HANSARD: GST Exemption to existing co-op and social housing projects

House of Commons Hansard #254 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session
Affordable Housing and Groceries Act
Government Orders
November 23rd, 2023 / 9:50 p.m.

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP got the government to include co-ops in the GST exemption. We are also calling on it to apply the GST exemption to existing co-operatives and social housing projects that may otherwise become unviable, in which case we would lose those units. Will the member support the NDP's call to apply the GST exemption to existing social housing and co-ops?

Michael Coteau Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, it takes many of us in this room to build good strategies and good plans to put in place to really help Canadians.

The government believes in what the member just said with respect to co-operatives. We believe in co-operatives, and we believe that they are a pathway for the future to build more affordability. We will continue to work with the NDP and any member of the House, even Conservatives, if they would like to support co-ops. However, I think it was the leader of the Conservatives who called co-ops Soviet-style housing. I was a bit offended, because my mother lived in a co-op. I just want to make sure that, at the end of the day, we can all work together to do what is best for every citizen in this country.

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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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