House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economic.

Topics

Official Languages
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in November 2007, the Bloc Québécois introduced Bill C-482 to amend the Official Languages Act and the Canada Labour Code. The amendments proposed by the Bloc Québécois would have forced the federal government to recognize the primacy of Bill 101 in Quebec and required private companies under federal jurisdiction to respect French as the language of work. This would have allowed the workers of such businesses to work in French in Quebec.

Quebeckers form a nation; this House has recognized that fact. It is time to put those words into action. So that all workers in Quebec may work in French, the Bloc Québécois will introduce another bill to ensure that the Charter of the French Language applies to all businesses in Quebec, including those under federal jurisdiction.

Affordable Housing
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past 18 months, in my travels throughout my riding of Papineau, I heard time and time again how access to affordable housing is a major challenge for Canadian families.

High housing costs mean young people and new Canadians cannot buy homes, which leads to increased pressure on existing affordable housing.

November 22, 2008, is National Housing Day. In this period of economic uncertainty, Canadians have the right to demand that their government make access to affordable, safe housing a priority.

In this respect, the throne speech was disappointing. This government has frozen funding for affordable housing and combating homelessness, while also ignoring the housing crises in first nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

National Housing Day is a reminder that we must ensure that all Canadians are able to access affordable, safe housing and maintain their dignity.

Montreal Alouettes
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, November 23, many football fans will set aside all their commitments to watch the game everyone is waiting for—the Grey Cup game between the Montreal Alouettes and the Calgary Stampeders.

Those lucky enough to be in Montreal will be in the company of more than 60,000 spectators. What more could the Alouettes ask for than to play the final match in their hometown? To win the 96th Grey Cup, of course.

On behalf of all Quebeckers and Montreal Alouettes fans across Canada, I wish them the best of luck. And as a true fan of the Alouettes, I say: Go, Alouettes, Go!

The Economy
Oral Questions

November 21st, 2008 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government set aside a contingency reserve to be used in case of economic crisis, an emergency fund to avoid running a deficit and to ensure the government's capacity to help Canadians.

Why did the Conservatives do away with our capacity to help vulnerable Canadians now during the bad times?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me welcome you back to the chair. I think it was a wise choice by those who supported you, Mr. Speaker. We are glad to have you back, looking after this wonderful establishment that we call our home during the week.

In answer to the question, this fictional contingency fund that the hon. member speaks of was never legislated. It was on the backs of taxpayers. Once again, Liberals think that tax dollars are their money. They are not. They are Canadians' money.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Canadians who are suffering right now are not fictional. They are real and they are in real trouble because the government spent the contingency reserve and eliminated the capacity for the government to help Canadians during an economic downturn.

Why on earth, during the good times, would the Conservative government spend the cupboard bare so that it did not have any capacity to help Canadians today during the bad times?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, it is not Liberals' money. It is taxpayers' money. The Conservative government does not believe in overtaxing Canadians just to build a slush fund so it can have its March madness as happened in Liberal years. We also will not transfer the costs of a potential deficit of this financial struggle we are in onto the backs of the provinces as the Liberals did during the 1990s.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the House of Commons budget officer was very clear yesterday when he blamed the pending Conservative deficit on “previous policy decisions as opposed to weakened economic conditions”. The Conservative policies he refers to are bad tax and big spending policies. In fact, the Conservatives have increased government spending by 25% during their time in power.

If the Prime Minister saw tough economic times on the horizon over a year ago, as he said he did, why did he spend so recklessly during the good times that he eliminated and gutted our fiscal capacity to help vulnerable Canadians today during the tough times?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I might remind hon. members that the hon. member's seatmate in budget 2004 actually increased spending by 15%. The Liberals are making wild accusations about increased spending from this side of the House. The only reason that the government had to increase spending was to pay back the provinces the Liberal government's cuts to transfer payments. That is not fair. We do not treat provinces like that. We do not treat Canadians like that.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, we cannot know where we are going if we do not understand where we have been. So it is with the deficit: Canada's new Conservative deficit.

To fix it the government must be honest about where it came from. Private analysts like Global Insight and the Parliamentary Budget Officer, an officer created by the current government, all say Canada's new Conservative deficit is caused by mistaken Conservative policies.

Will the government explain what logic led it to eliminate both the prudence factor and the contingency reserve from the federal budget?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, I will remind the hon. member that there was no legislated contingency fund. It was a surplus that was driven by Liberal policies that overtaxed Canadians. Canadians do not want to be overtaxed. We heard that loud and clear during the campaign this year. Canadians thanked us for cutting their taxes. Canadians thanked us for taking 700,000 people off the tax roll.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, 10 consecutive balanced budgets, the biggest reduction in debt, and the biggest tax cuts in Canadian history. That is the Liberal record.

The government says Canada's new Conservative deficit is just temporary, not structural, but its spending is structural. Its tax laws are structural. Killing the contingency reserve is structural. Canadian pensions, savings, jobs and economic security are now in jeopardy because of its mismanagement and it has no plan. When will the government produce a discernible plan to protect Canadians from its failures?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, speaking of failures, I believe that is why we have a Conservative government.

People soundly rejected the policies of the Liberal government, a Liberal government that transferred the costs to the provinces. During the nineties, the Liberal government slashed transfer payments for education, for social programs, for health. That is why we are spending more money trying to rebuild the damage that was created by a former Liberal government.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister admitted that his throne speech did not contain any specifics about dealing with the crisis, and his Minister of Finance has warned us not to expect any concrete measures in next week's economic statement. That kind of laissez-faire attitude is totally unacceptable.

Instead, will the government listen to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who has recommended specific actions to be taken immediately, and announce emergency measures to address the crisis? Time is of the essence.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I welcome my hon. colleague back to the House and congratulate him on his re-election.

In answer to his question, I would suggest that he wait, like the rest of us, until next Thursday when he will see some concrete measures and some improvements on how we can deal with the financial situation that we are faced with right now.