House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Political Party Funding
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the people of the riding of Medicine Hat for electing me as their member of Parliament and giving me the honour of representing them in the House.

The opposition members should be ashamed of themselves. They have shown yet again that they are more interested in lining their own pockets than in taking real action on our economy.

Canadians elected a Conservative government to make difficult, prudent and responsible choices that are necessary to get through the global economic crisis. While Canadians are cutting out coupons and saving every penny, the opposition members are entitled to millions of taxpayers' dollars for their own partisan purposes.

This government believes in giving money back to Canadian families, workers and businesses. That is exactly what we have been doing since 2006. It is outrageous that opposition members expect Canadians to make sacrifices when they will not make any themselves.

We are leading by example and tightening our own belts. It is time opposition members do the same.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, at a time when Canadians are worried about their jobs, savings and economic security, at a time when business and consumer confidence have been shattered, at a time when every other country is generating a stimulus package to confront the global economic meltdown, at a time when the Prime Minister promised unprecedented action to protect Canadians, why did these Conservatives produce nothing but a pathetic scam to hide the fact that their ideology and their mismanagement put Canada back into deficit before any stimulus package could even be contemplated?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his kind words of support. That seems to be the kind of support we are getting in this new sense of working together.

The economic statement seems to be misconstrued by the opposition as an actual budget. We will be delivering a budget early in the new year that will talk about the plans that we are now putting in place to help industries in Canada. I might remind the hon. member that we acted over a year ago with a fiscal stimulus that is stronger than that of most countries.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, for all of the parliamentary secretary’s rhetoric, for all of the things about which he brags, they simply have not worked. Canada is on the cusp of a recession. The Conservatives are falling back into deficit. Canadians are facing the worst economic crisis since the 1930s and the Conservatives have no plan. There is no new stimulus and all they can say is wait, wait, wait. They have put nothing of any consequence forward for Canadians except a fire sale of assets to try to hide their deficit.

Why has the government so totally failed to be honest?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, obviously, the hon. member did not listen to my first answer. I know it was at the tail end of the answer, but we did act. Mr. Speaker, you were here, and you saw that the opposition voted against a stimulus package that provided $31 billion of stimulus to Canadians.

We stimulated that by leaving that money in the pockets of Canadians. We allowed them to make the decision about where they wanted to invest. That is the type of stimulus that other countries are now looking at with envy.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. parliamentary secretary that his plan has not worked. These Conservatives are going in the wrong direction. Instead of helping Canadians through the worst economic downturn in 75 years, they are picking scapegoats and trying to create victims. They are attacking women, pay equity, public servants, collective bargaining, programs and services that help the most vulnerable Canadians. They are engaged in a fire sale of assets.

How will this vindictive, anti-stimulus attitude create or save one single Canadian job? Where is the hope—

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, where is the rhetoric? The Liberals had a lot of opportunity in 13 years to do that. We are leading by example. Obviously, the opposition does not seem to think that it plays a role in encouraging Canadians to be frugal. We have put in place the fiscal stimulus that this year has created a net job growth of $200,000. The hon. member does not seem to understand that.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government blew a $13 billion surplus and has plunged us back into a deficit. Instead of admitting this, it is trying to hide it. To hide what it has done, the government is going after the less fortunate, attacking the public service, and selling off our assets and heritage at bargain prices. Instead of investing, it is making cuts. This is the opposite of what everyone else in the world is doing.

Will the Conservatives finally acknowledge that they are going in the wrong direction, that this is a mistake and that it needs to change right now?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, allow me to first of all correct a statement that I misspoke before. It was 200,000 jobs and that is a lot more than $200,000.

What we will not do is what the Liberal government did during the 1990s. It downloaded all of those costs and cut transfer payments to the provinces. Health care is still suffering all across Canada. Social programs are still suffering. We are trying to rebuild those programs. We wish that the opposition would help us rather than hinder us.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are suffering because of that party.

What is in their update? Nothing for workers, nothing to stimulate the economy. Why? Because they are amateurs, because they have managed things irresponsibly. It looks as if Gilligan is at the helm of the ship. They have plunged us back into a deficit. They have eliminated our financial cushion. And now all Canadians are paying the price.

Will someone on the other side of the House wake up, someone who has the guts to say that they made a mistake, that they are sorry and that they will change course right now?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, speaking of course, I think we are on the right course. That is evidenced by the fact that the United Kingdom earlier this week did exactly what we did in our fall economic statement of 2007, that is, reducing its value added tax. That is exactly what this finance minister did.

This Prime Minister is showing leadership. He spoke to us in year-end interviews, warning Canadians about this, and some of the hon. members did not believe him. The member for Markham—Unionville said that is ridiculous, the economy is going to grow by 2.5%. What is he saying now?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while every other government around the world is taking action to fight the economic crisis, the Prime Minister is doing the exact opposite. Instead of presenting a plan to revitalize the economy and breathe life into it, the Prime Minister has decided to suffocate it. The Bloc Québécois proposed constructive and realistic measures to help the economy and the public, but every last one was rejected.

Does the Prime Minister realize that by not presenting a real plan to revitalize the economy, he is basically abandoning businesses, regions and people?

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 thank the Bloc for putting forward those suggestions, suggestions that we have not yet received from the other parties.

Having said that, those suggestions will be viewed in our planning for our budget of 2009. That is when we deal with spending. That is when we deal with incomes that come into government, but the fall economic update is simply an update for Canadians to show the state of our economy. It is nothing more than that and I would encourage the hon. members to support this, get on with governing this country and help us lead.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member could be a stand-up comic at the Just For Laughs Festival.

That said, in the hope of more easily imposing his ideology, the Prime Minister used his economic update to silence political parties, unions, artists, women, and every other type of opposition. The government presented an ideological update, not an economic one.

How can the Prime Minister justify this attitude?