House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Question No. 453
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

May 3rd, 2012 / 10:10 a.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

For each fiscal year from 2006-2007 to 2010-2011, what is the total amount of: (a) payments made to the government by credit card; and (b) merchant fees paid by the government to credit card providers?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

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

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That, in relation to Bill C-38, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures, not more than six further sitting days shall be allotted to the consideration of the second reading stage of the bill; and

That, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government orders on the sixth day allotted to the consideration of the second reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1 there will now be a 30 minute question period. As we have done in the past, we will try to keep questions to about a minute and the responses to a similar length. We will go on the rotation used in question period, so preference will be given to opposition members. However, some government members will be recognized for questions.

The hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley.

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are two major travesties taking place today, and I will remind the government of its own previous opinions on this. One is how this budget bill is being implemented and two is what is actually contained in these 421 pages is a travesty and injustice to Canadians.

My first question for my friend across the way is on the implementation. Someone he knows well once said:

...in the interest of democracy I ask: How can members represent their constituents on these various areas when they are forced to vote in a block on such legislation and on such concerns?

The bill contains many distinct proposals and principles and asking members to provide simple answers to such complex questions is in contradiction to the conventions and practices of the House.

The Prime Minister said that before he was Prime Minister.

There are 421 pages of complex and individual ideas now lumped together in an omnibus bill. If the government had the actual courage of its convictions and believed that these were right issues to debate and present to Canadians, it would not lump them all together: the rollback of OAS rights to Canadians, the devastation of pay equity rules that apply to federal contracts and a ripping up and destruction of environmental protections when it comes to major projects.

If the Conservatives used to believe that these distinct issues should stand on their own merit for debate so Canadians can understand what is being applied, why the change of heart, why the change of convictions now?

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, we think it is very important that Canadians have an opportunity to listen to this debate. We have allowed seven more days to allow a fulsome debate before, and we hope that it will receive support, going to committee. What is almost unprecedented is that we will set up a subcommittee as well to look even more closely at this and to allow more witnesses to appear before the committee and voice their concerns.

I would suggest there will be a lot of Canadians, and in my further answers I will reflect on quotes from many of those Canadians, who think it is very important that we get this moved along for the economy, for jobs and for the long-term prosperity of this country. The debate will continue and we encourage all hon. members to be part of the debate. There will be seven more days of debate before it even goes to two levels of committee for further discussion.

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Madam Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of State for Finance. Obviously, I will not be asking a question on time allocation because we already know that the government is abusing its power and has already tabled time allocation hundreds of times, whether it be in the House or in committees, which is totally abusive. I think that question would be geared more toward the government House leader.

However, since he is Minister of State for Finance and he knows about numbers, we worked on committee together, could he tells us the formula? How does he work out six days on a 500-page document when on a 200-page document it is three days? Are we missing some kind of formula here? Is it based on the number of words or number of pages? How does it really work? How does the government set time allocation? Is it based on the number of pages or is it just that the Conservatives wake up in the morning and say that today they will close debate in six days or three days or four hours? How does it work?

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, my friend across the way and I sat through many hours on the finance committee and we agree on a lot of things and, of course, we will need to agree on what I will reflect on right now because I believe it was his government in 2005, on Bill C-43, that amended dozens of different pieces of legislation. I had the privilege of sitting in the House following that debate and I am sure that was an important debate and fairly concise.

What we are expecting here is that focus. I would encourage everyone not to just stand up and read a speech that has been repeated time and time again. I ask that they make a focus point. I encourage all hon. members to discuss with their constituents and bring their thoughts forward to the debate.

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette Louis-Hébert, QC

Madam Speaker, I continue to be shocked that, in a parliamentary democracy, the first thing the government does is limit debate. We are dealing with a very important bill, one that will change many lives and have a great deal of impact, and the first thing the government does is limit debate.

How will limiting debate help economic growth? I see no reason why this bill has to pass this week rather than in three weeks. Why is it urgent that we pass it now and have such a short debate about such fundamental issues?

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, as I said in one of my previous answers, there will be seven full days of debate before it ever goes to committee to discuss it and bring witnesses in. When we talk about limiting debate, it was the hon. member's own party that managed to filibuster and limit debate. It did not allow any more than two or three minutes for the Liberal Party and no time for the Green Party to speak when the budget was tabled. It troubles me when the hon. member asks that question. We are providing seven days. We are going to provide an opportunity for anyone in the House, depending on what the whips will allow, to speak his or her mind and those of his or her constituents. We encourage people to do that.

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:20 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, again, what we are hearing this morning from this bulldozing government is quite scandalous. What is more, the minister is trying to teach us a lesson. He is telling us how to intervene during debates. Unfortunately, this government has developed a bad habit of using time allocation, especially when we are talking about a bill that is 425 pages long and amends 60 or so other pieces of legislation.

The thing that gets me the most—and this is what I want the minister to address—is that there is a pile of new measures in the budget implementation bill that the government has said nothing about before and a pile of poison pills.

Is the government really doing this to muzzle the opposition and the general public on a pile of measures that we will only later realize were insidiously rammed through by this government in the budget implementation bill? I would like the minister to answer that question directly.

Bill C-38--Time Allocation Motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Macleod, AB

Madam Speaker, this has provided a great opportunity already. I have pages and pages of quotes from Canadians and associations across this country, whether they be groups of educators or the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Let me read one quote by the FCM. It represents an awful lot of Canadians. It represents the municipal level of taxpayers. It consists of elected officials who speak to their constituents on the ground every day. It stated:

Canada's municipal leaders welcome today's commitment—

Referring to the tabling of the budget:

—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.

Those are Canadians wanting us to get on with this so those infrastructure projects can move forward.