House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, since the very start of our engagement in Afghanistan we have been building the institutions of the Afghan government, including better prisons, better training for Afghan authorities and better training for the military. This part of the core of our mission and it is part of the mission that we are particularly proud of.

The Budget
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said he had prepared “a fiscal outlook based on the same private sector economic forecast used by the Department of Finance”.

However, in lashing out at the PBO in question period yesterday, the Minister of Finance wrongly said the opposite, that the PBO rejected the forecasts of 15 private sector economists. He did not.

Meanwhile, economists like Don Drummond said his views are similar to those of the PBO.

Why this unwarranted attack from the finance minister?

The Budget
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, how exciting to have a question on the economy in the House of Commons, more than a week after we tabled budget 2010.

In answer to that question, the office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer was established by the Conservative government. There never was this office before, so we welcome this sort of discussion and debate on the floor of the House of Commons.

However, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that these predictions were not prudent. That is in direct conflict with what 15 of Canada's top economists--

The Budget
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Markham—Unionville.

The Budget
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer agreed with the economists.

Whenever any officer of Parliament or public servant questions any action of the government, the Conservatives respond viciously, as if the person were an enemy of the state. They fired Linda Keen. They smeared Richard Colvin. Now when Kevin Page dares to suggest the government is too rosy in its forecasts, the finance minister lashes out with a totally erroneous hissy fit.

Will the finance minister apologize to Kevin Page?

The Budget
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I see that the hon. member for Markham—Unionville is using the same talking points he used on the CBC last night, verbatim.

Let me quote an individual, and this is a reflection and a quote after the budget directly to that point, if the hon. member would care to listen. The quote is from Craig Wright from RBC. I believe the hon. member might know that group. He said, “I think we're seeing a number of factors moving in the right direction.... I would think consensus is moving higher, not lower.... I would argue that the budget forecasts were probably on the prudent side”.

Pensions
Oral Questions

March 12th, 2010 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, pensioners are suffering but the government will not listen.

While the Conservatives were AWOL, Liberals were working. We listened to the concerns of pensioners and we proposed well-studied ideas for pension reform, and the provinces agreed. These included a supplementary CPP, preferred status for pensioners on long-term disability, and allowing employees of bankrupt companies to grow their pensions through the CPP.

Why will the Conservatives not act now to help pensioners?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, welcome to the file. The Liberals are finally waking up to the fact that we have concerned Canadians who want answers about their pensions.

Let me remind those hon. members what this government has actually done. The finance minister intervened in two Canadian companies that were having financial problems because of their pensions. The finance minister acted quickly and probably saved hundreds of thousands of lost pensions.

The Liberals claim we have done nothing, and they have had a half-day conference.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives missed a chance to leave a legacy for pensioners in the budget last week. They ignored pension reform, attacked seniors' savings and, instead, they gave them a balloon to celebrate Seniors' Day, a day off they cannot even afford to take.

Why is the government focused on gimmicks rather than real pension reform? How long do pensioners have to wait?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, even in the Liberals' half-day conference they might have been reminded that on October 27, 2009, we put in credible changes that were required for federally regulated private pension plans. We enhanced protection for plan members, reduced funding volatility, made it easier for participants to negotiate, and improved the framework for defined benefit pension plans.

We have received nothing in the form of good suggestions from the opposition.

Securities
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the budget is clear. The government intends to move forward with its plan to create a single securities commission. The financial and political elite of Toronto have banded together to bring the headquarters of the organization to their city, which just shows that the feds have much more than an economic plan in mind. It is an attack on Montreal.

This Conservative government claims to respect the jurisdictions of Quebec. Why does it not recognize that securities fall under Quebec's jurisdiction?

Securities
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that this is not the first time this subject has come up. We talked about it during the last session of Parliament, and once again, our desire to have a single securities commission in Canada was in the throne speech.

That said, the Bloc must note that the provinces are not required to participate. If they do not want to, they will not be required. I think that we also have the right to manage this country and to offer protection to taxpayers for their securities.

Securities
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, by going all the way to the Supreme Court to dismantle the Commission des valeurs mobilières du Québec, the federal government is undermining Quebec's political and economic autonomy.

By pushing for a single securities commission in Canada, is the government not proving that the federal budget serves primarily the interests of Canada at the expense of the interests of Quebec?

Securities
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, it is also our responsibility to protect Canadians when they make investments. As former Minister of National Revenue, I saw some situations where people had gotten hurt, where they had been robbed and swindled out of their earnings.

It is time to clean things up. It is time to have a national securities commission, and I repeat, Quebec will not be required to join the commission if it chooses not to.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has always maintained that it did not know that the prisoners it was transferring to Afghan authorities might be tortured. We have learned that as early as 2006, several NATO partners, knowing the reputation of Afghan prisons, tried to assume direct responsibility for Afghan detainees specifically so they would not be tortured.

Canada was absent in these efforts with its NATO partners, and is this not proof of its indifference to the fate of the Afghan prisoners?