House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Social Measures
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, 20% of homeless women are sexually assaulted every year. That is a tragedy. But the government has allocated three times as much money for animal shelters as it has for women's shelters.

Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of children and seniors live in substandard housing. Canada is the only G8 nation without a national housing strategy.

Will the government support our bill in order to solve the problem?

Social Measures
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the NDP has developed a nasty habit of deciding to vote against budgets without having read them.

If the hon. member had taken the time to read the last few budgets, she would know that we have committed almost $2 billion in a five-year course just for affordable housing, social housing, and that includes shelters to protect those who need our protection. We are making these advances. In fact, in British Columbia alone some 87,000 new sites have been built for affordable housing. The member should learn to read the budget.

Sealing Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, today Canadian sealers again came under attack from a member of the Liberal caucus. This morning a Liberal senator, working with a radical animal rights group, announced his plans to retable a bill to end the seal hunt.

I ask the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans this. What will this government do to protect Canadian sealers from this harassment from within the Liberal caucus?

Sealing Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the Liberal leader continues to condone the actions of a caucus member, who seems determined to outlaw a legitimate economic activity for coastal and northern Canadians. This is shameful.

While our Conservative government fights to defend the hunt against the misinformation campaigns of the professional anti-seal hunt lobby groups, the Liberals continue to caucus with a man focused on putting these Canadians out of work. They should be supporting job creation.

It is time for the Liberal leader to take—

Sealing Industry
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Halifax West.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the MP for West Nova is boasting about secretly and surreptitiously securing $3 million in funding for the ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine. It is too bad this mysterious money was not included in the budget.

Could the ACOA minister assure Nova Scotians today that this phantom $3 million is still available if another proposal comes forward to maintain this vital link?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, obviously the situation in Nova Scotia to do with the ferry services is an issue that is running deeply throughout the people of Nova Scotia. We did agree with the municipalities that we would support them any way we could in their endeavour and we will continue that.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government, of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
THE BUDGET
Government Orders

3 p.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I will share my time with the member for Kildonan—St. Paul.

As we know, our government is responsible for the prosperity of all Canadian provinces. That is why our Conservative government showed its good judgment by presenting the economic action plan in 2009. We are still looking out for the well-being of Canadians and families in 2010. The goal of this budget is to preserve and create jobs and to improve economic growth.

The 2010 budget will implement the second phase of the economic action plan that we proposed to Canadians in order to stimulate the economic recovery. Our government wants to complete phase two of the action plan. That is why we are calling for the support of all members of Parliament so that we can continue to implement it.

Our Prime Minister has met with the opposition parties and he has taken job growth into account in establishing our priorities and the measures we will pursue in order to ensure the best possible recovery from this worldwide recession

Our government is supporting the economic recovery. We will allocate $19 billion in new stimulus funding to continue to create jobs now. We will invest in a limited number of targeted actions to create jobs and stimulate growth for our economic future. And we are outlining a plan for returning to a balanced budget once the economy is back on track.

By protecting jobs, we hope to build a solid foundation for the future.

We will protect these jobs by improving the work-sharing program; by supporting young workers through internships and skills development; by ensuring innovation, training, education, and research and development to create the jobs of tomorrow; by keeping taxes low to encourage growth and make us more competitive; by eliminating tariffs to make Canada a better place to invest and to do business; and by cutting red tape in order to ease the burden for Canadian businesses.

Projects that engage people are essential. Businesses and municipalities in Quebec are proud to be contributing to the economic recovery and maintaining their prominent position in the economy.

The Government of Canada is supporting communities in a tangible way with major investments. Last October, I was in Vaudreuil-Dorion to announce $16.794 million in joint financial assistance for the construction of a multidisciplinary sports complex to create a stimulating environment where families can play sports together.

Another piece of good news for Quebeckers was the joint announcement of $8 million for new bioenergy that I made in Saint-Patrice-de-Beaurivage with Quebec minister Nathalie Normandeau. This is a first for Canada. Bioenergy is a future employment sector.

Our government is supporting clean technologies that create opportunities for economic growth and offer innovative solutions to help protect the environment.

Our government is investing in cultural projects to bring people together. I went to Mingan to announce $2.5 million in funding for the creation of the Maison de la culture innue.

In Montreal, Théâtre La Licorne received $2.289 million from the Government of Canada to expand its facilities.

I also went to Baie-Comeau to announce a Canada-Quebec partnership to build two drinking water treatment plants, a project with a total cost of $47.2 million.

I was also happy to take advantage of my trip to the Upper North Shore to take part in a meeting of Business Contact, which supports the business community. This initiative of our government is helping develop winning strategies for our SMEs.

In Prévost, I announced a joint investment of $1,040,780 to renovate the drinking water supply infrastructure and upgrade the wastewater treatment plant.

Still on the subject of infrastructure funding, I was able to announce a joint contribution of $1,540,000 to the municipality of Lotbinière and $611,800 to the municipality of Saint-Agapit under PRECO for revitalizing drinking water and sewer pipelines. Similar announcements have been made in dozens of municipalities throughout Quebec.

Our government is supporting regional festivals. In Saint-Tite, I announced $520,000 to support the legendary western festival as part of the marquee tourism events program.

Our SMEs are powerful economic drivers. Many businesses have received financial assistance to increase productivity and maintain or create jobs.

I am thinking of DK-SPEC, where I announced $400,000 in financial assistance. This project, which will generate $3.6 million in total investment, will create eight jobs and maintain 63 others in Lévis.

I am also thinking of Fromagerie Bergeron, where I announced $500,000 in funding from the community adjustment fund to help the cheesemaker acquire specialized equipment. Our investment will create 10 high-quality jobs and maintain existing jobs.

I had the honour of going to Blanc-Sablon to unveil a plaque commemorating the site's national historic significance due to its rich archaeological heritage. Let us not forget that for the regions, we allocated $100 million over two years for marquee tourism regions to draw a greater number of tourists to Canada.

I am thinking too of new families and young people who have had and will have so much fun throughout their childhoods thanks to investments that will carry over into the second phase of the economic action plan to build and upgrade recreational facilities.

I am thinking of projects like the one in the municipality of Saint-Flavien, which received $1,027,730 in joint federal-provincial funding to build a multi-purpose building housing a library, community room and recreational space.

It makes me happy to think of all the kids who will be able to go swimming this summer. Sport and physical activity are essential to good health. We are investing $500 million over two years through our economic action plan to upgrade sports facilities across Canada.

Dreams and opportunities enable our young people to think about what kind of jobs they can have in the future. Last year, 70 organizations in Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière received funding to create 108 summer jobs for students. The economic situation has not changed much, and the $20 million over two years will help our young people gain valuable skills and experience again this year.

Our government's investments in the knowledge industry will foster innovation in Canada. Just this morning, I read a Canadian Association of Research Libraries communiqué commending our government for having increased funding for the knowledge industry.

Last August, I was in beautiful Abitibi-Témiscamingue where I had the honour of announcing $7,837,617 in funding to set up an agri-food research station at the UQAT.

We also partnered with the Government of Quebec to give the UQAT a total of $1.5 million to develop integrated water resources research infrastructure for the evaluation and sustainable development of groundwater.

In closing, I would like to underscore the contribution to the agriculture sector in budget 2010. Agriculture plays a vital role and is a key economic sector for every rural community in Canada.

It is a sector that is under a great deal of pressure, as are other sectors influenced by the realities of global markets.

Through the AgriFlexibility fund, measures will be introduced to relieve pressure on the cattle sector and help it stay competitive.

In this second phase of the economic action plan, our government is providing financial support for the adoption of new and cost effective technologies and is supporting the development and commercialization of innovative technologies related to the removal and use of specified risk materials.

We are all well aware of what it means to make choices, but one thing is essential and that is to be able to work and earn a living.

That is why the first priority of our government is the economy, job creation and growth in order to build for the future. Every one of us wins with budget 2010, because it enhances our blueprint for society.

In closing, I would like to remind all my colleagues that Canada's economic action plan is a two-year plan to create and protect jobs, to stimulate our economy and to ensure a prosperous future for the entire country.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
THE BUDGET
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that unemployment is going to go up from 8.2% to 8.5%. At the same time, although the government has frozen EI rates for the current period, rates will be increasing substantially over the term outlined in the budget. I believe it is some $19 billion in additional EI premiums, which are job killers. That is to quote the finance minister.

On top of that, the employment insurance benefits that over 500,000 Canadians are currently drawing are going to lapse and they will have no recourse unless they find jobs.

I want to ask the member whether he acknowledges the problem that people's benefits will be lapsing and at the same time employment insurance premiums will be increasing substantially for employees and employers and killing jobs.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
THE BUDGET
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his question.

Our economic action plan is working. We are focusing our efforts on what is important for Canadians. We are helping people most affected by the recession and we are investing in training and creating jobs.

Canadians are benefiting from the measures in the economic action plan: 300,000 Canadians have benefited from five additional weeks of employment insurance benefits. Work sharing has helped protect the jobs of 165,000 Canadians.

There has been unprecedented investment in training to help Canadians, whether they are eligible for employment insurance or not, and we have also frozen premiums.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
THE BUDGET
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member. He is wasting his breath and he does not know what he is talking about when he says that he wants to help those most in need. In my opinion, seniors do need a bit of money from the government. These people are living below the poverty line. What did the Conservatives do in their budget? They gave seniors a holiday. But seniors do not want a holiday, they want some money. There was talk of $110 more per month, but they did absolutely nothing.

Moreover, they say they want to help volunteers and caregivers who look after a relative at home, resulting in savings to society, but they are offering a prime ministerial award for volunteerism. As if that will help people.

When they want to help, they are good at helping those they wish to help. They excel at helping the oil sands industry. However, they talk about a blueprint for society. I do not know where they dug up that term, but I think they do not even understand it.

What does the government plan on doing in future for seniors and the volunteers in our society who are in great need of help?

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
THE BUDGET
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this second phase of Canada's economic action plan, which was carefully put together after an assessment of our economic situation, we are staying the course.

We have been very flexible and examined the needs of the entire population. We have prioritized the interests and values of the Quebec nation. The reason for working closely with the provinces and the municipalities was to move forward with construction projects that will create and maintain jobs hit hard by the global recession.

We will continue to help our young workers as well as our older workers. We will work on behalf of our families and our seniors to provide quality of life to all Canadians by exercising leadership focused on economic recovery.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
THE BUDGET
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Shefford on a point of order.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
THE BUDGET
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I did not ask the member opposite to give a speech and I did not ask him to continue talking about the existing plan. I asked him what he intends to do for seniors and volunteers, but he is still going on about his action plan and is not answering my question.

Yet the questions we are asking him are clear. If he would like to give another 10 or 20 minute speech, he merely has to add his name to the list.