House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was recovery.

Topics

Privacy Commissioner
Routine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of the Privacy Commissioner concerning the implementation of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act for 2008.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

The Economy
Routine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is getting results. It is stimulating the economy. It is protecting and creating jobs. In just over 100 days, we are already seeing progress as our government continues to implement Canada's economic action plan.

Because of our swift actions, 90% of the plan is already being implemented. Funds are being committed to 7,500 projects, and 4,000 projects have already begun in the first six months of our 24-month plan.

Other measures of Canada's economic action plan that have already been implemented include reducing the tax burden on Canadian families and businesses through such measures as the home renovation tax credit and the first-time home buyers' tax credit; assisting the unemployed by extending EI benefits, making it easier to qualify for EI, and expanding EI training programs; investing in the economy of the future by upgrading infrastructure; expanding graduate student internships and investing in green technologies.

Our efforts are having a real and positive effect. We are seeing stabilization and the early beginnings of a recovery. This recovery is fragile. We are not out of the woods yet, which is why it is crucial that we continue to implement our plan. Canada came into this recession on a strong footing with a strong, solid, long-term fiscal position. We paid down debt, allowing our government to introduce the largest stimulus package of all the G7 countries.

Our taxes are falling, making Canada a more attractive place to live, invest and do business. Thanks to our tax relief measures, tax freedom day now arrives 20 days earlier than it did when we took office. The world is noticing. Under the leadership of our Prime Minister and our Minister of Finance, Canada's economy has been the envy of the world.

Euromoney magazine heralded the member for Whitby—Oshawa as their finance minister of the year, saying that we have been lucky to have him to enhance our “reputation for sound fiscal policy that takes full account of social justice” and keep “the financial sector out of the chaos”.

The Economy
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure what to make of all that. It was filled with the usual Conservative rhetoric that makes no sense to anyone outside the Conservative caucus.

The minister started by saying in just over 100 days we are seeing progress. What does that mean exactly? The budget was tabled 252 days ago. It is 208 days since the budget passed. So what does the minister mean when he says something like in just over 100 days we are seeing progress?

The truth is it does not mean anything at all, and neither did that speech. It may not have technically been a thinly veiled government ad for the Conservative Party, but it was a profound waste of the time of the House which the transport minister used to pat the finance minister on the back. If the finance minister wants a pat, here is a brief account of his record as finance minister.

The finance minister swung into his seat at the finance department and the very first thing he did was to raise income tax at the lowest bracket, ensuring he hurt vulnerable Canadians the most.

The finance minister broke his party's promise not to tax income trusts by increasing taxes on them a whopping 31% and destroying the life savings of hundreds of thousands of Canadians.

The finance minister tried to hobble the ability of Canadian companies to compete in the world with an insane interest deductibility policy that was so bad he had to withdraw it and two years later abandon it.

The finance minister has booked EI premium increases over the next five years that will pluck $13 billion from the pockets of small businesses and workers.

The finance minister inherited a $13 billion Liberal surplus in February 2006 and had made it into a deficit by 2008-09. He was still pretending to run a surplus 10 months ago. He acknowledged a $30 billion deficit nine months ago, a $50 billion deficit last spring, and a $56 billion deficit last month.

I would like to congratulate the finance minister on his Euromoney award, but I would also urge him to stop taking up the House's time with self-promotional ministerial statements.

The Economy
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's third progress report is nothing but smoke and mirrors. The government is boasting that 90% of the funds promised have been committed, but it is impossible for us to find out exactly what is happening on the ground. The government's progress report provides no clarification about who might benefit from extended employment insurance benefits. They are just trying to avoid making it obvious that the measure was intended specifically for Ontario and western Canada. They do not care about Quebec workers.

The Canadian government could have followed the Obama administration's example; it has made detailed information available to all citizens about exactly what funds have been spent and which initiatives have been put forward as part of the American economic recovery plan. Instead of giving us a credible report, the Conservative government chose to produce this propagandist update trumpeting the government's achievements as the basis its $30 million-plus ad campaign paid for out the public purse.

The report does clarify two things. First, it reminds us that the government's action plan was clearly devised to help Ontario and its auto sector, not to do anything about the forestry crisis that has been hurting Quebec for years. The recent announcement that AbitibiBowater's Beaupré mill was closing its doors for an indefinite period of time was a reminder that Quebec's forestry sector is going through a serious crisis. In its progress report, the Conservative government responded by giving the Ontario auto industry $9.7 billion and the crisis-ridden forestry industry just $57 million. Furthermore, it confirms the federal government's strategy of chipping away at the deficit at the expense of unemployed workers by once again pillaging the employment insurance fund and cutting off Quebec's lifeblood, just like their Liberal predecessors did.

The Bloc Québécois did give the government realistic, costed suggestions to promote recovery, deal with the deficit, and give the privileged few who benefit from the Liberal-Conservative system what they deserve. It is time for the government to shrug off its ideological straitjacket and start working on the solutions proposed by the Bloc Québécois to ensure that the Quebec nation can make a strong recovery from the economic crisis and that middle-class, working Quebeckers do not have to pay the price for the government's lack of vision when it comes to fighting the deficit.

The Economy
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, two things are missing from the statement of the Minister of Finance, made by his amanuensis, the Minister of Transport. They are a recognition of the fact that the problems began in Canada before the current international crisis and, more importantly, a vision for the future. I will start with the first one.

When the Conservative government slashed corporate taxes, it had the support of the Liberals, who felt the government was not moving fast enough. The government reduced these taxes by $60 billion. How did the Conservatives find the tax room to do that? The answer is simple. They took the $57 billion in the employment insurance fund and put it in the general revenue fund.

Some people will say that this was government money anyway, but the problem is that the money in the employment insurance account was put there by employees first and foremost, and also by employers. Whether a forestry company turned a profit, broke even or lost money, it was obliged to pay EI premiums for every one of its employees.

Because this money was used to create tax room to give tax breaks to the wealthiest companies—a company did not pay tax if it had not made any money, so the only companies that got tax breaks were the wealthiest ones like the banks and the oil companies—forestry and manufacturing companies in Quebec wound up subsidizing big oil and the chartered banks, which had no need for such subsidies.

What is more, the government has absolutely no vision. The Conservatives talk about jobs, but what is their vision of the future of sustainable development and our responsibility for future generations? The oil sands are just one example of the Conservative government's failure to understand that every time they take action in Parliament, they must look at how it will affect future generations economically, socially and environmentally.

Instead of posing with future generations, for once the Conservatives should try taking action to help future generations by creating the jobs of tomorrow and having a vision for clean, renewable energies throughout this extraordinary country. Not only will they create wealth, but people will have sustainable jobs in an economy that respects the rights of future generations to have the same standard of living, the same quality of life and the same living environment as we do.

Canada Labour Code
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-455, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (French language).

Mr. Speaker, it is truly an honour for me to introduce a bill today that will ensure the application of the provisions of the Charter of the French Language in businesses under federal jurisdiction, whether they be chartered banks, interprovincial transportation companies or telecommunications companies. The Charter provisions give rights to workers, for example, to receive documents in their own language, and prevents an employer from requiring knowledge of a language other than French if it is not required to do the job.

There has been a controversy in recent years over whether or not to change the Official Languages Act. We are not changing the act. Instead of making ambulatory references to the Charter, we took all the provisions of the Charter of the French Language and incorporated them into the Canada Labour Code. We believe that this is a real, concrete recognition of the Quebec nation, without changing the Official Languages Act. Everyone wins here, because it does not take anything away from the English-speaking linguistic minority in Quebec.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada Post Corporation
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table two petitions, one signed by the people of Sainte-Félicité, in the riding of Haute-Gaspésie —La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, and one from the people of Saint-Léon-le-Grand, also in the riding of Haute-Gaspésie —La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia.

These citizens want Canada Post to keep post offices open in all rural communities, including in their own communities.

Poverty
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Tony Martin Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure this morning of presenting a petition on behalf of 53 signatories from across Canada from places like Ottawa; New Westminster and Surrey, British Columbia; Kitchener; Orillia; Toronto; Saskatoon; and other communities across Canada. The petitioners are very concerned about the plight of the poor in this country and those who are both out of work and continue to have work but who are working for minimum wage or at part-time jobs, and are not able to put enough money on the table to pay for their rent and cover food and clothing for themselves and their children.

They are also concerned about the inequality that is beginning to arise, particularly in terms of exclusion. The fact that so many people now cannot participate in their communities in the way that they used to because of this very debilitating reality in their life of poverty. I present this to the House for its consideration this morning.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr.. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

I wish to inform the House that because of the ministerial statement, government orders will be extended by 11 minutes.

The House resumed from October 2 consideration of the motion that Bill C-51, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on January 27, 2009 and to implement other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Economic Recovery Act (stimulus)
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, among other things, Bill C-51 implements the home renovation tax credit. This measure was inspired by the proposals made in both the Bloc Québécois recovery plans, presented last fall and the previous April. This bill also introduces a first time homebuyers' tax credit. This measure was also inspired by the Bloc's last platform. Bill C-51 will also implement Canada's international commitments to the International Monetary Fund, which were signed in 2008. It will also amend the Canada Pension Plan, from which Quebec is excluded. The amendments are based on an agreement with the provinces involved. Quebec is not involved, but if there is an agreement, we respect that.

Bill C-51 will implement the findings of a joint expert panel including representatives of Nova Scotia, the federal government and others to resolve a dispute. Once again, Quebec is not involved in that litigation, but if there is an agreement, I do not see why we would not support it.

For all of these reasons, and especially for the home renovation tax credit and the first time homebuyers' tax credit, the Bloc Québécois is in favour of this bill.

Coming back to the home renovation tax credit, in April 2008, when the Bloc Québécois was presenting the initial phase of its economic recovery plan, we proposed introducing a home renovation tax credit with a very specific objective: to encourage people to convert their old oil furnaces to more energy efficient models. At that time, we argued that such a measure would help reduce our dependence on oil. This would have the added and equally important effect of rapidly injecting money into the economy.

This measure has been introduced by the Conservatives and we know that their primary focus was not necessarily on reducing greenhouse gases nor on energy efficient retrofits. Nonetheless, we maintain that this would be a way to stimulate the economy and we are in favour of this measure. We proposed it, we had a debate on it and we made our arguments. Today, our proposal is before us. It has been accepted by the government and we are indeed in favour of it; we would be hard pressed not to be. Even though it is not exactly what we had in mind, many people will benefit from the energy efficient retrofits. What is more, in the past few weeks, since the Bloc Québécois announced it was in favour of this measure, people have realized that we were the ones who proposed this measure and we are the ones who got it. Many people are congratulating us for convincing the government to introduce such a measure in its budget.

Even though this is not only or specifically about energy efficient retrofit measures, several areas are eligible for this tax credit, window products in particular. We know that one way to improve energy efficiency is to replace windows, doors and skylights. In a number of different ridings in Quebec, most MPs have heard many people and many window and door companies say that the tax credit associated with this measure has helped stimulate the home renovation sector.

Many people decided to do it because their heating oil costs were so high. As everyone knows, neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals have ever been particularly eager to clamp down on the oil companies, so big oil raises the prices whenever it feels like it. If people have a chance to reduce their oil heating costs by replacing their windows and get a tax credit to boot, they will do home renovations. That makes this measure a very attractive one.

We know that it will also reduce household energy consumption, which will directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions make a significant contribution to undesirable climate change.

Buying better-quality windows and doors will make up for some of the negative effects of oil heating. When people use good products in renovations, they can reduce their heating oil consumption by between 7% and 12%. Renovations also minimize drafts, cut down on interior condensation and so on. They also reduce noise transference. We hear so much about air pollution, but there is also noise pollution. People living in urban centres and near highways experience significant stress due to noise and they will also benefit from this measure, which can cut down on noise pollution.

We also know that Quebec is a very large part of Canada and has an abundance of fresh water. When you have an abundance of a given resource, including water in the case of Quebec, you tend to take it for granted. In most homes in Quebec, you just have to open the tap and water flows freely in every room where it is needed, in the laundry room or in the washroom. Water is not free, especially hot water. Improving the insulation in a house with new doors and windows and other renovations can often cut the cost of heating water by 15%. These are significant measures and important to most Quebec households.

This tax credit also makes it possible to renovate the plumbing in a home. Shower heads can be changed to save water. It is a renewable resource but there are limits. We must conserve the hot water used for a normal family's household needs.

We are very supportive of such measures because they contribute globally to energy conservation and the reduction of pollution. It is a very interesting measure that has been put forward.

I would also like to talk about the first time homebuyers' tax credit. In its 2008 election platform, the Bloc Québécois proposed putting in place a homebuyers' program. Many Quebec families find it difficult to buy their first house. It is extremely important for the government to help families, including middle-income families, to purchase their first home. Buying a home is often the most important investment of one's life. Families often need a helping hand at the start.

Because there is a similar measure in this bill, we will support it once again.

We had some mixed feelings, because the Conservatives' measure is much less generous than what we proposed. But it is a step in the right direction, and it shows some understanding of the very solid arguments made by the various Bloc Québécois members. We think this is a step in the right direction, and that the government seems to have understood that it is necessary to support first time homebuyers.

This is a major investment for many families, and buying a home is an important step for many households in Quebec and Canada. They are able to build equity. As I said, this is the primary investment for many families, and it is very often the biggest investment a family will make in their lifetime. It is very necessary and important to support families in this step and to help them benefit from capital gains.

In recent years, the capital appreciation of real estate and the increase in home values has made home ownership appealing. Quebec is a little behind Canada in regards to home ownership and the desire of some families to purchase a home. So this is a very appealing measure for Quebec.

It is often very difficult for these families to build capital. The government is proposing an interest-free loan up to $10,000. This makes it much more appealing for new and young families to purchase a first home.

This, in essence, is why the Bloc Québécois supports Bill C-51, and why we will vote in favour of it.

Economic Recovery Act (stimulus)
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I guess I was expecting comments but I think everybody was pleasantly surprised that my hon. colleague, who shares a seat at the finance committee, has decided to support Bill C-51. I would encourage, under his leadership, all members of the opposition to do as he has suggested because that was another wise decision from that member.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to address the House today in support of the economic recovery act, a key piece of legislation that would enact essential portions of Canada's economic action plan, along with other important initiatives.

The economic recovery act is part of our Conservative government's comprehensive response to the global economic crisis that has impacted nearly every country in the world since it began a little over a year ago, a downturn whose underlying triggers did not originate in Canada and, as such, cannot be solely resolved in Canada.

I underline for the opposition, seemingly determined to finger out government for the economic ills of the global marketplace, that this was and remains a global recession, one largely originating from the United States. This is not a made in Canada recession.

As a BBC report noted:

...the world economy crashed. The [American] sub-prime crisis lit a fuse that went from California or Southern Florida via New York to Iceland, Hungary and Japan.

The virus spread through the intricate arteries of the world's financial bloodstream.

While conceding this has been a global recession, we all recognize its epicentre is and continues to be our neighbour to the south, our largest trading partner, the United States.

Even as the green shoots of recovery begin their slow ascent in that country and around the world, the enormity of the great recession continues to ravage the American economy. Last week we learned that over a quarter million Americans lost their jobs in September. Unemployment is nearing double digits there. These are stunning numbers. They are sad reminders of the nearly 8 million men and women who have seen their jobs vanish since the start of this great American downturn.

As President Barack Obama noted, the U.S. September job report was:

...a "sobering reminder" that "progress comes in fits and starts and that we're going to need to grind out this recovery step by step.

He went on to say that it “will not happen overnight”.

Budget implementation act 2 is an important part of this step for Canadians.

As I alluded to earlier, green shoots are appearing in the American economy. In the Canadian economy and those around the word, recovery is on the horizon.

This global recovery has largely been driven by the injection of fiscal stimulus by governments, stimulus unprecedented for both its sheer magnitude and for its coordinated global scale. However, this is a recovery that remains as fragile, as it is tentative. Governments must stay the course. Their focus must not waver from the economy. As the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors noted in a communiqué following their meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, this weekend:

In recent months, we have started to see signs of a global economic recovery and continued improvement in financial market conditions. However, there is no room for complacency since the prospects for growth remain fragile and labor market conditions are not yet improving. We will keep in place our support measures until recovery is assured.

We cannot become complacent and we cannot allow a recovery to be jeopardized with some opportunistic political games here at home, political games like those that the Liberal leader has shamefully engaged in over the past few weeks. Maybe the Liberal leader has not noticed that rising unemployment continues to be a challenge around the world. Maybe he has not noticed that all governments around the world made the decision to run deficits to fight the recession and fight unemployment.

Our Conservative government, too, has made the decision to fight the recession and has done so through Canada's economic action plan. While this meant we made the difficult decision to run a multi-year deficit, it was the right decision, right for our economy and right for Canadians, for Canada's economic action plan is working.

Our economic action plan is helping to create and maintain jobs. It is extending benefits to the unemployed. It is helping those who need retraining and helping those individuals and industries undergoing a transformation, such as the auto and forestry sectors and so many others.

While our plan is achieving results, the job is not done. We need to stay on track. We need to provide the stability needed to secure recovery. Stability is not achieved by throwing Canada back into an unnecessary election but by following through on our plan and keeping our focus on the economy. That is exactly what we are doing with the ambitious economic recovery act.

Through the economic recovery act, we are cutting taxes for individuals and businesses by implementing the temporary home renovation tax credit and the first time homebuyers tax credit. We are fighting protectionism by relaxing tariffs on shipping containers. We are strengthening the Canada pension plan by allowing increased flexibility in how Canadians live, work and retire, as unanimously recommended by federal, provincial and territorial governments last May.

We are promoting global growth and cooperation by giving small and low income countries a bigger voice at the IMF, and strengthening our commitment to debt relief. We are ensuring dependability for public broadcasting by increasing the CBC's borrowing authority.

Additionally, to ensure that Canadian taxpayers can better keep track of the spending of their tax dollars, we are improving government transparency and accountability by requiring all federal departments and crown corporations to prepare and publish quarterly financial reports.

The economic recovery act also concludes the crown share saga for the people of Nova Scotia after decades of neglect from previous Liberal governments. As former Nova Scotia premier, John Buchanan, declared, “What happened then with the federal Liberal government under Jean Chrétien, they just refused to talk about the Crown share. They would not talk about it all”.

In contrast, not only have we talked about the crown share with Nova Scotia, our Conservative government worked in conjunction with the province to resolve the issue.

Despite all this, the Liberal leader and his party vowed, essentially sight unseen, to oppose all these measures and vote against the economic recovery act. Why? To be blunt, to end Canada's economic recovery appears to be secondary to his obsession with forcing an election. The Liberal rallying cry is simply corrosive to Canada, “No matter what this Conservative government proposes, no matter who it benefits, it must be stopped, it must be defeated.”

Canadians deserve better than that. Canadians deserve elected representatives willing to work together during this global recession, willing to do what is best for the Canadian economy not merely for the Liberal Party of Canada.

I would ask the Liberal leader to stop playing games, stop the obsession and scheming to force an unnecessary election. Sadly, I have no confidence he will listen for he has not even listened to his own Liberal caucus on that matter.

Liberals, like the member for York West who, in early September, pleaded with her leader to drop his maddening election obsession, telling the Globe and Mail that this was not the time for an election and that instead Parliament should “try to do the right thing for Canadians overall. We're in a difficult time. We want to focus on employment and getting people back to work and all of that”.

The Liberal leader has ignored the Liberal member for York West and likely a great deal of his own Liberal caucus to continue with a single-minded obsession to force an election at all costs.

As the Liberal leader continues his quest to force an unnecessary election, he continues to attack our Conservative government's economic management and initiatives such as this economic recovery act. He also continues to gleefully denigrate and talk down our Canadian economy.

This is how he slammed Canada's economy in a speech this past September proudly posted on the Liberal website for the online world to see. He smeared Canada and said that Canada had “the worst performing economy in the G7”. He then lectured by saying that “We've got to make Canada a world leader again, and we've got to do it now”.

Not only are comments like those at the height of self-serving political arrogance, but they are factually wrong and do a disservice to the tireless work and sacrifices of the men and women who have made Canada's economy what it is today.

That is something all Canadians should be proud of, and they should be cheered regardless of partisan affiliation.

I am going to take a moment now to speak not to the present but to the future, and to set the historical record straight, to speak to the readers of this edition of Hansard, the Canadian Parliament's most enduring tradition in a time far removed from today, be it 25, 50 or 100 years from now.

Even though we were in the midst of what has been labelled the great recession of this time, this was an especially proud moment to be a Canadian for one reason. Due to the inherent sense of humility in the Canadian character we downplayed that reason. Canada's economy and financial system during this challenging time was among the strongest and the most envied in the world. From Ireland, to France, to the United States, the Canadian model was the model that all others sought to replicate.

However, do not take my words as proof. Listen to what the world was saying about Canada, our country. Listen to how Ireland's largest daily newspaper, The Irish Times, praised our financial regulatory framework:

...Canada has attracted more attention recently as a paradigm for creating and regulating a banking system that has been stable, and even profitable, through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression...Canada's reputation for fiscal conservatism may have been boring during the boom times, but being boring has left the country's banking system in a rare position of strength in the financial world.

Listen to the French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, who after a meeting of the world's top finance ministers remarked:

I think...we can be inspired by...the Canadian situation. There were some people who said, “I want to be Canadian”.

Listen to what the Institute of International Finance and the world association of banks proclaimed about this country:

Canada is in a position today to punch above [its] weight. Why? Because [it has] come through this better than virtually any other financial system in a mature market, so [it] must be doing something right... [Canada] is viewed in many quarters as having incredible financial and of course political leadership, but also is somewhat of an honest broker.

World Bank president Robert Zoellick described our country this way:

Canada's experience offers lessons to others, especially its strong financial and regulatory environment that is helping it manage the shocks of the downturn.

He also went on to declare that by global standards, Canada' position was enviable:

I think a lot of people would like to change places with Canada.

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said:

...in the midst of this enormous economic crisis, I think Canada has shown itself to be a pretty good manager of the financial system in the economy in ways that we haven't always been here in the United States. And I think that's important for us to take note of.

Or finally, the IMF, as reported in the Globe and Mail forecasted that:

Canada is on track to lead the world's wealthiest countries out of recession next year, a testament to sound economic policy...reinforc[ing that the] Prime Minister...and the Finance minister['s] policies have helped the Canadian economy weather the financial crisis better than most.

To the future I say with pride that this is how our country was viewed at this moment in time. I would also say that our Conservative government was not merely content to rest on its laurels. That is why we brought forward important legislation in the economic recovery act to help lay the ground work for a stronger economy as we fought off this great recession and built a more prosperous Canada for generations to come for all Canadians.

Speaking to the present, I ask for the support of the House, for members to do the right thing in the interests of what is their country. We share in it across the aisle, and Canadians at home trust us to act in their best interests.

Pass this budget implementation act to help keep Canada strong and keep this beautiful country the envy of the world well into the future.