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House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

It being 6.15 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith the question on the amendment.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

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

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

All those opposed will please say nay.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 47.5(7), I ask that the division stand deferred until tomorrow, at the end of Government Orders.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

The division is deferred in accordance with the request of the chief government whip.

Business Of The HouseGovernment Orders

March 18th, 1997 / 6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe you will find consent for the following order:

That the period reserved for Private Members' Business on Wednesday, March 19, 1997 be extended by 30 minutes;

That the first 30 minutes of Private Members' Business on Wednesday, March 19, 1997 be for the purpose of completing all remaining stages of Bill C-300;

That during the said 30 minutes, one speaker per party be allowed a maximum of 10 minutes to speak;

That at the end of the 30 minute period, all questions to dispose of the stages shall be deemed to have been put and carried;

That at the completion of Bill C-300, the House will complete the remaining 45 minutes of Private Members' Business item M-277;

That at the completion of the said debate, all questions be deemed put, divisions thereon deemed requested and deemed deferred to Monday, April 7, 1997 at the end of the time provided for Government Orders.

(Motion agreed to.)

Business Of The HouseGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

There is an adjournment motion to be debated but the hon. member who is to participate in that debate is on his way to the House. In the circumstances perhaps we could suspend the sitting until he arrives. Then the motion for adjournment will be proposed, debated and the House will be adjourned in due course.

Business Of The HouseGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

Is it agreed that we suspend the sitting?

Business Of The HouseGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(The sitting of the House was suspended at 6.21 p.m.)

(The House resumed at 6.25 p.m.)

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Business Of The HouseAdjournment Debate

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy NDP Saskatoon—Clark's Crossing, SK

Mr. Speaker, a while ago I asked the Minister of Finance to explain to Canadians why the government had broken its election promise to create jobs in significant numbers to address the concerns of Canadians and how did he feel about the government telling Canadians that they will simply have to accept and get used to high unemployment, which both he and the Prime Minister had done.

The Liberals have broken their promise about jobs. We know that. When they assumed office there were 1.5 million people unemployed. Now almost four years later there are still 1.5 million people unemployed.

In the 1993 election campaign the Prime Minister said under a Liberal government that it would be like the good old days, but he did not tell Canadians he meant the dirty thirties.

Young Canadians face a shameful unemployment rate, officially at 17 per cent, but we know it is much higher than that. That does not even count the thousands who have given up looking or the tens of thousands flipping burgers at Burger King for a living. The Liberals and Burger King are both famous for one thing, the size of their whoppers, whether it be burgers or broken promises.

There are millions of unemployed Canadians and millions more who fear that each pay cheque may be their last. With millions unemployed and everyone else looking over their shoulder, surely that is a national tragedy in a country such as ours.

Today with still millions of Canadians unemployed and under employed, millions of Canadians living in poverty, again the poverty numbers have increased over the last four years, another indictment of Liberal policy. With insecurity spreading across the whole of Canadian society, the last four years have shown beyond any doubt that you can never build a successful modern economy the Liberal way, on the crude and wasteful dogma of the free for all world.

The Liberal government has proven that it cannot privatize, or down load, or slash and burn its way out of mass poverty, that it cannot as a government contract out of its responsibilities to society and it cannot build for the future on Liberal economics of greed, waste and blind short-termism.

In place of the priorities that the government has forced on Canadians in a way which has failed Canadians, the country needs a government with a vision of working together for the greater good and the belief in the potential of everyone.

This requires investing in Canadians. This means investing in jobs; equipping not just the few but the many with opportunities in education and employment; a dedication to equality and social justice; the certainty of action against unemployment; and an economic policy run in the interests not of the privileged few but of the whole community.

Why has the government not required banks to reinvest in the communities that trust them with their funds? Why has it not fought to stop banks from choking small business, farms and families with service charges and inflated credit card rates?

It is long past time that chartered banks started pulling their weight and made a real contribution to job creation in Canada. Since the finance minister has been able to show some progress on meeting deficit targets, and he should be praised for that, why does he not set job targets and meet them the same way as he has set deficit targets? We could avoid double digit unemployment rates if there was a serious and explicit unemployment target.

New Democrats and Canadians believe that lives and jobs are more important than numbers done on an accounting sheet. Does the government not think so too? The Liberal message of a low paid job or no job is a message that Canadians totally reject.

I ask once again, as I did some time ago, when will the finance minister, instead of paying for failure, begin to invest in success? At that time I also asked him why would he not consult the Saskatchewan New Democratic government which has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, which has pursued a partnership agenda and which has been successful in generating an unemployment rate which is the envy of the country. There is much to be learned there.

Business Of The HouseAdjournment Debate

6:20 p.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the tired rhetoric, flawed logic, incorrect facts and the insults to the millions of Canadians who are employed in jobs that are not McJobs, I am going to answer this question as I have been asked to do. I might point out in beginning my response that in my city of Toronto 70,000 people work for the banks.

The government is delighted with the low rate of unemployment in Saskatchewan. I applaud the Saskatchewan government's partnership approach to developing the economy. Successful as that government's programs have been, we must recognize that other factors have played a substantial role in Saskatchewan's low unemployment rate. Bumper grain crops and strong grain markets have been an important part of the province's success this year. Furthermore, Saskatchewan has historically been blessed with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

Like the Government of Saskatchewan, this government believes it is only through team efforts that we can harness the financial resources and the knowledge needed to implement effective strategies for continuing growth. That is why partnership is also a key part of the federal government jobs and growth strategy. The strategy has three main elements.

The first is to set the appropriate macro-economic conditions. This has been done by setting and achieving inflation control targets and meeting and exceeding those targets. The pay-off is evident in the dramatic declines in interest rates to levels no one thought possible even a year ago. Even in the hon. member's province, he will know that mortgage rates, car loan rates, small business rates, are substantially less than they were when we took

office in 1993. Those are real savings, real dollars back in the pockets of his province.

Second, the government is also helping the private sector to create jobs in the near term to bridge the gap to stronger growth and the full impact of lower interest rates take effect. We have extended the Canada infrastructure works program, a program that involves partnerships between all levels of government and the private sector. We have reduced the EI premium to $2.90 in 1997, the third successive decrease in as many years and we will reduce it to $2.80 in 1998.

We also introduced a new hires program, giving EI premium relief to small firms that create new jobs in 1997-98. We have extended the residential rehabilitation assistance program for another year. We are increasing support for tourism and youth employment in partnership with the private sector. All of these things benefit the people of his province.

Third, we have made strategic investment in new technology, worker's skills, labour market social reforms to increase employment opportunities for Canadians. The government is the first to admit that unemployment is too high. While no one can be satisfied with the pace but progress recently is important to recognize. We are making substantial progress.

Business Of The HouseAdjournment Debate

6:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Therefore, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6.32 p.m.)