House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

International Trade
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, negotiations towards a comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union are the most open, collaborative and transparent negotiations this country has ever seen. Two weeks ago, the Minister of International Trade even appeared before the committee, at his own request, to give an update on the negotiations.

Today's demonstrations once again reveal the sad reality: these special interest groups are simply opposed to free trade. The benefits of a Canada-European Union free trade agreement are considerable: a 20% increase in bilateral trade and a $12 billion annual boost to Canada's economy, not to mention the 80,000 new jobs that would be created in Canada.

By supporting these special interest groups, the NDP is going against the interests of workers and doing precisely what it has unfortunately always done in the past: opposing free trade. As history has shown, protectionist measures only impede growth and kill jobs.

Air Canada
Oral Questions

October 17th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Labour gets upgrades from Air Canada managers to fly first class, she sides once again with management, picking winners and losers in the labour dispute.

The Conservatives claim that they believe in the free market, but they are happy to take away the rights of workers to market their value freely.

Could the government explain why it is choosing sides and interfering in the bargaining process?

Air Canada
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Labour

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I will address the fact that the preface of the hon. leader of the opposition's words was incorrect and that the accusation is false. She should know better and so should the NDP. I expect an apology on the matter.

With respect to the Air Canada dispute, the government has reviewed all of the options that were available to it. Because the two parties have failed at the table and because the economy is still fragile, we have referred the matter to the Canada Industrial Relations Board for its considered opinion.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that kind of answer is making people mad. The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading throughout the world and to Canada because people are tired of seeing their leaders give billions of dollars in tax cuts to big business. Even the Governor of the Bank of Canada says that these frustrations are legitimate.

Is the message getting through to the Prime Minister?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, it is fortunate that all Canadians have the right to peacefully express their views.

Canada does not, by the way, have the degree of economic inequality that we are seeing in other countries that have perhaps started this movement. We have a very progressive tax system that favours the vulnerable in this country. We have a social system that supports the unemployed. We have universal health care.

There is a great deal of difference in what we put in front of Canadians and offer to Canadians that they should be thankful for.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, inequality is growing in Canada. The middle class is paying more while the top 1% is earning more. People are fed up. They are occupying Wall Street, they are occupying Bay Street, they are occupying Ottawa, yet the Minister of Finance is dismissing them. “All is good, all is well; move along”, he says.

Why will the Prime Minister not listen to them and cancel his corporate tax cuts?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, as part of our economic action plan we put in place reductions in taxes for all Canadians. We have taken almost one million low-income Canadians completely off the tax roll. We have 650,000 more Canadians working than at the end of the recession. That economic action plan is working for Canadians.

I would remind everyone in the House and all Canadians that the NDP voted against every aspect of that.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the IMF, an ultra-conservative institution, published a study indicating that in countries with more income equality, periods of economic growth are more stable and last longer. The Conservatives are doing the opposite: they continue to give gifts to the wealthiest, making the middle class fall further behind.

Instead of throwing money at big business, why not invest in our communities? Why not?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the only gift that this government has given to Canadians is an opportunity that has provided 650,000 more jobs. That is more jobs than were lost. We have recovered all of the output that was lost.

The hon. member raised the IMF. Let me quote the IMF, other than just her selective quotes. It says that relatively, Canada's healthy economic fundamentals create a sounder fiscal financial position than in many other countries in the world. That is what we should be listening to.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are just not listening. Canadians are sending a message.

The growing inequality between the top 1% and everyone else has to stop. Jobless rates are critically high, especially for young people and new Canadians. Every day life gets more expensive, and Conservatives stand by while retirement savings tumble with the stock markets.

When will the Conservatives stop padding the pockets of the top 1% and take real action for the 99%? When will they cancel their multi-billion-dollar corporate tax giveaways and invest that money to reduce inequality? When will they do that?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, indeed, if there is one Canadian still looking for a job, that is too many. That is why we will be voting tonight on our economic action plan part two. We hope that hon. members on the other side will support it.

There are credits in there for small businesses for new hires to get more people back to work. There is a lot more continuation of what we have been doing that is actually working to help create jobs for Canadians.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, to the same minister, he is talking about tax credits to small business of roughly $165 million, which sounds terrific, including all of his talk about how the government has never increased any taxes. However, could the minister please explain why his government is persisting on the truly retrograde path of taxing small business an additional $2 billion and employees $2 billion at the same time the economy is so fragile?

Why is the government giving people $165 million and taking $2 billion out of their pockets? Where is the logic in that?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to answer that. I think most Canadians know that the Liberals, I believe, were the ones who suggested putting in place the 45-day work year. We heard from businesses that it would not be a good idea and so we made sure that did not happen.

However, we needed to ensure that the EI fund became actuarially sound. We are going to do that. We are not going to do what the previous Liberal government did, which was to borrow that money and not give it back.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the problem remains. There is noise and wind coming from the other side, but that is all right. The government cannot deny that it is problematic to impose a new $2 billion tax when the economy is extremely fragile.

How can the minister explain this complete contradiction in the Conservative Party's policy?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the contradiction comes from the questioner because he was part of a party that wanted to create a 45-day work year. That would not have been good for employees. That would not have been good for companies in this country.

The last thing we want to do is raise costs to businesses. They are employers, and that is why we continue to reduce their costs. That is what will get more people back to work and that is the main focus of this government: jobs and improving the economy.