June 1, 2018 4:15pmET
Here’s how some of this week’s top stories in Canadian politics played out across the floor of the House of Commons during question period.
MONDAY: Border Crossings
Conservatives began the week by highlighting the continued political debate over irregular migration and the asylum seekers crossing Canada’s land border — away from official ports of entry, where the Safe Third Country Agreement would apply.
The RCMP has intercepted 8,670 people this year (as of May 22) along Quebec’s border with the United States — with an average of 85 asylum claims per day in April and 62 in May. Nearly 13,000 work permits have been issued to asylum claimaints in Quebec since Apr. 1.
#QP 2/ @lraitt Border crossings: Liberal govt has 3 different stories spinning…Can PM say which story is the one they’ll go with?@CanadianPM We are open & welcoming country but also country of rules & laws. Anyone who arrives gets full immigr’n system process applied to them… pic.twitter.com/ZQDgmaIp5G
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) May 28, 2018
The government has since pledged $50 million to help the Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec governments cope with housing needs and other costs.
TUESDAY: Trans Mountain, Part One
After announcing the federal plan to purchase Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline assets for $4.5 billion, Finance Minister Bill Morneau faced questions in the chamber, including this from British Columbia’s Nathan Cullen (NDP):
#QP 8/ @nathancullen TMX: When did Liberals decide that trampling Indigenous rights & putting coast at further risk was in public interest?@Bill_Morneau We need rule of law to get investments made…We can’t have provinces creating uncertainty…We’re ensuring project moves fwd pic.twitter.com/YpmEnUOvA4
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) May 29, 2018
WEDNESDAY: Trans Mountain, Part Two
With the prime minister back in the Commons, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accused the government of using public money to rectify its own poor decisions on the Northern Gateway and Energy East proposals. Trudeau, though, defended Ottawa’s approach to resource development.
#QP 3/ @AndrewScheer Trans Mountain: PM’s created scenario where taxpayers must pay for his mistakes…Why’s he waited so long & created this problem?@CanadianPM What Conservatives don’t understand is that public investment has always been part of developing the resource sector pic.twitter.com/ggdHfXDjLE
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) May 30, 2018
THURSDAY: Tariffs and Trade
The United States announced that Canada, Mexico, and the European Union would no longer be exempt from tariffs on aluminum and steel imports.
Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland replied that Canada would consider a list of countermeasures on American products ranging from beer kegs to pizza to whisky.
The prime minister also said the tariffs came after his rejection of a U.S. demand to accept a five-year “sunset” review clause as part of NAFTA negotiations.
Trudeau was still fielding questions from journalists on Canada’s response as question period began. That mean Transport Minister Marc Garneau took the lead in responding to the Official Opposition, which accused the government of failing to effectively manage the cross-border economic relationship.
#QP 1/ @ErinOTooleMP Today the PM is a failure; what is his plan to fix this tariff issue?@MarcGarneau These tariffs are completely unacceptable…will harm workers on both sides of border…We will impose trade-restriction measures up to $16.6B worth of U.S. imports pic.twitter.com/GjQ8qbzgoS
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) May 31, 2018
FRIDAY: Tariffs and Trade, Part Two
Freeland repeated the promise to challenge the U.S. tariffs at the World Trade Organization and through NAFTA’s dispute resolution process.
And midst more questions over the government’s handling of the Canada-U.S. file, the minister cited a number of supportive Conservative voices.
#QP 1/ @CandiceBergenMP U.S. tariffs: How does govt plan on getting things back on track with our friend & closest ally?@cafreeland I’d like to thank all Cdns who support our plan, incl. Rona Ambrose, James Moore, Brad Wall, & Jason Kenney…Team Canada is behind Cdn workers pic.twitter.com/Xnz0dDckuR
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) June 1, 2018