House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was years.

Topics

Question No. 562
Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Mr. Speaker, on April 18, 2012, the Minister of Health announced that a team of researchers has been selected to undertake an interventional phase I/II clinical trial for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, CCSVI, in persons with multiple sclerosis. The objective of this trial, which is to be co-funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, is to determine the safety and efficacy of the procedure proposed by Dr. Zamboni.

The successful team will now need to obtain ethics approval from their relevant university research ethics board or boards before recruiting patients and conducting the trial. The funds will be released and the study will begin as soon as ethics approval is granted. The clinical trial is expected to begin in the fall of 2012.

The closing date to submit applications to conduct this clinical trial was February 29, 2012. Applicants were invited to devise the best possible trial with a sample size of 100 patients and then propose the budget required to implement such a trial. For this reason, the budget was not specified in the funding opportunity. Both the MS Society of Canada and CIHR are committed to funding the trial subject to positive outcomes at ethics review stages.

Further information concerning this announcement, evaluation criteria, conflict of interest requirements and next steps, such as review by the research ethics board of the research institute concerned, may be found at http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/45249.html, http://www.researchnet-recherchenet.ca/rnr16/viewOpportunityDetails.do?progCd=10266&language=E&fodAgency=CIHR&view=browseArchive&browseArc=true&org=CIHR and http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/193.html.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

May 10th, 2012 / 10:25 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, If Questions Nos. 491 and 549 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 491
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

With respect to Canada’s aid and reconstruction funding allocated to advancing women’s equality in Afghanistan since 2006, for every project funded, what is: (a) the name of the project; (b) the location of the project within the country; (c) the amount of funding received by the project broken down by (i) grant or contribution, (ii) interest-free loan, (iii) repayable loan, (iv) non-repayable loan; (d) description of project; and (e) the department where the funding originated?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 549
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

With regard to the Prime Minister’s trip to China that began February 7, 2012: (a) what staff and guests accompanied the Prime Minister and what were (i) their duties on the trip, (ii) the destinations they travelled to, (iii) the total expenses for each person; (b) for all meetings convened or attended by the Prime Minister or his staff and/or guests in connection with the trip, what were the (i) meeting dates and their purpose, (ii) meeting locations, (iii) meeting participants, including full name and position, (iv) costs associated with each meeting; (c) for each of the commitments and commercial deals signed or announced by the Prime Minister or his staff or guests during trip, including but not limited to the “very important deals and the billions of dollars of contracts we signed this week” (statement attributed to the Prime Minister in a Feb. 11, 2012, Globe and Mail article), (i) what is each commitment, agreement, or commercial deal, (ii) who are the specific parties of each commitment, agreement, or deal, (iii) what are the government’s obligations under them, (iv) what is the cost of each commitment, agreement, or deal, (v) by what approximate date (i.e., month/year) will the government fulfill each obligation, (vi) what are the estimated economic benefits to the Canadian economy; (d) what specific actions or negotiating positions were taken that concerned (i) issues of fundamental freedoms and human rights, (ii) the connection between trade and “fundamental national values” (statement by the Prime Minister at a February 10, 2012, business dinner hosted by the Chinese ambassador to Canada), (iii) issues such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of belief and worship; and (e) what information or evidence does the government possess in support of the Prime Minister’s statement about “foreign money and influence that seek to obstruct development in Canada in favour of energy imported from other, less stable parts of the world” (statement by the Prime Minister at a February 10, 2012, business dinner hosted by the Chinese ambassador to Canada)?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Madam Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed from May 8 consideration of the motion that Bill C-38, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I am certainly proud to rise today in support of the budget 2012 implementation act tabled by the hon. Minister of Finance. This budget not only delivers strong results for today's economy; it holds sound promise for the future of all Canadians.

By identifying the economic challenges facing future generations, the government has developed a thorough plan to tackle these challenges and inspire hope in our young people.

Canada's economic action plan 2012 is a plan for jobs, growth and prosperity. It includes many important measures to expand our economy, and it preserves the quality of life for all Canadians.

According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities president Berry Vrbanovic, from my own city of Kitchener, Canada's municipal leaders welcome today's commitment by the federal government to continue working with cities and communities to rebuild the local roads, water systems, community centres and public transit that our families, businesses and economy depend on. Today's budget continues building a new infrastructure partnership that creates jobs and strengthens Canada's future economic foundations.

Let us take a look at some of the new initiatives introduced in this budget, which will deliver future prosperity for all Canadians.

One such measure recognizes the importance of a well-trained, highly educated workforce. In my riding of Kitchener Centre, I have had the opportunity to meet with plenty of youth who are attending our local institutions, Wilfrid Laurier, the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College and others.

In speaking with these bright young minds, I am constantly reminded of how essential it is that these individuals have jobs to look forward to on completing their education. This budget addresses their worries about finding suitable employment opportunities. It offers additional avenues for young people to train for careers in new and exciting fields.

The youth employment strategy began in 2011. It is a program created to reduce barriers to employment faced by some of our young people. It has helped to connect 70,000 young Canadians with job experience and valuable skills training. In particular, one of this program's streams, the skills link program, has had a significant impact in my riding, and I am pleased that our government has committed to deliver an additional $50 million over two years to further enhance the youth employment strategy.

In addition to tackling the challenges of an uncertain job market for young workers generally, we cannot neglect the difficulties disabled Canadians are also facing. Improving labour market opportunities for those living with challenges has always been a key agenda item for this government, and it remains so with this budget.

For example, economic action plan 2012 delivers $30 million over three years to the opportunities fund for persons with disabilities. I know that this fund has provided opportunities to people in my riding, connecting them with valuable work experience. We can never overlook the importance of integrating the skills and experience of every Canadian into our economy.

We should also commend the government for its commitment to helping to expand small businesses. In my riding of Kitchener Centre, I am consistently amazed by many small business owners and their willingness to find innovative ways of doing things. This progressive spirit confirms to me why small businesses can and will be prepared to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy.

To illustrate this government's commitment to small business, I will start by noting that budget 2012 extends the temporary hiring credit for small business by one year, an investment of $205 million. An investment like this not only reduces payroll costs but it helps small businesses to retain more of their earnings for expansion. It permits them to create new jobs.

Building on this dedication to expand small and medium-sized businesses, we have also proposed an additional $95 million over three years to make the Canadian innovation commercialization program permanent. This program has shown exceptional results. It connects small and medium-sized companies with federal departments and agencies. It builds their capacity.

In supporting programs like this, we are providing a solid foundation for these companies to compete in the marketplace. We position them to further create high-value jobs and long-term economic prosperity.

In addition to our commitment to building the private sector and helping small businesses, budget 2012 offers much more. In keeping with our promise to ensure prosperity for years to come, we have also upgraded our social programs to ensure future generations have a secure retirement to look forward to.

We have given more than 10 years' notice of a gradual increase in the age of eligibility for old age security, not starting until April 2023. We are also allowing for the voluntary deferral of the basic OAS for up to five years, starting July 1, 2013. These important changes would ensure that the cost of the old age supplement remains balanced and proportionate for many years to come. Moreover, following a triennial review by Canada's finance ministers of the Canada pension plan, we have confirmed that the plan will remain sustainable for at least the next 75 years, giving our young people an assured sense of future financial security.

By making responsible decisions like these, we are able to make considerable investments in skills training. We can support our science and technology sectors, creating an optimal environment for high-value jobs. As financial situations change, older business practices are continually being superseded at a rapid pace in a knowledge-based economy. Following an extensive review conducted by an expert panel in the fall of 2011, a number of recommendations were made on how the government could improve our support for innovative businesses. Canadian businesses spoke and the government listened.

We knew that we needed a new approach to directly support innovation in Canada, and this budget delivers. Economic action plan 2012 contributes $1.1 billion over five years for direct research and development support. It also makes $500 million available for venture capital. This funding would go toward research collaborations, new procurement opportunities and applied research financing. Innovation leads to success, and I have seen many examples of this in my riding of Kitchener Centre.

Of course, a driving premise behind this budget and every Conservative budget to date has been keeping taxes low so that hard-working Canadian families can continue to thrive in challenging global economic times. Unfortunately, our friends across the aisle still seem not to understand the importance of this low-tax agenda. They believe that raising taxes will somehow magically create prosperity. I cannot stress enough the savings this low-tax approach will deliver for Canadians.

Our government paid down more than $37 billion in debt between the years 2006 and 2008, before the global recession, and that maintained Canada's low net debt position throughout the recession. Even still, we were able to implement a remarkable stimulus phase included in Canada's economic action plan. Even in times of global economic fragility, the Canadian government is continuing to focus on the drivers of job creation and growth. Learning from the international landscape has shown us the importance of taking action now rather than delaying. We are prudent; we are far-sighted; we are planning for the future.

I am reminded of a comment made by one of Canada's great prime ministers, Wilfrid Laurier. “In 1908, Canada has become a star to which is directed the gaze of the whole civilized world. That is what we have done”, he declared. Today, more than 100 years later, we can once again say that Canada has become a star to which is directed the gaze of the whole civilized world. That is what the government has done with our economic action plan, and that work continues with this bill. I am proud to support a government that will continue to support and put a priority on a balanced budget and building a strong economy for all Canadians.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, very deep down in the bowels of Bill C-38 is a clause that hardly anybody even noticed. It abolishes, it repeals the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act for federally regulated construction projects.

Why would anyone want to abolish something called the “fair wages and hours of work” act? I will tell the House why, and I would like my colleague's comments.

It is a striking coincidence that now, in federally regulated projects like pipelines, a contractor can now post a job as follows: “Wanted: carpenters, $10 an hour”. Nobody is going to apply. Now, by this legislation, it will be perfectly okay to do so, and working for 70 hours a week with no overtime will be perfectly okay. No Canadian is going to apply, but guess what? The government has opened the door for temporary foreign workers, with a 10-day waiting period. No fair contractor in this country will ever win another job, because the government has eliminated the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act by virtue of this legislation.

Does the hon. member think it is fair for a budget bill to eradicate and destabilize the entire construction industry by eliminating the fair wages act?

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question and for keeping his language clean and his tone high. We always appreciate that when it occurs in the House.

I want to specifically thank the hon. member for raising the issue of construction, because it gives me an opportunity to tell the House what the Canadian Construction Association president, Michael Atkinson, had to say about this bill.

He said:

The reforms promised by the budget to the environmental assessment process and immigration will ensure the country is well placed to take advantage of the more than $500 billion in major economic projects expected in Canada over the next ten years.

I know the hon. member opposite is not that concerned about creating jobs and prosperity for Canadians, but the government is. That is why the construction association president is praising our budget.