House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, since this is my first opportunity to ask this traditional question, I want to assure the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons that he will have our full co-operation in standing up for our parliamentary institutions.

That said, could he inform the House as to what business we can expect next week?

Business of the House
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome everyone back and congratulate all members on their election or re-election. I would also like to take this opportunity to specifically congratulate the member for Outremont and the member for Westmount—Ville-Marie on their appointments as House leaders of their respective parties.

I am pleased to answer the first Thursday question of the 41st Parliament and to outline to this House our government's agenda as we carry out the strong mandate Canadians gave us on May 2.

Today, we will continue to debate the budget, the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, a low tax plan for jobs and growth.

Monday, June 13, will be the final day of debate on the budget, followed by votes on the NDP amendment and the main motion. Under the order adopted this morning, we will also vote on a ways and means motion that night, which will allow the government to introduce a budget implementation bill which we will hope to debate later in the week. That bill will contain some positive measures of the low tax plan for jobs and growth, including an increase to the guaranteed income supplement for Canada's most vulnerable seniors. I look forward to the opposition party's support to pass this bill in a timely manner.

On Tuesday, the House will debate a motion regarding Canada's involvement in the NATO-led mission in Libya.

The House will be adjourned both this Friday and next Friday, June 17, for the Conservative and NDP conventions, as is the customary practice of the House for political party conventions.

Standing Orders
Oral Questions

June 9th, 2011 / 3:05 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I believe you would find unanimous support for the following motion. I move:

That the Standing Orders be amended by replacing Standing Order 104(2) with the following:

104(2) The standing committees, which shall consist of twelve members, and for which the lists of members are to be prepared, except as provided in section (1) of this Standing Order, shall be on:

(a) Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development;

(b) Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics;

(c) Agriculture and Agri-Food;

(d) Canadian Heritage;

(e) Citizenship and Immigration;

(f) Environment and Sustainable Development;

(g) Finance;

(h) Fisheries and Oceans;

(i) Foreign Affairs and International Development;

(j) Government Operations and Estimates;

(k) Health;

(l) Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities;

(m) Industry, Science and Technology;

(n) International Trade;

(o) Justice and Human Rights;

(p) National Defence;

(q) National Resources;

(r) Official Languages;

(s) Procedure and House Affairs;

(t) Public Accounts;

(u) Public Safety and National Security;

(v) Status of Women;

(w) Transport, Infrastructure and Communities; and

(x) Veterans Affairs.

Standing Orders
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. government whip have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Standing Orders
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Standing Orders
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Standing Orders
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Standing Orders
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government, and of the amendment.

Financial Statement of the Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Before statements by members started, the hon. member for Wild Rose had seven minutes and 30 seconds left to conclude his remarks.

Financial Statement of the Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying earlier, our government's economic action plan worked very well to both stimulate the economy and to improve local infrastructure in our municipalities all across the country, especially in my riding of Wild Rose.

However, dealing with the extraordinary consequences of the global financial crisis forced governments worldwide to run budgetary deficits to keep their economies running. Where Canada has proved to be the exception is in how quickly we plan to return to balanced budgets.

In this next phase of the action plan, our government is committed to taking the steps necessary to balance the books. I can say that this is a priority for my constituents. During budget consultations held all across my riding of Wild Rose and during the election, constituents told me time and again that they were eager to secure the economic recovery and balance the books.

This budget responds by committing to balance the books earlier than originally forecast. We will find savings and efficiencies and reduce expenses through a strategic operating review. This important measure will find savings of $4 billion and help to eliminate the deficit a year earlier than planned. It is important for Canadians to know that this return to balanced books will not be at their expense.

Unlike the previous Liberal government, our Conservative government will maintain transfers to provinces and individuals. Pensioners will not be penalized. Health care, education and our military will be supported. Contrast that with the way in which the previous government gutted provincial transfers and nearly dismantled our country's military capabilities in order to generate its artificial surpluses of the 1990s.

This government will not download the pain of its tough choices on Canadians. This government will not raise taxes. As the private sector revs up again as the engine of growth, our government is forging ahead in a way that meets the needs of Canadians now while creating the right conditions for Canada's long-term economic prosperity.

Some very important measures contained in budget 2011 allow us to do this. For example, we are supporting job creation by helping businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed through a temporary hiring credit for small business that will encourage additional hiring by this vital sector. We are extending the work-sharing program and the targeted initiative for older workers to help Canadians stay in the workforce.

The accelerated capital cost allowance for investments in machinery and equipment has been extended for two years, which is of great benefit to Canada's manufacturing and processing sectors.

Furthermore, this budget supports families and seniors. Through our economic action plan, we have enhanced the guaranteed income supplement for vulnerable seniors who rely on old age security and the GIS for their income. The new top-up benefit of $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples will improve financial security for more than 680,000 Canadian seniors.

The budget also introduced a family caregiver tax credit and a children's art tax credit to support Canadian families. The caregiver credit will help Canadians who care for infirm dependent relatives, including, for the first time, spouses, common-law partners and children.

In my riding of Wild Rose, there are many rural towns and villages. Budget 2011 strengthens these communities by improving the services Canadians need wherever they choose to live.

Rural and remote communities often have challenges attracting health care workers. To help address this, we are forgiving up to $40,000 worth of Canada student loans for new family physicians and up to $20,000 for nurses who choose to work in underserviced areas.

In my hometown of Olds, Alberta, I served for a time as a volunteer firefighter. I can tell members firsthand that the volunteer firefighters in my riding and in communities all across the country are sure to appreciate our new tax credit for volunteer firefighters who perform at least 200 hours of service. These are the men and women who selflessly serve and risk their own safety to keep their neighbours safe. It is important to recognize the service they provide to protect the lives and property of Canadians.

A few years ago, our government doubled the gas tax transfers for communities. In Wild Rose, total tax dollars going to our 16 communities immediately jumped from $4.2 million to over $8 million. These are funds that municipalities use for their infrastructure priorities, such as the improved water treatment plant that the town of Cochrane invested in with its enhanced gas tax transfer.

Budget 2011 will make the enhanced gas tax transfers permanent for communities, giving them the ability to budget and plan with certainty and help address the priority infrastructure needs of their residents.

Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention how the action plan benefits some other key sectors in my riding, namely agriculture and forestry. For example, the budget provides $50 million for a two-year agricultural innovation initiative that will support increased commercialization of agricultural innovations, and it strengthens food safety with an additional $100 million over five years for improved food inspection.

For our riding's thriving forestry sector, there is a $60 million innovation fund to help forestry companies tap new business opportunities abroad.

Canadians have given our Conservative government a majority mandate so we can stay focused on improving the economy. While Canadians are encouraged by the bright light we now see at the end of the economic tunnel, we are also prudent enough to know that this light could yet be an oncoming freight train, given the uncertainty and fragility of the global economic recovery. That is why our government is committed to nurturing this recovery cautiously and carefully.

In the recent election, Canadians ensured that the obstruction and delays that opposition parties routinely employed in past years will not be a barrier this time to implementing the measures contained in the economic action plan.

In closing, I invite all opposition members to join with us in voting in favour of this budget and show the same commitment our Conservative government has toward achieving the priorities Canadians made very clear on May 2.

Financial Statement of the Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague mentioned consultations that he had with his constituents, both earlier in the spring and during the election campaign. I am curious to know whether any of those consultations led to any conclusions or advice regarding the discontinuation of the political subsidy for political parties.

Financial Statement of the Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is actually something I heard about time and time again during consultations with my constituents over the last couple of years and certainly during the election campaign.

Many of my constituents, in fact I would say the vast majority of them, wanted to see an end to the per vote subsidies going to parties. They knew it was inherently unfair to have a tax on voting and that their tax dollars were somehow going to parties they might not necessarily support. I know I heard that many times in relation to the Bloc Québécois, in particular. They really had an issue with the fact their tax dollars were going to support a political party that wanted separation from this country.

I am very happy to see we have been able to bring forward that measure in this budget, because it will address a huge concern of many Canadians.