House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are 350,000 more unemployed Canadians today than there were before the last recession, which the minister did not see coming, either. That means 350,000 more workers who are not bringing home salaries to provide for their families, and billions of dollars lost in salaries and economic incentives.

What does the minister have to say to those families? That it is their fault and that he will not do anything about it?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government, as it has been for years now, remains focused on jobs and on the economy. The economic action plan arising out of budget 2009, which was a very difficult time for the global economy, resulted in the growth of about 600,000 net new jobs in Canada, which is a record in the G7. Our performance job-wise is that it leads the G7. We have strong fiscal and economic fundamentals in Canada. I know the NDP wants to raise taxes, but we think that is the wrong way to go.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, as for jobs being created, the government is afraid to tell Canadians the truth. We are just barely ahead of where we were in May 2008 before the recession, about 200,000 new jobs, which are far less than this minister claims.

The problem is that the labour force is growing. There are an additional 435,000 Canadians who need work. The truth is that the government has done nothing for most of them. Its job creation record is a failure.

When will the government stop cutting essential services and start--

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Finance.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we need to be concerned, if we pay attention to the world, as I am sure the member opposite does, about deficits and debts and accumulated deficits. We can see the harm that is causing in other parts of the world and the difficulties that populations will go through because of accumulated public deficits over time.

This is not what we want to do in Canada. We have a plan to bring us back to balanced budgets. We will stay on that track in the medium term to get back to balanced budgets in Canada, and we will not increase taxes to do it.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government's last economic statement was the budget in June, which was four months ago, and, during those four months, the IMF has downgraded Canada's growth, the TD Bank says that another recession is likely, Statistics Canada says that the economy is already shrinking, Scotiabank says that Canada may be the first to be hit again, and BMO says that Hoover-like austerity planning will only make things worse.

When will the government present an urgent economic update to acknowledge how things have worsened and that austerity alone is not the right path?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous member, when he was finance minister, we do not do multiple budgets in a single year.

The government, obviously, is looking at economic circumstances very carefully. The government already has an important number of proactive measures through the economic action plan to support the Canadian economy.

However, if the hon. member is suggesting that today the government should massively expand the Canadian deficit, I do not think the facts support that argument.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the June budget is already out of date. A summer full of economic decline has overtaken the small measures from that budget to be introduced only belatedly next week. It is all too little, too late and out of touch.

Will the government produce a new economic update before mid-October? Will that update include at least some new budget measures? Will it cancel its $1.2 billion in extra EI payroll taxes, which it will slap on small business beginning January 1?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government ran on an economic action plan just recently that was strongly supported by the Canadian people.

The Liberal Party forced an election over that and we know what the result was. After that result, the Liberal Party is truly out of touch when its members are back saying exactly the same things they were saying before the election.

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

September 29th, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of the economy, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities keeps saying that his government is spending money on the Champlain Bridge. Let us be clear: that money is being spent to maintain a crumbling bridge, not to replace it.

What we want is to see the bridge replaced entirely, and heaven knows this is urgently needed.

Can this government immediately commit to launch a project to replace the Champlain Bridge and ensure adequate financing, yes or no?

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Champlain Bridge was certainly not of any concern to the previous government, which, for 13 years, did absolutely nothing for the Champlain Bridge.

Since coming to power, we have been taking the Champlain Bridge issue very seriously. Of course, before we can even think about a new structure, whatever that may be, we must ensure that the existing bridge continues to support the current traffic and that it remains safe. That is what we are doing and the Champlain Bridge is safe.

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians brace for another recession, we learn that our defence minister continues his ethically challenged ways. He has racked up nearly $3 million jetting around the country.

The government will not invest in infrastructure, in health care or jobs, but it will invest millions in making that minister the frequent flyer champion of government jets.

When will the government ground that high flying minister?

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised to get that question from the hon. member. As I pointed out, the minister uses the Challenger 70% less than his predecessors and half the time he does that it is for repatriation ceremonies.

What I would expect from the hon. member is for him to ask how he could join the Minister of National Defence and also participate in those ceremonies for Canadian families.

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, perhaps some facts can help the Prime Minister answer the questions more accurately. Most of the flights were not for repatriation of fallen soldiers, only nine of the thirty-five. There was a flight from a fishing trip at camp Crosbie to a lobster festival in Halifax and Challenger trips to photo ops for government spending announcements. He even took a jet to Vancouver to the same event to which another minister flew commercial.

When will the Prime Minister tell members of his cabinet that ethics rules apply to them too? When will he crack down on this out of control, jet-setting Conservative lifestyle?

Minister of National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the fact is the Minister of National Defence has participated in some 55 repatriation ceremonies for over 80 lost Canadian service personnel. The facts are also, as the House knows well and the member knows well, when he refers to the vacation, this was something the minister paid for himself.

When the member asks these kinds of questions and behaves this way, he reflects on his own character, not on that of the Minister of National Defence.