House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-10.

Topics

Patriation of the Constitution
Statements by Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, 30 years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision on patriating the Constitution. This new Constitution brought positive changes, such as a charter of rights that puts peoples' individual rights before those of the state, yet Quebeckers, now recognized as a nation, are the only Canadians to have had this Constitution forced on them against their will.

The NDP is proposing a third option for reconciling the hopes of the Quebec nation with our place in Canada. Falling in between the perpetual refusal of the sovereignists who want a total breakup and the liberal conservatives who do not even want to try, the proposed NDP alternative for the future would recognize and protect Quebec's specificity, notably by preserving the proportion of Quebec's seats in the House of Commons and by protecting linguistic rights in federal workplaces in the province.

In a series of other measures, we will prove that we do not need to relive Meech Lake and Charlottetown to give the Quebec nation concrete and real recognition. That is how we will build the Canada of the future. That is the path set out by Jack Layton and the NDP.

Libya
Statements by Members

September 28th, 2011 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Alexander Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, this Monday, a crushing majority of members voted in favour of extending Canada's involvement in Libya. A total of 198 members stood in support, and their votes sent a clear message to the Libyan people: they can count on Canada during this post-Gadhafi transition.

At that time, the members of the official opposition refused to support the Libyan people, they refused to support the excellent work of the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy. They believe that the job is finished.

They are wrong. The job is not done and Canada does not cut and run. We do not shirk our responsibilities. We will continue to protect and promote Canadian values around the world. We will support the Libyan people as they build a brighter future for themselves.

The NDP members of this place should be ashamed of their vote on Monday. They are wrong on the issues and incoherent on foreign policy. The NDP proves yet again it is just not fit to govern.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister met with the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Canada.

Can the Prime Minister tell us what was discussed at that meeting and whether he now has an action plan to deal with the economic crisis?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, we have an economic action plan. That is why we received a mandate from Canadians. Clearly, we are concerned about the developments in Europe and elsewhere, but at the same time, over 600,000 jobs have been created in Canada. That is one of the best records in the industrialized world. That is the path we will continue to take.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at the Standing Committee on Finance, economists said that the Prime Minister's fiscal approach is missing the mark. Doug Porter of BMO said that the Prime Minister's prescription for the economy, namely, more restraint, is the wrong approach.

The Prime Minister needs to realize this. He needs to realize that his economic strategy has created a structural deficit, the worst deficit in the history of the country. We are now facing a second recession under his watch.

Why does the Prime Minister insist on pursuing this course of action?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this question does not make sense. The hon. member is advocating that we increase the deficit. We want to reduce the deficit. The government's position is clear. We have a major deficit but it is still much smaller than that of other countries, and we will ensure that the budget is balanced while the economy continues to grow.

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the National Council of Welfare said today that poverty costs Canada more than $24 billion a year, double what it would cost to lift every Canadian out of poverty. Tolerating poverty is bad economics.

The council calls for an investment approach toward poverty, for example, by investing in housing, early childhood education and aboriginal employment. Why not have a strategy to end poverty, save money and help the economy?

Poverty
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, how we tackle poverty first and foremost is by ensuring the economy is growing, creating jobs, making investments in such things as housing and education, as well as providing tax breaks for people entering the workforce, as the Minister of Finance has done. These are things this government has done and is proud to have done. What is a mystery to everyone is why the NDP consistently votes against these policies.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is now 111 days since the Muskoka minister was put in the doghouse, and his handlers still cannot get their stories straight. They keep telling us that all the projects came in under budget, so let us talk about the Gravenhurst arena.

The minister personally intervened and moved it out of the Muskoka slush fund and said he would get the funding elsewhere. Now the documents show that this gave the three amigos--the mayor, the hotel manager and the minister--a much larger pot of goodies.

Will the minister explain why he personally intervened? Will he explain why this project is now the subject of a police investigation?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the facts on this issue have not changed. This has been thoroughly aired.

I say to my friend opposite that of the 32 projects I approved under this initiative, not one involved an arena in Gravenhurst.

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, who was approving the money then? This is about a minister who misused the taxpayers' dollars, used his BlackBerry to get a friend a job, used his office to run a slush fund, and relied on the Prime Minister to grease the wheels.

The Gravenhurst project blew the budget. People were fired. The cops were called in. Does the minister think that is an appropriate way to abuse the public trust? It has been 111 days. Will he please stand and take accountability for his actions?

G8 Summit
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. Not one G8 project involved the construction of a hockey arena in the town of Gravenhurst, not one of the 32 projects. I cannot be any clearer than that. The member opposite has the right to his own opinion, but he certainly does not have the right to create his own facts.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, speaking in Lima, Peru, in November 2009, the Prime Minister told that gathering that Canada was not going to make the mistake of balancing the books at all costs, even if it meant raising taxes and slashing public spending. These were the mistakes that led to the Great Depression, he told the gathering.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, if those words are correct, and I think most economists around the world would say that they are correct, does he not now recognize that circumstances have changed once again? The world is on the brink of a major recession, and slowdown is all around us.

What will it take for the government to change course once again?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to run a significant deficit, as is appropriate at these times, but we are taking steps to ensure the budget will balance as the economy grows.

The difference between our position and the position of the hon. member, especially when he had premier responsibilities, was that no matter what circumstances we have, his position was we always increase the deficit. If times are good, we increase the deficit. If times are bad, we increase the deficit, and in the times in between, we increase the deficit.

Obviously, we use a steadier and more prudent judgment in managing the economy.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the last five years, the government raised spending, on average, by 18%, by $70 billion. The Prime Minister is in absolutely no position to lecture anyone in Canada on the subject of finances or anything else.

The question the Prime Minister has to answer is this. What is he going to do when the circumstances change? A payroll tax increase of $1.2 billion is now planned for January 2012. Would he at the very least cancel that payroll tax?