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House of Commons Hansard #99 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was food.

Topics

6:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Welland.

6:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, this evening's adjournment proceedings arise from a question I asked the government on March 14 of this year concerning the government's arrogant treatment of Ontario and Ontarians. The Conservative government has made too many missteps in its relationship with Ontario in complete contrast to the Minister of Finance's quip in the 2007 budget that the long, tiring, unproductive era of bickering between the provincial and federal governments is over.

The Conservative government introduced Bill C-22, a bill to address the number of elected representatives assigned to each province to reflect the population growth. The democratic goal of the Canadian electoral system, as set out in the Canada Elections Act, is embodied by the principle of one elector, one vote. Bill C-22 allocates only 10 new seats to Ontario when a formula which properly distributes seats according to population growth would give Ontario at least 20 additional seats in the House of Commons.

Conservative members of Parliament from Ontario have sat quietly while the government has acted against the interests of the people they represent. A Liberal government would ensure any legislation would uphold the principles of democracy and guarantee that Ontario was allocated its rightful share of seats in the House of Commons.

Premier Dalton McGuinty defended Ontario and objected to Bill C-22 and its distortion of democratic principles. In a childish response, the Conservative House leader, an Ontario MP, attacked him, calling Premier McGuinty the “small man of Confederation”. When all else fails, the Conservative strategy is to resort to petty name calling and adolescent insults. The government House leader should apologize to both the premier of Ontario and to all Ontario residents. Will he?

Recently, the Minister of Finance told a business group in Halifax that for new investment, Ontario is the last place that one would go. Not only has he meddled in the affairs of provincial politics, he has also significantly damaged investor confidence in the industrial heartland of Canada at a time when the province is under economic stress. As a result, economists are speculating that Ontario could become a have not province within two years.

The truth is that Ontario is a safe, secure place to invest and is home to tens of thousands of jobs for Canadians. Further I ask, what right does the minister have to criticize the record of the government of Ontario when, as Ontario finance minister, he left that province with a $5.6 billion deficit?

A Liberal government would respond positively by working cooperatively with provinces and supporting a balanced approach that includes competitive taxes, investment in people and innovation to strengthen the manufacturing sector, including creating a $1 billion advanced manufacturing prosperity fund to support major investments in innovation and jobs, and improving the science, research and experimental development tax credit to support research and development in the manufacturing sector.

Further, Ontario municipalities are crumbling under deteriorating infrastructure. In response, the federal finance minister commented that his government was not in the pothole business, calling municipalities whiners for bringing attention to the pressing needs hurting their communities and residents.

In 2005 the Liberal government committed to the gas transfer tax, transferring $5 billion over five years to Canadian municipalities for infrastructure investment. In February 2008, the Liberal leader led the way, committing to making this transfer permanent as well as allocating any unanticipated surplus that exceeds a $3 billion contingency fund toward the infrastructure deficit facing Canada.

Finally, we have the federal Minister of Health, again an MP from Ontario, who in 2006 promoted guarantees on hospital wait times. Two years later, there are no guarantees. This is another Conservative broken promise and another example of the government's lack of commitment to effective public health care in Ontario and throughout Canada.

Why has the government undertaken a deliberate, calculated and arrogant anti-Ontario policy?

6:45 p.m.

Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry Ontario

Conservative

Guy Lauzon ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, here we have another perfect example of a member who cannot stand to be on the opposition side of the House. Liberals seem to think they have a right to be on this side of the House. The truth of the matter is that the member and his colleagues are really starting to wear thin with the Ontario voter.

I am a proud Ontarian. I am a proud Canadian. The people of Ontario and the people of Canada have told me that enough is enough. They are tired of people like that member taking advantage of the situation in the House of Commons to make repeated, scurrilous, irresponsible, hurtful, misleading attacks on a government that is trying to get things done.

They continue to throw out these drive-by smears in the House of Commons, where they are protected of course. This came to a head yesterday morning. This is how far it has gone. It has gotten to the point where yesterday on a local radio station in Ottawa an interviewer by the name of Steve Madely interviewed OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino. It is a seven minute interview, but let me read a few quotes from it:

MADELY: No one in your... in your police service indicated in any way that they were getting pressure from a Minister's office up in Ottawa?

FANTINO: Not... Not at all. The only pressure we received is since, where complaints have been filed to the Ontario Civilian Commission on Policing by Mr. Mark Holland, the MP for, I guess, Ajax—Pickering--

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member knows that he cannot use the name of another hon. member even if he is quoting from a transcript.

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

The member for Ajax—Pickering, Mr. Speaker.

--I guess, Ajax--Pickering making all kinds of allegations and assertions and I'm very concerned about the...the extent that this kind of bantering. I believe that that is, in fact, creating...exerting political pressure on an investigation for reasons that obviously are none of my concern. And all of this...You know, like...There's some legal work being done on what this is all about as well with regards to how me and the OPP are portrayed as being less than honourable and honest. I mean, you know, enough is enough now.

MADELY: Enough is enough in...

FANTINO: And the other thing I should say too, I mean, there is a criminal investigation here and it's up to the courts to make determinations as to what in fact did or didn't happen. And here we have a Member of Parliament that is totally disrespectful of due process and making all kinds of accusations and, by the way, the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services sent him packing because his complaint is frivolous, vexatious, and I will even say more, it's an attempt to interfere with due process.

6:45 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where the member is coming from in that diatribe we just witnessed. The question I had was, why is the government undertaking deliberate, calculated and arrogant anti-Ontario policy? His comments have nothing to do with my question.

I suggest that the hon. member check the polls as to which party Ontario voters consistently support. The answer is the Liberal Party of Canada. The member should check the polls. We will see that result in the next election.

Ontarians demand effective leadership. They demand leaders who can represent them and all Canadians.

The actions of those Ontario ministers are insulting to every Canadian. It is shameful to hear the government launch attacks on Canada's most populous province.

All Canadians demand shorter hospital wait times, and the Conservative government has failed to fulfill this promise. All Canadians demand a strong and efficient economy, and the Conservative government insults the industrial centre of the country. All Canadians demand fair democratic representation, and instead, the Conservative government insults a premier who is requesting just this.

When will the government stand up for Ontario and for Canada as it has repeatedly promised? When will the government show real leadership--

6:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

6:50 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, smears, smears, smears, more Liberal drive-by smears. The opposition continually twists facts to justify over the top Liberal smears.

All this comes from a party that lured a member of the Conservative caucus across the floor with a cushy cabinet appointment in order to win a vote. All this comes from a party that broke election financing rules only to change its position when it was caught red-handed. All this comes from a party involved in bilking Canadian taxpayers of over $40 million to pad its own pockets. Where is that $40 million? I just wonder what desk drawer that happens to be in.

The Liberals do this with the hope that Canadians will ignore the fact that they have given up on being in opposition, that theLiberal leader is weak, and that the Liberal Party is in total disarray.

6:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6:51 p.m.)