Muslims in the House - April 22-26, 2019

This week’s edition covers issues relating to the Carbon Prices, New Zealand & SNC

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Carbon Pricing Comes Into Effect

On April 1, the federal carbon tax took effect in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick (the remaining six provinces have already instituted their own provincial carbon tax programs). A handful of MPs from the Conservative Party of Canada voiced their displeasure and the concerns of their constituents on the impact of the carbon tax. Their concerns centred on the effect that the carbon tax will have on increasing the cost of transportation, food, heating, and consumer goods. MP Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON - Con) argued that rather than impacting high-carbon producing corporations, the carbon tax will “hurt the people who can least afford more expenses.”

With the report, Environment Canada released detailed that Canada was warming at a rate twice the global average. MP Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC - NDP) argued that the Government is not doing enough to address Canadian carbon emission and mitigating climate change. She called on the Prime Minister to prioritize the environment and take greater action on climate change.

MP Sven Spengemann (Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON - Lib) congratulated the Government on actions taken to safeguard the environment for “future generations by making greener choices.” He argued that the programs rolled out by the Liberal government incentives Canadians to make greener choices through carbon pricing rebates while encouraging business to “innovate more and pollute less.” MP Spengemann also advocated that the tabled 2019 budget demonstrated that the Liberal government has a “real plan to fight climate change” while also prioritizing our growing economy.


Shootings in New Zealand

MP Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East, ON - Lib) rose in the House to “strongly condemn” the terrorist attack in New Zealand that left 50 Muslims dead. As the Chair of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, MP Ratansi led a delegation to New Zealand. During her trip, she shared condolences to the victims and their families on behalf of all Canadians.


SNC Lavalin Controversy Continues

The fall out from the SNC Lavalin affair continued to dominate the House of Commons this week. The leader of the Official Opposition, Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK - Con), called on the Prime Minister to disclose the full extent of his role in the SNC-Lavalin affair, imploring the Prime Minister to “finally start telling the truth.” MP Pierre Paul-Hus (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC - Con) argued that the perception of political interference surrounding this has shaken Canadians confidence.

MP Bardish Chagger (Waterloo, ON - Liberal) dismissed the accusation that the Prime Minister was not being upfront with Canadians. She argued that Canadians were “able to hear for themselves” the role the Prime Minister and his government played in the SNC-Lavalin file, referencing the public Justice Committee Hearings.

MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier—Maskinongé, QC, NDP) questioned how the Prime Minister “treats women of integrity in [his] party,” given his response to the criticisms of former Cabinet members Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott. These concerns were raised again when the MP Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were later removed from the Liberal caucus, with Official Opposition Andrew Scheer (Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK - Con) accusing the Prime Minister of “he is continuing to remove everyone who has stood up to his abuse of power and his cover-up of this scandal.”