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House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ndp.

Topics

Currency ActRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I would remind the hon. member that he must not speak disrespectfully of the other place. It is a requirement of our Standing Orders, so he might want to restrain himself. The cent is one thing and he had better stick with that since that is the subject of the bill.

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre has the floor.

Currency ActRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, that is right. This bill is about the abolition of the penny and I will keep it to that.

I am proud to introduce this bill. Many Canadians believe the penny is an expensive nuisance. They believe that we are spending $130 million a year to produce something that no one wants or needs. Therefore, this bill would phase it out of circulation. It would make it so that the penny would no longer be legal tender as of January 1, 2009 and it would introduce a rounding system whereby prices would be adjusted to the nearest nickel.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for unanimous consent of the House that the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented earlier today be concurred in.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord have the unanimous consent of the House to move this motion?

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

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

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I seek the unanimous consent of the House to adopt the following motion: “That, in the opinion of the House, September 21 of each year should be declared International Day of Peace.”

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the member for Papineau have the unanimous consent of the House to move this motion?

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

There is no consent.

Canada PostPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition from residents of Prince Edward Island with the appropriate number of signatures.

The petitioners are concerned about Canada Post switching residents from door-to-door mail delivery to community mailbox delivery without properly assessing the safety of these community mailboxes to the residents.

Many of the community mailboxes being established in the province of Prince Edward Island are no safer than regular mailboxes and have additional problems in terms of accessibility, litter, snow buildup and the environment.

The petitioners request Parliament to ensure proper consultations with the affected customers and a thorough assessment of the location of the community mailboxes before they are put in place.

Unborn Victims of CrimePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present a petition from constituents in my riding of Cambridge.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact legislation that would recognize unborn children as separate victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of an offence against a pregnant woman.

Charter of the French LanguagePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, workers throughout Quebec are signing a petition to ask that this government comply with Bill 101, which would make French the language of work in Quebec.

Once again, I have the honour of tabling the petitions from these workers—some 100 today—calling on this federal government to comply with Bill 101 immediately.

Criminal CodePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by a number of individuals in the Toronto area.

The petitioners state that there is currently no mechanism in law that specifically recognizes acts of domestic violence perpetrated by law enforcement personnel.

They ask for the government and the RCMP to do some studies on this matter to see how other jurisdictions handle these particular situations and ultimately introduce changes to the Criminal Code.

Animal CrueltyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a number of petitions from thousands and thousands of Canadians in opposition to Senate Bill S-203, a placebo bill that would not be effective on animal cruelty, calling upon the government to enact effective animal cruelty legislation, such as Bill C-373, or for the government to implement a similar bill.

This is in addition to over 130,000 signatures that have already been presented to the House.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

April 2nd, 2008 / 3:25 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Motions for PapersRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Opposition Motion—Corporate Tax CutsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

moved:

That, in the opinion of the House, the Conservative government's massive corporate tax cuts are destroying any balance between taxes for large profitable corporations and ordinary Canadians; they are stripping the fiscal capacity of the federal government; they are disproportionately benefiting the financial, oil and gas sectors, while leaving others behind, including manufacturing and forestry; and in so doing have failed to invest in those hard-hit sectors and the needs of everyday working Canadians; therefore, this House has lost confidence in the government.

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Outremont.

I am very pleased to speak in favour of this motion. The motion demands a balanced fiscal approach to make life more fair for hard-working Canadian families.

The NDP believes there must be a place where businesses and families can prosper together. That is not what we see today. Over the last 20 years, successive governments have picked the boardroom table over the kitchen table.

They have helped those who are making record profits, like the big polluters and the banks, all the while neglecting the priorities of today's families who are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.

Over the past 20 years, more than 50% of families have seen their income decrease. The 100 highest-paid CEOs now earn 218 times more than the average Canadian. In 9 hours and 33 minutes, they make the same amount that the average Canadian makes in an entire year.

In the past 20 years, the burden of providing government revenues has fallen increasingly to families as opposed to corporations. According to the last budget, the Conservative government plans to collect 12% more taxes from individuals but 14% less from corporations over the next three years. That is not fair, it is not balanced.

The contributions by corporations to the combined personal and corporate tax revenue of our country will decline to below 25% in the next three years. This new trend is due in large part to the huge corporate tax cuts announced in the 2007 economic statement.

The Conservative corporate tax giveaways are draining the fiscal capacity to build the kind of Canada that our Canadian people want us to build for them and their communities.

The Conservatives have surrendered 12.2%, nearly one-eighth of future federal revenues. The unbalanced, across the board nature of these cuts is stripping Canada's fiscal capacity. It is a great boon to the banks and the oil and gas companies. They are the ones making the profits, enormous profits, often at the same time as picking the pockets of the hard-working consumers across the country, those who are trying to buy some gas, or trying to take their money out of the bank or trying to pay their credit cards, but it does precious little to help out the entrepreneurs who are feeling the tough economic times.

The agenda means that fewer fiscal shock absorbers will be there to protect the middle class when we move into uncertain economic times. Therefore, it is very unwise and will leave more and more people behind as we find ourselves in tough economic problems.

Giving away billions of dollars to big banks and big polluters, while ignoring the key strategic investments in our ailing manufacturing and forestry sectors and in social priorities that Canadians are asking us to address, is creating irreversible damage. It is not something that can be fixed easily.

For the last 20 years, while governments have followed this unbalanced approach, every day families have suffered. Education is now out of reach for more and more families. Infrastructure is crumbling all across the country. The cost of prescription drugs is skyrocketing to the point where many people simply cannot afford the medications their doctors tell them they need to be well. While government hands out deep corporate tax cuts, over four million Canadians do not even have a family doctor.

While the federal government reduces Canada's fiscal capacity to provide the services families need, guess who will fill that void?

There are women in this country who work 24 hours a day trying to track down expensive, hard-to-find daycare centres while taking care of their elderly parents and trying to make ends meet as the cost of groceries climbs ever higher. It is working mothers who suffer under the misguided policies of this government.

It is time to put working families first. It is time for a balanced approach.

Not long ago in this chamber, we saw an earlier government propose a $4.6 billion corporate tax giveaway. The NDP stood up and said it was the wrong approach and recommended that investments be made. Indeed, ultimately, that decision was made and we were able to adopt a budget that was balanced and that met those tests.

The NDP believes Canada must have a competitive tax regime for businesses, but not at the expense of hard-working families and not across the board giveaways to companies that do not need the help. We want Canada to be a great place to invest and for businesses to prosper, but they will not prosper if our communities crumble, our families cannot have their basic needs met on a daily basis and we cannot have the educated workforce that is needed.

Improvements for businesses and families need to move in lockstep together. That is how to keep the balance in shape. We should not be choosing one over the other, as the budget is doing. It is possible to do both. We are a strong, innovative and wealthy country. The problem now is that the few are going to be the beneficiaries of that gift in which Canadians should be sharing in a much more just, sensible and balanced way.

The NDP's motion is a motion of non-confidence. The Conservative government has had 26 months to turn things around and make life more affordable for middle class and everyday ordinary Canadians. However, it chose not to do that. It chose to put the corporations first. The champagne bottles were popping on Bay Street. As a result, the gap between the rich and the rest of Canadians is growing and nobody can prove to the contrary. In fact, all one has to do is spend a little time with Canadians in their homes and at their kitchen tables to know that is the hard reality they are facing.

Conservatives have shown that ordinary Canadians cannot have confidence they will make life more fair and affordable for them and their families. Therefore, it is time to take a more balanced approach. The NDP has worked for that for many decades, and we are not about to stop now.

Opposition Motion—Corporate Tax CutsBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the New Democrats states that our corporate tax cuts have disproportionately benefited the oil and gas sectors, but that flies in the face of the facts. In fact, in budget 2007 we began the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance that applies to machinery, equipment and structures for the oil sands, both in situ and above ground. This, in effect, took away an advantage of billions of dollars that the oil sands previously received as a result of this indirect subsidy.

Clearly, the NDP's position on this is not consistent with the facts. I suspect the reason why those members have taken this position is they realize they have no chance of ever gaining electorally in the province of Alberta so they have decided to play electoral politics with an issue that is of national importance. A national party would not play that kind of regional politics, pitting one region of the country against the other.