, dedication and selflessness, and they paved the way for and now protect the peace we enjoy today.
    Remembrance Day is also a time to reflect on the sacrifices of families who see their loved ones go into service. Many have lost husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. It is the terrible cost of war. We must always be mindful of the pain of loss and the need for support endured by the families left behind.
    I want to read from a letter from the front that was sent by a Canadian soldier, Fred Adams of Ontario, who wrote this letter in May 1915 to his aunt. It reads:
    Dear Aunt:
    This is the first day they have allowed us to write letters since this battle began and I have no doubt you are anxious to hear from me. Well, we have lost an awful lot of our fellows, and to those of us who are left it seems just a miracle that any of us came through alive.... About two brigades of Canadians held about five times as many Germans. It would have done you good to see the boys. I did not see one show the white feather, but each had a set face and went right at it.... It was just a nightmare, a hell.... We could see the boys falling everywhere, and it was just awful to hear them cry out.... We have lost two of our guns and there are only eleven of us left out of the section. Well all the boys did the best they could and I for one am ready to do it again, only I hope the war will soon end, for the sake of the poor parents, wives and sweethearts of all the soldiers. Still I thank God that I am spared and always pray that He will soon end the war. With Love. FRED.
    Sadly, Fred Adams was killed in action just days after this letter was sent to his family.
    Letters such as Fred's are among the hundreds of thousands that came home from the front to worried loved ones at home. They are vivid reminders of the real people, with their humanity, their courage and their dedication, who are the reasons we enjoy the freedoms we do today.
    It is a privilege of the generations that have received liberty as our legacy to honour the sacrifices of those who secured it for us at so steep a cost. It is our duty and their due that we pay tribute to their sacrifice by fixing their service and their sacrifices in our remembrance and by ensuring that we always cherish and uphold the very freedoms they fought for.
    We will remember them.

  (1015)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is truly an honour for me to speak today in the House.
    Wearing the poppy during Veterans' Week is a small but powerful symbolic gesture. It is an opportunity for all citizens to show their gratitude to those throughout history who fought for Quebec and for Canada, for freedom and democracy, and who paid the price in body and soul.
    This ritual dates back to the armistice of 1918, when bugles sounded at 11 a.m. on November 11, ending 1,561 days of war that left nine million people dead or missing, but it has since expanded to encompass all veterans of all wars.
    We now remember veterans of the Great War, World War Two, the Korean War, the operations in Cyprus, the conflict in Rwanda, the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the war in Afghanistan. We also remember those who fought at the Somme, Pas-de-Calais, Vimy, Dieppe, Hill 355, Sarajevo and Kabul. In all these battles, Quebec soldiers fought under the Canadian flag and gave us countless reasons to be proud of their acts of bravery and their sacrifice.
    In recent years, thanks to the Internet, Sergeant Léo Major was elevated from obscurity to iconic status, and with good reason. The history of this soldier, a veteran of the Second World War, is so impressive that today we wonder why there is no movie recounting his remarkable life and incredible exploits, aside from a very well-made documentary produced by a Quebecker. Major was nicknamed “the one-eyed ghost” after losing an eye to a phosphorus grenade. He refused to return home and continued to fight. As a sniper, he aimed with the one eye that still worked, because nothing was going to stop him.
    After surviving the Normandy landing, he carried out numerous amazing feats, single-handedly liberating the city of Zwolle in the Netherlands after the tragic passing of his comrade-in-arms, Willy Arsenault. The man known as the “Québécois Rambo” was one of only three soldiers in the Commonwealth to receive the Distinguished Conduct Medal twice in separate wars.
     We could also mention the military exploits of the Régiment de la Chaudière, the Royal 22nd Regiment and the 425 Bomber Squadron, nicknamed “Les Alouettes” after the famous song, just like Montreal's football team today. These French-Canadian units are, quite rightly, a source of pride for all Quebeckers.
    For a Quebec sovereignist like myself, this commemoration, which unites 54 countries of the British Commonwealth, is an opportunity to remember that our goal of becoming a country builds on the values that these heroes fought for, and maintains unfailing solidarity with our historic allies.
    However, along with this sense of pride comes the duty to remember all those who have fallen on the battlefield and whose names are lost to history. We also have a duty to show solidarity with all those who, despite having returned from the front, continued to have the horrors of war play out in their minds and paid the price of this dedication their entire lives.
    Given the conflicts that we are seeing in the world today, we cannot help but look to these heroes of yesterday and yesteryear, as they confront us with the atrocities of war and the immense amount of courage it takes to face them. From the comfort of our country at peace, may we always maintain this humble deference to those who paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedom.

  (1020)  

    Let us wear the poppy next to our hearts. Let us donate to a veterans' organization. Let us talk to a veteran. Let us take a moment to reflect and remember the contributions and sacrifices of these men and women, our veterans, our heroes.
    Lest we forget.

[English]

     Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today on behalf of my New Democrat colleagues to honour those Canadians who have sacrificed so much for our country.
    On November 11, we honour those who have given so much and who have dedicated their lives in the service of Canadians. We make our promise to never forget those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. We pay our respects to those who protect our freedoms and our rights by continuing to serve, in war and in peace.
    On November 8, we remember indigenous veterans, whose history is often forgotten or suppressed. Indigenous veterans sacrificed not only their lives but also their status and rights, if they returned home. Their stories, courage and experience must be remembered.
    The poppies that we wear every year are a reminder of not only the sacrifices that generations before ours have made but also those of Canadians who have recently returned from war and those who are currently serving. We remember those veterans who served in the Great War and in World War II, who built the Canada we live in today. We also remember those Canadians who served in Afghanistan, in the Persian Gulf and in peacekeeping missions across the globe.

[Translation]

    The wartime veterans who served during these and many other missions deserve our deepest respect and gratitude. We must keep supporting these veterans, who still need our help.

[English]

    Once released from duty, many veterans continue to serve their communities. The skills and expertise learned from military service are brought into other aspects of life. Veterans continue to serve in the public sector, whether they be in uniformed services or other trades and services. Indeed, service to the public does not end when military service ends.
    We also use this moment to think about those who are called to serve in today's Canadian Armed Forces. The Canadian Armed Forces command the respect of our international allies. Though small in number, members of the Canadian Armed Forces are among the best trained in the world. They continue to accomplish feats that many others cannot. Whether it be in modern conflicts, missions for peace or assisting with disaster response in Canada and around the world, our service members are heroes.
    Among those highly trained and well-respected members of the Canadian Armed Forces are women, who continue to serve in a field that was designed by men, for men. The decision to enlist requires a courage many of us will never know. It is a courage that is too often overlooked. Women who serve are not invisible. As we rebuild the Canadian Armed Forces to reflect the modern world and its needs, we know that women veterans and those women who currently serve will be a major part of our future.
    When the call to service is made, veterans and active service members are not the only ones who answer the call, as we have heard from many colleagues; the sacrifices of military service include those of the spouses, children, siblings and parents of the men and women who serve. When a service member serves, so too does their family.
    Service members know the risks of leaving their families, and we know that these decisions are not easily made, or made alone. That is why we must remember those who were left behind and remind ourselves and all Canadians that families of service members are not alone, that we stand with them and support them.
     The sacrifices that were made by veterans and continue to be made by members of the Canadian Armed Forces cannot be forgotten. The ultimate sacrifice was made by those who lost their lives and the families that loved them. The memory of the person who will never come home breaks our hearts, and we commit to never forgetting the sacrifice they made.
    The sacrifices of those who were injured and need the help of a government whose call they answered must not be neglected. We commit to ensuring the services they need will be there, when they need them. The sacrifices of families and friends who give up the most with their loved ones must not be taken for granted.
    The lives we enjoy would not be possible if not for the moments they have given up. For that, we express our deepest gratitude.

  (1025)  

    This Remembrance Day, we ask all Canadians to take a moment from their lives to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by their fellow citizens, who volunteered in service of something bigger than themselves. They answered a call so few of us have. We thank all members of the Canadian Armed Forces, past and present, and call on Canadians to learn and understand so that their work and service are never forgotten.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise to join in the tributes to Veterans' Week and Remembrance Day, and I ask if I have unanimous consent to proceed.
    Is it agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I cannot thank my colleagues enough for allowing me to rise today with the other parties in the House to pay tribute to our veterans and to take a moment to mark Veterans' Week, from November 5 to 11.

[English]

    All of us are, at this moment, thinking of how we will mark Remembrance Day in our own communities and how we will, in the week leading to Remembrance Day, mark and honour veterans' extraordinary contributions. The lives we lead today in this country, as many members have said, would not be possible without the sacrifices of others and other generations, for the most part, although, as the hon member for Burnaby South just reminded us, we have veterans now and members of our armed forces now who need our support.
    I am of that generation of baby boomers who were close. My dad and my uncle fought in the Second World War. I even remember as a child meeting my dad's cousin. My dad was British and he lived through the Blitz, but his cousin Victor was in the trenches in the First World War. We did not have the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” then. Everybody just knew that cousin Victor was not quite right. He never got over the First World War. He once said to the family that, if someone were to tell him they were afraid of teacups, he would understand. There is a trauma that never leaves one from the horrors of war.
    I particularly want to pay tribute to day to Mary Greyeyes Reid. She was born in Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Her daughter, Cheryl Greyeyes, is a friend of mine, and that is the only reason I know that Mary Greyeyes Reid was the first indigenous Canadian woman to join the armed forces. On Indigenous Veterans Day, I particularly think of Mary Greyeyes Reid, who faced, at five years old, being seized from her family and taken to residential school. In 1942, she joined the Canadian military and served overseas where, even there in the Canadian military at a time of war, she faced discrimination: both sexism and racism. She served with such distinction and honour, and we do plan, all of us, to find ways in our own communities to mark Indigenous Veterans Day on September 8.
    This is the first time in many a year that we have risen in this place to pay tribute to our veterans when we are close to theatres of war in two places: in Europe and in the Middle East. There was that end-of-history moment when we thought the brutality of direct armed conflict, one country against another, belonged in a different time.
    To our Canadian men and women serving now in our military, I thank them. We will be with them. We support them, and we must never let our veterans down.
    We will wear the poppy and buy as many as we can, knowing that the Canadian Legion does such good work in our communities, and I just want to take a moment to pray for the war dead in the most neglected of all Canadian war cemeteries. I only know about it because of the former member for Cumberland—Colchester, Bill Casey. When a group of us, 18 MPs, toured occupied territories in Palestinian territories and in Israel, Bill Casey spoke to the Canadian government to ask it to please let us go to the Gaza War Cemetery where several thousand Commonwealth war dead, some Canadian, lie buried. Nobody from Parliament had gone to honour them for many years. It was too dangerous then in 2018, and the government would not let us go.
    In this moment there are some in that cemetery who are marked as never identified, but they are not marked as unknown. Their graves read, “A soldier of the Great War...known unto God”. No one is unknown, but some are known only to God, and they are lying near another theatre of war, near Gaza, in the Gaza War Cemetery.
    I will close with taking a moment, and hope all will join me, in a prayer for peace for the whole world, for Ukraine, for Gaza and for Israel. I pray that we will, before the next Veterans' Week, be able to go to the Gaza War Cemetery, that it will be quiet and tranquil, and that we will lay flowers on the graves of those known only to God.

  (1030)  

    I thank all for their interventions.
    Lest we forget.

Petitions

Food Security 

    Mr. Speaker, too many children across Canada go to school without having a proper meal in their bellies.
    I am presenting a petition that has been signed by many people across Canada to call upon the Government of Canada to invest, in budget 2024, in a fund negotiated with provinces, territories and indigenous leaders that would help children by developing the food and nutrition habits they need to lead healthy lives and succeed at school. A school food program would be so important as the next step forward to help for healthy families.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, on this second day of Hindu Heritage Month, I rise to present a petition, important to many Hindu communities across Canada, to fight Hinduphobia. The petition received over 25,000 signatures of Canadians, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Hindu organizations, which have seen an increase in attacks and threats against Hindu people in their places of worship.
    Everyone in this country deserves a safe place free of intimidation, violence, harassment and vandalism to worship, no matter what that looks like. Hindu Canadians are facing growing negative stereotypes and prejudice, as well as discrimination at work, in schools and in their communities, while traditions and cultures are misrepresented and misunderstood.
    I am happy to table this petition, and we look forward to a response from the government about what it is going to do about this.

  (1035)  

Opioids   

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to bring forward this petition on behalf of constituents of mine from Cumberland, Courtenay, Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni.
    The petitioners are calling on the government to take action on the toxic drug crisis. They cite that the war on drugs has failed miserably, and this is from family members and community members, people who are connected to people who have died from toxic drugs. They cite that criminalizing people causes more harm and that the government needs to take on evidence-based policies, which include expunging people's records who have been charged with personal possession of substances; stop criminalizing people who use substances; creating a regulated safer supply of drugs to replace the toxic street drugs; expanding treatment, recovery, prevention and education; and ensuring that people are getting the support in time and that we are meeting people where they are at.
    The petitioners are calling for a plan with a timeline and resources to tackle this crisis, which is taking the lives of people in our communities.

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, the petition, signed by residents of Saanich—Gulf Islands, starts by recognizing that Canada is legally obligated, under the terms of the Paris Agreement, which was signed and ratified by Canada, to the goal of attempting to hold the global average temperature increase to no more than 1.5°C. We are now at 1.1°C, and we are already seeing dramatic and devastating impacts of the climate crisis.
    The petitioners therefore call on the Government of Canada to take bold climate action. They particularly call on the government to do the following things: set ambitious targets for reduction of emissions; set a national price on carbon; arrest growth in oil sands and other fossil fuel production; end the export of thermal coal from Canada, which was a promise made in the 2021 election; and invest in the transition to a carbon-free, decarbonized economy, one with strong and sustainable jobs and a strong postcarbon economy.
    Mr. Speaker, I present a petition today on behalf of members of my community who indicate that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned us repeatedly that rising temperatures over the next few decades will bring widespread devastation and extreme weather. They also note that we are certainly feeling the impacts in Canada today, with increased flooding, wildfires and extreme temperatures and that addressing this climate crisis requires drastic reduction in greenhouse emissions to limit our global warming to 1.5°C. The petitioners also indicate that the oil and gas sector is the largest and fastest-growing source of emissions, and in 2021, the federal government committed to cap and cut emissions from the oil and gas sector to achieve net zero by 2050.
    The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to move forward immediately with bold emissions caps for the oil and gas sector that are comprehensive in scope and realistic in achieving the necessary targets that Canada has set to reduce emissions by by 2030.

Public Safety  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise again on behalf of my constituents to present a petition.
    I rise for the 22nd time on behalf of the people of Swan River, Manitoba, to present a petition on the rising rate of crime. The people of Swan River have been forgotten by the NDP-Liberal government, and crime is out of control. A recent report from the west district of the Manitoba RCMP showed that, within 18 months, just 15 individuals were responsible for 1,184 calls for service and 703 offences. This is why the petitioners are calling for action. They demand jail, not bail, for violent, repeat offenders.
    The people of Swan River demand that the Liberal government repeal its soft-on-crime policies, which directly threaten their livelihoods and their community. I support the good people of Swan River.

  (1040)  

Ocean Ecosystem  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of Canadians who care deeply about the health of the ocean and understand that we all depend on a thriving ocean ecosystem. The signatories point out that, in 2019, over one million cruise ship passengers travelled off British Columbia on their way to Alaska and these ships generate significant amounts of pollutants that are harmful to human health, aquatic organisms and coastal ecosystems.
    Based on this information, the signatories are calling to set standards for cruise ships' sewage and grey water discharges equivalent to, or stronger than, those in Alaska; to designate no discharge zones to stop pollution in marine protected areas, and the entirety of the Salish and Great Bear seas, critical habitat for threatened and endangered species; and, finally, to require regular, independent, third-party monitoring while ships are under way to ensure discharge requirements are met.

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from my constituents. They point out that the impacts of climate change are accelerating in Canada and around the world; Canada's current GHG reduction targets are not consistent with our fair share to meet the global goals agreed upon in Paris; subsidizing fossil fuel production is not compatible with the stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and the government's continued support of fossil fuels puts our future in danger.
     They, therefore, ask the government and the House of Commons to fulfill Canada's obligations under the Paris Agreement through a just transition off of fossil fuels that leaves no one behind, eliminating federal fossil fuel subsidies and halting the expansion of fossil fuel production in Canada.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Questions Nos. 1697, 1700, 1701 and 1708.

[Text]

Question No. 1697—
Ms. Leah Gazan:
    With regard to the emergency COVID-19 funding to front-line organizations supporting those experiencing gender-based violence provided through Women and Gender Equality Canada: (a) how many women’s shelters were funded through the program; (b) how many women’s shelters will lose funding when the funding stream expires in September; (c) on average, how much did each shelter receive each year under the program; and (d) will the government extend the funding stream to ensure the continuation of critical and often life-saving services for those experiencing gender-based violence?
Ms. Lisa Hepfner (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), in response to the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada acted quickly in providing $300 million of emergency funding to over 1,400 organizations, such as women’s shelters, sexual assault centres and other organizations that provide critical supports and services to those experiencing gender-based violence, GBV. Among these, 459 women’s shelters received funding through this initiative.
    With regard to part (b), this investment served as a short-term emergency response to the pandemic to enhance the capacity and responsiveness of organizations during the pandemic.
    With regard to part (c), the amounts received by each women’s shelter varied according to their identified needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. For additional information on funding received under this program, please visit the Women and Gender Equality Canada, WAGE, website at https://women-gender-equality.canada.ca/en/funding/supporting-women-children-experiencing-violence-during-covid-19.html
    With regard to part (d), along with other temporary COVID-19 emergency measures introduced by the federal government since 2020, the funding measure for GBV organizations is coming to an end. However, WAGE continues to support GBV organizations and their efforts to prevent and address GBV, including through the following investments since 2021-22: $55 million over five years to bolster the capacity of indigenous women and 2SLGBTQI+ organizations to provide GBV programming aimed at addressing the root causes of violence against indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people; $30 million over five years for crisis hotlines to offer more robust services, resources and supports for those experiencing GBV; $105 million over five years to enhance the gender-based violence program, including promising practices to support at-risk populations and survivors; and $11 million over five years for GBV research and knowledge mobilization, including support for community research models.
    Building on these investments, budget 2022 provided an additional $539.3 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to support provinces and territories in their efforts to implement the national action plan to end gender-based violence. Launched on November 9, 2022, by federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for the status of women, the national action plan to end gender-based violence is a 10-year plan that sets a framework to have a Canada free of gender-based violence, a Canada that supports victims, survivors and their families from coast to coast to coast. The national action plan is informed by over 1,000 recommendations from indigenous partners, victims and survivors; frontline organizations; and experts.
Question No. 1700—
Mr. Blake Desjarlais:
    With regard to the government forgiving student loans owed since November 4, 2015: (a) how many student loans have been forgiven through (i) the Severe Permanent Disability Benefit, (ii) the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness for Family Doctors and Nurses, (iii) forgiveness in cases of death; and (b) what new criteria has the government established to qualify individuals for student loan forgiveness outside of those listed in (a)?
Mr. Irek Kusmierczyk (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a)(i), from November 4, 2015, to July 31, 2023, 3,987 Canada student loan borrowers had their loans forgiven through the severe permanent disability benefit, for a total amount of $61.9 million.
    With regard to part (a)(ii), from November 4, 2015, to July 31, 2023, 19,412 borrowers received the Canada student loan forgiveness for family doctors and nurses benefit, for a total amount of $178.5 million.
    With regard to part (a)(iii), from November 4, 2015, to July 31, 2023, a total amount of $92.3 million in Canada student loans was forgiven due to cases of borrower death. The Canada student financial assistance program, or CSFA, does not track data on the individual number of deceased borrowers.
    With regard to part (b), there are no new criteria outside of those listed in part (a).
Question No. 1701—
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to appointments and meetings attended by the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs, since January 1, 2021: (a) what is the total number of meetings held on the subject matter of (i) women veterans, (ii) Indigenous veterans, (iii) 2SLGBTQ+ veterans, (iv) the table of disabilities, (v) entitlement eligibility guidelines, (vi) research priorities, and (vii) award funding; and (b) what are the details of all meetings listed in (a), including the (i) date, (ii) names and titles of the government representatives in the meeting, (iii) names of the organizations or groups in attendance, (iv) location of the meeting, (v) length of the meeting?
Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, Veterans Affairs Canada undertook an extensive preliminary search in order to determine the information that would fall within the scope of this question and concluded that a manual search and review would be required. The level of detail requested is not systematically tracked in a centralized database. Veterans Affairs Canada further concluded that producing and validating a comprehensive response to this question could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.
Question No. 1708—
Ms. Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay:
    With regard to the government’s safer supply program: (a) what were the projections showing a reduction of overdoses that were used to justify implementing the program; (b) off of what methodology were the projections in (a) based; (c) what is the government’s explanation for why the number of overdoses increased following the implementation of the program; and (d) when did the government first become aware that its projections showing that overdoses would decrease were flawed and inaccurate?
Mr. Darren Fisher (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, since 2017, guided by the Canadian drugs and substances strategy, CDSS, the Government of Canada has taken a comprehensive approach to address substance use issues and the overdose crisis, supported by over $1 billion in spending. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to prevent or reduce overdose deaths; a full range of services and supports are needed.
    Safer supply sits within a continuum of services where medications are prescribed in the context of a therapeutic relationship between a health care provider and a patient. Safer supply services are informed by well-established domestic and international evidence from medication-assisted treatment, MAT, services, which are considered the gold standard of treatment for substance use disorder.
    With regard to questions (a) and (b), surveillance conducted by the Public Health Agency of Canada, PHAC, on the overdose crisis shows a significant increase in apparent opioid-toxicity deaths in Canada beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and rates remain elevated today. PHAC also conducts forward modelling to provide estimates of how many opioid-related deaths may occur over the coming months in Canada. Projections are based on assumptions regarding the toxicity of the illegal drug supply and the impact of health interventions. The model considers all health interventions together and does not report projections for specific interventions, such as safer supply. The model is updated twice a year, in June and December.
    Health Canada recognizes that additional high-quality evidence is needed that addresses potential benefits and risks of safer supply. To help build this evidence, Health Canada is supporting assessment and evaluation projects related to pilot projects funded by the substance use and addictions program, SUAP. This includes a preliminary assessment of 10 safer supply pilot projects in Ontario, British Columbia and New Brunswick.
    The federal government, through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, CIHR, is also supporting a study being conducted by a research team from the Canadian research initiative in substance misuse. This four-year evaluation research project focuses on program implementation and the short-term health outcomes of 11 of the government-funded safer supply pilot projects. The final results of this study are expected in 2025. Additionally, CIHR has awarded $2 million to the University of Victoria to support a four-year study evaluating the safer supply initiatives in British Columbia in partnership with indigenous leaders, elders and system partners.
    With regard to questions (c) and (d), there is no one single intervention alone that will reduce overdose deaths and solve the overdose crisis. This crisis is being driven by a highly toxic illegal drug supply and a number of underlying socio-economic factors. This is why the federal government has taken a broad, comprehensive approach under the CDSS focusing on prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement.
    All SUAP-funded safer supply pilot projects are time-limited, innovative interventions designed to evaluate the effectiveness of providing pharmaceutical-grade medications as safer alternatives to the contaminated illegal drug supply in Canada. These pilot projects must have linkages to provincial and/or territorial health systems, involvement of people with lived and living experience of substance use in design and planning and prescriber or health care provider oversight, and must demonstrate commitments to research and evaluation.
    Safer supply services exist in a limited number of locations in Canada, and currently serve a relatively small number of clients compared to the total number of people who use drugs and who are at risk of overdose due to the toxic illegal drug supply in Canada. At the federal level, there are 29 funded pilot projects, serving approximately 4,300 clients nationally. The focus of federally funded projects has been on building the evidence around this new practice.
    Under the CDSS, the Government of Canada will continue to undertake a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to substance use issues and the overdose crisis, including testing new ideas and approaches to help save lives and reduce harms. We will continue to work with all levels of governments and key stakeholders, who also have critical roles to play. We will continue to monitor and assess all available evidence regarding our approach, including studying the outcomes of safer supply pilot projects, to inform both current and future actions and make adjustments, including implementing risk mitigation measures as appropriate.

[English]

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

    Mr. Speaker, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 1694 to 1696, 1698, 1699, 1702 to 1707 and 1709 could be made orders for return, these returns would be tabled in electronic format immediately.
    The Deputy Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 1694—
Ms. Lisa Marie Barron:
    With regard to the Minister for Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard’s decision to extend consultations on the open-net pen aquaculture transition: (a) what is the new timeline to introduce a plan for workers and coastal communities who will be affected by open-net pen finfish aquaculture closures; (b) what are the details of consultations leading up to the extension decision, and all consultations scheduled for the summer of 2023, including the (i) date of the consultation, (ii) organizations or the individuals being consulted; (c) what resources has the department allocated for the purposes of this consultation, including the (i) number of staff, (ii) budget, (iii) administrative resources; and (d) what is the number of full-time staff and budget allocated for the purposes of implementing a timely real-jobs plan for all those impacted?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1695—
Mr. Richard Cannings:
    With regard to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Small and Medium Business Enterprises Directorate, broken down by year, from November 2015 to date: (a) how many audits were completed; (b) what is the number of auditors; (c) how many new files were opened; (d) how many files were closed; (e) of the files in (d), what was the average time taken to process the file before it was closed; (f) of the files in (d), what was the risk level of non-compliance of each file; (g) how much was spent on contractors and subcontractors; (h) of the contractors and subcontractors in (g), what is the initial and final value of each contract; (i) among the contractors and subcontractors in (g), what is the description of each service contract; (j) how many reassessments were issued; (k) what is the total net revenue collected; (l) how many taxpayer files were referred to the CRA’s Criminal Investigations Program; (m) of the investigations in (l), how many were referred to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada; and (n) of the investigations in (m), how many resulted in convictions?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1696—
Mr. Richard Cannings:
    With regard to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), broken down by province or territory: (a) what is the total number of businesses that received the CEBA loan; (b) what is the total loan amount provided to small businesses; (c) what is the total number of CEBA loans that have (i) been paid back in full, (ii) been paid back in part, (iii) not been paid back at all; (d) what is the total amount of CEBA loans that have been forgiven based on (i) repayment based on terms of the loan, (ii) reasons outside of the terms of the loan; and (e) what is the total number of small businesses that the government expects to miss the deadline for repayment?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1698—
Mr. Scott Reid:
    With regard to immigration, asylum, and refugee measures and programs established since September 2001: (a) what is the number of Afghan nationals that have been admitted to Canada, in total, and broken down by year, month, and program or measure; (b) what is the total number of Afghan nationals that have been granted permission to travel to or enter Canada by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); (c) what is the total number of applications from Afghan nationals that have been accepted by IRCC; (d) what is the total number of Afghan nationals contained within the applications in (c); (e) with respect to the applications in (c), what is the number that received a negative decision from IRCC, broken down by year, month, and program or measure; (f) with respect to the applications in (e), what (i) is the number of Afghan nationals contained within the applications, broken down by year, month, and program or measure, (ii) were the reasons provided for the negative decisions, (iii) is the number of applications that received each reason, broken down by year, month, and program or measure; (g) what is the number of Afghan nationals that have been granted permission to travel to or enter Canada by IRCC, broken down by year, month, and program or measure; (h) what is the number of applications from Afghan nationals that have been accepted by IRCC, broken down by year, month, and program or measure; (i) what is the date of the establishment of each program or measure; (j) what is the date of each program or measure’s closing to applications; and (k) what is the date of each program or measure’s termination?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1699—
Mr. Blake Desjarlais:
    With regard to the investments in budget 2023 concerning the implementation of the Canadian Dental Care Plan: (a) what is the projected number of individuals who would qualify for this plan because they have an annual family income of less than (i) $90,000, (ii) $70,000; (b) what is the projected number of individuals listed in (a) who are (i) seniors over the age of 65, (ii) children under the age of 12, (iii) people living with a disability; (c) what is the estimated number of individuals, broken down by province or territory; and (d) what is the total number of individuals eligible for the Canadian Dental Care Plan, broken down by federal electoral district?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1702—
Ms. Rachel Blaney:
    With regard to the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund, broken down by fiscal year and by province or territory: (a) what are the details of all organizations that have received funding, including (i) the name of organization, (ii) the amount received, (iii) the type of organization, (iv) the number of veterans and equity-seeking Veterans on the board of the organization, (v) the number of veterans and equity-seeking Veterans as staff in the organization, including CEO and owners, (vi) the number of veterans and equity-seeking veterans as volunteers in their programs, (vii) the number of veterans and equity-seeking veterans who used the programs and/or services, (viii) whether the organization reported on how the funding was applied and lessons learned; (b) for organizations listed in (a), which organizations qualified for funding because their application provided curated and specialized programs or services to equity-seeking groups, including (i) women, (ii) 2SLGBTQ+, (iii) homeless, (iv) Indigenous veterans, and (v) racialized veterans; (c) what metrics and analytical tools, including Gender-based Analysis Plus, does the government use to assess applications, and does the government apply considerations based on the (i) impact on single veterans, (ii) impact on veterans and their families, (iii) innovation to address unmet needs, as defined by research and veterans themselves, (iv) financial risk and ability to administer and deliver services, and (v) ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for marginalized veterans and equity seeking groups; (d) what staff level, working groups, panels, or review bodies assess applications for funding, and are veterans represented in these decision making bodies; (e) what is the total number of applications that were received; and (f) of the applications in (c), reflected as a number and a percentage, what is the total number of applications that were denied funding?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1703—
Ms. Lindsay Mathyssen:
    With regard to the staffing of Canadian Armed Forces clinics: (a) broken down by each base and location, what is the number of (i) military psychiatrists, (ii) civilian psychiatrists employed directly by the Department of National Defence (DND), (iii) psychiatrists from Calian Group Ltd, (iv) military psychologists, (v) civilian psychologists employed directly by the DND, (vi) psychologists from Calian Group Ltd, (vii) military medical doctors, (viii) civilian medical doctors employed directly by the DND, (ix) medical doctors from Calian Group Ltd, (x) military medical social workers, (xi) civilian medical social workers employed directly by the DND, (xii) medical social workers from Calian Group Ltd, (xiii) military registered nurses specializing in mental health, (xiv) civilian registered nurses specializing in mental health employed directly by the DND, (xv) registered nurses specializing in mental health from Calian Group Ltd, (xvi) military addictions counsellors, (xvii) civilian addictions counsellors employed directly by the DND, (xviii) addiction counsellors from Calian Group Ltd; (b) for each position listed in (a), what is the (i) current average full-time equivalent salary, (ii) average number of patients treated per month; and (c) what are the details of all personnel provided by Calian Group Ltd, specifically the (i) number of personnel provided broken down by job title, (ii) statements of work by job title, (iii) responsibilities of position, (iv) position or supervisor title to whom they report, (v) average full-time equivalent salary broken down by job title?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1704—
Ms. Lindsay Mathyssen:
    With regard to the government’s purchase of 88 F-35A fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, announced on January 9, 2023: (a) what studies and reports were completed by the government to determine the lifecycle costs and economic impact of this purchase; (b) what were the details of each study or report in (a), including the (i) date of the report, (ii) author, (iii) cost of producing the report, (iv) conclusions concerning the lifecycle cost or economic impact; (c) what lifespan did the government use to determine its estimates of operation and support costs; and (d) does the cost modelling done by the government include upgrades and overhaul in its per-unit acquisition cost?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1705—
Ms. Lindsay Mathyssen:
    With regard to the real property portfolio of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), broken down by facility or building: (a) what is the current number of work orders for maintenance; (b) for each work order in (a), what are the details, including the (i) type of request, (ii) estimated cost for repair or maintenance, (iii) date the work order was made, (iv) date the work order is expected to be closed; (c) what reports has the Department of National Defence commissioned regarding the costs of maintenance and repair at CAF facilities; and (d) what are the details of all reports listed in (c), including the (i) author of the report, (ii) cost to procure the report, (iii) conclusions of the report, including the estimated deferred maintenance costs?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1706—
Ms. Lindsay Mathyssen:
    With regard to federal spending in the constituency of London—Fanshawe, in each fiscal year since 2020-21, inclusively: what are the details of all grants and contributions and all loans to any organization, group, business or municipality, broken down by the (i) name of the recipient, (ii) municipality in which the recipient is located, (iii) date the funding was received, (iv) amount received, (v) department or agency that provided the funding, (vi) program under which the grant, contribution or loan was made, (vii) nature or purpose?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1707—
Mr. Dan Muys:
    With regard to the Universal Broadband Fund announcement by the government on August 28, 2023, specifically relating funding recipient Rogers – UBF-05530 in the amount of $79,052,000 to bring high speed internet access to 28,269 households: (a) how many of the 28,269 individual households are each located in (i) Ancaster, (ii) Binbrook, (iii) Branchton, (iv) Campbellville, (v) Carlisle, (vi) Copetown, (vii) Dundas, (viii) Freelton, (ix) Grassie, (x) Jerseyville, (xi) Kilbride, (xii) Lynden, (xiii) Millgrove, (xiv) Mount Hope, (xv) Pleasant View Survey, (xvi) Rockton, (xvii) Sheffield, (xviii) Stoney Creek, (xix) Strabane, (xx) Troy, (xxi) Waterdown; and (b) how much of the allotted $79,052,000 for this project is allocated to be used in (i) Ancaster, (ii) Binbrook, (iii) Branchton, (iv) Campbellville, (v) Carlisle, (vi) Copetown, (vii) Dundas, (viii) Freelton, (ix) Grassie, (x) Jerseyville, (xi) Kilbride, (xii) Lynden, (xiii) Millgrove, (xiv) Mount Hope, (xv) Pleasant View Survey, (xvi) Rockton, (xvii) Sheffield, (xviii) Stoney Creek, (xix) Strabane, (xx) Troy, (xxi) Waterdown?
    (Return tabled)
Question No. 1709—
Mr. Gord Johns:
    With regard to the President of the Treasury Board's directive to find specific cuts within departments by October 2, 2023, broken down by department: (a) were any third-party management firms contracted to assist with identifying spending cuts; and (b) what are the details of all contracts in (a), including the (i) name of the firm contracted, (ii) value of the contract, (iii) deadline to submit deliverables, (iv) titles of any reports or summary documents produced?
    (Return tabled)

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.
    The Deputy Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    I wish to inform the House that, because of the ministerial statements, Government Orders will be extended by 28 minutes.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax Pause on Home Heating  

     That, given that the government has announced a “temporary, three-year pause” to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.
     He said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Peterborough—Kawartha.
    “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.” Those were the words of the Prime Minister, and that is the principle of my motion today. It reads, “That, given that the government has announced a ‘temporary, three-year pause’ to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.”
    It is very simple. How does anyone argue with that? If the Prime Minister has now caved on the carbon tax for those heating with oil, then he ought to be intellectually consistent and do it for all forms of heating for all Canadians. We know that the Prime Minister has decided to create two classes of citizens. He, under pressure and under duress, decided to pause the carbon tax on home heat until after the election, at which point he intends to quadruple it. In the meantime, there will be a temporary carve-out. Asked why there was a double standard and why this carve-out applied only to about 3% of households, the Minister of Rural Economic Development said that other Canadians could have had the break too, but they did not elect enough Liberals. In addition to that being a bloody-minded, divide-and-conquer approach to politics, it is actually inaccurate, because many did elect Liberal MPs and are still forced to pay the tax on the heat. These are people in Liberal-held ridings who will be excluded and will be forced to pay the higher tax on the heat as the temperatures go down and the snow starts to fall.
    Are these citizens less Canadian than those who are getting the pause? Is the malnourished senior in the Liberal riding of Sudbury who heats with gas any less Canadian than those who get the pause? Is the single mom in the Liberal ridings of Thunder Bay any less Canadian as she is forced by the Prime Minister's tax to skip meals so her kids do not have to? Is the welder in North Bay any less Canadian, as he cannot gas up his truck to go visit his dying relatives in other parts of the province, any less Canadian? Of course they are not, but the Prime Minister thinks they are.
    Once again we see his divide-to-distract strategy. He thinks that if people are afraid of their fellow Canadians, they might forget that they cannot afford to gas their car or heat their home. We have seen this divide-and-conquer strategy of the Prime Minister over many years. We saw how he called small businesses “tax cheats”. We saw how he called anyone who disagreed with him a “small fringe minority”, even though he later had to apologize for those comments. Recently, we saw how he tried to besmirch Muslims, Sikh and Christian parents, calling them “hateful” simply because they wanted to protect their children. We see, again and again, how the Prime Minister tries to demonize hunters, calling them “American” and saying that people who live in Cape Breton and hunt or who live in northern Canada and hunt for sustenance are the reason we have record gang shootings in downtown Toronto. That has become his go-to approach, and here we have it again with a “two classes of citizens” approach to his carbon tax.
     Let us not forget that his plan is to quadruple the carbon tax if he is re-elected. My plan is the opposite. I propose, with this motion, a compromise in the meantime. What I propose is that we take the tax off so Canadians could keep the heat on this winter, and then, when Canadians go to the polls, we could have a carbon tax election where people choose between his plan to quadruple the tax on gas, heat and groceries, and my common-sense plan to axe the tax and bring home lower prices.

  (1045)  

    The Prime Minister, in his desperation yesterday, would not even show up and defend this approach in the House. He was in Ottawa and he was in the building, and he would not—
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Conservative Party has been told on many occasions that he cannot do indirectly what he cannot do directly. I would ask that the member recognize that members on all sides of the House, at times, cannot be in the House for a multitude of different reasons.
    I will caution the hon. leader about that.
    The hon. leader of the official opposition.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's strategy is to hide and divide: to hide from debate and divide the population. That is how he thinks he will cling to power, but here is the problem: He can run away from debating me all he wants, but he cannot run away from his own party. His former environment minister Catherine McKenna said that he had broken her heart. A Liberal senator, Paula Simons, said that he betrayed her, because he had assured her that the carbon tax was going to make people better off but later admitted that people heating with oil were made far worse off by his carbon tax, thus needing a pause from that tax.
    Liberal Senator Percy Downe wrote a spectacular piece just yesterday, in which he said:
    The opportunity for [the Conservative leader to form] government was created by a lack of fiscal responsibility in the [Liberal] government, and the damage it caused our economy is now showing up in the opinion [polls]. Within the Liberal Party, many members who are in favour of fiscal responsibility...have given up on this current iteration of the Liberal Party.
    He goes on:
    Originally, these centralist liberals assumed that [the Prime Minister] and his crowd needed to be educated on the economic issues of the day.
    That naiveté was replaced with the realization that they were not a serious government when it came to the economy, that they simply didn’t care and would throw money at anything that crossed their mind. The resulting interest rate hikes, increasing cost of living, and huge debt didn’t seem to concern them.
    The Liberal senator goes on to say that the Prime Minister should be fired and replaced with a new Liberal leader. Meanwhile, the incoming Liberal leader, Mark Carney, is now firing shots at the Prime Minister, claiming that he would not have allowed two classes of Canadians on the carbon tax question.
    This is carbon tax chaos. Canadians are paying the price, and all of it proves that the Prime Minister is not worth the cost. He is not worth the cost of heat. He is not worth the cost of food. He is not worth the cost of housing. However, apparently, he is worth the cost to the NDP. The NDP was elected by good, solid, decent working-class folks in places like Vancouver Island, Skeena—Bulkley Valley and Timmins. I have met these these people, folks who pack their lunch, get out of bed every morning, work hard and build our country. However, they have been betrayed by the NDP, which now works for the Prime Minister and has sold out the working-class rural people of this country who were the foundation of that party.
    It now has a decision to make. The NDP leader says that he disagrees with the dual-class citizenship approach of the Prime Minister on the carbon tax. I am giving him a chance to prove it. We have a motion before the House that simply says to give everyone the same tax-free heat this winter. The NDP leader has already stated that he agrees with that point of view, but he has to check with his boss, the leader of the Liberal Party, the Prime Minister of Canada. Everyday people in Timmins, in Kapuskasing, in Smithers, British Columbia, and in countless other NDP communities will be watching on Monday to find out whether the NDP leader votes for them or for the Prime Minister. If he does not vote for the people he represents, why should they vote for him in the next election?
    The good news is that the Conservatives do not work for the Prime Minister. We work for the common people and for the common sense of the common people, united for our common home: your home, my home, our home. Let us bring it home.

  (1050)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is interesting hearing the leader of the Conservative Party. One can ultimately say he has done a flip-flop. It was not that long ago that the NDP brought forward a motion to remove the GST on home heating. One would think, based on everything he has been blabbing about for the last week or so, that the Conservatives would have voted in favour of getting rid of the GST on home heating. Canadians would be surprised to find out that their leader did not. He looks to his colleagues and wonders if he really did that. Yes, he really did vote against an amendment that would have removed the GST on home heating oil. Why has there been this change? I think it is a fair assessment. I agreed with him. I too voted against it, but I am curious why the leader of the Conservative Party flip-flopped on this issue.

  (1055)  

    Mr. Speaker, we would take all taxes off home heating. That is our view. The NDP did copycat our 2019 election platform commitment to take the GST off home heating; that is true, but then its members flip-flopped, and the NDP is now working for the Prime Minister. It has sold out the people in Kitimat and the people in Penticton, and it has sold out the hard-working miners and loggers in Timmins. Instead, the NDP members decided they would work for the Prime Minister of Canada, that they would speak for the Prime Minister in those communities, rather than speaking for those communities to the Prime Minister.
    Conservatives are the exact opposite, and that is why we call for a consistent, “one Canada” approach. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian, and we would take the tax off and keep the heat on for all Canadians everywhere and always.
    We have a point of order from the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to table the NDP motion and the results of that vote—
    I am already hearing members say no.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni.
    Mr. Speaker, with respect to a “one Canada” approach, this motion would apply to only four provinces and three territories. It would not help people in British Columbia. However, New Democrats, a year ago, brought forward a motion to remove the GST on home heating, which would have applied to all Canadians, in all 10 provinces and three territories.
     While I am getting heckled by the Conservatives, I will try to push through.
    Mr. Speaker, it was in the Conservatives' platform of 2019 to remove GST on home heating, but what did they do? They voted against it, so let us talk about who is fighting for all Canadians. The NDP did that by putting forward that motion.
    Can the member for Carleton explain why his party members voted against the Conservative promise in the 2019 platform? Why did they vote against removing the GST on home heating for all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, we can do both. Why do we not take all taxes off home heating? Why do we not do both? It is very easy to do. The NDP has copycatted our 2019 platform commitment to take GST off home heating.
    The member is now hyperventilating because he is going to lose his seat in the next election because the people on Vancouver Island have seen him betray them again and again, and now he is going to force British Columbians to pay a quadruple carbon tax on their heat, gas and groceries. He is voting in favour of the federal government's forcing the NDP government in his province to quadruple the tax.
    We are simply saying to give his constituents the same break that some Atlantic Canadians are getting temporarily. Give them a pause on the carbon tax because a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.
    Mr. Speaker, I sat and listened to the leader of the official opposition's speech, and not once did he actually mention the program we have in order to help with the transition. There are a million Canadian households in this country that are extremely vulnerable. They are sometimes paying in excess of double or four times the price of alternatives such as natural gas or electricity. We have built a program. He is talking about removing the carbon price, which we have done on a temporary basis, and we have offered a solution. Does he believe in what the government is doing to help the most vulnerable people across the country? The Conservatives have not quite picked up that it is across the country. Does he believe in the Government of Canada's helping people in rural Ontario, rural Alberta and rural Saskatchewan to actually make the transition, people who are extremely vulnerable on home heating oil? Does he support the program?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, it is not across the country. It is only available in a few provinces. So far, the uptake has been very low, because we do not have the capacity to switch large numbers of people under the program that he proposes; plus it is just riddled with bureaucracy and paperwork. We can picture elderly grandmothers who are in the freezing cold in Kings—Hants having to fill out all of these forms that he has put in front of them.
     Finally, let us just point out that the member was in full panic mode last week, because I was holding a monster rally of 1,000 common-sense Nova Scotians. You were there, Mr. Speaker, and they were rallying to axe the tax, while the member was bawling his eyes out on the phone with the PMO, asking them to save his job, because he knew he was going to be fired by his constituents. That is the only reason he even sought a pause.
    The member has to tell them the truth: If he is re-elected, people will see that tax go back on their home heat. The only way to axe the tax is by electing a common-sense Conservative MP for Kings—Hants and government for Canada.

  (1100)  

    Mr. Speaker, today is an extremely important day. Today, the members of this House, who were elected to serve Canadians, have the opportunity to prove where their priorities are. The Conservative Party of Canada and our leader have put forth an opposition motion on which members will vote on Monday. It reads:
    That, given that the government has announced a “temporary, three-year pause” to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.
    This is a reasonable, common-sense, fair-minded motion. I want to read it into the record again:
    That, given that the government has announced a “temporary, three-year pause” to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.
    After eight years, the question is why we would even have to ask for such a common-sense motion. How did we get here? How did we get to the point that the Liberal-NDP government put in a punitive tax, telling Canadians it was an environment plan? We now know, through expert testimony and the behaviour of this Liberal Prime Minister, that this punitive carbon tax, which is driving up the cost of living, was never about environmental science. It was always about political science.
    That is the pattern of behaviour we have seen over and over from the Prime Minister and the NDP, which continues to prop up the government and then practise hypocrisy in this House very single day in the chamber. The NDP prides itself on saying it stands up for the middle class and for the most vulnerable, and yet it props up the Prime Minister, who is making people's lives a living hell. This is not my opinion. These are facts.
     Last week, Tiff Macklem, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, testified at the finance committee. I want to read into the record some of this testimony.
    Mr. Tiff Macklem said, “First of all, it is the most vulnerable members of society that are suffering the most from high inflation. They are feeling the brunt of affordability more than everybody else. They can't just move down market. They're already at the bottom of the market. Much of their spending is already on necessities, you can't cut back on that. That's why it is so important that we get inflation down. Inflation is a tax that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable members of society.”
    Some people may want to argue that the carbon tax is not responsible for inflation, or that it is not contributing to inflation. Let us correct that for the record as well. This Prime Minister has tried to tell Canadians that repeatedly, but again, we know it is not true. Let me read into the record more testimony from the Governor of the Bank of Canada during the finance committee last week.
     The member for Northumberland—Peterborough South said, “Just to reiterate what you said there, it would be 60 basis points, or 0.6%. Currently the inflation rate is at 3.8%, so that equates to almost 15%, if I can do the math quickly.” Mr. Tiff Macklem said, “It would be 3.2.”
    This testimony tells the story and the facts and it proves the impact of carbon tax on Canadians. If it were removed today or tomorrow, inflation would go from 3.8% to 3.2%. That is significant. For people at home who do not know, that is 16% overall. The cost of mortgages and interest rates, the cost of heating and the cost of groceries, which are all the things that people need, the necessities that people need to live that are squeezing them out every month, would go down. That is the impact of the carbon tax.
    I want to read a couple of comments from constituents who write to me, because that is our job. Our job is to represent the constituents. It is to elevate their voices. When we talk about the most vulnerable, they are often our seniors.
    Barb wrote to me and said, “We are retired and we heat with propane now. We changed from oil to propane because of the costs for oil, but propane is just as expensive now with the carbon tax and because the propane has jumped and our groceries, I work part-time to help cover these increases.”

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    Seniors worked their entire lives to retire, but they cannot. They are being forced back into the workforce and not at high-paying jobs. They are trying to get into entry-level jobs. They cannot enjoy the fruits of their labour. Some of them are moving in with their children. That is the result of this carbon tax.
    I want to mention more stories, because they are very important to hear and have on the record.
    Danny wrote, “My mother is going through this now. She has to make a choice: either heat her place or buy groceries. She layers up in clothing in her apartment. She is 69 years old. I have never seen this country so bad.”
     Mike Jessop wrote, “I heat my home with food.” What does that mean? It means he does not have any money left over to pay for his heating. He can only pick one or the other. How sad is that?
     Elizabeth MacNeil-Young wrote, “I lived through two Trudeau governments.” I am not sure I can say that name. “Back in the eighties, I worried about losing my home. I made it work, though. Now my children are in the same boat.”
     Carol said, “I changed from an oil-fired boiler to an electric boiler because I couldn't afford the monthly oil bill any longer. I wish there was a rebate for us homeowners who couldn't afford a heat pump and put in an electric boiler instead.”
    This brings me to a point I want to bring up. I sit in this House every day and listen to the members opposite in the Liberal Party. Their new argument is that they are giving away free heat pumps. There are two problems with that. Number one is that heat pumps only work to -25°C. We live in Canada. I do not know where the Liberals are talking about, but many areas in Canada go far below -25°C.
    The second problem is their statement that they are giving away free heat pumps. That is the essence of the problem we have in this country because of the Liberals. Nothing is free. It is taxpayer money. This is basic fiscal policy. Anyone who manages a household budget understands this. There is monetary policy that is controlled by the Governor of the Bank of Canada. It is his or her job to control inflation.
    Fiscal policy is controlled by the government, which, in this case, are the Liberals and NDP. Fiscal policy is how much they spend. A basic student going to university right now knows that if people spend more than they make and have to use their credit cards, they will only be paying off interest and that debt will go up and up. That is how we got into this position.
    When Liberals say they are giving away free heat pumps, that is disgusting, because it is taxpayer money. They should be honest and transparent. They are using taxpayer money. How much is that going to cost? Are they going to pay for the amp service? People are going to need to up their amp service. That is the issue. Liberals do not have their own money. They have taxpayers' money. Until they figure that out, we are going to keep doing the same thing over and over again.
    The Liberals' agenda is not about the climate. It is about holding onto power and keeping seats that are slipping from them because Canadians cannot handle this misery any longer. We heard from a Liberal minister on national television say that if people want a break from the carbon tax, they have to vote Liberal. That is shameful. It is awful. Every Canadian deserves the necessities to live. We are Canada.
    The only party committed to affordability in this House is the Conservative Party. Today Conservatives challenge this House to prove their service to Canadians and to prove that they will do what they were elected to do, which is make life better, not worse. The most compassionate thing we can do is make life affordable for our children, for our seniors, for the middle class who go to work every day to pay their bills and cannot.
    Today, Conservatives call on this House to treat all Canadians fairly and to vote in favour of the Conservatives' motion to pause the carbon tax on all home heating for all Canadians.

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    Mr. Speaker, I was interested to hear the member say that heat pumps do not work when it is -25°C. I just came back from the western part of my riding, including Emo, which is in northwestern Ontario, where it quite commonly gets much below -25°C, and half the town uses heat pumps.
    The member is from Peterborough. Even in Peterborough, it gets below -25°C. Does nobody north of Peterborough use heat pumps?
    Is the member not in favour of heat pumps? It certainly seems like an affordable way to heat houses if people can afford them.
    Mr. Speaker, again, we are hearing an inability to see the point of the motion. Heat pumps are fine. My parents are using a heat pump right now. That is not the issue at hand. The Liberals are not serving 97% of Canadians with what they are doing. They decided to give a break to some Canadians.
    The reality is that it is not a luxury to heat one's home. The efficiency of the heat pump drastically goes down. It is like using electricity. That is the science of it. It is just common sense. If the government does not pause the carbon tax for everyone, then it is discriminating against 97% of Canadians.
     That is what we are asking today.
    Mr. Speaker, I am confused. We have heard the opposition talk about the fact that the Alberta NDP has been pushing back against what the government has done, yet the Alberta NDP put forward an emergency motion in our legislature that said that the legislative assembly recognized that carbon dioxide emissions contributed to a changing climate. They talked about wildfires, evacuations and extreme weather events. Then they went on to talk about the fact that we needed to apply the same programs across the country for home heating. However, the Conservatives in Alberta voted against it because it had references to the need for a climate plan.
    We have not heard this from the Conservatives yet. What is their climate plan? Could the member tell me what they plan to do to deal with the biggest crisis of our time right now, the climate crisis? As far as I could tell from her speech, she does not even admit it is real.
    Mr. Speaker, there is so much to unpack in that member's question.
    First, shame on that member for being a representative of a party that keeps the Prime Minister in power and continues to make Canadians suffer.
    Second, I would challenge her to check out the recent CBC/Radio Canada article, in which whistle-blowers are saying that they provided secret recordings by Liberal bureaucrats, the outright incompetence of their green fund. That $1-billion green slush fund is a sponsorship scandal-level kind of giveaway. That is not an environmental plan. That is another scandal, another misuse of taxpayer dollars, propped up by the NDP. Now those members are trying to distract. They are now stating a falsehood.
    There was no motion from the NDP to take GST off of home heating. The members are distracting from their plan to have a carbon tax.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, there was in fact a motion that the Conservatives teamed up with the Liberals to defeat—
    That is a point of clarification and debate.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Souris—Moose Mountain.
    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague mentioned, the Prime Minister has said, “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.” In reality what he has done is to pit a Canadian against a Canadian against a Canadian.
    The member talked about how it was not equal across the country and about the big challenges. I would like to hear more from her on those issues.

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    Mr. Speaker, we see it every day in the House. Canadians at home see it. They see who he really is. This is the reality of what we are dealing with.
    This is an ideological government that believes it is going to save us. It is going to create the problem, make life unaffordable, drive up inflation, give punitive taxes and then come back and offer a little rebate from a scandal-level slush fund. Its moral integrity is gone, the agenda, everything. Divide, distract and power is the agenda of the Prime Minister, propped up by the NDP.
    Mr. Speaker, we are here to debate an opposition day motion from the Conservative Party. As I read the text of the motion, and this is a common occurrence, I find the need to clarify and provide more context to what the Conservatives are calling for. This follows a very important government announcement last week. If we look at the text of the motion, it provides no clarity, no context and no actual solution for how the Conservative Party would deal with a very acute national issue, about which I look forward to talking to with all my colleagues today.
    Before I start talking about what the government announced last week, it is important to talk about why there is a carbon price system at all. We are here because we are experiencing more and more dramatic and extreme weather as a result of climate change. Colleagues across the country will have experienced this as well.
    My home province has had the worst forest fires in its history. Indeed, that was a reality across the country. We had hurricane Fiona. I have talked to constituents about this. Hurricanes used to happen maybe once a decade on the Atlantic coast and in Nova Scotia. They are happening every year now. In some cases, they are subject to having two storms.
    The science is clear. Generally, most parliamentarians in this place believe in the importance of moving forward. Carbon pricing is an effective way to do that. Seventy-seven jurisdictions around the world have a form of carbon pricing. Last election, the Conservative Party ran on a carbon price. Canada is not alone in this regard. It is an important tool to being sure we can drive forward.
    The way that the government introduced the system was to be very mindful of balancing affordability. I just listened to the member for Peterborough—Kawartha. She is not entitled to her own facts. The facts are that the Parliamentary Budget Office has consistently shown that eight out of 10 families receive more money back from the climate action incentive payments than what they pay in any form of carbon pricing.
    That is not my fact. That is not the member for Peterborough—Kawartha's fact. That is from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, an independent member of this Parliament, who provides that reality.
    Carbon pricing in our environmental strategy is working. Notwithstanding that we never hear comments or concerns from the Conservative Party about environmental concerns or a plan, we are the only government in the history of our country that has actually reduced GHG emissions and grown the economy at the same time. Again, that is a fact. Is there more work to do? Absolutely, but I am proud of being part of a government caucus and a government that has been focused on that number one question. I cannot say the same for the official opposition.
    That is the contrast. As I have said before, I am not seeing any plan, any vision or any desire to want to jointly address the questions, right now, of affordability and environment. As I have said publicly, those two things have to go hand in hand. The Conservatives do not seem to understand that we have to tackle these issues at the same time. They cannot be independent.
    Last week, the government made a really important announcement. As a rural member of Parliament, I am proud to see the adjustments that were made. At the end of the day, not all Canadians have the same access to change behaviour and to benefit from the climate action incentive payment program. Not all Canadians have the same tools in the fight of climate change, particularly the further we go outside major urban areas.
    You represent West Nova in Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, and I represent Kings—Hants. I think it is fair to say that we both have the types of constituencies where there is some basic form of public transit, but it is not available to all our constituents. There are many instances were the people we represent have to drive longer distances and do not have the same tools as people living in major cities, like Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver.
    The government did recognize that in what it originally introduced as a climate program under the national carbon pricing plan. There is a 10% supplement available to Canadians who live outside of a census metropolitan area. However, what the government announced last week was that this increase would go from 10% to 20%. I applaud the government for doing this. That makes a difference for rural Canadians in the federal backstop jurisdictions across the country.

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    It means that rural Ontarians have more money in their pockets. It means that individuals living in Saskatchewan and Alberta outside of major cities have more money to help support and recognize the lived differences between them and Canadians who live in major urban areas. It is equity in ensuring that this is in place, and the government was smart and mindful to make that change.
    One million Canadians use home heating oil across the country: 286,000 in Atlantic Canada; 465,000 in Quebec; 266,000 in Ontario; approximately 30,000 in the Prairie provinces; and 88,000 in British Columbia. I do not have the statistics for northern Canada in front of me, but I know many northerners use heating oil as well.
     This is an acute issue, because the reality is that heating oil is two to four times more expensive than other conventional means to heating homes. There is a clear economic incentive to change from a home heating oil furnace. If people at home right now have a furnace that uses oil to heat their home and if they have some money in their bank account, I would humbly suggest they look at finding ways to get off heating oil, because it is vastly more expensive and it is also terrible in an environmental sense.
    We do not hold Canadians responsible for the fact that they have certain living circumstances and use oil to heat their homes. There are vulnerable Canadians across the country, in the ridings of the official opposition, in the ridings of the government caucus. I would hazard a guess that every member in this place has some people in their riding who use heating oil. However, we have an interest, as a government, to help those people who may not have the means to change their behaviour themselves.
     If people do not actually have the money to take on a project to reduce their reliance on heating oil, then they are stuck. That is exactly why the government launched a program in the fall of 2022 specific to those Canadians, to help them try to make a transition. There is a $10,000 federal grant available to any Canadian who wants to make a transition. The $10,000 grant is available to those of low and medium income. The government has a program that is more loans-based, with zero interest, for those of higher income. However, there are federal resources available across the country.
    I will read some statistics, as they inform the debate and the conversation we are having about equity. The equity has been framed around one source of heating oil with no context about the price differential.
    For members living in Ontario, I want them to know that if they have people using home heating oil, they are paying, on average, $3,400 a year on that oil. For those on natural gas, it is $900 a year. Therefore, oil is almost four times the amount. If people do not have the money, how do they get off of it? They are in a vicious cycle, using the most expensive fuel to heat their home, and they do not have the money to get off the source they are using. In Regina and Saskatchewan, it is the same thing, $1,400 for natural gas on a yearly basis compared $4,500 for heating oil. In Vancouver, it is $600 for natural gas and $1,800 for heating oil. Also, the prices have gone up 73% over the last two years.
     I hear the member for Perth—Wellington saying, “I wonder why.” It is not because of carbon pricing. It is that the level of rhetoric from the other side that shows those members do not understand the fundamental market difficulties of Canadians who are in this situation.
    That is why we have launched a national program, which was $250 million. It was available and remains available to all Canadians.
     However, what the Prime Minister announced last week was balancing affordability and environmental progress together. He announced that we would augment that plan and temporarily pause carbon pricing on home heating oil. Let us remember that there are a million Canadians who are vulnerable and are paying in excess of anywhere between two to four times the amount that other Canadians are paying on their heating bills.

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    We launched a program in partnership with Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador to increase the support for Canadians who are in difficult situations. People who are below the provincial median income in my riding and your riding, Mr. Speaker, are going to benefit from a federal grant of up to $15,000 with the Province of Nova Scotia supporting the remaining $5,000. There is a $250 incentive to join the program. We are going to help people actually make a transition off heating oil. It is good for the environment, it is good for affordability and it matters to the most vulnerable Canadians.
    I want to give members an example from my riding. Mr. Speaker, you have been there. It was out in rural Hants County, on the Hants shore in Walton. I talked to a woman named Doris. It was about this time last year when we launched some of the programs. She said she was glad to see there was a $10,000 grant she could access, but she was on a senior's pension and the guaranteed income supplement. She did not have a lot of extra money at the end of the month; things were tight. She said she would love to take on the program, but she was quoted $17,000 to $18,000 for the project. She cannot, even though the government is there trying to help, access the program.
    Now, Doris in Walton is going to be able to benefit from a program of cost delivery between the Government of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada. Not only is that good for the environment, but more importantly, in the affordability context, it is good for Doris. It is going to save her thousands of dollars a year. I do not hear any solutions from the official opposition of what it is going to do long term. Yes, it would remove approximately 20¢ from Doris's bill each year. We have done that. We have paused the carbon price because we recognize there is a group of Canadians who simply cannot make the transition.
    Why would we have a carbon price when we are literally launching a national program to help them out? We have gotten rid of the carbon price. We have done what the Conservatives would do, but we have gone a step further. We have offered Doris a long-term solution to help her make that transition. I do not hear the Conservatives even talking about that program. Great, the Conservatives' plan on affordability is to offer Doris 20¢ off per litre, on average, from her home heating bill, which runs about $1.88 per litre right now. It would be down to $1.68; well done, Conservatives.
    Guess what we are going to offer Doris? We are going to offer Doris $2,500 a year in cost savings that she can then use to support herself in other ways. That is a good program. That is actually having a vision to focus on the transition and helping people out, and I do not hear that. Again, I have touched a bit on the exemption. This is a conversation. At the end of the day, we have seen some pundits here in Ottawa. Some say we are undermining the carbon system. No, we are not. We are tying a specific pause to a carbon price with a program for people who are too vulnerable to make the transition, and who have all the economic incentive to change because they are paying four times the energy bill. If they had the money, they would have already transitioned.
    These people exist across the country. Is it acute in Atlantic Canada? Absolutely. I am proud of the fact that the government has addressed this. I am proud to be able to go home and tell my constituents we have a solution for them. I am proud that, whether I go to northern Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Alberta, I will be able to tell people in the same situation that we have a solution for them too.
    The way the Conservative Party has framed this is that somehow this is just for one region, but it is not. It is available for the whole country. The 30,000 households in the prairie provinces that use heating oil, that are vulnerable, that cannot make a transition and are paying four times the price of natural gas, do they not deserve a break too? Do they not deserve a government that is focused on meeting their needs? I have not heard one word from the Conservatives on that whatsoever.
    At the end of the day, that is exactly what we have done. What we announced last week is good news for the entire country. It is particularly good news for rural and regional Canada. I am proud, as a member of Parliament representing a rural riding, to have offered thoughtful solutions and adjustments to a national policy, instead of a tear-it-down approach on the other side. Remember that the Conservatives are offering to remove approximately 20¢ off home heating bills. We are offering long-term solutions to actually help people make a transition. That is the difference and Canadians will take notice about what we are doing.

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    We are focused on vulnerable households. I listened to the leader of the official opposition, and there was not one word about the one million Canadians who are in a very difficult position in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec, with 465,000 households in Quebec. It is very difficult situation that they are in.
    Again, I want to highlight there is federal support across the board. We have launched a specific project to augment the national program.
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Kody Blois: Mr. Speaker, instead of just standing across the way and yelling and offering simplistic solutions, I would encourage the member from Prince George to reach out to Premier Eby, because I can promise some people in Prince George right now use heating oil and are in a difficult situation.
    He should direct them to the $10,000 grant that exists right now for his constituents. I hope he has. Maybe we should get some household material about whether he has actually talked about the programs the government is announcing. He should call Premier Eby and ask the premier to work together with him. He should ask him to reach out to the Government of Canada and work for the 88,000 households in British Columbia that use home heating oil.
    What about the people in Saskatchewan and Manitoba? Yes, they are smaller communities, but these people still matter, these people who are in rural, northern communities and need help.
    I want to tell the story of why we are focused and why this matters, because it has been vandalized by the Conservatives to suggest that this is only from one part of the country. It is not. It is a national question of a million households across the country.
    Instead of offering simplistic solutions to save people at home very minimal amounts of money, because the actual market cost to heat their home is frankly extortionate, it is so expensive, we are not only temporarily pausing in direct correlation to a program to help people make a transition but are giving them the money to help make the transition so they are not stuck in a cycle. That is climate action.
    There are some people in this country, and I have seen it, who see it as a climate step-down. No, not at all. In fact, I would point to an agency back home in my province, the Ecology Action Centre. It is saying that this is an example of action on climate and affordability at the same time. It is the pre-eminent environmental organization in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada, because it understands the unique regional challenges that exist not only in the Atlantic but indeed in rural Ontario, northern Ontario.
    The member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, instead of actually talking about what the Conservatives do to help people in northern Ontario, is calling a press conference. I can only imagine what elements he would be talking about. He will probably not be talking about the fact there are 266,000 households in Ontario who would benefit from this. No, he is going to stage a press conference in front of the office of the member of Parliament for Sudbury. It is disgusting; it is sick.
    Why do the Conservatives not step up with a plan? Again, they ran on carbon pricing in the last election. If they do not want to run on it this election, fine, but show Canadians an iota of evidence that they actually have a plan not only on the environment but on affordability.
    I have already talked to many constituents at home, and they appreciate what the government did this week. They appreciate the fact that this matters. I have talked to some of our members on this side and indeed other members in the House. I talked to the member for York—Simcoe last night. He said, “You know, there are a lot of people in my riding who use heating oil.” He said that what was announced was going to make a difference. That is a Conservative-held riding.
    There is a national program. I am proud of what the government has done. We have made sure rural Canadians are better protected and better supported under the national pricing strategy, particularly those who do not have the same ability to change behaviour. We have taken a specific look at a million Canadian households that are in a very vulnerable situation, that are paying some of the highest costs in the country to heat their homes and do not have an ability to transition. We have built and augmented a national plan.
    I hope to get some questions, particularly from my NDP colleagues. Again, this was framed very quickly as an Atlantic Canada exercise. It is a national question. I know some of my NDP colleagues represent rural areas, and hopefully they will be able to opine on the importance of this project and what else we might be able to do to help those people. We are going to be focused on solutions, not rhetoric.

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    I am proud to stand with this government, and I look forward to answering further questions.
    Mr. Speaker, I must say that the member made our case for technology and not taxes. The carbon tax only makes everybody poorer and then does not allow them to have the funds to buy new technology that often is more efficient and better for the environment and all of these things. We have been making this case for a very long time. I do not know if the hon. member has heard our “technology, not taxes” line we have been saying for a very long time around these things.
    The other thing I would point out is that this is an Atlantic-heavy policy, in the fact that the heat pump program he is talking about is not available in Alberta. The fact is that most Albertans would like to buy more efficient products and things like that but are unable to because the carbon tax is being placed on them for no value at all to the average person who is paying the carbon tax in Alberta and the average business that is paying carbon tax in Alberta.
    A sawmill in my area pays $140,000 of carbon tax every year. How does that allow them to invest in better technology?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, perhaps the member was not in the chamber when I made my remarks specific to the fact that this program is available across the country. There is a $10,000 federal grant to vulnerable Albertan households that are still using heating oil. He should help his constituents find that program. Maybe he has not; maybe he did not know about it. I am happy to share the information after the remarks here today. This is a national program; when he stands up and says that there is not something for Alberta, it is just simply not the case.
    Specific to home heating oil, it is unique, because it is highly carbon intensive. In fact, it is the worst for the environment, but it is also the highest cost for what it actually takes. That is unique. Usually there are higher intensities of carbon in more affordable fuels, and we are trying to put a carbon price to make a change in behaviour. That is not the case here. There is no sense in putting a carbon price on someone who is already vulnerable and paying the highest costs, but under the climate action incentive payments, the rebates that go, every other source of heating actually gets more money back than people pay in, but heating oil was the exception, and that is why we have moved on an exception on the carbon price specific to that.
    Yes, it is an Atlantic-acute issue that I am proud to have helped champion, but it matters in his riding too. I am proud to have made a difference for his constituents.
    Mr. Speaker, I was just reading a news article that quotes the member for Kings—Hants. He is quoted as saying, “I will tell my folks at home in Nova Scotia that are using natural gas... that at the end of the day there is other federal programs should they choose to want to help make a transition or reduce their reliance on natural gas”, yet every single organization I talked to that works in the energy space says that the federal government's greener homes program and the heat pump rebate that it provides are deeply flawed and do not work for low-income homeowners.
    Will the member for Kings—Hants admit to this House that the program is broken and that it does not work for low-income Canadians, and will he commit to fixing it so that low-income homeowners get cash up front and get as much cash back as he is willing to provide for people who heat with home-heating oil?

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    Mr. Speaker, in Nova Scotia people using natural gas would be using a heating source that is probably one of the lowest cost in the province, and my remarks reflect the fact that there is a series of programs. With the Canada greener homes grant there is a $5,000 grant available to people.
    I take notice that the member is talking about how we can make sure we front-load more money for people who are vulnerable and not specifically on heating oil. I think that is a valid conversation, but I would direct him to the fact that there is a plethora of federal programs that are available to help people regardless of the heating source they use. Heating oil in particular is a very specific chronic challenge for a vulnerable group of Canadians. That is why the government has tackled it.
    We started with coal-fired electricity. We are moving to heating oil, in terms of that being a challenge, but on natural gas, if people want to look at energy efficiency programs, they do exist across the country, and they are available. Can improve them? I am happy to take some of his suggestions.
    Mr. Speaker, as we get into this debate again, I am seeing the same omission we always see, and I will note it is particularly from our Conservative colleagues. Yes, the price on pollution, the carbon tax, went up 2¢ a litre in the last year, but it is corporate profits of the oil and gas industry that went up 18¢ a litre. There is never a word about those. In fact, when we talk about inflation, 47¢ of every dollar of inflation is directly attributed to massive increases in corporate profits. If we are going to have an honest conversation in this place about addressing affordability for Canadians, we need to talk about where inflation is directly coming from.
    We have had a number of conversations over the past week on this topic. I would be curious to hear more from the member for Kings—Hants on his view on addressing this by putting in place a windfall profit tax on these excess profits of the oil and gas industry that are gouging Canadians at the pumps in the midst of a climate crisis.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises a really important point that, particularly on heating oil, it is the market that is driving the price. It has nothing to do with the carbon price, but it has to do with the cost of the heating oil itself, which is anywhere from two to four times the price of alternatives. That is exactly why the government has been laser-focused on that question with affordability programs to support it.
    To answer the hon. member's question on the windfall profits, I recognize that other jurisdictions in the world have considered it and have moved forward. I said to him this week that, because the oil and gas industry is primarily located in western Canada, we have to be careful about the concept of introducing something like that, not only because there could be a capital flight of really important jobs and industries that may not necessarily invest in the country as a result, but also because the money collected under such a program should stay within the regional context. That is the suggestion I gave him. Whether or not the government moves forward on it, I do not know. It is a careful balance because there are a lot of considerations there.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Kings—Hants stays up to date on the news. He reads it every day, so he knows that this week Nova Scotia Power, our provincial power utility provider, announced that the budget it had set aside for responding to dramatic weather events was around $3.5 million, and what it ended up spending in the past year was, in fact, well over $100 million on those responses. That is about a 3,000% overage on what it budgeted.
    All members in the House have seen their insurance premiums go up, as have the people they represent. Members and their constituents have seen their municipal taxes go up. Both of those increases have to do with insurance companies and municipalities covering the costs of damages to infrastructure and other things from extreme storm events.
    We are offering between $10,000 and $20,000 to Canadians to switch from home heating oil, which is four times as expensive as natural gas and two times as polluting, yet the Conservatives are focused on using sophistry and social media shenanigans to sow discord among Canadians over a few pennies a litre.
    Would the member care to offer a reason that the Conservatives are showing such disdain not only for the environment but also for Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Halifax packed a lot in that because he is an intellectual guy and wanted to get all of that in within a minute.
    There are a couple of things I would say. Let us remember why we have introduced our national programs on climate. It is that we see it every day outside our door. We saw it this summer in our neighbourhoods. He gave statistics for Nova Scotia Power with respect to the cost associated with cleaning up after storms. It is significant.
    He mentioned of course the importance of being focused on concrete solutions to help people. I totally agree. Conservatives are offering that people in Nova Scotia could save somewhere between, as I understand it, 20¢ to 30¢ a litre on home heating oil, which is at $1.88 right now. We are offering that people could save thousands of dollars not only by temporarily pausing the carbon tax for the next three years but also by offering concrete solutions to reduce their reliance on a really expensive source of fuel that is not necessarily that great for the environment.
    As it relates to the Conservatives' policy regarding the environment, the member will know that I feel they have very little, if any. I think that will be a question they are going to have to address as we contrast our different styles in the coming years.

  (1145)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is incredible that the member for Halifax and the member for Kings—Hants think that 20¢ to 30¢ a litre on home heating oil is pennies. That is $200 to $300 a tank, times four tanks a year, which is $1,000 for people in carbon tax, and they are dismissing it. The great promise the member for Kings—Hants is so proud of is that the government will delay that to a 61¢ increase after the election.
    Can he tell me why he thinks that is better than axing the carbon tax altogether for all home heating oil to give everyone an equal chance at saving money in this expensive, inflationary period the government has caused?
    Mr. Speaker, we are not only offering people $300 in savings, on average, because we are removing the carbon price on heating oil, but also offering people the ability to transition and to save thousands of dollars a year.
    The Conservatives are offering short-term solutions. However, $300 is extremely important. People in my riding have come to me to thank me for pushing for those changes and to say that it matters. At the end of the day, we want to make sure there is a long-term solution so that they are not paying extortionate bills over the years to come.
    I do not hear any of that same vision from the Conservative Party as to whether or not it even supports the idea of helping people make a transition. That is what I would say to the hon. member.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise the Chair that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Jonquière.
    Today is a bit like Groundhog Day. For a while now, it feels like the same day keeps coming back. Once again, we must highlight a very simple fact about the Conservative motion: it does not apply in Quebec. This was already true for the dozens of other motions the Conservatives have presented about the carbon tax. They do not apply in Quebec.
    We understand that the Conservative Party is a federalist party, a Canada-wide party. Sometimes, the Conservatives want to look after Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, the Atlantic provinces. In a way, that is their job, since they are a Canada-wide party. Nonetheless, since I was elected in 2021, this has bothered me. It bothers me because I have not yet had the opportunity I so desire, which is to rise to speak on a Conservative opposition day and believe that they are looking out for or thinking about Quebec, that their proposal applies to Quebec, that it is something of interest to Quebeckers.
    The first time, we thought they were looking out for their voting base in oil country. The second time, we thought they were looking out for their voters elsewhere. Today, we see the consistent truth: Quebec is of no interest to them. What interests them is the oil sector. Just this week, the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent said as much, in somewhat fancier terms, on a CPAC panel. The Conservative plan to fight climate change consists of three things their leader stated at their convention: subsidize the oil sector, subsidize the oil sector and subsidize the oil sector with Quebeckers’ money.
    I am concerned that the Quebec Conservative caucus does not seem to have any influence. They do not seem to be heard, or to stand up for Quebeckers. If they stood up for Quebec, if it were worthwhile for Quebeckers to vote Conservative, we would be talking here about Quebec once in a while. What is interesting about these Conservative caucus members is that they are among those who joined forces to ensure carbon taxes did not apply in Quebec. They were players. They were Jean Charest’s gang. With one exception, they were his cronies.
    The member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis supported Quebec's emissions trading system and Quebec's environmental sovereignty in cabinet in Quebec City. She's a friend of Jean Charest, a good friend. She was part of that. When the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent was in Quebec City, he said he was in favour of Quebec's autonomy in the realm of environmental policy. That is what the Bloc Québécois is fighting for. Once he landed in Ottawa, his values evaporated. The member for Mégantic—L'Érable was one of Jean Charest's underlings in Quebec City. He was part of that gang. As one of Jean Charest's minions, he worked to defend our environmental sovereignty, but now it is radio silence. The member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord campaigned in support of Jean Charest's leadership bid. They were so joined at the hip, it was a wonder Mr. Charest did not have to get bigger pants so the member could fit in there with him. Now, there is nothing. Nobody is standing up for Quebec.
    There is no more defending Quebec because with the Conservatives, under the current Conservative leader, it is a purity test for a Quebecker to deny the interests of Quebec, to lie to Quebec and defend the Conservative lines which are deeply flawed. Some days I tell myself I am happy there is a gym in Parliament. Members of Quebec's Conservative caucus do not get in their squats and their exercise by standing up for Quebeckers in the House. If they want to firm their thighs here, they do not do so by standing up for Quebec, because they never stand up for Quebec. They are going to get bedsores remaining seated for Quebec. They do not even ask for health transfers for them, which is what the provinces and Quebec are asking.
    This worries me because there are Quebeckers who, at one time, trusted these people. They were wrong. On Bloc opposition days, which are focused on the needs of Quebec, these same Conservatives have the nerve to tell us what we should have done. They tell us we should have chosen topics that matter to Quebeckers. Yesterday, Parliament voted unanimously in favour of a motion from the Bloc Québécois asking the federal government to consult Quebec before announcing its new immigration targets.

  (1150)  

    During the vote, all Quebec members, Conservatives and Liberals alike, voted in favour of consulting Quebec. That same day, the federal government adopted and announced targets unilaterally. It did so without consulting Quebec, as was confirmed to us by the Quebec minister. Today is an opposition day and it would have been a good topic to address. The Conservatives had the opportunity to think of Quebec for the first time in years. They did not do it because a Quebecker in the Conservative Party is useless. It would have had direct consequences on the lives of Quebeckers, on the capacity to integrate, on French language training, on togetherness. Actions count.
    I will speak of the Canada emergency business account, or CEBA. The Conservatives, who form the current opposition, have the opportunity to ask tons of questions during oral question period. Right now, tens of thousands of businesses are headed for bankruptcy and we are asking for a CEBA loan repayment extension. That is what chambers of commerce are asking for. We can agree that they are not part of the radical left. However, never has a Quebec Conservative stood in the House to defend our businesses, our entrepreneurial base or the investments people have made. These people have never stood up for Quebec.
    Quebec has its own housing model. The Conservatives say that they favour decentralization and acknowledge that the provinces have jurisdictions. When Quebec tries to exercise its power in its areas of jurisdiction, it gets no money from Ottawa. How many times have we seen a Conservative from Quebec rise in the House to ask the government to give Quebec the $900 million it was due from income tax paid by Quebeckers? There are over 10,000 homeless people in Quebec, and the cost of housing continues to rise. It is a national crisis. My colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert is working full time on this, but no Conservative has ever spoken on the topic.
    The Conservatives have never asked for an increase in health transfers. They bowed to their leader.
    The Quebec Conservatives claim to be progressive conservatives. They say this until they look at their values, then their pay, then their values again, then the money they make in Ottawa with their nice Conservative seats. That is where it stops. Suddenly, they are progressive only on statutory holidays and weekends.
    When the Conservatives helped to ensure the carbon tax did not apply in Quebec, they were players. They are now on the sidelines and are trying all kinds of tricks to say that it applies in Quebec. They wanted to play wedge politics and say that the tax applies across Canada, but they did a poor job of it, as is so often the case. They were caught misleading the House.
    In response, they fooled around with motions and conjured all kinds of convoluted nonsense to say that there was a second carbon tax. This second carbon tax is a regulation that will not apply until 2030. They did not know this because they did not do their homework, because the Conservatives do not listen to Quebeckers. They realized that the Quebec regulation is more restrictive and that this had no effect. They are now bending over backwards to try to explain that it is coming in through the back door or whatever.
    The truth is that Alberta made $24 billion this year on oil royalties. Alberta taxes compulsively and is dependent on oil. Per person, for every dollar Quebec makes on hydroelectricity, Alberta makes 13 on oil. Furthermore, this government has no modern sales tax or personal income tax. This is the system Quebec Conservatives defend in their caucus. They are kowtowing to keep their seat.
    The member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier promised to resign if the current Conservative leader was elected. Today, we are not hearing the member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier defend the decentralization of Quebec's environmental policy or Quebec's jurisdictions.
    My political commitment is to Quebec and it is profound. We are standing up for Quebec and we are standing up for the truth. I appeal to the statesmanship of the Conservative members from Quebec. I hope that at some point they will reflect deeply on what their commitment means to them, and that one day we will be able to discuss a motion that applies to Quebec. However, that is not the case today.

  (1155)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I was fascinated that we had the member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River asking questions earlier. I wanted to respond to his question.
    I was interested to see that, when the Prime Minister made the announcement on the pause on the home heating fuel carbon tax in Atlantic Canada, only Atlantic MPs were standing behind him.
    Could the member speculate on why the member for Thunder Bay or the member for Sault Ste. Marie was not in that picture?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague knows that we in the Bloc Québécois defend Quebec's jurisdictions and Quebec's independence when it comes to environmental policy.
    He asked me why this or that member from this or that province, members who are not in my party, supported this or that measure. What I find unfortunate is that, here in the House, not every single member from Quebec is standing up for Quebec's autonomy when it comes to environmental policy. On top of that, those folks are being paid by the federal government to misinform Quebeckers.
    I hope the member will ask our Conservative colleagues from Quebec that question at some point.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, what was really shocking about the Liberal announcement was that it seemed to be so much about keeping their MPs in Atlantic Canada alive.
    Conservatives are now saying that the Liberals are dividing the country, but the Conservative motion is actually dividing the country. Quebec and British Columbia do not pay carbon tax. Residents in British Columbia and Quebec would not get any benefit from this.
     It would have been more reasonable, as New Democrats have pushed for, if we took off the GST and the HST. This would ensure that, if we are going to have a pause, it would be fair across the country. However, what we are seeing now is that the Liberals have actually just undermined the whole principle of carbon pricing that they have been promoting.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague understands what kind of situation we are in. When I was elected to federal Parliament, I knew that Ottawa does not really care about Quebec very much. I knew that, but I never thought it was this bad. I never imagined that they would never talk about Quebec, about Quebec's interests, about respecting Quebec's environmental policy. My NDP colleague is talking to me about the GST and the QST.
    Let Quebec take care of its own environmental policy. I repeat: Let Quebec take care of its own environmental policy. It is not only Quebec's jurisdiction, but Quebec is also much better at this than the federal government.

  (1200)  

    Madam Speaker, in the debate on home heating, sometimes people express a belief that natural gas is more environmentally friendly than heating oil. That is not true. For the most part, natural gas is shale gas. The method for producing shale gas leaves a bigger carbon footprint than heating oil. It is not a good choice for our climate.
    Can my colleague comment on the issue of the carbon footprint of shale gas?
    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    I am able to talk about the ecological footprint of hydroelectricity because that is what we chose. When we decided to branch out into this sector, it was not an easy choice. Everyone said that Quebec was crazy. Some places were turning to nuclear energy, while others were opting for fossil fuels.
    Quebec chose hydroelectricity because we believed in the transition. More than that, we believed that it would pay off to invest in technologies that make Quebec unique, technologies that we can export and that make a name for us around the world, as we have done and continue to do today. In Quebec, we are proud to heat our homes with green, renewable electricity. If anyone would like to talk about the carbon footprint of our hydroelectricity, I would be happy to talk about it for hours.
    Madam Speaker, members will notice that my speech is similar to that of my colleague from Mirabel. The thing I have learned in politics is that we need to repeat ourselves often so that our messages are heard. It feels like Groundhog Day, as my colleague from Mirabel said, or like Nietzsche's eternal recurrence. The Conservative Party has plenty to say about the carbon tax.
    There is something essential that I need to clarify: Today's motion will have no impact on Quebec. It does not concern Quebec. The only good thing about this motion is that it clearly demonstrates that everything the Conservative Party said when it was talking about the two carbon taxes does not apply to Quebec. That is crystal clear. If the government reduces the carbon tax on home heating in Canada, Quebec will never see the effects of that because it does not apply to Quebec. The carbon tax does not apply to Quebec. What we get from this motion is that the Conservative Party is completely out of touch with Quebec's reality.
    As my colleague said, the Conservative members from Quebec do not carry enough weight in their caucus to push the issues facing the only francophone nation in North America. The representatives of the only francophone nation in North America are unable to carry Quebec's messages to the House. The Conservative members are failing to be a voice for Quebec, but it gets worse. This week, the leader of the Conservative Party made it clear that the carbon tax would become the main electoral or ballot-box issue. The leader of the Conservative Party believes that the ballot-box issue of the next general election is one that does not involve Quebec. At no point has it ever involved Quebec. This is unprecedented. It is a fundamental rejection of the Quebec nation.
    I would like to clarify something. The Conservatives constantly refer to two carbon taxes. The first tax applies to Canada, whereas Quebec has a carbon exchange. Some Conservatives have actually started to adjust their language. They know very well that lying will not help them win. Whenever they talk about the other carbon tax, calling it the regulations, they are referring to the clean fuel regulations. These regulations were the logical continuation of regulations put in place by one Stephen Harper. I am not sure if my colleagues are aware of this, but he was a Conservative. These regulations will not take full effect until 2030. Now we are being asked to look into the future. They want to fight inflation now, but the effects will not be felt until 2030.
    Furthermore, there are already parallel regulations in Quebec that are in force today, in 2023. Quebec's clean fuel regulation are already in effect. Will the Conservatives trample on Quebec's regulatory independence by saying that it should repeal its clean fuel regulations? Worse yet, we are collectively subsidizing oil companies so they can introduce low-carbon fuel. We are all paying for this. The Conservatives are also asking why we could not stick consumers with the bill. Where I come from, that is called double-dipping, like when someone takes a potato chip and sticks it into the dip twice. That is not allowed. When it comes to oil, the Conservatives no longer see clearly. This is quite obvious to me.
    As my colleague said earlier, we are wasting a ridiculous amount of time talking about the carbon tax. Meanwhile, not one Conservative member from Quebec is talking about the issues that affect us all. I have not heard one Conservative member talk about the CEBA loans, even though the National Assembly unanimously passed a motion calling for the December 31 deadline to be significantly extended. I have not heard a single Conservative talk about that. Regarding immigration, they voted in favour of our motion, but I never hear a Conservative member argue that Quebec is losing all of its weight within the Canadian federation.

  (1205)  

    The Quebec minister said it again this morning: One of the effects of uncontrolled immigration is reduced political weight for Quebec. I do not hear any Conservatives talking about that. If we are serious about fighting inflation, then the first thing that we should probably be doing is taking care of the most vulnerable. Among the most vulnerable are seniors struggling to afford housing, clothing and food because their pensions are so meagre. If the Conservatives were serious, they would support increasing old age security and the guaranteed income supplement.
    That is not all. Since 2015, the Liberals have been talking about reviewing the Employment Insurance Act. Who is more vulnerable than an unemployed worker unable to access benefits? I have never heard a Conservative say that because of inflation, perhaps we should review the Employment Insurance Act. All they talk about is the carbon tax.
    An important test is coming up in the next few months or next year, especially for Quebec. It is about Bill 21 and Bill 96, which will be challenged in court. I am eager to see how the Quebec Conservatives will react. Today I want reach out to them, because I know we will need them as well. Perhaps one way to do this is by showing them reality. That is why I want to return to the Conservative Party leadership race.
    However, before that, I want to return to some rather hare-brained remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition, the member for Carleton. For instance, there was the time he offered his unconditional support to the trucker convoy, including its illegal behaviour. The Leader of the Opposition also had the oh-so-brilliant idea of firing the Governor of the Bank of Canada because he did not agree with him. He took quite a beating for that one. He even touted cryptocurrency, saying it could help Canadians opt out of inflation. I cannot speak for my colleagues, but the majority of the people I know are aware that cryptocurrency is not the way to ensure the well-being of the middle class. Cryptocurrency does not reduce inflation. It does not help with the price of gas or turkey, which was another of the Leader of the Opposition's obsessions. Lastly, it certainly does not help people find housing and put clothes on their backs.
    There are also all the misleading advertisements. I do not know if my colleagues saw the ad that used an image of a Quebec family and said they were struggling to pay their mortgage. The people in this family then came forward, saying that it was a stock image, but that the ad was associating them with a reality that did not in the least reflect their own and that it was making them look stupid. The Conservative Party is unscrupulous. It uses images like that one and claims that these people are struggling to pay their mortgage, when that is completely false. Worst of all was hearing the member for Carleton, the leader of the official opposition, say on numerous occasions in the House that there were people who could not afford food and were asking for medical assistance in dying. How can we trust someone who makes such asinine statements?
    I am saying these things because it just goes on and on, and the Conservative Party leader's vision is catching. When people from Suncor came to committee, some members tried to prevent me from asking the Suncor CEO questions. They did not want me to make him uncomfortable, like he was royalty. What is more, I heard a Conservative apologize to the Suncor reps on behalf of all Canadians. I could not even make this stuff up.
    I will wrap up quickly with one final thought. Members may recall that, during the last leadership race, only two Quebec MPs did not take sides, but seven MPs were against the current opposition leader. Let me point out that one of them was the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent. He supported Jean Charest, the very same Jean Charest whom he had clumsily accused of being the godfather of the Liberal family 10 years before. The member for Louis-Saint-Laurent chose to support Mr. Charest despite his questionable ethics in Quebec, rather than the man who is now opposition leader.
    I would encourage my Conservative colleagues from Quebec to get back in touch with reality. There are going to be some interesting debates happening in Quebec. If they do get back in touch with reality, we will be happy to try to help them out.

  (1210)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, wow, that was a lot of something. It is interesting that the hon. colleague from Quebec focused all of his attention on the Conservatives. Why is that? It is because he is feeling the heat in his own riding.
    It is interesting that this member of Parliament voted twice to impose an Ottawa-knows-best carbon tax on Quebeckers. I would like to ask why the member, who stood up and railed against the Conservatives, who have been fighting for over a year to axe the tax, voted twice in favour of this Ottawa-knows-best carbon tax.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague obviously was not listening to what the member for Mirabel and I said. The carbon tax does not apply in Quebec. Anyone can prove that.
    The other thing I want to point out is that we do not vote on regulations. During the debate on the Conservatives' last fallacious motion on the carbon tax, I asked one of his colleagues how he voted on the clean fuel regulations. He told me that he voted against them.
    I challenge my Conservative colleague to show me where in the blues it says he voted against the regulations. I challenge any Conservative to show me where it says they voted against the clean fuel regulations. I would advise them to look up who put the regulations in place. It was a fellow named Stephen Harper.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I am wondering where my colleague from the Bloc stands on our proposal to cut the GST on all forms of home heating so that affordability measures like the ones that have been proposed can truly benefit people right across this country, regardless of how they heat their homes. Could he speak a bit to that?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the best solution is to come up with incentives to transition to a less carbon-intensive heating system, and that is electrification. Right now, instead of taking money and investing it in electrification, the government is funnelling it to the oil companies. They are paying the oil companies $83 billion until 2035 for the pipe dream of low-carbon oil. This is completely unheard of.
    The best solution is to come up with what all other countries have, which is the polluter-pays principle, not a polluter-paid principle. Canada is doing the reverse. It is rewarding oil companies with $83 billion and investing nothing in clean energy.

  (1215)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to hear my colleague speak in this House. It was a really good intervention and good speech related to all the fantastic work that Quebec is doing to address the very real situation of climate change that we are all facing.
    Unfortunately, as we have heard, the motion brought forward by the Conservatives today is very divisive. Speaking of division, we have seen at our natural resources committee a huge example of the obstruction the Conservatives are willing to do to prevent us from moving forward with climate change legislation.
    I would welcome my colleague's thoughts on how we can move beyond division and do some great work to address climate change. We have had nine hours of filibuster, which has prevented us from dealing with this very real issue. I would appreciate the member's thoughts on that. Perhaps he can also reflect on how this legislation is not helping the discussion and is actually a hindrance to addressing climate change in Canada.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right. The Standing Committee on Natural Resources has become a circus where the Conservatives insist on wasting our time. Not only that, yesterday some Conservatives fancied themselves YouTubers. After succeeding in wasting our time, they started filming live videos. I am sorry, but I am not an influencer. I am a legislator. If someone lacks the gravitas to debate issues we disagree on in committee, I do not think they deserve to form a government.

[English]

    Before I resume debate, I just want to remind members that if they are going to be asking questions or making speeches, they should make sure their phones are away from the microphones. During the last question, I could hear some vibrations, which affect the interpreters.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley.
    Madam Speaker, “Humanity has opened the gates of hell.” Those are the words of António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, from last month. Of course, he was talking about the spiralling climate emergency that around the world is wreaking such havoc, with the hurricanes, flooding, heat waves and wildfires that are costing lives, costing billions of dollars and getting worse every single year.
    Our country is warming at twice the global average, with Canada's Arctic at four times the global average. Last summer, we saw the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. We saw an unprecedented wildfire season. The 16.5 million hectares that burned across our country were double the historic record from 1989.
    In northwest B.C., we saw communities evacuated. Across Canada, we saw hundreds of thousands of people evacuated. Of course, we also saw severe drought, class 5 drought, which, in the region where I live, led to farmers not getting their hay crops. They could not feed their animals, and many farmers had to sell off their herds.
    Every year, we are seeing these impacts grow worse, yet in the face of this dire climate crisis, the Conservative Party of Canada and my Conservative colleagues are nowhere. I listen every day in the House for some semblance of recognition of the severity of this crisis that threatens our children's futures, yet it is crickets. I have thought a lot about this and how cynical it is to be debating a motion to tear apart climate policy, notwithstanding the lack of merits of that policy, without proposing any semblance of a plan themselves.
    I will add that I am very pleased to share my time today with my hon. colleague from Timmins—James Bay.
    There is no plan from the Conservative Party on climate, and this is a feature, not a bug. We might wonder why that is. Why would a party deny the most severe crisis of our time, an existential threat to humanity? I think we can go back to a couple of things. First is the fact that the Conservatives are in the pocket of the oil and gas industry. However, also, a group of people they care a whole awful lot about, members of the Conservative Party, have voted as such. It is official policy that climate change is not an issue. I find that deeply cynical.
    An hon. member: It's baloney. You know it's baloney.
    Mr. Taylor Bachrach: Madam Speaker, I hear the member for Cariboo—Prince George heckling me. I think that might have gotten to him.
    It is deeply concerning—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

  (1220)  

    I just want to remind members that there will be five minutes of questions and comments. I would ask members to hold their thoughts until then.
    The hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley.
    Madam Speaker, it is deeply concerning because, of course, protecting the environment and our children's futures is really a Conservative idea. This is about conserving what we have enjoyed and benefited from for so many years.
    The climate crisis is a pressing concern for many people, and certainly for many people I represent. However, there is another great challenge plaguing our country, and people refer to it as the affordability crisis. I do not think that language really gets to the heart of what is happening, because what is happening is much more systemic and structural.
    Not everyone in our country is struggling. Some people are getting fantastically rich and accumulating tremendous wealth while the vast majority of Canadians struggle to pay bills. We have people sleeping on our streets and record food bank visitation, and all the while, the big corporations of this country are making out like bandits.
    On the issue of economic inequality, the Liberal Party is missing in action. Despite ample opportunity to stand up to these big corporations and drive affordability for Canadians who are struggling, the Liberals have completely abdicated that responsibility. They have not stood up to the big banks. They have not stood up to the big telcos. They have not stood up to the Rich Krugers of the world, who are amassing massive profits and polluting all the while. They have not stood up to the grocery giants. They have not stood up to the big airlines, such as Air Canada, which is once again seeing its profits soar. However, people are struggling in this country. People are having a hard time putting food on the table. People are having a hard time affording transportation and home heat.
    This brings me to the topic of the motion, and I think most Canadians see it quite clearly for what it is: a cynical attempt by a flailing government to save its political hide in the only part of rural Canada where it has any. Among the values we share as Canadians, one of the greatest ones is a sense of fairness. Certainly, when I talk to people, they want the policy we create in this place to be fair. However, they see a great and profound unfairness when the government, for political reasons, because it is struggling in a certain part of the country, makes changes to help some people in Canada but not others. That is not fair, and I think it is eminently reasonable for people in other provinces and other parts of this country who have been overlooked by the government when it comes to the affordability of home heating to want the same. That is what we are debating today.
    We have heard from the government, of course, that Canadians in all parts of the country can access its programs, so I will take a bit time to talk about how deeply flawed the government's program for home energy efficiency and heat pumps is in the rest of the country. The government has made changes for people who heat with home heating oil, but for people who heat with natural gas, the process is impossible.
    I will tell a story about Perry, my neighbour in Smithers. His gas furnace went, and he wanted to do the right thing and get a low-emissions heating system. He learned about this great program the federal government had and went through all the steps. He had to get a home energy audit, of course, and then he had to find a contractor, who had to work through the program. However, the contractor installed a heat pump that worked in the northern community, only to discover after it was installed that, while the indoor unit was on the government's approved list for equipment, the outdoor unit, which was also on the list, was not listed in conjunction with the indoor unit. This was maddening. Of course, Perry is someone who wants to shift his home off of fossil fuel heat and onto a clean alternative, so the contractor, who was incredibly frustrated and at that point did not want to have anything to do with the government's greener homes program, ripped out the heat pump and put in a different one that was on the list. However, a year and a half later, my neighbour is still waiting for the greener homes rebate of $5,000.

  (1225)  

    I would bet that he and the contractor have spent more than 5,000 dollars' worth of time just dealing with the brutal bureaucracy of a program that does not work for any Canadians but, most of all, does not work for low-income Canadians. They are the ones who deserve the help the most. The fact is that these heat pumps work, and they can reduce people's bills dramatically. People deserve the help that they provide.
    What we want to see is the same kind of help provided to people in Atlantic Canada to be extended to people across the country, especially low-income people, people who heat with gas and people who heat with electricity. That is why we have brought forward a proposal to remove the GST on all forms of home heating. Not only that, but we want the government to improve its heat pump program so that every single Canadian has access to the financial resources they need at the front end, with no massive bureaucracy, no waiting a year and a half, no need for assessments and all that stuff. If it is good enough for people in Atlantic Canada, it is good enough for people in northwest British Columbia: people in Smithers, in Terrace, in Kitimat, in Prince Rupert, in Burns Lake and all the other communities that I am so proud to represent.
    How are we going to pay to put heat pumps in the homes of every low-income homeowner in this country? We are going to do it by putting an excess profits tax on the oil and gas companies, which continue to make off like bandits while fuelling the climate crisis that threatens our children's future. That is a plan, and that is something we are going to get behind.
    Madam Speaker, from my perspective, the way I look at it is that the government has focused on getting and encouraging people to change from oil to heat pumps. Given that oil costs are so much higher compared with other sources, it is a good way to encourage that transition. In the longer run, people will save more money, and the environment will be better for it.
    The member highlights the issue of bureaucracy. The program that is there is a coast-to-coast program. Manitoba has thousands of people who heat their homes with oil. Would he not agree that it will be very helpful to move forward and get provincial jurisdictions, in particular, involved in this?
    Madam Speaker, that may very well be how the parliamentary secretary sees the issue. I will tell the House how Canadians see it. Canadians see the issue as being one of a government that is flailing in the polls, that is particularly struggling in the Maritimes, in Atlantic Canada; without doing any detailed planning, it has just pulled this idea out of a hat overnight. It has given a sweetheart deal to people who live in one part of the country, while ignoring the affordability needs of people who live elsewhere.
    Everyone in this country deserves help to get their homes off fossil fuel heat. They deserve help with the affordability of home heating and, yet, low-income Canadians have largely been ignored in this country's programming.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Earlier today there was a speech. The member for Kings—Hants disclosed and misrepresented a personal conversation I had with him. I want to correct the record.
    The conversation I had was that the Liberal carbon tax plan was not working for the people of York—Simcoe. York—Simcoe is now considered urban, of all things, and included with the city of Toronto. As I explained, the residents will not be getting the rural top-up. This plan is not working for the residents of York—Simcoe—

  (1230)  

    Based on the information that the hon. member provided, it seems to be more of a point of debate. I will just double-check the record on that and come back to the House, if need be.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.
    Madam Speaker, I am glad the hon. member for York—Simcoe rose on that, because I was in the House when the member for Kings—Hants said that. I know the hon. member for York—Simcoe, and I know how he feels about this carbon tax and that he wants to see it scrapped across the country.
    I sat in the House, as I said, for the debate this morning. I listened to the NDP and the Liberals. For lack of a better term, there is a falsehood that is being spread in the House. The NDP is saying that they had a motion to remove the GST off home heating, when in fact it was a Conservative motion to scrap the carbon tax. The NDP actually tried to amend the motion. That is really where this misrepresentation is being spread.
    My question to the hon. member is this: Is that not factually what happened in the House a year ago?
    Madam Speaker, it seems that my hon. colleague wants to split hairs. If there was an amendment, it was an amendment that his party rejected, which means that Conservatives do not support it.
    The idea of taking the GST off all forms of home heat has been around since Jack Layton's time. New Democrats have consistently called for the GST to be taken off home heating as an affordability measure for all Canadians, and we are going to continue to do so until we get the support of the House.
    Madam Speaker, let us talk about the facts. One fact is that the motion the Conservatives have put forward today would help four provinces and three territories; it would not help people who live in British Columbia. Another fact is that removing the GST on all home heating would help all Canadians in all 10 provinces and three territories.
    Could my colleague talk about the fact that the Conservatives have not supported removing the GST on home heating, something that was in their 2019 platform?
    Madam Speaker, that is a fact. My hon. colleague made the point very clearly.
    What is really concerning with the inherent mendacity of the motion before us is that the Conservatives are claiming to help all Canadians when, indeed, this motion would only help Canadians in provinces covered by the federal price on carbon. The plan that New Democrats have put forward would help people in all parts of the country with all forms of home heating.
    We need to do that; at the same time, we need to fix the broken programs that the Liberal government has put forward, particularly to help low-income homeowners transition from fossil fuel heat to renewable alternatives. We could then finally tackle the climate crisis with the seriousness it deserves.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I listened intently to the hon. colleague's intervention from the lobby. In his intervention, he named me, said I was heckling him and then went on to say that I was feeling the pressure.
    I would ask for the member to stand and apologize for that. I was not in the House, nor did I heckle him or would I have done so.
    Madam Speaker, to my friend from Cariboo—Prince George, I apologize. I am a lifelong resident of northern British Columbia, and I know the difference between Cariboo—Prince George and Cariboo—Peace River. I hope he will accept my humble and sincere apology.
    I think the hon. member mixed up a couple of the riding names. I appreciate the apology; I am sure the hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George appreciates it as well.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a great honour to rise here in the House on behalf of the people of Timmins—James Bay at a time when public confidence in public institutions and democracy is at an all-time low. We certainly know that trust in democracy is under very frightening pressures all over the world.
    In Canada, recent polls show that over 75% of the Canadian people believe that Parliament and the behaviour of parliamentarians have become “dishonest” and “useless.” At a time of growing difficulty in our country and growing difficulty and very dark times around the world, it is incumbent upon us to be able to show that democracy can work and that parliamentarians can work together.
    That is why I am very concerned about today's debate, which seems to be one between an absolute failure of vision on the one hand and an absolute failure of leadership on the other. What we are debating really reflects a political race to the bottom that is leading and feeding this growing public alienation and rage farming. As elected representatives, we all have a sacred duty to adjudicate the very difficult economic, environmental, political and international issues that confront us as a nation.
    This means that we must occasionally climb out of our partisan trenches and put forward a bigger vision for the nation. Doing this means that sometimes we are going to need to stand up on unpopular issues. If we are going to build a long-term future for our children, sometimes it is incumbent upon the leadership of this generation to say that tough choices have to be made.
    However, that is not what we are debating here. We are debating the realm of gotcha politics and rage-farm politics in response to a very desperate and cynical gerrymandering of public policy that was clearly seen, in the public's eyes, as a desperate attempt to shore up Liberal MPs in certain parts of the country. The result was to pit region against region and to raise fundamental questions about a signature piece of the government's climate action plan, which is carbon pricing. It has now been thrown into doubt.
    We need to find a way, as Canadians, to address this. It would have been very fair in the fall economic statement, for example, for the Prime Minister to step forward and say that we are dealing with two very major crises in our country right now. We have an unprecedented climate catastrophe unfolding, which is something the Conservatives pretend does not exist. This climate catastrophe dislocated over 200,000 people this summer alone. It is a climate catastrophe that has now impacted over 60% of Canadian small businesses. People are frightened about what the future holds, and they want to know that a burning planet can be addressed through policies that force down the use of fossil fuel emissions. They expect that from us.
    Instead, from the Conservatives, they get a party platform of climate denial. They are told not to worry that the planet is burning; Conservatives are going to make fossil fuel burning free for everybody. As the city of Kelowna was burning, we had the MP for that region not standing up for the people but standing up for this myth that burning carbon fuels was somehow going to be good for everybody. That is a failure of leadership and of our responsibility to tell people the truth of what we are facing right now in an unprecedented climate catastrophe. It is also a failure to the planet.
    It could have been perfectly fair, in the fall economic statement, for the Prime Minister to say that we are dealing with an unprecedented climate catastrophe, and we need to make sure the policies we have in place work. One of the policies Liberals sold the country is carbon pricing.
    It would have been equally fair for the Prime Minister to say that we are dealing with an unprecedented crisis. Liberals call it “affordability”, but as my colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley pointed out, it is a much deeper and more troubling crisis, a crisis of people unable to heat their homes and feed their families.

  (1235)  

    The Prime Minister could have said that we are going to find a way across this country to take some pressure off. To do that, it would have been a reasonable suggestion to say that we are going to take the GST-HST off home heating. Why? It is not a luxury to heat one's home in Canada, particularly in regions like mine that go to -45°C and sometimes -50°C. It is not a luxury. This is not wasteful spending on behalf of citizens. This is about keeping families alive.
    To take the GST off would have affected people across the country and it would have been fair, but the Liberal government did not do that. It opted to focus on home heating oil, which certainly is a very problematic fuel that we need to address. It also is a fuel that tends to be used by people in more rural and poor regions who cannot afford to switch.
    The way it was laid out was so cynical. It was about defending beleaguered Liberal MPs in Atlantic Canada. It sent a very clear message that the Prime Minister's focus was on keeping his MPs above the water line and not responding to the needs of Canadians, so it was not a credible plan. It has pitted region against region. It has raised serious questions about whether the Prime Minister has an environmental plan to deal with the climate crisis. It also raises questions about the whole pitch of carbon pricing.
    Canadians were told that this was going to be a fundamental feature. New Democrats have argued with the government on carbon pricing over the years. We have said that we need to make the big polluters pay, the people who are actually damaging the planet and destroying our kids' future. They are the ones who should be paying. Senior citizens who have to heat their homes in rural northern Ontario are not responsible for the climate crisis.
    There needs to be a balance. The across-the-board imposition raised real questions about fairness. What we ended up having in this situation is that one group of people is being exempted. We are hearing all kinds of positive reasons for it, but the fundamental issue it is coming down to is they were being exempted because they are in regions represented by Liberals who are afraid about their future. That is not good enough.
    We have said all along that it should have been the GST from the get-go. We know the Conservatives voted against our attempt to take off the GST from heating because that would have covered people across the country.
    What the Conservatives have brought to us today is another way of dividing region against region, because they know that if we just take the carbon tax off, it is not going to mean anything for people in British Columbia who are still paying heating bills. They are not covered by the carbon tax because they are under cap and trade, and neither are people in Quebec because Quebec is under cap and trade. One part of the country will have taxes taken off their heating and another part of the country will not.
    If we are going to talk about the climate crisis and affordability, we have to put in place measures that are not ad hoc or gotcha moments, but measures that address the difficulties we are facing across the board.
    To that, New Democrats have said time and time again that the people who are making the pollution have to be the ones paying. Rich Kruger, the CEO of Suncor, said there is a sense of urgency right now, as our planet is burning, for the big oil industry to make as much money as possible, as they are firing workers, as they are moving to automation and as they are doing stock buybacks. They could be paying the greater share for carbon pricing. We can take efforts to make sure that this is across the board and fair.
    If we are going to stop pitting region against region, I would like to move the following amendment: “That, the motion be amended by adding after the words 'all forms of home heating', the following: 'and to eliminate the GST on home heating in provinces where no federal carbon tax is in place'.”
    That would be fair across the board.

  (1240)  

    It is my duty to inform hon. members that an amendment to an opposition motion may be moved only with the consent of the sponsor of the motion, or in the case that he or she is not present, consent may be given or denied by the House leader, the deputy House leader, the whip or the deputy whip of the sponsor's party.
    Since the sponsor is not present in the chamber, I ask the acting opposition whip if he consents to this amendment being moved.

  (1245)  

    Madam Speaker, no.

[Translation]

    There is no consent. Therefore, pursuant to Standing Order 85, the amendment cannot be moved at this time.

[English]

    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Halifax.
    Madam Speaker, my friend from Timmins—James Bay and I agree on many things, but not on everything. We do not agree, for example, that this was a reactive change in Atlantic Canada.
    I want to come to the point of my question. We agree on the fact, I believe, that home heating oil is four times the cost to homeowners as natural gas. It is twice as polluting as natural gas. It is disproportionately used by the lowest-income Canadian households. Therefore, one of the biggest wins we can pursue is to have those households convert to electric heat pumps. Of the many things we can do in our arsenal of climate actions, this is a very important thing. It accelerates our journey to our targets and does so in a way that makes life more affordable.
    Natural gas users in the rest of Canada, who Conservatives claim are so aggrieved, heat their homes at a quarter of the cost, with half the amount of pollution and still get the climate action incentive rebate so that eight out of 10 households are better off.
    I wonder if the member would care to provide an opinion on why it is Conservatives are so concerned about helping the people who least need the help right now?
    Madam Speaker, the issue of home heating fuel is something I know a great deal about, as I represent rural northern Ontario. People are not able to afford it. I can also say that for the people who are living on a northern reserve and paying over $2,000 a month for electric heat because they are isolated and then are having to pay a tax on top of that, it is punitive. We have senior citizens across the board who simply cannot pay for heat, so we need to be fair, which is what the Liberals have failed to do,
    When the Liberals had their MPs from Atlantic Canada backing them, it gave the impression they were defending people who were in a region who had more home oil. However, everywhere in the country should have the same opportunities, and we just saw Conservatives vote down an opportunity to bring fairness to British Columbia. They did not want that to happen.
    Again, we are seeing region being pitted against region by both Conservatives and Liberals.
    Madam Speaker, it is tragically ironic, quite frankly, that the member, the members of the NDP and all other political parties are bent on punishing Canadians who are facing out-of-control increases to their home heating. They are pitting region against region. Even in the amendment the member just tried to move, it would have been so simple to simply say that the GST should be eliminated on all home heating. Is that what the member did? No. He wanted to once again pit region against region. He wants people to be divided in this country, just like his coalition partners in the Liberals.
    My question for the member is simple. What does he say to those in his constituency who heat with propane or natural gas who are desperate for a break? What would he say to those in other parts of the country, who likewise are reaching out to their members of Parliament from coast to coast to coast, where both the federal backstop applies and others, who are desperate for a break?
     Why would the member, instead of choosing to work toward common-sense policies, choose politics and division over practical change to bring home lower prices for Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, here is the guy who just turned down an amendment that would have included the parts of the country that Conservatives deliberately excluded. The Conservatives are playing games here.
    The member stood up and voted against taking the GST off home heating last year on October 22. Then he comes in and asks why the NDP did not offer to take GST off home heating. We did, and the Conservatives voted against it. Now they are going to get up, whine and bring points of order about being mean to them. These—
    I will allow the hon. member to finish in a second.
    The hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I would ask for unanimous consent to table the Hansard from exactly what happened on the day that supposedly the member, in his imaginary world, thinks somehow Conservatives voted against it, when it was the NDP who refused to vote to eliminate the carbon tax.
    I would ask for unanimous consent to table the Hansard showing what actually happened on that day of debate in the House of Commons to put the facts on the record when it comes to what the member is insinuating, which is truly a fantasy—

  (1250)  

    On the same point of order, the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Well, it is in the Hansard, Madam Speaker. I can show him where it is. We would agree if they would agree to table, for unanimous consent—
    It is becoming a point of debate.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Madam Speaker, we would agree if the Conservatives would also table their election platform that said they would take HST off, and now they are refusing.
    It is more a point of debate.
    All those opposed to the hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot's moving the motion will please say nay.
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): There is no unanimous consent.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay has 44 seconds to finish up his response.
    Madam Speaker, again, it really hurts the Conservatives when they go out and tell the public they are going to deal with a carbon plan and then they pretend climate change does not exist. They say they are going to get rid of the GST on home heating, and then they say it is a fantasy and it never happened. The Conservatives are continuing to divide Canadians, and when we offer them an amendment to include other parts of the country that are excluded by their region-against-region attack on the Liberals, they refuse to support it. This is the kind of politics we are dealing with here.
    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington. I would like to begin today by reading our motion so that folks at home and here in the House know exactly what we are debating today. It reads:
    That, given that the government has announced a “temporary, three-year pause” to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.
    It is not that complicated. It is a reasonable, common-sense, fair-minded motion. That is what we are asking for today, and at the vote on Monday. We will see what members of the House do. I am sure those at home will be watching very carefully how each member of Parliament votes on this.
    The Prime Minister gave it to some, and now he needs to give it to everyone. I have been in politics a long time, behind the scenes and now on these benches. I have seen rising stars and good public servants. I have seen careers come to an end in good ways and in ways that were truly ugly.
    However, I have never witnessed a climbdown as utterly humiliating and so blatantly transparent as the one we saw from the Prime Minister. A government that has spent eight years forcing its carbon tax, its signature policy, on Canadians, insisting that it was good for the environment, that it would not make life more unaffordable and that it was the right thing to do, and anyone who said otherwise must be a climate change denier or dangerous to the future, now admits that the carbon tax causes misery for Canadians. This is all while it is failing to meet its own emissions target, and just months after the Liberals, along with their NDP abetters, voted down the motion to remove the carbon tax from home heating. We cannot make this stuff up.
    For eight years, the Liberals ignored the science. They ignored the feedback from businesses, which decided to close up shop or move south, and they ignored the cries from everyday Canadians who could not put food on the table or gas in the car, or heat their homes. The Liberals caused pain and suffering for the economy, for small businesses, and for people who made sacrifices, such as took an extra job or went bankrupt, because of the high inflation caused by runaway deficits and, yes, the carbon tax.
    What has changed? The science has not change. The affordability crisis has certainly not changed, although it gets worse every day the Liberals continue to make policy from that side of the House.
    Conservatives are now threatening to sweep Atlantic Canada and the future aspirations of the Liberal MPs sitting across the aisle. This announcement is a slap in the face to all Canadians who endured eight years of the hardship of everyone else and who was told that questioning it was somehow un-Canadian and, in some way, was somehow denying climate change.
    The Liberal-NDP government now admits that it can take the carbon tax off whenever it pleases. It could have done it a year ago, and it could have done it any day in between.
    It gets even worse than that because only certain regions get a break. It is only on certain types of fuel and only for some Canadians. What adds insult to injury is that many provinces still have to pay the carbon tax. These are the people who have to heat their homes with natural gas or electricity, the people who have to drive in a car to work and buy groceries at a store. This move would help 3% of Canadians, while everyone else remains in the literal cold. It will fundamentally threaten our national unity and our constituents' faith in the federal government, if there is any left at all.
    We already have provinces refusing to collect the federal carbon tax. We even have provincial NDP governments or opposition parties across the country speaking out against their federal counterparts. If we ask any Liberal why this happened, they ramble on about some national program, some agenda, some public policy. They will fearmonger about questions being dangerous to democracy. It is such utter nonsense.
    Even though home heating oil is more polluting and more costly than regular heating, they are now incentivizing it. It makes no sense. The Liberals gave the impression that this was all planned, and I find it hard to believe their Prime Minister, who used to so vigorously defend his carbon tax, planned out the humiliating climbdown that we saw last Thursday afternoon in the lobby of this place.

  (1255)  

    It was forced, plain and simple, and it was forced by a group of Atlantic MPs, who are running scared, and a government that is scared of the most effective official opposition on this point, and on many others. The Minister for Rural Economic Development, the minister from Long Range Mountains in Newfoundland, was more candid in her remarks. She actually told the truth. She said that if people just voted Liberal more, they too might have a chance at getting the exemption.
    Now we know that anything else those members opposite say is simply partisan spin. It is simply for vote-buying. They are trying to win votes and they are even doing that poorly. My neighbours in the GTA have some questions for the minister. She has gone radio silent since Sunday.
    This is the largest concentration of Liberals anywhere in the country. I am surrounded. I will not be for long, but I am surrounded for now, yet their voters, Canadians, still pay a carbon tax at the pump, at the grocery store and when they heat their homes. That is everyone around me.
    Why are they not as effective as the Liberal Atlantic caucus? Maybe they do not feel that threatened. I assure members that the poll numbers are certainly following there.
    The government just must not have strong enough MPs from the region, who do not listen to their own constituents, the people from there, about the affordability crisis or the need to at least alleviate some of that pain. They are MPs in places such as Thunder Bay and Sudbury, places where it is cold, and they are not good enough advocates for their own constituents to get the exact same break that they have offered to those in Atlantic Canada.
    Those Canadians have been let down by their representatives and they have been let down by the costly coalition. They are continuing to be let down. I can assure members opposite that there will be much fewer Liberals on the other side of the House after the next election.
    If the costly coalition can remove the carbon tax for some Canadians, then they can remove it for all Canadians. The Prime Minister once said that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian. It is time for him to start acting like it too. That is why we are here today, to make this costly coalition put its money where its mouth is. If they truly cared about affordability, about the cost-of-living, then they would take the carbon tax off for everyone, everywhere.
    We know they can do that because they admitted it. The Prime Minister admitted it just outside of the doors in this place, and it is his signature policy.
    We know that we have more to do, long-term, because lying just behind this announcement, waiting in the wings, is a quadrupling of the carbon tax for all Canadians, bringing more misery and that high carbon hypocrisy that we see so often from the Liberals and from their NDP betters.
    A “pause” is not good enough. That should be said in the House. A regional model is not good enough. The carbon tax must be killed for everyone and forever.
    There is a clear choice here. The only option is to axe the carbon tax entirely. Conservatives are the only party that would bring that to Canadians, no more pitting regions against one another, no more temporary pause, no more quadrupling of the tax, only a massive tax cut, plain and simple. We would get rid of the carbon tax, and we would do it when we are elected.
    We are even willing to fight that election over it. In fact, we dare the Prime Minister to go to the polls so that Canadians can have their say. They can choose to quadruple the carbon tax after this pause for 3% of Canadians, or they can choose to axe the tax. We know what they will pick.
    This week is not just humiliating because the Prime Minister flip-flopped on his signature policy. It was humiliating because even Liberals are beginning to see that he is just not worth the cost. These are Liberal leaders such as future leader Mark Carney, who split with the government on this policy, and Liberals such as Senator Percy Downe, the insider’s insider, who used to be chief of staff to former prime minister Jean Chrétien. He says that it is time for the Prime Minister to go. That is a ringing endorsement.
    After eight years, he has divided this country between urban versus rural, rich versus those who are struggling, and vaccinated against the unvaccinated. He has left us poorer and weaker at home and less respected abroad. This flip-flop is just their latest attempt at failure. It is their latest attempt to make one plus one equal three. I have a feeling that it will not be their last.
    It is fitting that the first snowfall of the year happened this week in Ottawa. Perhaps the Prime Minister should go take a walk in it.

  (1300)  

    Madam Speaker, I listened with interest to my colleague's speech, and I remember.
    Let us go back in our time machine a couple of years, when the hon. member was running in an election with a stalwart leader under the Erin O'Toole plan. They ran on a carbon tax, one without a rebate, back to Canadians. As she was talking about changing positions, I was wondering if she could point to back in 2021 when she stood up against her own party's carbon tax.
    Madam Speaker, I do feel for that member, who has to go back to his constituents to tell them why he has not advocated for them in the same way that the Atlantic caucus advocated for their constituents and why he continues to vote to increase the carbon tax. He has to explain that to his constituents. It is a difficult situation, and I feel for him.
    Madam Speaker, I want to ask the hon. member across the way a question. Canada's five biggest oil and gas companies had $38 billion in profits alone last year, but when the NDP called for big oil to pay what it owed to get more help to the families she is talking about trying to defend, Conservatives voted no.
    Why do the Conservatives always prioritize protecting those giant corporate profits over actually protecting the people they say they are trying to defend?
    Madam Speaker, Conservatives have consistently in the House advocated to axe the carbon tax because everyday Canadians are struggling. Everyday Canadians are struggling in my region. They are struggling in Atlantic Canada. They are struggling out west, and they are struggling in that member's very own riding.
    To pretend she does not vote to up the carbon tax at every given opportunity and put more struggle on her constituents is disingenuous. Frankly, she used to in opposition, and I think she should be ashamed of herself.
    Madam Speaker, I want to ask our hon. colleague from Thornhill why she thinks the NDP continues to prop up the Liberal government. Its members propped it up through the SNC-Lavalin scandal, the WE scandal and now the arrive scam scandal. They continue to vote in favour of the carbon tax.
    What are members, such as the member for Timmins—James Bay, going to say to their constituents who are being left out in the cold through the Prime Minister's current lockdown on the carbon tax?

  (1305)  

    Madam Speaker, I have no idea what the member for Timmins—James Bay is going to say to his constituents, but he does have the opportunity to vote against the Prime Minister and vote with his constituents on Monday.
    We have consistently advocated to make sure people can buy groceries, buy gas and heat their homes by axing the carbon tax once and for all. We have put this reasonable motion forward, which would put the same pause right across the country that the Prime Minister has done for Atlantic Canadians on home heating oil, and we expect that members in the House, no matter how much they prop up the government, will vote with their constituents and not with the Prime Minister.
    Madam Speaker, I wanted to ask the member if she has also advised that constituent of hers that the rebate would not be coming. If we take off the carbon price, the $720 a year a family makes in many jurisdictions would also go away. Are constituents being reminded that 90% or 80% of families are actually getting more than what they pay, but if we remove a carbon price on something, they would also not be getting those other funds? Where would the Conservatives compensate and help that constituent with that shortcoming in their pocketbook?
    Madam Speaker, Canadians know already that, when we collect a tax, more does not come back. In fact, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said so. This is the Parliamentary Budget Officer the Liberals appointed. I do not know how many times the member opposite needs to hear it. I can provide him with the report. I can table it, but 80% of Canadians get less back than they give.
    We cannot get more back on a tax we pay the government, which, by the way, has not reached a single environmental target. He is going to have to explain that to his constituents. That is not going to be my job.
    Madam Speaker, “given that the government has announced a 'temporary, three-year pause' to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.” This is a reasonable, common-sense and fair-minded motion.
    Again, “given that the government has announced a 'temporary, three-year pause' to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.” That is what Conservatives are asking for today and with the vote on Monday. The Prime Minister gave to some; now he needs to give to all.
    Poll after poll has shown that the affordability crisis, aided by the government's poor fiscal mismanagement, is top of mind for all Canadians. Conversations I am having with the people of Hastings—Lennox and Addington are consistent, that the high price of food, fuel, rent and interest on mortgages is staggering. We realize that the relief from the cost of living is what Canadians not only want but need, and the quickest and most effective way to do that is to roll back the Liberals' burdensome carbon tax plan that is closer to a revenue-raising measure than an actual carbon reduction plan.
    When I say that scrapping the Liberal carbon tax will have immediate positive results for struggling Canadians, I do not say that without backing. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told parliamentarians that removing the carbon tax would result in an immediate drop in inflation, helping to ease the financial burden weighing down Canadian families.
    The Conservative opposition has tried numerous times, through opposition day motions in this place, to stem the increasing tide of the affordability, and every time the Liberal-NDP government voted against them. On September 28, we moved a motion to introduce legislation to repeal the carbon tax, and the government voted against it. On June 1, we moved a motion to cancel the second carbon tax, and the government voted against it. On December 8, 2022, we moved a motion to eliminate the carbon tax on food, and the government voted against it.
     It is extremely clear to anyone who has been paying attention that the government has historically had a deep loathing to alter its carbon scheme in any way.
    Suffice to say, when the Prime Minister announced a temporary three-year pause to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, many of us wondered why now. Why has the government taken this small step in the right direction after years of dogged ideological refusal to support common-sense motions proposed by the official opposition?
    The answer can be found splashed across the newspapers of the nation, but allow me to cite everyone's favourite pollster, Mr. Fournier, who said that if there was an election held today, according to 338, the Liberal Party under the Prime Minister would win a staggering 80 seats. One out of every two sitting members of the government would not be coming back.
    The only reason that the government is starting to break away from its near cult-like devotion to the Prime Minister's carbon tax is because it is now politically expedient to do so. It is doing it now because it knows, and always knew, it was what Canadians wanted and what Canadians needed, but Canadians had a problem because it was not what the Prime Minister wanted, until now.
    With what I am sure was much gnashing of teeth at the cabinet table, the Liberals' free fall in the polls has forced them to make a political calculus, a bend in their deeply unpopular urban-centred climate change policy in exchange for at least some public support come election time, particularly in Liberal seat-rich Atlantic Canada where the majority of heating oil is used. I would like to applaud the Atlantic Liberal caucus for what I am sure was a spirited effort to secure even this small concession from the leadership. I find it curious why those same concessions were not given to other areas heated by different methods.
    For instance, why did the Prime Minister fail to include electric heating from these measures, which is the most popular source of heating in British Columbia, where Mr. Fournier predicts only four of 11 members of his caucus would return, or natural gas for Ontarians, where only 30 members are slated to see the 45th Parliament? However, I have good news for my Liberal colleagues across the way. The member for Carleton just tabled a motion that would directly help the other 97% of Canadians who are struggling to pay their heating bills, like those using propane, natural gas, electric or wood stoves, which are especially frequent in rural communities.

  (1310)  

    This is not to say that a federal government does not have a role to play in combatting climate change and that industry and Canadians should do their very best to lower their carbon emissions. The federal government absolutely has a role to play as measured environmental stewards, but having the government take the wallets of Canadians hostage to do this is a terrible way to go about it.
    Once again, Tiff Macklem reiterated that the carbon tax disproportionately hurt the lower class, the poor, the infirm and those on social assistance. They cannot undertake the extreme lifestyle changes necessary to have any measurable effect. Not everyone is an investment banker or a lobbyist. The vast majority of Canadians are struggling, and the Liberal-NDP government needs to open its eyes and realize this.
    I would like to take an opportunity to quickly highlight another time tested and true Liberal Party method of raising money, which the government has borrowed from its Chrétien era ancestors, and that is raiding and pillaging from the budget and pockets of the Canadian Armed Forces.
    At a time when CAF members are using food banks and begging for donations to pay rent, resulting in morale, recruitment and retention dipping to an all-time low, what does the government do? It slashes their benefits and cuts a billion dollars from the defence budget, something it specifically said it would not do in the 2023 budget. This does not even touch on the billions of lapsed spending this Parliament approved, which was never used on the CAF, but rather was skimmed off into some other project. It is shameful and it is the exact opposite of what needs to be done to address the numerous severe crises facing our armed forces.
    My riding is immense, stretching from Amherst Island, where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River, along the shores of the Bay of Quinte to Belleville and northward to the Hastings Highlands at the edge of Algonquin Park. Whenever I get a chance, I love to travel through the riding to meet the awesome and amazing people we have there.
     During my conversations with my constituents, what I find, as I am sure many others in this place find, is that despite inflation, despite high taxes and despite rising interest rates, our people are resilient and determined to carry forward and make better lives for themselves and their families. However, its getting harder.
    Whether it is at local fall fairs or celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Lennox & Addington County General Hospital volunteer auxiliary, it is our people who make us strong. We cannot lose sight of the fact that it is these people who sent us here to do our jobs. It is our role to advocate for them.
    My constituents are overwhelmingly hard-working farmers, forestry workers, tradesmen, seniors, small business owners and young families juggling the chaos of life. They pay their federal taxes, their provincial taxes and their municipal and education taxes. However, after eight years, they need a break from a government and a finance minister who believe big bureaucracy can spend us into prosperity using their hard tax dollars.
     After eight years, they need a break from a Prime Minister who thinks he deserves over $600,000 for three vacations on the backs of taxpayers. After eight years, they need a break from the free spending finance minister and her jet-setting boss, who travels around the world preaching virtues and values that he and his government fail to uphold.
    Will the members opposite find it in their hearts to rein in the runaway spending of their leadership and give my constituents, their constituents and all Canadians a break? If not, will they please step aside and let a common-sense Conservative government show them how to balance a budget and tackle climate change and still deliver services effectively and efficiently to Canadians who so desperately need it to.

  (1315)  

    Madam Speaker, earlier today, when the leader of the Conservative Party addressed the House, I pointed out the hypocrisy of the Conservative Party, when its members voted no for an NDP motion that would have removed the GST on home heating. I thought that was somewhat contradictory to what he was saying. There was no answer. Now the NDP have moved another proposal that would see the GST once again dropped.
    What is more ironic is the fact that, in a reckless fashion, when I posed the question for the member, ultimately he said that they would get rid of that too. It is like policy on the fly, that he would get rid of the GST. However, when Conservatives were now provided the opportunity to do it again, what did the member for Battle River—Crowfoot do? He said no, that they did not want the amendment to the resolution.
    Why is the Conservative Party recklessly flip-flopping all over the bloody place on this issue? It does not seem to have a direction regarding the environment.
    Madam Speaker, the New Democrats and the Liberals are deliberately spreading outright falsehoods. There was no such motion from the NDP to take the GST off home heating. In my opinion, the Liberals and their NDP dance partners need to wake up ahead of Monday's vote and, hopefully, understand that when something does not work, it is time to try a different approach.
    This is not about environmental science; this is about political science. The Liberal-NDP agenda is only about holding onto power.
    Madam Speaker, I have heard a lot that is fascinating, but I am really shocked to hear the Conservatives mention science, from their leader who is running on an anti-vax platform to members of a party who are climate change deniers. The Conservatives have no plan. They are making it up. They claim that we will have technology, but yet while we have EV investments in Canada, $7 billion in Volkswagen, the member for Sarnia—Lambton said that all those cars would catch fire if we invested in them.
    With respect to heat pumps, people in my region would die to get a heat pump, but they cannot get them through the useless Liberal program. We have the Conservatives who say that heat pumps do not work.
    That is a party that while Kelowna was burning, its MP was out there saying they loved burning carbon for free. Her community was burning. The Conservatives have no climate plan. They are climate deniers. At least they should be truthful and stop pretending they know anything about science.
    Madam Speaker, the Conservatives do have a plan and when we face the electorate, people will see that. The carbon tax is an abject failure of the government. This is not a revenue-neutral plan. This is a Liberal plan that is incoherent, inconsistent and completely ridiculous across the entire country. Our policy will be clear: We will take the carbon tax off, no matter where people live, and we will work to make green energy more affordable, not traditional energy more expensive.

  (1320)  

    Madam Speaker, I come from Winnipeg. In the winter, it is one of the coldest cities on the planet. Imagine how much energy it takes to heat a home when it is -30°C or -40°C at night. In the midst of an affordability crisis, how dare the government give a break to one part of the country and not to Manitobans? I wonder if my colleague could comment on the inherent unfairness of that.
    Madam Speaker, we have to recognize that, after almost a decade of Liberal rule, the Prime Minister has undermined the economy, our national unity, security, sovereignty, safety from crime, trust in public institutions and any sense of patriotism, pride or optimism, everything a Prime Minister has a responsibility to protect. Affordability is a huge issue facing all Canadians.
     I encourage and implore all members to listen to their constituents with an open ear to what their concerns are and come to this place and advocate on their behalf, which we are attempting to do through this motion.
    Madam Speaker, as always, it is a wonderful opportunity for me to speak on behalf of the residents of my riding of Davenport in the debate we have before us today. The debate is on an opposition motion, which I will read out so people who watch this will know what I am talking about. It reads: “given that the government has announced a ‘temporary, three-year pause’ to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.”
    I do not think members will be surprised when I say that the government will not be supporting the motion, and I am very happy to explain why.
    I will be sharing my time with the very hon. member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River.
    Today's motion from the hon. Leader of the Opposition does not provide context on what is happening in Canada today around home heating, inflation and the federal government's aggressive plan to decarbonize and to meet both our 2030 and 2050 targets. Indeed, the way the motion is phrased, it is easy for any Canadian who is reading it to misunderstand what the federal government's actions are. In today's case, the motion is based on the misconception that all forms of home heating have the same cost to the consumer, which is not the case.
    Late last week, the government took action to temporarily pause the application of the federal fuel charge to heating oil, not because it is a source of home heating but because it is the most expensive form of home heating. It is important to note that the vast majority of those who use heating oil are among the lowest-income Canadians today. We know that lower-income Canadians face particular hardship, particularly with the high cost of inflation today, and we know that there is little to no money for anything extra beyond the basic living costs. Low-income and rural residents have been trapped in a vicious cycle where they are stuck having to pay for the most expensive form of home heating, the cost of which is preventing them from investing in cleaner, more affordable forms of home heating.
    I am pleased to let members know that, last week, the Prime Minister made an announcement on our new energy affordability package. I will go through some of the basics, because I think it is very relevant to the debate we are having today. The government is moving ahead with doubling the pollution price rebate, or what we call the “climate action incentive payment”, to our rural community, increasing it from 10% to 20% of the baseline amount, starting in April 2024. We know that people who live in rural communities face unique realities, and this measure will help put even more money back in the pockets of families dealing with higher energy costs because they live outside large urban cities.
    The federal government is also moving ahead with a temporary, three-year pause to the federal price on pollution on deliveries of heating oil in all jurisdictions where the federal fuel charge is in effect. It is important for me to stress that this would be applied right across Canada. This pause would begin in less than two weeks. While the fuel charge is already returned to consumers through the pollution price rebate, this temporary pause would save a household that uses heating oil $250 at the current rate, on average, while the federal government works with provinces to roll out heat pumps and phase out oil for heating over the longer term.
    A final part of the announcement is that the federal government has said it will work with provinces and territories to help Canadians save money over the long term by making it easier to switch to an electric heat pump to heat their home. We announced a number of measures that will be piloted first in Atlantic Canada, and we truly hope that other provinces and territories will sign on moving forward. The targeted action we are taking with our new energy affordability package will break that vicious cycle and save rural Canadians thousands of dollars a year over the long term while allowing us to continue to move as aggressively as possible towards our climate action targets and decarbonizing our economy.
    The pause on the fuel charge on heating oil, in concert with our strengthened oil-to-heat-pump affordability program, will create a window of opportunity for people to make the switch to cheaper, cleaner heat. With our strengthened oil-to-heat-pump affordability program, we are partnering with provinces and territories to increase the amount of federal funding that eligible homeowners can receive for installing a heat pump, from $10,000 to $15,000, adding up to an additional $5,000 in grant funding to match provincial and territorial contributions via codelivery arrangements. This would make the average heat pump and installation free for low- to medium-income households as we continue to minimize upfront costs and make federal programs even easier to access for all households.

  (1325)  

    On average, homeowners who switch from oil to cold-climate heat pumps in order to heat and cool their homes save up to $2,500 per year on home energy bills. I think that is a very important point to keep stressing, because heating oil is one of the most polluting forms of home heat. Making this switch will not only help protect Canadians from the costs associated with climate change over the long term but also help to reduce emissions, which is what we are trying to do as we move toward our climate targets.
    Make no mistake: these costs are real. As confirmed by science and research, the costs of anthropogenic climate change, which is primarily driven by carbon pollution, will be devastating. The Canadian Climate Institute concluded that climate change is already costing Canadian households billions of dollars, and that these costs are just the tip of the iceberg. In its 2020 report on climate risks and their implications for the insurance industry in Canada, the Insurance Bureau of Canada concluded that the average annual severe weather claims paid by insurers in Canada could more than double over the next 10 years, increasing from $2.1 billion a year to $5 billion a year, and must be accompanied by an increase in premiums.
    These are billions of dollars in costs that will need to be borne by Canadians. That is why the government has put a price on carbon pollution since 2019 to ensure that polluting is no longer free. Putting a price on carbon pollution reduces emissions and encourages innovation. It encourages reductions across the economy while giving households and businesses the flexibility to decide when and how to make changes. It creates incentives for Canadian businesses to develop and adopt new low-carbon products, processes and services.
    To ensure that the system is both effective and affordable, the bulk of proceeds from the price on carbon pollution go straight back into the pockets of Canadians in provinces where the fuel charge applies, with eight out of 10 Canadians in these provinces continuing to get more money back through the climate action incentive payments than they pay as a result of the carbon price. In provinces where the federal system applies, a family of four can now receive up to $1,500 a year under our plan. This means that our climate plan is both effective and affordable. Our new energy affordability package will make it even more so by supporting the transition to cleaner and cheaper forms of home heating.
    I believe it is important to say that making it free to pollute will not save Canadians money. It will cost them money in the long run, while endangering Canadians and jeopardizing the natural environment we all depend on. There are better ways to make life more affordable for Canadians, without destroying the environment and incurring more devastating costs farther down the road. We can do so by delivering support where it is most effective and to those who need it most. This has guided our actions from day one. This includes supporting about 3.5 million families annually through the tax-free Canada child benefit, with families this year receiving up to $7,437 per child under the age of six and up to $6,275 per child aged six to 17. It includes increasing old age security benefits for seniors age 75 and older by 10% as of July 2022, which is providing more than $800 in additional support to full pensioners. It also includes reducing fees for regulated child care by 50% on average, delivering regulated child care that will cost an average of just $10-a-day by 2026.
    These are the right ways to make life more affordable. Extending the fuel charge pause to sources that are far cheaper and less polluting than fuel oil, as proposed by today’s motion, is not the right way to make life affordable. I therefore call on the House to reject today’s motion, as the government continues working with its partners in all provinces and territories to explore further options to lower the cost of energy bills for all Canadians while also lowering emissions and fighting climate change.

  (1330)  

    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to join in the debate today. In Saskatchewan, in 2021, total GHG emissions were 67.1 million tonnes. Saskatchewan's GHG emission intensity dropped 18% from 2005 to 2021 because of innovations like carbon capture and sequestration. We have stored over five million tonnes of carbon in carbon capture over the last five years.
    My question for the hon. member is this. Seeing that Premier Moe has come out and said that Saskatchewan residents are not being treated fairly, obviously the expression “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian” is not true for the Liberals anymore. What is her response to Premier Moe's statement that he will not collect carbon tax anymore, and to the fact that Saskatchewan has lowered emissions per capita more than any other province over the last five years?
    Madam Speaker, I will say a couple of things. The new affordability package we announced late last week really talks about ensuring that we provide more supports to rural Canadians, because we know that transitioning is costing them more money to reduce their costs. It is also an affordability plan that makes sure we are providing supports for those who have the highest-polluting type of energy, who tend to be our most vulnerable Canadians in society, as we are transitioning and decarbonizing our economy.
    What I would say about new technologies is that they would encourage more investments by companies and provinces in new technologies so that we can continue to move as aggressively as possible to decarbonize and meet our 2030 and 2050 targets.
    Uqaqtittiji, Nunavut relies completely on diesel for energy for home heating and for everything, basically. All of its oil and gas is from the south; we do not have any that we extract on our own. Therefore, when we get that oil and gas, it is from companies in Canada. Canada's five biggest oil and gas companies made $38.3 billion in combined profits last year alone.
    Does the member agree that there needs to be a windfall profits tax on oil and gas so those funds can then be diverted to renewable energy that needs to be supported, such as Hydro-Québec's fibre-optic link project?
    Madam Speaker, it has been very disturbing to see that our oil and gas companies over the last few years, particularly during the years of the pandemic, have accumulated record profits, much of which went back to the U.S., and then have come back to Canada to ask for subsidies to decarbonize their production.
    What I would say to the member is that I agree this is something we should look at. I am very disappointed with our oil and gas companies for not stepping up and doing their share.
    Madam Speaker, I am from a different part of Ontario, northern Ontario, where I think the carbon tax is very different.
    Can the member tell us what the carbon tax exemptions coming out of the Atlantic mean to people in Toronto, and how they see this?

  (1335)  

    Madam Speaker, this is what I would say to the hon. member. I live in downtown west Toronto. That is where my riding of Davenport is. My constituents want the federal government to keep moving as aggressively and urgently as possible to reduce our emissions to meet our targets. I think they understand that the transition costs money. I think that they are very pleased with our plan for a price on pollution and that anything else we can do to continue to provide support to Canadians as we transition to meet our 2030 and 2050 targets would be supported.
    Madam Speaker, the CPC motion is to drop the carbon tax not only on oil temporarily but also on all heating fuels temporarily.
    Believe it or not, I actually have friends in the Conservative Party, who I think like me through my sometimes philandering political ways. My friends in the Conservative Party may be surprised to hear I actually approve of the carbon tax, and I am in favour of the announced Maritime exemptions.
    The Leader of the Opposition took the rather unusual step of appearing on Thunder Bay TV a few days ago in order to tell the people of Thunder Bay that the members of Parliament for Thunder Bay are basically useless because we did not get the same kind of exemption for natural gas and propane as the people in the Maritimes got for oil. Now, people all across Canada get the exemption for oil.
    In response to what the Leader of the Opposition had to say to this motion, let me start off by saying, and I think this is really important, most people know that 80% of people actually get back as much as, or more than, they pay in carbon tax. In addition, people in rural areas get 10% on top of that. Now, because of this announcement, that will be going up to 20%, including in northern Ontario. That is certainly justified because people in rural areas are often dependent on fossil fuels. They have further to commute, and they cannot resort to using mass transit. I am in favour of all those things.
    Why is the present plan withholding carbon tax on only oil and not on other fuels? There are good reasons for that, and I am going to talk about four reasons.
    First, the cost of heating one's house with oil is more expensive than with other fuels, particularly in the Maritimes. I want to mention some figures from a recent CBC report on the subject. Home heating oil in P.E.I., with the carbon tax, costs $47.87 per gigajoule of heat energy. Propane in Ontario costs $39.33 with the carbon tax. Natural gas in Saskatchewan is $12.09.
    To reiterate, that is a total of $48 for oil and down to $43 if we do not include the carbon tax, which we are removing. Propane is around $39, and natural gas is around $12. The bottom line is that people who heat with oil have to pay a lot more to heat their homes than people who heat with other fuels.
    Second, there are other differences with oil. One is the fact that oil produces more greenhouse gases than other fuels. The best is natural gas, and the second best is propane. In terms of low-hanging fruit, the best bang for one's buck is to get people off oil and into a green transition.
    Third, because the carbon tax is based on tonnes of CO2 produced, and oil produces the most CO2, the amount of carbon tax paid on oil is higher than on the other fuels.
    Lastly, and this is an important one, when a lot of older homes were built, they had oil furnaces in them. As I grew up in Kaministiquia, outside of Thunder Bay, we had an oil furnace.
    In the years since the 1960s and 1970s, a lot of people have transitioned to cheaper forms of fuel. The people who have not are often the people who could not afford to transition, and that leaves us in the ironic situation that the people who are least able to afford the fuel will have to pay the most. Both my party and I are not unsympathetic to such people, and that is why we are dropping the carbon tax for a limited period of time for those people.
    In terms of a long-term solution for people on oil, certainly heat pumps are part of the solution. As oil is dirtier, getting those people to transition to green sources of heating is certainly something that is desirable from an environmental perspective. We already have a program that offers $10,000 for low- and middle-income families in order to buy heat pumps.
    In addition to that, and this is the one difference in what people in the Maritimes are getting that we are not getting in Ontario, they are also getting an additional $10,000, which is $5,000 from the province and $5,000 from the federal government, if they want to put in a heat pump. That is because those provinces agreed to do it. If Ontario wanted to do it, I am told we, too, in Ontario could.
    I think this is important: The Conservative Party is not just suggesting a temporary pause on the carbon tax on heating fuels. It wants to get rid of the carbon tax altogether. It wants to axe the tax. Frankly, I do not agree with that, and I find it a little difficult to believe. Why does it want to get rid of the carbon tax when, in fact, a lot of Conservative economists actually think the carbon tax is one of the most efficient ways, if not the most efficient way, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

  (1340)  

    Furthermore, a lot of Conservative economists like it because it is a market-based intervention rather than a regulatory intervention. Some of the many, perhaps they are not Conservative, but they are not really left-leaning, institutions that approve of carbon tax and carbon pricing include the American Enterprise Institute, a centre-right American think tank.
    In 2009, in response to the question, “[What is] the better approach to climate change?” Its answer was, “A direct tax placed on emissions of greenhouse gases. The tax would create a market price for carbon emissions and lead to emissions reductions or new technologies that cut greenhouse gases.”
    Of note, in 2023, like some other Conservatives, it seems to have changed its position.
    Some other groups, again, not exactly left-leaning institutions, that support carbon tax are the World Bank in 2023, the Business Council of Canada in 2019 and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in 2021. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, in a 2018 endorsement, said, “Carbon pricing is probably the most effective mechanism of emissions reduction.”
    Subsequent to this, it emphasized that the carbon tax should be flexible and competitive. Certainly with this, we are seeing some flexibility.
    Even the Conservative Party, in the last election, ran on a platform that included a carbon tax. I know that members of the Conservative Party deeply believe in their convictions, but it appears that when the political winds blow another way, their convictions seem to blow away, too, and they have to come up with new convictions. Now, they actually oppose it.
    I am somewhat shocked by the Conservative opposition to the carbon tax, particularly given what would seem to be the almost daily climate-related calamities we hear about, both in Canada and around the world. For example, a heat dome in B.C. recently killed over 600 people, mostly elderly people. Wildfires burned down the town of Lytton, B.C. and forced the evacuation of people in Alberta, Northwest Territories and—
    There are continuous comments and responses coming from someone who has not been recognized to speak at this time, because it is not time. I would ask that member to please hold his thoughts and comments. He could write them down, and then once it is appropriate for questions and comments, he can attempt to stand up and to be recognized.
    The hon. member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River has two and a half minutes left.
    We all remember, in the spring, when the smoke was so thick in Ottawa that we could not see more than a couple of blocks away. In other areas, flooding is a problem. Flooding has been a problem in B.C. West of my riding, we had record flooding at the Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake areas last year. The list goes on. The polar ice caps are melting. Permafrost is melting. Island states in the South Pacific risk disappearing forever because of rising sea levels.
    What is the Conservative Party's reply to all this? It wants to get rid of one of the government's best and most effective tools for dealing with climate change. I do not know about the opposition, but I feel a sense of duty to future generations, to my kids.
    I have tons of kids. One of them is Miko. Miko is only three years old. Miko has done absolutely nothing to contribute to climate change, yet he and his generation are the ones who are going to be asked to pay the price of climate change, rather than our generation or the generation before, if we do things like axing the carbon tax.
    What do the Conservatives want to do? They seem to want to do basically whatever it is going to take in order to get them elected the next time around. The Conservatives, in their 2021 convention, did not even want to agree to a statement saying they believed climate change existed.
    I do not like the tax. Nobody likes taxes. However, the reality is most people get the tax back in terms of the rebate, and it does motivate people to change over to green sources of energy. Most Canadians do believe in climate change and want to do what is best for their kids and for future generations.
    I, like most Canadians, perhaps begrudgingly, believe the carbon tax is absolutely the right thing to do. Therefore, I disagree with this motion.

  (1345)  

    Madam Speaker, there was a lot of stuff in my hon. colleague's intervention. There were a lot of falsehoods.
    I sit on the health committee with him, and I have a lot of respect for him as he is a family physician and offers a lot of great insight in our health committee. It is one thing for this colleague to stand up and read the talking points of the Liberal Party very well, but he is an educated man, and I expect him to do better, not just to read the talking points like a clapping seal.
    He knows that the carbon tax is wrong and that it punishes Canadians. It raises the cost of growing food. It raises the cost of shipping food and, ultimately, it is Canadians who pay the price.
    There is no greater evidence to that than when the Prime Minister walked back his carbon tax on Atlantic Canadians.
    Why are they punishing the rest of Canada for the Atlantic Canadian MPs' failures?
    Madam Speaker, I agree with my friend in the opposition on a lot of things, but I do disagree on this point.
    In terms of talking points, I refuse to use the party's talking points. I write all my speeches myself.
    I do believe in the carbon tax. I believe that by not continuing this carbon tax, which has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of dealing with climate change, the Canadian people and the people of the world would be punished. The opposition would be punishing them. They would continue to suffer because of climate change and because they are being denied one of the most useful and efficient tools to deal with climate change.
    Yes, there is some short-term pain but for the long-term gain.
    Madam Speaker, we also believe that there should be a price on carbon and that we need to take climate action seriously, to take real action and to move rapidly.
    The Liberals decided to do a carve-out that is only going to take pressure off Canadians in terms of home heating.
    We hear the Conservatives say they are bringing forward a motion to help all Canadians. In B.C., that motion the Conservatives are bringing forward will not help British Columbians. It will not take any taxes off their home heating.
    We put forward a motion to remove the GST on home heating for all Canadians. It was in the Conservative 2019 platform. They rejected our amendment to apply the GST removal to provinces that were not going to be impacted by their motion today.
    Does my colleague believe it was either a) because it was not their idea that they rejected it, or was it b) because they actually do not believe in taking action on climate change, and that is why they brought forward this motion today that does not really help all Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, I am assuming that he is asking me to interpret the motivation of the Conservative Party in bringing forward this motion. I cannot really comment on their motivation. As to removing the carbon tax on the GST, I do not really have much comment on that.
    As for who is going to benefit from this, and why we removed the carbon tax on oil, we clearly did it because the people who pay the highest price for oil and who are the least able to afford it are people with oil furnaces.
    The NDP should appreciate that we are targeting people who are the most adversely affected while maintaining our position that the carbon tax is, again, one of the most effective ways of dealing with climate change and of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  (1350)  

    Madam Speaker, we continue to see one party in the House spread misinformation. I heard a “falsehood” earlier, and that term is used in response to my colleague.
    Whether it is the member for Sarnia—Lambton talking about battery fires with EVs, the member for Niagara West talking about ivermectin being used to combat COVID-19 or the suggestion by the member for Saskatoon—University, who discouraged Canadians from using heat pumps because they would not get home insurance, this misinformation, I think, does a lot of damage to discussions in the House. I wonder if my colleague can speak to the whole issue of relying on science to adopt a climate policy.
    There are still individuals who are trying to contribute to the discussion, and they are not the ones who have the floor, so I would ask those members to please hold off.
    The hon. member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for pointing out the very disturbing fact that so many people in society seem to be willing to question the scientific empirical method that basically has led, in many ways, to the advancement of society. I am not going to point the finger at anyone here, but the fact that so many people are willing to subscribe to conspiracy theories rather than follow science, which has, in so many ways, tremendously bettered the lives of many people in Canada, is certainly disturbing.
    Before I recognize the member, I will advise him that I will have to interrupt him for question period.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Fundy Royal.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to speak today. I will be splitting my time with the member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
    The motion we are debating today is, “That, given that the government has announced a 'temporary, three-year pause' to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.” What could be more fair? This is a reasonable, common-sense and fair-minded motion that addresses the concerns that we are all hearing from our constituents as the cost of living continues to rise under the government.
    I will repeat the motion, which says, “That, given that the government has announced a 'temporary, three-year pause' to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.” The motion is simply asking for fairness for all Canadians, regardless of the region or the way they choose to heat their homes.
    All of us in this House and all Canadians, especially Atlantic Canadians, are acutely aware of what happened with the Prime Minister. He brought in a carbon tax that hurts working people, single mothers and families that are trying to make ends meet. It hurts people who get up early in the morning and drive to work in their vehicles. It hurts parents who take their kids to a hockey game. It hurts families that are trying to put food on the table. It hurts senior citizens on fixed incomes who are trying to heat their homes.
    All members have heard from their constituents about the damage that is being done by the carbon tax. The Conservative leader was about to hold an axe-the-tax rally in Atlantic Canada, in the province of Nova Scotia. I have been to rallies before where many people are very concerned about the carbon tax and are very enthusiastic about the Conservative Party's plan to axe the carbon tax, to make life more affordable, to give Canadians back a little more of the money that they work so hard to earn.
    The Prime Minister and his Atlantic members of Parliament have been steadfast in voting in favour of the carbon tax every single time. It is funny that when it was the constituents of Atlantic Liberal members who were suffering losses, those members did not stand up to the Prime Minister. Their constituents called them, and we know these calls are coming in. Their constituents said that they do not know how they will pay their heating bills or put gas in their cars, that they have to choose whether to buy groceries for their kids or heat their homes. We know that is happening. It is happening in Atlantic Canada. It is happening throughout Canada.
    The Liberal members of Parliament in Atlantic Canada and the Prime Minister, when the tables were turned, and the numbers were not looking so good, realized that their jobs were on the line. Forget their constituents, when those members saw this could cost them something, it got their attention. The very day the Conservative leader was in Nova Scotia for an axe-the-tax rally, the Liberals crassly announced this completely transparent proposal to freeze the carbon tax on home heating oil only.
    In my province of New Brunswick, 90% of homes are not heated with home heating oil. This does not apply to those people. We are hearing other Liberal members throughout the country asking about their constituents and what is going to happen to them in the next election. Every Atlantic Canadian knows that the Prime Minister and Liberal members have voted to make their lives tougher. Every one of us knows mortgage payments have gone up, that the cost of groceries has gone up, that the cost of fuel has gone up, that people are being taxed every step of the way. Conservatives can see right through this panicked reaction. If it were not so sad, it would be laughable.

  (1355)  

     There is this increase the government has given to rural areas. Let us talk about rural New Brunswick. If someone is a tenured professor or a provincial bureaucrat living downtown in the city of Fredericton, the capital city of New Brunswick, they get the rural top-up. If someone lives in my riding in the village of St. Martins, with a population under 300, they could have a 100-kilometre round trip commute to work in Saint John. It is truly a rural community. Elgin, New Brunswick, has a population under 200. It is an over 100-kilometre commute to the city of Moncton for work. It is truly a rural community. They do not get the rural top-up. That is how twisted the Liberal proposal is and how little the Liberals understand the needs of New Brunswickers and the needs of rural Canadians.
    As he watches his support drop to new lows, the Prime Minister is now trying to rebrand himself, very transparently, as a hero for Atlantic Canadians living in rural communities. This is a frantic attempt to slow down the support for our axing the tax movement. The Prime Minister announced a slight increase to the rural rebate but is applying it to urban centres. People living with the high cost of fuel, the high cost of groceries and the high cost of heating their homes are getting no relief whatsoever.
    That is why it is heartening to see from coast to coast to coast different provinces standing up and saying that now is the time to axe the carbon tax, that now is the time to help people. Everyone recognizes this. Everyone recognizes it, except for the Prime Minister and his Liberal caucus.
    I know this drives Liberals crazy, but how often have we all seen the Prime Minister get into his motorcade and jet off to some other country to preach about his virtue—

  (1400)  

    I hate to interrupt the hon. member for Fundy Royal in the middle of his speech, but it is now time for us to move to Statements by Members. The hon. member will have two minutes and 40 seconds left in his speech to continue at the next opportunity.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers

    Mr. Speaker, is you 'appy?
     We all know laughter is the best medicine and there is a group in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador who have been making people laugh for decades.
    Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers have entertained people across this country for 40 years. Through skits, songs and an amazing storytelling ability, audiences have left their sold-out shows with the best belly laughs imaginable. Professionals before even performing in this group, Kevin Blackmore, Wayne Chaulk and Ray Johnson are gifted musicians, songwriters, authors, vocalists and true ambassadors for Newfoundland and Labrador's culture and heritage.
    With 20 albums, three television specials and, most recently, Music Newfoundland's Lifetime Achievement Award and also being named to the Order of Canada, we are all lucky and honoured to call them ours.
     Please join me in offering sincere congratulations to the members of this group on all their accomplishments.

APPLE Schools

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today in the House of Commons to recognize a tremendous accomplishment by an organization that is dear to my heart. Alberta-based APPLE Schools has once again been recognized as one of the top 100 global education innovations by HundrED, a Helsinki-based organization dedicated to identifying transformative and scalable education innovations worldwide.
    APPLE Schools was selected from over 3,000 innovations and subjected to a comprehensive evaluation. This achievement not only highlights the profound effect the organization is having on the lives of children in Alberta and across Canada, but it is also internationally recognized for its significant impact and scalability in the education landscape.
    This underscores the unwavering commitment of APPLE Schools to its vision of fostering healthy children in healthy schools. I congratulate the entire APPLE Schools team.

2023 Pan American Games

    Mr. Speaker, Team Canada continues to crush it at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. The official slogan of this year's games is “Dream, Play, Win”. That is exactly what Canadian athletes are doing. Team Canada has secured an impressive medal count, including 35 gold, 34 silver and 47 bronze medals as of today.
    Milton's Collyn Gagne won a silver medal in the swimming pool in the 400 IM. From the Canadian track-cycling team, Milton's own Michael Foley led the team pursuit, with Sean Richardson, Chris Ernst, Carson Mattern and Campbell Parrish to gold and a new Pan Am record. The women's team with Devaney Collier, Kiara Lylyk, Fiona Mejendie and Ruby West established their dominance with gold in the women's team pursuit. Nick Wammes also won a gold in the team sprint with James Hedgcock and Tyler Rorke, while Sarah Orban, Jackie Boyle and Emy Savard also crushed it with a bronze.
    Track cycling is really popular in Milton, because when we hosted the 2015 Pan Am games, Milton hosted the cycling, and our velodrome is a legacy of those games.
    The 2023 Pan Am Games closing ceremony is this weekend, on November 5, but the Para Pan Am Games will run from November 17 to 26.
    I congratulate all the athletes. Go, Canada, go!

[Translation]

20th Anniversary of Action‑Chômage Côte‑Nord

    Mr. Speaker, it is with great appreciation that I rise today to mark the 20th anniversary of Action‑Chômage Côte‑Nord. I want to thank Line Sirois, the board of directors and all those who supported this organization over the past two decades. Their work is essential, not only because they help people in need on the north shore, but also because, through their actions and representations, they keep bursting the Ottawa bubble and reminding us why we were elected, and that is to speak on behalf of our constituents.
    Tourism, fisheries and forestry workers support families, businesses and communities and help to occupy more of this vast land where we want to live. These workers are entitled to respect and dignity. Action‑Chômage Côte‑Nord gives them that. They have the right to be able to put food on the table all year round. They have the right to comprehensive EI reform. Together, we will give them that, and not 20 years from now. I wish Action‑Chômage Côte‑Nord a happy anniversary.

  (1405)  

[English]

Immigration

    Mr. Speaker, Canada has always been a country that has needed immigrants to grow our economy. They enrich our country from coast to coast to coast. Our diversity has become our strength, with Canada continuing to be ranked as one of the top countries in the world to live.
     I am proud to let this House know that as of this week we have formally welcomed 40,000 Afghans to Canada, a promise we made and have now fulfilled. This is a huge achievement, as the rights and freedoms of the Afghan people, especially women and girls, have sadly gone backwards.
     We have also made changes to our international student program to ensure that talented students who choose to study in Canada have a positive experience and that we close loopholes that have led to international students being exploited by bad actors.
    I am pleased that yesterday we announced our immigration levels that reaffirmed that Canada continues to be open to newcomers, who enrich our country with their hard work and talent.
     Diversity is indeed Canada's strength, and we are a better and stronger country because of the extraordinary people who choose Canada as their home.

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, a desperate, flailing Prime Minister admitted that his carbon tax was punishing Canadians and making life unaffordable when he decided to remove the carbon tax from some but not all Canadians. This weekend, the minister from Long Range Mountains, Newfoundland and Labrador, admitted that this exemption was not granted to all Canadians across the country because they do not all vote Liberal, pitting Canadians from one region against those from another.
    What about the Liberal minister from Edmonton Centre? What about the member for Calgary Skyview? Are these two Liberal MPs from Alberta so incompetent and so ineffective that they could not get an exemption for Alberta? Do they agree with the minister that Alberta should pay a higher carbon tax than Atlantic Canadians?
    After eight years, the Prime Minister is not worth the cost. Even Rachel Notley thinks Alberta deserves this exemption.
    However, there is still a chance. On Monday, the NDP-Liberal government can vote for our plan to pause the tax on heating until Canadians have a chance to vote for a common-sense Conservative government that will axe the tax for good for all Canadians.

Human Exploration Rover Challenge

    Mr. Speaker, in Surrey—Newton, a team of 10 science-loving students from Princess Margaret Secondary have rocketed into the NASA-backed Human Exploration Rover Challenge, a competition taking place in April at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center located in Alabama.
    Students Omar Arain, Mehul Bhanot, Jasmeet Dhaliwal, Parneet Dhesi, Haardik Garg, Alex Gupta, Victor Gupta, Manroop Padda, Jeevan Sandhu and Harmeet Sond are members of the only Canadian team selected for the contest. I am very proud of these exceptional young leaders, and I urge all members of the House to join me in wishing them the very best in the upcoming competition.

Recognition of Paramedic Services

    Mr. Speaker, this fall, five paramedics from Sudbury and Manitoulin were recognized by the Governor General for their outstanding service. I want to sincerely thank and highlight Annik Thibault-Simard, Gaetan Lagrandeur, Lyndsay Fearnley-Ungar, Shawn-Eric Poulin and Monic Rochon-Shaw. It is an honour to recognize these individuals for their extraordinary service.
    Paramedics play a crucial role in Canada's health care system, providing vital emergency care and saving countless lives every day. These highly trained professionals are the first responders on the scene, delivering immediate medical attention to individuals in critical situations. Paramedics bring critical care right to the doorsteps of those in need, often being the difference between life and death.
    Let us recognize and appreciate the significant contributions paramedics make to the health care and well-being of Canadians every day.

[Translation]

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of this government, Friday's announcement added insult to injury. Quebeckers are feeling scorned. The Prime Minister needs to announce that he is completely eliminating the second carbon tax, which adds as much as 20¢ to the price of a litre of gas.
    This tax has the Bloc's support. It is costly to vote for the Bloc Québécois. The impact of Bloc-Liberal inflationary spending is catastrophic for the country as a whole. The cost of heating, food production and transportation is skyrocketing.
    At home in Beauce, parents call me every weekend, criticizing this government's incompetence. Everything costs more. Of the organizations supported by Moisson Beauce, 71% said they had run out of food from their supply sources.
    This Bloc-Liberal coalition is completely out of touch with reality. These carbon taxes have a direct impact on Canadians. The Prime Minister wants to further divide Canadians by creating two classes of citizens.
    It is time to bring back a government that will use common sense: a Conservative government.

  (1410)  

[English]

Poppies

    Mr. Speaker, I stand today to emphasize the profound significance of the poppy in our great nation. The red poppy, a symbol of remembrance, has served as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by our brave servicemen and servicewomen throughout history.
    The tradition of wearing the poppy was inspired by the famous poem In Flanders Fields, which was written by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae during World War I. It is a small yet powerful token that connects us to our veterans and their enduring legacy.
    As we wear our poppies this year, let us not forget the sacrifices of our veterans and the ongoing commitment to ensuring their well-being. The poppy is not merely a symbol. It is a call to action, urging us to support and remember those who have served and continue to serve.
    May we always hold the poppy in our hearts as a symbol of remembrance, gratitude and unwavering support for our veterans. Lest we forget.

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Prime Minister, Canadians know he is just not worth the cost.
    I recently did a survey at all the fall fairs in the Hamilton area asking people how they were coping with the skyrocketing cost of living under the NDP-Liberal government. The results were overwhelming. Home heating was one of the top concerns.
    Fast-forward to last week, when a desperate Prime Minister temporarily paused the carbon tax on heating but only for some Atlantic Canadians. What happened to “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian”? Well, the minister from Long Range Mountains clued us in. The exemption was not granted to all Canadians because they do not vote Liberal. Why, then, were the Liberal MPs from Hamilton not effective in getting a carve-out for those struggling with the cost of home heating in our community, most of whom heat with natural gas?
    Canadians see through these Liberal gimmicks. The common-sense Conservative plan is simple: no gimmicks, no temporary measures, take the tax off and keep the heat on.

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, the NDP-Liberal government is getting desperate. Last week, the Prime Minister announced his plan to push the pause button on his unaffordable carbon tax, but for only 3% of Canadians. Over the weekend, a Liberal minister went on TV and said that Canadians who do not vote Liberal will be punished with higher taxes.
    What about the Liberal MP from North Bay and the minister from Thunder Bay—Superior North? Why are they so incompetent and ineffective in getting an exemption for folks hurting from North Bay to Thunder Bay? The Prime Minister will pay any price to divide Canadians. He is not worth the cost.
    The common-sense Conservative promise is simple: no gimmicks and no temporary measures. We will axe the unaffordable tax for good. We will take off the tax and keep on the heat.
    It is time for these NDP-Liberals to decide if they will stand behind the Prime Minister or stand with their constituents. It is time to bring home lower heating prices.

[Translation]

Joseph Maingot

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the passing of a great Canadian from Ottawa—Vanier, Joseph Maingot.
    Mr. Maingot was a true servant of democracy, as a law clerk and parliamentary adviser to the House of Commons from 1971 to 1982, and as a member of the Law Reform Commission of Canada.
    He frequently visited the Library of Parliament, by bicycle, until age 91. His writings on parliamentary privilege, immunity and inviolability remain essential for our work in the House and continue to be widely cited.
    He travelled to Yemen, Kyrgyzstan and East Timor to support the emerging parliamentary democracies and he served as an electoral observer in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution.
    Joseph Maingot leaves a legacy of intellectual rigour, social commitment and service to democracy.
    We offer our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

[English]

Biosphere Reserves

    Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the world will observe the second International Day for Biosphere Reserves, designated by UNESCO in collaboration with the world network of biosphere reserves.
    On Tuesday, we had an early start, as the all-party climate caucus, in partnership with the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association, gathered for the third annual biosphere regions day on the Hill. We celebrated the immense contribution of Canada's 19 biosphere reserves to environmental conservation and sustainability.
    My riding of Courtenay—Alberni is blessed with two biosphere reserves, the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust and the Mount Arrowsmith biosphere region. I know that all members who are fortunate to have a biosphere reserve in their ridings will join me in paying tribute to the important work of the biosphere region movement in our country. Biosphere reserves are of critical importance, conducting participatory research and supporting environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability.

  (1415)  

[Translation]

Women's Entrepreneurship Day

    Mr. Speaker, every year, on November 19, we celebrate Women's Entrepreneurship Day, which seeks to give women and girls the means to be active economic participants in our society. It is also an opportunity to celebrate those who have paved the way and who continue to inspire an entire generation of women.
    There is one woman in particular who inspires me with her resilience and dedication and I would like to pay tribute to her. My mother started a business 30 years ago when I was just a few months old. Over the years she has overcome obstacles, doubts, stress and financial pressure to build a business that reflects who she is and helps women feel good about themselves, to thrive and reach their full potential. She managed to do all of that while being an extraordinary mother and an exceptional mentor. Nothing stops her, not even retirement.
    Mom, thank you for pushing the glass ceiling and inspiring other women to take a leap into the world of entrepreneurship. Mom, I love you and I am proud of you.

[English]

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, winter is here, and with rising costs, there is not one family that is not being left out in the cold. After eight years of the Liberal government, Canadians are struggling to heat their homes as the carbon tax is about to quadruple, costing Canadians more money they do not have. The Prime Minister knows this because he just paused the carbon tax for Atlantic Canadians, proving that he is just not worth the cost.
    What about the rest of Canada? What about Prince Edward County, Quinte West and Belleville? What about my wife's old riding of Thunder Bay? What about the NDP leader's Vancouver riding of Burnaby South? Do they not deserve to be treated as equal citizens? Is a Canadian not a Canadian?
    Our leader has introduced a motion to take off the carbon tax on all home heating in Canada this winter so Canadians can keep the heat on. On Monday, there might be the most important vote the NDP leader has ever had. Will he vote with common-sense Conservatives to keep the tax off so that Canadians can keep the heat on, or will he continue to sing along with the tone-deaf Prime Minister?

Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the House was scheduled to debate Bill C-57, the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. Instead, the Conservative Party played procedural games by moving a concurrence motion that prevented debate on this important piece of legislation.
    In recent months, the leader of the Conservative Party has become silent on Ukraine. He has never advocated for military, humanitarian or economic support for Ukraine, has never called out Russia for its acts of genocide against the Ukrainian people and has never raised the issue in Parliament, except for false narratives about the war, including the statement that it does not contribute to inflation in Canada.
    I call on the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada to put aside the games, let us debate Bill C-57 and pass this important piece of legislation.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, even the Liberals agree that the Prime Minister is not worth the cost. After his flip-flop on the carbon tax, his former environment minister Catherine McKenna said that the Prime Minister broke her heart. She is calling on him to flip-flop on his flip-flop.
    Future leader Mark Carney says that he is against the flip-flop and has the support of Gerald Butts. Now Liberal Senator Percy Downe is saying that the Prime Minister is not worth the cost and should resign.
    Does the Prime Minister still have the confidence of the Liberal Party?

  (1420)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are working hard every day to deliver results for Canadians by fighting climate change, by creating supports for Canadians, by lowering the cost of living, by being there to build more housing, by being there to stand up for minorities, and by ensuring that the economy works for everyone.
    We will continue to be there. We will continue to do it as a team. The Liberal Party is fundamentally about helping Canadians build a better future. Instead of saying that everything is broken, we are here to work hand in hand with Canadians. We look forward to doing that every day.

The Economy

    Mr. Speaker, he did not say whether his party supports him or not. That is interesting.
    Senator Percy Downe said that this government is not serious about the economy, that it simply does not care, and that it would throw money at anything that crossed its mind. The resulting interest rate hikes, increasing cost of living and huge debt do not seem to concern it. Even the Liberals agree that this Prime Minister is not worth the cost.
    Is Mark Carney the only one who can save the Liberal government?
    Mr. Speaker, everyone is fully aware that we made a choice that the Conservatives disagree with. We made the choice to invest in Canadians because confident countries invest in their people.
    While they have been preaching austerity and cuts, we have been there to provide $10-a-day child care across the country. We have been there to provide the Canada child benefit. We have been there to invest in public transit and housing. We have been there to help our seniors and students. These are all programs that the Conservative Party voted against. They continue to vote against dental care for children. They continue to vote against helping Canadians in need.
    We will continue to be there for Canadians every day.

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, when asked why the Prime Minister paused the pain of the carbon tax for only some people, the Liberal rural affairs minister said that other people should have elected Liberal MPs if they wanted to be able to afford heating their home or feeding their kids. The Prime Minister has not denounced that viewpoint. In fact, he is doubling down on punishing people elsewhere.
    Liberal MPs in Sudbury, Thunder Bay, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie have starving constituents who are worried about the heat going out as well. Will they have a free vote on my motion to keep the heat on and take the tax off for everyone this Monday?
    Mr. Speaker, as a government, we are phasing out the use of coal because it is dirty and bad for the environment. We are now moving on phasing out home heating oil because it is dirtier, more expensive and is disproportionately relied upon by lower-income Canadians who do not have other choices.
    Over half a million Ontarians heat their homes with home heating oil. This program and this approach will not just give them a break, in working with the Government of Ontario, but will deliver heat pumps for Canadians right across the country. I invite Saskatchewan to work with us as well.
    We need to get Canadians off home heating oil and that is what we are going to do.
    Mr. Speaker, with an answer like that he is clearly not worth the cost.
    The Prime Minister did not answer the question as to whether or not his MPs would have a free vote, which begs the question whether his NDP MPs will get a free vote.
    The Saskatchewan NDP has just voted to endorse my motion to give equal tax-free heat to all Canadians. That is the position of the NDP in B.C., Manitoba and Alberta as well. The question is whether the NDP will vote against its cash-strapped constituents in favour of the Prime Minister.
     Could the Prime Minister tell us if this vote is part of the coalition agreement or does the NDP have the freedom to vote for its constituents?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition wants to talk about places across the country. Let us talk about them: 20,000 Saskatchewanians heat their homes with home heating oil, 50,000 Albertans do and about 100,000 British Columbians do. That is dirty, it is more polluting and it is more expensive, particularly for the predominantly lower-income families that rely on this.
     That is why we are moving forward to replace them with heat pumps. We are working with the provinces to deliver free heat pumps for lower-income families so they can save money and fight pollution at the same time.
    This is about helping Canadians as we fight climate change, for which the Leader of the Opposition has no plan.
    Mr. Speaker, this is helping the Prime Minister save his political bacon, and we know that because he has now admitted that his carbon tax is not worth the cost of oil for some people in some regions. My motion simply says that all Canadians should get the same break. After all, a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.
    Yesterday, the Prime Minister indicated that he wants to have a carbon tax election on his plan to quadruple the tax to 61¢ a litre on heat, gas and groceries. Therefore, will he confirm whether he considers my motion to keep the heat on and take the tax off a confidence vote?
    Mr. Speaker, home heating oil is dirtier, more expensive and more relied on by lower-income Canadians across the country. Across the country, 1.3 million households rely on home heating oil. That is why we are working with the provinces that want it to replace them for free with heat pumps. That is what this is about.
    The Leader of the Opposition is making a serious mistake if he thinks Canadians are not concerned about the environment or that Canadians do not know that protecting the environment does go hand in hand with creating good jobs and prosperity for them across the country. That is a conversation I look forward to continuing to have over the next two years with Canadians.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Government of Quebec announced its immigration targets, in other words, how many people Quebec believes it will be able to integrate and teach French, and the federal government did the same. The two governments are not at all on the same page.
    In the meantime, however, I asked all members, including the Minister of Immigration and the Prime Minister, whether they would consult Quebec before setting the 2024 targets. The Prime Minister said yes and the Minister of Immigration said yes.
    Am I to understand that the targets announced yesterday are temporary and that they will speak to Quebec?
    Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague knows full well, for years we have been engaging with the provinces, including Quebec, to talk about immigration, their wishes, their capacity and the future of immigration across the country. Quebec, of course, sets its own immigration targets.
    Our immigration plan will continue to strengthen the system and extend the benefits of immigration to communities in Quebec and across the country. We also provide hundreds of millions of dollars every year to help integrate newcomers, including French integration.
    We will always work hand in hand with Quebec and the other provinces when it comes to immigration.
    Mr. Speaker, that is the way it has always been, in health care too. The government claims that it has talked to the provinces, but it never really listens to them or makes any changes based on what they say.
    However, yesterday, the government voted and said yes. It said that it would consult Quebec before setting the immigration targets that the minister was in the process of announcing. For consistency's sake, the government ought to talk to someone in Quebec City because, if it does not, it needs to realize that Quebec will no longer be able to ensure that immigrants who settle there are taught French. In other words, the government will be reducing Quebec's weight within the Canadian federation.
    We will draw our own conclusions.
    Mr. Speaker, as I just said, every year, we provide Quebec with hundreds of millions of dollars to help teach its immigrants French. Quebec sets its immigration targets, and we will always continue to work with Quebec. We have been working with Quebec on immigration for months and years, and we will continue to do so.
    Yes, we supported the motion that said that we will continue to talk to Quebec and all the other provinces when establishing targets. We will continue to do that in a responsible, reasonable and ambitious manner for the future of our country.

  (1430)  

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, the weather is getting colder. Heating costs are putting pressure on families' already tight budgets, but this government says that it is only willing to help people if they voted Liberal. That is shameful. The NDP's plan to eliminate the GST on home heating would put more money back into everyone's pockets across the country, while also protecting the environment. A few minutes ago, the Conservatives once again said no to this NDP proposal.
    Will the Liberals eliminate the GST on home heating to help families who are already struggling?
    Mr. Speaker, I know that my hon. colleague truly cares about the environment and climate change and that he wants to help Canadians deal with the cost of living at the same time. That is why he understands that, for the more than 100,000 households in British Columbia that rely on heating oil, this is a big challenge. It is a big challenge for their wallets, as well as for the environment. We have an approach that will replace these oil furnaces in British Columbia with heat pumps, which will help families with affordability and help the planet. I look forward to continuing to work with the member.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal member for Kings—Hants said we should do our homework when it comes to heat pumps.
    Who did do his homework? Perry from Smithers, B.C. He is a teacher, after all. For a year and a half now he has been trying to jump through all these government hoops to get a $5,000 heat pump rebate.
    I talked to the folks at Efficiency Canada, and they told me, unequivocally, that the government's heat pump program does not work for people on low incomes.
    Will the Prime Minister commit to offering the same deal he just offered Atlantic Canadians for heat pumps to all Canadians who heat with fossil fuels?
    Mr. Speaker, yes, that is exactly what we are doing. We are offering the same program for heat pumps that we have with Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador to all provinces across the country. All they have to do is join us in making sure we can deliver heat pumps, for free, to low-income Canadians. There are 1.3 million households across the country, half a million in Quebec, a quarter of a million in Ontario and tens of thousands across the provinces, that need those heat pumps to clean the air and to save their wallet some money.
    That is exactly what we are doing. I look forward to working with B.C. and all other provinces on this program.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said Tuesday that there would absolutely not be more carbon tax exemptions under his watch, but Canadians struggling with the high cost of gas, groceries and heating their home want to have a word about that.
    After eight years of the Liberal-NDP government, the Prime Minister is only giving relief to a lucky 3% of the country, specifically where his poll numbers are in the gutter. He has already admitted that the carbon tax makes life harder.
    Will the Prime Minister let his MPs have a free vote on our motion on Monday to keep the heat on and take the tax off for all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, I noted the phrase, “a lucky 3%”. These are people who pay two to four times the cost of natural gas. These are folks whose costs went up by 75% during 2022. These are not the lucky 3%.
     We have focused on people who actually have a strong affordability challenge because of the inordinate cost of heating oil. We have put in place a measure that would ensure affordability, but will do so in a manner that fights climate change. Truly, “a lucky 3%”, really?
    Mr. Speaker, this is exactly what the Prime Minister does when he is desperate and flailing, not confident about his leadership.
    Canadians in other parts of the country now have one more reason to regret voting for Liberals, like in northern Ontario where a minister at the cabinet table has sold out her own neighbours and left them out in the cold.
    Will she vote with those who sent her to this place and scrap the tax on all home heating or will she vote with the Prime Minister and remind Thunder Bay that she is just not worth the cost?

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, do we know what she will do? She will stand with the folks who are having an affordability challenge related to heating oil. It will apply in every province and territory in this country where provinces step up to co-deliver with the federal government. It is a plan that will address the short-term issues for those folks who are most pressed, but it will do so in a manner that will save significant dollars in the long term. It will address it in a manner consistent with fighting the existential threat of climate change.
    I say this again in the House: It is a shameful thing that, in this country, we still have a political party that does not believe in the reality of climate change and has no plan to address it.
    Mr. Speaker, what is actually shameful is how the Liberals continue to divide Canadians every chance they get. Now it is about heat. Sigi from Dufferin just paid $100 in carbon tax to heat his home for one month. In the Maritimes, Sigi would pay zero. That is dividing Canadians. Sigi is on a fixed income. He cannot afford it. They are basically saying he should freeze in the dark.
    Why do the Liberals not stop dividing Canadians? Will they take the tax off so Sigi can keep the heat on?
    Mr. Speaker, the only folks in this chamber who are dividing Canadians are from the Conservative Party of Canada. We are focused on addressing a significant affordability challenge. Heating oil costs two to four times what natural gas does, and it appreciated by 75% in 2022. It is time that the Conservatives stop playing partisan games and focus on good public policy that addresses the critical issues that Canadians are facing, but in a manner that protects affordability and addresses climate change. Once again, I say it is shameful that they have no policy to address climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, a minister making $300,000 a year, who gets driven around in a limo, says it is a political stunt when I talk about a retired senior who cannot pay the carbon tax. This behaviour by the Liberals is disgusting.
    Not all Liberals have to behave that way; on Monday, there will be a common-sense Conservative motion to axe the tax. They do not have to behave like a limousine Liberal minister. They can stand up for their constituents. They can vote to take the tax off, so people like Sigi can keep the heat on.
    Mr. Speaker, I am in the awkward position of contradicting my colleague in the House. In fact, on the other side of the House, they do have a plan. Some of them owe their seats to that plan. It was a carbon tax plan. It was the Erin O'Toole Christmas wish book of green things that the Conservative Party will pick out just in time for the holiday season. Once again, with the price on pollution, we put cold hard cash back into the pockets of Canadians, not the O'Toole Christmas wish book.

[Translation]

    Order. Colleagues, I am sure all members would like to hear the question.
    The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to lay out some facts. The carbon tax affects the price of food in Quebec. The second carbon tax will apply in Quebec. The Bloc Québécois wants to radically increase the Liberal taxes on fuel and food. Quebeckers are turning to food banks in record numbers every month. The Prime Minister announced a break on the carbon tax, but only for the Atlantic provinces. It is unfair, it is illogical, and it is enough.
    Will the Liberals vote with us in favour of our common-sense motion to get rid of the carbon tax on all forms of heating for all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, the price on pollution puts more money in the pockets of people in the middle class. Second, the price on pollution reduces pollution. Third, climate change is real. We know the Conservative leader does not believe in what I just said. Would my esteemed colleague be willing to invite him to Baie‑Saint‑Paul to see the effects of climate change and meet with my former colleagues from Université Laval for a crash course on why a price on pollution is important?

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, I can tell my colleague from Quebec that his Atlantic colleagues had a different take on what he calls the price on pollution. What we saw in the Atlantic provinces is that people were being financially squeezed. They were forced to ask the Prime Minister to flip-flop, change his policy and cancel the carbon tax.
    What we are asking him to do now is just to be fair to all Canadians, including Quebeckers. Let us not forget that the federal carbon price is driving up the carbon market, which has doubled in the past two years. I mention this in passing to my hon. friends in the Bloc Québécois. Can the Prime Minister confirm that, on Monday, he will be voting with the Liberal members, and perhaps the NDP gang, to scrap the carbon tax across Canada for heating?
    Mr. Speaker, I count not just one, two or three members of the Leader of the Opposition's caucus who supported a price on pollution in Quebec, but four. How many others are hiding and have changed their minds since he took over as leader of the Conservative Party?
    My message to them is to not be afraid of their leader and to respect their own opinion.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at 11:30 a.m., the Quebec minister of immigration, francization and integration said she had not had any discussions on immigration targets with her federal counterpart. At 3:30 p.m., the federal minister in question voted in favour of a motion calling on him to review the targets, after consultation with Quebec and the provinces, based on their integration capacity. At 4 p.m., he released the new targets for 2024. If the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship processed applications as fast as the minister reneges on his votes, the two‑million-case backlog would be a thing of the past.
    Will he abide by his vote, consult Quebec and review his targets?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member opposite has brought this up. I am proud to stand in the House today and re-echo that, yesterday, we tabled our new immigration levels plan for 2024-26. Our plan will ensure that immigration continues to grow our economy and to provide stabilized growth, while balancing pressure on housing, infrastructure and essential services.
    Immigration is important to Canada, and we will continue to embrace newcomers and ensure that they have the support they need in their new communities.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Quebec confirmed that no consultation took place. More to the point, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship admitted it yesterday at his press conference. He explained to journalists that he had spoken to Christine Fréchette about foreign workers and refugees, but never about the 500,000 immigrants per year.
    The minister promised to consult Quebec before setting his targets, but he confirmed that he had not done so. When is he going to get back to work and finish the job?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows full well that Quebec sets its own immigration thresholds in consultation with various stakeholders and organizations. It does so according to its own needs. Obviously, when we set our targets, we discuss them with Quebec.
    What I find odd is that the Bloc Québécois is never satisfied. Its members are always trying to pick a fight. They are upset when we vote against their motion. Now they are upset because we are voting in favour of their motion. They come off as a bunch of Grouchy Smurfs.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order, please. I am sure everyone would like to hear the question from the hon. member for Saint-Jean.
    The hon. member for Saint-Jean.
    Mr. Speaker, in a response to a question from the Bloc Québécois yesterday, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said that questioning Quebec's capacity to integrate immigrants showed bad faith and was essentially a refusal to listen to what is going on.
    Let me tell members what shows bad faith: setting record immigration thresholds without even trying to determine our integration capacity. Let me tell members a refusal to listen really is: refusing to consult Quebec. “Bad faith and a refusal to listen” could have been the title of the plan the minister unveiled yesterday.
    Will the minister scrap his plan and consult Quebec in order to present thresholds that are based on reality?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, once again, the Bloc Québécois wants to pick a fight with the federal government. Our government is making investments in French, even in Quebec. We have invested tens of millions of dollars in additional funding as part of our action plan for French integration.
    We have also given the province of Quebec $500 million to invest in immigration each year. Does the leader of the Bloc Québécois disagree with giving Quebec that money? We have a plan to support Quebec and operate with investments in French integration across the country and in Quebec as well.

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, on Monday, we will be voting on a common-sense Conservative motion to axe the carbon tax on home heating for every single Canadian. It is snowing in southern Alberta; it is cold. It should not be a luxury to heat our homes, yet when the Prime Minister quadruples his carbon tax, Mountainview Farms in my riding will be paying $480,000 a year in carbon taxes. The Prime Minister says that there is no carbon tax relief for Alberta.
    However, on Monday, the Liberal members for Calgary Skyview and Edmonton Centre have a chance to defend Alberta and vote with us to end the tax and keep the heat on. Will they do it?
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend across the aisle is forgetting some facts. One is that the price on pollution works in such a way that there is a rebate, where 80% of Canadians get more money back. In fact, an Alberta family of four gets $386 per quarter. It is more than what people pay in terms of the price on pollution.
    The pause for three years for home heating oil is based on the specific issue around the cost associated with home heating. It is done in a manner that is consistent with continuing to fight climate change, which is what a price on pollution is all about.
    Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the NDP will have the opportunity to show who they work for: the Prime Minister or Canadians who want the tax off and the heat on. It is cold in Edmonton, yet Edmontonians are being penalized as a result of this NDP-Liberal government's punitive carbon tax on home heating.
    Is the Liberal minister from Edmonton going to order the NDP MP for Edmonton Griesbach to once again vote against his constituents, or will he be permitted to vote with Conservatives to axe the tax and keep the heat on?
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we work each and every day for all Canadians, Canadians who live in every province and territory in this country. We do so in a manner that ensures that we are addressing critical issues in a thoughtful way and making good public policy decisions. We are not playing the partisan games that are played by the members opposite.
    At the end of the day, we are focused on ensuring that we address legitimate affordability concerns in a manner that is consistent with addressing climate change. Once again, I say it is shameful to have a bunch of climate deniers on that side of the House.
    Mr. Speaker, last year, the NDP voted against our common-sense Conservative motion to scrap the carbon tax on home heating. The Liberals have admitted that these taxes are not worth the cost after they exempted Atlantic Canada, but, once again, they left Albertans out in the cold.
    Is the Liberal minister from Edmonton going to order the NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona to vote against the wishes and interests of her constituents, or will she be permitted to axe the tax to keep the heat on?
    Mr. Speaker, there were $340 million in damages from storms in Ontario, over $720 million from wildfires in B.C., over $300 million from storms in Alberta and the Prairies and over $170 million from flooding in Nova Scotia. This is what climate change has cost Canadians just this summer, and these are insured costs. The total costs are three times that.
    The climate-denying Conservative Party of Canada wants us to believe that climate change is not costing Canadians anything. It is costing Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

  (1450)  

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, more than 400 Canadians are trapped in Gaza, including Ahmed Alheluo of Edmonton, who is recovering from surgery and unable to transport himself. First, he was told by Canadian authorities to stay where he is, then to evacuate to Rafah, then to stay put again as Canadians may not be allowed to cross into Egypt. While the government ignores calls for a ceasefire, Ahmed is struggling to survive, and today we have learned that not a single Canadian is on the evacuation list.
    Why is Canada not advocating for the lives of Canadians in Gaza, and when will the Liberals call for a ceasefire?
    Mr. Speaker, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire. Many Canadians are worried about their family and friends.
    Yesterday, we saw the first wave of foreign nationals leave. I want to reassure Canadians that we are in regular close contact with Egypt and Israel, to push for Canadians to leave as soon as possible. We continually try to reach all Canadians, permanent residents and their family members to give them the latest information. This is why we continue to call for humanitarian pauses to get Canadians out and to get humanitarian aid in, and for all hostages to be released.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, with the cost of living crisis, Canadians cannot afford the therapy they need. If they try for public care, wait-lists are months to years long. There is no postpandemic recovery plan to help people with their mental health. So many people are suffering in silence. This is not acceptable, especially when the Liberals have yet to deliver on the $4.5-billion mental health transfer. For a government that claims to champion mental health, it sure does delay and disappoint. Breaking this promise will cost lives.
    Will the Liberals change course and deliver the mental health transfer to get people the help they so urgently need?
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague's commitment to mental health is something I share deeply and profoundly. In his home province of British Columbia, the agreement we made to see, over the next three years, a historic amount of money flow to help in all aspects of health care, including mental health, was exceptionally important. We are committed to seeing it not only in British Columbia but also across the country.
     We have much more work to do in all aspects of mental health. This is going to require a whole-of-government approach, and it really requires all of us to think about how we can do everything we can to treat each other better and put mental health at the front of our workplaces and our lives.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, people in my riding of West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country and right across the country are grappling with the housing crisis. Now, more than ever, they need more affordable housing options like co-ops.
    In my home province of British Columbia, 275 co-ops provide safe and affordable housing to well over 15,000 people. We need governments to build on this by promoting and expanding co-op housing across the country, but earlier this week, when asked about social and co-op housing, the Conservative leader said, “We do not need a Soviet-style takeover of housing”.
    How does the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities respond to that?
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to affordable housing, the Conservative Party could not be more out of touch. Referring to co-ops as “Soviet-style” housing is a slap in the face to the quarter-million Canadians who live in homes like that. This is not the first time I have heard the Conservative leader criticize middle-class Canadians' living arrangements. Just this past summer, on a live video, he labelled a woman's home in Niagara a “shack”.
    Canadians need bold federal leadership to solve the housing crisis, and that is what we are going to deliver. The Conservative leader, who insults middle-class homes while he goes home to his own government-paid-for housing arrangement, simply does not get it. It is reckless behaviour. We will not stand for it.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, The B.C. NDP premier has demanded carbon tax fairness and equal treatment for British Columbians. The NDP member for North Island—Powell River votes with her Ottawa boss, the Prime Minister, punishing people in Campbell River struggling with high home heating costs. On Monday, we will vote for our common-sense plan to take the tax off all home heating for all Canadians for good.
    How does the carbon tax coalition work? Will the PM require the NDP member for North Island—Powell River to vote against the Conservative plan, or will she vote with us to keep the heat on and axe the tax?

  (1455)  

    Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member raised the Government of British Columbia. I had the opportunity to speak to my counterpart from British Columbia this morning. We will be engaging British Columbia in a codelivery arrangement to ensure that 10,000 British Columbia households that are on heating oil will get a free heat pump to get them off heating oil and reduce their costs on an ongoing basis.
    I would also say that affordability is also about the economy and jobs. I would say that what is happening at the natural resources committee with the obfuscation by the opposition is a shame. It is destroying jobs and economic opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador, and for Nova Scotia. Opposition members should be ashamed of their behaviour there.
    Mr. Speaker, I am never ashamed to help keep home heating costs down for all Canadians.
    After eight years, Canadians know that the flailing Prime Minister is not worth the cost. Seniors in Smithers should not be punished for heating their homes, and the B.C. NDP premier agrees. Common-sense Conservatives would axe the tax on home heating for every single Canadian.
    Does the NDP member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley have a choice on Monday's vote, or must he vote with his political master? Will the Prime Minister require that NDP member to vote his way, or is the member going to support our Conservative plan to keep the heat on and axe the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague should know that the 10,000 homes in British Columbia that actually utilize heating oil will, yes, have access to free heat pumps, because the Government of British Columbia is stepping up to work with the Government of Canada to ensure that this will be the case. This is addressing affordability concerns not just for the short term but also for the long term, and is doing so in a manner that is consistent with the government's commitment to fight climate change, a commitment shared by governments around the world and by every party in the House except the Conservative Party of Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, it is not a luxury for seniors, families and single-parent families to heat their homes, regardless of what type of fuel they use or what region of the country they are from. After eight years of the Prime Minister and a year and a half of the NDP-Liberal coalition, Canadians realize they are not worth the cost.
    On Monday, NDP members will have a choice to make: support their constituents who are suffering from energy poverty or support a panicking Prime Minister.
    Will the Prime Minister force the NDP members to support their coalition agreement, or, with what little dignity they have left, will they support the people they represent, to keep the tax off and the heat on?
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite mentioned families. Everything we do, at the heart of our actions on this side of the House, is focused on ensuring we are there for families. I look to building a national early learning and child care system as just one way we are looking to support families. Introducing affordable, high-quality and accessible child care across this country saves families hundreds of dollars each and every month. That is just one of the ways we are working to make life more affordable for Canadian families.
    Mr. Speaker, it has been eight long years, but on Monday, the NDP members have a chance to show whom they work for. Is it for the Prime Minister, who is just not worth the cost, or for Canadians, who want the tax off and the heat on? It is cold in Manitoba. It gets down to -40°C. It should not be a luxury for folks to keep the heat on. The member from Churchill and her NDP colleagues will have a chance on Monday to show whom they work for.
    On Monday, will the NDP members vote with the Liberals, or will they vote for Canadians, to axe the tax for all forms of home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member referred to his home province of Manitoba. The new government in Manitoba has reached out to the federal government to engage in a conversation about codelivery for the thousands of homes in Manitoba that actually use heating oil, to ensure they will be addressed in a thoughtful and affordable way. I congratulate the Government of Manitoba for being proactive on this important issue and for its continuing commitment to fighting climate change.

  (1500)  

[Translation]

Small Business

    Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has been warning us since June that hundreds of thousands of business could go bankrupt. The CFIB's updated numbers are no better. Right now, 220,000 businesses are in danger of going bankrupt if the federal government does not let them defer repayment of Canada emergency business account loans without losing the subsidy. Those 220,000 businesses say they have neither the cash nor the ability to borrow more to repay the loan.
    When will the government understand that these businesses may well go bankrupt if they are not given enough time to pay back their loans?
    Mr. Speaker, we did not abandon small businesses during the pandemic, nor did we abandon them after the pandemic.
    What did we do then? We created the Canada emergency business account loan to help small businesses keep their doors open. What are we doing now? We are offering more flexibility for them to repay their CEBA loans. What will we continue to do? We will continue to listen to and support small businesses across the country.
    Mr. Speaker, 18 days is not what I would call real flexibility. In my riding alone, 72 small and medium-sized businesses are in danger of bankruptcy if the federal government fails to act. These are family businesses that I know, business that these people have invested in for their entire lives. These businesses also employ hundreds of people. If the federal government does not stop taking a hard line with family businesses, hundreds of jobs could be lost in the riding of Terrebonne alone.
    Which Liberal minister, the Minister of Small Business or the Minister of Finance, is going to come with me to tell Natacha, Sylvain and Éric that because of so-called fiscal restraint, the government is going to leave them high and dry?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. I would remind her that over 900,000 businesses have been saved by our government. If we had not stepped in, these companies would have been shuttered.
    Today, we are offering a second loan repayment extension. We are offering more flexibility to refinance and have the loan forgiven. We will continue to be there for businesses.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, on Monday, all members of the House will be asked to vote on our motion to eliminate the carbon tax on all forms of home heating in a bid to bring financial relief to all Canadians. After eight years, the Liberals are going in the opposite direction and are refusing to press pause on the suffering of Canadians as a whole. Worse yet, the Bloc Québécois wants to step on the gas and drastically increase carbon taxes. Voting for the Bloc Québécois is costly.
    During their phone call, did the Prime Minister ask the Bloc Québécois leader to come to his rescue and vote against our motion on Monday?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct something that was said in the House earlier this week. The Governor of the Bank of Canada said that, each year, carbon pricing contributes 0.15% to inflation, an effect he describes as “quite small” from one year to the next. This idea that carbon pricing raises the price of everything is a myth, and the Governor of the Bank of Canada says as much.
    Mr. Speaker, he should take a closer look at his briefing book because it is 16% of the inflation rate that is affected by the carbon tax.
    I have another question. The NDP has only one member in Quebec, but it will be interesting to see whether he votes for our motion to make the pause on the carbon tax on home heating fair across the country. Will he stand with Canadians, or with the Liberals?
    Also, will the Bloc Québécois stand with the 972,000 Quebeckers who rely on food banks every month, or with the Liberals?
    After eight years of divisive and inflationary policies, will the Prime Minister allow the NDP and the Bloc Québécois to have a free vote on our motion on Monday?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is surprising to see the Conservatives quoting the Governor of the Bank of Canada when they are campaigning to fire him.
    However, this week, the governor confirmed that carbon pricing contributes only 0.15% to inflation and that reducing carbon pricing will have no long-term effect on inflation beyond this initial reduction. That is what the Governor of the Bank of Canada said.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is cold in northern Ontario. It is not a luxury for residents of northern Ontario to heat their homes.
     The Prime Minister has created two categories of Canadians: those who got a temporary pause on the carbon tax on home heating and those who did not. The Prime Minister has been clear that he opposes providing relief from his unaffordable carbon tax for all northern residents.
    My question is this: Will northern Ontario MPs be free to vote with us on our common-sense Conservative motion to take the tax off and keep the heat on for all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, as I have said a number of times, the issue around heating oil is that it is two to four times as expensive as natural gas as a heating source. It accelerated by 75% in 2022 alone. It is creating a significant challenge for folks. We have developed a program that will ensure that we are able to address that in a long-term, sustainable way through the implementation of free heat pumps. That program will apply in any province and territory that is willing to step up. It is certainly open to the Government of Ontario, and I look forward to discussions with my counterpart in that regard.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, we have worked very hard to ensure that Canada's unwavering support for Ukraine is shared by all parties in the House. Unfortunately, that support for Ukraine is not unanimous in the House. Conservatives are delaying Bill C-57, the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. Their MPs are calling the legislation “woke”.
    Most concerning is the Leader of the Conservative Party's silence on support for Ukraine. He has not called for military, humanitarian or financial support for Ukraine. He has refused to criticize Russia's war crimes. His silence speaks volumes.
    Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs reassure Canadians that, despite the Conservative leader's lack of support, the government will stand with the Ukrainian people until they win?
    Mr. Speaker, our support for Ukraine as it defends its freedoms, independence and democracy is unwavering. Since Russia began its unprovoked aggression, we have supported Ukraine with almost $10 billion in assistance.
    My colleague is a steadfast advocate for Ukraine, and what he raises is troubling. This is not the time for unnecessary delays of this important legislation. This is not the time for doublespeak from Conservatives and their leader. I ask the Leader of the Opposition to stop with the political games and stand with us to show Ukraine and Ukrainian Canadians that we are all united.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, the out-of-touch NDP-Liberal government does not even know what a rural community is.
     In a totally transparent effort to save seats in Atlantic Canada, Liberals will be giving a rural rebate to downtown residents of the city of Fredericton, but not to someone who commutes 100 kilometres a day for work from the actual rural community of St. Martins, which has a population of under 300.
    The Prime Minister is not worth the cost. Will the Liberals quadruple the tax on Atlantic Canadians, or will they vote with us to axe the tax on all forms of home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, it is hard to imagine a political party more opposed to the interests of my region of Atlantic Canada than the federal Conservative Party. It is painting a measure that has a national application as only benefiting one region just weeks after it signalled that it will not support the development of offshore renewable energy in my region.
    We are moving forward with a policy that is going to reduce the cost of home heating for many people across the country. We are going to put more money into the pockets of rural residents across this country as well. It is the right path forward. We are going to protect the environment and save households money at the same time.

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, what is hard to imagine is that, after eight years, the plummeting Prime Minister panicked last week with his carbon tax announcement. However, Nova Scotians who made the decision to convert to cleaner propane have been exempted from that announcement and will have to pay 61¢ a litre more on their home heating.
    The flip-flopping Prime Minister has finally admitted that he is not worth the cost. Will the Liberals admit that they are going to quadruple the carbon tax on Atlantic Canadians after the next election, or will they join the Conservatives on Monday and vote to axe the carbon tax on all home heating?
    Mr. Speaker, what I find fascinating is that I am unable to discern from the Conservative Party's rhetoric on this issue whether or not it supports our decision to invest in measures that are going to reduce pollution across Canada and put more money into the pockets of households by getting heat pumps to them.
    For awareness, this is the kind of measure that would save my neighbours thousands of dollars every year in reduced energy costs by creating a more efficient solution. It is going to have the same impact for people who use home heating oil right across the country.
    Therefore, I respond with this question for my hon. colleague: Does he support the measure that would save money for our residents?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, eight years of this utterly out-of-touch government conspiring with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois has made voting for the Bloc costly. Last week's announcement is a slap in Quebec's face. All Canadians need help, not just those in Atlantic Canada where the Liberals' polling numbers are taking a nosedive. Once again, dividing Canadians is what the Prime Minister does best.
    Will the Prime Minister ignore the Bloc members next Monday and vote in favour of our common-sense Conservative motion that will help all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, what exactly does common sense mean when several members of the opposition party are former members of the governments of Quebec, British Columbia and New Brunswick? Back then, those members spoke in favour of carbon pricing. Back then, they believed in climate change. They believed climate change was an important issue.
    About 200,000 families in Quebec use oil to heat their homes. Oil prices have gone up three times faster than natural gas prices. Oil is two to four times more expensive. We will work with every Canadian province to help them eliminate oil heating in the coming years.

[English]

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, as we continue on the path of reconciliation, there is more and more evidence showing that indigenous-led solutions lead to better, more sustainable outcomes and stronger, healthier communities. It is easy to see when it comes to mental wellness. For generations, indigenous peoples have known that wellness and health depended on holistic connections, as well as their relationships with each other and with culture. By contrast, our narrow, one-size-fits-all, western approach has left far too many indigenous people by the wayside.
    What is the government doing to make sure indigenous-led models of wellness are reaching the people who need them?
    Mr. Speaker, I am so grateful to indigenous leaders who are working so hard on blending traditional and western ways of healing. At the second annual National Summit on Indigenous Mental Wellness, people gathered to share successful stories about programs that are designed by indigenous people for indigenous people. From the Ahousaht key-note speech to the Pimishka project in northern Quebec, healing is happening, and we can all learn from the wisdom of indigenous partners. I thank every participant for sharing their knowledge.

Taxation

    Mr. Speaker, a new study found that big Canadian companies stashed away $120 billion in Luxembourg to avoid paying their taxes. This was while working-class Canadians and those on fixed incomes play by the rules and are falling further and further behind.
    This is the result of Liberal and Conservative governments creating a tax code that supports the wealthy not paying their taxes, and it is costing Canadians billions of dollars that could go to health care, housing or indigenous communities. When will the government finally crack down on wealthy tax cheats and make sure they pay their fair share?

  (1515)  

    Mr. Speaker, everyone must contribute their fair share to financing public services. Contrary to the Conservative leader, who demonizes the income tax and wants the rich to pay less, we are trying to redouble our efforts so that they pay and do not use loopholes to avoid this responsibility. The CRA has hired experts and continues to use sophisticated tools to better detect and deal with the most serious cases of noncompliance. This government really does care.

Foreign Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, as we have gathered here for the last hour or so of question period, I have wanted to engage in the debate and talk about the climate crisis, but all I can think about is that, while we are sitting here in such safety and security, the children of Gaza are terrorized and terrified. Children in Israel remain terrorized and terrified. We need a ceasefire, and we need it now.
    I want the Government of Canada, which has always stood for peace and for solutions to conflicts that do not involve the bombing of civilians, which is a war crime in itself, to please, the government or any minister, stand up to say right now that Canada will call for a ceasefire on both sides.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her compassion. We have seen the horrific scenes of unspeakable violence of Hamas's abhorrent terrorism, and we unequivocally condemn the attack. The price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of Palestinian civilians. What is unfolding in Gaza is a human tragedy. The Minister of Foreign Affairs continues to engage in efforts to help Canadians.
    We need humanitarian pauses, and Canadians must be allowed to leave Gaza. More humanitarian aid needs to get in, and all hostages must be released.

Royal Assent

[Royal Assent]

[English]

    I have the honour to inform the House that a communication has been received as follows:
    Rideau Hall
    Ottawa
    November 1, 2023
    Mr. Speaker,
     I have the honour to inform you that the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, Governor General of Canada, signified royal assent by written declaration to the bill listed in the Schedule to this letter on the 1st day of November, 2023, at 4:12 p.m.
    Yours sincerely,
    Maia Welbourne
    Acting Secretary to the Governor General

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During question period, the member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles heckled us by saying that the carbon tax affected the price on pollution in Quebec.
    I have a document that shows the contrary. I seek unanimous consent to table it.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's request will please say nay.
     Some hon. members: Nay.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In light of some clear misunderstandings in question period, I would request the unanimous consent of the House to table the special permit given by the Liberal government to Siemens to get around sanctions, that the government gave the permit to facilitate Russia selling energy to Germany instead of supporting Canadian oil and gas. That was in support of Ukraine. I would like to table the document.

  (1520)  

    Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to table the document?
    Some hon. members: No.
    Mr. Speaker, on a separate point of order, there was some discussion in the House as to the impact of the carbon tax.
    The Governor of the Bank of Canada clearly said at finance committee that it was 16%. I would like the unanimous consent of the House to table documents showing that.
    Regrettably, before the member finished making his request for unanimous consent, I heard noes from the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We have witnessed this again today. Am I correct in my assumption that if a member is rising and asking for unanimous consent after question period, that the member seek consultation. Could you just provide some clarity on that?
    I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for raising this point. As all members are now experienced members, they would know that the Chair has asked many times, that when they do rise to seek unanimous consent, that they make every effort to please consult with colleagues in other parties, certainly the whips or the House leaders, so we can ensure we do not the waste the time of the House and of all hon. members.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I want to respond to what my colleague from Winnipeg North said.
    It is the custom and tradition of the House that, after question period, members raise points of order on topics mentioned during question period. That is the proper time for that. My colleague did exactly that. He mentioned an aspect of question period. He wanted to seek the unanimous consent of the House to support what was said during question period. That is the tradition. That is what we have been doing since I have been here and, I assume, for many years before that.
    I thank the hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable.
    He is right. However, I encourage members not to waste members' time. I am very patient. I can stay here a long time, but I do not want to waste members' time. I encourage members to always seek unanimous consent before rising in the House.

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise for this very exciting time of the week, when I get to ask the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons the Thursday question.
    I have a burning question that I cannot wait to ask. In addition to knowing the government's schedule for tomorrow and next week, I would like to know whether oral question period on Wednesday will be held as it has been for the past few years, at least since the Prime Minister was elected, with the Prime Minister answering all the questions.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the Thursday question.

[English]

    Tomorrow, we will continue with second reading of Bill C-57, the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement implementation act.
    Next week, our priority will be given to Bill C-34 concerning the Canada Investment Act; Bill S-9, the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act; and Bill C-52 to enact the air transportation accountability act.
    Finally, next Tuesday shall be an allotted day.

  (1525)  

[Translation]

Points of Order

Oral Questions  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

[English]

    On October 18, you took the opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to make quite a detailed statement on the matter of order and decorum in the House. In that statement you indicated that “order and decorum are signs of respect for each other and for the institution”. You further stated that the lack of order and decorum were most prominent during daily question period.
     On that day, Mr. Speaker, you raised a number of concerns, from incendiary language to reference to the absence of members to heckling and personal attacks. One matter that was not discussed was the need to maintain question period for what it is: a tool for opposition parties and for individual members to hold the government to account.
    As House of Commons Procedure and Practice states:
...time is set aside almost exclusively for the opposition parties to confront the government and hold it accountable for its actions, and to highlight the perceived inadequacies of the government.
    Speaker Bosley, in 1986, outlined a number of principles, including stating that:
    While there may be other purposes and ambitions involved in Question Period, its primary purpose must be the seeking of information from the government and calling the government to account for its actions.
    The book continues in stating that when recognized in question period, a member should, “ask a question, be brief, seek information and ask a question that is within the administrative responsibility of the government or of the individual Minister addressed.” This is a key point, Mr. Speaker, as I am sure you will understand.
     Clearly, the primary purpose of question period is to hold the government to account.
     However, we have seen question period used in recent days and weeks, not to hold the government to account but to ask questions of individual members, in some cases government backbenchers and in other cases members from other opposition parties. As was previously the case, I would submit that such tactics should be considered out of order and not allowed.
    I will quote extensively from some of the decisions that have been rendered by a previous Speaker who is now the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle.

[Translation]

    In that regard, here is what the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, when he was the Speaker, had to say in his January 28, 2014, ruling, and I quote:
     It is for similar reasons that questions that concern...the actions...of other members, risk being ruled out of order....[A]s Speaker Milliken stated in a ruling on June 14, 2010, found in Debates at page 3778, “...the use of [...] preambles to questions to attack other members does not provide those targeted with an opportunity to respond or deal directly with such attacks.” Thus, unless a link to the administrative responsibilities of the government can be established early in the question to justify them, such questions can be and indeed have been ruled out of order by successive Speakers.

[English]

    In the same ruling, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, who knows the House well, also said:
...we have witnessed a growing trend: we hear preambles to questions that go on at some length to criticize the position, statements, or actions of other parties, Members from other parties, and in some cases even private citizens before concluding with a brief question about the Government’s policies.
    What we have, therefore, is an example of a hybrid question, one in which the preamble is on a subject that has nothing to do with the administrative responsibility of the Government but which concludes in the final five or ten seconds with a query that in a technical sense manages to relate to the Government’s administrative responsibilities.

[Translation]

...since members have very little time to pose their questions and the Chair has even less time to make decisions about their admissibility, it would be helpful if the link to the administrative responsibility of the government were made as quickly as possible.

  (1530)  

[English]

     Accordingly, these kinds of questions will continue to risk being ruled out of order and members should take care to establish the link to government responsibility as quickly as possible.
    That was said by the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle when he was Speaker of the House.
    The MP for Regina—Qu'Appelle, as Speaker, concluded with this:
    In conclusion, I will continue to rule questions out of order that do not establish a direct link to the administrative responsibilities of the government. In the same sense, so-called hybrid questions will also continue to risk being ruled out of order when this link is not quickly demonstrated. Members should take care when formulating their questions and establish this link as soon as possible in posing their questions to ensure that the Chair does not rule what may be a legitimate question out of order.
     On March 24, 2014, the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle cut off two questions by the official opposition. I was in the House at the time. In response to a point of order raised by myself as House leader of the official opposition, he ruled:
    ...I raised the concern about questions that had no obvious link to government business, and informed members that they would run the risk of having their questions cut off unless that link was established early on in the question.
    At the time I stood up to stop the members, I had not heard that link. If they feel they have a link to government business, I look forward with eagerness to their attempt to establish that, but as I heard it, there was no such link to the direct administrative responsibility of government. As relevant as it might be to public interest or to members, there has to be that established link to the administrative role of government.
    Mr. Speaker, I do want to take this opportunity to commend you for your efforts to address matters of order and decorum. New Democrats are pledged to work together with you on this matter. We would, however, like to implore you, as part of this work, to ensure that question period remains a tool for keeping the government accountable. Parliamentarians, and Parliament as a whole, are not well served if that mandate expands, as we have seen this week, to matters that are definitely not within the administrative purview of the government.
    I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to consider this point of order and to use the tools the House has equipped you with to ensure that the kinds of questions we have heard this week, which are clearly out of order, are ruled as such before the question is finished.
     Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your attention.
    I thank the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby for raising this point of order. The member brought up a nuanced argument, one that I will consider and come back to the House on.
     I would like to note that the member did note that although the question would start off as a hybrid question that would not refer to the administrative matters of the House, near the end of the question it would come back to it. There were, of course, members of the government who were willing to stand to answer those questions.
    I do appreciate the carefulness of the member in bringing up this issue and I will come back to the House with a ruling on that.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, to help you in your deliberations, I would like to remind you that all the questions asked by an opposition member were addressed to a government member or a member of the government coalition, given that we know that the Liberals and the NDP have signed an agreement of mutual understanding and support.
    It is entirely reasonable for us to refer to this agreement and to potential joint decisions when we ask the government questions, given that we know that the NDP will ultimately have to support the government under this agreement. It is only right that, when we ask our questions, we refer to the party that has formed a coalition with the government.
    I would like to advise you that we will surely have more to add on this point over the next few days.

  (1535)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I just want to point out that notwithstanding the last comment by my Conservative colleague, there is not a single Westminster parliamentary system that follows what he outlined.
    Mr. Speaker, I think this is an important pedagogical opportunity, because the Conservatives do not seem to understand what a coalition is in a Westminster parliamentary system. It has come to the point where it is causing a considerable amount of disorder, including interfering with the proper terms of question period.
    A coalition government is where more than one party is represented in cabinet. That would mean that a member of the New Democratic Party would be eligible in question period to answer for the actions of the NDP. There is no universe in which any Liberal gives answers on behalf of New Democrats. It is why we are up asking questions in question period every day of the government and not mincing words. The idea that we are in a governing coalition and somehow Liberals get to answer for our actions is completely unacceptable.
    It has come to the point that it is making a mockery of question period, which Conservatives get up and say is a sanctity in this place. While I am inclined to agree that question period is one of the more important moments in the parliamentary day, the fact of the matter is that if they are going to talk about the sanctity of Parliament, they should bother to learn the rules.
    I am hoping that we can close this matter. I have heard from all members of the House, and I think I have a pretty full understanding of the issues raised. I would like to thank all members who participated.
    I thank the member for New Westminster—Burnaby, and I will get back to the House. Unless there is a pressing and novel point, I suggest that we close this subject.
    The member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, in light of the comments that were just made by my NDP colleague, I note there is a distinct difference between a supply and confidence agreement and a coalition. We just have to look at some of the parliamentary systems that take place in Europe, for example, where genuine coalitions are formed. To the member's point, they end up with a government that is representative of various parties. That is not the case here, and I want to support my NDP colleague's comments with that.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax Pause on Home Heating  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, it is obviously an honour to speak here today.
    After eight years of this costly NDP-Liberal coalition, Canadians are facing the worst affordability crisis in decades. This crisis is driven by out-of-control government spending, which has caused the highest inflation in 40 years. That is why the Leader of the Conservative Party has proposed the common-sense motion we are debating here today. Here is the motion: “That, given that the government has announced a ‘temporary, three-year pause’ to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.”
    This is a reasonable, common-sense and fair-minded motion. It is what we will be voting on in this House on Monday. The Prime Minister gave to some and now he needs to give to all.
    Let us be clear about this. The Conservatives are proposing a national common-sense solution that, if adopted today, will provide a real cost reduction for all Canadians. This is actually a very easy fix. A simple majority of MPs is all that is needed, and the home heating carbon tax would be removed. Unfortunately for all Canadians, we know that the NDP and the Liberals in this chamber have it in their minds to make life as unaffordable for Canadians as possible.
    I think it is fair to say that everybody understands that the carbon tax is making life more expensive. It is especially making food more expensive. The NDP-Liberal government is taxing the farmer who grows the food, the trucker who brings the food to us and the processor and any other business that touches that food. The end result is that food costs more, 6% more in just September.
    Members should not just trust my math. Last week, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklem, confirmed this. He said that if the carbon tax were eliminated, it would lower inflation by 0.6%. Let us think about that. The latest inflation rate was 3.8%. If the carbon tax were eliminated, it would get us one-third of the way to the target rate of 2%, and interest rates could start coming down. Instead, this cold-hearted NDP-Liberal government wants to keep prices high for all Canadians.
    Before I get into how the NDP-Liberals pit one region of Canada against another, perhaps I should spell out for everyone just how harmful the carbon tax actually is. In Saskatchewan, two-fifths of our electricity comes from natural gas, two-fifths from coal and the balance from other sources, so 80% of our electricity is generated from fossil fuels extracted from the ground. Our home heating comes from that same natural gas extracted from the ground. Very few people use oil to heat homes in Saskatchewan. Those are the facts.
    Now here is the rub, or should I say the great political shell game that the NDP-Liberals are pulling on Canadians, specifically the good folks of Saskatchewan. It is called the carbon tax, and it is not just one carbon tax; no, that would be too easy. It is not just the second carbon tax, which came into effect on April Fool's Day of this year. There is also a third carbon tax called the clean energy regulations, specifically aimed at Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Minister of Environment unveiled it this past summer to force the shutdown of our natural gas and coal electrical power plants. As I said, 80% of our energy is generated by those two forms of energy, and the NDP-Liberal Minister of Environment has ordered that our power plants be shut down. All of this, of course, is supported by the NDP.
    Let me make this clear. Here is the NDP plan for the people of Saskatoon West. The original carbon tax was strike one. The second carbon tax was strike two. The shutdown of 80% of electrical generation in Saskatchewan is strike three.
    Today's debate is not about electricity. It is about heating our homes and how we do that. How will the carbon tax affect that? First off, last week, the Prime Minister made an announcement that his NDP-Liberal coalition will be removing the carbon tax from home heating oil. He did this for the explicit purpose of winning votes in Atlantic Canada.
    How do we know that? First, at his announcement, he was surrounded by every single Atlantic Liberal member of Parliament. Second, one of his cabinet ministers from Newfoundland said as much to CTV on the weekend, when she chastised Alberta and Saskatchewan for not electing Liberal MPs. Her claim was that if a riding did not vote Liberal, the Prime Minister does not care about them. Therefore, no carbon tax break for natural gas home heating in Saskatchewan. It is mostly Atlantic Canadians who use oil to heat their homes. Back on the Prairies, we use much greener natural gas to heat our homes.
    This is how the Liberals are using the carbon tax to pit one region of the country against another for political advantage. In Saskatchewan, we do not take this lying down. Saskatchewan has repeatedly been treated as a poor cousin when it comes to environmental policy, which is ludicrous because we care more than anyone about our environment.

  (1540)  

    Our farmers depend on a healthy environment to make a living. They have been adopting green practices for decades, long before the government even cared, and do not need government handouts to accomplish this. They did this on their own because it makes sense, and they continue to make the best decisions for their farms and, by extension, for the environment. Let us not forget about the vast amounts of carbon stored in Saskatchewan, on our farms, in our forests or in our carbon capture and storage projects.
    This mistreatment and unfairness is very frustrating and only adds costs to the industries and people of Saskatchewan. My Saskatchewan colleagues and I have been working hard to fight against this inequity from Ottawa, and so has the premier. This NDP-Liberal carbon tax plan that rewards Atlantic Canada and penalizes Saskatchewan definitely needed a response.
    Let me tell the House what the premier has said in response to all of this. He has promised to have our natural gas supplier, SaskEnergy, stop collecting the carbon tax on home heating in my province. This will level the playing field with Atlantic Canada. Here is what he said said about this:
    As premier, it's my job to ensure Saskatchewan residents are treated fairly and equally with our fellow Canadians in other parts of the country.... [I]t's the federal government that has created two classes of taxpayers by providing an exemption for heating oil, an exemption that really only applies in one part of the country and effectively excludes Saskatchewan.
    Lest anyone thinks this is just a bluff, I can report that only a few hours ago in the Saskatchewan legislature, the following motion passed. Let me read it:
    That this Assembly calls on all Members of Parliament to support the Opposition Motion being debated November 2nd, 2023 in the House of Commons that reads as follows:
    “That, given that the government has announced a 'temporary, three-year pause' to the federal carbon tax on home heating oil, the House call on the government to extend that pause to all forms of home heating.”
    Not only did this motion pass, but it passed unanimously. Let me break that down. That means Saskatchewan Party MLAs voted in favour of this. It also means that NDP MLAs voted unanimously in favour.
    Will the NDP in this House rise to the challenge and choose common sense over political games? I am not optimistic. Here in Ottawa, the spineless and directionless NDP supports the Liberals every single time. The Liberals say to jump and the NDP asks how high. I encourage them to take a cue from their provincial brothers and sisters and support our motion to pause the carbon tax on all forms of home heating.
    After eight years of the Liberal government, we know that one of its favourite tools is division, and this carbon tax policy change is a great example. When the going gets tough, the Prime Minister divides. Why does he do this? It is to distract and to pit one person against the other. He divides by race, by sexuality, by vaccine status and now by region because he knows that when Canadians are arguing with each other, they do not notice what the government is doing. He does not care if it tears the country apart because this gives the NDP-Liberal coalition the ability to get away with so many things: corruption, giving money to their friends and bad legislation. This list goes on and on of all the scandals that have happened.
    This “gift” to Atlantic Canada is a clear attempt to buy votes, but Atlantic Canadians are not fooled by these tricks. They know that, heaven forbid, if the Liberal government were to be re-elected, it would quickly end the temporary pause and continue on its path to quadruple the carbon tax. The Prime Minister may have fooled Canadians once or twice, but we will not be fooled anymore.
    I know what I have said today is hard for MPs of the NDP-Liberal coalition government to hear. The truth is that after eight years of the NDP-Liberal government, it has, first, spiralled government spending out of control; second, borrowed ridiculous amounts of money that has doubled our national debt in only three years; third, endlessly printed money, which causes inflation, as clearly confirmed by the Bank of Canada; fourth, drastically raised interest rates, causing mortgage payments and rent to soar uncontrollably; and fifth, to top that off, told us to eat cake as it raises taxes in the form of multiple carbon taxes.
    We cannot afford this costly coalition. We need a government that will scrap the carbon tax and balance the budget to ease inflation and lower interest rates. It is time for Canadians to elect a common-sense Conservative government. Let us bring it home.

  (1545)  

    Madam Speaker, I am curious. The member is from Saskatchewan, so when his constituents call him to ask about home heating oil and why Atlantic Canada will have the price on pollution removed from it, and solely Atlantic Canada because that is the way Conservatives are portraying it, I am wondering if he corrects them and says, no, it is for all people in Canada who use oil to heat their homes. As a matter of fact, he said the majority were in Atlantic Canada. That is not true. There are twice as many people in the province of Ontario heating with oil who will benefit from this than there are in Atlantic Canada.
    The question is very simple: Does he try to correct the policy and tell people the reality of it, or does he perpetuate the falsehoods that Conservatives are trying to distribute among the population?
    Madam Speaker, rather than perpetuating falsehoods, in reality, I just want to do a bit of math for the hon. member.
    The government has said that it is going to give $10,000 to provide heat pumps. I am not sure if it has actually done this math. By my calculations, there are probably 400,000 homes in Atlantic Canada that will need heat pumps, and 400,000 times 10,000 is $4 billion.
    That is just in Atlantic Canada. There are needs across the country as well.
    One thing that has not been talked about in this whole proposal by the government is the actual cost of this heat pump subsidy. It is potentially billions of dollars, and nobody has talked about that. I am not sure if they even know that.
    I just wanted to get that on the record and maybe invite them to do a little bit of homework on that side of the page.

  (1550)  

    Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister was wrong to introduce regional divisiveness into Canada's carbon pricing system, but he was not the first person to do that. Actually, the Conservatives have been talking about taking off the carbon tax as though it would save every Canadian money, when it surely would not.
    All sorts of provinces have their own carbon pricing scheme, and the federal backstop does not apply there.
    He talks about an NDP plan, but he did not mention anything to do with our plan, which was to take GST off home heating. Why would we do that? We have an established tradition of not charging GST on essentials. GST applies everywhere in the country, which means every Canadian would get a break. Moreover, it would apply to all forms of home heating, including when people heat their homes with electricity.
    When we presented an amendment last year to one of their carbon tax motions, they said no. When we presented a motion today to take the GST off in parts of the country where the federal carbon tax does not apply, they said no.
    Who is practising regional divisions, and why did he fail to mention the actual NDP plan, which has nothing to do with what the Liberals have proposed?
    Madam Speaker, his NDP brothers and sisters in Saskatchewan voted unanimously to support this measure in the House when we vote on it on Monday.
    I am curious to know if the NDP in Ottawa will actually listen and take the advice of their very good brothers and sisters in Saskatchewan. They are very close, yet I am not convinced that they are going to listen to them.
    This is something that NDP members in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are all saying needs to change. I just want to put a bug in his ear and that of the whole NDP here.
    Will they support this motion, as their brothers and sisters have in Saskatchewan?
    An hon. member: B.C. has its own carbon tax. You know that. Say it out loud.
    If an hon. member has questions, they can wait for questions and comments.
    The hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona.
    Madam Speaker, the member mentioned B.C. He knows full well that B.C. has its own carbon tax. It was introduced by the Liberal-cum-Conservative government in B.C., just as there have been carbon taxes imposed by Conservative governments elsewhere in the world. What a bunch of BS that is, just as talking about an NDP-Liberal coalition is BS.
    We just had a point of order before he got up to give his speech. He sat through the whole bloody thing.
    If he wants to talk about the truth, he could start by telling some.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have a great deal of respect for my colleague from Elmwood—Transcona, but using the acronym “BS” is definitely not parliamentary.
    Is the hon. member rising to apologize for saying “BS”?
    Madam Speaker, I do apologize for using that term. I forgot how difficult it can be to call a spade a spade in this place.
    I just want to remind members to be careful about the words that they use in the House. We need to be respectful.
    The hon. member for Saskatoon West.
    Madam Speaker, well, let us call a spade a spade. Every single time the Liberal masters ask the NDP members in the House to do something, they do it. They vote with the government every time. We have a strong NDP-Liberal coalition.
    An hon. member: Motion No. 79. Talk about that one.
    The hon. member has had an opportunity to provide input. If he has more input, he should wait until the proper moment.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Madam Speaker, despite the fact that it may have been heckling, the member's contribution was so good that I think we should have made an exception on this one occasion.
    I find it interesting that the member for Saskatoon West said, “Let us call a spade a spade”, right after he did not answer a single question he was asked. He just pivoted and went to a completely different place. I asked him about something in his speech, and rather than address the question, he totally went off and started talking about heat pumps, which I did not even hear him talk about in his speech.
    This just goes to the point that I will be making in my comments, which is the fact that this is all about Conservative hypocrisy. Before I go any further, I will indicate that I will be sharing my time with the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.
    I find it very fascinating. At the heart of this is the issue of the price on pollution, and the reason I find it so difficult is that I feel as though, once again, it is Groundhog Day. I have given a similar speech many times before. I am talking about the same hypocrisy that comes from Conservatives in the House. What we repeatedly see is Conservative after Conservative standing up against a policy that they all ran on; some of them did so not once, but twice. Some members in here, 19 members, who ran and were elected in the 2008 election and are still here today, ran cap and trade.
    Cap and trade is just another form of pricing pollution; it is just done slightly differently. However, the Conservatives ran on it. Again, of course, just in the most recent election, they ran under Erin O'Toole as their leader with their signature platform titled “The Man with the Plan”. They talked about how they were going to put a price on pollution, but rather than just giving the money back to Canadians, which is what we are doing, they would put the money into a special carbon savings account. Then, depending on how much a person grew that account, they could go out and qualify for different rewards. I imagine there would be some form of catalogue, and people would look through it, just as one would with Air Miles. Depending on how much they had built up in that carbon fund, they could get some really good prizes. Maybe they could get a really nice bicycle or something. However, if they had not spent a lot and had not built up a lot in that carbon account, they might get a smaller prize as a result.
    Despite the fact that it would have been pricing pollution, the problem with that plan is that it actually incentivized people to use carbon and have a larger carbon footprint. The larger the carbon footprint a person had, the more credits they would build into this carbon account, so they could get even better prizes at the end. Their plan was immensely flawed, and our party, and all parties in this House, would never support something like that.
    That is what they ran on most recently, in 2021. In 2008, 18 of them also ran on “The True North Strong and Free: Stephen Harper's plan for Canadians”. In that, as I previously mentioned, Stephen Harper outlined how his newly formed government, if elected, would bring in cap and trade. It was revolutionary at the time, at least for North America, because it was just a handful of states in the United States; Ontario, which came along a bit after that; and Quebec, which had also signed on, that were part of this North American version of cap and trade among a number of jurisdictions.
    Did Stephen Harper actually implement that and put in that price on pollution? No, he did not. He completely abandoned it once he had the opportunity. However, the point is that 19 Conservatives who currently sit on that side of the House ran on that in 2008.

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    The hypocrisy is even better than that, because a number of the Conservative members sitting in the House right now actually sat previously in legislatures that had adopted pricing pollution. To take it a step further, they have comments in the official records of those legislatures, where they actually commit to pricing pollution.
    There are many options, but I will start with the member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, now a Conservative member of Parliament in this federal House. He said, while sitting in the provincial legislature in B.C.:
    In 2008, our government made the decision to implement a tax on carbon. It was designed to help British Columbia reduce greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time be fair to hard-working families.
     A Conservative member said that, which is literally what we are saying.
    We did not even come up with that material; the member for Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge did. He ran on it. He said that in the provincial legislature. He also went on to say:
    I know that the member for Vancouver-Kensington made a comment about it and tried to blame it on the federal government, as far as revenue neutrality. Well, the fact of the matter is that we have the option of how we wanted to bring this about, as far as a carbon tax. Our policy—it's law—is to put it back into the pockets of taxpayers.
    This is not a Liberal saying this; it is a current sitting member of the House in the Conservative Party who said this. Now, suddenly, he can just blindly abandon his values and principles, in terms of how he at least felt while in the provincial legislature, to follow the lead of the alt-right leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. That is the reality of what is going on.
    I am always really amazed when Conservatives try to suggest that Liberals are gagged in terms of their ability to speak, when example after example comes from that side of the House.
    It does not end there. There were two other members who were in the Quebec legislature and voted in favour of pricing pollution: the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent and the member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis. Both of them sat in the provincial legislature and voted in favour and helped adopt pricing pollution in Quebec.
    Now they suddenly show up here at the federal level and act as though pricing pollution is the absolute worst thing one could do. How is it possible that they can be so hypocritical? A lot of people can say things about me, but I am very consistent as it relates to my position on pricing pollution; I have been from the beginning.
    I want to raise something else, and this is my final point about Conservative hypocrisy. It actually involves you, Madam Speaker, and I would like to tell members what happened in this House back on October 20, 2022. You were presiding, Madam Speaker, and there was an opposition day motion from the Conservatives.
    Our NDP colleagues tried to put forward a motion to build on to the motion the Conservatives had on the floor; it would basically have eliminated the GST from home heating sources. It did not even require a vote or anything. All the mover of the motion needed to do was accept it, and then it would have carried.
    Madam Speaker, you said:
     It is my duty to inform hon. members that an amendment to an opposition motion may be moved only with the consent of the sponsor of the motion, or in the case that he or she is not present, consent may be given or denied by the House leader, the deputy House leader, the whip or the deputy whip of the sponsor's party.
    The hon. member does not have the support of the opposition; therefore, the amendment cannot be accepted.
    Conservatives are just playing games with this. They did not want that to be adopted, because if it did get adopted, they would not get the political ammunition they are looking for to hold over the NDP and everybody else.
    This hypocrisy was pointed out by both the parliamentary secretary to the House leader and the NDP, who have been rising on it all day long. To make matters even worse, today, the member for Timmins—James Bay again tried to amend this motion to add “and to eliminate the GST on home heating in provinces where no federal carbon tax is in place.”
    The member for Battle River—Crowfoot said no; basically, it was rejected once again. One is left wondering why. Why are Conservatives acting this way? Are they really interested in the best interests of Canadians, or is this all just for political gain?

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    Madam Speaker, why is it that only a chosen few of the Liberal-NDP coalition are up speaking today? It is a very chosen few, much like this movement it has to only choose a few who will benefit from this carbon tax relief. We do not see the member for Calgary Skyview or members from Atlantic Canada and northern Saskatchewan speaking today. Why is it that only a chosen few are getting up to speak?

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    Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader will be speaking shortly. He is from the Prairies.
    The member makes this suggestion that only a chosen few are speaking on this measure, and then he says—
    Mr. Dan Mazier: The chosen one.
    Order. I just want to remind members that if they have something to contribute to wait until it is time to make that contribution. There will be time for questions and comments again, but the hon. deputy government House leader has the floor right now.
    The hon. deputy government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, I hit a nerve.
    The member for Kings—Hants spoke earlier to this issue. He is from Atlantic Canada.
    I can guarantee one thing. We will fill all of our spots, unlike when we had a debate earlier about India potentially being involved in the assassination of a Canadian. Do members remember that? Not a single Conservative stood up to speak. Every single Liberal spot today will be filled with a Liberal speaking.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for