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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

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Ottawa—Orléans.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Economic SummitStatements By Members

May 27th, 2009 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Leeds—Grenville is looking ahead to the day when the economy has improved.

On June 12 there will be a one day economic summit in North Grenville that will be the kick-off to a series of meetings that will continue through next fall.

Initiated by Bob Runciman, our provincial member, and me, the event will be hosted by the united counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Department in cooperation with the three community futures development corporations and the separated municipalities in Leeds and Grenville.

By this time next year, every sector of the economy in Leeds—Grenville will have a good look into the future. Each will have defined their obstacles to growth, their opportunities for growth and developed a plan to move forward.

I wish to take this opportunity to welcome those in Leeds—Grenville who support and will attend the June 12 summit. I look forward to working with them on this cooperative venture.

Mississauga City SummitStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Mississauga City Summit of 200 business, labour, government and not-for-profit community leaders.

Four task forces were established on waterfront redevelopment and environmental sustainability, human and social services, post-secondary education, and finally, the creation of a centre of excellence for diversity and immigration.

David Suzuki was the evening's keynote speaker. Over 1,000 people convened to listen to the launch of the city's strategic plan and discuss the issues that are critical and affect the sustainable economic development of Mississauga, Canada's sixth, and Ontario's third, largest city, economic development which has been hindered by critical infrastructure funding which has not been released by the government.

The summit was an excellent example of civic society engaging together to improve their community. In this time of economic downturn, we need to encourage more communities to engage in this type of societal collaboration.

I want to congratulate the co-chairs for their initiative, and also thank Mayor Hazel McCallion for her involvement and all of the volunteers and sponsors who made the event the tremendous success that it was.

Canadian Jewish CongressStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week the Canadian Jewish Congress will be celebrating 90 years of existence. The first assembly of this official public voice of the Jewish community was held in 1919.

After a period of relative inactivity, the rise of anti-Semitism in Canada as well as in Europe in the 1930s convinced the community to make the CJC a permanent body in 1934. Montreal philanthropist Samuel Bronfman became its head at that time.

Since then, the Congress has played a vital role in defending and representing the interests of Canadian Jewry. It has also worked in conjunction with other groups on issues relating to the defence of religious and cultural minorities and of human rights. For example, the CJC was pleased with the recent Montreal court decision condemning the crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda in 1994.

The 29th plenary assembly will be one of the high points of this 90th anniversary year

The Bloc Québécois warmly congratulates the congress on its dedication.

Tobacco AdvertisingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I salute all those who helped bring to fruition important legislation that cracks down on tobacco marketing aimed at young people.

I thank all those involved, especially the women who saw the devastating impact of tobacco on health and the importance of acting to save lives: women such as Cynthia Callard at Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, who prodded all of us for years to eliminate the marketing of fruit- and candy-flavoured products and convinced me to introduce a private member's bill; young women such as youth public health specialist Angela McKercher-Mortimer who, with the Eastern Ontario Youth Coalition, helped coordinate the packages on members' desks today; women such as Jennifer McKibbon, who was a key organizer with Northwestern Youth Action Alliance in its Flavour...Gone! campaign and who continues to press for the inclusion of flavoured chew in the bill; and women such as our federal health minister, who made this the subject matter of a government bill and who has committed to shepherd Bill C-32 through Parliament.

Together, we absolutely refuse to let sinister packaging and deceptive flavourings turn today's youth into tomorrow's death statistics.

Canadian Jewish CongressStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Jewish Congress will be celebrating its 90th anniversary at its Plenary Assembly in Toronto this Sunday, May 31.

The CJC was founded after the upheaval of the first world war to represent the interests of the Canadian Jewish community and to send help overseas to aid the desperate situation faced by Jews in eastern Europe at the time.

Since its inception, the CJC has pursued its aims of defence, advocacy and representation on behalf of the Canadian Jewish community, as well as Holocaust remembrance and restitution and support for Jewish communities around the world.

The CJC speaks out against injustices, no matter where they occur, understanding that the obligations of history demand no less.

I encourage all members to join me in wishing the Canadian Jewish Congress a happy 90th anniversary and a productive and successful 29th Plenary Assembly. I say to the CJC, yasher koach, may you go from strength to strength.

Canadian Jewish CongressStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to salute the Canadian Jewish Congress on the historic occasion of its 90th anniversary.

The CJC is one of Canada's oldest, most distinguished and pioneering NGOs. It pioneered in the early organization, integration and representation of the Jewish immigrant community. It led the way in Holocaust remembrance and the struggle against hatred, anti-Semitism and discrimination of any kind. It has been at the forefront of the struggle for human rights in general and minority rights in particular, including landmark contributions to the struggle for Soviet Jewry and Syrian Jewry. It has made a major contribution to the development of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the struggle against impunity.

As a former president of the Canadian Jewish Congress and as an MP engaged on these issues, I say on behalf of my colleagues and the Liberal Party, yasher koach, may you go from strength to strength.

Rugby on the HillStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, politics and sports share a long history of mutual comparison, but perhaps no sport closer resembles the reality of the House than the game of rugby. Like this House, rugby includes strong sides and weak sides, fronts and backs, the occasional mauling and, of course, frequent offsides.

Like rugby, scrums are a frequent occurrence on the Hill, so it seems fitting that today at 6 p.m. there will be a scrum of a different kind when the Ottawa Irish meet the Forces Rugby on the Parliament Hill lawn for a charity match to raise money for the Military Families Fund. The exhibition will feature former Canadian champion Rod Snow, and the hon. member for Central Nova suiting up for the military squad. The Ottawa Irish will feature former Canadian team great Al Charron.

I hope all hon. members will join me today on the front lawn, rain or shine, to support Canada's military families.

Tax Credit for New GraduatesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon there will be a vote at second reading on a bill providing a $8,000 tax credit for new graduates working in designated regions. That bill got as far as the Senate during the last Parliament and was supported by a majority in this House.

Unfortunately, the election call precipitated by the Conservative government blocked its progress. However, some 60 municipalities, RCMs, youth forums, academic institutions, youth employment centres and chambers of commerce resolved that such a measure must be forthcoming.

I would therefore call upon the members of this House, and in particular the two Conservative members for Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean who are very familiar with this measure, to support this bill.

We need measures such as these to stop youth out-migration and promote the retention of skilled workers in economically depressed regions.

BurmaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the final day in the year-long extension of Burmese Nobel Laureate, honorary Canadian citizen and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's five-year prison sentence. Today should have marked the first day of her renewed freedom. However, Burma's ruling junta has manufactured new charges on the eve of her release. Canada renews its calls upon General Than Shwe to unconditionally release Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Burmese junta's repressive policies have led to untold death and misery and created a refugee crisis in the neighbouring countries.

Canada strongly condemns the Burmese junta on the violation of basic human rights of the Burmese people.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, members of the Conservative Party and their leader continue to show that they have no clue how to help Canadian families during this economic downturn. Recently, the Conservative leader said that he is not going to bring in another budget “until we need to raise taxes”.

We thank the Conservative leader for finally being honest. Now we know that the Conservatives want to hike taxes on Canadian families during a global recession. We also know that they increased income taxes during their first budget and they put a devastating new tax on income trusts. The Conservatives and their leader seem to like taking money out of Canadians' pockets.

Will the Conservative leader stand in the House and finally come clean with Canadians? Which taxes will the Conservatives raise? By how much will they raise them? Who would be forced to pay these new taxes?

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have become a single-issue party. The issue is taxes. They want them higher and they want more of them. Their leader is the father of the carbon tax. He has also made only one policy commitment: taxes will rise under the Liberals.

In these tough economic times, that is not what Canadians need. We need the stable and focused leadership that only this government can provide. While this government is standing up for hard-working Canadian families, the Liberals want to make it tougher for Canadians to take care of their families. The Liberals are clear. They want more taxes and higher taxes.

That is just plain wrong. I know it is wrong. The people of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound know it is wrong. This government knows it is wrong, and all Canadians certainly know it is wrong. It is only the Liberal leader who has not figured that part out yet.

Canadian Jewish CongressStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on May 31st, the Canadian Jewish Congress will celebrate its 90th anniversary at its national assembly in Toronto.

Since its inception in 1919, the Canadian Jewish Congress has represented the Jewish community on issues, including anti-Semitism, racism, Holocaust remembrance, and support for Jewish communities that are in need in this country and around the world.

On behalf of the New Democratic Party, I am proud to recognize and pay tribute to the Canadian Jewish Congress and to praise its role as a human rights organization concerned with the social justice and rights of all Canadians and the promotion of the values of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms at home and abroad.

The NDP wishes the Canadian Jewish Congress a happy 90th anniversary and a productive and successful 29th national assembly. To the CJC, yasher koach, may you go from strength to strength.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers do not really know this Liberal leader, but the one thing I can be sure of is that he wants to raise taxes. It is terrible to criticize when one has nothing better to offer other than tax increases in these tough times.

For every problem, the Liberal leader's solution is more taxes. He said so, himself, quite openly.

Whose taxes does the Liberal leader want to raise? The victims of the economic crisis? People in need? People in the forestry regions?

Canadians have good reason to wonder and to be worried. The Liberal leader still refuses to give any answers.

The Liberal Party's pretentious attitude towards Quebec is making a strong comeback in Ottawa, and we urge all Canadians and Quebeckers to be wary of the real intentions of the Liberal Party, which wants power at all costs. Canadians will be left to pay the price with even higher taxes.

Manufacturing IndustryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2007, after announcing plans to transfer some of its activities from Quebec to Ontario, ArcelorMittal announced the construction of a beam mill at Contrecoeur. Two years on, union members feel that it is time for the company to keep that promise. They have launched a large-scale regional mobilization to save the Quebec steel industry.

What should the Government of Canada—which has been ignoring problems in Quebec's manufacturing industry for years—be doing?

It should go forward with the Bloc Québécois' proposal to create a $4 billion fund to provide refundable investment credits to companies like ArcelorMittal that, because of declining production, have delayed planned investments. If they are encouraged to invest right away, they will be able to modernize their facilities and benefit fully from the economic recovery.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Minister of National Revenue was asked if the Conservatives were planning to raise income taxes. He refused to answer.

He is refusing to answer questions about his hidden tax agenda. The guy who always has an answer for everything does not want to talk about it. I can understand his reluctance to talk about it, because there is sure to be plenty of criticism.

Will the Conservatives raise income and sales taxes? Who will suffer as a result? SMEs? The most vulnerable? The unemployed? The poor?

The minister should stand up and tell Parliament and all Canadians who will bear the brunt of his tax hikes. Once again, the Conservatives are showing their true colours.

Tory times are tough times.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, our government's economic action plan is delivering real results for Canadians. They have asked for leadership from their federal government, and that is what we are providing.

At this critical time, when families need it the most, we are reducing taxes on Canadians, creating jobs, and helping Canadians who are hardest hit by the global recession.

Canadians will benefit from an additional $20 billion in personal income tax relief. Those who have lost their jobs are now eligible for five additional weeks of employment insurance. Canadians are benefiting from investments in skills and transition, which facilitates finding jobs in the new economy.

Meanwhile, the Liberal leader has said, “We will have to raise taxes”. This irresponsible tax hike policy is not what Canadians need during this recession.

The leader of the Liberal Party should stand up in the House today and come clean with Canadians and tell them which taxes he will raise, by how much he will raise them, and who will be forced to pay these taxes.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in September the government said there would be no recession, in October no deficits, in November it promised a surplus, but in January it brought down a $34 billion deficit. Yesterday, the deficit ballooned to $50 billion, all in a breathtaking six months, and still the money has not gotten out the door. This is incompetence on a historic scale.

How can the Prime Minister, or any other Canadian, still have confidence in the Minister of Finance?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are all aware that over the last few months the financial situations have deteriorated in all countries due to the recession.

The fact of the matter is that our deficits in Canada are a third to a quarter of the size of the deficit in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan. These deficits are affordable. What we are doing is borrowing money at historically low interest rates to help unemployed people, to build infrastructure. That is what we should be doing and what we will continue to do.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the issue here is the credibility of the Government of Canada and the credibility of the Minister of Finance.

Just five weeks ago, the Minister of Finance said, and I quote, “I'm comfortable with our projections... We're on track”. We are on track to where? The largest deficit in Canadian history. Canadians just cannot trust the government with their money.

Will the Prime Minister fire the Minister of Finance?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what is at issue here is the credibility of the Leader of the Opposition, who has been here week after week demanding not just that the government spend more but that it spend more permanently. Now he tries to pretend he is concerned about the deficit.

I cannot fire the Leader of the Opposition, and with all the tapes I have on him, I do not want to.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, fortunately—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, fortunately, the Prime Minister cannot fire me. He should fire the Minister of Finance. Yesterday, the deficit ballooned to $50 billion. It is the largest deficit in our history. This is incompetence on a historic scale.

When will the Prime Minister fire his Minister of Finance?