Comments to Parliament by Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod on Monday, May 26, 2020:
MR. SPEAKER, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds have thrilled and united Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We have watched them fly over our cities, towns and villages as they fulfill Operation Inspiration.
Like many in Kamloops, I watched from my deck as the Snowbirds flew into town. Seeing the best of the best in flight brought on a smile and a sense of pride.
Tragically, last Sunday, our joy and thrill turned to horror as the news of the crash quickly spread through the community and the country. I would be remiss not to mention the extraordinary efforts of the community of Brocklehurst whose residents sprang into action in spite of the horrors of what they had just witnessed. This included front-line workers from Kamloops Fire Rescue to the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, YKA crash track, airport authorities and military representatives.
We all share our grief over the tragic death of Captain Jennifer Casey, and watched with heavy hearts as she arrived home in Halifax yesterday. In reading stories and tributes to honour Captain Casey, people cannot help but be inspired by what she accomplished in such a short life. Our nation mourns her loss.
When we needed it most, Operation Inspiration brought hope to a country weary of the impact of COVID-19, and for that we will remain forever grateful.
Mr. Speaker, in January, instead of saving PPE for our health care workers, the health minister decided to ship it off to communist China. This just added to Beijing’s growing stockpile. Now the Liberals are desperately trying to procure millions of masks. Where from? China. When they actually get a shipment, they are defective and cannot be used.
Can the minister guarantee that her lack in ensuring the availability of N95 masks in no way contributed to the 29-plus cases in our armed forces personnel who are supporting our seniors in their homes?
Madam Speaker, I appreciated many of the comments by the minister. He articulated many of the things the government has done in response to the COVID crisis. What he really did not focus in on is what the debate is today, so I will take some of the examples.
He might acknowledge we had to rush through legislation, because we have only had a couple of sittings to deal with emergency legislation, where there was no proper review of the legislation, and then there were flaws in the legislation that had to be corrected later. If you recall, we came for a 10% worker subsidy and of course got called back because the Liberals found out that it really had to be larger, at 75%. That was because they did not have parliamentary process. What we have here today is a debate about continuing with a COVID committee. Yes, it is better than what we have been doing, but it is not due and proper parliamentary process. If they have an idea with respect to disabilities, we have a committee that does a phenomenal job. It would be able to analyze that legislation with some proper witnesses. It could expedite it and we would have better legislation, but they do not want that to happen.
I would ask my colleague this. What is his reluctance to have a modified Parliament as opposed to continuing as we are, which is a committee, not Parliament, and will not have the impact and effect of making legislation and decisions of government better for Canadians?