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House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:45 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my speech, I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague from Trinity—Spadina.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of the Western Arctic who provided me with the honour and privilege of representing them in the House.

My riding, unlike most, represents a complete Canadian jurisdiction, the Northwest Territories. With an area of over 1.3 million square kilometres, the riding is the second largest in the country. It is home to Canada's pristine river, the Mackenzie River or, as the Dene say, the Deh Cho. The Mackenzie drains much of western Canada into the Arctic Ocean and is the key geographic feature of this vast land.

The people of the Northwest Territories are as varied as the great land they live in. The over 40,000 people who call the Northwest Territories their home include Chipewyan, Cree, Tlicho, Slavey, Gwitch'in, Inuvialuit and Métis, as well as Canadians from all parts of the country and newcomers from all parts of the globe.

These people live side by side, working and playing together to build homes for themselves and their children. It is the diversity of culture that is one of the strengths of the Northwest Territories. We are small in number but strong in heart and we truly represent Canada.

The human history of the Northwest Territories stretches back thousands of years, starting with the Dene who lived in harmony with the land for generations before the first non-aboriginal people arrived.

The Northwest Territories became part of Canada in 1870. It took on its present shape in 1999 following the creation of Nunavut.

The future for the Northwest Territories has the potential for greatness. It is blessed with an abundance of natural resources which, if developed in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner, will add much to Canada's economy.

During the election campaign, the Prime Minister made many references to the importance of the north to Canada and yet I was surprised and disappointed that there was not one mention of Canada's north in the opening address. It seems that once again we have a government that is all talk and no action. The people of the north have already suffered from 12 years of that style of government under the Liberals. Are they to continue suffering?

The people of my riding have a long list of issues that for too long have either been ignored by the federal government or, when it has addressed these issues, the government takes care of its own interests first rather than those of northerners.

Many members of the House may not be aware that the powers of the three territories are delegated from Ottawa rather than entrenched in the Constitution. It is this Parliament that determines what northerners may have control over. Because of this, Parliament has a fiduciary responsibility to the people of the Northwest Territories as well as to those who live in the Yukon and Nunavut. Northerners are tired of living under a colonial regime that, like all colonial regimes, robs the colony and serves its own interests.

The people of the Northwest Territories need action from the government on their political development. As I mentioned, the law outlining the authorities of the Government of the Northwest Territories is outdated but this is just the tip of the iceberg. For too many years the federal government has dragged its heels in the negotiation of self-government and land claims. Further, for those claims that have been settled, Ottawa has failed to properly implement them.

Until Ottawa settles all outstanding claims, truly recognizes the inherent right to aboriginal self-government and the charter right of public government, the political development of the Northwest Territories will remain stagnant.

After the lack of strategic direction provided by the federal government in the development of our diamonds, northerners are concerned about how future resource development will be handled by the federal government. We are all aware of the ongoing hearings into the Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline. The process is taking too narrow a focus on the scope and impact of the development. What is needed here is a strategic environmental assessment of all the development that will flow from a major gas industry in the Mackenzie Valley.

One of the key pieces of legislation here is the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. This federal legislation places almost all of the control of the Northwest Territories' vast natural resources in the hands of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development with only non-binding advice from appointed representatives of aboriginal claims groups and common citizens of the Northwest Territories. This process under the Liberals has meant that the resource management decisions have been made with the interests of Ottawa put ahead of those of the Northwest Territories.

The result has been that the vast resources of the north, be they mineral, oil and gas, have been given away to multinational corporations by the federal government, by anybody's standards, at fire sale prices. To add insult to injury, even at these cut rate royalties the government, according to the public accounts, earned over $270 million in the 2004-05 fiscal year from the NWT's resources while the people of the Northwest Territories only earned $3.5 million. I dare any member of the House, especially those from Alberta, to call this fair.

The Northwest Territories needs a fair financing agreement with Canada. Right now the federal government claws back nearly every cent that the Northwest Territories raises. This means that the economic development of the Northwest Territories benefits my constituency very little. There are increased costs due to economic development but without the benefit of increased revenue from this development the reality is increasing funding shortfalls for essential programs such as education, health care, municipal infrastructure and social housing.

I also call on the Minister of Finance to fund the north based upon the real cost of programs and service delivery. Due to the north's small population and vast distances between communities, per capita funding comes nowhere near meeting those real costs.

The Prime Minister talks about the fiscal imbalance. A per capita approach to funding for the north will not solve our fiscal imbalance. For years the Northwest Territories has been calling on Ottawa to lift the arbitrary borrowing limit of $300 million placed on the Government of the Northwest Territories. To quote our finance minister during this year's budget speech, “reflects an outdated and unreasonable view that we cannot make sound financial decisions on our own”.

The Northwest Territories wants nothing more than a fair shake when it comes to financing from Ottawa. There should be one objective when discussing financing with the Northwest Territories and that is to ensure that the people of the north receive the same level of government service programs that other Canadians receive.

Another issue that my constituents would like to see some action on by the federal government is helping them deal with the high cost of living in the north. In the late 1980s the last Conservative government brought in the northern residents tax deduction to help northerners offset the high cost of essentials such as food, housing, fuel and transportation. Set at a maximum of $15 per day, this deduction has not changed in 18 years.

I call upon the Conservative finance minister to do what his Liberal predecessor would not: increase the residency portion of the northern residents tax deduction by 50% and to index the deduction to the consumer price index for the north.

Another issue that the people of the north want addressed by Ottawa is climate change. While the government says that we need to rework our commitment to climate change, the people of the north will suffer. The effects of our warming planet are already being felt in the north. Many experts believe the decline of the caribou numbers, as well as other animals such as polar bears, are directly related to climate change. In addition, record high temperatures endanger the boreal forest as well as communities along the Beaufort Sea where rising sea levels and increased storms are devastating the coastline.

The people of the north cannot wait while the environment minister reworks Canada's commitment to greenhouse gas reductions in order to suit the needs of large corporations. Action is needed now.

Canada's north is an integral part of this nation's cultural identity. In the coming years it will become vital to this nation's economy through the supply of natural resources. As the Prime Minister noted so many times during the election campaign, the north is an important part of Canada's sovereignty.

However it is time the federal government realizes that northerners are Canadians with interests that must be respected. The north is not Canada's colony and it is time the federal government stopped acting as if it were. It is time the federal government realized that Canadians' love of our land, our status as equals and our concerns for the future of our children and grandchildren stretch from sea to sea to sea.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

5:55 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I would at the outset congratulate the hon. member for what I understand is his first full speech in the House of Commons. I look forward to working with the hon. member. We have philosophical differences and we do not agree on some things but he did strike some common themes in some of his comments.

My question for the hon. member is in relation to the Mackenzie Valley pipeline. He touched on the pipeline and I sensed in his comments that he was not particularly supportive of that project. I would be curious to hear if he might describe to the House what his position is with respect to the Mackenzie Valley pipeline, whether his party is supportive of that project, what his thoughts are, for example, on the socio-economic fund that has been discussed and what thoughts he has on the aboriginal pipeline group and its involvement in the project.

If I might, I would ask the hon. member to address those points.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, yes, the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline is an important issue and, as I mentioned in my speech, we need to address it as a gas industry.

The problem we have with many of the environmental processes and assessments that have gone on in the past is that governments have tended to take projects in isolation from the likely results of their future development.

When we look at a project like that, we need to look at it in the context of what it will create for us in the Mackenzie Valley and how we can best judge the impacts of the full project and the full development of this rather larger gas industry with estimates about a third of the total reserve that Alberta had when it started out?

I fought three elections saying that the concept of developing northern gas for Canadians is a good idea but of course we need to have projects that work for ourselves. The purpose of my speech today was to point out the necessity for northerners to be listened to on projects such as the Mackenzie Valley project.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the citizens and residents of the Northwest Territories must live with and adapt to climate change. However, there are also a number of other Canadians, including Quebeckers, who must also do so.

Last spring, I had the privilege of travelling the St. Lawrence coast together with some of my Bloc Québécois colleagues. Shoreline erosion is a phenomenon that affects a good number of people living along the St. Lawrence. In the gulf and estuary, shoreline erosion has increased because of climate change.

I urge the government to re-establish the shoreline protection program, eliminated by the previous government. In this way, we may counter climate change and protect the shorelines. This program could also protect people who live along the river section of the St. Lawrence.

With regard to environmental protection and climate change caused by greenhouse gases, on February 6 the Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu municipal council unanimously adopted a motion in support of the Kyoto protocol. I would like to obtain the unanimous consent of this House to table this motion.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member has requested unanimous consent to table a document. Does the member have unanimous consent to table the document?

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, climate change is an issue that will come on like a gangbuster in the next while. We cannot stop the forces of nature with bricks and mortar. On the Arctic coast, people in the community of Tuktoyaktuk have for years been putting in brick rip-rap to prevent the erosion of their community but that is not working because the forces of nature are stronger.

When we see the rising of the sea and the increased storms that occur at times of the year, these are things that drive a change in climate. The effect on the animals, the birds and the feeding grounds in the Arctic as well from these rising sea levels and from these increased storms is very significant.

There is much scientific work going on right now to determine the true impact on our migratory bird populations.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:05 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a new Canadian, an immigrant like so many people in my riding of Trinity—Spadina, I am proud to stand in this chamber where so many great Canadians have served.

I was inspired by this House back in 1989 when every member of every party rose to support a motion by Ed Broadbent of the NDP. That motion was a pledge by Parliament to make child poverty history. Seventeen years after that promise, I stand here on behalf of all the children and youth who live in poverty today in Trinity—Spadina. I am here because since 1989, one Conservative government and four Liberal governments have failed to act on child poverty and have failed to act on a whole host of issues so important to our future generations.

People in my riding of Trinity—Spadina are very engaged in the political process and have high expectations. They voted on January 23 with hope that we would all act together here to get results. They are listening closely. They want this Parliament to work and the government to act.

People in Chinatown in my riding have been listening to the Prime Minister's promise of an apology and redress for the Chinese head tax and exclusion act. They are listening now for news of swift action for the now very elderly head tax payers. We are listening for this news before another Canada Day has passed, because July 1, 1923 was when the Chinese exclusion act became a law, a dark day for Canada. Let us now right this historic wrong. In Canada, Chinese Canadians deserve no less.

Swift action should be a signal of hope for many other immigrants and ethnic communities in my riding, Portuguese, Italians, eastern Europeans, Koreans, Vietnamese, South Asians and people from the Caribbean. For years we have expressed concerns about the immigration and refugee system which was neglected by four different Liberal immigration ministers and is deeply flawed. We see families struggling to be reunited and families with undocumented workers being ripped apart, workers who are badly needed in our riding and our city.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has been listening respectfully to these concerns, but we need to see action. We need an overhaul of the immigration system. We need a plan for regularization of undocumented workers. The people of Trinity—Spadina deserve no less.

People who live and work on our waterfront have been listening very closely for a clear commitment to close down the rogue federal port authority, freeze the expansion of the Toronto Island airport and proceed with revitalization of a vibrant waterfront. We have heard some words of encouragement from the Minister of Transport and now from the President of the Treasury Board. We are listening for a specific commitment and a plan. The people of our riding and of our city deserve no less.

With the University of Toronto, the Ontario College of Art and Design, George Brown College, and Ryerson business faculty all in my riding, thousands of students are listening very closely to hear real commitment to post-secondary education, a real commitment to students and to the future. They deserve no less.

People across our riding from the most affluent to the poorest neighbourhoods are listening to the wheezing and coughing of our children and our elderly parents on smog days in downtown Toronto. Last year there were 62 smog days. We listened to the throne speech which pledged a reduction in pollution and greenhouse gases. We heard the Minister of the Environment affirm this promise. Now we are listening for word of effective action. The people deserve no less.

Working families across Trinity—Spadina are listening with growing concerns for some hope on child care. They have been waiting for a long time for some signs that the federal government actually understands the need for child care spaces and quality programs, not slogans about choice where no choice is offered. This is a great concern in my riding where three out of four mothers are in the workforce, where child care centres have long, long waiting lists, where too few children have access to affordable, high quality, non-profit child care.

The people in my riding are listening. Mr. Speaker, while you can allow ministers and members to speak, you cannot instruct the government to listen. If you could, Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to instruct the government to listen to the community leaders and the mayors of Canada's municipalities who are trying to proceed with a child care program in the face of budget cuts. They should listen to the first nations, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, because they understand the impact of child care on breaking the cycle of poverty. They are crying out for child care spaces as 40% of aboriginal children live in poverty in this country.

The government should also listen to the provinces. Recently Nova Scotia's new Conservative Premier Rodney MacDonald added his voice to those of the premiers from Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec. They are all calling on the Prime Minister to deliver on child care spaces and funding for child care programs.

The government should listen to the economists, the human resource professionals and corporate leaders who can point to the economic advantages of publicly funded child care. There are examples such as Norway which show that there is a clear link between public child care and high productivity in the workforce. Public child care reaps economic rewards and creates new taxpayers.

Finally, the government should listen to the children. Think of the responsibility of every government to all its citizens, including the most vulnerable, including those who have no vote and no choice.

Parents struggling to make ends meet have heard the pledge of $1,200 per child under six and that has raised some hope, but they are listening for the catch 22. As it stands, the $1,200 allowance would be subject to taxes and benefit clawbacks, to the point that a working couple earning $30,000 a year in Ontario would see only $199 of that $1,200, according to the Caledon Institute. They would lose the balance of it to taxes, benefits and credit reductions.

The choice in child care allowance would therefore amount to only 55¢ a day for that working couple. Fifty-five cents is not even enough to buy one diaper, let alone provide child care. Even worse, some families living in poverty, the poorest families who are on social assistance, may not get a penny of this because there is no guarantee that the provincial government would not claw back every penny of this $1,200 family allowance.

We can do better. We must do better. The children of Canada deserve no less. The children of this country deserve so much more.

We can and we must do better. The children of Canada deserve so much more.

Our party will work with others in this Parliament to achieve multi-year funding to ensure that publicly operated child care programs are sustainable for the long term. Our party will work with others in this Parliament to protect child care by enshrining it in legislation with a national child care act to be a cornerstone of Canada like the Canada Health Act. Our party will worth with others in this Parliament to help end child poverty through ensuring families receive every penny of that $1,200 family allowance without taxes or clawbacks. That would be achieved by delivering the $1,200 through the child tax benefit.

We have an extraordinary opportunity to make this minority Parliament work. Let us start by reaching across the aisle and across party lines to make choice in child care more than a slogan, but a reality for today's children and for future generations.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the new member for Trinity--Spadina on her wonderful presentation today. It is wonderful to have her here in the House. We know that she has a very strong reputation and record for her work as the children's and youth advocate for the city of Toronto and her strong representation for social justice, not just in Toronto but across the country. Her remarks today hit very hard in terms of what the real priorities are not only for her constituents, but indeed for millions of people right across the country.

I would like the hon. member to comment on the diversity in this place. She will know that on Monday, the NDP women's caucus held a press conference. We talked about under-representation in this House, particularly for women, and how important it is to seek electoral reform, for example, on proportional representation. That is something that is very dear to the NDP.

I would like to ask the hon. member if she would comment on the importance of that matter and what it means for women to be in this House and to ensure that we achieve representation and gender parity, which is what the NDP is calling for.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the first thing I noticed when I walked in here was that there were very few women and visible minorities. This House is supposed to represent all of Canada, but that certainly is not the case. That was immediately apparent.

I am glad to be in a party where 41.4% of our caucus are women. That is something that is worthy of celebration, but it did not just come by chance. It took work. It took commitment. It has been a priority of the NDP for a long time. Members will notice that the percentage has gone up every time.

I cannot say that of my colleagues in another party where only 11% of the party's caucus are women. Perhaps there is a steeper learning curve to understand what working families really need in terms of taking care of their children. One of the things we notice in different parts of the world is that in countries where there is proportional representation, there is a good percentage of women. That is what we need to work toward, proportional representation and electoral reform.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Trinity--Spadina mentioned all the politicians that she references. I would suggest that instead of consulting politicians, she should consult parents. That is what this government is doing. We are consulting parents on child care.

One stat that I find very intriguing is the amount of money that is going to go to Ontario: $963 million. I would be very surprised if the member for Trinity--Spadina would want to say no to $963 million for Ontario children. Those children deserve better. Certainly this plan provides a lot more than the $448 million that would have been devised under the Liberal plan.

It is about time that we had a government that stood up for young children. That is what this Prime Minister is doing.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, it would be interesting if the parents actually got that money. It is quite easy to make a promise of $1,200, that it is going to be universal for every kid six and under. That is an easy promise to make, but since the government introduced an accountability act today, I want the members to actually do some accounting to parents in Ontario.

For parents who have an income between $20,000 and $40,000, most of the $1,200 will disappear. It will go into one hand and disappear from the other through income tax. Whether it is provincial income tax, federal income tax, the child tax benefit, it does not matter. It is going to disappear.

The other thing is that Ontario stands to gain 448--

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I apologize, but we have one more speaker left before 6:30. The hon. member for Northumberland—Quinte West.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on my first occasion to speak in this place, let me congratulate you on your appointment. I will be sharing my time this evening with my hon. colleague from Langley.

I would like to thank once again the great citizens of Northumberland—Quinte West for placing their trust and faith in me in order to act in their best interests and that of their families. That I take as a sacred trust and shall, therefore, be ever mindful of the great responsibility, the honour and the privilege to represent them in this most august place.

Further, I want to thank my life partner, my wife of 33 years, for all her support and love. Judy and my sons James and Matthew keep this member grounded with their love.

It is in this vein that I wish to speak to the House on the Speech from the Throne and especially those particulars surrounding health care.

I live in the village of Warkworth. Many of my neighbours must from time to time travel for medical interventions and treatment. In recent years I have become dismayed and distressed with the increase in wait times. Sadly, over the last 10 years, they have doubled. However, there is light at the end of the wait times tunnel. Our government has made a commitment to reduce wait times and will guarantee reasonable wait times. This is a priority.

Last Friday, when I went home to the riding, my first stop was at the funeral of a well known and dearly loved constituent. Our friend and neighbour died of that dastardly disease that is no stranger to many of our friends and family, and that is cancer. As unfortunate as this story is, I know that even in his worst moments, he received the best care from people he loved. Our government has made a statement on wait times guarantee and I want to be sure that Canadians receive the health care they have paid for with their hard earned tax dollars.

As I mentioned, I am not new to the evils of cancer, nor are my colleagues, many of whom are in the House here now. My mother, brother and sister have been affected by this disease. Fortunately, they received the care they needed. However, far too often Canadians find themselves on waiting lists that are far too long, forcing them to wait, sometimes in pain, discomfort and fear, and some at risk to their lives.

I want to ensure that no Canadian has to wait too long for treatment. I know that this government to which I belong will ensure that no Canadian is left out in the cold and that we will work together with our provincial partners in order to meet the wait times guarantee.

I know the Minister of Health and his team are working very hard and are responsible for a budget of $41 billion over 10 years in health care and will be contributing to the health care envelope. I am happy to report that $5.5 billion of that has been earmarked specifically to reduce wait times. That is no small amount.

Further, the guarantee will ensure that if people cannot get the medical care they need where they live, in the public system and within an established benchmark, they will be able to get that care either outside their community or their province, with the cost being covered by the public insurance system. No one can argue that this is significant progress.

Thinking outside the box, commonly referred to as innovation, will be critical to ensure that health care remains timely and sustainable. It should be noted by all in the House, indeed this country, that Alberta has recently reduced wait times from 47.7 weeks to 4.7 weeks for hip and knee replacements. This clearly demonstrates that dramatic, patient-centre innovation is achievable within our current public health care system. We must be mindful that these approaches must be consistent with the principles of a universally accessible and equitable public health care system.

We in Cobourg are most fortunate to have a state of the art new hospital due in part to the current minister, when he acted in his provincial capacity, and most commendably due to the generosity of the people of west Northumberland. In Quinte West there is an expanded hospital at the Trenton Memorial Hospital, part of the Quinte health care system. The hospital my family and I use is in Campbellford. The Campbellford Memorial Hospital is a most caring, loving and competent place with which to receive health care. Some of the best hospitals are in my riding and the health care workers, men and women, who operate them are second to none.

In addition to health care, I want to remind Canadians why they voted for this new government. It is because we promised to deliver five key priorities: cutting the GST from 7% to 6% and then to 5%; ensuring our communities are safe by cracking down on gun, gang and drug crime; giving parents choice in child care with a $1,200 annual payment for each child under the age of six; creating 125,000 more child care spaces; and working with the provinces and territories to establish to a health care patient wait times guarantee.

I look forward to the things that are to come under the direction of the new Prime Minister, including today's announcement of the federal accountability act. This is just another way we are sticking to our election platform commitments. That is why I am so pleased to see the Speech from the Throne set an agenda and stick to it, which is a welcome change to what we have seen in governments past.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, we talk about child care and the $1,200 to be given to families to help them. I looked at the throne speech and there was nothing in it about working families and employment insurance. Because of the cuts that the Liberals made to EI 1996, only 38% of men qualify for EI and only 33% of women qualify. This means that 800,000 people in our country do not qualify for employment insurance, and 1.4 million children are going hungry. The throne speech did not talk at all about that.

It is nice to give money, which the province will probably take away from people who are on welfare, for example, or through taxation. People are hurting due to the changes made by the Liberal government in 1996. What are the views of the member on my comments, which are facts?

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I come from a working class family. I am the eldest of six children. I can recall wearing hand-me-downs, et cetera. I can say that the $1,200 for every child under six, which the government proposes, will indeed affect mostly Canadians of lesser means.

In addition, I have heard talk in the House of how supposedly little the 1% reduction in the GST will mean to people as a whole. In particular, I have seen many statistics where it is actually the poorest people who will save the most. Under the former Liberal government's reduction plan, 32% of Canadians would pay no tax and would receive nothing from their tax reduction. Every Canadian will receive a benefit from the 1% reduction in the GST. That will go a long way to helping people manage their budgets.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member opposite on what appeared to be his maiden speech, if I heard him correctly. I listened with great interest to his remarks. I do have a question, however, and it goes to the issue of child care.

I am a mother. I have actually had the experience of using all of the so-called choices that exist: a family member taking care of my child; my child being taken care of by a caregiver in the caregiver's home; a licensed caregiver; my child in non-subsidized day care; and then my child in subsidized day care. I can tell the member opposite that as a parent in 1993 it was costing me $25 a day in unsubsidized day care and with the child caregiver in the licensed home. Today, I am told by those groups and parents and private day care centres that are not subsidized, it costs anywhere between $75 and $90 a day.

So while I applaud the $1,200 taxable per child under six years old, my experience is that it will not help those parents who have to put their children--

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Northumberland--Quinte West, with a very brief reply if possible.

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, back in the mid to late 1970s, I too used a family member to help raise my two boys when my wife and I were working. I too hired a trusted friend at $20 a day, which many of my friends said was a huge amount of money, but a caring, loving friend, relative or neighbour is in my view a choice that I made and that everyone can make. I just want the hon. member to know that some of the statistics I have read indicate that if one out of--

Resumption of debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

My apologies to the member for Northumberland--Quinte West.

It being 6:33 p.m., pursuant to order made Tuesday, April 4, 2006, the House stands adjourned to Monday, April 24, 2006 at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6:33 p.m.)