House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Question No. 4
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

With regard to the Community Development Trust Fund, up until November 18, 2009: (a) what amount has been allocated to each Atlantic province; (b) which projects have benefited from this funding, by province; (c) how much have these projects received, by province; and (d) in which city and constituency are these projects being carried out?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 24
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

With regard to fisheries: (a) what specific measures has the Department of Fisheries and Oceans taken to enforce inland fisheries regulations in the vicinity of Phase II and III of the Trans-Labrador Highway; and (b) what specific measures will the Department take to enforce inland fisheries regulations in the vicinity of Phase II and III of the Trans-Labrador Highway?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 33
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Regarding the press conference held by the honourable Minister of Justice on October 20, 2009, at 11:00 a.m., at the Lord Elgin Hotel, what was the total cost breakdown?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 41
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

With respect to the government’s commitment to sell government assets worth $10.1 billion over a five year period, as made in the Economic and Fiscal Statement (EFS) delivered by the Minister of Finance on November 27, 2008: (a) which departments have assets being considered for sale as of the date hereof; (b) do the dollar figures projected in Table 2.2 of the EFS represent the amounts intended to be generated net of the book value of the disposed assets; (c) what are the numbers projected from Departmental and Corporate Asset Reviews in each of the five years for which projections were made in Table 2.2 of the EFS; and (d) if the numbers then projected in Table 2.2 of the EFS are no longer consistent with current government projections for the disposition of assets, what are the government’s revised projections for those dispositions of assets for the period discussed in Table 2.2 of the EFS?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 54
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

With respect to contracts under $10,000 granted by Sport Canada between January 1 and October 21, 2009, what are the: (a) vendors names; (b) contracts' reference numbers; (c) dates of the contracts; (d) descriptions of the services provided; (e) delivery dates; (f) original contracts' values; and (g) final contracts' values if different from the original contracts' values?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Madam Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed from April 12 consideration of the motion that Bill C-9, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 4, 2010 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Jobs and Economic Growth Act
Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today and speak to Bill C-9, the budget implementation bill.

It is my pleasure to make a brief speech on behalf of the residents of greater Moncton, my riding of Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, and the people of Atlantic Canada.

I would like to take this opportunity to speak to the budget on behalf of Atlantic Canadians. We are all in this place representing various areas of the country and I want to point out what is a glaring absence of any policy, of any care or of any words related to the hopes, the aspirations and the mere existence of Atlantic Canada.

In the budget speech we all received a document entitled, “Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth”, delivered by the Minister of Finance who, like many in this House, has Maritime roots, in fact New Brunswick roots, which I know he is proud of. Nonetheless, in his speech of some 19 pages there was not one word toward Atlantic Canada, which is what we might call exhibit A.

Second, we in Atlantic Canada laud our coastal brethren in the Pacific for their initiative with respect to the Pacific Gateway and we understand that it is vital to Canada's economic growth and future. I could probably speak for all members of the Atlantic Liberal caucus when I say that we are happy there was mention of and movement toward forming and making stronger the Pacific Gateway, but there was not one mention of the term “Atlantic gateway” in the budget speech, the Speech from the Throne or the budget documentation.

We have a right arm and a left arm. We have a ying and a yang. In this place, we represent a country with three coasts. Economically, we have a Pacific coast but we also have an Atlantic coast and that coast deserves and is acting on a provincial level toward the crystallization of an Atlantic gateway, both port-wise and inland. No one need take my word for it. There are various provincial governments of all political stripes. We have a whole rainbow of colours of governments in Atlantic Canada now. We have a provincial NDP government, a provincial Conservative government and provincial Liberal governments. It is not partisan when I say that there is good work being done by all provincial governments on the Atlantic gateway and yet the federal government appears not to want to mention anything of it in its recalibration document. In fact, there is no real effort toward sustaining or helping the Atlantic lobster fishery which is in crisis.

I want to take a few moments to speak to other entry point aspects. Moncton is an area that is clearly inland and it is the hub of the Maritimes. It is a transportation centre. For a long time, after being one of the first airports to be transferred to a private authority in Canada, has been at the cutting edge of having small or mid-sized community transportation issues made important. The Greater Moncton International Airport handles over 500,000 passengers a year. It puts itself into the same category, with the same aspirations, hopes and struggles, as places like Abbotsford, Charlottetown, Mont Tremblant, Fredericton, Saint John and Kelowna, the airports that are not, frankly, Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal.

There are challenges presented to those points of entry, which is why, in the budget document beginning at page 299, there is the strange term called “strategic review savings”. To many people, this might go unnoticed, but we need to be clear that those are cuts to budgets. If they were cuts to budgets of Air Force One and the PMO's plane, maybe we would not have a big problem, but they are cuts to things like CATSA, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. Those are the fine men and women who, until I suppose a month ago or so, were not very well-known until a certain visit by a former cabinet minister to Charlottetown. However, they are the people who administer security in our airports. They perform a very vital function in flowing traffic for commerce and ensuring security, which needs to be top of mind for all of us.

In the 2011-12 budget, $12 million will be cut to the services, followed by a further $15 million in 2012-13. The government gives lip service to the notion of airport security. When the focus should be on ensuring security personnel in our airports, the only safety measure the government is able to employ is body scanners and there is no indication that the body scanners will be deployed in mid-sized airports. It is of crucial importance to people, like I say, in Abbotsford, Charlottetown and Moncton to ensure the flow of passengers continues.

The presence of body scanners suffices for the government while it cuts personnel. How will that help on the issue of security and with respect to the flow of goods and persons on a commercial level? For many of the airports in Atlantic Canada, it will be crippling. Frankly, the government is abdicating its responsibility in this regard to protect Canadians. We can forget about commerce, Atlantic Canada gateways and the importance of emerging economies, the real point is that there is an offloading of the costs of security to the citizens.

While the government talks about tax decreases and easing the burden for Canadians, what is happening through this budget instrument is that the Conservative government, in claiming to prioritize security in Canada, is hiking airport security fees to the passengers while simultaneously reducing the budget by some $12 million to $15 million for CATSA, the agency providing security. In the end, the Canadian traveller will pay.

Canadians already pay up to $17 in security taxes per flight and the government is proposing to raise it on some flights by over $8. It may not sound like a lot but for some people travelling across this country it may be the difference between some people choosing to stay home, to not travel through an airport or not to use the Moncton airport, for instance, especially if there is one scanner employed for over 500,000 passengers. We do not know what the future holds but there is certainly no emphasis on small and medium-sized cities and their airports in this budget and, as I mentioned, not a word about the issue of the Atlantic gateway.

The government claims to care about Canadian security but it is cutting funding to CATSA and expecting taxpayers, Canadian citizens, to cover the shortfall. It is another instance of a hidden tax. It is another incidence of untruthfulness in a budget document. It does not even provide sufficient funding for airport security in terms of personnel and there will be cuts of people employed at Canada's airports.

Another issue with respect to security, an issue of importance to the Greater Moncton International Airport and other airports, is the work of the Canada Border Services Agency. The disregard for the security and safety of Canadians citizens shown in this budget has been furthered by the fact that the CBSA cuts, which total $6.5 million in this year and $54 million in 2011-12, show a complete disregard for the need for service at our airports and ports. How will CBSA deal with the budget cuts?

I want to know where the champions of Atlantic Canada are. Where are the Allan J. MacEachens? Where are the Don Jamiesons? Where are the Roméo LeBlancs? They are not in the House or in the government. They are not on the government side because Atlantic Canadians have been told, along the lines of a famous 1997 speech given by the prime minister, that Atlantic Canadians should come to the House and mind their spots. They should just mind their place, follow the rules and be quiet about their aspirations.

It is no longer time for Atlantic Canadians to accept the ignorance of the government toward their dreams and aspirations. It is no longer time for them to be quiet about the future of Atlantic Canada. It also is not time for the Government of Canada to omit the words “Atlantic Canadians” from a budget document. We will not stand for it and I urge all members of the House to take that to the government during the budget debate.