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

Canada-Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Canada-Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Canada-Jordan Economic Growth and Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

[For continuation of proceedings, see part B]

[Continuation of proceedings from part A ]

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-38, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures, as reported (without amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

When we last took up debate on this question, the hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques had five minutes left in his speech and five minutes for questions.

The hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette--Témiscouata--Les Basques.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, before the break, I was talking about the fact that we saw the bill introduced and the Conservative government's budget as an austerity budget that will have recessionary consequences.

The issue of employment insurance, in particular, is close to my heart. I can demonstrate the impact that this bill's provisions will have on employment insurance with a statement made by the member for Madawaska—Restigouche on the airwaves of a radio station in my riding of Rimouski. He was asked something very simple: if an employee who loses his job accepts a new job at 70% of his salary, for fear of losing his benefits, as stipulated, and he then loses this new job, must he accept a second new job at 70% of the 70% of his initial salary? The member for Madawaska—Restigouche clearly stated that that was the case, according to the logic of the bill, and that that was why we have regulations on minimum wage.

It seems clear from over here that this budget is an austerity and recessionary budget that will push down wages. The middle class and people with fewer resources will pay the price.

I would like to talk briefly about another provision in the bill, namely, division 36 of part 4, which amends the Bank Act. I can assure this House that this will cause serious problems. I feel as though we are in the movie Groundhog Day. We know how some of the provinces, including Quebec, responded to the regulation of financial markets. The matter went all the way to Supreme Court, which recognized the supremacy of provincial jurisdictions in this area. Now the federal government is trying to give itself exclusive jurisdiction over financial institutions, particularly when it comes to consumer protection.

To date, this has been a shared jurisdiction. Of course the Bank Act falls under federal jurisdiction, but consumer protection still falls under provincial jurisdiction, and both levels of government have been acting in co-operation with one another. The federal government made a unilateral decision, without consulting anyone—as was the case with most aspects of this bill—to rewrite a provision and include it somewhere, on page 386, I think, of a 430-page bill. Ultimately, this will cause serious problems because I am convinced that Quebec and perhaps some of the other provinces will want to fight this in court. The very least a responsible federal government could do is consult with its provincial partners, but this one did not.

The Conservatives have a lot to say about how much time has been spent on this debate. The government says that more time has been spent debating this bill than any other budget implementation bill in the past. That is hogwash for a number of reasons.

Seventy laws—69 to be more precise—are being created, abolished or amended. In committee, we generally devote two to three committee meetings to one bill. This bill affects 70 laws. That would represent a total of 140 to 210 hours of consideration in total for all the provisions of this bill. I can say that in committee, we devoted 90 minutes to two hours maximum to the major reform to employment insurance. We spent a maximum of two hours considering an equally big reform to old age security. There was also not enough time to give proper attention to other topics, including the legislation on employment equity, which makes federal contractors no longer subject to employment equity rules.

The bill is extremely problematic for all those reasons. We have said it before and we will say it again: this is extremely anti-democratic. We regret that we still have to be here debating this entire bill, which should have been split up a long time ago.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his very enlightening speech, which shows the extent to which the government is clearly in error as it manages this country.

The hon. member has pointed out a number of problems associated with the consequences of Bill C-38 that will affect provincial jurisdiction. During the debates on Bill C-25, dealing with pooled registered pension plans, one of the hon. members opposite brought up the fact that it is practically impossible to work with the provinces to find common ground using the Canada pension plan, for example.

This is really incredible because, if you go back a number of years, you will see that the Canada Health Act was a work in progress extending over a number of years that allowed for agreement and co-operation between the federal and provincial governments.

I would like the hon. member to enlighten me on this government's almost pathological inability to negotiate and come to agreements with the provinces. Bill C-38 is an example of that.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member brings up an excellent point. It is something we have seen over and over again. Among other things, we have seen it on the subject of the Bank Act, which I mentioned, and on the subject of pensions, which he brought up as well.

The most telling example is employment insurance. Only last week, we saw four provincial premiers, some of whom were Conservatives, take a stand against the fact that the government is going to press ahead with a major reform that is going to affect the regional economy. In Atlantic Canada, as in Quebec, people depend in part on seasonal work. So there will be consequences. Doing this without the slightest consultation is no way to run a federation. The Conservative government has no idea what the word “consultation” means. It tries to pass bills and put measures in place as quickly as it can, and the provinces are often left to pick up the pieces.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like the hon. member to address another problem with Bill C-38.

It is no secret that one of the very serious problems with this bill is all the economic consequences associated with it. They are almost incalculable. But we are going to identify them nonetheless. The government has, in fact, determined what direct cuts would be made to the public service. The Parliamentary Budget Officer managed to identify broader consequences and, above all, has said, since the start of the cuts, that it was going very far. Can the hon. member expand on those consequences?

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer was clear about the jobs.

Using the same model that the government and the Department of Finance used, he estimated that the consequences of the austerity budget tabled by the Conservatives would be the loss of about 40,000 jobs in the public and private sectors over the next two years. At the end of four years, in 2015 or 2016, some 100,000 public and private sector jobs would be affected. Why? Because of this austerity budget, the Canadian economy will not be able to achieve its potential or maximum potential. In that respect, a lot of people will unfortunately be affected by losing their jobs or being unable to find employment because it will no longer exist at that point.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am going to quote the hon. minister of state and hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche, who said:

We need to make sure that employment insurance is not a cushion for people to sit on for months, all year round, year after year... Those people, though they are not many, would often rather take their pink slip and go hunting than go to work.

Those remarks obviously show an incredible lack of respect. Could the hon. member tell me what he thinks?

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have already quoted the hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche on something else that was problematic. I am not necessarily surprised because this government really seems to think that seasonal workers, regardless of their qualifications, training and efforts, are just lazy and choose to work only a few months to be able to have the rest of the time off. We do not share that attitude on this side. It is unfortunate, but I think that this is very telling of the spirit of the bill we have before us.

Bill C-38--Notice of time allocation motion
Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

June 11th, 2012 / 7:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as the global recovery remains fragile, especially in Europe, Canadians want their government to focus on what matters: job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity. We are actually doing that through this bill and economic action plan 2012.

We actually welcome debate on this, although I must note that the opposition parties just voted against lengthening debate here in the House. It seems that they only want to stall and delay the process by forcing hundreds of votes on a bill that they opposed before it was even introduced.

With that in mind, I must advise you, Mr. Speaker, that agreement has not been reached under the provisions of Standing Orders 78(1) or 78(2) concerning the proceedings at report stage and third reading of Bill C-38, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the Crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at those stages.

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

7:40 p.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, I am here today to discuss Bill C-38, the jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act, and to stand against the NDP and the opposition attempts to delay and defeat it.

As we watch the global economy continue to struggle, most notably in Europe, this legislation would help our country stay the course and ensure that our economy remains sound and strong. Unfortunately, the opposition parties seem more intent on getting attention in the newspapers with their procedural partisan games.

In the words of a recent Toronto Sun editorial:

As Europe stands poised on the brink of a disastrous economic wildfire that could blacken the world, the NDP leader['s] hypocrisy and self-obsession is in full flame.

It goes on to say, “vowing to delay the passing of” economic action plan 2012, “playing silly bugger with amendments and procedure.... This is nothing but grandstanding. Right now--”

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

7:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I just heard a couple of terms in the member's speech that I would caution him to watch. He might be quoting from a news article but I would remind him that he is not allowed to do indirectly what he is not allowed to do directly. If he is going to finish with the citation, he might want to be careful with the words because I do not think they are helpful to the debate.

The hon. parliamentary secretary.