House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, just like the movie Groundhog Day, this is déjà vu all over again. The Prime Minister has ignored the will of Parliament regarding the registry. He has basically shut down Parliament whenever he wanted to. Now, he is ignoring the will of Parliament regarding the census.

Will the Conservatives ever respect Parliament? Will they reverse their decision, which, by the way, is completely stupid?

Will the Prime Minister keep on acting like a tin-pot dictator who ignores democracy?

Census
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, it is important to strike a balance between the interests of Canadians who neither want to be subject to sanctions nor want to answer personal questions.

We do not need a census to know that the vote of the opposition members to hike EI premiums by 35% will cost Canada jobs, will cost Canadian businesses and will cost Canadian families. That we do not need a census to find out.

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Maurice Duplessis could have given the Prime Minister a few lessons on democracy. Even those would be useful.

We know that Canada is under the rule of law, not a dictatorship. We also know that there is no reason to scrap the long form census, unless the Prime Minister's goal is to hide information. Perhaps he is thinking that if there is no information on poverty and social injustice he will not have to deal with them.

Is that his logic?

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, no one can hide the fact that the Liberal plan, which the Liberals voted for last night to hike EI premiums by 35%, will hurt our country, will hurt our jobs and will hurt Canadian families. That cannot be hidden.

Perhaps the hon. member would listen to someone else who demanded, and I learned this from the media yesterday, that we review the invasion of privacy and personal information from the 2006 census because the MP was getting a number of complaints from his constituency. Which MP? The Liberal MP for Richmond Hill.

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, 350 community leaders and groups have condemned the Conservatives' ideological census cut. They say that it is bad for the economy and puts the health and safety of Canadians at risk. One more group has joined the list, the Parliament of Canada.

Will the government accept the will of Parliament and stop rejecting evidence-based policymaking and restore the long form census now?

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if this side of the House had agreed with the coalition, we would have joined the coalition.

We disagree with the coalition because we are seeking to balance the rights of Canadians to be free from sanctions when they choose not to fill out an invasive and intrusive form, in their opinion. We expect Canadians would like a government that treats them as adults, treats them with respect. That is why we made the decision to balance the need for data with the rights of Canadians.

We are proud of that decision. We voted that way in the House. That is how we conduct our government in the interests of the people of Canada.

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no evidence for that either.

The Conservatives are ignoring hundreds of groups that need reliable information with which to give good advice and to make good decisions for Canadian families. Now Parliament has spoken on this.

Leaders who think they make the rules are called dictators. This is a test. Will the Prime Minister accept that Canadians and their Parliament make the rules and restore the long form census now?

Census
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I will reply to that wild accusation from my hon. friend over there.

We are seeking to make Parliament work. We are seeking to raise decorum in this place. If other members of the opposition do not have the same agenda, they will have to answer to their constituents in that regard.

Our agenda is quite clear and fair. We are trying to treat Canadians fairly and reasonably by having a balance between the need for data in our society and the need for some Canadians to conscientiously object to certain intrusive and personal questions that are found on the long form. That is the balance of a responsible government.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our Conservative government voted against Bill C-308, which includes costly and irresponsible proposals, such as a 45-day work year. The Liberal leader yesterday called the bill fiscally irresponsible, yet he did not vote against it. In fact, the Liberal EI spokesperson voted in favour of it.

Could the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development please inform the House of the devastating impact the coalition's irresponsible EI plans would have on Canadian workers and businesses?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition has shown yet again that it remains committed to the costly and irresponsible EI 45-day work year. Through last night's vote, we know that its plan would cost Canadians at least $7 billion each and every year and would result in a permanent increase in EI premiums of 35%. That is a whopping big difference.

The difference between us and the coalition is quite clear. We are focused on getting Canadians back to work. The coalition is focused on raising premiums to prevent that.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives can say what they want, but a job-killing tax hike is still a hike, even if it is a little smaller.

The Conservatives, with their friends from the big red tent, have taken more than $57 billion in EI funds from hard-working Canadians. Their priorities are all out of whack. They chose to give billions of dollars away to big corporations, while raising the payroll tax on businesses.

With the recovery stalled, how many more job losses are acceptable to the government: 10,000, 20,000, 60,000?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is just the contrary. We are interested in supporting job creation by the private sector in Canada. We have seen the creation of about 430,000 net new jobs since the end of the recession in July 2009. That is greater than the number of jobs that were lost during the recession. In fact, it is the best record in the G7.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals stole $57 billion from the employment insurance fund with the support of the Conservatives, who made it legal. In his announcement this morning, the Minister of Finance said:

This will support job creation by leaving more money in the hands of businesses and their employees...

He deserves some applause; that is quite a calculation. The premiums paid by workers and employers are increasing, and that will leave more money in their pockets. This is unbelievable.

Do they realize that what they are saying is nonsense? That is what they are doing. This is a Conservative-Liberal coalition.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the announcement this morning actually means that there will be about $1.2 billion back in the pockets of workers and job creators in the next year, in 2011.

The economic recovery is fragile. This will help create more jobs in the country and help Canada continue to exit from the recession in good form.

Census
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry is deluded when it comes to the census. His latest brainwave: census takers recruited from respondents' neighbourhoods could gain access to confidential information. According to Statistics Canada, the majority of people fill out the census online or by mail.

Do these shocking explanations not prove that the minister is unable to justify doing away with the long form census?