House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, President Obama's economic recovery plan was passed by the U.S. Senate today. Obama's plan is equivalent to 3% of the American GDP. That is greater than the G20 recommendation. The Conservative government's plan is, proportionally, only one third of Obama's recovery plan.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to do as much for Canadians as Obama is doing for his citizens?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our situation and that of the United States, and consequently our respective plans, are different. For example, the Obama plan has lots of money for state and municipal governments. We solved the fiscal imbalance two years ago. That is one difference. We acted earlier than the United States.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's plan falls far short of what is needed.

The U.S. senate has adopted a stimulus package equal to 3% of the GDP of the U.S. and the G20 recommends 2%, something the Prime Minister said he supported, but now we learn from the government's own figures and the parliamentary budget officer that the total stimulus in the government's package is .7 of 1%. The fact is it does not go nearly far enough to deal with the crisis in our economy.

Will the Prime Minister finally admit that more has to be done? He has to get on the same train that we see the President of the United States taking to move our economy--

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the House will know, the government began adopting stimulus measures in the fall of 2007. Those stimulus measures are certainly equal to what any other country in the world has done. They are one of the reasons, notwithstanding the difficulties we have, why our relative growth in employment rates have been positive compared to a lot of other countries. We certainly do not want to replicate the situation in the United States of 3.5 million job losses here in Canada.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, that plan in the fall really worked. We have lost a quarter of a million jobs in the last 90 days, and the ideas and funds they offered to General Motors are being turned down by the company.

Meanwhile, if we look south of the border, where there was a more sensible approach to help the auto industry move toward a green auto production future, the company took up the money and are creating jobs in the United States. Meanwhile, our industry is threatened here.

When is the Prime Minister going to bring forward a plan for the creation of a green car job strategy here in Canada that will put Canadians to work and match what is being done in the United States?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the leader of the New Democratic Party should know, this government has made clear that it is working in close collaboration with our partners in the United States on the restructuring of the auto industry. That is a fact. What Canadians and Canadians in the auto sector want to know is that the New Democratic Party will actually support some of these initiatives instead of deciding it is against them before it even reads them.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, the recession is devastating British Columbia. There have been 68,000 full-time jobs lost, bankruptcies are soaring, and home sales are crashing. There is damage in every sector: construction, mining, forestry, financial services and tourism. Men and women are losing their livelihoods. They are losing their businesses. They are losing their homes.

Why is the Prime Minister so utterly incapable of giving them any hope?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, we are in the midst of a synchronized global recession, the likes of which has not been seen since the second world war. That is why two weeks ago, here, in order to help Canadians from coast to coast to coast, we introduced Canada's economic action plan; the ways and means motion in support, which the official opposition supported; and the budget implementation bill, which has been introduced.

What Liberals need to do is get this bill through the House so we can start flowing the money and helping Canadians.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, it sounds like we have a new buzzword from across the aisle.

In December, while the Prime Minister was busy protecting his own job and insisting that this was just a “technical recession”, the people of B.C. were suffering. Bankruptcies jumped 42% from the previous December, home sales plunged 58%, and the 68,000 full-time jobs lost last month could be only the tip of the iceberg.

Could the Prime Minister tell workers laid off in B.C., did he not understand the depth of the problem or did he just not care?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think the depth of the problem is clear. In fact, it is laid out clearly in Canada's economic action plan, a plan that the hon. member has supported.

She knows, as you do, Mr. Speaker, that we need the cooperation of the provinces to have the infrastructure stimulus we need. We need international cooperation for that stimulus. Let us get it done. Let us work for the people of Canada. Let us get the bill passed, so that Canadians can be helped to get back to work.

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, British Columbia has been hardest hit by this recession. Last month, B.C. lost 68,000 jobs, 600 of them in the central Okanagan. The forestry industry is heavily impacted by mill closures and towns like Mackenzie have been devastated.

The Conservative government promised $400 million in the 2006 and 2007 budgets to deal with the pine beetle problem. In three years, it has only delivered a quarter of that money. Could the minister assure British Columbians that she will keep more than 25% of her government's promises this time?

Forestry Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this government undertook an unprecedented level of consultation from one part of the country to the other, including British Columbia. I attended many round tables, speaking to those involved with the forestry industry, the result of which was the president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada indicating the following on our economic action plan: “The Budget investments in innovation, market promotion and research and development signal to us the government gets it”.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

February 10th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, that kind of happy rhetoric is not helping anybody, particularly my province of British Columbia. In Victoria, there has been an 84% decline in construction in January alone. Thousands of people have lost their jobs. Yet, in the face of this, what we have seen is that, although British Columbians pay the same premiums as other Canadians, they have less ability to access and be eligible for EI.

My question is this: when will the government stop the discrimination against British Columbia?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the rules for employment insurance are the same right across the country. What varies is the amount of benefits that go as situations change based on local conditions. As a local economy such as Oshawa deteriorates, its eligibility for benefits becomes easier and it gets benefits for longer.

I would point out to the hon. member that his Liberal premier supports our economic action plan.