This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Violence against WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, 500,000 women were raped during the Rwandan genocide, 64,000 in Sierra Leone, 40,000 in Bosnia, 4,500 in less than 6 months in a single province of the Congo, and hundreds a day in Darfur.

Around the world, violence against women has become a meditated act of war. The weapons used in modern warfare are no longer limited to land mines, cluster bombs or AK-47s. Rape is now a primary weapon of war. These military tactics are used to shame and demoralize women, and control populations. Major General Patrick Cammaert said, “It is now more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in modern conflict”.

This must end. Canada can do something by uniting in defiance to end this crime against humanity by implementing UN resolutions 1325 and 1820. Stop rape now.

Political Party FundingStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservative government has been continually working to protect the Canadian economy from the current global economic storm, the opposition cartel of the separatist Bloc, the socialist NDP, and the tax and spend Liberals are plotting behind closed doors to protect their political perks.

The opposition cartel is showing its true greed and ignorance to the plight of families by putting the self-interests of their political parties first, threatening another election to protect a scheme to funnel public funds to themselves.

Canadians should be, and are, outraged. This jaw-dropping display of greed when we least need it is shameful. I urge Canadians to write, call or fax all Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs to express their outrage, today.

Economic and Fiscal StatementStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, “the worst, most inept government in the industrialized world”, “blatantly obvious partisan tactics”. To put it mildly, analysts are not a loss for words this morning to express their indignation at the economic statement delivered by this government, which is blinded by its ultra-conservative ideology.

In these tough economic times, many observers agree that the worst possible thing the government could do is reduce its spending, much less take advantage of the current crisis to ram its Reform agenda down people's throats.

The government is attacking workers, attacking women, attacking companies, attacking the regions and attacking Quebec.

Even though the government said it was willing to cooperate, it still has not woken up to the fact that 78% of voters in Quebec rejected the Conservative ideology on October 14. The Bloc Québécois will take a stand against this ideological statement.

ThailandStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday one of my constituents contacted me to express concern about a relative who was currently in Thailand and who was unable to leave the country due to the closing down of the country's international airports.

Thailand is currently experiencing unrest, and there is concern that this unrest could escalate into something more serious, particularly if the military intervenes.

At the present time foreign visitors, including Canadians, have been instructed to remain at their hotels until further notice. I know that the friends and relatives of all Canadians currently in Thailand are concerned about the fate of their loved ones.

I would therefore urge the government to reassure them that their security and well-being is uppermost in its mind, and that every possible consular service available is being provided to them. I would also hope that contingency plans are being seriously considered, should it become necessary to evacuate Canadians at some point.

Finally, we need some information from the government in terms of the number of Canadians there, and reassurance that Canada will work with the global community to end--

ThailandStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Political Party FundingStatements By Members

November 28th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the people of the riding of Medicine Hat for electing me as their member of Parliament and giving me the honour of representing them in the House.

The opposition members should be ashamed of themselves. They have shown yet again that they are more interested in lining their own pockets than in taking real action on our economy.

Canadians elected a Conservative government to make difficult, prudent and responsible choices that are necessary to get through the global economic crisis. While Canadians are cutting out coupons and saving every penny, the opposition members are entitled to millions of taxpayers' dollars for their own partisan purposes.

This government believes in giving money back to Canadian families, workers and businesses. That is exactly what we have been doing since 2006. It is outrageous that opposition members expect Canadians to make sacrifices when they will not make any themselves.

We are leading by example and tightening our own belts. It is time opposition members do the same.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, at a time when Canadians are worried about their jobs, savings and economic security, at a time when business and consumer confidence have been shattered, at a time when every other country is generating a stimulus package to confront the global economic meltdown, at a time when the Prime Minister promised unprecedented action to protect Canadians, why did these Conservatives produce nothing but a pathetic scam to hide the fact that their ideology and their mismanagement put Canada back into deficit before any stimulus package could even be contemplated?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his kind words of support. That seems to be the kind of support we are getting in this new sense of working together.

The economic statement seems to be misconstrued by the opposition as an actual budget. We will be delivering a budget early in the new year that will talk about the plans that we are now putting in place to help industries in Canada. I might remind the hon. member that we acted over a year ago with a fiscal stimulus that is stronger than that of most countries.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, for all of the parliamentary secretary’s rhetoric, for all of the things about which he brags, they simply have not worked. Canada is on the cusp of a recession. The Conservatives are falling back into deficit. Canadians are facing the worst economic crisis since the 1930s and the Conservatives have no plan. There is no new stimulus and all they can say is wait, wait, wait. They have put nothing of any consequence forward for Canadians except a fire sale of assets to try to hide their deficit.

Why has the government so totally failed to be honest?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, obviously, the hon. member did not listen to my first answer. I know it was at the tail end of the answer, but we did act. Mr. Speaker, you were here, and you saw that the opposition voted against a stimulus package that provided $31 billion of stimulus to Canadians.

We stimulated that by leaving that money in the pockets of Canadians. We allowed them to make the decision about where they wanted to invest. That is the type of stimulus that other countries are now looking at with envy.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. parliamentary secretary that his plan has not worked. These Conservatives are going in the wrong direction. Instead of helping Canadians through the worst economic downturn in 75 years, they are picking scapegoats and trying to create victims. They are attacking women, pay equity, public servants, collective bargaining, programs and services that help the most vulnerable Canadians. They are engaged in a fire sale of assets.

How will this vindictive, anti-stimulus attitude create or save one single Canadian job? Where is the hope—

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, where is the rhetoric? The Liberals had a lot of opportunity in 13 years to do that. We are leading by example. Obviously, the opposition does not seem to think that it plays a role in encouraging Canadians to be frugal. We have put in place the fiscal stimulus that this year has created a net job growth of $200,000. The hon. member does not seem to understand that.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government blew a $13 billion surplus and has plunged us back into a deficit. Instead of admitting this, it is trying to hide it. To hide what it has done, the government is going after the less fortunate, attacking the public service, and selling off our assets and heritage at bargain prices. Instead of investing, it is making cuts. This is the opposite of what everyone else in the world is doing.

Will the Conservatives finally acknowledge that they are going in the wrong direction, that this is a mistake and that it needs to change right now?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, allow me to first of all correct a statement that I misspoke before. It was 200,000 jobs and that is a lot more than $200,000.

What we will not do is what the Liberal government did during the 1990s. It downloaded all of those costs and cut transfer payments to the provinces. Health care is still suffering all across Canada. Social programs are still suffering. We are trying to rebuild those programs. We wish that the opposition would help us rather than hinder us.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are suffering because of that party.

What is in their update? Nothing for workers, nothing to stimulate the economy. Why? Because they are amateurs, because they have managed things irresponsibly. It looks as if Gilligan is at the helm of the ship. They have plunged us back into a deficit. They have eliminated our financial cushion. And now all Canadians are paying the price.

Will someone on the other side of the House wake up, someone who has the guts to say that they made a mistake, that they are sorry and that they will change course right now?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, speaking of course, I think we are on the right course. That is evidenced by the fact that the United Kingdom earlier this week did exactly what we did in our fall economic statement of 2007, that is, reducing its value added tax. That is exactly what this finance minister did.

This Prime Minister is showing leadership. He spoke to us in year-end interviews, warning Canadians about this, and some of the hon. members did not believe him. The member for Markham—Unionville said that is ridiculous, the economy is going to grow by 2.5%. What is he saying now?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while every other government around the world is taking action to fight the economic crisis, the Prime Minister is doing the exact opposite. Instead of presenting a plan to revitalize the economy and breathe life into it, the Prime Minister has decided to suffocate it. The Bloc Québécois proposed constructive and realistic measures to help the economy and the public, but every last one was rejected.

Does the Prime Minister realize that by not presenting a real plan to revitalize the economy, he is basically abandoning businesses, regions and people?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, I will thank the Bloc for putting forward those suggestions, suggestions that we have not yet received from the other parties.

Having said that, those suggestions will be viewed in our planning for our budget of 2009. That is when we deal with spending. That is when we deal with incomes that come into government, but the fall economic update is simply an update for Canadians to show the state of our economy. It is nothing more than that and I would encourage the hon. members to support this, get on with governing this country and help us lead.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member could be a stand-up comic at the Just For Laughs Festival.

That said, in the hope of more easily imposing his ideology, the Prime Minister used his economic update to silence political parties, unions, artists, women, and every other type of opposition. The government presented an ideological update, not an economic one.

How can the Prime Minister justify this attitude?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I might remind the hon. member that we have actually put in place the biggest infrastructure expenditure that this country has seen since the second world war. I would suggest that this will be all across this country. Quebec will play a role in that. This year alone it will double. We will be providing $6 billion toward infrastructure that will put communities back to work.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the days before Parliament resumed, the Prime Minister made a show of wanting to cooperate with the opposition. He actually met with party leaders and finance critics. The Prime Minister, his ministers and, just now, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance even congratulated the Bloc Québécois on its recovery plan. And yet, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, in the economic statement, except an ideological hard line.

Will the Prime Minister admit that this exercise was nothing but a smokescreen, that he never intended to respond to the economic crisis and that his statement is no more than an ideological exercise?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I do now know how many times I need to repeat this. The action has already been taken, despite the opposition members that voted against it. There are $31 billion in tax cuts to Canadians and they chose not to support that. I would like to see what their suggestion would be if it is not leaving taxpayers' dollars in their own pockets. I am sure even some of their constituents would question the knowledge that they put into either voting or abstaining, I forget which one it was now.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, reducing the amount of taxes paid on profits only helps those who are turning a profit, such as the oil companies. That should be apparent to everyone.

The minister's financial perspective is quite at odds with forecasts by the OECD and the economists at la Financière who, with no exceptions, are all forecasting negative growth for 2009, whereas the minister and the government are the only ones to forecast economic growth for next year.

Is the minister's statement not more akin to an ideological exercise when he forecasts that there will not be a deficit although he cannot guarantee it? He states one thing and its opposite.

The EconomyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we will be looking forward to the budget in early 2009, which will lay out the plans.

The industry minister has stood in the House several times this week and has talked about the consultation he is having with his counterparts in the United States and with his provincial counterparts dealing with the auto sector. He is putting together a plan.

There is no sense putting a plan together unless it is coordinated with our biggest customer, and that is the United States.