House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member that his side of the House voted against a national program on the issue of autism, something we all care about very much.

He seems to have a lot of energy to expel when he is in here, and I am being positive when I say that.

I am really proud of what we accomplished over 13 years. That is the reason why Canada is doing so well now. If we start going downhill, it will be because the Conservatives' priorities are not the priorities of Canadians.

I remind the member that over the last campaign his leader made all kinds of promises. He promised that he would not tax income trusts. He promised to honour the Atlantic accord. He would say anything and do anything to get elected. Now that he is in power, he has found out he cannot do that. A promise is being broken every week. The Conservative government and the Prime Minister cannot be trusted.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague on her presentation today. The energy coming off the other bench today is something else.

There are all these nuggets that come from the other side in the midst of debate. Yesterday the member for Wascana was in the midst of debate, talking about the cuts to students. We know the community groups have been devastated by the cuts to students. We know that cuts to the summer student job placement program have students hurting.

The member for Peterborough talked about all the good things the government is doing for students. The Conservatives have ripped about half the jobs away that students had last year.

The government House leader indicated that the government had put more money into students this year than it did last year. That is because the government botched the program so badly. It had to face the uproar across the country from coast to coast. Therefore, it had to go back to try to straighten it out and put the fire out. The Conservatives ripped the guts out of community groups and they tore the hearts out of students, and it is costing them money. Maybe they have put more money in the program, but that money has to come from somewhere.

There is an envelope of money in HRDC. I know she has communities within her riding that rely on HRDC programs. Is there a fear that they will be hurt because the government botched the student program so badly that it had to take money from other programs? Is that at risk?

Budget Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been hearing for the last several weeks, as many other members have, about the amount of programs that are not receiving funding under the summer career placement program.

When we talk about building a strong Canada, we have to start at the beginning, which means we have to start investing in everything from early learning at zero. We have to provide children with the chance to have great opportunities for learning. We need to invest in our children and our programs.

The summer career placement program, the youth internship program are small examples of the things that were cuts. Another example is $5 million were cut out of the Status of Women Canada. It was helping women through advocacy and giving women a voice.

Many of these programs continue to be cut. Clearly, Canadians will see the impacts. That is why the polls are reacting the way they are.

I am very proud, and I will repeat it again, of everything that we did as a government. Canada is in the shape it is in today because of the work that we did and our Liberal government did.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to the bill. I think New Democrats have made it amply clear that we oppose the bill.

I will talk about Bill C-52 from a couple of different perspectives. I think some of my other colleagues have talked about health care, transportation and some of the needs of Vancouver Island north. I will focus on some other issues in British Columbia and talk about first nations, Métis and Inuit people in our country.

Many of us are well aware that a number of major issues are facing British Columbia, including housing, improving the provincial infrastructure and strengthening the B.C. economy. Although people will note that the B.C. unemployment rate is quite low, a number of communities are going through enormous transitions as a result of the softwood sellout.

In many of our forestry communities jobs have been lost. Last week there was an announcement in Port Alberni of another 185 jobs being lost. I know a number of the mills on Vancouver Island have faced curtailment because they could not get fibre supplied. Although some communities are doing quite well, a number of our communities are in a great deal of difficulty.

Under the new 10 province standard for equalization B.C., falls above the cutoff and will not receive equalization. Despite the increased needs, the budget does not address such things as affordable housing. I will talk briefly about Nanaimo in my riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan.

In a November 8, 2006, paper called “Advancing Social Development in Nanaimo: Directions for Moving Forward”, an organization in Nanaimo undertook to survey a number of groups that provide services. A couple of startling things came out of that which were tied to housing, employment and income.

One of the things that was noted was respondents cited the high levels of poverty, including child poverty in Nanaimo. They also stated that the community was becoming more polarized between rich and poor, with the latter having few options to improve their economic circumstances. This relates directly to housing.

One of the respondents to the questionnaire said, “Shelter is a basic need. It is the foundation upon which stable lives are built”. Respondents cited the increasing cost of housing, both owned and rental. They also cited the increasing incidence of homelessness and raised concerns about the kind of stock of market rental housing. They also noted that the market rental housing and the house vacancy rate had decreased from 3.4% in 2002 to 1.4% in 2005.

What that adds up to is an increasing number of people in Nanaimo—Cowichan cannot find a place to live.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I am sorry, but I have to interrupt the hon. member at this point. The hon. member will have 17 minutes left in a 20 minute speech whenever the House returns to this bill.

Trade
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, in 13 years the previous Liberal government did little on trade and allowed Canada to fall behind.

Our government has delivered by concluding free trade negotiations with the four countries of the European Free Trade Association.

This is Canada's first free trade association in six years. The previous Liberal government negotiated for nine years but failed to get an agreement. Under Conservative leadership, Canada has secured a deal.

This is also Canada's first free trade agreement with European countries and represents an important step in strengthening commercial ties with the European Union. This follows a successful trip by the Prime Minister at the EU summit, where he announced Canada and the EU will look at closer economic integration.

Our government is also committed to closer ties with Latin America. Our new free trade negotiations with Colombia, Peru and the Dominican Republic will help strengthen our competitive position in the Americas.

Thanks to the leadership of our government, Canada is back in the game.

Sri Lanka
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I continue to hear from my constituents who are very concerned about their family and friends living in Sri Lanka.

Increased violence in Sri Lanka has led to people being displaced, and we are hearing about terrible human rights abuses.

Recently a UN envoy and Nordic truce monitors have also raised significant concerns about human rights abuses amid renewed civil war.

It is time for the Canadian government to step up and take on a leadership role in finding a resolution to this conflict once and for all.

Canadians expect their government to take action without delay in light of these atrocities and will accept nothing less.

It is essential that we act now to ensure an immediate end to the violence which has cost so many innocent lives.

Élie-Carrier Community Centre
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, for 10 years, the Centre communautaire Élie-Carrier in Coaticook has been offering various activities to seniors.

Many seniors are faced with the same reality of isolation and solitude, and this concept of leisure activities, approved by doctors, is a winning formula that is attracting more and more participants.

By offering an outing, a network of contacts, varied and accessible activities, lectures and plays, the Centre communautaire Élie-Carrier gives seniors an excellent opportunity to have fun and break out of their isolation.

Congratulations to Maurice Salois, founder of the project and former president, to Micheline Michaud, current president of the centre, as well as to all the volunteers. We wish continued success to the centre, so that it can keep offering our seniors a better life.

Atlantic Accord
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, in 2004 the government made a promise in the Atlantic accord to exempt for 14 years offshore oil and gas revenues from Nova Scotia's and Newfoundland and Labrador's equalization calculations. It was a good deal, a done deal, and now the government is hell-bent to make it a broken deal.

Atlantic Canadians are furious and will fight tooth and nail to force the government to honour its signature on this political and legal document.

In this House we have challenged an Atlantic minister, any minister, to fight for the Atlantic accord, but so far neither the member for Central Nova nor the member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl have shown the guts or the integrity to stand up for their constituents or for their region.

We want to work with the government across party lines, across jurisdictions to fix the broken promise, but make no mistake, Atlantic Canadians will continue fighting until the budget is fixed and the Atlantic accord promise it kept.

David Suzuki Foundation
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a speech on Monday, David Suzuki alleged that the David Suzuki Foundation was being “hounded by the current government” through Revenue Canada audits, due to his criticism.

However, Stephen Hazell, the executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada, said that the trend predates the current Prime Minister's government. He said, “This is something I would not blame the Conservative government for”.

World Ocean Day
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, today is World Ocean Day. Created in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Ocean Day is an opportunity to celebrate the life-giving role of oceans worldwide. This year's theme is “Oceans...only a river away!”

Our oceans shape every aspect of our lives, where we live, work and play, what we eat and the climate conditions we experience.

Our oceans and coastal and marine waters confront us all with serious challenges: habitat loss, water quality and quantity issues, the threat of invasive species, and of course, climate change.

On this World Ocean Day let us all remember the immeasurable value the world's oceans bring to us and think about what we can do to protect them.

In this spirit, I call on the Conservative government to give up its climate change denial stance and take some real action to protect our environment and to defend our oceans.

Seniors
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, imagine my surprise recently at hearing the Bloc members for Repentigny and Sherbrooke express concern about seniors in the Eastern Townships. This is ironic because the Bloc is a powerless party forever relegated to the opposition benches. Let us examine the facts.

Since 1990, the Bloc has introduced 234 private members' bills; only two of them were passed, and neither one was about seniors. That is one bill every eight years. Those are the facts. The Bloc's record is pathetic.

Since coming to power, our government has given over $1 billion in tax relief to seniors and pensioners. We created the National Seniors Council. We announced measures to ensure that the Canada pension plan and old age security meet the needs of Canadians today and in the future.

While the—

Seniors
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Laval.

Nancy Girgis
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 25, 2007, Nancy Girgis, a journalist with The Chomedey News, won two awards at the 26th annual convention of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

Ms. Girgis was awarded first prize in the “best environmental story” category for her article on contamination of Laval pools. The judges said the article was well written, educational and, most importantly, it guided the reader through the available information, explaining the complexity of environmental sciences.

She also won third prize in the “best business story” category, with her article on the labour shortage facing local employers.

Bravo, Nancy. Your professionalism and integrity as a journalist are unmistakable. Thank you for putting your talents to work for the people of Laval.

Jean Gauvin
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Jean Gauvin who passed away on Wednesday evening at the age of 61.

Mr. Gauvin served the province of New Brunswick as a member of the legislative assembly from 1978 to 1987 and again from 1991 to 1995. He will be fondly remembered for his heartfelt concern for fishing issues, which he championed while serving in the Hatfield government as fisheries minister.

In 2000, Jean and I were both candidates in the federal election when I ran in Fundy Royal and Jean ran in Acadie--Bathurst. I witnessed firsthand his continued commitment to improving the lives of New Brunswickers and in fact all Canadians.

On behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, I extend my sympathy to his family and his friends at this difficult time.