That Bill C-13 be amended by deleting Clause 162.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the issue of amendments to Bill C-13.
It must be said that, by proposing an amendment today to eliminate clause 162, we want to hold the government to the promise it made during the last election.
As hon. members know, in the May 2011 election, the government made a number of promises. Then, the Canadian public saw the government break its promises on a number of occasions. Here, on this side of the House, we think it is important for the government to keep the promises it made to the Canadian public. That is why we made this first amendment to Bill C-13.
What does clause 162 contain? As my colleagues know, this provision establishes a Canadian securities transition office. In fact, it ensures that the funding is granted to the securities transition office to begin its operations.
Given that the government promised exactly the opposite during the last election, it is our responsibility as the official opposition to remind the government what it clearly told the public prior to the May 2 election. I would like to quote the promise that the Conservatives made in their election platform—the same platform where they said that they would be moderate, that they would take care of the economy and that they would create jobs. They then broke every one of these promises.
In its election platform, the Conservative Party said the following about the establishment of a Canadian securities transition office: “We will not proceed unless the Supreme Court rules that this matter is within our jurisdiction.”
This was a very clear election promise. The government said that it did not want to proceed and that it would not proceed because it had to wait for the Supreme Court of Canada to rule on this issue.
As the hon. members know, a number of provinces reacted to the government's desire to impose something on the provinces that comes under provincial jurisdiction. And this reaction comes not only from the Quebec nation, but also from the majority of Canadian provinces, which said that this comes under their jurisdiction and that it should go no further.
The Conservative Party, when campaigning to become the federal government, clearly said that it would go no further with this plan. Now what is happening? This brick of a bill, which was drafted after the election, states the opposite: the Conservative government is ready to move forward, no matter how Quebec feels about it, no matter how the majority of Canadian provinces feel about it and no matter what promises it made to the Canadian people. It wants to go ahead. It wants to impose this transition office and it wants taxpayers across the country, from coast to coast, to pay for it.
The government made clear, unambiguous promises, saying that it would not go ahead with the plan. The Canadian people voted: 62% of Canadians said that they did not believe the Conservatives, and a tiny minority, 38% of Canadians, voted for the Conservative Party.
Despite these promises, the Conservative government wants to use this bill to go ahead with the plan. So today we want this clause to be withdrawn.
It is a bit odd that the official opposition, the 102 NDP members, has to force the government to keep its word. Normally, ethically speaking, when a political party runs in an election, it has to keep its word. Since the government very clearly told Canadians that it would not proceed with this, it should show them a little respect and honour the promise that it made, specifically, that it would not proceed with this and that it would allow the Supreme Court to rule on this matter and decide whether this falls under federal jurisdiction. The government did not do that.
It decided to impose this brick of a bill, which contains some things that we support, such as the tax credit for volunteer firefighters. We support certain parts of this bill. We will be talking more about them later today and over the next few days. There are other things that we do not support, such as clause 162, which creates a glaring contradiction between the Conservative Party promises and the reality of the Conservative government, which is not keeping its word. That is why we are proposing that the clause be deleted.
The report stage is an important one. Even the Conservative members would have to agree with me on that. During the last election, they campaigned on that very claim—that they would not go ahead with this. Since they promised not to act on this, why put these clauses in Bill C-13, clauses that go against what they promised in the last election campaign?
When we talk about Bill C-13 and those aspects that go against the Conservative government's promises, it becomes clear that the government was so concerned about ways to break its promises and to play shell games—on so many levels—that serve the Conservative Party, it forgot that its responsibility is the Canadian economy. We can see this in the numbers that have been released over the past few weeks regarding job losses. Canada lost 62,000 full-time jobs in October. That works out to just over 2,000 jobs a day, roughly. Every day in October, the Conservative government lost over 2,000 jobs.
At that rate, it being November 15, we may have lost another 30,000 jobs in the first half of the month alone, but we will not get the figures until the end of the month. We do not know because the figures the Conservatives bring to this House are inaccurate and do not reflect the reality on the street in terms of job losses. Those could have been avoided if this Bill C-13 had done what we proposed. It could have included investments for job creation, to help the middle class and the poorest Canadian families. If this government had taken action, we would not have lost so many jobs in October and we would not be in the process of losing even more in November.
Instead of taking action to create employment, which we still advocate, the government inserted clauses like clause 162 and thereby broke the solemn promises it made to the Canadian public during the last election campaign. For that reason, we want to get rid of clause 162.