House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the government has focused primarily on creating jobs with its low tax plan.

As far as housing is concerned, the member wanted me to point to something specific in the budget, and I will point specifically to the funding for the retrofit program, which has been extended. Canadian families from coast to coast to coast are availing themselves of this program. Over $400 million in additional money has been allotted to that program. It is an excellent example of how our government is helping families cope with the costs of improving their homes.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the opposition is calling for higher taxes and reckless spending. We have seen this experiment in Greece and in Italy and it has not worked there.

Could the member explain to the opposition why that is not a good path to follow?

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am going to point specifically to our Minister of Finance who has been voted as the best finance minister in the world by his peers. The reason, in my humble opinion, he has that distinction and that recognition among his peers is that our finance minister, under the leadership of our Prime Minister and this government, has been able to react to changing global economic conditions quickly with this next phase of Canada's economic action plan. It is the best possible plan we could put in place at this point in time.

I urge all members in the House and my colleagues in the opposition to support this important legislation.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

November 16th, 2011 / 5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honour to rise in the House in support of Bill C-13, the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act.

It is also an honour to follow my friend from Richmond Hill, who so eloquently stated the reasons why the bill is so important for our country.

As the finance minister said early on in the introduction of the bill, our government is focused on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs and providing economic growth.

Canada has the strongest job growth in the G7, with nearly 600,000 net new jobs created since July 2009, and the IMF projects that we will have among the strongest economic growth in the G7 over the next two years.

As has been pointed out over and over again, we are not immune to global economic turbulence. That is why we need to stay the course and implement the next phase of Canada's economic action plan. Our government is focused on creating jobs and generating economic growth. Based on our economic performance compared with the rest of the world, it is truly working.

Our measures have been applauded by many in the private sector. For example, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business applauded the government's provision of a temporary hiring tax credit. Dan Kelly, the senior vice-president for the CFIB, said:

Since the 2011 budget announcement, many members have called about the credit and reported it will make it easier for them to hire, enhance wages or adjust to rising Employment Insurance premiums. ... This is a particularly important initiative as the government has declared 2011 as the Year of the Entrepreneur.

It is the entrepreneurs and the small business owners in this country who create the jobs this country needs.

The keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act would help support Canada's economic recovery and would be promoting job creation and economic growth by implementing a whole host of measures like, as I pointed out a minute ago, providing a temporary hiring credit for small business and expanding tax support for clean energy generation to encourage green investments.

Coming from Manitoba as I do, I know that clean, green energy from Manitoba Hydro is very important to our economy, and this is what our government is supporting.

I was especially pleased to see the extension by one year of the mineral exploration tax credit for flow-through share investors to support Canada's mining sector. It is truly remarkable how the mining sector has come alive in Canada over the last decade and has become such an important contributor to our gross national product.

Indeed, that is why it is so shameful to see the NDP denigrating our country, denigrating the oil sands, when the oil sands are so important for our country and our economic growth. It is truly a shame that it is out to kill this most important enterprise. Having worked in the oil sands myself and lived in an oil sands camp, I have experienced first-hand the men and women of Canada who are working in the oil sands, providing for their families, saving for their children's education, and on and on. It is truly a remarkable Canadian achievement, and it is truly disgraceful to see the NDP doing whatever it can to kill this engine of economic growth.

We are also simplifying customs tariffs in order to facilitate trade. Canada is a trading nation. Trade is what supports our economy and, in turn, what supports the social programs that all Canadians need.

We are accelerating the capital cost allowance.

This is something I am kind of interested in. We are eliminating the mandatory retirement age for federally regulated employees in order to give older workers wishing to work the option of remaining in the workforce. That is something that many of us are clearly looking forward to.

In terms of supporting communities, our bill would legislate a permanent annual investment of $2 billion in the gas tax fund to provide predictable, long-term infrastructure funding for municipalities. I represent a remote rural constituency with many municipalities, and this fund that our government has doubled in the last few years is vital to the maintenance of important infrastructure for my communities.

We are enhancing the wage earner protection program.

Here is one that was especially well received in my constituency and indeed across the country. We are introducing a volunteer firefighters tax credit for volunteer firefighters. This is an example of how the government supports communities. Our volunteer firefighters give of their time. For many years they were the unsung heroes of many of our communities. We are so proud to have provided the volunteer firefighters tax credit, something they have requested for many years, which in a sure but small way recognizes the contributions they are making to our communities. That is what community is all about and what the government supports.

We will be increasing the ability of Canadians to give more confidently to legitimate charities.

With regard to the family caregiver tax credit, we are removing the limit on the amount of eligible expenses caregivers can claim under the medical expense tax credit.

We are introducing a new children's arts tax credit for programs associated with children's artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities.

This is truly an incredible list of what the government is doing. It includes forgiving loans for new doctors and nurses in underserved rural and remote areas. As a member of Parliament, like many of my colleagues I represent a remote rural constituency. Health care is very important. Providing incentives to new doctors and nurses to live and work in our beautiful rural communities will only help to strengthen them.

We will be helping apprentices and skilled trades and workers in regulated professions by making occupational trade and professional examination fees eligible for the tuition tax credit.

We will be improving federal financial assistance for students.

We are making it easier to allocate registered education savings plan assets among siblings without incurring tax penalties or forfeiting Canada education savings grants.

The phasing out of the direct subsidy of political parties is something I am pleased to see. As we listened to the members of the NDP early in the debate on this particular bill, I was astonished that all they focused on was this tax giveaway to political parties, which to their minds is a big deal. I guess free money is what they are all about, whereas the members of our party have worked hard. We have attracted donations from thousands of small donors and have built up a strong base of funding. We earned it. They want it for nothing. That is the difference between us and them. I am pleased to support the phasing out of the direct subsidy of political parties.

We will be closing numerous tax loopholes that allow a few businesses and individuals to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

In terms of Manitoba in particular, as all members in the House know, all politics is local. I am especially pleased with what Manitoba will see come out of the bill. There will be $5,000 in grants from the energy program for Manitoba families to make their homes more energy efficient; $840 in new annual financial support for needy Manitoba seniors; the new family caregivers tax credit; and, this is one that is especially important in my constituency although the point is somewhat moot now, the waiving of licence renewal fees for hunters and firearms owners. Thank goodness this will be a thing of the past once the bill is passed.

I thank the hardworking Minister of Public Safety, another Manitoba MP I might add, who is spearheading this particular initiative, along with the member for Portage—Lisgar.

In terms of agriculture, and I represent a very strong agricultural community, help for Manitoba farmers will be provided by the new $50 million agricultural innovation initiative. Our agriculture is only strengthened by research and innovation. That is why Canadian producers are among the most efficient in the world.

I could go on with the number of initiatives that are in our budget. I will say that this is a good budget for Canada and all of our citizens. It is our low tax plan for jobs and economic growth.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:40 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Madam Speaker, yesterday, the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress released its most recent report tracking Ontario's economic progress. The report states that Ontario lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs between 2007 and 2009 and that everyone knows that these jobs are not coming back. This flies in the face of all the numbers the Tories like to trot out. I wonder if the member opposite can speak to this disconnect between the facts and what his government keeps talking about.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Madam Speaker, there is no disconnect between the facts and our performance.

One need only look at who is in government in Ontario: the poster child for a high tax economy that does not create jobs. Ontario used to be the engine of the Canadian economy and could be still, if the proper policies were put in place. High taxes and the excess spending of government funds simply do not work and Ontario shows that.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, when the member from Dauphin made reference to hydro, it really made me sit up and listen. We in Manitoba have a passion for Manitoba hydro because it is a wonderful opportunity for economic development.

This is a billion dollar question, maybe even a bit more than that. I wonder if the member could provide any comment on his thoughts on east side versus west side for the Bipole III transmission line for Manitoba Hydro.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Madam Speaker, I share the member's concern regarding the choice the Manitoba government has made. The Manitoba NDP government chose to build a hydro line along the west side of Manitoba that will cost an extra $1 billion to build, rather than the shorter east side line.

The extra distance causes a line loss of enough electricity to power 25,000 homes, or a community the size of Brandon, Manitoba. That represents $1 billion of excess spending by the Manitoba NDP. Year after year enough energy to power 25,000 homes will simply go up in smoke for nothing.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:40 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Madam Speaker, given the member's reputation as a strong environmentalist working with corporations to ensure that the environment and industry work together, could he comment?

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Madam Speaker, one of the things that is evident, when one looks at environmental indicators around the world, is that as a country gets richer the environmental indicators get better. There is no trade-off between wealth creation, economic growth and environmental quality; they all go hand in hand.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

It being 5:45 p.m., pursuant to an order made earlier today it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the report stage of the bill now before the House.

The question is on Motion No. 1. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:45 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act
Government Orders

5:45 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

All those opposed will please say nay.