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House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Sexual Abuse Prevention MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, May is sexual abuse prevention month in Canada. Each year, governments and NGOs, such as Dufferin—Caledon's own Family Transition Place, join together to educate Canadians on sexual abuse.

On Friday, May 12, Family Transition Place and the Caledon Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the “Stop Right There!” and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace proclamation at the office of the Caledon Chamber of Commerce in Bolton at 11 a.m.

I am very pleased to be participating in the event and to be doing my part in recognizing the importance of this month and taking positive action. I will be joined by other government representatives and business and community leaders, including Family Transition Place and the Caledon Chamber of Commerce, in signing the proclamation, which supports the creation of respectful workplaces that are free from sexual harassment.

I encourage everyone to follow this lead and to raise awareness of this very serious and important issue.

Powell River RegalsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Tod English, general manager and coach of the Powell River Regals. I would like to congratulate Tod and his team on their recent victory at the 2006 Allan Cup championship, hosted in my home riding of Powell River, British Columbia. The dedication, determination and hard work exhibited by the athletes, coaches and volunteers should serve as an inspiration to all Canadians.

Hockey is truly Canada's national sport. Unfortunately, yesterday's Conservative budget has let British Columbians down. The Conservatives have failed to recognize one of the most important events in Canadian sporting history, the upcoming Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Funding sport in Canada is essential. It will ensure that athletes at all levels succeed and it will contribute to building a healthier, more active Canada. Yesterday the Conservative budget did nothing to provide the critical resources British Columbia and VANOC, the Vancouver Organizing Committee, require to provide the infrastructure the Olympics need before 2010. This is yet another example of the Conservatives turning their backs and selling out British Columbia.

Bromont National Cycling CentreStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a non-profit competitive cycling training centre in Bromont, in my riding of Brome—Missisquoi.

Only two training centres for Canadian and Quebec athletes are recognized in Canada. The other one is in Victoria. More importantly, the Bromont centre is the only place in North America with all the facilities that meet the standards of international competition in the four Olympic cycling disciplines.

Their primary aim is to help elite Quebec and Canadian athletes improve in their respective disciplines. They also initiate and develop young Quebec talent, who could go on to become tomorrow's international athletes. It is therefore important to support the Bromont centre to enable it to help develop the new generation of cyclists and excellence in cycling.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, if we want to see which way a country is headed, we must look at the country's budget and how it allocates resources for women. I read through the budget documents that were tabled in the House yesterday and I could only find the word “women” mentioned once.

Women make up 52% of the population of this country and, after years of empty promises, were looking at this budget for a commitment to ensure equality. There was a missed opportunity, with billions in surplus, for the government to commit funding to organizations that advocate for women.

I am particularly concerned about the lack of investment in programs that advance women's rights. Organizations such as Status of Women Canada fear they will be included in the Conservatives' billion dollars in cuts because of the abysmal lack of priority given to women in this budget.

I call on this government to make real commitments to ensure equality and to protect the rights of women in Canada.

Myron HumeniukStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to bring attention to the work of Mr. Myron Humeniuk, a resident of mine in the Township of Penetanguishene, who recently returned from a volunteer assignment in Fuxin, China.

Mr. Humeniuk was there at the request of the forestry department of the Fuxin mining industry where he recommended solutions to halt pollution of the surrounding environment caused by decades of open-pit mining.

His work included assessment of the area, soil testing, plant growth and area management, and finished with recommendations based on mine reclamation efforts common to western Canada. He also trained 20 members of the forestry department in land preservation techniques, so they could continue to use these best practices.

Mr. Humeniuk was volunteering his time as part of the Canadian Executive Service Organization based in Toronto, one of their over 3,000 dedicated Canadians who offer their professional expertise to help others at home and abroad.

I ask all members to join me in congratulating Mr. Humeniuk.

AnjouStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to speak about the 50th anniversary of Anjou.

Fifty years ago, on February 23, 1956, what today is known as the jewel of Montreal east came into being. The population of Anjou in 1956 was about 1,000 and has grown to nearly 40,000 today.

The history of Anjou is the history of men and women with the vision, courage and determination to build an extraordinary living environment, defined as much by the vitality of its business park as by the strength and solidarity of the agencies working for the wellbeing of all its people.

The celebrations for this 50th anniversary give everyone an opportunity to express their pride in Anjou. It is an opportunity to celebrate past achievements and look to the future with confidence.

I take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the president of the Anjou 50th anniversary corporation, Mr. Denis Risler. Through his own work and that of his team, we can be sure that the celebrations will be as successful as Anjou itself.

Stanley Cup PlayoffsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, on August 16, 1812, Canada won the Battle of Detroit with a small army of regulars, militia and native allies, after several shots were fired.

On May 1, 2006, Canada again won the Battle of Detroit with a small army of Edmonton Oilers, after 66 shots were fired.

In the spirit of sport and healthy competition, we, at least the Edmonton Conservative caucus, want to congratulate the Edmonton Oilers on their hard-earned and upset victory over the Detroit Red Wings in round one of the Oilers' run to the Stanley Cup.

Although we cannot officially cheer for our southern friends and rivals, the Calgary Flames, in their game seven tonight, we do relish the prospect of getting on with one of the greatest rivalries in professional sports, where many more shots will be fired, in what we call the “Battle of Alberta”.

Swift Galey Textile FactoryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, a page in the industrial history of Drummondville was turned on April 6 when one of our textile flagships, the Swift Galey factory, closed its doors for good. Our region lost 155 jobs because of this closure.

These people need help now, but the Conservative government's budget did not include any help for the manufacturing sector, nor did it make any firm commitments toward older workers who lose their jobs.

The Bloc Québécois' subamendment to the Speech from the Throne stressed the government's duty to implement a strategy to assist older workers who have difficulty finding new jobs. By supporting the subamendment, the government pledged to help them quickly.

This government has an obligation to produce results. By June, it must implement a real income support program for older workers who fall victim to mass layoffs.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, for 13 long years Canadian farmers waited for the Liberal governments of the past to provide real support for the agriculture industry. During these dark years, farmers were abandoned by the Liberals and left alone to face the BSE crisis, floods, frosts and droughts, skyrocketing input costs, and plummeting markets.

Today, I would like to congratulate our finance minister and the Conservative government for finally giving agriculture the attention and funding it so richly deserves. Yesterday's budget included $1.5 billion more in new funding for Canadian farming communities this year. In addition, this Conservative government will replace CAIS with effective income stabilization and disaster relief programs.

Finally, agriculture producers who are barely holding on have hope. Finally, farmers devastated by frost, drought and flooding will be helped. Finally, the farmers in the RM of Porcupine, who received 40 inches of rail last year, will have relief.

It took 13 years and a change of government, but Canadian farmers have finally been heard.

IsraelStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate Israel's Independence Day and this is a joyous occasion. However, 58 years later, shockingly, world regimes are still calling for its annihilation. In fact, the President of Iran has repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Only yesterday, the government said its first target would be Israel if it is attacked.

As free and democratic nations, we cannot afford to make the same mistakes the world made during the Holocaust. Collectively, we must condemn these egregious threats and isolate any leader that fans the flames of hate and stands for the annihilation of another state.

The BudgetStatements By Members

May 3rd, 2006 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, under the guidance of our finance minister, this Conservative government delivered its first budget and it delivered for all Canadians.

There is immediate tax relief for all families through the GST reduction and child care allowance. There is relief for students, apprentices and seniors, and significant investment in public security and health care.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Canadian Urban Transit Association have applauded this budget for its major investment in infrastructure, and it has been endorsed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Cancer Society, Canada Council, and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.

In my riding of Chatham-Kent—Essex, the $1.5 billion investment in agriculture will give farmers the help that they so desperately need.

The previous government overtaxed and hoarded our money for 13 years. Canadians deserve a focused government that invests in them and addresses their needs and the budget of 2006 did just that.

Food LabellingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Codex Alimentarius, the United Nations food standards body, is meeting here in Ottawa this week.

One issue being discussed is a proposal for an international guideline on labelling food products containing GMOs or genetically modified organisms.

People have the right to know what they are eating. Without an international guideline, countries that enact mandatory labelling run the risk of a legal challenge at the WTO by large GMO producing countries. The Canadian government has previously opposed an international guideline.

Today, we call upon the government to do the right thing and join the majority of national delegations in supporting the proposed UN guideline on GMO labelling.

Forest IndustryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Liberal Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to recognize Canada's forest products industry, which has been an integral part of our country's economy for more than 300 years. The sector is the lifeblood of more than 300 rural and remote communities, accounting for more than 300,000 jobs in every region of the country.

The wealth that these workers generate sustains a further 600,000 jobs through the purchase of goods and services in Canada. The industry remains one of our leading manufacturing sectors, accounting for 3% of Canada's annual GDP, and is one of Canada's largest exporters shipping $45 billion of goods to markets around the world.

I rise today to salute this sector as it faces some of the most challenging economic conditions in its history. The rising dollar, stagnant world prices for paper goods, increased energy prices, and new competition from lower cost producers has cost the sector more than 11,000 jobs since 2003.

I call upon all parliamentarians to support this vital sector of our economy, and wish the industry my best in its efforts to overcome these present challenges and become the globe's leading forest products manufacturer.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the speech on the budget demonstrated, once again, the Bloc Québécois' effectiveness in ensuring, always respectfully, that Quebec's voice is heard. Although not all of our expectations were met, several of our requests were heard.

The federal government's formal recognition of the fiscal imbalance and its commitment to deal with it represent a major step forward for Quebec.

The increased assistance for post-secondary education, agriculture and social housing, the non-taxation of scholarships, bursaries and fellowships, and the tax credit for public transit users are all end results of various struggles waged by the Bloc Québécois.

We will continue our hard work, particularly to demand improvements to the employment insurance system, to demand measures to help older workers who are victims of mass layoffs and manufacturing sectors that are at risk due to globalization, and to petition for arts and culture.

Lastly, we will continue to oppose this government's pulling out of the Kyoto protocol and we will never hesitate to express Quebec's distinctiveness.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the shame of this year's federal budget is the opportunity provided by a record breaking economy that is squandered in a sea of undefined and underwhelming tax schemes, mostly targeted to those who need them least.

A real national child care program finally within reach will be gone, and investments in post-secondary education for students and institutions slashed. Personal tax rates will go up and a GST cut replaces it, proudly shown in a brochure for the benefit it gives to a $350,000 new home owner.

In our changing world we should be investing in education for all Canadians throughout their life. The economic update in November did exactly that, putting billions into direct assistance for students, especially those who need it most, billions for research, and more money for skills training. This budget fails to address the importance and the necessity of investing directly in our students and continuing to invest in research and innovation.

We all want to pay less tax, even MPs, but it has to be real tax relief and it should go first to those who need it most.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on top of the cut to the GST, tax cuts for small business, new millions for border security and policing, millions more for infrastructure, tax credits for amateur sports and transit passes, tax relief for seniors, money for students, and all the great news in the budget, this budget delivers for British Columbia like few others in Canadian history.

There is $591 million for the Pacific Gateway, $400 million over two years to fight the pine beetle, $171 million for public transit in B.C., an unexpected equalization cash windfall of $200 million, and the restoration of regular army presence in B.C. The Liberal finance minister in B.C., Carole Taylor, said the budget, “addressed virtually every B.C. priority”.

In the last election campaign, Conservatives promised to stand up for British Columbia. In this budget, the government has delivered for British Columbia.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, all the congratulatory S. O. 31s from the members opposite cannot hide the fact that yesterday the country saw its first neo-conservative budget, a budget that puts right-wing philosophy ahead of the good of the country and puts wealthy Canadians ahead of poor Canadians. It is a budget that attacks the future of our children, abandons our responsibility for the environment, and is designed to make sure that aboriginal Canadians come last. On top of that, the budget raises income taxes on those who earn the least and benefits those who earn the most.

Why did the Prime Minister not tell the country in his campaign that one of his five priorities would be to raise income tax for the poorest of Canadians?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is a rather sad spectacle to see a party which so disappointed Canadians for 13 years now criticizing the best news budget that this country has ever seen.

Taxes will go down for every single income class, for every single region, for every single group of Canadians. Every group of Canadians will benefit. In one year the Minister of Finance managed to do what the Liberal Party never did: produce a budget that matches the election platform we ran on.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

He should tell that to the aboriginal people of our country, Mr. Speaker.

It took 18 months for the Liberal government to pull together the provinces and native communities for a historic agreement. It took the Conservatives 18 words in the budget to rip it up. The Conservative premier of Alberta has condemned what they have done. He said he preferred the Liberal plan, that the Liberal plan was better.

Why has the Prime Minister given up on the aboriginal people, the first nations of our country?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in a few short weeks and a few short months the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the Minister of Finance have managed to deliver a residential schools agreement that the Liberal government could not.

The budget puts new money into the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. This budget puts more money into aboriginal housing off reserve and more money into aboriginal housing on reserve. The Minister of Indian Affairs has come forward with a program to improve water treatment on reserves, which was never done by the Liberal government. There will be more money for aboriginal housing in the territories. That is why the chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples said, “We are very pleased with this budget”.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is a budget that ignores a number of issues. Aboriginal peoples have been ignored by the government. Access to day care has been ignored by the government. Innovation and productivity have been ignored by the government. And environmental measures have definitely been ignored by the government.

The Minister of the Environment has clearly thrown in the towel. How can she explain her inability to find the funds needed to protect Canada's environment?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is wrong about the environment and everything else.

However, I will add that for the first time, we have a budget that recognizes the fiscal imbalance in this country and does something to address it. This is important, because the former government failed to do this.

I say only this to the Leader of the Opposition. If he and his party are so opposed to this budget, they can grandstand here but we will see what position they take over in the Senate where they have a majority. This budget should be passed for the good of all Canadians.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's comments were dead wrong because he was basing his comments on the faulty assumption that his government cut income tax when every Canadian knows he raised income tax. The Prime Minister knows that himself. If he had been honest in his comments, he would have acknowledged that lower income Canadians are indeed paying higher taxes than before.

Will the Minister of Finance come clean and tell us what every Canadian knows, that yesterday he raised the income taxes of Canadians?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question, as wrong as he is. I looked at the numbers again because I heard what he was saying yesterday and I thought that he had not had a chance to read the budget. Now he has apparently had a chance.

The personal tax cuts in the budget are $5.3 billion. In the fall update, which I think is what he was talking about, the figure was a little over $4 billion. Last time I looked, five is more than four, and I welcome the hon. member to have a look at that.