House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are always saddened when people lose their jobs anywhere in Canada. It is a very serious matter and that is why we have expanded the employment insurance system in Canada. For example, we now have five pilot projects to examine ways to improve the system and we will be expanding the program in other ways.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne is more proof of the Conservative government's insensitivity towards the difficulties experienced by Quebeckers and Canadians.

How else do you explain the total silence about the problems faced by retirees who have watched their savings evaporate, placed in jeopardy by the stock market crisis and the lack of solutions in the throne speech? It is indifference and insignificance.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, quite the contrary. The throne speech lists all the measures we will use. We have already implemented several measures to help laid-off workers.

For example, we broadened compassionate care benefits. As well, we are continuing with the pilot projects. Some of that funding has been extended considerably, specifically to help those who find themselves in very difficult transition stages. We believe that the best social measures are to get people new jobs and we are helping them do that.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is on the edge of a recession. Stock markets have plummeted 40%, personal bankruptcy is up 20% and the unemployment rate will reach 7% next year. The Speech from the Throne shows that the government is staying the course, a course that is taking us towards recession and that is failing families.

Why is there no economic stimulation? Why are there no job creation plans?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it has been clear since the election that the economy of the industrialized world is in recession. Canada is in a much better position than the great majority of these countries. And we have every intention of taking the necessary steps to maintain this position.

As I just said, I invite the other parties to give us ideas. But, we are in a better position than many other countries and we plan on keeping it that way.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we presented our ideas and the government did not accept them. What can I say?

The auto sector is the backbone of our manufacturing sector here in Canada. In fact, because it is such a large and integrated industry, it affects the lives of millions of Canadians, their families and their communities.

The U.S. Congress today is making distinct progress toward an assistance package that is about to be adopted. It looks like the last excuse that the government has had for not taking any action to protect the auto sector is gone.

Will the Prime Minister tell us today in the House when he will bring forward action to assist the ailing auto sector here in Canada, put our people back to work, and fix the situation we are facing right now?

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I have to express a little bit of disappointment when some in the opposition oppose even a broad statement of principle. I think that really speaks of just opposing for the sake of opposing.

When it comes to the auto sector the Minister of Industry is in the United States now. We are obviously watching what the Americans are doing with great interest. In the end of course, Canada will take its own decisions. Those decisions will be in the best interests not just of the auto sector but of the entire Canadian economy and of course Canadian taxpayers.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that reckless corporate tax cuts have brought the country to the situation where its fiscal capacity is severely constrained. Faced with a deficit of billions of dollars, what is the government choosing to do? It is choosing to give more tax cuts to those who need it the least and it is refusing to step forward with assistance for those companies that need help. Besides, it is leaving a lot of people falling by the wayside as it does it.

After years of railing against deficits, how can the Prime Minister justify using taxpayers' dollars for deeper corporate tax cuts when he does nothing for jobs nor fix the--

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Speech from the Throne
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the election campaign this government made very clear its intention to keep reducing taxes for businesses and individuals. We want a mandate. I would point out that not just the Conservative Party supported that position on business taxes but so did the Liberal Party.

The vast majority of the Canadian public understands that we cannot improve the performance of the economy by raising taxes on profitable business. That is not a position this government will take.

The Economy
Oral Questions

November 20th, 2008 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the previous Liberal government put in place a contingency reserve, a rainy day fund, to protect Canadians during times of economic downturn. Now the Conservatives have foolishly squandered that fund.

The Prime Minister said that back in August 2007 he could see a global downturn on the way.

If the Prime Minister could actually foresee storm clouds on the horizon, why did he permit his finance minister to eliminate Canada's rainy day fund?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I also welcome back the member for Kings—Hants who has been re-elected on behalf of one party or another.

We are proud of our record of three balanced budgets. As the member will know, because he was here, in the October 2007 economic statement we brought in far-reaching tax reductions, particularly in the business sector for small and medium-sized businesses, running out to 2012. We are being joined in that by a majority of the provinces. That is a stimulus for the Canadian economy.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the budget officer of the House of Commons said specifically in his report that “Previous policy decisions as opposed to weakened economic conditions” have caused this looming deficit. He specifically blamed bad Conservative tax and reckless spending policies.

When will the Minister of Finance admit that having conceived these bad policies he is responsible for fathering the Conservative deficit and, as such, he has earned the title of Canada's new deficit daddy?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

I am not going to go there, Mr. Speaker.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Who's your daddy?