House of Commons Hansard #171 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour for drawing attention to the seemingly inexplicable choices of what rivers are now covered by the Navigable Waters Protection Act, to be renamed the navigation protection act, and what ones are abandoned. Clearly, something in the order of 98% to 99% of all internal waterways in Canada are now to see a full-on retreat from federal constitutional authority. The provinces cannot step up to fill the void because of constitutional law; only the federal government is responsible for navigation on waterways in this country. Yet, members of the Conservative Party who speak in the House tell us not to worry, Canadian common law will still apply to protect navigation. That means if people want to protect their rights to use the waterways, they have to go to court.

What does the hon. member think of that?

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, what the government is proposing to do with respect to these important watercourses and waterways, I find appalling. I have had the opportunity to talk to a number of organizations. I was in Alberta this past weekend where I had the opportunity to talk to an organization that is concerned about the watershed it is responsible for. In particular, the Bow River will be covered under this particular act but the Oldman River will not, and the two are completely interconnected. People are asking themselves what the rationale is behind this and, more importantly, what the damage is going to be as a result of this legislation and the removal of oversight and protection.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague has highlighted a number of key issues to the BIA. My question is on employment, which he referenced as a major issue.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer has stated that this budget would cost 43,000 Canadians their jobs and that the budget actually plans for unemployment to rise. If we combine that with the previous rounds of cuts, the PBO projects a total of 102,000 jobs lost. I wonder if my colleague could comment on this.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, provisions of this bill are particularly onerous for the reasons he cited, in terms of the direct jobs that are going to be lost.

The other part of the bill really puts it to workers. Whether we call them private sector or public sector workers, they are workers who are supporting families, communities and making a contribution to the economy of this country. The government, as a result of changes to the pension plan for public sector workers is in effect rolling back wages. Pensions are nothing but foregone wages. That is exactly what they are. They are freely negotiated, and there are trade-offs made during negotiations. Pensions are part of the compensation package. What the government is asking us to do is to unilaterally impose a rollback in the area of 25% to 30% on public sector workers in this country.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives say they held public consultations regarding this bill. If the Conservatives had consulted first nations, such as the Mi'kmaq people in my colleague's riding, does he think they would have agreed with the changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, for instance?

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is an absolutely perfect question because I have talked with the officials at the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs, the traditional governing structure for the Mi'kmaq in the Atlantic provinces, and there has not been any consultation.

Likewise, I spoke to the Thames River watershed conservation society on Thursday of last week, which is responsible for 410 kilometres of watershed as a volunteer organization. It has not been consulted.

I spoke to Trout Unlimited Canada on Friday in Alberta. It had not been consulted about the changes to the act that directly affect its area of interest. In the case of the aboriginal community, the changes directly affect its treaty and aboriginal rights.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues for the opportunity to be able to put some comments on the record. When we listen to all of the speeches, I understand that the role of opposition members is to criticize the government and to try very hard to get elected in the next election. However, a stronger role for all of us in the House is to pay very close attention to what will build and support our country.

Over 820,000 new jobs have been created since July 2009. Our country has the strongest job creation record in the G7. That is amazing. For the fifth straight year, the World Economic Forum rated our banking system the world's best. That is significant.

When we look to other countries, the reason they are facing horrendous economic downturns is because decisions were made that were neither in their best interests at the time nor in the future. As well, no planning went on in some of the countries and others were continually overspending.

If we look at Canada, we are living in a nation where people are living well, although there are significant challenges for all communities. Having said that, it is incredible that for the fifth straight year the World Economic Forum has rated our banking system as the world's best. Also, all major credit rating agencies, such as Moody's, Fitch and Standard & Poor's, have affirmed Canada's AAA credit rating in this worldwide economic downturn.

Yet I sit in the House and hear over and over again about the NDP's job-killing carbon tax. I know that page 12 of the NDP's platform clearly highlighted that it would put a price on carbon. Therefore, this whole interchange in Parliament has been about the criticism of this government's handling of the economy. The opposition is blind to the factual information that has come not from members opposite but from global leaders and entities across the world who are praising Canada as the world's economic leader.

The NDP carbon tax would raise the price of everything that Canadians buy. I want to repeat that. The NDP—

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order. The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay is rising on a point of order.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know that we have been going back and forth, but people who stand up and repeat misinformation and make things up are lowering the standard. If the member does not know the difference between what a—

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order. The hon. member for James Bay has been up on this point earlier today. I have ruled on this particular intervention, as have previous Chair occupants. The member will know that the ruling is that it is a debate as to the matter of facts. This is common in the course of debate in the chamber.

I would seek the member's co-operation that, unless he has a specific point of order as set out in the Standing Orders, he choose not to intervene when other members have the floor.

The hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

October 29th, 2012 / 6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am astounded at such a motion because on the 2011 NDP platform, on page 12, it specifically stated that the NDP would put a price on carbon. The New Democrats' costing document also showed plans to generate $21.5 billion in government revenue through the scheme. What would that do? The NDP carbon tax would raise the price of everything.

Earlier this week, I heard several members opposite talk about their concerns about rising gas prices. The NDP carbon tax would raise gas prices. Respected economist Jack Mintz calculated that the $21 billion proposed NDP carbon tax would raise gas prices by as much as 10¢ a litre. Therefore, this is a concern.

The Financial Post, on April 29, 2007, said, in reference to the NDP carbon tax, that it would increase the cost of transporting food and increase grocery prices. When we hear the members opposite talking about the need to take care of the workers and take care of Canadians, that is exactly what this government is doing.

For instance, when we talk about Canadians as a whole, we know that small business is a big asset to the economy in our country. We know that women, for instance, are entrepreneurs and are taking the lead in putting new creative businesses out there and feeding their families. They are very practical in what they do. Having said that, our government has proposed to extend the temporary hiring credit for small business for one year. That is huge because small businesses often do not have a chance to hire new people.

When I hear over and over again about the NDP carbon tax and the $21.5 billion intended to be raised if those members get into government, it just makes me shudder. We will not be hearing about 820,000 new jobs in the future if that happens, because the cost of everything shuts down everything, including small business.

As I said, small businesses are the engine of job creation in Canada and are indispensable in their role as job creators. Small businesses struggling to get ahead and families struggling to buy their groceries and pay their mortgages do not need to be taxed and taxed again. That is what the NDP carbon tax would do, just add more and more taxes to families who are already stretching their budget in every way.

This temporary hiring credit for small business is $1,000 per employer and for a small business that means a great deal. It means the difference between being able to push a business forward or having to step back and not be able to take care of one's family.

We talk about very practical things, as I have heard earlier today. I have heard some of the speeches here, and there are always complaints about there not being enough jobs, when 820,000 net new jobs is a lot of jobs. Those are people out there working, bringing home the bacon for their families. I have a real concern about the NDP carbon tax because it would not only kill jobs but it would also kill the ability for families to move ahead.

We have to be very mindful when things are proposed at the government level. Our government on this side of the House has been able to rank right up on top of the world for economic stability. That is something to be proud of it.

Members opposite and their families, and members on this side of the House, are living well even though there are some challenges. There are some things that will always be challenges, but this budget needs to be supported. This budget needs to be embraced to allow our country to move forward. I think that is what every member on all sides of the House wants.

The NDP carbon tax would kill jobs. The NDP carbon tax would push up the cost of gas. The NDP carbon tax would cause groceries to increase.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I had a great deal of respect for Jim Prentice. There was a man who stood up in the House and did not misinform people. He was a man one could say would never lie. Jim Prentice in 2009 stood up as part of the throne speech and said that the government would put a price on carbon.

The present Minister of Foreign Affairs went to Montreal and said that the government would open a carbon trading institute in Montreal and “put a price on carbon”. Either they were making that up, they were lying or they thought the Canadian people were stupid, but that was the policy the government ran on: that it would put a price on carbon.

I see the bobbleheads who are now repeating this misinformation, the lie about the so-called carbon tax, when the government had told the Canadian people that it was putting a price on carbon

I would like to ask that hon. member, what happened to the commitment made by Jim Prentice, an honourable man in the House? Was that just cynicism on the government's part or was he making it up?

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, the Prime Minister would never tax the public in any way, shape or form to that end.

The fact of the matter is that I have never before been called a “bobblehead” and I take exception to that kind of analogy. I have had nine years of university. I have raised six children. I do not consider myself a bobblehead.

I consider myself an intellectual person who works hard to raise the standard of everything I do, and I am saying great kudos to the government and our Prime Minister, who has protected this whole country from financial ruin when a lot of other countries have experienced economic downturns.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, following up on the point that my colleague raised, Mr. Prentice made his comments in response to the Speech from the Throne.

The Speech from the Throne actually did say that the government would put a price on carbon, and that price was $65 a tonne. If we take the total output, that would actually mean a $45 billion tax on carbon, which is more than double what the entire Conservative caucus is saying we are pitching.

How do we square that circle?

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, how I square that circle is that we are living in the year 2012 and the Prime Minister has never, ever said anything about putting a tax on carbon. It is the NDP carbon tax that would raise groceries. It is the NDP carbon tax that would increase gas prices. That is—