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House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

There is a clear difference between the Liberal opposition and the government, Mr. Speaker. We are taking action to protect the fragile economic recovery. We are taking action with respect to EI, supported by the CFIB, supported by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. What is the Liberal Party doing? It is voting in favour of a motion to increase EI premiums by 35%, or by almost $7 billion per annum. This is irresponsible action by the Liberal opposition.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the deficit got this big because the Conservatives built a $2 million fake lake, spent $130 million on useless advertising, and wasted $1.3 billion in public funds on a 72-hour summit that will cost French taxpayers only a tenth that amount.

They grew the biggest deficit in Canadian history with fake lakes and glow sticks. How can they explain that kind of incompetence?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of our accomplishments at the G8 and G20 summits. Canada is leading the global economic recovery as well as international efforts to aid developing countries.

As we have said from the beginning, these were legitimate expenses, the majority of which were for security. There were approximately 20,000 security personnel on the ground during the summits. The violence and the destruction that occurred there proved the need to ensure that those who attended the summits were protected, and that responsibility was carried out.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the finance minister casually announced that yet again he is going to miss a deficit target. He blamed it on an “accounting issue”. Will the minister admit that the real reason for his record-high deficit is billions of dollars wasted on U.S.-style prisons, untendered stealth jets, and the G20 photo op?

When will this borrow-and-spend finance minister take responsibility for the waste and mismanagement under his watch?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, now comes the member for Kings—Hants saying that he is against tax reductions, that he is for increased taxes in Canada, but at the same time, he says he wants jobs.

Here is what he said another time. He stated:

[W]e cannot increase corporate taxes without losing corporate investment. If we lose corporate investment, we have a less productive economy....That means fewer jobs. That means more poverty.

He said that as a Liberal.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government did cut corporate taxes, but not on borrowed money.

The minister inherited a $13 billion surplus from the Liberals. He increased spending by three times the rate of inflation. He put Canada into deficit, even before the downturn. He then said that there would be a small surplus. He then said that there would be a small deficit, then a larger deficit, and he has missed his latest target as the deficit balloons to over $54 billion.

When will the biggest spending, biggest deficit finance minister ever in Canada's history get his borrowing and his spending under control?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member for Kings—Hants is right about one thing: the Liberals did not borrow money from the EI fund; they stole it.

InfrastructureOral Questions

September 30th, 2010 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, even though the economy is soft and Canada's GDP dropped in July, the government refuses to acknowledge that infrastructure projects are still needed to stimulate the economy. Extending the deadline is a simple solution that would not cost the government one penny because the money has already been committed.

How can the government take away $200 million in infrastructure projects from Quebec during an economic downturn?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has repeatedly stated, 23,000 projects are under way, of which 97% have been completed or are close to completion. We will clearly take a reasonable approach in this regard. There is nothing new. The Minister of Transport is talking to his Quebec counterparts and a reasonable approach will be taken in this regard.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, 48 hours before thousands of people converge on the Plains of Abraham for the “blue march”, will the Prime Minister confirm that his government will provide up to 45% of the funding, as the Government of Quebec is currently stating, for the construction of a new multi-purpose arena that is essential for Quebec 's capital city, according to Mayor Régis Labeaume?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, although we are clear on this matter and we are fans of professional sport, financing of such facilities is primarily up to the private sector.

If the federal government were to invest in these types of infrastructure, it would do so in a fair and affordable manner throughout the country.

Port InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Rimouski wharf is a vital part of the Lower St. Lawrence economy. Its users are calling for the construction of a breakwater attached to the existing one to protect facilities, ships and boaters against bad weather. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has the plans and specifications to move forward.

Does the minister plan on making this issue a priority, so that the Rimouski wharf can live up to its full potential?

Port InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, in 2006 we inherited a massive backlog of much needed work at our small craft harbours. Wharves were rotting and fishers were not getting the facilities they needed to work safely. That is why under our economic action plan we invested $200 million to address this backlog. Work is now under way or completed at over 270 harbours. We are getting the job done.

Port InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is the same problem in Matane and Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, where the federal government has neglected the port infrastructure for years. Local stakeholders are calling for the government to properly maintain its facilities and to upgrade them, so that they can become real tools for economic development.

When will this government fulfill its responsibilities to the communities of eastern Quebec?

Port InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the safety of our mariners and fishers is very important to us. That is why we have invested an additional $200 million in small craft harbours. We have actually increased our base budget by $20 million on an annual basis. However, the Bloc voted against every one of these initiatives.

CensusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, just like the movie Groundhog Day, this is déjà vu all over again. The Prime Minister has ignored the will of Parliament regarding the registry. He has basically shut down Parliament whenever he wanted to. Now, he is ignoring the will of Parliament regarding the census.

Will the Conservatives ever respect Parliament? Will they reverse their decision, which, by the way, is completely stupid?

Will the Prime Minister keep on acting like a tin-pot dictator who ignores democracy?

CensusOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, it is important to strike a balance between the interests of Canadians who neither want to be subject to sanctions nor want to answer personal questions.

We do not need a census to know that the vote of the opposition members to hike EI premiums by 35% will cost Canada jobs, will cost Canadian businesses and will cost Canadian families. That we do not need a census to find out.

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Maurice Duplessis could have given the Prime Minister a few lessons on democracy. Even those would be useful.

We know that Canada is under the rule of law, not a dictatorship. We also know that there is no reason to scrap the long form census, unless the Prime Minister's goal is to hide information. Perhaps he is thinking that if there is no information on poverty and social injustice he will not have to deal with them.

Is that his logic?

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, no one can hide the fact that the Liberal plan, which the Liberals voted for last night to hike EI premiums by 35%, will hurt our country, will hurt our jobs and will hurt Canadian families. That cannot be hidden.

Perhaps the hon. member would listen to someone else who demanded, and I learned this from the media yesterday, that we review the invasion of privacy and personal information from the 2006 census because the MP was getting a number of complaints from his constituency. Which MP? The Liberal MP for Richmond Hill.

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, 350 community leaders and groups have condemned the Conservatives' ideological census cut. They say that it is bad for the economy and puts the health and safety of Canadians at risk. One more group has joined the list, the Parliament of Canada.

Will the government accept the will of Parliament and stop rejecting evidence-based policymaking and restore the long form census now?

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if this side of the House had agreed with the coalition, we would have joined the coalition.

We disagree with the coalition because we are seeking to balance the rights of Canadians to be free from sanctions when they choose not to fill out an invasive and intrusive form, in their opinion. We expect Canadians would like a government that treats them as adults, treats them with respect. That is why we made the decision to balance the need for data with the rights of Canadians.

We are proud of that decision. We voted that way in the House. That is how we conduct our government in the interests of the people of Canada.

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no evidence for that either.

The Conservatives are ignoring hundreds of groups that need reliable information with which to give good advice and to make good decisions for Canadian families. Now Parliament has spoken on this.

Leaders who think they make the rules are called dictators. This is a test. Will the Prime Minister accept that Canadians and their Parliament make the rules and restore the long form census now?

CensusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I will reply to that wild accusation from my hon. friend over there.

We are seeking to make Parliament work. We are seeking to raise decorum in this place. If other members of the opposition do not have the same agenda, they will have to answer to their constituents in that regard.

Our agenda is quite clear and fair. We are trying to treat Canadians fairly and reasonably by having a balance between the need for data in our society and the need for some Canadians to conscientiously object to certain intrusive and personal questions that are found on the long form. That is the balance of a responsible government.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our Conservative government voted against Bill C-308, which includes costly and irresponsible proposals, such as a 45-day work year. The Liberal leader yesterday called the bill fiscally irresponsible, yet he did not vote against it. In fact, the Liberal EI spokesperson voted in favour of it.

Could the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development please inform the House of the devastating impact the coalition's irresponsible EI plans would have on Canadian workers and businesses?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition has shown yet again that it remains committed to the costly and irresponsible EI 45-day work year. Through last night's vote, we know that its plan would cost Canadians at least $7 billion each and every year and would result in a permanent increase in EI premiums of 35%. That is a whopping big difference.

The difference between us and the coalition is quite clear. We are focused on getting Canadians back to work. The coalition is focused on raising premiums to prevent that.