House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2009
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, those who feel abandoned are Quebeckers and it is the Conservative government that has abandoned them. For example, the request concerning the waiting period in employment insurance is a unanimous one in Quebec. The Conservatives ignored it completely.

There has been criticism throughout Quebec of the measures in this budget vis-à-vis the crisis in the forestry and manufacturing sectors. We are realizing that the Conservative government, especially because of the weak representation by the members from Quebec, has failed to put forward measures that will benefit the economy of Quebec.

On the matter of credit—it is all very complicated—the amount involved is $200 billion. The problem with the banks is not the amount the government is releasing, but the imposition of conditions on them to ensure that the money will reach consumers. And, in this regard, more effort is required.

Budget Implementation Act, 2009
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, in his speech my learned friend talked about the lack of merits of a national securities regulator and said that various provinces, including Quebec, have a great system now. This is 72 hours after the Caisse de dépôt announced that it lost $38 billion last year. One of the reasons for that loss was the investment in asset based commercial paper. The regulators in Quebec, Ontario and every other province did not understand the product, did not understand the rulings from the rating agencies, did not realize that these were toxic products. This caused a lot of losses and damages to ordinary working Quebeckers and Canadians.

Given the facts that have come to light in the last little while, does my learned friend think the system can be improved?

Budget Implementation Act, 2009
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, my answer, simply, is that Percy Crawford, who established the rescue plan in connection with the whole issue of banking papers, said that the impact of the system would have been no different had it been a centralized system. The OECD considers the Canadian system second in the world in terms of its reliability.

In the financial crisis, however, this is not where the problem lies. We must establish how those responsible made the investments. The bottom line is that the brokers accepted a product that was unacceptable. This situation was repeated worldwide, where there were centralized systems and where there were decentralized systems.

Still, in this matter, Mr. Crawford, the person who succeeded in coming up with a solution to avoid a totally negative fallout, a leading light in Canada, said that a centralized system would not have improved the situation in any way.

Budget Implementation Act, 2009
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, since this is my first occasion to speak in the House since you have been appointed to this position, I wish to congratulate you and wish you all the best as you assume your new duties.

I want to thank the other speakers who spoke on this particular issue. When we look back and listen to what everyone is saying, we come to realize what a large and diverse country Canada is. We come from many cultures, with two founding languages, and it certainly adds so much to the richness of this country and the richness of this debate.

I want to spend the limited time allocated to me today to speak briefly on the environment in all its forms: climate change, water, clean air. I certainly read the budget and I am a little disappointed in what I have read. I think there was a half a page or a page and a half on the environment. Some people would say there was little done and some people would say there was nothing done; however, regardless, it was pretty thin.

I know for a fact, and everyone knows, that environmental issues rise and fall with the economy. When the economy is doing well, the environment becomes a major concern with people and of course when the economy starts to slip, the environment becomes less of a concern. This is very unfortunate. It is up to us in Parliament to provide that leadership and provide that vision that is needed in these times.

I am not going to repeat in this House what everyone knows about the whole issue of climate change. It is, according to Sir Nicholas Stern, the greatest market failure the world has ever seen.

This is the fourth year the government has been in power. If it were four months, six months or eight months, we probably would not expect much action; however, this is the fourth year. The first environment minister who came to the House preached that we would have a made in Canada plan. However, we never saw any plan, let alone a made in Canada plan.

We then had a second environment minister, who said that he was going to regulate. We really never saw any regulations; although there was a lot of talk.

Now we have a third minister, after four years, and he has taken the position that we are going to now have a North American solution. The bottom line is that we really have not seen a lot. Looking at this budget, I believe there is a reference to the environment on page 269, although I may be incorrect on the page number. In any event, I am, like most other people, very disappointed in what is in this particular budget.

Mr. Speaker, before I go any further, I neglected to say that I will be splitting my time with the member for Beaches—East York.

I am very disappointed in what I have seen and I am very disappointed in what has been done, and I will give a few examples. One example that came vividly to light last week is the $1.519 billion trust fund. This was announced several years ago amid much applause and many press releases. There were a lot of self-congratulatory statements, a lot of rhetoric. There was going to be a reduction of 16 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. However, what was not explained to the Canadian people at the time was that these funds were going to be put into a complicated trust and the trust, in turn, would go to the provinces and there was absolutely no requirement--

Budget Implementation Act, 2009
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

It being 2 o'clock, I must interrupt this member. He will have approximately six minutes when we return to government orders. We will go to statements by members, the hon. member for Oakville.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in response to the comments made by the Liberal member for Toronto Centre published in the National Post about Canadians who will benefit from the government's action plan for the economy, enabled by the very budget for which the member just voted.

The former NDP premier of Ontario does not understand that there is nothing wrong with Canadians using their own money to improve their own “docks, kitchens and decks”. After all, what could be more Canadian than docks? Who does not love a dock?

Docks are where Canadians rest after working so hard. Docks are where we can catch the sun, get our vitamin D and fresh air. Docks facilitate family gatherings and tourism.

In fact, I register my own shock experienced one evening last year while watching Rick Mercer on CBC. For who did we see, stark naked, jumping into one of our crystal clear Canadian lakes? The member for Toronto Centre, jumping off what? A dock. Without docks, what would Liberal leadership candidates do to get on television?

I stand today for the right of Canadians to boost our economy by spending their own money to build or repair their deck, kitchen or dock for the health and enjoyment of their families.

Kedgwick Regional Chamber of Commerce
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, on January 31, I was pleased to attend the entrepreneur of the year gala organized by the Kedgwick Regional Chamber of Commerce.

They highlighted the extraordinary volunteer work of Chantal and Yvan Borris. The couple has been involved in the community for over 15 years, whether with youth, the elderly, the church or festivals.

Francis Bérubé, owner of the Foyer Chez Francis seniors home, was presented with the business of the year award. In 2002, Mr. Bérubé bought the home and made it an even more enjoyable place to live. Exceptional staff ensure that residents have a better quality of life.

The female entrepreneur prize went to Suzanne Lurette. Since 1983, she has been owner and co-owner of a number of businesses, including a clothing boutique, a sawmill, a daycare, and a coffee shop.

And finally, the Chamber of Commerce honoured Arthur Desjardins by making him an honorary member for life. Mr. Desjardins is actively involved in the community.

Thanks to all for what they do for the people of the Kedgwick area.

Pierre Bourgeois
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to highlight the exceptional contribution of a good-hearted man who recently retired as director of the City of Saint-Jérôme's police service.

Pierre Bourgeois is a kind and generous man. People call him a “rainbow-maker”. He masterfully resolved labour conflicts and organized peace missions abroad. He also initiated the construction of Saint-Jérôme's new police station.

The City of Saint-Jérôme's police force, the many stakeholders who have worked with him all these years, and the members of the Ordina-Coeur foundation can be proud to have crossed paths with him.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I would like to thank him for his valuable contribution, and we would like to wish him the very best in his future endeavours.

Postal Services
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, anyone who has ever driven along Highway 65 in Timiskaming will tell us there is only one possible place to get our mail, and that is at the Kenabeek General Store.

For decades, families have used the Kenabeek General Store. Imagine their surprise when the new owners of the store were told they no longer met the screening requirements of Canada Post. Since there is no other possible place to get their mail, this community is being denied mail service.

The same bizarre logic is being applied against the community of Matachewan. Since the postmistress retired, Canada Post has made this community jump through hoop after hoop, effectively paralyzing postal services in the community of Matachewan.

Canada Post needs to come clean with rural Canada. When a postmaster retires, it should not be an excuse for Canada Post to pick up stakes and leave town. It should not be allowed to use a bureaucratic maze to effectively limit and end postal service in small, isolated communities.

The people of Kenabeek, Matachewan and rural Canada deserve better. It is time Canada Post got the mail moving.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend I travelled from one end of my riding to the other, meeting with people, businesses and attending wonderful community events.

At the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival on Saturday, I spoke with a young couple who had just bought their first home. They told me that low interest rates had made it more affordable than ever before to purchase a new home and that they will use the home renovation tax credit introduced in our economic action plan to finish the basement for their children.

Ron Schell, who is co-owner of Schell lumber in Stouffville calls the home renovation tax credit simply fantastic.

Oak Ridges—Markham is truly a great place to live, work, invest and raise a family. From Nobleton to Schomburg, Richmond Hill to Ballantrae, Markham to Pleasantville, we are open and ready to serve.

I encourage people from across Canada to visit us and see why I am so proud to call Oak Ridges—Markham home.

Sultans of Science Exhibit
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to draw attention today to an incredible exhibit that opened at the Ontario Science Centre in Don Valley West this past week.

Sultans of Science celebrates 1,000 years of scientific creativity, imagination and scholarship coming from the Islamic world. It specifically explores the tremendous contributions made by Muslim scholars in the field of mathematics, science, health, aviation, translation and architecture during the so-called Dark Ages.

While the rest of the world was sleeping, the Islamic world was inventing. This international touring exhibit traces the roots of modern science and technology from Baghdad to Cordova, from Morocco to Constantinople. Its interactive displays invite us to learn more about Islamic contributions to our world.

Even more importantly, however, this exhibit invites us to a deeper, more appreciative relationship with the Muslim world and its contribution to humanity, helping to break down the walls of Islamophobia. I commend it to all members of this House.

World Pond Hockey Championship
Statements By Members

February 9th, 2009 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, once again this year the village of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, will welcome the world as people gather for the World Pond Hockey Championship, running from February 19 to 22.

This world-class event that began in 2002 has often been copied but never duplicated. What started as an event with 40 teams from the Maritimes and Maine has grown, and this year's event will feature 120 teams representing communities from all across Canada, the American states and nine countries.

In 2007, the Prime Minister made the trip to Roulston Lake in the small Tobique--Mactaquac community, further adding to the worldwide media attention gathered by the event, including this February 19 when CBC's Hockey Night in Canada will broadcast from the competition.

Congratulations to event manager Danny Braun and the hundreds of volunteers who make this event happen each year, and of course a hearty welcome to all the players who will make the pilgrimage to this very welcoming community. I look forward to attending this year's event and encourage everyone to join me and the anticipated 8,000-plus visitors as we enjoy hockey the way the game was meant to be played.

Nineteenth Annual Suicide Prevention Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week marked the 19th annual Suicide Prevention Week, and the Association québécoise des retraité(e)s des secteurs public et parapublic brought to our attention the suicide rate among seniors.

Four out of ten people who commit suicide are 50 or older. Between 1977 and 1997 the number of suicides among people aged 65 and older increased by 85%. In addition, according to the figures of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec for 2006, the proportion of people aged 50 and over who took their own lives rose from 27% to 40%. The saddest of all is that researchers who study aging believe that this rate will be two and a half times higher in the next 35 years.

One of the risk factors is financial difficulties, and this is backed up by Mr. Vallerand, who was a director of a suicide prevention centre. He also fears that the economic crisis will increase that trend.

That is why it is very important to provide our seniors with all the support they need.

Warren Kinsella
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, Warren Kinsella's offensive comments to the Chinese people have now gone international. Mainland Chinese media are reporting Mr. Kinsella's hurtful comments and half-hearted apology. The Liberal Party's top strategist's comments are quickly becoming an international embarrassment for Canada.

During these economic times, we cannot afford to needlessly offend a billion potential customers. We do not need to offend the world's most populous country.

We must show that the Liberal Party's top strategist's views are not acceptable to the Canadian people. The Liberal leader should immediately write the Chinese ambassador to apologize and affirm that Canada respects China, and the Leader of the Opposition must finally act and fire his top political strategist, Mr. Warren Kinsella.

[Member spoke in Chinese and provided the following translation:]

The Liberal Party has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and offended our community.

ACFO Ottawa Grandmaître Awards Gala
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, on February 5, ACFO Ottawa held its Grandmaître awards gala. This annual event recognizes francophones and francophiles who have distinguished themselves with their achievements, their dedication and their commitment to promote francophone culture in our community.

I want to pay tribute to Dominique Drouin, who won the young person of the year award; Sean McGee, who was named francophile of the year; Johanne Leroux, educator of the year; and Pierre Pagé, citizen of the year.

Congratulations also to the organization of the year, La Nouvelle Scène, a theatre I have had the pleasure to be associated with since its inception. The Grandmaître award was presented to Jacques de Courville Nicol, philanthropist, RGA founder, patriarch, public conscience, raconteur and bon vivant. Congratulations, Jacques, on this richly deserved honour.