House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is interesting, because the Conservatives do not support either. The fact of the matter is that if we look at what happened in this place and to the finances of the country under Brian Mulroney, they should blush at the memory of it.

In terms of child care, we know that the Conservatives do not really want to have a universal child care system across Canada. They prefer their own little way of going on, where the more money one has, the more services one can have, and one can also pay less tax. That is why there is not enough money to provide a universal program that everybody can access.

Listen, I say, the fact of the matter is that once again the Conservatives do not have the guts to stand up and attack where the money is being spent.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member equates spending increases with tax cuts. It seems that the most fundamental thing about the NDP is that it knows full well how to spend money, but it does not seem to understand how it is generated.

It comes down to a simple word called competition. Business creates jobs. Jobs mean employment. Employment means that people can pay taxes. We are falling behind. Canada's productivity is down. This week the finance minister sounded the alarm on Canada's lagging productivity. He was speaking in Halifax. Business groups and economists are saying:

--the Liberal government's spending promises made in anticipation of a spring election, coupled with a $4.6 billion NDP budget deal, leave it with little or no financial room to focus on productivity enhancing initiatives.

The head of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said:

We wished he had converted prior to agreeing to spend $4.6-billion as part of the NDP deal...and placed the country in a straightjacket.

Canada's productivity is falling behind. We are 18th out of 24 industrial countries. If we continue this spending spree, we will not have the jobs to generate the income for the programs we would like to see advanced. What is it about this that the NDP member fails to understand?

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, not a word do we not understand. The fact of the matter is that the leader of the federal New Democratic Party entered into negotiations with the Prime Minister of Canada and said that we want the $4.6 billion corporate tax cut rolled back so we can make investments in the lives of Canadians in a way that will improve their quality of life.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

An hon. member

You missed the point.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

If the member would stop heckling, I would answer the point.

The answer is that we made sure the cuts that we agreed are legitimate economic investments stayed, and that means the cuts for small and medium sized business, not the Stronachs of the world, not the other billionaires in Canada or large corporations. Small and medium sized businesses are the ones who need the tax cuts and that is why we supported this aspect staying in the original bill.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to the second half of the Liberal budget bill, Bill C-48, that the NDP and the Liberals put together in the dark of night in a hotel room to save the government basically. It is not outside the realm that this is basically an IOU. There are only 19 people in the country who believe that IOU will ever be fulfilled and they sit at that end of the chamber. For $260 million a vote, the government bought a little more time. That is really what Bill C-48 does.

The finance minister of the day had made statements in the media. When we questioned the original budget and said we would support it but wanted to see some amendments done in committee, and we talked about some of those amendment, the finance minister went on record at that time with a bit of a rant saying that there was no room for any amendments. This was the most complete budget. He was not going to change a thing. Nothing was going to persuade him to change or tweak anything in the budget. He is on record saying that a number of times.

Not long after that we suddenly get an edict from the Prime Minister, without consultations with his finance minister, saying that the Liberals were going to add another $4.5 million worth of spending in programs that they already agreed with. They did not put them in the original budget but they certainly agreed with them.

There is a problem with that. If that type of thing had happened to the now Prime Minister when he was Chrétien's finance minister, he would have gone berserk. He cut the legs out from underneath his finance minister. The finance minister of the day will tell us straight to our faces that he has not got legs to spare. He is already height impaired. To cut the legs out from underneath him like the Prime Minister did to buy votes is just unconscionable in this country. That is $260 million a vote.

Canadians will assess before the next election and during the next election as to whether that was a good use of taxpayers' money. I would argue that it was not and not anywhere close.

This is a modern day fairytale. I do not know how many years ago the old fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk came out. The bumbling guy, Jack, on his way to town traded off the family cow, the cash cow, for a few magic beans. We have the same situation here. We have Jack bumbling on his way to Ottawa, trading off the cash cow, taxation, on a few magic beans, some promises that will never ever be fulfilled. It is an IOU, as I said.

If we want to talk about the Prime Minister standing behind his IOUs, then we want to talk to Premier Danny Williams. We want to talk to Premier Hamm of Nova Scotia and find out how that Prime Minister lived up to his IOUs. We can also talk to Premier McGuinty in Ontario as to how the Prime Minister and his finance minister are standing up to their IOUs. We can talk to any province across the country that had their health and social transfers cut by $25 billion. We can ask them how the Prime Minister then finance minister stood up to their IOUs. They will all tell us that their track record stinks.

Now we have more IOUs piled up. We have 19 people here who believe this. They swallowed it hook, line and sinker and it does smell fishy. When we look at all of the things that are outlined in the bill, they are holding the so-called corporate tax cuts for big business in abeyance. They did not kick in for four to five years to begin with. We needed the cash flow from that in order to pay this type of wishful thinking, this budget that is never going to happen.

The NDP members love to rant and rave about how they stopped the tax cuts for big business. Yet we had the leader of the NDP stand in the House last week decrying the fact that General Motors, one of these big businesses, is going to pull out of Canada because of productivity. It cannot make a go of it here because the regulations and taxation are too high. Yet his own budget is the thin edge of the wedge that is pushing big companies like that out of the country.

We cannot have it both ways. When we flip a coin there are two sides. The NDP members say it is going to land on its edge and they can have the best of both. It is never going to happen.

The NDP members say that these promises that are in the bill cover everything on the NDP wish list. They completely missed agriculture. They talk about being there for the little guy. There is absolutely nothing in the Liberal-NDP budget to address agriculture.

We talked about putting amendments through on Bill C-43 to address the shortfall in agriculture. The government programs do not hit the mark and do not get out to the mailboxes on the farm. Therefore the NDP missed on that one.

There is nothing for shipbuilding. Members of the NDP stand here day after day decrying shipbuilding in this country while the Prime Minister gets his done in China at discount rates, yet there is nothing in here about shipbuilding. There is nothing for seniors. There is nothing in here addressing the problems we have with the equalization formula.

It is fine that the NDP made this backdoor deal in the dark of night with Buzz Hargrove and the Prime Minister, but it missed the mark. The NDP could have built on Bill C-43 and instead it is going to tear it down. The good news is that we put through an amendment that $2 billion of the debt has to be addressed in the next two fiscal years before any of this takes place. That is the poison pill, and by putting through our amendment to make it $3.5 billion, this will thankfully never happen.

We need to see some common sense applied in this place and it is not in this particular budget. We sat fast and allowed Bill C-43 to go to committee. That is the right thing to do. Canadians had to see what was in there. We talked about amendments. We brought it back to the House. It is better than it was. It is still not good enough for Canadians because we also see the finance minister agreeing with us that Canadian productivity is lagging.

How do we address that? We do that by taking the boot off the necks of taxpayers, letting them do what they do best, and produce things in this country that we can export. We are an exporting nation. This bill will be regressive. I could never sit on my hands or not vote against this type of a bill.

There is good money going after bad. The government talks about money for housing. Everybody agrees with that, but we spent $2.2 billion in the last little while with no benchmarks that there has ever been any positive effect. We are going to add another $1.6 billion. I can hear the toilet flush now. There has to be a plan.

The finance committee brought four of the ministers who will be involved in this before the committee. None of them could say how this money will be spent. Where is the plan? There is nothing in the original budget other than a big bill for the environment, but no solid plan other than the Kyoto accord which everybody knows is a flawed document.

We are seeing good money flushed after bad in this one. Jack got the magic beans, but they are not going to grow. As I said, it is just a major IOU. We have economist after economist and all the major banks decrying this. We have the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, that represents big, medium and small sized businesses, saying this is ridiculous.

We have become a laughing stock to the rest of the world because of this type of economic action. If any of this was reasonably good to begin with, why was it not in the original budget? Greg Weston in the Ottawa Citizen says:

In practice, here is how the money will flow -- or more likely, won't flow: First, nothing can flow anywhere until the government determines if it has a surplus--

The government is great at spending that surplus, so there is no surplus. There never will be any money to address this and these guys fell for it. They sucked it all up and said, “Look what we did”. They sold themselves out for an ideal that the government will never ever respond to.

An Act to Authorize the Minister of Finance to Make Certain Payments
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member will have another couple of minutes after question period to complete his speech.

Bastille Day
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, on July 14, France and its friends around the world will celebrate Bastille Day.

As the president of the Association des amis de la France au Canada, I am pleased to invite all the members of this House to join me in celebrating this important day.

On July 14, 1789, the people of France marked the start of a new period of change in France and the dissemination of new ideas around the world, such as equality, liberty and fraternity, along with new ideas on governance, which are still valid today.

Let us join France and the world as a whole and celebrate Bastille Day 2005.

Transportation
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, after almost 12 years of Liberal government, the results on transportation policy for British Columbia are clear. The Liberals have failed. By contrast, a Conservative government will deliver real solutions for B.C.

A Conservative government will work to eliminate, not just raise, the borrowing limits imposed on the port of Vancouver, so it can continue to serve as a pillar of B.C.'s economy. We will ensure that all of B.C.'s harbours are safe and well maintained, and we will put gas taxes into roads to ease congestion, fight smog and build the communities we need.

We will cut airport rents and the air security tax to help Vancouver International Airport grow. We will eliminate needless regulations on B.C.'s smaller airports so they can serve British Columbians.

A Conservative government will help ensure that the 2010 Olympics are a success by supporting all necessary infrastructure demands. We will work with Fraser and Delta Ports to protect communities all along the Fraser River from flood danger by addressing the dredging issue. A Conservative government will work to expand commuter rail into Vancouver.

Our agenda is clear. A new Conservative government will deliver on transportation for British Columbia.

Education
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Denise Poirier-Rivard Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, all too often, unfortunately, we hear that many of our young people are not finishing high school. Dropping out is a social issue as well as an educational one.

Well, in Saint-Constant, in my riding, there is a school called “Le Tournant“. As its name suggests, it marks a turning point for young dropouts between 14 and 18 and is devoted to them alone.

On May 30, several hundred people were invited to a gala organized by and for the students to mark their efforts and to showcase their many talents. It provided an excellent opportunity to show that success, although not always easily achieved, in the end rewards those who go after it. This is all the more true when it applies to young people, the future of our society.

I congratulate the school's principal, Lucie Legault, and her hard-working staff, who have given back to our youth a belief in their abilities and their future.

Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House the national aboriginal youth suicide prevention walk. Six young people are making this trek and they are set to officially walk into Ottawa on Friday, June 17. These dynamic young adults have walked from Duncan, British Columbia, giving presentations, taking part in lobbying, and in general, bringing to the forefront the alarming numbers of youth suicides in our aboriginal communities.

I would like to applaud these young people for their determination in completing this walk while achieving public awareness. They would like as many people as possible to join them in their final stretch of the walk from Victoria Island to Parliament Hill beginning on Friday at 11 a.m on Victoria Island. I invite everyone to join them on the last leg of a long coast to coast journey.

Diabetes
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday marked York region's fourth annual walk to cure diabetes. Similar walks took place in 28 other cities across Canada. All funds raised will go directly to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation toward finding a cure for diabetes.

This year York region's walk alone included 1,000 participants and hoped to reach a fundraising goal of $275,000. The event was organized by Lynn Conforti, chaired by police chief Armand La Barge, Harvey Kessenberg, Brian Johnson of Monarch Development and youth ambassador, four year old Coner Doherty.

Coner is one of 200,000 kids currently living with juvenile diabetes in Canada. Diabetes strikes infants, children and young adults suddenly, makes them insulin dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications.

Events like this raise money to help find a cure and give great hope to the thousands of children and their families that have to live with diabetes every day. We are making breakthroughs, but we must continue to fight vigorously and never give up until we find a cure for our children, our future.

Turnaround Achievement Awards
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to congratulate students from Quispamsis, Kingston Peninsula, Hampton, Belleisle and Sussex, who are the recipients of the Turnaround Achievement Awards.

The Turnaround Achievement Award program recognizes students in grades 6 through 12 who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and perseverance in turning around their lives. This program is founded on the principle that rewarding students for their hard work and celebrating their success is an essential part of building self-esteem.

Last month I was honoured to join these remarkable students, their parents and teachers from school district 6 in celebration of these achievements at the official awards ceremony.

This is the time of year when we recognize the accomplishments of high school, college and university graduates at graduation ceremonies across Canada.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my congratulations to all secondary and post-secondary students graduating this spring in my riding of Fundy Royal. I thank them for the contributions they have made to their communities and the contributions they will make in the future.

Pay Equity
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to salute the commitment my government has made to equity in the workplace.

As a matter of fact, it was a Liberal government that created the pay equity task force in 2000, and we are determined to implement its recommendations and make the legislative reforms needed.

The Liberal government has provided constant support through concrete initiatives, such as the employment equity embracing change support fund, in order to help federal departments meet their equity objectives.

I want to remind the House that the Leader of the Opposition asked the government to repeal what he referred to as this ridiculous pay equity legislation and said that taxpayers are being misled about pay equity, which he felt had nothing to do with gender equality.

My government is proud to have continually worked for pay equity in Canada, since the Liberals came to power in 1993.

Canadian Cancer Society
Statements by Members

June 16th, 2005 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, a Relay for Life was held on June 3 in the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Over 700 walkers and more than 250 survivors of this terrible disease were in attendance. Together, they raised over $151,000. I thank the many donors, who doubled their contribution to this cause this year.

These funds will help finance promising research projects, provide information services and support programs, advocate for public policies to prevent cancer and improve the quality of life of those affected by this disease.

I thank everyone for their generosity and attendance. I had a lot of fun spending the night with them.

I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the organizers on their resounding success.