House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the British Prime Minister called the current global economic crisis a “debt crisis”. His solution is more austerity, but it is a diagnosis that simply does not apply here in Canada. Ours is a crisis of inadequate demand in the economy caused by a lack of private investment, debt-burdened households, a growing trade deficit and government cutbacks. The obvious and immediate solution is long overdue investment in infrastructure and job creation.

Will the Conservatives stop making excuses and start investing in the projects that will restore falling infrastructure while putting Canadians back to work and strengthening our economy?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what this country cannot afford to do. Let us see the facts once and for all.

Canada has fared relatively better than most during the global recession. In fact, Canada has the best fiscal position in the G7, the lowest net debt in the G7, among the lowest of deficits in the G7 and, as we all have heard, the IMF and OECD both project that Canada's growth is going to be among the strongest in the G7 if we continue on this low-tax plan that we have put in place.

The last thing that we need is to tax our businesses $10 billion more, which would in fact kill jobs.

Pensions
Oral Questions

September 23rd, 2011 / 11:20 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the last few days have underlined once again what a gamble the government is taking with the retirement security of Canadians. Its so-called pooled pension scheme throws the retirement savings of Canadians into a market roulette wheel. On the other hand, the Bay Street fund managers will have guaranteed returns.

The government's preference for padding the pockets of financial managers while ignoring the needs of Canadians for pension security is what is happening. When will the Conservatives provide guaranteed retirement security for Canadian families?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have been working very hard to improve Canadians' retirement security. Let us just go over some of the things that have been done.

We cut taxes for seniors and pensioners by over $2 billion annually. That includes pension income splitting. We reformed the framework governing federally regulated pensions to better protect pensioners. We are working with the provinces. We studied proposals and we are going to make further improvements. Now, with them, we are working on the introduction of the new pooled registered pension plan. The PRPPs will provide low-cost pension plans to millions of people who never had a pension before.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the benefits of public sector versus private sector pension plans are clear. The Canada pension plan and the Quebec equivalent are less costly to manage and they are guaranteed. The problem is that the Conservatives are not allowing citizens to use their preferred method of saving. People want to see action on this file. Canadians should be able to invest their savings in public pension plans if they so desire.

Why do the Conservatives prefer that people lose their shirts on the stock market?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have worked hard to increase retirement security for Canadians. For example, we cut taxes for seniors and pensioners by more than $2 billion, notably by allowing pension income splitting. We have worked with the provinces to look at proposals for other improvements and, as I said earlier, we are about to implement the pooled registered pension plan. The PRPP system will provide low-cost pension plans to millions of people who do not have a pension.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the past few months have brought us the protectionist buy American legislation, an economic downturn this quarter and a rising unemployment rate. Instead of helping Canadians by creating jobs, the Conservatives are using the situation as an excuse to cut and eliminate vital programs and services. Making cuts in a time of economic downturn only exacerbates the problem.

Will the government show some flexibility and put those cuts on hold until the economy is in a better position?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government cares about what matters most: the economy and jobs. Canada's current economic growth is proof that we are on the right track for Canadian families. Both the IMF and the OECD agree that Canada will have one of the fastest growing economies in the G7. In addition, Moody's has just renewed Canada's AAA credit rating because of our economic resiliency, financial strength and low susceptibility to event risk.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, whether it is a tony royal gazebo, fake lakes, G20 spending or now fishing trips on search and rescue aircraft, the government's ministers think taxpayers' money is their personal reserve. No one is buying the defence minister's excuse that his lift from a fishing camp was a preplanned training demo. Training demonstrations are day-long exercises.

Could the minister confirm that his office overrode the local base, which initially denied his demand for vital rescue equipment to give him a lift to the airport?

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, I was on a trip to the beautiful province of Newfoundland and Labrador, a trip I paid for myself. As a result of pressing government business, I was called back from that vacation. I left the vacation early to come back to work.

As the member might know, the government has reduced the use of government aircraft by over 80%. We take the use of government aircraft very seriously. It is used for government business. That is the line we will follow.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about tourism here. We are talking about accountability and responsibility on the part of ministers and the spending of taxpayers' money. This minister's story is falling apart. We know he could not have been scheduled to participate in a training mission because he knew he had to be in London, Ontario, for an announcement.

This is arrogant, high-flying abuse of life-saving equipment, plain and simple.

Can the minister table one email, one piece of paper, one piece of correspondence to back up his cockamamie story about a preplanned demonstration, or will he just fess up, apologize and--

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

Search and Rescue
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I came back to work as a result of government business. With respect, our government has reduced the use of government aircraft by 80% in the past three years. As the hon. member knows, aircraft are used for government business.

With respect to the member himself, I am surprised that he would raise the issue of helicopters, given that his government cost taxpayers $1 billion by cancelling the EH-101 program, when it came to the Sea King helicopter replacement.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians learned that our military trainers in Afghanistan were involved in active combat last week when a NATO compound in Kabul came under attack.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence repeatedly told Canadians that this would be a non-combat mission. Clearly, that is not the case. This training mission is a combat mission that continues to put Canadian troops at risk.

Will the government now acknowledge that there is no non-combat military role in a war?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the combat mission in Afghanistan has now come to an end. We have transitioned to training. That training is taking place in and around Kabul. However, I do not think the member is naive enough to suggest that Canadian Forces are not going to protect themselves when in a volatile city like Kabul. They will return fire and protect themselves. That is what happened in this instance. The member and Canadians would expect no less.