Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure today to make this statement alongside a woman with whom I have been privileged to sit. The member for Richmond taught entrepreneurship at a technical school in British Columbia. It is women like my colleague who build stronger provinces within a stronger Canada.
I am pleased to comment on another frivolous Bloc Québécois motion. After years in Ottawa, every motion that the Bloc brings forward is sillier than the last. This one is no exception in either form or content.
We saw it earlier: to the Bloc, anyone who does not think like them is a fool or an idiot, which is unfortunate. According to the Bloc Bible, there are a lot of fools and idiots in Quebec.
I will start with the people from the forestry sector, who wonder if the Canadian government is doing what Quebec needs to get through these tough economic times. Are any of the members here willing to stand up for Quebec and do what is necessary when it is time to approve budgets and take concrete measures?
We make judgments based on results, but when we talk about ourselves, we are a little biased. Therefore, let us hear from others, including the Forest Products Association of Canada:
From a forest industry perspective, the government has its priorities right: investing in green jobs of tomorrow, stimulating the economy through clean energy technologies, and inviting investment by changing the accelerated capital cost allowance, will give Canada the edge it needs to move into the new bio-economy.
People are talking about the bio-economy and biofertilizers. Just two weeks ago, I was in Varennes to announce an investment of almost $80 million in a local business producing ethanol from corn. It is a technological leader. These people are working hard in cooperation with Quebec institutions, and they are developing a new generation of biofuel made from vegetable fibre, called cellulosic ethanol.
I wish them luck and want them to know that our government supports them and will continue to support efforts in that field.
Forestry producers are saying that the Government of Canada's budget 2010 has some good measures. The Government of Quebec says it is negotiating to harmonize taxes, but most of all, it is pleased to be receiving more transfers than ever before: Canada is transferring $19.3 billion to Quebec for health, education, social transfers and equalization.
We live in a federation that believes in equality and is distributing Canada's wealth, from which Quebec is benefiting. When the time comes to vote, I will rise in this House and support these measures.
That is what the forestry industry is saying. My Bloc Québécois colleagues seem to be saying that agricultural producers are also idiots or fools because they said the federal government had made a good decision in granting $25 million to plants that slaughter livestock over 30 months of age, for urgent action was needed.
What is our government doing? It is implementing measures to help beef producers, farmers and cattle cull producers in every region of the country. Furthermore, the Fédération des producteurs de bovins du Québec is satisfied with budget 2010 and wants the members from Quebec to vote for it. The Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec also supports the budget.
The people of my riding and the many dairy farmers in my riding can count on budget 2010 and on the hon. member for Lévis—Bellechasse to support this measure, which will provide assistance to plants that slaughter livestock over 30 months of age.
As we know, the Bloc sees things only through the prism of its separatist ideology here in Ottawa. Personally, I feel pretty good here in the House of Commons. I can express myself in my mother tongue, French, and I work for the people of my riding, which includes several municipalities. People need drinking water, a waste water treatment system and roads to get to work or school, and seniors need roads to get around.
The Fédération Québécoise des Municipalités covers more than 85% of Quebec, or nearly 1,000 municipalities. We know that the president of the FQM, Bernard Généreux, was re-elected on March 11. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate him. Mr. Généreux, who is also the mayor of Saint Prime in the RCM of Domaine-du-Roi, said:
The investment of several billion dollars has already allowed the municipalities to play a vital role in tackling the economic crisis by creating thousands of jobs [in Quebec] while responding to real needs in terms of infrastructure standards.
This statement is supported by two vice-presidents from other regions in Quebec. I am referring to Serge Fortin, who is the reeve of Témiscouata and, closer to Lévis—Bellechasse/Les Etchemins, we have Reeve Richard Lehoux, who is the mayor of Saint Elzéar, a magnificent municipality in the hon. member for Beauce's riding, which is often referred to as the little Switzerland of Quebec. The reeve of Nouvelle-Beauce says that year two of the Canadian government's economic action plan allows them to continue to invest in infrastructure. Which hon. members from Quebec will rise in the House to support these measures?
I have other names here. We are talking about municipalities, but we are also talking about a city that includes many Quebeckers. It is called the City of Montreal, Quebec's metropolis. What are people from the City of Montreal saying? They say that the federal government is also maintaining funding for affordable housing [we have never seen so much money allocated to affordable housing], full reimbursement of the goods and services tax (GST) for cities and is thereby in sync with the priorities of our administration”. The different levels of government are working to provide services to the people on the ground.
It is the same thing for the Union des municipalités du Québec, which commended the announcement of an additional $14.6 million a year for Canada Economic Development to support the long-term economic development of the regions of Quebec. All these people, all these representatives cover 85% of Quebec, the City of Montreal, the forestry industry, the agricultural sector, and I have more quotes here. We have made a strategic investment in what is needed to develop our knowledge industry in our colleges and universities.
Michel Belley, an excellent professor of science and financial sciences who is also chairman of the board and president of the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, told us, “Given the current financial situation in Canada, we appreciate that Canada continues to invest in university research and innovation in order to create jobs and build the economy of tomorrow”.
Does the Bloc think that people like this are foolish and crazy? I think that these are very smart people who are helping to move Quebec forward so that it can continue to develop and so that it can emerge from this economic crisis.
I have said it once, and I will say it again: this budget will have a positive impact on Quebec. For example, there are the jobs that have been created since July 2009. On Monday, I was at a smelting plant in Sainte-Claire de Bellechasse. We know that manufacturing companies are facing tough competition from Chinese companies, for example, which have lower production costs. These businesses are working on cutting their production costs. Who can they count on this year? They can count on the Canadian government, which is extending the work sharing program. We must support our manufacturing sector, because this industry is creating wealth.
We are also thinking about our families with the home renovation tax credit established last year, which stimulated the construction industry. This year, there are tax breaks, such as the first time homebuyers tax credit and the home renovation tax credit. These concrete measures show that we are working. The results speak for themselves, and it is clear that this budget is good for Quebec.
As a member from Quebec, it makes complete sense for me to support this budget. It makes even less sense for me to vote against it. There are perhaps some reasons for that. If I take time to think about the reasons for voting against the budget, I have a hard time understanding them.
The Bloc said that with respect to harmonization, it does not look at what is done, but what remains to be done. The Canadian government will not negotiate with an opposition party. That is clear. It will negotiate with the Government of Quebec. It is clear that our government is willing to negotiate. However, that is no reason to deprive Quebec of $19.3 billion in transfers.
I would like to continue with another example, specifically the environment. It is an area of great concern to Quebeckers and Canadians. In the last budget, $400 million were allocated for developing the entire biomass sector. This is about producing energy from biomass. Projects are currently starting up in all the regions of Quebec.
The job of elected representatives is to make sure that our organizations, our forestry co-operatives, our institutions that, for example, have oil-fired heating systems, can benefit from subsidies provided by the Canadian federal government to make the transition from systems using non-renewable hydrocarbons to biomass, which is a renewable source and is creating jobs for us.
Biomass is one thing, but there is also the development of value-added wood products. We know that Quebec is a leader in what we call sawn timber and in the techniques of productively recovering every small log. These funds are available through Natural Resources Canada and are provided to Quebec companies.
These are two contradictory views. They are truly irreconcilable. I have a quote here from Michel Gauthier who said in 1996, well before the hon. member for Hochelaga arrived in this House: “The Bloc was supposedly a transient party that should no longer exist by now. We decided to stay. So we must write, we must produce materials.“
They must produce motions, a bit like the one before the House today, frivolous and ridiculous motions that, as I said, are not helping Quebec move forward. Meanwhile, Quebec stays on the opposition benches. Fortunately, there are Conservative members from Quebec, such as the hon. member for Richmond, who are committed to securing Quebec's success in the face of these difficult economic times.
We are in the second year of our economic action plan. We had promising results in the first year. We are continuing in the same direction.
I can say that I am very proud to be sitting next to my colleagues, like the hon. member for Richmond and my other colleagues, in order to continue helping Quebec move forward within the Canadian confederation.