House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was forest.

Topics

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, now that the Conservatives control the Senate, they seem bound and determined to take advantage of that to quash those decisions made by the elected members of the House of Commons that do not suit them. Never mind democracy. After blocking the climate change bill, the unelected senators are set to go at it again by scuttling the legislation requiring Supreme Court judges to understand French.

Is the Prime Minister not ashamed of using the unelected Senate to overturn decisions made by the elected members of the House of Commons? How can he—

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please.The hon. Minister of State.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for bringing up this important issue.

We do have a situation where the Senate of Canada is not consistent with the democratic values of the 21st century. That is why we are bringing forward our legislation for eight-year term limits. This is why we are bringing in Senate elections.

What we cannot have is a Senate that has appointments made three decades ago holding up government priorities, like a strong economy, and Bill C-311 was bad for the Canadian economy.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister wraps himself in the flag of austerity, but it is made of Cellophane.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Finance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, order. The hon. member for Wascana has the floor. Order, please.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the member's flag is made of Cellophane. The emperor has no clothes.

He rails against big, risky spending schemes, but what about a $1 billion for fake lakes, glow sticks and a wasted weekend on the G20? What about $16 billion for stealth fighters, $10 billion for jails and $6 billion every year for extra tax breaks for the wealthy?

Why are these big, risky Conservative schemes exempt from austerity?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have the lowest deficits in the G7 and the best overall fiscal position.

Our deficit this year is lower than originally forecast. As we have said all along, once our recovery is assured we will return to a balanced budget.

The stimulus package was necessary to protect Canada and protect Canadians, and that meant running a deficit for a short period of time.

I know it was the right idea, because the member for Kings—Hants, my critic, said, “The Canadian stimulus package undoubtedly created economic activity and jobs”.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, look at the Minister of Finance's sorry record in Ontario.

While the federal government of that day moved transfers to provinces up and up to the highest level in Canadian history, including $43 billion for health care, the minister's Conservative government in Ontario borrowed billions for unaffordable tax cuts. The Conservatives drove up the deficit, left massive debt, closed 23 hospitals, fired 8,000 nurses, fired food inspectors and wrought the deadly Conservative disaster of Walkerton.

How can Canadians trust such an awful record?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, none of that is accurate, of course.

Our government will not reduce the transfer payments for health and social services to the provinces.

I was there in Ontario when the member's government back then cut the transfer payments. We had to close hospitals. Nurses were laid off. We could not educate doctors properly. Teachers were laid off. Schools were closed. It was all because of the Liberal government.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. We do not need any more yelling. We are going to have a little peace and quiet.

The hon. member for Kings—Hants has the floor.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the finance minister is lecturing Canadian families about risky spending schemes, he is letting the defence minister spend $16 billion on untendered fighter jets, throwing away $3 billion because the contract is sole-sourced. Even the Auditor General and the Pentagon are calling this risky.

I ask the finance minister on behalf of Canadians: Will he show some respect for taxpayers and stop the Conservative gravy train and just say no to the defence minister's risky spending schemes?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, no one knows how to spend like Liberals. How do I know this? I know this because it has confirmation from the finance critic, the member for Kings—Hants.

Here is what he thinks of Liberal spending. He says that neither the Liberal caucus nor the Liberal Party “has ever encountered a problem that they did not believe to be best solved by throwing copious quantities of taxpayers' money at. They are tax and spend-aholics”. He would know.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to risky spending, the Conservatives should practise what they preach. They originally promised that their prison bill would only cost $90 million; then they said it would cost $2 billion. Now the Parliamentary Budget Officer is telling Canadians it will cost between $10 billion and $13 billion.

Will the finance minister show some respect for taxpayers, stop the Conservative gravy train and just say no to his justice minister's risky new spending?