House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, in her speech the member mentioned that some lower income Canadians would be out $30,000 per year. I wonder where the member could find that figure for me because, as I read it right now, a maximum annual income for OAS is $6,481 and the maximum for GIS is $8,788. I wonder if the member could tell me where she got that $30,000 from, please.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for that correction. In my enthusiasm, I did intend to say “over the two year period”. However, the fact remains that removing $30,000 from the available income for the necessities of life for people who are disabled or who have no other source of income is a huge injustice that will only further increase income inequality in Canada.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

May 8th, 2012 / 5 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her contribution to this debate.

Earlier this afternoon, in her speech about the budget, the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke said that there were to be no cuts to health or education. I believe I heard her correctly. I made notes about those comments.

However, we know that the budgets for health programs provided by certain organizations, such as the Assembly of First Nations and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, or ITK, have been slashed by 40%. The Métis National Council and the Native Women's Association of Canada have both lost 100% of the funding for their health programs.

Can the member tell us how these measures will affect the health of first nations people in Canada who are already coping with very difficult conditions?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Madam Speaker, the member is right. There are some very ideological cuts to a great number of organizations, including organizations that provide important services to aboriginal health, but also including environmental organizations like the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy that is pointing at some of the impacts of climate change on the north and on the Inuit people and their way of life.

There has been a choice of where to cut and where to spend. The kinds of things that this budget provides more funds for are not ones that address the needs of the lowest income Canadians or people who are seeking opportunities, such small businesses and medium-sized businesses. There are cuts to the very programs that were creating the conditions for success for small business, such as the Canadian Tourism Commission and the Regional Economic Development agencies, while adding an EI tax increase. Those small and medium entrepreneurs in small communities and the aboriginal entrepreneurs get nothing from this budget and will only suffer from the cuts. That is why I call it an ungenerous budget for the people the member was talking about and for many others.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Madam Speaker, I have a question for my hon. colleague, as a former minister herself, regarding the environment.

With all the regulations throughout this legislation that would be amended, they take up basically one-third of a very large document in what the Conservatives are doing here. Obviously, the rhetoric is that they want to make it easier for business and economic growth. However, all of these regulations have been built up over decades, or even longer in the case of protecting habitats. I would like my hon. colleague to comment on that, please.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Madam Speaker, yes, there are always ways to make environmental regulations and laws more efficient, effective and simplified for people and for businesses without undermining the protection of the environment but this does exactly the opposite. The government's approach undermines that environmental safety net and will be costing us in the long term. It did not need to be this way. We could have made improvements. This is a deleterious approach to the environment and the fisheries.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise today in this place in support of the budget implementation act and on behalf of my constituents in Calgary Northeast.

In Calgary Northeast, we come from many backgrounds. We have hard-working and highly skilled workers, students, families, entrepreneurs and seniors from all around the world. We have residents who were born here in Canada, as well as large communities from India, Pakistan, the Philippines, China and many other countries. We have doctors, taxi drivers, engineers, restaurant owners, food industry, furniture builders, IT and many more.

We have hard-working seniors and long-time community volunteers; people like Merlin and Mary Bergeron. When not fishing, Merlin still works as a carpenter and Mary as a bookkeeper. Down the street is their place of worship, the St. Thomas More Catholic parish. A few blocks over is the Don Hartman sports complex where Canadians of all ages and backgrounds love watching and playing Canada's favourite sport, hockey.

Across McKnight Boulevard and west is the sprawling Baitan Nur mosque, North America's largest, built by the blood, sweat and tears of the local Ahmadiyya community. Our current Prime Minister was there to speak at the inauguration in 2008.

Further west lies Calgary northeast's beautiful Croatian Canadian Cultural Centre opened by former Prime Minister Mulroney in July 1984.

Northeast from there, we will find the Dashmesh Culture Centre, the place of worship for thousands in Calgary's Sikh community. It is also the main organizer of Calgary's Vaisakhi parade coming up this weekend.

Of course, just as special days like Vaisakhi and Christmas are celebrated by those of many different faiths, so is Diwali. Speaking of Diwali, if we head over a little southwest we will find my family's home congregation and chief organizer of many Calgary Diwali celebrations, the Hindu Society of Calgary.

Across the street is Byblos Bakery, since 1975, producing some of Canada's finest Greek pitas, bagels, nans and baklava, and also providing jobs to many hard-working individuals.

I will now talk about the airport in my riding. Headquarters of WestJet and Canada's third busiest airport, Calgary International Airport is in the midst of a massive expansion to add an international terminal and a longer runway, complete with a tunnel beneath for future east access.

Why am I telling the House all of this? It is because I am very proud of Calgary Northeast and I am humbled to have been elected to represent residents there for a second term. Besides being the most diverse federal riding in Alberta, I believe Calgary Northeast is also the hardest working riding in all of Canada, and I proudly stand today in the House on behalf of my constituents and declare it.

Now I come to my main point. Because of the incredible hard-working spirit of my constituents, there are certain ties that bind them all together. Regardless of background, no one likes to pay higher taxes and yet my hon. colleagues across the way continue to somehow believe that money is like some sort of magical fairy dust and that Canadian workers and companies have a never-ending magical supply.

Unfortunately, the NDP and Liberals continue pushing for higher taxes, followed by higher spending, followed by higher taxes, followed by higher spending. That is clearly a recipe for disaster.

I will share what the former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, said. She said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money”.

Last May, my constituents in Calgary Northeast and constituents in a majority of ridings across Canada stood up against Liberal and NDP desires for higher taxes. Canadians want the government to focus on jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity while keeping taxes low. That is exactly what our Conservative government has been focused on and that is why Canadians elected a strong, stable, national Conservative majority government.

Unlike the NDP and the Liberals, our Conservative government believes in low taxes. When we leave more money where it belongs, in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families and job-creating businesses, we have done what is right. It is not our money. It is Canadians' money.

That is why our Conservative government has cut taxes over 140 times since 2006, reducing the overall tax burden to its lowest level in nearly 50 years.

Despite all the opposition and false allegations from the other parties, our Conservatives government has removed over one million low-income families, individuals and seniors from the tax rolls altogether.

Furthermore, we have cut taxes in every way government collects them: personal taxes, consumption taxes, business taxes, excise taxes and much more. This includes cutting the lowest personal income tax rate to 15%; increasing the amount Canadians can earn tax free; providing seniors with pension income splitting; reducing the GST from 7% to 5%, putting nearly $1,000 back in the pockets of an average family; introducing the children's fitness tax credit and children's art tax credit; bringing the landmark tax free savings account, the most important personal saving vehicle since RRSPs; reducing the small business tax rate from 12% to 11%; and lowering business taxes to 15% as passed in Parliament in 2007.

Our Conservative government's low tax record has provided tax savings for a typical Canadian family totalling over $3,100 per year. Why would the opposition fight this? That equals nearly $260 of tax savings per month. The good news is that our Conservative government's tax savings are for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast, even when Liberal and NDP MPs vote against the very measures that make these tax savings possible.

When it comes to lowering taxes, here is the really good news. We are not done yet. Economic action plan 2012 builds on our Conservative government's low tax record, including extending the hiring credit for small businesses for an additional year, providing businesses with a credit of up to $1,000 against a small firm's increase in its 2012 employment insurance premiums over those paid in 2011. This new credit will help up to 536,000 employers with additional hiring, reducing small business' 2012 payroll costs by about $205 million.

Our government is making Improvements to registered disability savings plans to make it easier for disabled Canadians to save for their future. We are increasing the travel exemption on the value of goods Canadians can bring in duty free and tax free from $50 to $400 after a 24-hour trip, and from $400 to $800 after a 48-hour trip beginning June 2012.

Standing against the efforts of the Liberals and the NDP to raise taxes, our Conservative low tax approach has in part led Forbes magazine to rank Canada number one in the world for business to grow and create jobs.

We all know that the Leader of the Opposition does not support the exploration of our resource sector and cannot recognize the economic spin-off. The opposition wants to raise taxes on job-creating businesses. When the businesses grow, jobs are created for Canadians.

While Canada has created almost 700,000 net new jobs since July 2009, global economic turbulence remains and too many Canadians are still looking for work. Economic action plan 2012 takes responsible action to support the economy now and over the long term, while keeping taxes low and returning to balanced budgets. We also want to ensure that our social programs remain available today and for our future generations.

Even if the opposition wants to raise taxes on Canadians and on Canadian job creators, the fact is simple: When businesses grow, jobs are created and Canadians benefit. Likewise, if businesses are choked and starved with higher taxes, jobs go down and unemployment goes up.

Therefore, my hon. opposition colleagues across the way can choose either to stand up for higher taxes and fewer jobs or they can stand up for their constituents by agreeing that their constituents deserve lower taxes, jobs, growth and prosperity. That is why I am standing up in support of our Conservative government's budget implementation act, the plan for--

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Order, please. The hon. member may be able to add some comments during questions and comments.

The hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, I liked it when the member referred to Margaret Thatcher and what the socialists had done.

The member just has to look at the world right now to see which way people are going. The people to the right, not the socialists but the capitalists, were in charge when we went through the economic crisis.

It is nice to just say “Well, let's not pay taxes”, but who will pay for our hospitals, our education, our roads and streets? Let us bring down the taxes, let put it in the pockets of the people and let us have bad roads, let us close down hospitals and some schools. In some places in the country we see the fight about the education of our children.

That is the agenda of the Conservative Party, and it is surely not the agenda of the NDP. We have to look at what is happening in the world right now to see how people are upset because the government is giving tax breaks to big banks which are making $20 billion surpluses and paying themselves bonuses of $11 billion. Those are the friends of the Conservative Party.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from across the way for his passionate comments. However, I believe he missed the point I made during my speech, and that was the Conservative government believed in creating all the things he talked about, while keeping taxes low. It is possible. That is what the record shows. Since 2006, we have created 700,000 net new jobs, while reducing the taxes.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, first, the hon. member just said that the government had created all those jobs. The previous Conservative speaker got it right; he got it wrong.

The government did not create the jobs. The government tried to create an environment in which businesses would create those jobs. Perhaps the member could communicate that change in tone to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.

I would also like to point out that the member said something wrong. He said repeatedly that the government did not raise any taxes. Let me remind him, it raised employment insurance premiums on January 1 of this year to the tune of $600 million per year. If there is any tax hike that kills jobs, it is EI premiums because they are direct tax on jobs. The sensible policy would have been to keep those premiums frozen for awhile until the economy was stronger.

As the member is such a lover of low taxes, why the government imposed a $600 million a year tax on jobs?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Madam Speaker, I thought that the member, being a former finance minister, would understand that when I talked about the government's job-creating programs or job creation, of course the government created the environment. That was what I meant, and the member knows this well.

Let us talk about EI. I am very surprised that the member from the Liberal Party raises the EI issue. His party raised the EI premium to a level and actually stole $57 billion from that account, used it and never paid it back.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Madam Speaker, on a point of order, the member used the word “stole”. The Liberal Party never stole. That is a lie that member has said and he should not use that word in the House.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

I would suggest that all members be more judicious in their choice of words, and avoid words like “steal” and “lie”. Those are not parliamentary.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It is parliamentary when Conservatives say that the Liberal government stole $57 billion, because it did, and they legalized the robbery by the Liberals when the Conservative government came into power.