House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we reduced the public debt this year by $10 billion and at the same time increased program spending by $13 billion, including considerable assistance for the manufacturing and forestry sectors, seniors and other people.

This is a very balanced, very prudent approach and we are confident that the House will support it.

Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, the Quebec Forest Industry Council, the Manufacturiers et exportateurs du Québec, the Government of Quebec, the Parti Québécois and even Mario Dumont, the Prime Minister's pal, have all said they were disappointed by the budget and the lack of measures to assist the manufacturing and forestry sectors.

After this avalanche of criticism, how can the Prime Minister still say that the budget reflects the interests and values of Quebec?

Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, at the time of the mini-budget, which was passed, measures were taken to speed things up and help our companies deal with the challenges they face. Both that budget and the budget just tabled contain measures within which our most fragile sectors will be able to function.

I would like to finish by reminding the House that just three weeks ago we passed the community fund, under which the Government of Quebec will receive $217 million.

Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that Quebeckers have unanimously spoken out against the Minister of Finance because he has not come up with any real measures to support the manufacturing and forestry industries, which are in crisis. He can remedy the situation before March 31 and use a portion of the $10.2 billion surplus to stimulate investment and innovation by providing direct assistance to companies hit by the crisis.

Will the minister take action and create a fund to provide companies with refundable contributions to purchase new equipment, instead of putting all the money towards the debt and causing serious trouble for our manufacturing companies?

Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, not all Quebeckers object to this budget. On the contrary, the Conseil du patronat du Québec and the mayor of the City of Montreal are among those who feel that this budget provides a clear direction. We have only to think of the permanent extension of gas tax funding.

If we look at the tax measures, they will enable Quebec not only to meet its commitments, but prepare for the future. There are things in this budget that Quebeckers appreciate.

Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Jérôme-Forget, Quebec's finance minister, and François Dupuis and Yves St-Maurice, economists with Mouvement Desjardins, are questioning the Conservatives' decision to pay down the debt at the expense of a more productive, more competitive economy.

Considering the crisis in the manufacturing and forestry industries and the 150,000 jobs that have been lost in the past five years in Quebec, will the minister abandon his ideological position and use a portion of the $10.2 billion surplus to improve his aid package? Quebec is still waiting for a positive response to its demands.

Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the economy of Canada and the economy of Quebec are on a solid footing. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 33 years. We all know it, but the Bloc Québécois members do not talk about it.

And they will certainly not talk about the millennium scholarship program. They will not want to talk about that, because it was dealt with in the spirit of open federalism, as André Pratte said today. In addition, there is the new savings account that will enable Quebeckers to save more money—

Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth.

Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, health care workers are saying that this budget completely ignores the health sector. Physiotherapists are saying that the federal budget offers nothing substantial for the health sector. Even the Canadian Medical Association was critical of the fact that the doctor shortage was completely ignored, while 5 million people do not have their own family doctor.

Why is the Prime Minister breaking his health care promises and not giving another cent to shorten waiting lists?

Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the NDP has it all wrong. For example, in this budget there is new money for Genome Canada, for mental health, for the safety of health products and for students studying in medical fields. There are a number of measures in this budget for the health sector and for many other Canadian priorities.

Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the word “health” barely even squeezes itself into the budget. There is nothing to deal with the nursing shortage. There is nothing to deal with the shortage of doctors. Five million Canadians do not have a doctor for their families. There is absolutely not a word about dealing with the crisis of home care and long term care faced by working families these days. When it comes to prescription drugs that people cannot afford for their health, the government turns a blind eye.

Why does the government, now supported by the Liberals, turn its back on the health care system of Canada and leave Canadian families without what they need for the good health of their members?

Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has made important investments in health care in Genome Canada, in the Mental Health Commission, in health product safety, in the training of medical students and in record transfers to the provinces for health care. The problem is the opposition leader has a view that all we should do is spend, spend, spend and no matter how much we spend, it is not enough.

The truth of the matter is we have made some important investments in spending. We have reduced taxes. We are paying down debt. Canadians want that balanced approach.

Ethics
Oral Questions

February 27th, 2008 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, in 1989 Brian Mulroney condemned the Chinese government for the “indiscriminate shooting” of peaceful demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. However, at the ethics committee, he claimed that three years later he was “warmly received” by the same government and tried to sell it armoured vehicles, in violation of an arms embargo that Canada initiated. It is not believable, but Canadians will never know the truth because Mr. Mulroney is arrogantly avoiding a committee of Parliament.

Will the Prime Minister publicly call on his former idol, his mentor, to be accountable and appear before the ethics committee?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. I am not sure the question falls within the administrative competence of the government, but I see the government House leader wants to respond. Perhaps he will say something that is relevant.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, very simply, I understand the individual did appear before the ethics committee once already. The government has responded to this issue through the establishment of Professor Johnston's assessment of what should be done. He has made recommendations about the holding of a public inquiry. The government is acting on those. We are awaiting the completion of the work of the ethics committee so the public inquiry can proceed.