House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:35 p.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I certainly do know how to create jobs: by investing in the green economy.

Where is the government's plan for the green economy? Nowhere, because it does not exist. Economy and environment go together. There is no need to choose one or the other because they go hand in hand.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:35 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege. As someone who has been an environmental lawyer before becoming a member of Parliament, I was not a signatory to that letter, but I would ask the hon. member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette to withdraw the quite dismaying insinuation that the only reason environmental lawyers would seek to raise a concern about this is if they make money. Those people in environmental law--

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

I think we are really talking about a matter of debate with respect to the facts that hon. members have said. The hon. member will know that members are given a great degree of freedom in terms of the ideas they wish to express in the House. I did not hear anything that was unparliamentary in that respect.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:35 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak in the House tonight on behalf of my constituents of Pickering—Scarborough East to Bill C-38, the jobs, growth and long-term prosperity act, and against the NDP and Liberal opposition attempts to delay and defeat it.

I fully support the bill as it logically provides the very foundation, which I can appreciate as an engineer, for building Canada's future economic strength for many years to come in order to maintain our country as the best place in the world to live, raise a family and do business.

I have two professions, the profession of arms and professional engineering. This bill focuses like a laser on the well-being of Canada. That is true. Bill C-38, as members may know, includes vital measures contained in Canada's economic action plan 2012 first introduced in this chamber nearly four months ago. It will help set the stage for the next wave of job creation and economic growth and position Canada for a secure and prosperous future.

Before continuing, I will note one great measure in economic action plan 2012 that my constituents in Pickering—Scarborough East are very excited about.

As we all know, national parks are very popular in Canada—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:35 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, I think you are observing, as well as others in the House, the unparliamentary behaviour of the opposition members in the NDP making physical motions and gestures that are very disrespectful to the person delivering the speech right now.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

I thank the hon. member for his intervention. Members will know that, as is usually the case when another member is speaking, members keep their comments and discussions very low so that it does not interrupt other hon. members.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:35 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the same point of order. I would like to reassure my hon. colleague that on this side of the House I do, indeed, want to hear the comments of his hon. colleague and would very much like to continue to listen.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:35 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to apologize for making gestures. I have seen hon. members in all parts of the House reading newspapers during speeches and debates and I regret that my behaviour has stooped to the level of members of all parties in the House that I have observed over the past year.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

We have had sufficient interventions. I would ask that members keep their comments to themselves. If they wish to carry on conversations with their colleagues, I would ask them to please take it out to the lobby. The House is where we are presenting speeches, asking questions and making comments for other hon. members who wish to listen.

The hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:40 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, national parks are very popular in Canada, attracting many visitors with their natural beauty. Unfortunately, too many Canadians, especially in large cities, do not have easy access to our national parks. I am happy that our Conservative government is helping to change that and would hope that opposition MPs would have supported it instead of voting against it.

As noted in economic action plan 2012, we committed to create Canada's first national urban park in the Rouge Valley, proudly located in my riding. This initiative will provide opportunities for local residents and visitors to enjoy, discover and learn about the Rouge Valley's rich, natural and cultural heritage.

This announcement has been greeted with much support and excitement throughout the GTA and across Canada. An opinion poll conducted in 2010 indicated that 88% of respondents supported this initiative. It is fantastic to see this park create such excitement in not just the GTA but across Canada. This park will allow citizens from all over our great nation to experience the natural beauty of—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:40 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I hate to be persnickety about this but there is absolutely nothing about the Rouge Valley National Park in Bill C-38. I just want to ask about relevance.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Members are given a great degree of liberty in terms of the ideas that they may wish to express in their remarks, and yes, the hon. member is right, that they would eventually bring those ideas back around to their pertinence to the question that is before the House. However, one generally gives the member time to connect those dots and bring forth ideas. I am sure the hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East is getting around to the point.

The hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

June 12th, 2012 / 11:40 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, this park will allow our citizens from all over our great nation to experience the natural beauty of Pickering—Scarborough East as well as easy access to more than 30% of the Canadian population which is in its close proximity.

Alan Wells, chair of the Rouge Park Alliance has declared, “This is the best news I have heard. I'm glad it is quickly moving forward”. Toronto city councillor, Glenn De Baeremaeker, said, “To see the prime minister...saying loudly and clearly that they'll protect this land is a dream come true for us”. Jim Robb, general manager of Friends of the Rouge Watershed added, “It's wonderful the federal government is going to create a national park that's accessible by transit”. Finally, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society said that this “will help safeguard and restore the Rouge Valley's important ecological values, and enable millions of Canadians to develop a greater appreciation for nature”. I hope all Canadians will one day have the opportunity to visit this beautiful national park and share that excitement.

As I said before, today's act is very important for the Canadian economy. Our Conservative government's top focus is just that, creating jobs, promoting economic growth and ensuring long-term prosperity. We know what matters to Canadians and their families and we are getting results for them on that front with nearly 760,000 net new jobs created since July 2009, 90% full-time and over 80% private sector.

However, the global economy is fragile and challenges remain as we see with events in European countries like Spain and Greece. We all know that Canada is not immune to these global challenges and we need to be on guard. That is why we are working hard to implement economic action plan 2012 and why we, along with many Canadians, are so disappointed in the NDP and Liberals for refusing to put Canadians ahead of their own partisan agenda by delaying these important measures to help Canada's economy to keep its good momentum.

Indeed, I will again reiterate the main observations repeated several times by now but worth being emphasized by its accurate and pointed analysis from a recent editorial in the Toronto Sun. It reads:

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.

...vowing to delay the passing of [economic action plan 2012]... playing...with amendments and procedure.... This is nothing but grandstanding.

This is a budget designed to create jobs and inspire economic growth, and it comes to the House of Commons at a moment that can only be described as the 11th hour of a global economic conflagration....

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.

I agree, and would hope the NDP will listen to the words of that Toronto Sun editorial and many other Canadians.

As I have mentioned, economic action plan 2012 will unleash the potential of Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs to innovate and thrive in the modern global economy through targeted measures that support business investment, invest in Canadian workers and support families.

However, economic action plan 2012 does not do that heedlessly at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer. In fact, all of our efforts will be supported by responsible fiscal management. That has meant a careful review of how we spend money to ensure we are getting the best for our buck, much like most Canadian families would at the dinner table with their household budget.

It is a prudent approach that will see Canada return to budgetary balance in the coming short years, and that is important for many reasons, like freeing up tax dollars otherwise absorbed by interest payments, ensuring we can afford programs over the long run, and ensuring we can keep taxes low and much more.

Although this was a comprehensive review of government spending, it was targeted and effective, including eliminating the penny and getting rid of plastic SIN cards. The reductions reflect changes to refocus government and programs, make it easier for Canadians and businesses to deal with their government and modernize and reduce the back office.

In the words of a recent Ottawa Citizen editorial on our Conservative government spending review:

The overall attitude...has been that every dollar must prove its worth. The answer that “we've always done it that way” isn't good enough...The small and simple cuts have a significance beyond their individual dollar figures. They suggest the government is willing to turn out the couch cushions and come up with change. Good. The elimination of the penny, for example, is not a new idea. But it took a government to decide that now is the time. It's only $11 million a year, but $11 million saved is $11 million the government doesn't have to take from taxpayers or cut from services. The same is true...of the $1.5 million a year the government will save by simply telling us what our Social Insurance Numbers are, rather than issuing cards we never use and aren't supposed to carry with us. These little cuts are sensible...they're conservative in the sense of being fiscally prudent.

The measures I have highlighted today are significant examples of this government's commitment to a strong economy and responsible management in the name of all Canadians. The commitment represents our longer-term view of how we can become more efficient and more prudent with taxpayers' hard-earned money.

As our Conservative government has said all along, the global economic recovery remains fragile. That makes responsible management to return to balanced budgets even more important, and that is why it is the focus of Canada's economic action plan 2012. The steps we take today will give us the ability to withstand the global challenges from Europe and beyond. That is why our Conservative government's main focus has been and will remain the economy, including implementing Canada's economic action plan 2012, and why I do not support the NDP and opposition attempts to delay and defeat it.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:50 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's comments, but I want to correct him on something. He talked about the penny. We are glad the government is doing that, but it was an NDP initiative a few years ago.

Also, he mentioned the national park. I see that we got the rhetoric on the other side, but these were the guys who were complaining a little while ago. However, on the environment piece, we talked about the national park. With the gutting of the environmental legislation, I think members need to be concerned about that.

Let us see what the National Post had to say today.

The bill...makes it easier to gain approval to build pipelines under rivers, similar to the Plains Midstream Canada pipeline currently spilling oil into the Red Deer River. Under the existing legislation, there is prohibition on “the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat”.....

That is not the case under this bill.

Grassy Narrows and White Dog have been suffering from mercury poisoning for many years, as there was no strict environmental enforcement and protection. What will happen? Will we have more Grassy Narrows and White Dog situations coming forward?

We have asked the question, but would you eat fish from Grassy Narrows?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

11:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

I remind hon. members to direct questions and comments through the chair.

The hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East.