House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did have the opportunity to spend a lot of time in my riding last week. I did hear, over and over again, how important these initiatives that are contained in the budget are.

I can specifically recall meeting with several people in the manufacturing community. They think the accelerated capital cost allowance in this budget is critical for them. It gives them the opportunity to reinvest in new equipment and machinery to make them more competitive in the global economy, and that is critical these days.

The economy is difficult. The global economy is very competitive. It is an important measure. I know it is supported in my constituency.

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:05 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I feel it is very important to rise today in the House to speak out against Bill C-13, which combines a myriad of proposals. If we could take the time to analyze them one by one, we would have the opportunity to debate a number of important issues. But these proposals are wrapped up in a single bill, which means we cannot debate them. That is an affront to democracy. We are not able to take the time needed to explain the details of each proposal in this bill to the Canadian people.

This bill is an empty shell. As my colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin said earlier, the Conservatives make a great many extravagant announcements. They say they will be investing in a number of areas, but if we look at the details, we see these investments are superficial. There is no real, concrete, strategic plan for stimulating the economy and creating local, sustainable jobs. Jobs that do not pay enough and that keep people living below the poverty line are not helpful.

I would like to suggest some concrete ways to really help Canadian families. Consider the health care system. As we all know, thousands of families do not have access to family doctors and nurses at this time. There is a personnel shortage in the health care system. It is a problem everywhere, in all provinces and territories. Hospitals and clinics do not have enough human resources. The public health care system is particularly short-staffed. The Conservatives have not done much to prevent private services from taking a larger share of health care. The bigger the private sector becomes, the bigger the gap between the poor and the wealthy when it comes to access to health care, even though poorer people are the ones who need health care the most.

Earlier, my colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue explained, as have many others, that family caregivers need a great deal of help. The Conservatives are always telling us over and over about the tax credit for family caregivers; however, that tax credit can only benefit people who make enough money. Most family caregivers do not have enough income to benefit from tax credits. Why would the government not grant direct tax benefits instead, which would really help these people? That would put money directly into the pockets of people who help families who are in need because of health problems and other concerns. This would be a concrete, positive, constructive measure for family caregivers.

Still in the area of health, we have to invest in home care to allow people to maintain their independence and remain active. I am on the Standing Committee on Health and I am our deputy health critic. Every week since October, witnesses have been coming to the committee to tell us that, as far as chronic illnesses are concerned, the government must invest in creating a strategic plan for healthy eating and urban planning in order to allow people to have an active lifestyle. Simply improving the public's eating habits would help unburden the health care system. It would also create jobs.

There are already a number of farmers, growers and fresh food producers in our regions, in Canada, who could supply food to seniors living on very low incomes who do not have the means to buy fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables should be a staple in our diet. A number of health experts who have come to testify at the Standing Committee on Health have said that seniors cannot afford to buy fruit and vegetables. That is appalling. There are plenty of farmers who want nothing more than to offer their products at local markets and grocery stores at affordable prices. This is basic nutrition. We could make use of it in schools and hospitals, but the government lacks leadership on the issue.

Another aspect of health is physical activity. The provinces are trying to promote physical activity and healthy living, but problems related to obesity and diabetes are on the rise. The federal government should invest more in helping the provinces and territories in their promotion and prevention efforts.

A number of people and organizations such as those that support seniors have managed to implement projects in more than 500 cities in Canada, including over 300 in Quebec. The purpose of these projects is to configure cities differently and adapt them to more active living. This may involve ensuring that sidewalks are safe for seniors and the children of young families and having more green space in neighbourhoods, which in turn encourages people to use local services, drive less, walk more and get together. In addition to making neighbourhoods livelier, it would encourage people to be physically active.

We have many suggestions just in the area of health. The Conservatives often say that the opposition makes few suggestions. I just provided five in the area of health. We can provide more. With regard to public safety, we could create more jobs, except that the Conservatives are once again being very contradictory.

They say that they want to promote local employment. I will repeat that, in my riding, an entire section of the border is not protected. RCMP officers told me last week that closing the Franklin border crossing has been and continues to be a nuisance for them. There has been a resurgence of smuggling and crime, and people can cross the border between official crossings because of the decrease in surveillance. The customs officers who worked at the former Franklin border crossing also provided security and surveillance. Now there is none, because of the Conservatives' decision.

I see my time is nearly up and I will move on to another matter. There is not much in the budget, Bill C-13, in terms of the environment. In my riding, the budget for the St. Francis Lake National Wildlife Area was cut by 56% even though it attracts more than 5,000 tourists every year. It is located in Dundee, a point of access to the United States and to the Akwesasne Mohawk Reserve.

We keep hearing that Canada is trying to encourage ties with first nations communities. Instead, the government is cutting funding and many people are losing their jobs. To make matters worse, the jobs that are being lost are green, sustainable and local. There are many small measures like this that are negatively affecting our local and national economy. In Quebec alone, the budgets of four other wildlife areas have been cut. Canada has a total of 51 national wildlife areas. Why does the government have to cut funding to a profitable area?

Bill C-13 does not promote the local economy and does even less for the national economy. I am asking the Conservatives to be open and accommodating and to include our proposals in their budget.

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague indicated that she is the health critic for her party, and I applaud her in that role.

One of the challenges that all of us, as members of Parliament from all across Canada, are aware of is the challenge of trying to have medical doctors and nurse practitioners settle into remote and rural areas. I know of many communities that have set up formal committees to recruit medical personnel into their underserved areas.

I wonder if the member is aware that this budget would provide student loan forgiveness for medical doctors and nurses who work in rural and remote areas. Practising physicians would be eligible for a federal Canada student loan forgiveness of up to $8,000 per year to a maximum of $40,000, and nurse practitioners would be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness up to $4,000 per year to a maximum of $20,000. It seems to me that this is a great initiative to encourage medical doctors and nurse practitioners to settle in rural and remote areas.

Will the member stand in this place and vote in support of a measure that would improve health care for rural Canadians?

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for raising this issue.

It allows me to say that this measure does encourage doctors and nurses to move to the regions. However, if more health care professionals do not enter the system, how will it become more effective? If health care professionals simply move from urban to rural areas, there will be a problem in the urban areas. More money must therefore be invested in training, and not just in loans. Bursaries must also be given because, once people get into debt, that heavy financial burden does not help.

We must increase the number of doctors and nurses and we must improve infrastructure to encourage them to move to the regions.

There is no national public transit system. Improvements must be made in this regard in order to attract people to the regions and keep them there. We must not just give out loans. A comprehensive approach is needed and, in order for it to be effective, it must be incorporated in such a way that it brings together all these components. All these things must be done in conjunction with one another.

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague for her wonderful display of humanity and sense of community.

I would like my colleague to explain to the House why we need to invest in public services for youth to ensure that they are strong and healthy and prepared to help our country grow, and, therefore, why we need to create an environment that promotes economic growth. I am talking, in particular, about youth dropout rates and health. The government could introduce measures that would create a lot of jobs for this next generation. Why does my colleague think we should invest in the community?

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my NDP colleague.

It is important to invest in the community and in young people because they are the people who will build and continue to build our country. If we want to get people involved, we must first give them the opportunity to do so, to make a commitment and to find themselves. It would be a positive measure to give young people more opportunities and see where they can get involved.

Prevention is one aspect of health: if we are more active, we are healthier and more productive. Being healthy helps the economy. All of that is related, just like the economy and the environment. If we want to enjoy our environment, we must first take care of it. So we must invest in all areas, without leaving a single one out. Together they make a complete package.

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Kitchener—Conestoga in favour of Bill C-13, the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act. I rise today proud of our government's record, the best fiscal record in the industrialized world.

I rise today recognizing the accomplishment as even more significant when we examine the state of our largest market to the south and I rise today in recognition that these challenges confront us still, that the global economic uncertainty which inspired Canada's economic action plan remains with us today.

Government does not create jobs, but government can create and foster an environment in which jobs are created. We cannot force businesses to conduct research or invest in their own competitiveness, but we can encourage innovation. Canada's federal government cannot fix the world's economy, but we can ensure that we are poised to seize on the best opportunities as the world recovers.

However, we also have responsibilities beyond today's economy. Members of the House must ensure that a stronger country is left for our children, not only a stronger economy. It is with these thoughts in mind that I stand in favour of the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act.

Before budget 2011, this Conservative government had already cut taxes over 120 times. Over one million lower income Canadians were removed from the tax rolls altogether by this government, 85,000 of them seniors. We introduced tax free savings accounts which offer lower and moderate income earners the ability to save their hard-earned money without the disincentive of taxation.

Last week in Waterloo region we celebrated entrepreneur week. This week-long festival dedicated to the entrepreneurial spirit reminds me that it was this government that declared 2011 to be the year of the entrepreneur. We all know the numbers. We understand that the vast majority of jobs created in Canada are created by entrepreneurs running small or medium-sized businesses.

Last week, Communitech inducted several business people into the Waterloo region entrepreneur hall of fame. One of the recipients, Carol Leaman of PostRank compared starting a business with another profession entirely. An entrepreneur, she said, is like a skydiver. They both jump out of planes from great heights, but only entrepreneurs are expected to make their parachutes as they fall toward the ground. The metaphor is clear. Our entrepreneurs are willing to risk their time, their savings and their available credit, everything they have, in the dream of building a business.

Iain Klugman, Communitech president and CEO, put the challenge for us as policy-makers even more clearly. He stated, “If you don't have people who bet the farm you don't have a strong economy. Entrepreneurs drive the economy”.

This government has worked hard since our first minority mandate to unshackle our entrepreneurs. I am pleased this work has continued in budget 2011. We have instituted a new hiring credit for small business that will provide up to $1,000 against a small firm's EI premiums for new hires. We have offered new and increased support to young entrepreneurs to build the next generation of global business leaders. We are focused on building a stronger Canada, better able to withstand global challenges.

Under this Prime Minister and this finance minister, Canada withstood the recession better than any other country. Thanks to this Prime Minister and this finance minister, Canada will emerge stronger from this period of global uncertainty. The measures in this budget build upon work done in previous budgets, an economic action plan that kept Canada leading the world, an economic action plan that opposition parties consistently failed to support.

Over the past six years, our government has lowered personal income taxes, corporate income taxes and the small business tax rate. We have increased the amount that Canadians can earn before being taxed. We made it easier for seniors by instituting pension splitting. We have introduced choice in child care through the universal child care benefit and passed the children's fitness credit. All of these positions were supported by Canadians and none of them were supported by the opposition.

While we have worked hard to keep Canadians working, we have also put in place measures to protect families. In years past, we overcame opposition objections to help Canadians through new items like the registered disability savings plan, the first time home buyers' plan, the public transit tax credit and an expanded home buyers' tax credit.

Today we are asking for support on new measures to help Canadians: measures to help students afford the costs of post-secondary education such as allowing them to earn more without having their loans clawed back; measures to help Canadians pay for the health care they need such as removing the limit on medical expenses they can claim on their taxes, or to take time to care for their loved ones through the family caregiver tax credit; and measures to make homes more energy efficient by extending the eco-energy retrofit program.

Budget 2011 will provide low income seniors with some much needed relief by increasing the guaranteed income supplement payments they will receive by as much as $600 for single seniors and as much as $840 for couples. There are no surprises in this budget. We stand clearly in favour of lower taxes and balanced books. We stand for long-term sustainable growth and we stand for the family.

These times are unprecedented for the modern Canadian family. While the experts seem to agree that Canada has emerged from the recession, our major trading partners remain mired in doubt and uncertainty. I am grateful to the finance minister for extending vital programs in times like these, programs like work sharing which allows viable employers to retain critical talent during lean times and which allows employees to work reduced hours until times improve.

Several companies in my riding of Kitchener—Conestoga have unfortunately been in the position to use the work share program. Ontario Drive & Gear was one of those companies. Thanks to support from this government, ODG remains one of Wilmot Township's largest employers. ODG President Joerg Stieber was also named to the Waterloo region entrepreneur hall of fame last week. He said, “The foundation of our success is really in the hard work and dedication of the good people who work at ODG.

The people are what is important. Work share allowed ODG to keep the staff in whose skills it had invested so much and it allowed the employees to remain gainfully employed rather than left out of work.

Kuntz Electroplating, one of the largest employers in the city of Kitchener, would tell a very similar story. Work share, to put it simply, keeps Canadian employers and employees working. But there are Canadians who are more vulnerable in an economic downturn than the average worker. I speak in this case of young Canadians who may not have had the experience or the networks that they need to find that first job and older Canadians who have trouble finding that new career when laid off during the end of their working lives.

To help new entrants to the job market, budget 2011 will make all trade, occupational and professional exam fees tax deductible. It will allow students pursuing a degree or diploma to earn twice as much money before their loans are clawed back. It ends discrimination against part-time students by reducing the interest they must pay on their Canada student loans.

This government recognizes that education is a provincial responsibility, but that our global economic competitiveness is an issue of federal importance and we are willing to act.

Canada's seniors will benefit from budget 2011. This government has already done so much for seniors. After 13 years of empty Liberal promises, this Conservative government introduced pension income splitting and removed 85,000 seniors from the tax rolls altogether. In fact, this government has delivered to Canada's seniors over $2.3 billion in tax relief since taking office.

Budget 2011 builds on that solid foundation promising to enhance the GIS payments made to low income seniors, but just as importantly, budget 2011 will also extend the targeted initiative for older workers.

I stand firmly in favour of passing Bill C-13, the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act. It puts us on a path to surplus while investing in Canada's most critical assets, our people.

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government seems to have difficulty distinguishing between spending investment and infrastructure. It often likes to talk about how we in the NDP love taxes or other such rhetoric, but let us look at how much the government is wasting taxpayers' dollars in terms of its spending in its infrastructure program.

The government talks about cutting waste, but let us talk about waste. Some 26 million taxpayers' dollars were spent on advertising for the economic action plan in the three months running up to the 2011 election; $3 million on signs put across the country; and tracking weekly the signs of 18 different departments and agencies.

On this bill, how much is the government planning to spend on advertising, signs and useless, wasteful spending of taxpayers' dollars?

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, how very much like the NDP to pull numbers out of a hat and throw them around as if they are, in fact, facts, which I very much question.

The important facts to keep on the table today are that the average Canadian families today are paying $3,000 less in income tax than they were when this government took office, that over 600,000 people are working today, and that more than 600,000 net new jobs have been created since the downturn of 2009. Those are facts that are verifiable. We get the records regularly.

I would really encourage the NDP to get its facts straight and then ensure it gives the Canadians we are here to represent the actual truth in the matter.

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, just to pick up on that point and look to the member to acknowledge that there are a half million fewer full-time jobs today in the Canadian economy than there were in 2008.

One of the things that I think is really lacking is the government's will to recognize the valuable contributions that we could be making, in terms of housing, investing in our housing stock, and providing incentives for inner city-type housing renewal programs and all sorts of programs that would ultimately improve the quality of our housing stock while at the same time creating thousands of jobs.

Would the member indicate where, within the documents that he has at his fingertips, does it elaborate on just how the government is dealing with Canada's aging housing stock?

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not have the actual figures at my fingertips and I am not going to make them up like so often happens in this place.

What I can say is that there is no government in recent history that has invested more in Canada's social housing stock than this government. In fact, in the Waterloo region, my own region, there have been incredible investments. We work with community partners that come to the table with a great objective, a great idea, and they partner with the Canadian government, the Ontario government, and, in our case, the Waterloo regional government to create amazing projects.

More importantly, there are other more foundational changes that this document, Bill C-13, would implement that all of our members should be supporting when it comes to allowing students to earn money. Students do not just want handouts. They want to be able to earn money and not have it clawed back off of their student loans.

This budget would implement that. I cannot understand why members on that side stand and vote against these great initiatives.

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Kitchener—Conestoga for his fine speech and the excellent work he does on the Hill, including being a leader at committee with regard to palliative and compassionate care, with which he is heavily involved.

Part of the budget has a family caregiver tax credit, which I know is an issue, and he talked about seniors in his speech. Why is it important for these to be included in the bill?

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for highlighting the work of the palliative care committee. We hope to release our report later this week.

Certainly, compassion extended to those who are vulnerable in our society has to be one of our primary objectives as members of Parliament. I am thrilled to see that our government recognized that in this budget, including removing the limit on medical expenses and also introducing the new family caregiver tax credit. This $2,000 credit would be for caregivers who are helping those who face a debilitating illness.

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the chamber to speak to Bill C-13 and participate in the debate.

I will start with the caregivers tax credit and point out some of the problems with this overall government agenda and strategy. The government often announces programs. That was done well by the Mike Harris Ontario government when it had one dump truck full of $1 million in cash and would literally move that from community to community announcing program after program and service after service. However, nobody could really access it. Nobody could really get the necessary support that the government was promoting in the programs.

We have seen that with the current government and with previous governments where there would be billions of dollars in slippage or money that never actually went out the door because the mandates and the criteria for those incentives did not work well with either the taxpayers, citizens in general or with the businesses the government was trying to support in terms of new programs and services.

This tax credit for caregivers is another one. It is something I am fairly familiar with. I worked for the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities for five years and with Community Living Mississauga for about three years helping people who needed assistance and caregiving. These people did not qualify for unemployment, did not have proper medical support and would not be able to take advantage of a tax credit. That is an important issue that we need to acknowledge. The tax credit that is being proposed would literally be dangled in front of some Canadians but would not be available for others. It is building inequality.

We have a middle-class that is shrinking. All of the evidence supports that, especially given what we have gone through with the recent economic recession and what is happening in the global economy. This would create a separate class of people who have access to caregivers, leaving the rest behind because they are too poor. How is that fair? How does that stand in a budget for a country that is supposed to be known for social justice, humanity and not leaving people behind? How does it even get to the point where the Conservatives are getting up here proudly celebrating the fact that some Canadians will get the support they need?

I can the House that support is critical. We are talking about people being able to have a bath, have their homes cleaned and live in better and humane conditions. These are critical elements. I have done that work myself. We are talking about people who need assistance right now to improve their quality of life but will not get it because they do not have enough money, are not rich enough or do not make enough.

How is it possible that members can stand in the chamber to support a program like that? I do not understand that logic. I cannot see through it. I cannot see how the Conservatives can brag about segregating people who have physical and mental impairments or disabilities into classes of those who will get that service and those who will not.

I thought we were supposed to be helping the people who are worse off in this country. I think about the people I served who, at that time, were put into institutions. After being institutionalized, they were released between the ages of 30 and 40 and were left to the wind because there was not enough support. They had never worked before and never had the opportunity to be part of the community. If they were lucky, they got into programs like mine and, if we were lucky, we would be able to get them a job and train them. We would go on site.

A lot of measures are required to ensure that people who have physical or psychological impairments can re-enter or enter the workforce. A lot of training has to happen. There are front-line support workers. It took a lot of effort. It would often require a government program with significant resources but at the end of the day it was worth it. We proved that for every dollar the government put into our program we saved it $3 in welfare.

When those people came through the door, we did not look at their income bracket to determine whether they could get support. We did not tell them that they were too impoverished and that, although they needed the service, we would give it to someone else who could afford it because he or she could get a tax break.

How is that fair? What some of these caregivers can do is prevent people from going to a hospital. They can help people get structure around their life so they can work part-time. It is all important and it is all related.

How can people go for an interview or be involved in their community if basic hygiene is a problem for them. They may have a problem physically or they have a problem doing that work in their house? Their apartment or house or wherever they live can create an impediment for them going out into the community.

What we are saying with this tax credit is that those Canadians who have the biggest insurmountable elements in their life will be left behind. They will not get that assistance. Their neighbour might, if their neighbour has enough money or makes enough money. We know from the evidence that most people in Canadian society will not be able to take advantage of this tax credit.

I have a hard time understanding the logic in this. How can anyone actually get up and proudly say that this will be separated to ensure Canadians have two options: one, nothing; and two, others will get their tax credit back and they will get assistance.

I think the philosophy that the government has adopted about winners and losers has really turned Canada upside down. It is picking winners and losers right now. That is what it is doing with the Wheat Board and with other issues. It is very divisive, which is unfortunate.

We need to start looking at why we cannot afford this tax credit for all Canadians. The government is making some poor choices, between prisons and planes. It is important to talk about some of the choices with regard to tax cuts that are taking place right now.

Since we are in a fiscal deficit, we have been borrowing money from ourselves to pay interest on tax cuts largely for profitable corporations. It is not for the ones that are value-added and have been struggling during this process, like the manufacturing sector in my home town. It has been struggling but it does not benefit from a tax cut because it is not making a profit.

What ends up happening is that the oil and gas industry benefits and the pharmaceutical companies benefit. All the companies, ironically, that are doing extremely well right now are also getting massive subsidies. Those companies get them for fossil fuels. They get fuel subsidies and they will continue to get them.

The interesting thing is that we are not even talking corporate tax reductions. We are talking about some of what the oil and gas industry gets in terms of subsidies. I would ask members to listen to a few of these: the flow-through share subsidy, the Canadian exploration expense subsidy, the Canadian developmental expense subsidy and the Canadian oil and gas property expense subsidy. All those together add up to $1.256 billion in lost tax revenue since 2008 alone.

We are still paying for those subsidies because we actually borrowed money. It is just like the HST. To bring in the HST, the government had to borrow $6 billion and now it has a debacle going on with British Columbia in this regard. We had Library of Parliament analyze the borrowing costs of the HST. The HST will cost the government, if it pays it over a 10 year cycle at the average interest rate, anywhere between $6 billion to $8 billion. We will pay those costs.

I again want to emphasize that a budget does not need to be about winners and losers, which is what this is right here. Some people will do really well and others will not. That is not the Canada I want.

Motions in Amendment
Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up on the idea of winners and losers.

When I look at the government in terms of one of its many failings, it is in its dealing with seniors. There are many seniors who are experiencing very difficult times. They do not have the necessary funds to purchase the items they need. We are talking about some of the fundamentals, pharmaceuticals and food. It is a quality of life issue.

Would the member give us his personal thoughts in regard to what more he believes the government could have done in terms of being able to better enhance the lifestyle of our seniors from coast to coast?