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

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I think a number of stakeholders will be watching once this legislation ultimately passes and we will see what sort of an uptake there is. We have expressed concerns in terms of what we believe would have made it a better bill. Unfortunately, the government did not see the merit in dealing with issues such as management fees and so forth.

Having said that, my question is more related to what I believe most Canadians are concerned about with regard to the current pension programs, the big three being the CPP, OAS and GIS. Could the member provide some comment as to how active he believes the government is on dealing with that file? I understand that it did get consensus from all the provinces on this bill, but the government has failed to get consensus on the big three pension issues with the provinces. Why?

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know it is not for lack of trying on the part of the Minister of State for Finance. He went coast to coast talking to all stakeholders about pensions. Many of our own members did the same thing in prebudget consultations. We have been doing this consultation. Other than the quote I read from Minister Duncan in Ontario, I cannot speak on behalf of the ministers of the provinces as to why they thought this.

He asked what the uptake would be. I will tell him what small businesses say. They are not paying into CPP, so at the end of their working lives, they do not have it. It is not there for them because small business people invest their money back into their business. I suggest this is an opportunity for them to pool their resources with other small businesses and have great pensions at the end of the day.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I come from a background of employee benefits and pensions and throughout that time I noticed that there has been a dramatic shift as it relates to pensions, RRSPs and, frankly, there has not been the uptake. As I have gone through my riding and asked questions about the interest in it, there seems to be a lot of interest in uptake.

I struggle because I am not sure why there is such opposition to this from members opposite, but I would ask my colleague from Elgin—Middlesex—London this question. Does he think, given a chance, that small businesses like the kinds of companies he represented in his pre-political life, would take a hard look at and participate in this program?

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I said in answer to a question from a previous speaker exactly that. I spent my time this weekend wandering through my riding, going to different events, and that is what I being asked. When I told people I was going to be speaking on pooled pensions in the House, people asked me if we had not already passed it, that they were waiting for it to happen.

I thank the member for London West because his previous background was in the type of business that may be the types of groups of people that would administer this, other small businesses helping with pooled pensions so that small business people and entrepreneurs can save for retirement without really having to leave their businesses and be there to serve their customers.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Before I call on the hon. member for Chambly—Borduas, I must inform him that I will have to interrupt him at 6:30 p.m., at the conclusion of today's government business.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, thank you for your kind warning.

My speech will be very similar to that of the hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard. The simple reason is that the public consultations that she carried out in Quebec with the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin were also held in my riding. Many of the comments that she heard about the problems facing our seniors or those retiring soon are the same comments that I have heard. And when we think about it, this affects everyone.

I would like to use the short time that I have to talk about that and to explain why we think the measures proposed in Bill C-25 are not appropriate.

That is basically it. We are not saying that this bill is a travesty. We simply want to provide people who are going to retire or who already have retired with better tools.

What this bill is proposing is very similar to what we already have, such as RRSPs. What is more, we have been given very little information. We do not know the administrative costs associated with this plan. The employer is not required to contribute to the plan, something that is done in many other countries. The pension plans of the largest corporations require the employer to make a certain contribution. There are many problems with all this.

The NDP believes that these measures are not appropriate at this time, especially when the eligibility age for old age security is being increased from 65 to 67.

We saw with RRSPs what can happen when people are asked to invest their pensions in the stock market. That is what happened in 2008.

Many Canadians were rather fortunate compared to Americans. Nonetheless, people have been seriously affected. At the very least, we cannot downplay the importance of all this. People invested in RRSPs for 10 years and saw their investments dwindle. When it comes to retirement security, that is not the norm in a country such as ours. Members will recall the case of Nortel, where there were no provisions in place to guarantee people's pensions.

In the last minute I have left, I would like to say that in talking to people, their main complaint was that they were tired of investing in the market and not having retirement security. They said that they want to have the support of a system in which they can invest, such as old age security and the guaranteed income supplement.

The guaranteed income supplement is a very important tool. We in the NDP would like to increase the GIS. With a very small investment, we could lift most seniors living below the poverty line above that line and enable them to live in dignity. That is what the people in my riding and many other ridings told us.

We oppose this bill because it is not the right tool in the current economic situation. There are much better tools. That is what the NDP would do if it formed the government.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas will have six minutes to finish his speech and another five minutes for questions and comments when the House resumes debate on the motion.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

It being 6:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion for the third reading of Bill C-31.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #276

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the amendment defeated

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

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

Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

7 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.