House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Minister of Canadian Heritage
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Museum of Science and Technology opened an exhibit called “sex”, an exhibit the Minister of Canadian Heritage called “insulting to taxpayers”.

Ironically, the minister's insults did not dissuade the public. It had the opposite effect of doubling opening day turnout.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the minister has publicly insulted Canada's curators. In 2010, the minister disparaged the National Gallery when he encouraged citizens to “vote with their wallets” and skip the Pop Life exhibit.

Canada's minister of culture and heritage should have the capacity to represent the diversity of culture in Canada, not just his own dogma. More important, he should not be using the museum as an opportunity to belittle curators or as a rallying cry for his base.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

May 18th, 2012 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Calgary Centre-North, AB

Talk about belittling Canadians, Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader has decided to stick with his stance against the hard-working Canadians who make their living in Canada's energy sector. My constituents in Alberta, who work hard to provide for their families in the sector, do not think what they do is considered a disease. The NDP leader is ill-informed. This industry creates jobs and economic growth in Alberta and across the country. The oil sands are also projected to create $783 billion in tax revenue across Canada in the next 25 years.

It is absolutely unfathomable why the NDP leader would choose to call this sector of our economy a disease. The NDP needs only to look to the Liberal Party to see what happens when a political party denigrates the hard-working people in our country's energy sector.

I wonder, does the member for Edmonton—Strathcona agree with her leader? Does she too think this is a fair thing to say about the hard-working people in Alberta?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, for months now Conservatives have refused to come clean about their plans to cut old age security. The finance minister claimed that the only projections he has seen have come from the media. Now we learn that the finance minister has been sitting on a report about the future costs of OAS for nearly five years, but refuses to share it with Canadians. Two elections, four budgets, one big cover-up.

Why are Canadians only now learning the truth?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, of course, that report was never completed because at the time we were entering an economic downturn and the focus of our government was on the economic stimulus, our economic action plan. That focus worked because we produced 750,000 net new jobs since the economic downturn. That was our focus for Canadians: ensuring jobs, growth and economic prosperity in the short and medium term. We are now turning our focus to ensuring income security for the long term. That is why we are making changes to make old age security sustainable.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, six years ago when the Prime Minister was out on the campaign trail, he promised Canadians he would not cut OAS. Back then he said, “fully preserve old age security and all projected future increases”. Now we learn the truth. Conservatives were always planning to cut OAS as far back as 2007, yet never once did they come clean with Canadians. Canadians pay faithfully into their pensions. Canadians paid for this report.

Will the Conservatives stop burying their cuts in their Trojan Horse budget bill and stop burying this report?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our objective is to ensure that our old age security system is there for current generations and for future generations, because we want to act in the interests of our economic security for the long term. That is not what the leader of the NDP wants to do. The leader of the NDP believes in an economic theory that says for one Canadian to do better, another Canadian has to be worse off and for one region to succeed economically, another region has to be worse off. I can say that is not the experience of 145 years of Canadian history. Canadians know better. They know that when one part of Canada succeeds, when our economy grows, we all grow together. That is why the NDP approach is so dangerous to Canada's economic future.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is not surprising that the Conservatives want to hide the facts from Canadians. Every known report on old age security indicates that the program is viable and that the retirement age does not have to be raised to 67. The Parliamentary Budget Officer, the OECD and Canadians all agree.

Is the real reason why the Prime Minister does not want to release this report because it would confirm that the program is already viable?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I said several times, we are trying to ensure the economic and income security of Canadians in both the short term and the long term. That is what we are doing with our changes to old age security. I find it very interesting that the NDP House leader is now backing off and will not even defend his own leader's comments about our resource sector development being a disease. He will not even defend his own leader's policy of pitting one region of Canada against another. I am not surprised. Already his party is abandoning the NDP leader.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not that we are not defending him. We do not need to defend him because the Conservatives are misquoting what the leader said previously. We do not need to defend our leader, who wants resources and good jobs for everyone, but not at the cost of harming the environment.

One month ago, the Conservatives on the Standing Committee on Finance questioned Kevin Page's competency. Yesterday, the Parliamentary Budget Officer provided a clear and reasonable response to these unfounded assertions. Mr. Page again proved that the old age security program is sustainable and is not at risk.

Why are the Conservatives continuing to attack the Parliamentary Budget Officer when they are not even capable of providing their own figures?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote some Canadian economists in response to my colleague's question so that she might understand what Canadians think about this.

Avery Shenfeld, CIBC World Markets' chief economist, said budget 2012 “...makes sense in a world economy that is still not what we would like it to be. Relative to what anybody else is doing, we still come out with flying colours.”

Other economists have commented about this. We continue to push forward with a plan to create jobs, sustain the economy and make sure we have long-term prosperity.

Parliamentary Budget Officer
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

I wonder, Mr. Speaker, who do we trust more, let me see, the Parliamentary Budget Officer or the government that changes its tune every day? The Parliamentary Budget Officer also showed that the Conservatives could have created 94,000 new jobs if they had not been so reckless with their cuts. So much for standing up for jobs.

The point is this. The Parliamentary Budget Officer puts out public reports for all Canadians to review. The Conservatives will not even say how much they are going to take away from seniors, so why do they continue attacking Kevin Page?

Parliamentary Budget Officer
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Saint Boniface
Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the PBO has said repeatedly in the past that our government's plan to return to balance is not sustainable. In fact, less than a year ago, he said we do not have a sustainable fiscal structure, a significant delay in taking fiscal action substantially increases the required amount of corrective measures.

Regardless, our government continued on its path. We continued on the intended plan and demonstrated that it works. We have created over 750,000 net new jobs since July 2009. I cannot explain the PBO's contradictions, but numerous economists tend to agree with this government's plan.

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Let us focus, Mr. Speaker. Let us talk about OAS.

On Tuesday the Minister of Finance explained that he had no idea how much money the budget's OAS changes would save the government, “because we do not project beyond five years”.

Today we find out there was a report, and that report has existed since 2007. The Conservatives can project beyond five years, but in a typical Conservative fashion, they will not let anyone see it. Will they release the report so that parliamentarians and Canadians can have an informed discussion about the OAS changes?

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I already said, that report was never completed because it was being worked on at a time when our priorities changed, when it became necessary to focus dramatically on the economic downturn.

The results are clear. As a result of our economic action plan 2012 and the effort of our Prime Minister and our Minister of Finance, Canada posted the strongest economic performance through the downturn of any of the major developed economies with the strongest job growth, the lowest debt and the lowest deficit.

We are still working to continue to keep that strong fiscal position. We are doing it through economic action plan 2012 to ensure that we stay in a strong position to ensure the economic future of--

Pensions
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for Bourassa.