HANSARD: Jenny inquires the opinion on the climate emergencies

House of Commons Debate
Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders
April 8th, 2022 / 12:50 p.m.


Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, I would agree that a significant piece of this budget is the national dental care plan. This is essential, I think, for all of our health. It is one step toward completing Tommy Douglas's dream from 60 years ago, and I know the seniors in my community would welcome it. Starting this year, children will begin to get dental services, so that is a key piece with regard to which 25 New Democrats were able to leverage our power to bring such services to Canadians.

With that being said, he commented on a variety of other issues. I know that the people in Vancouver East are particularly concerned about the lack of action on the climate emergency. In British Columbia, we have experienced extreme weather from wildfires to floods and so on. I would like to ask the member to elaborate on this piece and the shortcomings within the budget.

As well, for people who are faced with disabilities in our community, I would like to hear his comments around what the government needs to be taking action on to address that."


Daniel Blaikie (NDP) Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on the question of the Canada disability benefit that the Liberals promised in the last Parliament and promised again in their platform, I was hoping to see something on that. It was not an item we appeared able to get into the agreement, but it is something we really do need to move forward on quickly. People living with disabilities across the country, who have been legislated into poverty for far too long, deserve to see swift action on this. I know our disabilities critic has written the minister on this issue, calling for the introduction of legislation quickly, and that is important so that we can get the details right. I do not think it should be a rush job.

With respect to climate, as I was saying earlier, they are really not on the right track in this budget. We need to be looking at how we diversify our energy sources into far more renewable energy. They were willing to spend tens of billions of dollars on a pipeline, and then they turn around and say public investment is not the answer on renewable energy and that we need private capital to step up and do that. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why it is acceptable to spend almost $20 billion on a pipeline and then plead poverty when it comes time to invest in renewable energy.



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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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