House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ndp.


6:25 p.m.

Macleod Alberta


Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend across the way for giving me the opportunity to continue to answer the question that I tried so diligently a few weeks ago to answer.

This gives me the opportunity to speak to the Conservative government's strong economic record, a timely debate considering today's NDP opposition motion, which the Liberal Party will not support, which again expresses the Liberals' resounding support for the government's economic agenda. It is no surprise, though, as the Conservative government has taken decisive action over the last two years to ensure Canada has strong economic fundamentals.

For example, this year alone the government plans to reduce the debt by $10 billion. Combined with the debt paid down over the last two years, this amounts to over $37 billion in debt reduction since 2005-06.

At the same time, we have been able to implement a variety of measures, both broad based and targeted, geared toward rewarding work, encouraging productivity and creating the conditions for our businesses to invest, compete and succeed in order to strengthen the economy for years ahead.

The October 2007 economic statement took decisive and timely action to boost confidence and investment through $60 billion tax reductions for individuals, families and business. When combined with the previous tax relief introduced by this government, total tax relief approaches $200 billion.

Tax reductions improve business competitiveness and increase investment. We are giving Canada the lowest statutory corporate rate in the G-7 by the year 2012 and will achieve the lowest overall tax rate in new business investment in the G-7 by 2011.

Even the Liberal leader, who does not get much in terms of economic policy, recognizes the importance of efforts like what we have done to lower corporate taxes. He said:

I am convinced that a further reduction in the corporate tax rate cut is the right thing to do.

...a lower corporate tax rate is a powerful generate more investment, higher living standards and better jobs.

There is more good news. In budget 2008, we announced a landmark tax-free savings account that will provide Canadians a way to save that is both easy to understand and that places no restrictions on what they can save for.

Those and the many other economic policies this government has put in place have resulted in Canada being one of the strongest G-7 economies. The numbers speak for themselves. The unemployment rate is near the lowest rate in over three decades. Over three-quarters of a million net new jobs have been created since we took office in 2006. Employment is up in every region, mostly in high paying sectors. In fact, 80% of the new jobs created are full time.

Despite the rhetoric, the Liberals know that it is the Conservative government's economic agenda that is best for Canada. I thank the member for Scarborough—Guildwood and the entire Liberal Party for continuing to express their support in this government's economic plan.

6:30 p.m.


John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is quite amusing to listen to the parliamentary secretary. He is just dying to have a bullet put in the chamber and put the government out of its misery.

He argues that this is competent management of the nation's finances even though a majority of economists in Canada have criticized the loss of $12 billion in GST revenues. Christopher Ragan, an economist at McGill University, called this “stupid, stupid, stupid”, and, frankly, he is right.

Taking $13 billion and running it down to zero in less than two years is plain stupid. To increase spending by 14.8% in two years is plain stupid. To trash Ontario's economy just when Ontario is on the ropes is stupid. He should listen to the 62% of Canadians who believe that the federal government is hurting its own economy.

You, Mr. Speaker, a member from Ontario, should be worried about that. I appreciate that the member from Alberta may not be worried about it but we from Ontario are.

6:30 p.m.


Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals may say that they disagree with our economic agenda but when it comes time to act they continue to support the Conservative government time and time again.

If the member is going to be critical of anyone, it should be his leader. The current tax-and-spend Liberal leader has threatened all of the Conservative government's hard work by introducing a massive gasoline tax. Taxes on gas is exactly what Canadians do not want to see, nor do they want to see taxes on their heating fuels. He is threatening to raise the GST, take back the universal child care benefit and more. The Liberals want to take money out of the wallets of hard-working Canadians and send it back to Ottawa. We strongly disagree and we will not let that happen.

6:35 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6:35 p.m.)