House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Seniors
Statements By Members

October 20th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken with many seniors who face the difficult choice of having food to eat or the medication they need, and seniors who spend their days in the mall keeping warm because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Last week I learned of a 93-year-old being evicted from her apartment that she has lived in for decades so the landlord could raise the rent. I spoke with a senior recently who received an increase in his old age security, the first since 2008, and it was just $1.55 a month.

The seniors resource centre in my riding cannot fund its operations. It cut the grocery bus, Friday friendship and other programs.

Today may be World Statistics Day, but here in Canada, the Conservatives have decided to eliminate the long form census, which means less information about our struggling seniors and the services they need.

The government has to act now to help seniors. They built our country. Now the country needs to be there for them.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we heard more praise for Canada's principled foreign policy.

Today's Wall Street Journal praises the foreign policy positions taken by our government under the Prime Minister. The Wall Street Journal states that under the leadership of our Prime Minister:

Canada has avoided the worst of the global recession and emerged with a vibrant banking system and strong currency (now trading near parity to the U.S. dollar).

It also states:

The courage of its soldiers in Afghanistan, and in other missions, is testament to a nation that honors its commitments.

We agree with the Wall Street Journal and we make no apologies for our principled decisions. In fact, we have said all along that we are proud of our principled foreign policy positions.

Our government makes policy decisions based on what is right, not on what is popular, and we will continue to do so.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Monday at Our Lady of Lourdes high school in Guelph, a young student named Diane asked me a question, “We are caring for my grandmother at home. If elected, what would you do to help people who are caring for the sick and elderly at home?” I replied to Diane, “Our answer is the family care plan”. The Conservatives' answer is, “Use your vacation time”.

How can the Prime Minister justify tax breaks for profitable corporations instead of helping families like Diane's?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the real question of course is why the leader of the Liberal Party thinks he can pull off, for the fifth time, a promise which his party has broken four previous times to the Canadian public, which is of course his home care plan, part of the $75 billion in promises the Liberals have made for the next election campaign.

The Liberals cannot justify it by then turning around and saying they will pay for it all by raising taxes on the Canadian economy during a recession. As economists across the country have said, that is a recipe for disaster. High taxes, high spending; that is why we must make sure the Liberal coalition does not get into office.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is saying it can afford $6 billion in tax cuts for corporations and it cannot help Diane's family. That is what it amounts to. The elastic on that Canadian family is stretched tight. They owe $1.47 for every dollar they earn. They need help. They need help with family care and daycare. They need help.

Instead of getting care from this government, instead of getting help, it is giving a tax break to corporations. How does it justify this set of priorities to those hard-pressed Canadian families?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what this government says of course is that we have brought in tax reductions across the board for families, for consumers, and yes, for business as well, in order to strengthen the Canadian economy. That is one of the reasons we have one of the strongest economies in the developed world.

When we make promises to Canadians, we deliver them. We do not cut health care. We do not cut education. We do not cut employment insurance. And we do not raise taxes like the Liberals did.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, instead of offering to help Canadian families who are suffering and tightening their belts, the government is prepared to give a $6 billion gift to already-profitable corporations.

How does the government explain its choices to hard-pressed Canadian families?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that corporate tax rates were set a long time ago. Now the Liberal Party is proposing to increase taxes for this country's major employers. The vice-president of the Montreal Economic Institute said that one of the measures proposed by the official opposition, increasing taxes for major employers, will be disastrous for Canadian workers and the economic recovery.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, for months the government has been saying, “Don't worry, be happy. Middle class families do not need any support; they can just fend for themselves”. But yesterday and today, the Bank of Canada shot the government's story full of holes. In fact, the Canadian economy has just suffered its worst quarter in months and faces serious risks from a global currency war to massive household debt.

The government's numbers about recovery are a fiction. How will the minister reconcile his hocus-pocus with hard facts from the Bank of Canada?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in fact the forecasts of the Bank of Canada mirror very closely those of the government, because our forecasts are based on private sector analysis, but not the Bank of Canada.

There is not a single credible economic voice in the country that is backing the advocacy of higher tax rates that the Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Party are proposing.

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, just repeating the falsehood does not make it true. The proposed takeover of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan amounts to the takeover of the entire Canadian industry. It is the biggest proposed resource takeover ever, and many people in Saskatchewan and beyond, including prominent business leaders, are asking: After potash is gone, what is left?

Even the former chairman of BHP said, “Canada has already been reduced to an industry 'branch office' and is largely irrelevant on the global mining stage”.

Will the government stop the bleeding and just say no?

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, obviously, we are examining the bid, as we are required to do under the Investment Canada Act. We will render a decision that is of net benefit to Canada one way or the other.

However, I would put our record against the record of the opposition Liberals any day of the week. When they were in power, they approved every single bid. When they were in power, they did not go to court to enforce the Investment Canada Act at all.

We turned down a bid and we have gone to court to enforce the Investment Canada Act because we are standing up for Canadians. We are here for Canada.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, every day brings new information about how the Department of Public Works manages contracts. The latest news is that Cameron Forbes, a contractor from Markham, Ontario, made a $500 donation at the cocktail fundraiser in Bourassa that the Minister of Public Works attended. Mr. Forbes heads a firm that specializes in repairing copper roofs and has won several contracts from the Department of Public Works.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources, who was the minister of public works, tell us what the connection is between a contractor from Markham, Ontario, and the riding of Bourassa in Montreal?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has established very strict rules for donations to political parties. Companies are prohibited from donating money to political parties. The same rules apply to unions and individuals, who cannot donate large sums of money. People can and do donate modest amounts to all political parties, including the Bloc. To suggest that someone can influence a contract with such an amount is ridiculous.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is ridiculous is deciding what is right and wrong based on the size of the donation. Following this cocktail party, Mr. Forbes' company qualified to be on a shortlist of prequalified bidders from which the Department of Public Works will choose over the next five years when it needs work done.

Will the Minister of Natural Resources admit that a donation to his party can be an excellent investment for a contractor? This is the seventh example from the same cocktail party.