House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, instead of answering the concerns raised by the Occupy movement, the Conservatives are boasting that Canada's level of inequality is better than others, but the very conservative Conference Board has a different take: Canada has the highest increase of inequality of 16 peer nations, including the United States.

Surely the Prime Minister is aware of this. Instead of bragging about its record, where is the plan to reduce inequality in Canada?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as this government has said repeatedly, our focus is on jobs and growth. I would take this opportunity to note the job creation figures last month, which indicate that Canada has now created over 650,000 jobs since the recession. This is of course one of the best records in the developed world.

We have important measures that are before the House right now to continue making sure we have jobs and opportunities for all Canadians so they all participate in Canada's recovery.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in the past 10 years, more than 30% of economic gains went to 1% of the population, the wealthiest people. That is the result of the fiscal policies adopted by the Conservatives, and the Liberals before them. The middle class is becoming poorer, fewer people are working, the gap between rich and poor is widening, and profitable big business is receiving billions of dollars in tax cuts.

Is the Prime Minister aware of the inequality he is creating in the country?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have reduced taxes for all Canadians. In any event, the NDP, because of its ideology, voted against tax cuts, including those for the poor.

The Canadian economy has created more than 650,000 jobs since the recession. That is the best performance in the developed world, and that is how we are ensuring that Canadians participate in the economy and the economic recovery.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is mocking Canadians when it says that 650,000 new jobs have been created since the recession. That is false and the Prime Minister knows it. That is why the unemployment rate is higher now than before the recession. That is why the unemployment rate is rising and the employment rate is declining. The Prime Minister should stop deceiving everyone and tell us the truth.

Where is the job creation plan?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the figures I gave are correct. Everyone knows that. We have brought before the House other measures to create more jobs. However, just last night, the NDP again voted against these job creation measures.

The NDP seems to misunderstand its role when it stands up and votes against job creation measures. It is not supposed to just occupy the House. It is supposed to do something for the Canadian people.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Wheat Board is the largest and most successful grain marketing company in the world. It is a Canadian success story with a proven track record of providing the best possible returns for farmers and minimizing their risk.

We can prove our arguments with detailed, empirical evidence, but there is no business case for dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board. There has never been one shred of evidence that farmers will be better off without the Wheat Board.

In these uncertain economic times, how can the government be so reckless and irresponsible as to turn the prairie farm economy on its head without even doing a cost benefit analysis?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the first thing the member for Winnipeg Centre should do is check his research. The Wheat Board is actually the third largest exporter just in Canada. Viterra is first, Cargill is second and then it is the Canadian Wheat Board. That is how much it has slipped in value to western Canadian farmers. That is why we are nowhere on solid ground with western Canadian farmers. Moving ahead with marketing freedom will get that done, despite that member.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Americans certainly understand what an advantage the Wheat Board is to farmers because 13 times they went to the WTO and complained that it was an unfair trade practice it was such an advantage, and 13 times the WTO ruled that there was nothing unfair about Canadian farmers acting collectively to stand up in their own best interests.

If the Wheat Board is not such an advantage to prairie farmers, why is the American agri-food business so eager kill it and, the big question is, why is the government willing to do its dirty work for it?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

It is very interesting, Mr. Speaker, that the first person out of the gate announcing value added in western Canada is a western Canadian. Murad Al-Katib, with Alliance Grain Traders, has announced a $50 million investment for durum production in the lower part of Saskatchewan where the durum is grown. He will create 60 value-added jobs. I do not know why the member opposite is against farmers and against jobs in western Canada.

Taxation
Oral Questions

October 18th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

One practical step that could be taken to deal with the lack of progressivity in the tax system, which, by the way, was referred to yesterday by the Minister of Finance as a big plus for Canada, would be to make the non-refundable tax credits refundable. Those tax credits apply to kids who are taking piano lessons, kids who are on the margins. Their parents are so poor that they cannot pay taxes.

Why will the Prime Minister not change the bill before the House and ensure those kids can get those benefits?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to hear the NDP call for the embellishment of tax credits that it voted against.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

An hon. member

We are Liberal.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

I should say the Liberals. I get confused.

There are a number of additional tax reduction measures before the House that are very important to small business and to job creation across this country, strongly supported by stakeholders. I would encourage the NDP and the Liberal Party to stop opposing those measures.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one thing is clear and that is that, despite the Prime Minister's confusion, when the Conservative Party has the opportunity to make a change that will make the tax system far more progressive, it does not want to make that change.

I will repeat the same question: why not give tax credits to the poorest people in the country? That is how to make the system more progressive. That is what the government needs to do.