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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Wascana has the floor. We will have to have some order. He is about to ask a question and someone is going to want to respond and has to be able to hear it. Order.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are not inspired by a Conservative government that is so consistently dead wrong; wrong about the recession, wrong about a fictitious surplus, wrong about no deficit in November, even more wrong about the deficit in January, wrong by 48% at least. Worst still, these Conservatives are wrong about the jobs they promised to Canadians, wrong by 540,000, and many victims cannot get employment insurance.

Therefore, we have $50 billion in red ink, no new jobs and no better access to EI. Why?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians know, we are in the midst of a global recession. It is a deeper recession than anticipated. Fortunately, as the IMF confirmed on Friday in its report on Canada, Canada entered the recession in the strongest position of any country in the G7, and Canada will exit the recession in a strong position because of the steps we have taken in Canada's economic action plan.

Canadians know this. Canadians know that we are better off than other countries. Canadians know that our financial system is solid and so is our fiscal situation.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, that is the man who created a deficit before the recession.

This morning the Minister of National Revenue, the Conservative tax collector, was asked specifically to rule out tax increases by the government. He would not do it. Asked to be unequivocal on taxes his confused answer was “we're not there”; in other words, not unequivocal.

Remember when Conservatives promised never to tax income trusts. That promise was broken. They stabbed two and a half million innocent Canadians in the back.

How can Conservatives be believed on the deficit or taxes, or anything else that involves trust?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the only idea we have heard from the Liberals since the budget is their idea that taxes need to be raised. That is from the Leader of the Opposition.

However, there is another idea today. The finance critic opposite says there might be certain measures that the Conservatives are doing that the Liberals would think would not be worth doing, things that they think are not necessary. So, the question is, what would the Liberals cut? The home renovation tax credit? Infrastructure investments? Employment insurance benefits? Investments in agriculture? Health care funding like they did in the 1990s to the provinces, to the sick, to the elderly, to students and children--

The EconomyOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please.

The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada—

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please.

The hon. member for Chambly—Borduas.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada sets the number of unemployed at close to $1.5 million. The latest figures show more than 680,000 unemployment insurance recipients, which is a 10.6% jump over the month of March. However, with only 46% of unemployed receiving EI, we can see there is an accessibility problem. By lowering the minimum number of hours to 360 hours, a greater number of unemployed would be helped. Everyone can understand that.

Why then is the minister refusing to understand it?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Bloc Québécois are continuing to be unreasonable. On the one hand, they are criticizing the size of the deficit, while on the other they are constantly proposing measures to make it bigger still.

The Bloc Québécois cannot attack us by saying we have not done anything for the unemployed. First of all, we have added five weeks of employment insurance. Second, we are giving 18 more weeks of work-sharing, and third we are giving $3 billion for training, $500 million of which we have just announced. This will enable laid-off workers to receive up to two years of employment insurance.

They voted against it.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the Conservative disinformation process finishes with the economy, it moves on to unemployment. Stating as the minister has, that 360 hours would give a person 52 weeks of employment insurance is quite simply false.

Instead of clutching onto the unfair system put in place by the Liberals in the 1990s, what is the minister waiting for before bringing in a true EI reform that would meet the needs of the unemployed?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, our measure gives an additional five weeks of employment insurance benefits. That means that a person who was entitled to 30 weeks will get five more weeks with the measure the Conservative government has put in place.

Do we know the estimated number of persons who were going to benefit from that measure? It has been estimated at 400,000. They were proposing two additional weeks, which would have meant those people would have had nothing more. We are giving five more weeks—

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Hochelaga.

JusticeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is stubbornly pursuing its completely repressive agenda. With Bill C-31, it wants to pass legislation with a provision that would allow police officers to photograph and fingerprint anyone who is arrested, before it is even decided whether charges will be brought against them.

How can this government reconcile its abusive approach with the presumption of innocence, which is recognized in the Quebec and Canadian charters?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, if there is one thing that Canadians know they can count on from this government, it is to stand up for the rights of victims, to stand up for the rights of law-abiding citizens, to take the criminal justice situation in this country seriously, and to do what it takes to protect Canadian society.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is another example of the Conservatives' lack of transparency. True to form, they are trying to put a poison pill in this bill, which is generally supported by the opposition. This provision is unacceptable. The government must remove it.

Will the Minister of Justice remove that provision from the bill?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, we have introduced a very important piece of legislation that is this government's latest step in tackling crime. It includes the right of police to fingerprint a person who has been arrested for a serious indictable offence, such as murder, kidnapping and sexual assault. If the hon. member has a problem with that, I encourage him to explain it to his constituents.

The BudgetOral Questions

May 27th, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, 36 days ago, on April 21, the Minister of Finance said, “I'm comfortable with our projections. I'm staying with our budget projection. We're on track”.

I would like to ask the Minister of Finance a very simple question. Do we believe the Minister of Finance who spoke on April 21 or are we to believe the Minister of Finance who speaks today about a budget deficit that is completely different? What is the answer to that simple question?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question, particularly since I know he is an expert on deficits from his time in Ontario.

The plain fact is that the world economic recession is deeper than anticipated. Fortunately, Canada entered the recession in a strong position because of strong fiscal policies. We paid off almost $40 billion worth of debt in the first three years of this government. That puts Canada, as Canadians know, in the best position to weather the storm.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, having dined out on me for 15 years, the minister will perhaps understand why some of us want to have one simple meal with respect to what he has done and what he has said.

The simple fact is that 36 days ago the Minister of Finance said, “I'm comfortable with our projections. I'm staying with our budget projection. We're on track”. How could he have gotten it so wrong just 36 days ago?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what is the member opposite opposed to? Is he opposed to Canada taking the necessary measures to help our country get through the recession?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The Minister of Finance has the floor and there seems to be excessive noise on every which side. The hon. Minister of Finance has the floor.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Conservative Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the bellowing of the member for Toronto Centre is contagious to his seatmates.

As I was saying, is the member against additional employment insurance benefits being paid? They are being paid in the billions, which, of course, increases the deficit, but that is a good thing to do because that is what Canadians need right now. It is the right thing to do.

Similarly in the auto sector, it is the right thing to do. Is the member against us helping the auto sector?