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House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was product.

Topics

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member made a statement that effectively, Canadians who purchase goods from abroad do so at their own peril, because those products do not have inspections, so it would be better for everyone just to buy Canadian produced products and there would not be a problem. I am not sure if that is a solid hypothesis. It is good for Canada in many ways to buy Canadian products, but there are some products that we cannot and do not produce, whatever they might be.

I do not think this bill is calling for 100% inspection of everything that comes in. It is taken to the logical extreme. When I delivered my speech, I indicated we could have 100% safety by doing everything 100%, but we would basically close down business and industry because of the onerous regulatory costs. We do have to look for a balance.

In the absence of having a government member to answer a question, I will pose one to the member and it has to do with the power of recall that this bill would provide. Right now it is on a voluntary basis, which seems to have worked reasonably well. The concern may very well be that if Health Canada gets into the business of having the power of recall, it opens up the possibility of significant lawsuits if due diligence is not done prior to issuing a recall notice and a recall is implemented. There could be substantial risks by not having rigorous criteria, rules and due diligence in terms of exercising that authority.

I do not know whether the member shares that concern but I would appreciate her comments.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe that Canadians elect their parliamentarians to act in their best interests.

Of course, we cannot produce everything we need right here in Canada. We are a trading nation. We always have been. We always will be. We have worked hard over the last century to move from a strictly commodity based economy to a more value added economy. We have been very successful in doing that. That success in recent times has been undermined by a hands-off attitude toward our basic economic fundamentals and a lack of decisiveness in ensuring that the key value added sectors of our economy are doing well during a time of high commodity prices and open markets.

While I have never said that everything produced here in Canada is absolutely fine, and I would never say that, I do believe that many of the recalled products in fact were imported. If the hon. member checks the record, I think he will find that as well.

Canadians elect us to act on their behalf. I think they believe they are already protected from many of the hazards that we have been discussing here, but in fact they are not. Canadians expect that their officials in the Ministry of Health should be able to act on their behalf to ensure that if hazardous products are circulating through our stores and in our homes, those products ought to be recalled and consumers ought to be protected.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if my colleague from Parkdale—High Park could expand on two of the points she touched on in her debate on the consumer product safety legislation.

I was glad that she talked about how the loss of manufacturing jobs in Canada relates to product safety. I think all Canadians would appreciate that a product made here is made to our standards and is made by Canadians who want products that attain a high standard of quality and safety. This is very important. The record right now is that 55,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost just in this year alone. This is so very serious. It threatens not only the living standard of Canadians but also product safety in Canada. I wonder if she might expand on that a little.

I wonder if she might also talk about how trade deals with other countries need to include protection for consumers and need to include product safety standards. We have talked about toxic trade deals and toxic products. I wonder if she might expand on that a little as well.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague probes an area that is very important. As he said, 55,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost this year and not coincidentally, there have been 37 product recalls this year. When it comes to product safety, most Canadians expect that their welfare is assured by their governments. To just say it is buyer beware, how could someone possibly have the capacity to check for lead content in products and to check the components of a plastic, and check the scientific research? They expect governments to do that for them and to provide that basic protection.

When we engage in trade deals, surely we cannot just be guided by the lowest price. There has to be more. There has to be fairness in trading arrangements. Rock-bottom prices cannot be subsidized by poor environmental standards, by lack of human rights and by lack of consumer protection. These are fundamental issues. If we are trading with a country that does not have strong consumer protection laws, that should signal to us that perhaps the products we are importing from that country may potentially pose a hazard to Canadians. Our trade negotiators need to be much more conscious of these concerns in order to protect Canadians.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the member brought up a good point about enforcement requirements. I think there is $113 million to deal with the implementation of the bill. I wonder if the member has any further details on that. Is she convinced there are sufficient resources for the enforcement and inspectors and such things as training? The Auditor General raised this as a concern in 2006. Is the member concerned about that and will she be asking her party's representative on the committee to delve into that further?

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not have time to delve into that important question as much as I would have liked, but my colleague from Winnipeg North, our party's health critic, certainly will be raising the lack of resources for inspection because the 2008 budget provided $113 million over two years for both food and drug, and product safety as well as $33 million to regulate natural health products.

There are two bills before the House, Bill C-52 which we are presently debating, as well as Bill C-51. Concerns have been raised by those who are fearful that perhaps they will no longer be able to get access to many natural health products they currently are enjoying. That is an area we will want to investigate. There is real concern that the $500 million over the next five years that is being put toward the enforcement of both these pieces of legislation is simply not going to be adequate to provide the kind of consumer protection that Canadians need for their consumer products and for their pharmaceutical and natural health products. That is something we will be probing into further at the health committee. My colleague from Winnipeg North will be asking many questions about that.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to join the debate today on Bill C-52. As you are no doubt aware, I had the pleasure of serving on the Standing Committee on Health for some time and this subject has been on the committee’s agenda for a very long time. Quebeckers, like Canadians, are very concerned about the products that come into the country and are consumed by residents of Quebec and Canada without any assurance that these products are not harmful and that they will not cause health problems.

We have seen in the past three or four years that Health Canada has recalled many products. Unfortunately, very often that is done very late because Health Canada did not have enough inspectors or enough laboratories to conduct the necessary testing, as the Auditor General has reported. As a result, many products were not subject to testing and wound up on the shelves of various stores, either food markets, superstores or shops where one finds toys, other objects and even products such as toothpaste. These products have been identified as being very dangerous to health. We have also seen products for babies that are very dangerous. They could even harm their reproductive capacity in the future. With the declining birthrate that we are experiencing, we certainly should ensure that our children are also able have children. We must ensure that the products used to bathe children and make them beautiful are not dangerous or toxic.

The Bloc Québécois believes it is important that this bill be referred to the Standing Committee on Health so that the different measures can be examined in depth. For a long time, we have been asking the government to strengthen the requirements, to conduct more thorough and more stringent testing to ensure that the products we consume are quality products. There are still serious gaps in the bill. That is why we agree that the bill must be referred to committee so those shortcomings, at least, can be corrected.

It is very unusual for a bill to give special status to some company, manufacturer or particular product. Bill C-52, though, gives special status to manufacturers of tobacco products. They have had special status for a very long time, even though the costs of tobacco consumption are very well known, especially for the young people in our society, who are smoking more and more. We know too that the manufacturers have developed roundabout ways of attracting young people to tobacco. They sell individually packaged cigarillos tasting of banana, oranges, vanilla and chocolate. We have a real problem on our hands when tobacco products are being individually packaged to develop a dependency in young people.

A number of provinces have put a stop to smoking in public places, restaurants, parliaments, schools, school grounds, and hospitals. Smoking is being stamped out everywhere because it is a danger to human health. Tobacco is one of the products that cause the most deaths per year. I know very well because I myself am an inveterate smoker who is having a hard time quitting.

I know how addictive tobacco is and how hard it is to stop. But the bill before us exempts tobacco. Tobacco will not be regulated under it and will not be affected. How is that possible? If we really want to protect the health of Quebeckers and Canadians and take a hard look at the harmful effects of various products on our health, we should also legislate against tobacco products. How can we possibly not do it? This is one of the things we are most concerned about in this bill.

It is not the only one though. As my colleague said just a little while ago, we do not have enough inspectors to meet the increased needs under the bill to ensure that all consumer products imported into Canada are checked. There will not be enough inspectors, even if the bill says that companies will now have to keep a record of all the consumer complaints they receive and the problems found with products, as well as all the times that products have to be recalled. We will therefore have more information about products.

People who manufacture, import, sell or test products will now be required to have documents that will give us detailed information about the retailer so we can know the person from whom they obtained the product and the location where, and the period during which, they sold the product. Those persons will also have to have the prescribed documents, and keep the documents at their place of business in Canada or at any other prescribed place and, on written request, provide the Minister with those documents. The Minister could, subject to any terms and conditions that the Minister may specify, exempt a person from the requirement to keep those documents if the Minister considers it unnecessary or impractical for the person to keep them. We are probably talking about genuinely important bundles of documents.

The requirement that documents about the history of a product be kept will certainly allow for better traceability in respect of the various products that may be harmful to consumers here. We agree with this. There are several other aspects of this bill that we agree with, but as I said, we will have to study several points very carefully. The general public did not feel that they were involved in the development of this bill, either in the drafting or in the way consultations were conducted before it was prepared.

People are sending us letters and memos to let us know they are not satisfied with the way the consultations were held because there was no consultation, properly speaking. This summer a number of toys containing lead were recalled, as were several products that were harmful to health.

Recently, we saw what happened with bisphenol A. I am very sorry about this because a number of businesses have come right to the Hill here and given us these lovely clear plastic bottles we could use to carry our water, without knowing that those bottles might contain bisphenol A. Companies do not procure products because they are not operating out of goodwill, they do it from lack of knowledge and information. Health Canada should be capable of providing that information.

The only way we can be sure that we have a bill that truly meets the needs of Quebeckers and Canadians is by making sure that all of the people affected by the issues that this bill is meant to address, and not merely a few people, are consulted.

We will certainly be making sure that we do our work in committee responsibly, as always, and that we ask the Minister and his representatives the necessary questions so we can be satisfied that the bill will contain everything that is needed to respond to our concerns.

And we will certainly also be putting the subject of tobacco back on the table to see whether there is not something that can be done to include that substance, like any other toxic product, in the products that we want to see better identified and against which we want to be better protected. We know that if we do nothing to ensure that tobacco products are strictly regulated, there are people who may still be harmed by those products.

My main concern is for children, who were affected so much by recalls last summer and fall and this past winter and will continue to be affected, because recalls are still being made. These recalls involve mainly products from foreign companies we know little about and have not assessed. As the Auditor General put it so well, there were not enough Health Canada inspectors to do the work they had to do.

Mattel had to recall thousands upon thousands of toys. This is very disturbing, and it is very worrisome for parents, who buy Christmas gifts for their children or gifts for babies to make them as comfortable as possible, when they do not know whether they can have confidence that the product will not make their child sick, because unfortunately Health Canada has not assessed these products.

Certainly, when the bill goes to the Standing Committee on Health, our representatives on that committee—including the member for Québec, who is doing an excellent job—who know a great deal about the situation, will do whatever they can to amend the bill so that it really does what the public wants it to do.

For example, the heavier fines provided for in the bill are a good idea. It is important that companies pay much heavier fines when they fail to comply with the standards in effect. The precautionary principle the government wants to include in the bill is also very important. Compliance with the bill, which contains a statement about the precautionary principle in its preamble, will be very positive for all consumers.

The bill also gives more power and more tools to inspectors. More inspectors with more power will ensure that consumer products are healthier and less harmful. We will also ask a number of groups to testify and tell us what they would like to see in the bill.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. member raised the tobacco issue again in her comments. I was curious as to whether she has any idea why the exemption is there. However, that is not my main question.

As the member knows, Bills C-51 and C-52 are linked and we have had input from people relating to both bills.

The member talked about stronger enforcement, with which I generally agree, but I wonder if she has had concerns raised by her constituents about the enforcements in these bills being overbearing.

It seems to me that the people who produce natural health food products are worried that 70% of their products would be removed in an almost police state type of environment, which were the words they used. Police could go on private property without a warrant, dispose of people's property without reimbursement for their losses and seize their bank accounts.

Those were some of the concerns my constituents were raising and I was wondering if the member's constituents were putting forward similar concerns.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, my constituents have also contacted me, of course, to express their concerns about this bill. It is not right to pass judgment on people who take vitamins, whether vitamin A, B, C, D or E. I have been taking these vitamins for years. And I continue to take them on the advice of my oncologist. She told me quite openly that my vitamin consumption probably helped me beat the cancer I suffered from eight years ago, from which I have made a full recovery.

Something else worries me even more. The Bloc Québécois introduced a bill to include therapeutic and natural products in a completely different, separate bill. Certain products, such as essential oils, can indeed prove dangerous for certain people, like seniors. I do not want to see a free market for all these products, but I would like to see them monitored better and I would like them to be generally accessible to the people who use them. These products are commonly found in drug stores, and pharmacists are very familiar with the contents of the products they sell on their store shelves. I do not believe they would want their business to sell anything that is harmful to our health.

We must be careful about what we want to restrict. On the other hand, we must also make sure that the products we do not restrict are properly monitored in order to ensure they are not harmful to our health. I am referring to essential oils that can be very strong because they are very concentrated. Some seniors have had very serious problems because of unregulated essential oils.

Thus, I am in favour of a more open market for these natural products. I think that medicine and alternative medicine must come together. However, we must also ensure that not all products are blindly accepted.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I have a question concerning the government's new ability to do recalls. I do not think anyone would argue that that is an important power for the government to have. However, I was wondering if it needs to be fine-tuned in light of a concern raised by the official opposition critic.

People are suing all the time and, in particular, they are suing governments because they know governments have big pockets. If the government were to have the power to do inspections any time there was a sniff of anything wrong, and a recall would be a huge expensive process, does the member think there would be any chance that inspectors, under threat of litigation, would do a lot more recalls just to be sure they had not made a mistake and the Government of Canada would not end up getting sued if something suddenly came up?

I wonder if the member thinks that is something the committee should look at when it looks at this bill in detail.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is a rather difficult question to answer. I like to give public servants the benefit of the doubt and assume they do their jobs responsibly and correctly. The problem has not been that public servants did not know what to inspect, but that there were not enough people to do the inspections. There were not enough inspectors. We must also ensure that these people receive extensive training, so that they have the right information and can properly inspect products.

It is true that more and more people are calling on the government to be more diligent. That is fine. It is true that more and more people want to sue the government over products that were recalled too late. If inspectors are more careful and have more resources, I think that we will be in a position to recall defective products much more quickly. If that is the case, we will not have to worry as much about people suing the government.

But I am not sure. I am not yet familiar enough with the bill to know whether it is tough enough to allow for products to be properly evaluated. I hope that it will be tough enough and that inspectors will have the necessary information to do their jobs.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for my colleague.

One of the issues this bill, which deals with the safety of consumer products, does not address effectively or thoroughly is the whole question of product safety and consumer protection in international trade deals. This is something that I think is very important to Canadians.

When we enter into agreements with other countries about trade, why would consumer protection, environmental protection, labour standards and those kinds of things not be a serious part of those agreements? I wonder if the member might address that. Does she think this is something that might be included in this kind of legislation to improve consumer safety in Canada?

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for asking the question.

That is one of the questions that committee members will have to discuss when they deal with this bill after it is referred to the Standing Committee on Health.

It is true that nowadays, we have a lot of trade with countries that we never used to trade with. These days, many of the products we consume are imported from countries whose manufacturing quality and ability we do not know much about, just as we do not know much about the products they use in manufacturing.

Obviously, we need very clear, specific rules for importing these products to ensure that they can be put on store shelves when they get here and that the consumers who buy them do not have to worry about using them.

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, does the member think that committees should get more information on the regulations and the plan to put them in, because they will have a major effect?

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very sorry, but I did not hear my colleague's question because my earpiece was turned off. Would he be kind enough to repeat the question?

Canada Consumer Product Safety ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It is time for statements by members so perhaps the hon. member for Yukon could ask the question after question period.

Milt HarradenceStatements By Members

May 1st, 2008 / 1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, western Canada lost one of its vivid characters this year when Milt Harradence, famed lawyer, respected judge, fighter pilot and barnstorming politician, succumbed to cancer at the age of 85. Milt was a hero and a friend to many Albertans, including me. He was a larger than life figure both loved and loathed, though not quite in equal measure.

Milt lived the way we all should, with a flair and resolve that squeezed every ounce of opportunity from the life God gave him. That zeal explains why he was bounced from the Air Force as a young pilot after an impromptu air show over a farmer's field failed to impress his commanding officer. It also explains why, more than 50 years later, he was still at the controls and doing barrel rolls in a jet fighter, this time as the honorary colonel of a Canadian Forces flight squadron. A successful career as a criminal lawyer, later elevated to Appeals Court judge, was already behind him.

Though his family experienced tragedy, Milt always picked himself up. He aimed high and he hit his mark. I tip my hat to this great Canadian.

John TherienStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to congratulate Jean-Rock “John” Therien for 40 successful years as an athlete and businessman.

On April 1, 1968, John opened his first studio in Ottawa and now, Therien Jiu-jitsu and Kickboxing operates seven schools in the national capital region. Because of his tenacity and talent, John has become one of the most respected martial arts teachers.

Kyoshi Therien has earned many accolades over the years including 8th degree black belt and the Canadian government award for achievement in Jiu-Jitsu. He was named Man of the Decade (1980's) by the Professional Karate Association. And we should not forget that he was the manager of 23 time world kickboxing champion, Jean-Yves Thériault.

He has now been elected president of the Vanier Business Improvement Area board of directors, where he will use his talents, energy, creativity and enthusiasm to serve of his community.

Congratulations, John. We thank him for sharing his passion with the young and not so young all these years.

National Volunteer WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the theme of Quebec's volunteer week this year, from April 27, to May 3, is about helping, uniting and building.

Celebrated since 1974, the week honours those whose actions make the world a better place. There are thousands of such people in Quebec. They have a strong sense of social justice and community and take time out of their personal lives to contribute through their efforts to doing good for as many people as possible.

Volunteerism benefits many sectors of our society, whether it be in sports, leisure, defending collective rights, health, social services, protecting the environment or even political involvement.

On behalf of my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois, I want to pay tribute to all the volunteers who are helping, uniting and building a better Quebec.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful volunteer week.

International Worker's DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, May 1, we are celebrating International Workers' Day. We commemorate the great triumphs of workers in Quebec, Canada and around the world.

Quebec's labour movement, since its beginnings in Montreal at the start of the 19th century, throughout the struggles of the 1950s and the Quiet Revolution and finally through union-sponsored investment funds, has put workers at the heart of sustainable economic and social development.

However, there is still much to be done: creating a federal anti-strikebreaker law, extending pay equity throughout Canada, defending the manufacturing and forestry sectors, promoting international union rights and guaranteeing quality public services.

And it is with the latter in mind that this year we are adding our voices to those of the Coalition du 1er mai, composed of unions and student, feminist, community and university organizations, in support of a quality, public, universal and free health care system .

Holocaust Memorial DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we will take part in an act of solemn remembrance for the millions of victims who perished at the hands of the Nazi regime.

Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass”, took place on November 9, 1938. This act of destruction gave official sanction to persecution, humiliation, deprivation and eventually the systemic and organized murder of nearly six million Jewish people.

While the Nazi machine geared up, the nations of the world gathered in Evian, France to consider what actions might be taken.

Tragically, the conference took on its own measure of infamy in that it broke up early with no resolve to act at all. Hitler's spies returned to say, “You can do what you want with the Jews, no one wants them”.

That is precisely why we must gather and stand with our Jewish friends and survivors in the spirit of zakar, remembrance, and reaffirm our commitment to fight racism and hatred wherever it is found.

As the Prime Minister wrote after his recent visit to Auschwitz:

We are witness here to the vestiges of unspeakable cruelty, horror and death. Let us never forget these things and work always to prevent their repetition.

Holocaust Memorial DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to underscore Holocaust Memorial Day, Yom Ha' Shoah.

It reminds us of the Holocaust's unique evil, a genocidal singularity in which biology determined destiny.

It was a war against the Jews. Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims.

This unprecedented horror will always have universal resonance and the terrible truths must be affirmed against those who would deny or distort them.

Accordingly, we must pledge and act so that never again will we indifferent to incitement and hate; never again will we be silent in the face of evil; never again will we indulge racism and anti-Semitism; never again will we ignore the plight of the vulnerable; and never again will we be indifferent in the face of mass atrocity and impunity.

We will remember always the victims who perished and the survivors still with us. We will commit ourselves to plant the seeds of a better future amidst the soil of a horrific past and reaffirm our common aspiration for international peace and justice.

National Volunteer WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week, we thank 12 million volunteers who help make our communities better.

Volunteers play a major role in the delivery of all the services provided in our communities: health care, heritage, education and youth.

They work in many other areas: arts and culture, churches, schools and libraries and, of course, skating rinks and soccer fields.

Last night, volunteers in all these domains and more were officially recognized in a special ceremony dedicated to them, the heavy lifters of Ottawa--Orléans.

The fabric of our country is stronger thanks to the contributions of our volunteers.

On the occasion of National Volunteer Week, I take great pleasure in recognizing all our volunteers and especially those who work so hard in Ottawa-Orléans.

They truly have a heart of gold.

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North AmericaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the summit of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which was held in New Orleans last April 21 and 22, did nothing to lift the veil surrounding these discussions. There is nothing in the joint statement of April 22 to indicate what exactly came of the discussions on energy, security, health, immigration, regulations and the militarization of North America.

The discussions included compatible fuel efficiency regimes and safety standards to protect human health and the environment, efforts to protect inventors, authors, performers and other innovators through an intellectual property action strategy, and discussions on making our product and food safety standards more compatible.

There is nothing to indicate how these standards and strategies will be implemented, and most importantly, nothing about water being excluded from NAFTA. In short, there is nothing to indicate that Quebec’s interests will be protected, especially when it comes to drinking water.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, when Canadians think of higher taxes, big government and a leader who would be risky on the economy, they think of the Liberal Party and its leader.

Liberals like big spending. What they forget is that it is not their money. It belongs to the taxpayers.

Liberals are talking, as a matter of fact, about spending another $62 billion. Liberals also like high taxes. They constantly muse about raising the GST and now they are talking about a new gasoline tax for Canadians.

Our government delivered on our promise to reduce the GST by two points. We also reduced the personal and business taxes by over $200 billion.

The unemployment rate is at a 33 year low. Over three-quarters of a million jobs have been created since the government took office. In times of economic uncertainty, Canadians know who they can trust and that is the Conservative Party of Canada.