House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

9:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Calgary Centre-North, AB

Madam Speaker, the stimulus funding that our government put forward was short-term, targeted and designed to create jobs while creating the infrastructure our country needed. Municipalities across the country lauded the economic action plan funding and we have a legacy of that funding. It did spur jobs and growth.

Regarding his comment about municipalities, our government was the first to make the municipal gas tax transfer payment permanent.

Also, the Liberal Party today tried to give a convoluted answer about why it was great to bail out Europe as opposed to managing our own financial house here in Canada.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

9:50 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

Madam Speaker, I was pleased to have the Parliamentary Secretary in my riding, along with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, to hear from the municipalities of Chilliwack, Hope, Kent and Harrison Hot Springs. While we were there we discussed how some of those municipalities were spending more money on environmental consulting than on the works on their drainage ditches to keep the roads open and the fields dry.

The one story I recall was in the city of Chilliwack where DFO allowed the city to clean one half of a ditch, but it was not allowed to clean the other half. Could she talk about how ridiculous some of these policies are and how this budget will clean some of that up?

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

9:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Calgary Centre-North, AB

Madam Speaker, Bill C-38 contains common sense measures to ensure that the working landscape principle is protected and that fish habitat is still there. However, we also have to ensure that farmers can use their fields.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

9:55 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, I rise again today to speak to Bill C-38, this time at report stage. I made a speech on May 8, 2012, at second reading of this bill. It will be very easy for me to repeat the same points.

I could repeat all of my notes word for word, since this mammoth bill made it through the Standing Committee on Finance in less than a week, and we are now at report stage with the same bill, without amendment.

The government's insistence on pushing through this bill in the face of strong opposition from across the country is, in my opinion, a serious problem. I would like to quickly remind members of some examples of problems that the official opposition has brought up in recent debates on this bill.

Bill C-38 aims to implement budget 2012, but it goes well beyond the budget. It contains not only the measures described in the budget, but also several changes that were not announced previously.

Consider the environment. My colleague opposite was talking about it five minutes ago. At least one-third of Bill C-38 is dedicated to environmental deregulation. It is 2012, and here we have a budget that promotes environmental deregulation. Yes, the government is doing what it said it would in terms of the environment, such as withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol. People did not agree with that, yet the government not only stood its ground, it also added new, previously unannounced measures.

As we all know, Bill C-38 repeals the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, which means that the government is no longer required to report its greenhouse gas emissions. That is a major problem.

Bill C-38 also repeals the current Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, replacing it with a new assessment regime designed for the approval of major projects, such as oil pipelines, naturally. In my opinion and that of all environmental groups and my colleagues, this measure renders all environmental protection regulations utterly meaningless.

Bill C-38 also targets environmental groups. It changes the rules used to determine the extent to which a charity is involved in political activities.

The bill also gives the Minister of National Revenue the authority to suspend the tax-receipting privileges of a registered charity that devotes too many of its resources to political activities. What is the limit here? What exactly defines the political activities of a charitable organization that might sometimes oppose a government measure? Strangely, this attack directly targets groups that oppose the government's ideas. How interesting. Soon the Conservatives will be attacking freedom of expression.

I can also talk about our seniors who worked their whole lives, who worked hard for many years. They will be forced to work two more years before they can retire. I am sure everyone here knows that my party has been opposed to this measure for quite some time. We continue to oppose it and we will not back down.

Bill C-38 also attacks industry and agriculture. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is one of a number of agencies that will be excluded from the Auditor General's supervision. The bill eliminates all references to the Auditor General in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act. The government is giving itself yet another power.

For instance, the part of the act that was once called “Accounting and Audit” will henceforth be called simply “Accounting”. Talk about transparency.

Mandatory financial and performance audits by the Auditor General have also been eliminated—another excellent example of transparency.

I could go on and on. Bill C-38 also amends the Seeds Act to give the president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency the power to issue licences to persons authorizing them to perform activities related to controlling or assuring the quality of seeds or seed crops.

This change opens the door to allowing private entrepreneurs to do food inspection related work. It also sends a troublesome message about the growing use of privatization. In other words, the rich might get access to safe food but the government does not seem to care what everyone else gets. That is the message I am hearing.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal has been highlighting the loopholes in our food safety system for a long time and has warned that Canadians will be eating at their own risk, which is serious.

The NDP has held a series of public consultations across Canada to listen to the comments and concerns of Canadians. On June 2, I personally invited people from my riding to share their concerns and to ask questions. Representatives from Mouvement Action Chômage; the president of the local chapter of the Union des producteurs agricoles, the UPA; and the president of the Conseil québécois de l'horticulture joined the panel of guest speakers.

Mouvement Action Chômage is particularly concerned about the changes to employment insurance. We have been talking about it for several weeks. However, the government does not seem very open. The NDP is worried about seasonal workers who will have to broaden their job searches and work for less, down to 70% of their current salary. SMEs will be affected by these measures and it will be hard for them to provide their employees with enough hours, to retain their employees and to train them properly.

For a riding like mine, these changes will have considerable repercussions on the availability of qualified labour, which is also a problem. As I have said, the SMEs will have to pay the costs.

It is also interesting to point out that the SMEs represent a significant percentage of the jobs in Canada. If we want people to have jobs, it is important to help those who provide them, SMEs for example. But that does not seem to be logical for this government.

In agriculture, the UPA local in Montérégie has complained about the repercussions of the cuts on the region. In eastern Montérégie, of which my riding is part, the growing forward program represents 47% of agricultural income in Quebec. It will not be just my riding that is affected; Quebec will be affected too.

There are also repercussions on research and on the development of new types of agriculture. Canada is a highly agricultural country and my constituency is especially so. Many constituents have asked questions about agriculture. One of them also asked me what would happen with the aboriginal communities in the north. There is nothing in the budget for them. For Attawapiskat, for example, the government has done nothing, and is still not doing anything.

I also remind the House that the budget contained nothing about housing and homelessness. Even though all these measures will plunge more Canadians deeper into poverty, there is nothing to help them.

Canadians are afraid of this bill, a monster bill. People in my riding have realized that the government has very, very loose parliamentary rules. People are not stupid; they know that they still have the power and that public pressure can make a government back down. The government is fully aware that, in less than four years, it will have to be accountable to all Canadians. If the government continues to lose the confidence of the people, they will not give it a second chance.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:05 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Madam Speaker, I wanted to ask the hon. parliamentary secretary a question, but I will instead ask my colleague because she raised some very legitimate doubts about environmental protection.

When the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment gives us statistics on the expansion of the oil sands, we have a problem. When the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment tells us about large oil companies, we have a problem. We have a very big problem here. We are seeing where this government's priorities lie.

During her 10-minute speech, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment barely spoke about environmental protection. However, she did speak about the interests of oil companies and the oil sands. It is totally absurd.

I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about the government's utter lack of transparency and willingness to protect the environment.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:05 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for her very intelligent question.

Indeed, I find it very absurd that the hon. member is not at all concerned about real environmental protection and the conservation of our environment, which is of paramount importance to Canada. Instead, the hon. member is concerned about the interests of large corporations and big oil companies.

That is a real problem, especially since environmental groups are being attacked here, when they have been doing an outstanding job for years with very limited resources. They do a lot with a little. Those groups are being attacked and large corporations are getting a hand up. That is a bit illogical, and it is very disturbing.

I do not have any children yet, but when I di, I intend to leave them a healthy country and planet. That is not what is currently happening with our government. I am particularly concerned about that.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

June 11th, 2012 / 10:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for her insightful and very interesting discussion.

I want to ask her if she has been to the oil sands and if not, whether she is planning on going to the oil sands.

I think that if every member here were to actually go out and visit things, they would get a different perspective. We often speak in ignorance. I just want to know, has she actually been to the oil sands to see them first-hand?

The second part of my question is this. Why is the NDP actually filibustering and trying to keep the government from moving forward and doing positive things for the environment? That is exactly what the parliamentary secretary wanted to do. Indeed, we want to create that wonderful balance so that we have jobs and a healthy environment.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:05 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

My answer to him is that I also invite him to come visit my riding so that he understands the reality of agricultural workers, the reality of agriculture in my riding. That would be very interesting. Perhaps we should also go to the riding of the hon. member who spoke previously to meet the fishermen who are seasonal workers. It might be an interesting experience to finally expand our horizons a little.

No, I have never visited the oil sands, but I would be more than happy to go if the hon. member invites me.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:05 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar
Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate so much this opportunity to highlight some of the very important initiatives in the jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act, and to underline why we cannot let the NDP and the opposition more generally delay and defeat this important legislation.

Over the last few weeks we have seen the extreme left-wing ideology of the opposition members, not only in terms of their negative attitude toward such an important industry in Canada as our energy sector, but also most recently in the attitude of the Leader of the Opposition, as well as the leader of the third party, in their ridiculous idea of pumping millions and billions of dollars of good money after bad into Europe. Canadians are seeing the reality and the left-wing socialist ideology behind both opposition parties.

Let me begin by reassuring Canadians that unlike the NDP opposition, our Conservative government is focused on the economy, jobs and growth. While the opposition is looking at delay and conducting partisan games, we are focused on implementing economic policies that increase the prosperity and the well-being of Canadians.

Let me quote a recent Toronto Sun editorial for the benefit of the House. This is about what Canadians are saying about the NDP and the opposition delaying tactics. It states: “As Europe stands poised on the brink of a disastrous economic wildfire that could blacken the world, NDP leader['s] hypocrisy and self-obsession is in full flame....vowing to delay the passing of [the budget] by playing silly...with amendments and procedure.... This is nothing but grandstanding.... Right now, there is only one enemy in our fight to protect Canada from the repercussions of Europe's burning. And it's [the NDP leader].... This is inarguable.”

Indeed, since 2006, our government has supported the security and prosperity of Canadians and promoted business and investment to create jobs. When the global financial and economic crisis struck, these underlying strengths helped Canada to avoid a deep and long-lasting recession. Our government's sound fiscal position prior to the crisis provided the flexibility to launch the stimulus phase of Canada's economic action plan, which was timely, targeted and temporary in order to have maximum impact. This plan was one of the strongest responses to the global recession among the Group of Seven countries. The broad-based business tax reductions are reducing the costs of operating in Canada, making investment here more attractive, thereby encouraging firms to invest more in all sectors of the Canadian economy. This is increasing wages, creating jobs and raising the standard of living for Canadians. Along with our strong fiscal position, the solid banking system, and sound monetary policy, we believe that this approach to encouraging investment is the best way to improve the productivity of our businesses and indeed the prosperity of all Canadians.

However, we also have been clear. We believe that all Canadians should pay their fair share of taxes and not use loopholes to avoid their taxes. That is why our government has closed over 40 tax loopholes in recent years to improve the fairness and integrity of the tax system. The jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act takes further action on this front by modifying the penalty for making unreported tax shelter sales, to better match the penalty to the purported tax savings of the unreported tax shelter.

We understand that taxpayers willingly and honestly provide a portion of their hard-earned income to fund health care, social programs and other vital services that benefit all Canadians, demanding only in return that governments manage their tax dollars wisely and that their taxes be kept low. For our government, this is a solemn responsibility that we take very seriously. We understand fully that sustaining a voluntary tax system rests on the foundation of tax fairness.

In that context, and as part of the jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act, I would like to spotlight the improvements that we are making to enhancing transparency and accountability for charities. I think I can speak on behalf of my riding of Portage—Lisgar as one of the highest givers to charities. It is also one of the strongest Conservative ridings in the country, voting with a 76% plurality. It is quite interesting that in a very strong Conservative riding, Conservatives are willing to give back and willing to give to charity. They are not looking to the government and they are not looking to taxpayers to give to charities: they take out of their own pocketbooks. I would challenge socialists and NDPers to do the same thing.

Our government recognizes the invaluable role that charities play in communities across Canada. Canada has one of the largest charitable and non-profit sectors in the world, with more than 160,000 charities and non-profit organizations that help address some of the most daunting challenges that Canada faces.

Tax support for registered charities in Canada is considered to be among the most generous in the world, and that is important because there are so many great charities in Canada that do excellent work and they do that excellent work because of the generosity of Canadians.

Registered charities are exempt from tax on their income and may issue official donation receipts for gifts received. In turn, donors can use those receipts to reduce their taxes by claiming a charitable donation tax credit for individuals or charitable donations tax deduction for corporations.

In 2011, federal tax assistance for the charitable sector was nearly $3 billion. However, when Canadians give their hard-earned dollars to a charity they need to be confident that their donation is being put to good use.

Recently, concerns have been raised that some charities may not be respecting the rules regarding political activities. There have also been calls for greater public transparency related to the political activities of charities, including the extent to which they may be funded by foreign sources. Accordingly, to enhance charities' compliance with the rules with respect to political activities, economic action plan 2012 proposes that the CRA enhance its education and compliance activities with respect to political activities by charities. The plan also proposes to improve transparency by requiring charities to provide more information on their political activities, including the extent to which these are funded by foreign sources.

In addition, the plan proposes that the Income Tax Act be amended to restrict the extent to which charities may fund the political activities of other qualified donors, and again, an important aspect of our charitable donation system. Canadian taxpayers want to ensure that when they are giving these funds that they are not going toward political activity. It also proposes that new sanctions be introduced for charities that exceed the limit on political activities or that fail to provide the Canada Revenue Agency with complete and accurate information with respect to any aspect of their annual return.

These measures will help reassure Canadians that they can give with confidence knowing that donations of their hard-earned dollars are used to support legitimate charities.

Amazingly enough, even Toronto Star columnist, Thomas Walkom, who is no friend of our Conservative government, has voiced support for this provision. He said:

When [the] Prime Minister...says charities that engage in too much politicking should be denied tax subsidies, he’s right.

There’s no good reason why environmental groups that oppose oil pipelines should be able to finance their activities, in part, on the backs of the general taxpayer.

When passed, the jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act will take action to provide tax relief for numerous health care services, drugs and medical devices. This is good news for Canadians across the country. This will reflect the evolving nature of the health care sector and better meet the health care needs of Canadians.

Specifically, today's legislation before us seeks to exempt from the GST pharmacists' professional services, other than their prescription drug dispensing services, as well as expand the list of medical devices eligible for tax relief under the GST and income tax systems to include blood coagulation monitors.

In my time allotted today I have had the opportunity to touch on just a few of the very important tax measures that are in the jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act. I would encourage all members of the House to read the legislation and give it the support it deserves.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:15 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to quote an MP, who said the following:

—it has become a standard practice with governments to bring in omnibus legislation following every budget under what we might call the kitchen sink approach....

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?

We can agree with some of the measures but oppose others. How do we express our views and the views of our constituents when the matters are so diverse? Dividing the bill into several components would allow members to represent views of their constituents on each of the different components in the bill.

It was, of course, the Prime Minister who said that in 1994, and this is a bigger bill.

My question is about process. Does the member believe in what the Prime Minister said in 1994? How can she get behind a bill like this with the logic of the Prime Minister in 1994, which I agree with, on this approach, which is highly undemocratic?

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Madam Speaker, we are in 2012. We have just come through one of the greatest recessions that our globe has seen. What Canadians have asked our government to do is to continue to implement a successful economic action plan that has gone from implementing stimulus into the economy to, at this point, reducing the deficit, as well as implementing a number of measures that Canadians have been asking us to do.

I have been hearing in my riding, since and I was elected and before that, people say that we should do something to streamline the Fisheries Act. These are measures that Canadians have asked our government to undertake. The opposition is only concerned with delaying. It is criticizing our oil industry and talking about pouring a lot of money into Europe. We are focused on Canada, on growing our economy and on making our country stronger.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Madam Speaker, by April 2008, three years after the government came into office and before the recession began, the country was back in deficit, as my hon. colleague may know. By March 31, 2009, the end of that fiscal year, there was a deficit of $5.8 billion and stimulus spending did not start until later that year. In fact, by June of that year there were articles in which municipalities were complaining that it still had not started.

In view of the fact that the government put us in deficit before the recession began, how much responsibility does she feel her government bears for the cuts that are now resulting?

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Madam Speaker, it is very clear from the results of the last election who Canadians put their trust in when it comes to the economy, stimulating the economy and reducing the deficit. That is our Conservative government.

It was very clear that, when the Liberals were in government, their idea of reducing spending was slashing transfers to the provinces. We have done the exact opposite. In fact, we have guaranteed the amount that provinces are receiving, for example, for health care.

We presented a plan to Canadians. Everything that we told Canadians we would do we are doing. Canadians know they can count on this government. When we make a promise, we keep our word. When we campaigned, we met and consulted with Canadians. We said that we had a spending plan that was targeted and temporary. Now we are moving forward, continuing to see jobs, growth and prosperity, but also reducing the deficit. The result is a Conservative majority and the Liberals over there in the third spot.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:20 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Madam Speaker, with Bill C-38, when I talk to other members of the House and others who have been around for a while, I feel that we are witnessing a massive transformation of our country as we know it and, unfortunately, it is our future generations who will bear the consequences of these reckless actions today.

We are told that somehow all the budget cuts are necessary in these difficult times. We have the cutting and slashing of the programs that we as Canadians value, and legislation that protects us is also being cut, all this against a backdrop of massive corporate tax cuts.

I would like to remind the members of the House that, between 2006 and 2014, the government will have given over $220 billion worth of corporate tax cuts to the corporations that do not need this money. We can just think about what $220 billion could do for our country.

In addition to that, we have had over $50 billion stolen out of the employment insurance fund. Now, fewer than 60% of those who are eligible receive this money because of the fact that the government wants to make more cuts.

This massive 421 page bill not only contains measures outlined in the budget, but includes many previously unannounced changes. A full one-third of Bill C-38 is dedicated to the gutting of environmental regulations and protection.

In addition, the bill includes a series of previously unannounced measures that will contribute to a less transparent and more secretive environment, including a massive gutting of the powers of the Auditor General.

Among other things, this bill raises the eligibility age for old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits from 65 to 67. It weakens the environmental assessment system and the measures to protect fish habitats, in order to expedite approval of large projects, including pipeline projects.

This bill also repeals the Fair Wages and Hours of Work Act, which will allow employers to circumvent the wage rates set by unions for construction workers hired on projects funded by the federal government.

This is an important point. This was outlined by my colleague, the member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, who found this one line in the budget that basically guts the rights of construction workers to have contracts that must pay the prevailing wage. Combine that with other recent Conservative legislation that allows contractors to get temporary foreign workers within 10 days, eradicating fair wages and hours from the laws, it is yet another nail in the coffin of Canadian labour rights.

International brokers or, as my colleague from Winnipeg Centre described them, labour pimps, pedal foreign workers from all over the country for construction projects. What does this mean? Soon, all a company will have to do is post an ad in the paper saying that it wants carpenters for $8 an hour, no overtime and no benefits. In the likely event that nobody applies within 10 days, international labour pimps can be called to provide all the manpower needed at the prevailing provincial minimum wage.

It does not take a lot of imagination to see how such an easy access to cheap labour will drive down construction costs on the backs of Canadian workers in the largest employing industry sector in the country and the trickle down effect this will have on our economy.

I have a few letters that I would like to read into the record that I have received, as all of us have from our constituents. One letter is from Castlegar. A constituent writes:

It therefore is distressing in the extreme to see the Conservative party taken over by a distorted...world view that has more in common with the current state of the Republican Party in the USA than it does with the kind of conservatism practiced over time in Canada. Voter suppression, unlimited power to corporations, the suppression of science and denial of scientific knowledge are not historically Canadian practices....

This is another quote:

I am becoming very disheartened about our country, due to the threats to our democracy...and the potential disasters that could befall our northern coast and rivers if the pipeline is approved.

Please continue fighting this ludicrous project! I spent many years on Haida Gwaii and know the challenges of running boats in those northern waters. Even when things are “normal”, large ships can run aground. It has happened already and will happen again....

The whole tar sands development sickens me, knowing the potential of major environmental disasters and the current contamination of northern rivers. What bothers me most is the ignorance of the Alberta and Canadian governments and their general lack of environmental regulation and monitoring...

He and others are concerned about the fact that we are losing environmental oversight so we can go forward with a balanced plan instead of a one-side plan as is currently projected.

This is another quote:

Bill C-38 is a “trojan horse” bill containing much more than just Budget items. It is bad for the environment, bad for Canada's worldwide image, bad for the social safety net that Canadians WANT, bad for fish, water and all living creatures, and it is bad for democracy. Everything that is not a direct Budget item MUST be split off this Bill and debated properly by the appropriate committees, before the Budget Bill itself is presented to Parliament.

Act democratic--split the Bill to permit study and debate.

This is another quote:

I am concerned about the revision of the Fisheries Act tucked inside the current omnibus bill. I feel these changes threaten the environmental assessment and project implementation process and therefore threaten viable fish habitat throughout Canada. Without viable habitat for fish, interior, coastal and ocean ecosystems will suffer, and so will the economies and cultures that depend on them. I am requesting that you pressure the current government to please reconsider the process under which these changes are being implemented.

I would like to add that this point of view is not only felt by people right across Canada, but by four former cabinet ministers, two of them having served under the Conservative government. They have called the current changes to the Fisheries Act unprecedented and not in the best interest of our country.

The final letter that I have, one of many, says:

The federal budget legislation...puts our land, water and climate at risk by making enormous changes to Canada's environmental laws. It also contains sweeping new powers to limit debate and silence legitimate voices, including those of land owners, First Nations, charities and other Canadians.

I care about nature and democracy, which is why I'm asking you, as my representative in our Parliament, to express my concern about changing Canada's environmental and charitable laws without sufficient public input and Parliamentary debate.

I might add that my party went across the country and we listened to people. We conducted hearings. The overwhelming majority of people who talked to us are saying that something is not right. We should not be supporting this legislation that lumps all of these different pieces of legislation and measures into one act.

I would like to close with part of a speech given by Andrew Nikiforuk in Nelson regarding the tar sands development. These are a couple of quotations from the speech. He says:

The Northern Gateway pipeline will result in 300 to 400 supertankers annually having to negotiate the treacherous waters of BC's northern coastline;

The ships will likely be owned by PetroChina and Sinopec, two companies that are only accountable to the Communist Party of China;

This is where we are sending our raw bitumen if this goes through.

Report Stage
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

10:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Madam Speaker, I enjoyed my hon. colleague's comments about the possible environmental impacts of the budget bill. They are certainly very worrisome.

Would he like to talk about his views in relation to the changes to the old age security program?