House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are refusing to acknowledge Canada's economic challenges. Economists say that the real unemployment rate, which is all Canadians who would work if there were jobs for them, is up to 11%. That is almost two million unemployed Canadians. Today we learned that less than one in three qualify for EI.

Where is the plan to get people back to work?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding the fact that unemployment remains too high, the world knows that Canada has one of the best employment job creation records in the industrialized world. I always appreciate ideas from the opposition to improve that, but good ideas do not include raising debt and raising taxes, as that party advocates.

Today, Prime Minister Cameron, I and other world leaders have put out a letter encouraging those leaders around the world, who are in countries that are encouraging global economic uncertainty, to act in a way that will allow us to continue the economic recovery.

The world has great confidence in the policies we are following in Canada. We need to see more of that around the world.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government prefers to boast about doing better than Greece rather than helping the two million unemployed in this country. There is no shortage of projects in which we could invest and create jobs. The Champlain Bridge is a perfect example.

The Minister of Finance knows that investments in infrastructure yield five times the benefits of corporate tax reductions. So what is the government waiting for?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the government did not wait. We acted and we acted quickly.

After we took government, we paid down $37 billion in debt. That is what put us in the position where we could stimulate the economy. What happened with that stimulus? Our country has 600,000 more people working now because of our economic action plan.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, two million Canadians who want to work cannot. That represents tens of billions of dollars in lost wages and spending in our domestic economy. That is a tragedy for those families and a real drag on our economy. Putting these Canadians back to work is just the sort of measure that would help solve the government's deficit problem.

Experts and economists agree with the opposition. Why is the government so resistant to sound economic logic? Why is it refusing to act?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, excuse me for confusing sound economic policy with anything the NDP puts forward. That is not exactly the case. In fact, as the Prime Minister has just said, unemployment rates are still too high, but they are 1% below the United States. We put money into this economy to create jobs and that is what is important to Canadians. We continue on job creation and the economy. That is our main focus to ensure that as many Canadians who want to work can have a job.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance have both said that if circumstances seem to change from where they were at the time of the budget, they will show flexibility, they will show a willingness to re-engage on job creation and to re-engage on what needs to happen in the economy.

Could the Prime Minister tell me just exactly what it will take to convince the government that in fact circumstances are changing and that now is the time to react to the circumstances about which he has talked?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is not only engaged in the economy, it is our principal priority. That is why Canada has one of the best job creation records in the industrialized world.

Obviously we are concerned about developments and we always look for useful ideas from everyone in terms of how to move our economy forward. I would encourage the leader of the Liberal Party to suggest some of those ideas. After all, the Liberals just ran an election campaign without a single important thing in terms of an economic platform.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we will make a very specific suggestion: that, in the North American security perimeter negotiations, the government promote Canadian interests and seek assurances that the “Buy American” initiative will not discriminate against Canadian companies. It will result in job losses and be very detrimental to the Canadian economy.

What is the Prime Minister going to do to ensure that Canadian interests are protected?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, negotiations about the perimeter are negotiations about our access to the American economy. It is the same thing that the Liberal Party leader is asking for. I urge the Liberal Party to support this very important initiative to guarantee that we have access to the American market.

National Defence
Oral Questions

September 22nd, 2011 / 11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, we now know, with great regret, that the Minister of National Defence ordered his search and rescue helicopter to pick him up from his vacation on the Gander River. The response, “It was a demonstration of their capabilities”. Even the Conservatives are laughing at that one.

He feels that he is entitled to use vital life-saving equipment for his own personal limousine, and we would like for him to answer to it.

The Prime Minister has suggested that the Chief of the Defence Staff pay back the money for his personal flights. Will the Minister of National Defence do the same, pay back the $16,000 and apologize?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the question from the hon. member, I was in fact in Gander in July of 2010, on a personal visit with friends for which I paid. Three days into the visit I participated in a search and rescue demonstration with 103 Squadron of 9 Wing Gander. I shortened my stay by a day to take part in that demonstration and later flew on to do government business in Ontario.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, we are all shocked to learn that the Minister of National Defence sees his country's military equipment as his own personal chauffeur service.

The government is paying consultants to tell it how to save money, but the Minister of National Defence used a helicopter, which should be on standby for search and rescue, to pick him up from a personal fishing trip. This helicopter was ordered on the day by his office in Ottawa.

How can the minister possibly justify such an inappropriate use of public funds?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think I just explained that I shortened a personal visit to take part in a search and rescue demonstration in Gander.

Had any emergency requirement arisen that would have required search and rescue assets, they would have of course been immediately diverted.

As the member would know, having participated in the parliamentary program with the Canadian Forces, members of Parliament, in fact 20 including himself, took part in search and rescue activities in the past.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, being picked up at a cost of $16,000 from a fishing camp is not the way to learn how search and rescue helicopters operate.

Average Canadians are being told to tighten their belts, but when it comes to the minister and his department's use of military aircraft, money is apparently no object.

How can we count on this minister to provide leadership on this issue when he himself treats a search and rescue helicopter as private transportation?