House of Commons Hansard #10 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, while we are facing tough economic times...

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth has the floor.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are facing an economic crisis and tough times, and the Prime Minister had an obligation to act. But he failed. He failed by refusing to present measures to stimulate the economy. He failed by refusing to help our communities and industries. He failed by not bringing forth a plan to create jobs.

How can people have confidence in a prime minister who refuses to act during this crisis?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have already mentioned a number of measures that the Minister of Finance introduced last week.

When we are talking about why people should have confidence, why should anybody have confidence in the leader of a party who would agree to fold his own party into another party, and to deal with the separatists in order to get the power the voters denied him at the ballot box?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was at the very meetings that the Prime Minister should remember well and that were referred to by the leader of the Bloc Québécois in which it was proposed that he would work with the Bloc. He proposed that I would be involved. I walked out. I wrote about it in my book. Have a look at the facts.

At a time of unprecedented economic hardship, what we need is bold action. What we see is abject failure by the government, a failure to stimulate the economy or bring forward a plan for jobs in auto, forestry, et cetera.

How can Canadians have--

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, how can anybody believe a leader who has admitted that he had this in mind all along, who did not even given ideas to the Minister of Finance for the economic update, let alone waiting for the earliest budget in Canadian history?

Everybody knows that the leader of the NDP is on record that this was his goal all along. I just wish he would have the integrity to take that position to the Canadian people.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we tabled our ideas about economic stimulus right here in this House because we respect this House of Commons. That is something the Prime Minister does not understand because we have a Prime Minister who not only failed to table a stimulation package, he has tapped the phones of his political opponents for political advantage and, frankly, the country deserves better. He is making it up on the fly.

We are hearing here today, even though he knows apparently that he does not have the confidence of the House, he is going to try to govern anyway. That is against democracy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of NDP should ask himself, and I am sure all Canadians will really ask themselves, whether he believes that, overturning the results of an election a few weeks later in order to form a coalition nobody voted for and everybody denied, and to have a coalition like that which can govern only with the veto of the people who want to break up this country, is in the interests of this country?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, faced with the worst economic crisis in generations, the Prime Minister is hiding the truth from Canadians. Instead of coming up with a real plan to help Canadians, the Prime Minister is fudging the numbers and announcing a fire sale of government assets.

When will the Prime Minister understand that economic recovery begins with giving us the straight goods?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Actually, Mr. Speaker, economic recovery begins with managing the economy well, in a stable way, in a long-term way. It does not begin by driving the Canadian economy into a long-term structural deficit by taking Canada back to the 1970s, by making sure, as Liberals will do, that interest payments for Canadian taxpayers go way up in the air like the bad old days of the 1970s. Canadians have seen that in their lifetimes. They do not want to see that again.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives invent a plan which does not exist. Now they are trying to invent a plan for the opposition. It will not work.

We cannot have confidence in the Conservative Prime Minister.

He said, “No deficit”. We have a deficit. He said he had a plan. Six weeks later: no plan. Even worse, he is concealing the truth about his mismanagement of public finances.

How can Canadians believe this Prime Minister?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think that the members opposite ought to be frank about their assessment of their new-found friends in the New Democratic Party. Here is what they say about their new friends in the New Democratic Party on their economic policy: “--delusional, clueless, irresponsible policy and it is still characterized in the neanderthal economic thinking of the New Democratic Party”.

I thank the expert, the member for Markham—Unionville, and the other expert on deficits, the member for Toronto Centre.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is doing exactly what he told us he would not do. He is engineering a surplus just to say he has one. Now he wants to sell off government assets during a buyer's market, the worst time to sell. Just like he did with highway 407, the minister will lose billions of tax dollars in his desperate fire sale to cover up his new Conservative deficit.

How can Canadians trust the finance minister, a finance minister who cooks the books?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is something cooking and it is a new-found friendship and some strange bedfellows over here, these clueless people that they are making arrangements with about economic policy.

If we run a deficit of $30 billion in this country, we are running a structural deficit. It took a long time to get out of that problem. We have taken the long-term view, the view that says we have to help Canadian business with the Bank of Canada, with Bill C-50, with ensuring adequate credit in this country. There are more provisions in that regard in the fall economic statement, all good for the country, not running big deficits.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister should tell Canadians the truth, that in fact he will be putting Canada in deficit next year.

The Prime Minister is misleading Canada on the state of Canada's finances and now he is trying to cover up the deficit by selling off government assets in a fire sale. He is counting on $10 billion from this fire sale and he does not even have a list of what he is going to sell.

The Conservatives are breaking every accounting rule in the book just to hide their new deficit.

With this Enron style of accounting, how can Canadians trust the Prime Minister to manage the economy?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as set out in the fall economic statement, we used the average which was also the median of the private sector economists as of November 14, so we have some friends there.

But what of the new-found friends of the Liberal Party? “The vast majority of Canadians want nothing to do with a party of economic Luddites, which is why that party is marginal, why it will remain marginal and why it is not taken seriously by the people of Canada”. Those are the words of the economic leader on the other side, the member for Markham—Unionville.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance continues to question—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord has the floor. Order.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance continues to question the urgency of announcing measures to support the manufacturing and forestry industries. Yet the Bloc Québécois and industry stakeholders have been calling on him for over a year to act aggressively to help these sectors, which have been declining since 2005 according to the government's own documents.

Is the minister aware that by denying reality in the name of his laissez-faire ideology, he no longer has any credibility when he talks about the economy?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

The only denial going on, Mr. Speaker, is the new-found friendship between separatists and Liberals in this House.

The fact is we have the accelerated capital cost allowance to help manufacturers. We have reduced business taxes. This is very important for manufacturers in this country. In the fall economic statement, we brought in additional equity provisions for the Business Development Bank and the Export Development Bank. This is very important for the manufacturing sector.

These are measures that I would think would be supported by the member who just asked the question.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, the regions of Quebec have been penalized by this government, which is stubbornly keeping the cuts to the not-for-profit economic organizations that provide structure for regional development in Quebec.

Does the Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec) understand that because of his government's stubborn ideological approach to these organizations, Conservatives from Quebec no longer have any credibility when they talk about the economy?

The EconomyOral Questions

December 1st, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to come from a region in Quebec, and I understand today that, thanks to the Bloc Québécois, no one from the regions of Quebec will have access to cabinet anymore if what we hear is going to happen actually does come to pass. I will continue to work to effectively represent the regions of Quebec and promote the economy throughout that province.