House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economic.

Topics

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I missed that. It is important to remember that we must not use names but, rather, ridings or titles.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, after hearing the Minister of Finance's budget, we feel it is fair to question the Conservative government's priorities. It is a government that is continuing to go in the wrong direction by giving billions of dollars in handouts to big businesses, big companies. We all know that, after five years of Conservative government, we are in an extremely difficult fiscal situation. Yet this government's position—its attitude—is like that of someone trying to get out of a hole by digging deeper.

On the other hand, while the government is granting tax breaks to large corporations that do not need them and is not creating any jobs here at home, it intends to cut $11 billion in public services that provide direct assistance to our constituents.

How does the minister justify giving handouts to banks and oil companies when thousands of workers who provide public services will pay the price of his poor choices?

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question. On May 2, we presented clear programs to the voters of Canada. We have to take into consideration the results of the May election in Canada. Growth and the economy are Canadians' priorities.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the budget talks about strategic review savings, which is just a nice way of saying “cuts”. One of the key areas that has been cut in this budget is regional development agency programming in all regions of Canada.

I have to ask the minister, why is he cutting the very programs without telling us definitively where they have been cut? Why is he cutting the very programs that the regions need in order to develop economic prosperity and move ahead in the future?

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, the third party in this place now is an expert in cutting. This was the party that in the mid-1990s cut transfers to the provinces. What were those transfers for? They were for health care, education and social services. Liberals did it without notice. They did it without negotiation. It resulted in the closing of schools. It resulted in the closing of hospitals, in the laying off of nurses. These are the experts who well deserve to be sitting where they are in this chamber today.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is well known throughout the industrialized world that Canada is the envy of the world. I would like the minister to answer a very simple question. How does our debt and deficit compare to other countries in the G8 and G20?

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Much better, Mr. Speaker. Our debt to GDP ratio is about 2.4%. Compare that with the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries which are up 10% and more. This is not a matter with which any of us certainly on this side of the House can be complacent. There are difficulties in the world economy. We are pleased that our country is recovering better than some other places. We also wish them well, of course, because this is an integrated economy, a global economy, and Canada is not an island.

We will maintain our course, in response to the hon. member, to ensure that on the deficit and debt we get back to a balanced budget, and then get back to the position where we can pay down public debt. We paid down almost $40 billion of public debt before the great recession happened, and it happened from outside Canada and came into this country, but it put Canada in a position where we could take the kind of action we did in the economic action plan.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth
Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That the debate be now adjourned.

(Motion agreed to)

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Pursuant to Standing Order 83(2), the motion is deemed to have been adopted and the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m.

(The House adjourned at 4:33 p.m.)