HANSARD: In response to Bloc MP's offensive comment

Debates of April 30th, 2024
House of Commons Hansard #305 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session
Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The BudgetGovernment Orders

April 30th, 2024 / 1:35 p.m.

 

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC
NDP

Madam Speaker, the member spoke about taxation and the issue around taxes. What I do not see in budget 2024 is a windfall tax, an excessive profit tax, for example. We know there is a high rate of inflation and people are struggling with food prices. We also see a free pass being given to the corporate sector. In fact, the Conservatives and Liberals have aided and abetted this practice and refused to increase the corporate tax rate. If the government increased it to 15% to 20%, that would bring $16 billion a year into the treasury to support a variety of different measures.

Would the member call for the government to do what is right for all Canadians, which is to put forward an excessive profit tax?

 



Jean-Denis Garon Mirabel, QC
Bloc

Madam Speaker, it is funny. The way the New Democrats talk, one would think that the revenue they want to find would be used to buy virtue.

Every dollar that the NDP is calling for in new taxes will be used to buy a new shoe to better walk all over Quebec, to implement programs that infringe on Quebec's jurisdictions, including health and education, lunch, dental insurance and pharmacare programs. I get the feeling that the member does not understand what the Constitution is all about.

Sadly, I did not bring a copy of the Constitution in both official languages, because otherwise I would have tabled it, after highlighting section 92, which clearly states what the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces are. That way my colleague could read up on that.

I am not sure what I think about these additional revenues to walk all over Quebec.

An hon. member

Oh, oh!

 

Jean-Denis Garon Mirabel, QC
Bloc

Madam Speaker, I am rising on a point of order.

I understand that people are not always happy with what is said in Parliament. That is the nature of our work. However, I just heard the member use the word “disgusting” after my speech. I think that is unacceptable and that she should withdraw her comment.

 

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Carol Hughes
NDP

I did not hear what was said. Of course, we can review the tape to see whether it was recorded.

The hon. member for Vancouver East.

 

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC
NDP

Madam Speaker, I do find it offensive for the member to suggest that I do not know about the Constitution. I am a Canadian. I have read the Constitution, and I am proud of the Constitution, and to suggest that I do not know about it—

 

 

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Carol Hughes
NDP

That is a point of debate. I will certainly ask that we review the tape to see what was actually said, because I did not hear it from this end. I will certainly take it from here.

On another point of order, the hon. member for Drummond.

 

Martin Champoux Drummond, QC
Bloc

Madam Speaker, I do understand that what my colleague from Mirabel was saying may have been offensive to the member. However, I think it was entirely within parliamentary standards to say that a member does not seem to understand provincial jurisdictions.

That being said, when the member for Vancouver said the word “disgusting”, her microphone was off. That is what my colleague from Mirabel's point of order was about. My colleague from Vancouver, standing up to defend her point, repeated the word “disgusting”. I think the very nature of the word should be the subject of this debate.

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Carol Hughes
NDP

As I said, I did not really hear the word. I understand what the member is saying. If that is the word that was used, I want to ensure that people are using words that are acceptable in the House. I can ask the hon. member to withdraw that word, and we can continue the debate.

I would ask the hon. member for Vancouver East if she is willing to take back the word she had used.

The hon. member for Vancouver East.

 

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC
NDP

Madam Speaker, no, because I do find it offensive for someone to suggest that I do not know anything about the Constitution. I think it is patronizing to suggest that. I think that in suggesting that, it is also disgusting to me.

 

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Carol Hughes
NDP

I want to remind members to be extremely careful. I will have the tape reviewed just to see how the word was used.

Again, I would remind members to be very careful with the words being said. I do not know the context. I understand what the word was, but I do not know if it was used in the term that the member was disgusting or whether it was used in the term of what he was proposing was disgusting. I will listen to what was said and then I will come back to the House.

The hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.

 

Rhéal Fortin Rivière-du-Nord, QC
Bloc

Madam Speaker, with all due respect, I do not think that it is necessary to listen to the recordings because we all heard the member repeat the word three times.

The question is whether or not, in your opinion, the word “disgusting” is acceptable in the House. If it is unacceptable, then you must take immediate action. Every time you give the member the opportunity to explain herself, she says, rightly or wrongly, that it is up to you to decide, that that is what she said, that she believed it and that it was appropriate in the circumstances.

I would ask you to take what she said and decide whether in your opinion it is acceptable in the House for someone to say that what they are hearing is “disgusting” or if it is unacceptable—

 

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Carol Hughes
NDP

I thank the hon. member and the other members who made interventions.

The word in and of itself is not unacceptable. What matters is the way the word is used. As I said, using that word to describe an event is not the same as using that word to talk about an individual. That is what I said earlier. The word in and of itself is not inappropriate for the House, it is the way the these words are used in the House that matters. As I said, I will listen to the recording to determine how this was said and I will come back to the House if necessary.

The hon. member for Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères.

 

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2024/4/30/jenny-kwan-3/

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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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