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House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, folklore has it that the Canadian beaver will bite off its own testicles when it is threatened and offer them up to its tormentors. I think that is a fitting metaphor for the way our Canadian government reacts to bullying on trade issues, by carving off pieces of our nation and offering them to the Americans.

Whether it is on softwood lumber or now the Canadian Wheat Board, why is our government so willing and eager to unilaterally surrender what little trade advantages we have? Whose side is it on? Why is it selling out Canadian interests?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think that is a very fitting metaphor because the member for Winnipeg Centre is impotent to stand in the way of farmers getting freedom.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the same subject, with a slightly different tone. In his first answer to the Leader of the Opposition, I heard the Prime Minister clearly state that he was confident that he had the full support of the majority of western farmers.

I will ask him a simple question. If the Prime Minister is so confident that he does have that support, why will he not put this question in a plebiscite? We have had a referendum. Why not have a plebiscite and let the prairie farmers themselves decides what is going to them. Let them--

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The right hon. Prime Minister.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I cannot let go of the earlier exchange. I just hope the member for Winnipeg Centre' bark is not as bad as his bite.

In terms of the question put by the hon. member, we know we have a democratic mandate from western Canadian farmers. Their views are well-known. They have long favoured, by a large majority, dual marketing. There is really no debate about this. The only reason the Liberal Party does not understand that is that it does not have people on the ground in western Canada who know this.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Prime Minister another question. I am absolutely certain that, after the American ambassador's speech yesterday about the buy American policy, the Prime Minister called President Obama to discuss this issue and all the other cases in which Canada is facing severe discrimination as a result of American protectionism.

Can the Prime Minister tell us what President Obama said when they spoke yesterday?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are in regular contact with our American counterparts. They are well aware of our position on the buy American policy. It seems to me that protectionism is a hindrance to growth rather than a help, and we are encouraging our American friends not to take such action.

Criminal CodeOral Questions

October 19th, 2011 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the government have come up with this completely unrealistic number of $74.6 million as the cost for the changes in the Criminal Code that have been proposed by his government. There is not a person out there in the field who believes any of these numbers. They have absolutely no credibility with anybody.

Just at the moment, when the American conservative movement, to which the Prime Minister has paid such tribute his entire political career, is suddenly giving its head a shake and realizing just how wrong this path is, how expensive it is, how ineffective it is and how it is not, in fact, achieving any of the results it wants, why is the Prime Minister taking this country down exactly that same path?

Criminal CodeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I completely disagree with the premise of that question. In fact, as members know, incarceration rates in much of the United States are many times higher than those in Canada. It is a different approach.

In any case, in terms of the financial costs of the bill, these numbers have been provided to Parliament on multiple occasions. It does not matter whether the leader of the Liberal Party believes them. Those are the numbers.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, young families are feeling the squeeze from all sides. They are struggling to raise their kids, pay their bills, take care of their parents. The cost of living is skyrocketing while incomes have stalled. The average family makes just over $68,000, the same as in 1976, and yet Canada's top CEOs now average whopping $6.6 million a year.

Why are Conservatives adding to this inequality? Why will they not help out struggling Canadian families?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have made substantial tax reductions for Canadian families, a total, for a typical Canadian family, of about $3,000 a year. We have cut taxes in every way that the government collects them. We have increased the amount Canadians can earn tax free. We have fewer Canadians now paying any federal tax all. As well, there have been the creation of 650,000 net new jobs since the end of the recession.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, clearly, things are getting so much worse for young families. Families are tired of the same old failed Conservative policies, no plan to create jobs and no plan to make life more affordable. Families today have a lower standard of living than their parents. CEO salaries are now one hundred times that of an average Canadian. Banks get richer. Young families are squeezed by bills and debt.

Why are the government and the minister ignoring the needs of young Canadian families?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, why is the official opposition continually voting against every tax measure we bring into the House to help families in Canada and to help those who are on social assistance and who want to work? It was the party opposite that voted against the working income tax benefit, which is probably the most important social reform since the RRSP, but the NDP members voted against it.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a new study from the University of British Columbia confirms that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Canadians to raise their families. Families are facing an increase in housing costs, a stagnation of income and a decrease in services. They are having more and more trouble making ends meet.

Why does this government not make life more affordable for these families rather than lowering the taxes of large corporations?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know that the NDP's solution to all of this is a new $10 billion tax, which it put forward to the Canadian people during the last election and which was resoundingly rejected.

What the Canadian people and Canadian families need is tax relief. They can pay less tax and they need jobs, so we are creating jobs as well. I hope the member opposite will vote for the hiring credit for new hires that is in the bill before the House, the second budget bill.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, Canadian families have a lower standard of living than baby boomers did at their age. The average annual income of Canadian families has remained stable since the mid-1970s, but the cost of housing has increased by 76%. Canadian families have record levels of household debt.

When will the Conservatives take care of this generation, which is losing services and being pushed into excessive debt?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows or should know, Canada is relatively well off. We have the best debt to GDP number in the G7. We have the best employment job creation record in the G7.

Forbes magazine, The Economist and the IMF say that Canada is the best place to invest in the world in the next five years. These are all matters with which Canadians can be proud. We have to be cautious. It is a fragile economic recovery globally and we are working hard to resolve the crisis in Europe. However, having said that, Canada is relatively well off.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, a new report from the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Canada China Business Council says that the Conservatives have fumbled economic dealings with the region so badly that Canada now has a bad reputation with Asia. Once again, the Conservatives are blundering relations with yet another important trade partner.

How can Canadians trust the Conservatives to move Canada forward on trade when every time they sign a deal they set the country back?

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, our government understands that closer and deeper economic ties between Canada and Asia will benefit both our countries by creating more jobs, opportunities and prosperity.

The facts are this. I was in China last week demonstrating what Canada has to offer and to help expand our trade and investment relationship. Negotiations are moving forward on a FIPA with China. The week before I was in Indonesia and I signed Canada's first trade and investment framework agreement with Asia. We are getting it done for hard-working Canadians.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that even the government's friends say that it has fumbled another deal. Again today, we heard that the Conservatives have continued to mess up the relations with the U.S. Another round of U.S. stimulus has meant that Canada is being excluded.

The Conservatives continue to ask Canadians to trust them while they negotiate a massive, closed door deal with Europe.

Every time the Conservatives make a deal, Canada loses. When will the Conservatives stop folding on trade negotiations and start standing up for Canadians?

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, while that member was here grandstanding, I was in Washington dealing with my counterpart and meeting with key decision-makers and business people in the United States.

In these challenging times, deeper trade ties are the best way to create jobs on both sides of the border. We will continue to demand the removal of buy American measures. They are hurtful to both economies on both sides of our border. Protectionist measures, as proposed in the American jobs bill, are a danger to our fragile global economic recovery.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat NDP Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, his weak response is a reflection of their weakness at the bargaining table. Canada is in the process of negotiating a trade agreement with the European Union that could disrupt our local dairy and cheese markets because of the massive influx of products from a market of 650 million people. Our supply management system, which has been working effectively for 40 years, is in jeopardy.

Does this government commit to taking the supply management system off the bargaining table and protecting the families who depend on this industry?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Abbotsford B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we have made it clear, time and time again, that we are defending supply management. We are standing up for the farmers and their families of this country.

The truth is that the NDP is opposed to trade. That is the reality of it and the proof is in the pudding. The NDP members talk big about trade and about fair trade but what they really mean is no trade at all.

TransportOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, an information leak revealed that the government has been in possession of a report since January. This report shows that a high-speed train originating in Quebec City would benefit the entire Canadian economy. Canada is the only G8 country that does not have infrastructure for high-speed trains. That is a deficit that puts us at a competitive disadvantage.

Where is the Conservatives' plan for a high-speed train to bring Canada up to speed with the rest of the world?