House of Commons Hansard #10 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

Older Workers
Oral Questions

December 1st, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, factories are closing and workers are losing their jobs, and not everyone can be retrained. Only the government refuses to see this reality. That is why the Bloc Québécois is proposing the creation of an income support program for older workers who have been the victims of layoffs, to allow them to bridge the gap until their retirement.

Since the government refuses to bring in such a measure, is this not proof of its insensitivity toward the victims of this economic crisis? We are talking about $45 million a year for all of Quebec and Canada.

Older Workers
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House believe in the older workers who have been laid off because of circumstances beyond our control. That is why we introduced the targeted initiative for older workers, in order to help them prepare for another job. We have had some success. It is not enough, but we are continuing our efforts.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of tackling the crisis, this government opts instead for a laissez-faire policy toward the victims and, in particular, refuses to help out the unemployed by eliminating the two-week waiting period for employment insurance.

Why did the government not use the plan presented by the Bloc Québécois, dropping its laissez-faire ideology and taking a proactive approach by eliminating the waiting period? That would not have cost very much and would have really helped the victims of the economic crisis.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we are always looking for ways to improve the ways in which Canadians receive the assistance and support they need. That is why we enlarged the employment insurance system through four pilot projects. We are still looking for ways to improve the system. I already thanked the Bloc for its suggestions. We are studying them in order to continue improving the system for those who need it.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are waking up to the fact that the Conservative Prime Minister cannot be trusted.

A report to be released this week will indicate that car sales are much weaker than the rosy picture the Conservative Minister of Finance is trying to paint. Instead of meaningful help to the auto sector, the Conservatives have chosen to play political games.

The Prime Minister when speaking to the world at the APEC summit promises meaningful stimulus, but when speaking to Canadians introduces only cuts. How can he be trusted any longer?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, indeed we have been working on the auto file with our colleagues in the Liberal Ontario government to work out a plan of action. That is why I, along with my colleague, Mike Bryant, minister of economic development in Ontario, sent a letter to the automakers, so that we can get a plan on the table.

Maybe members on the other side like giving away money without any plans, but on this side of the House we believe in a plan, we believe in the taxpayers and we believe in the people of Canada.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the facts catch up to the rhetoric, it is clear that the Conservatives have no meaningful plan to help Canada's auto sector. Auto workers have been ignored for too long. Their families are struggling and the Conservatives just do not care.

The Prime Minister called an election in violation of his own law. How can Canadians trust him?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in fact we have been dealing with the auto sector. The previous budget, budget 2008, was the start of our plans.

The fact of the matter is that we have done more in the Government of Canada for automakers than south of the border. That has been recognized. We have been there for the auto sector, but we will not give money for nothing. That is not part of our agenda. That is not part of being responsible to the people of Canada. We want to see a plan. That is why we are proud to be Conservatives.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of taking action to protect the jobs and savings of Canadians, the Conservatives preferred to cling rigidly to their dogma.

Instead of protecting the jobs of people who work in our manufacturing industries, whether automobile parts or aeronautics, the Conservatives have attacked union rights and pay equity for women.

Why should Canadians have confidence in the Prime Minister?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the bulk of the public service has chosen not to exercise a strike option. It has done so by entering into collective agreements on terms that are fair and reasonable to both the taxpayers and public servants.

We also want to ensure that women are entitled to appropriate pay in terms of pay equity. That is why we are bringing in legislation that ensures there is a timely resolution of those types of disputes.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the effects of the recession are already being felt on Main Street. When people lose their jobs, how can they pay their mortgage, their rent, their groceries?

Instead of creating jobs by breaking ground on new infrastructure projects, the Conservatives are delaying them and are sitting on $3 billion to hide their deficit.

How can we possibly have confidence in the Prime Minister when he is so cruelly lacking in common sense?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I am sure the hon. member knows, because I am sure she looked at the news this morning, we in fact continue to perform in Canada better than our G7 partners. We perform better because we took steps in advance. We prepared. We reduced the GST effective January 1 this year. The United Kingdom just did it last week.

The good news is that the Canadian GDP, gross domestic product, grew 1.3% in the third quarter of this year.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, during a global economic crisis, the secret Bloc-Liberal-NDP cabal is plotting behind closed doors to plunge Canada into a political crisis. The opposition plotters, composed of socialists and separatists and led by a rejected Liberal leader, will jack up business taxes and impose a massive carbon tax within days of seizing power.

Their panicky backroom deals will lay ruin to the Canadian economy. Now is the time to stand up for Canada, not seek its ruin.

Could the finance minister tell this House what we have done to bolster the economy? What stimulus have we already injected?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have taken a steady, stable, long-term view to economic development in Canada. We have also acted promptly and in advance of the serious economic slowdown globally this year.

We cut taxes across the board last fall, keeping money in the economy right now. And yes, tax cuts do stimulate the economy by leaving money in the hands of people in Canada so they spend it, and businesses so they can reinvest it and create jobs.

That stimulus is 2% of GDP, 30 days from now in Canada, the doubling of infrastructure spending, 30 days from now in Canada--

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Outremont.