House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was census.

Topics

The Economy
Statements By Members

September 24th, 2010 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week the Minister of Finance made an out of touch, hyper-partisan speech that barely mentioned the economy at all. Could it be because the government's economic record really is not worth bragging about?

Consider that household debt is at record levels. Since January 2008, Canada has lost 150,000 high-paying full-time jobs. Canada's unemployment rate is 1.9% higher today than it was during the last federal election.

The Conservatives' imminent $13-billion employment insurance tax hike will cost Canadians 220,000 jobs. The government put Canada into a deficit even before the recession by increasing government spending by 18% in its first three budgets. Canada's deficit currently sits at $54 billion. That is higher than it has ever been in the history of our country.

Canadians are tired of the Conservatives' borrow and spend, out of touch priorities. They deserve better.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader forced his members to vote against their conscience and against their constituents to support the wasteful long gun registry. The Liberal leader refuses to listen to his members, rural Canadians, or anyone who calls for the end of his party's $2 billion boondoggle.

Our Conservative government thinks that Canadians deserve better and that is why we are listening. We will continue to listen to law-abiding hunters, outdoorsmen and sports enthusiasts who are being criminalized by the long gun registry. We are also listening to the front-line police officers who continue to tell us that criminals do not register their guns; officers like Chief Hanson from Calgary who said that the registry creates a false sense of security and does nothing to stop gun violence between Calgary gangs.

Our Conservative government will remember these voices and we will continue to work to scrap this wasteful and ineffective registry.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have saddled Canadians with a $54 billion deficit, a deficit which began before, not because of, but before there was any recession.

So many Canadians were appalled to learn how the government has squandered $85,000 on snacks at just one hotel for G20 high rollers, $300,000 on bug spray, $14,000 on glow sticks, $2 million to rent 37,000 cars, and all of that just for two days.

What is the justification for this orgy of excess?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let me first congratulate the member for Wascana on his appointment as deputy leader of the opposition.

Let me also say this about Canada hosting the G8 and the G20. We are very proud of our accomplishment of these two summits that were put together, back-to-back, in an unprecedented fashion. We have said from the beginning that a majority of these costs were for security.

We had some 20,000 security personnel there to keep all those attending the summit safe and to ensure that the people in that region and the city of Toronto were safe. We think they did an outstanding job. The violence and destruction we saw there was the example of why we needed such stringent security.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is anything but transparent. It did not divulge the embarrassing $200 million in expenses voluntarily. It was forced to do so by the Liberal MP for Pickering—Scarborough East and there is still more than $1 billion in additional spending yet to be revealed. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, for example, failed to answer anything.

When will the government come clean with full disclosure on all the expenses? How much of the non-security spending was sole-sourced, without tender, without competition, against every rule in the book?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we had an important responsibility to host the world. I often look for guidance to a former member of this place. He said, “Well listen, it's part of our responsibilities. We're members of the G8. Now it's turned into the G20. We cannot refuse. It's part of our responsibilities. We have obligations as a country. We have obligations to fulfill them. Obviously this money is flowing into our economy and this will increase Canada's prestige”.

Who said that? It was the Right Hon. Jean Chrétien.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, he was talking about money flowing in, not money flowing out.

Typical Canadian families are struggling to meet their living costs. Household debt is the highest in the western world. Families are worried they cannot afford child care, elder care, education or decent pensions.

They see their government blowing $16 billion on untendered stealth fighters, $10 billion on bigger jails, $6 billion on corporate tax giveaways, and $1.3 billion on a G20 photo op with $400,000 for high-end porta-potties.

How can the Conservatives be so out of touch?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the deputy leader of the opposition is himself a former minister of finance. He knows that job creation and economic growth must be a priority for government.

I have here a press release that was issued by the Department of Finance. It says:

The Minister of Finance, today rejected...a call to roll back corporate tax reductions...saying that the Government's tax reduction plan has produced significant economic and social benefits for all Canadians....the true benefits of tax cuts-namely jobs and economic growth.

Who was the minister of finance that said this? It was the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, the member for Wascana.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are spending taxpayers' money heedlessly. That is how they grew the biggest deficit in Canadian history, a Conservative deficit.

Why did the summit they organized cost several times more than previous summits? Why were there so many untendered contracts? Who is responsible for this government's wastefulness?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that is quite a transformation we have seen from the Liberal Party. It was just in January that the leader of the Liberal Party said that the deficit was not his problem.

We are working hard to restore economic growth to Canada. We have seen the creation of some 430,000 net new jobs over the past 15 months. That is important, but the job is not yet done. We remain fully focused on the economy.

Canada did host the world. We are proud of the summit that produced significant results for both the economy and for those living in the third world. We are also very proud that the security worked so well, given the huge destruction that we saw by riotous protesters.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the extent of Conservative incompetence is now abundantly clear. The Conservatives are wasting taxpayers' money heedlessly. The summits cost—hold on, now— a shocking $1.3 billion. That is a staggering sum. To Canadians, this spending orgy is insulting. It seemed that everyone was spending, but nobody was keeping track.

Who is responsible for this wasteful spending? Who over there was overseeing this spending?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in terms of controlling spending, it is this government that brought forward a good budget this past year, a plan to return Canada to a balanced budget, and the Liberal Party stood and voted against it. It also said that we were not spending enough on every single area and opposed every single attempt to rein in government spending.

We are proud of the work that went on at the G8 and the G20. It was a good success for Canada. We did spend a significant amount of money on security to keep people safe, to keep those leaders who were visiting Canada safe and to keep the people of Toronto safe. It was important that police officers on hand got the support that they needed.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the G8 and the G20 cost well over $1 billion. The breakdown of the first batch of those expenses confirms the fears we had last spring. The whole show was an open bar for pointless, hare-brained and eye-popping expenses.

With the Prime Minister asking people to tighten their belts, has the Conservative motto become “Do as I say, not as I do”?

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, Canada was the first country to host the G8 and G20 summits simultaneously, and we are proud of their success. We announced at the outset that most of the costs would be in connection with keeping those in attendance safe. We put on two great summits, and the whole world admires Canada's work.

G8 and G20 Summits
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a list of examples, and I would like the minister to explain how these items helped keep visiting dignitaries safe. The government spent $333,831 on sunscreen, bug spray and hand sanitizer; $14,306 on mosquito jackets—not bullet-proof vests; and $26,000 on mosquito traps.

I can see how an artificial lake would cost $2 million, but I do not understand how these expenses ensured security at the G8 and the G20.