House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, through its amendment, the Bloc Québécois succeeded in including in the Speech from the Throne the need to provide income support measures for older workers. In the budget speech, the government mentioned the importance of helping older workers, but did not say anything about creating a specific aid program or allocating money.

Can the Prime Minister tell us when he intends to implement an income support program for older workers? They are major victims of the massive layoffs occurring in the current context of globalization.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, many hon. members in this House have asked for a program to help older workers who have lost their jobs. The Government of Quebec has also made this request. The Minister of Finance, in his wisdom, added funding for such a program. I am anxious to get input from the Bloc Québécois or any other party on this matter.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities has already looked at this issue and the procedures for implementing an income support program for older workers. Proposals have been made and assessed. There is no need to start from scratch.

Will the Prime Minister promise to table an implementation report for an older worker's assistance program by the end of the parliamentary session? Time is of the essence and the workers are waiting.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources has already explained that there is a pilot project. It will wrap up shortly. We are evaluating this program before proposing a more permanent one.

As I said, I welcome ideas from the Bloc Québécois not only on a program for older workers, but on the fiscal imbalance. I invite the Bloc to submit their ideas to me. I am pleased to have the Bloc Québécois' support in our efforts to improve the Canadian federation.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is proposing a timeframe for attacking the fiscal imbalance, but not for the pilot project for workers in seasonal industries enabling them to make it through the springtime employment gap. If nothing is done, these workers will find themselves without resources on June 4.

Does the Minister of Finance agree that with one month to go in pilot project no. 6, it is urgent that he provide a timeframe so that workers know what to expect after this date?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I explained to the hon. member both in this House and in my office, we want to make sure before we make a decision that we are making the right decision based on facts, not fear. We want to evaluate this pilot program and see if it is doing the job it was intended to do, and see if it is doing it effectively and efficiently. That is why I have invited the member to consult with me in the analysis to make sure we are actually doing the right thing, not just doing something for the sake of doing anything.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, the uncertainties experienced by workers are not fears, they are facts. Yesterday, the Prime Minister stated that he shared the Bloc philosophy with regard to the employment insurance fund, which should be used to help people when they are in need. These workers find themselves in a precarious position. What we are asking for does not affect the budget and could even be financed from the employment insurance surplus.

Therefore, does the government intend to extend the pilot project past June 4?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, it is important that as we go forward, we go forward with programs that respect the use of taxpayers' money as well as their needs. We want to make sure that the proper balance is there. We want programs that work, that we can afford, and that do the job properly. That is why it is so important that we evaluate the effectiveness of what we are doing before we decide whether or not to continue with it.

The Budget
Oral Questions

May 3rd, 2006 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government should have presented a long term plan for child care, education, training, and the environment. Instead, what we got was a long term plan--

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Toronto--Danforth has the floor. We will have a little order, please. Some members say that they do not want to hear him, but he has the floor. The Chair has recognized him, so tough luck. The hon. member for Toronto--Danforth.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is proposing to do exactly what the Liberals have done for years and that is to subsidize the big oil and gas companies instead of investing where it belongs.

Can the Prime Minister explain to us and to Canadians why the most profitable and polluting industry should get public investment, but children, workers, and the environment do not get any?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the House and the member will know there are no specific subsidies or specific incentives for the oil business in this budget.

There is a long term plan to fund parents to help them raise their children. There is a long term plan to fund transit users, to fund the development of public infrastructure, to help the environment. There is a long term plan for sports funding and for the health of children. There is a long term plan and more programs to help aboriginal people. There are incentives for businesses of all levels to hire employees. There are breaks for ordinary people, for seniors, to allow them to enjoy more prosperity.

The NDP should support that--

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto--Danforth.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, in this budget there is $1.5 billion of subsidies to the biggest oil and gas companies like Exxon. Let the Prime Minister stand up and deny it.

He is certainly rather unabashed in taking credit for the $4 billion from the NDP budget last year. Let us run down the list: post-secondary education funding; transit; foreign aid; affordable and aboriginal housing; northern housing.

My question for the Prime Minister is simply this: Why did he choose the Liberal plan for multi-year corporate tax cuts instead of the NDP plan for multi-year investments in working families?