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House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the difference this time around is that we actually fared better than most during this global recession. In fact, we are in the best fiscal position in the G7. I know that upsets the Liberals opposite because they seem to focus on talking down the economy and making Canadians nervous about the plan that we have coming out of the recession.

With nearly 430,000 net new jobs in this country, that is leadership. That is what we are seeing.

The EconomyOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this party does not need to take any lessons from that party about fiscal management.

That is the party that blew a $13 billion surplus, increased federal spending by 18%, authorized over $1 billion for fake lakes and glow sticks, and has no control over spending on prisons, planes and self-promotion. It is déjà vu all over again.

Does the government really think it can borrow and spend its way into fiscal health without any good management?

The EconomyOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, talking about fiscal responsibility and financial responsibility, which go hand in hand, I believe it was the leader of the Liberal opposition who suggested to his caucus that it should not support a private member's bill that would increase EI premiums by 35%, that would cost $7 billion in the first year and that would kill jobs in Canada. Unfortunately that caucus must not have received the message because the Liberals, the Bloc and the NDP came in here and voted to raise EI premiums.

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mayor Labeaume is tired of waiting for the federal government and he has decided to go ahead with construction of a multi-purpose arena. The mayor of Quebec City points out that the federal government has until December 31 to announce its financial involvement, without which Quebec City's Olympic bid could be compromised.

Can the federal government confirm that it will fund up to 45%, as the Government of Quebec has promised to do, of construction of a new multi-purpose arena, in order not to jeopardize Quebec City's Olympic bid—

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the National Hockey League and the Canadian Football League are calling for the construction of new facilities across the country and the renovation of existing facilities. Our position is clear: we are all big sports fans, but the private sector has to do its part. The role of the federal government is to show fairness across the country and to respect budgetary constraints.

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government did not hesitate to invest $500 million to boost Toronto's Olympic bid. What is good for Toronto should be good for Quebec City.

Accordingly, does this government intend to follow in the footsteps of the Government of Quebec and fund up to 45% of construction of a multi-purpose arena in Quebec City?

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear: if Quebec City becomes an official candidate for the Olympic Games, our government and all of Canada will support it whole-heartedly.

Long live Bonhomme!

AgricultureOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, more than 10,000 agricultural jobs in Quebec have been lost in the past 22 months according to Statistics Canada. The UPA's chief economist, Charles-Félix Ross, says that one of the possible causes of this dramatic loss is that the farmers' safety net, particularly that provided through federal programs, has been shrinking.

Why does the government not change its agri-stability program to take production costs into account, as called for by Quebec's farmers?

AgricultureOral Questions

9:45 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we are aware of the difficulties that the agriculture sector can face. I would like to remind the member that we have invested more than $2 billion to support our farmers since coming to power. In addition, with regard to the advance payment programs, pork producers, cattle producers, those who had difficulties with SRM, and slaughterhouses, in all these files we have been praised for providing rapid assistance to our farmers.

AgricultureOral Questions

9:50 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, there will be no praise for the 10,000 agricultural jobs lost.

Not only is the agri-stability program just a cut-and-paste version of the CAIS program, which did not work, but the agri-flexibility program has contributed nothing to Quebec's income stabilization program, despite the fine promises made by the Conservatives in the last election.

When will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food finally put in place a real agricultural flexibility program that will include income support?

AgricultureOral Questions

9:50 a.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member that this government is known as the one that is closest to farmers. That has always been the case for the Conservative Party. However, every time we put measures in place to support our farmers, whether in the budget or otherwise, the members of the Bloc Québécois rush to vote against them.

Of course, they envy us. They would like to be the ones respected by farmers; instead, we are. Why? Because we took action and made good decisions when they were in trouble. And we will continue in that direction.

CensusOral Questions

October 1st, 2010 / 9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has been the most divisive that we can remember. What irony then that the government has managed to unite Canadians against it. Ontario and Quebec are in this together. They said, “We believe that the decision by the federal government to eliminate the census long form was a mistake”.

Ontario and Quebec are pleading with the government to reinstate the long form census. What is the government's answer to Ontario and Quebec?

CensusOral Questions

9:50 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as we have said all along, we do not believe Canadians should be threatened with jail time, fines, or both, should they choose not to answer private and intrusive questions. That is why we have made the long form voluntary and why we have committed to introduce legislation to eliminate the threat of jail time for all mandatory surveys.

The 2011 census and the ongoing labour force survey will provide the same level of demographic and economic information about Canada and Canadians as in previous years. We just hope the Liberals will give up their attempt to enforce this regime of fines and jail time.

CensusOral Questions

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, apparently the hon. member did not hear the question about Ontario and Quebec.

Ontario and Quebec together represent two-thirds of the Canadian economy. They represent together two-thirds of the Canadian population. Maybe I need to quote again for the hon. member. Ontario and Quebec are saying, “We believe that the decision by the federal government to eliminate the census long form was a mistake”.

Again, Ontario and Quebec are pleading with the government to reinstate it. What is the government's answer to Ontario and Quebec?

CensusOral Questions

9:50 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal member for St. Paul's has introduced a private member's bill. We are no longer surprised at the lack of respect that the member shows Canadian citizens, the same member who says that parents who do not put their kids in full-time daycare are sentencing them to a life in the prison system. Now she wants to fine them if they do not want to tell them how much housework they do, or how much time they spend with their kids.

It is time that the member and her party showed Canadians some respect.

CensusOral Questions

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, he completely avoided answering the question. It is not just municipalities, provinces and SMEs that will lose important information, but our cultural sector will as well. We will lose a lot of data that are absolutely essential. What is the average income of our artists? Which of our cultural programs work? Where should we invest money? Without that information, how will we help our artists and creators? We need that information. How will we support our culture? Yes, I said our culture.

CensusOral Questions

9:50 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as the member would well know, this government has supported arts and culture in our country, unlike the previous Liberal government. We have increased funding to the Canada Council for the Arts. In fact, we have increased funding for cultural spaces. We have invested in culture and diversity right across the country, from coast to coast to coast.

One thing is consistent. The member did not support any of it.

CensusOral Questions

9:55 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is quite the magician. He snaps his fingers and hides all of the problems he does not want to see. The needs of francophone communities? Poof, they are gone. Investments in education and social housing? Poof, they are gone too. Poverty? Poof, it is gone. Now he is going to hide his record over the past five years. No census, no record. Poof, it is gone.

He must have a really terrible record to want to hide it like that.

CensusOral Questions

9:55 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is tough to know where to go with that, but one thing we cannot make vanish is 13 years of corrupt Liberal leadership. That is why the Liberals are in opposition.

The other day the Liberal leader came out and stated the Liberals' position on EI was that it was financially irresponsible. Then they all stood and voted for it. That is what I guess one would call Liberal leadership. It is remarkable.

JusticeOral Questions

9:55 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, Monday's open mic night in Montreal, hosted by the Leader of the Opposition, shows just how out of touch he is with Canadians. During the event, he committed to reintroduce a bill to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use, but made no mention of what he would do to combat the serious drug traffickers and producers that threaten the safety of our communities.

Could the Minister of Justice please update the House on what our government is doing to deal with this very important issue?

JusticeOral Questions

9:55 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to point out to the House that the Government of Canada does not support the decriminalization of marijuana in our country.

Let us see if we have this right. The Liberals want to go easy on people who get involved with drugs, but they want to crack down on people who do not fill out the census. What is it about the Liberal Party? When it comes to anything to do with the justice system or law enforcement, the Liberals always get it wrong.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

9:55 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, seniors are greatly worried about the coming winter. Many are on fixed income and are very worried about paying their bills. To add insult to injury, the government only gave a $1.50 increase to the old age security.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Why has the government raised taxes on such a vulnerable people by charging HST on home fuel, hydro and other essentials?

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

9:55 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, perhaps if the hon. member and members of his party had actually taken time to read our last few budgets, he would have known what we have done to help seniors, which is considerable.

To help them in financially difficult times, we increased the age credit limit not once but twice. We introduced pension income splitting. We also have made it possible for those who are on a guaranteed income supplement, GIS, to work more and not have those funds clawed back. It was seniors who built our country and we are aware of that.

Harmonized Sales TaxOral Questions

9:55 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, now those seniors are being hit by the HST and the minister does not want to answer that.

Three months after British Columbians rejected the Conservative-Campbell HST, the finance minister finally admits it is harming the economy, increasing the deficit and contributing to a drop in the GDP. The uncertainty surrounding the future of this tax is further harming B.C.'s economic recovery.

Will the government at least suspend the HST until the voters of B.C. can have their say in a referendum? Why will the government not listen to the people of British Columbia?