House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course, Canadians expect us to manage their tax dollars wisely. We are looking at budget reductions in the neighbourhood of less than 2% across the entire size of government, 5% in operational expenses over a three-year period. Canadians expect us to cut this kind of fat and find these kinds of efficiencies.

This government has been very clear. We will not cut pensions. We will not cut transfers to the provinces for major programs such as health care.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is trying to scare people with the deficit issue. However, a year ago, the minister's deficit projections were off by $13 billion. He has changed his mind three times in six months. He lacks credibility.

Before cutting programs and services, should the Minister of Finance not put his books in order and give the people the real figures?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of balancing our budget and eliminating the deficit.

If members do not mind, I would like to quote the IMF, which said very clearly:

—Canada's overall fiscal outlook...stands out as among the best in the G20.

That is proof that our economic action plan did its job. It is proof that the next phase of our economic action plan has some wherewithal to deal with the problems that we see here in Canada.

I would hope that the opposition members would side with us and vote for our budget.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, she should tell that to the millions who are unemployed or underemployed. It is simply not good enough.

The government's plan for billions in corporate tax cuts means only one thing: cuts to programs and services that Canadians rely on, cuts to seniors living in poverty and cuts for struggling families, or is it really cuts to health care? These cuts are not worth the cost.

Will the minister cancel his reckless across-the-board corporate tax giveaways and invest in the things Canadians count on, like health care, infrastructure and the small businesses that create jobs?

Will he do that?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in March we presented the next phase of Canada's economic action plan. It was a positive plan to keep taxes low. That is what Canadians were asking for.

This plan is now going to support the creation of jobs. It is going to support Canadians in every effort that they want to push forward. Almost every organization has supported the fact that we want to lower those corporate taxes so that corporations can actually produce those jobs.

If those taxes go up, as proposed by the NDP, consumers will pay and workers will pay.

We will not do that to the Canadian public.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

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

The Prime Minister will be aware that 25 million Canadians file their income taxes. Of those 25 million, 15 million actually pay taxes and 10 million do not.

I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister. In dealing with the tax credits which were announced in the budget for piano lessons and art lessons and for taking care of loved ones, I would like to ask the Prime Minister why 10 million Canadians and more have been cut off and disqualified from being able to receive those tax credits because they have not--

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate also the member for Toronto Centre on becoming the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The budget has many important programs, many important benefits, some of which the leader of the Liberal Party mentioned, including some of the important tax credits for Canadian families, for caregivers and for children's arts.

I would encourage the Liberal Party, rather than just saying it should be more, to actually look at these things as positive benefits and to support these benefits for Canadians.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that those most in need of programs have been excluded from Conservative programs.

At the same time, does the government realize that the approximate increase of $1.67 per day in the guaranteed income supplement will not lift low-income seniors out of poverty and, above all, will not show them our respect for the country they have passed on to us?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the increase in the guaranteed income supplement is the largest increase in this benefit in the past 25 years. It is a much larger increase than has been made at any time by any previous government. I encourage the Liberal Party to do something positive and to support this increase, which is so important for our seniors.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada's manufacturing sector is tanking, and we are losing construction jobs. Construction starts are down now. Good full-time jobs are being replaced by part-time work.

Instead of offering short-term band-aids, will the minister extend the eco-energy retrofit program and the accelerated cost program for manufacturers for a full five years? This would allow Canadian employers and families to focus on the long term, to make long-term decisions to create good full-time jobs.

Will the minister do this?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to congratulate my colleague for once again being elected to the House.

I want to reiterate that in this budget we have in fact extended the eco-energy retrofit program. That will allow Canadian families to make their homes more energy efficient. That will protect our environment.

There are a number of very good budget measures. I would encourage my colleague to read the budget so that he can see them very clearly for himself.

Health
Oral Questions

June 7th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, millions of Canadians have to get by without the medical care they need because they do not have a family doctor. This means more families are turning to emergency rooms just for primary care. Not only is this hurting the health of Canadians, but it also increases the pressure on emergency rooms and costs millions more for everyone.

Will the government finally agree to work with the provinces and the territories to hire more health care professionals?

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, as the member is well aware, the health accord expires in 2014, not this year, not next year and not the year after.

In the meantime, our government will continue to work with the provinces and the territories on the present accord and priorities identified, such as encouraging the statutory review of the accord in both the Senate and the House, as well as to be supportive of the provinces and territories in the reduction of wait times.

We have also gained a lot of ground on establishing electronic health records and a number of other initiatives.

Health
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, after seven years with that health accord, none of it is translated into doctors for Canadian families.

The Conservatives had a second chance to address this in the budget but, incredibly, they let it go. The fact is that Canada needs thousands of new doctors and nurses stat, and the provinces are looking to the federal government to help solve this need.

Again, will the government work with us to improve these front-line services so that Canadian families get the health care they need and deserve?