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House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Cost of Federal MeasuresOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member spoke about a number of files but let us be clear: we are making sure we take a responsible approach with each province. The provinces are responsible for delivering the goods on the ground. That is why we are working with the provinces when it comes to crime, investment in waste water treatment and other things. We are working with the provinces, not against them. Our history, our heritage and our commitment in these matters clearly demonstrates that such is currently the case, and we will continue to work with the provinces.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives may be working with the provinces but they are not listening to them.

Public infrastructure is the backbone of our economy. After years of under-investment, the infrastructure deficit is blatantly obvious. It is upsetting our economy; our communities are suffering and will pay the price. Municipalities own 53% of Canada's infrastructure but collect only 8% of the taxes. The federal government must do its part to upgrade infrastructure. It would be good for employment and the economy. It would be good for public health and safety. It is a profitable investment.

Will the government make this commitment?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we are engaged on all of these files. The infrastructure deficit that our government inherited from the previous Liberal government is being tackled aggressively and responsibly by this government.

As a matter of fact, when we put in place our economic action plan we had the largest investment in Canada's infrastructure than any government since the second world war. That has resulted in projects across the country. By the way, on an equal basis across the country, moving forward, we are working with the provinces on all of these projects.

More than that, it was not just a one-time investment. We have made the gas tax transfer to municipalities permanent, which means that over $2 billion are going directly to the municipalities so that municipal governments can decide for themselves what projects are their priorities rather than having--

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Burnaby--New Westminster.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, 72,000 jobs were lost in October alone. The cost of living continues to rise and household debt has hit a record high. How do you expect families to save for their retirement when they have to pay off their credit cards and are having trouble finding work? This government has the gall to say that its plan will help millions of Canadians. What is this government doing? Nothing, except helping its friends in high places.

When will this government finally trim the fat from its friends and come up with a real recovery plan for the Canadian economy to create jobs here in Canada?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that we did come up with a real economic action plan but his party voted against that. We put forward a second economic action plan and those members voted against that, too.

I will refer exactly to what the member's question was about. We are putting forward a pooled registered pension plan that would actually be available, accessible and economical for over 60% of the workforce in this country that does not have a workplace pension plan right now. I certainly hope those members will not vote against that.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the reviews are in on the Prime Minister's failed pension scheme. The Conservative plan will not fix the problem with Canada's retirement system. As the Toronto Star says, “It's hard to see how they can make that claim with a straight face”. A simple, gradual, affordable increase to the stable guaranteed Canada pension plan would help every Canadian retire with dignity. Instead of paying for tax cuts to friends of the Conservatives, the CPP is what Canadians should invest in.

When will the out-of-touch government stop playing retirement roulette and strengthen the one pension plan families can rely on, which is the CPP? It promised to strengthen it. Why does it not do so? Why does it not strengthen the CPP?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, we actually have been working with the provinces to develop a plan that works for both the provincially-regulated and federally-regulated. Let me read a quote from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. It stated:

A new voluntary, low-cost and administratively simple retirement savings mechanism will allow more employers, employees, and the self-employed to participate in a pension plan....PRPPs have the potential to expand the retirement savings options for thousands of Canadian small businesses and their employees.

That is a quote worth listening to.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

November 21st, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the sovereign debt problem keeps rolling across Europe, from Greece to Italy and now Spain. In the polarized politics of the United States, they are headed into yet another damaging game of fiscal chicken. Global economic risks are rising and here in Canada our growth rate, job numbers and job quality are all getting worse.

Still, on January 1, the government will increase EI payroll taxes by another $600 million. At this critical moment, will the government listen to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and stop this job-killing Conservative tax increase?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the truth is our government's record is crystal clear. We are the government that has lowered taxes more than any other government across the country and we have done so in ways that have benefited the Canadian economy. In fact, Canada's tax regime is, indeed, the envy of the world because we have the most competitive tax rate. Forbes magazine has said that Canada is the best economy in the world in which to do business. We are moving forward. We are going in the right direction.

The member opposite mentioned things on the exterior that we cannot control and things within Canada that we can control. One thing we can control is the vote that will take place tonight with regard to the next phase of Canada's action plan. If he believes in lower taxes, he will stand with this government and lower taxes on Canadians.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, to be clear, Liberals reduced EI premiums every year for 12 consecutive years, for a total saving of $4,000 for every employee, $5,500 for every employer, a Liberal tax cut in total of $60 billion. The Conservatives have done the opposite, raising job-killing payroll taxes just when jobs are most vulnerable.

Why will the government not hold the line on payroll taxes and help create jobs instead of spending billions upon billions for bigger jails and untendered fighter jets?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, the member for Wascana is still trying to fight the last federal election. The public rendered its decision. It does not trust the Liberals with the economy and that is why they are sitting over there. That is why we were re-elected, with a majority government, to focus on the economy, and we are getting the job done.

Specifically with regard to the question of EI, we have put forward a project to ensure that 500,000 businesses that want to employ Canadians will have tax relief in this budget. The Liberals stand opposed to that. If they believe in it, they should stand and support our budget tonight, this week and moving forward to lower taxes on businesses.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives increase EI premiums by $1.2 billion and then give back $160 million. It is hardly a fair deal.

It is all about priorities. The Conservatives have ballooned the size of the federal government by more than one-third. Their annual program spending is up by $65 billion, a whopping 37%, and more than half of that increase happened before, not because of any recession. Still family incomes are stagnant. Most Canadians do not have a decent pension. The gap is growing between the very wealthy and everybody else.

Why do bigger jails seem more important to the government—

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, let us talk specifically about our proposals, what is at stake and what the Liberals are standing against. We are putting in place a family caregiver tax credit to help families with the cost of raising their families and taking care of their responsibilities, a children's arts tax credit, a volunteer firefighter tax credit for volunteer firefighters who stand up in public and ensure we have the services that we need in times of crisis. We want to give them a tax credit. The Liberals are standing against that. We want to have a tax credit for small business. We want to make the gas tax fund permanent to municipalities so municipal governments can take care of their responsibilities as well.

We are taking care of our responsibilities. We were elected to do it and we will deliver it in spite of—

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the last number of months, the Conservatives have tried out a whole whack of excuses to explain the outrageous behaviour of the Muskoka minister. No line has been more bizarre than at least “every penny was well spent”. We know that $3,000 was spent to put up a chandelier, $1,500 to move a bed and a new fridge just for the flowers. No wonder the Muskoka maverick thought he got a good deal when he shelled out $100,000 for a gazebo.

Will the minister explain why $2 million of taxpayer money was spent on renovating his friend's hotel?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada hosted the world's leaders for an important summit. When hosting the leaders of the G8 countries and thousands of other guests, it is expected that some adjustments would be made to accommodations. Every invoice was reviewed by professional public servants, as is always the case, before money went out the door.

The summit is already paying dividends on important initiatives such as our maternal and child health initiative.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the new Mr. Nobody does not have the facts right. The civil servants were not allowed to review it. It was reviewed by the three amigos. There was the minister who got to play Daddy Warbucks, the hotel manger who got a $2 million renovation right before the property was flipped for $26 million and there was the mayor who walked away with two giant white elephants.

When will the member stand, be accountable and show us the documents that allowed this boondoggle to come forward?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the important thing to point out is that every invoice was reviewed by professional public servants, as is always the case, before money went out the door. The summit is already paying dividends on important issues, such as maternal and child health initiatives, and that member should support those initiatives.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the NDP we now know that the G8 summit resulted in an incredible waste of public money, perhaps the worst since the sponsorship scandal. Canadians want to know why no one has been punished. In addition to the gazebos, Olympic-sized skating rinks, fake media centres—there is no end to the list—we have just learned that the Deerhurst resort received millions of dollars in public money to make cosmetic changes that cost us an arm and a leg. The government paid exorbitant amounts to move a bed or a chandelier and of course, once again, taxpayers footed the $2 million bill.

Can the President of the Treasury Board explain to Canadians what was the cost value of the G8 fiasco that was held in his riding?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it was a great honour for Canada to host the G8 summit. When hosting the leaders of the world's great economies, it is expected that some adjustments must be made for their accommodations. Every invoice was reviewed by professional public servants, as is always the case, before the money went out the door.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, history never repeats itself, but it sometimes follows a similar script.

It seems that the President of the Treasury Board was not the only one to profit from the G8 summit in his riding. The Deerhurst resort also won the G8 lottery by getting $2 million in free renovations. Less than nine months later, this hotel was sold for $26 million. We know why: because it did not have to pay for the renovations itself.

Is that the Conservatives' tax plan: take public money and distribute it to its friends in the private sector? Can the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka explain why public money was spent to line the pockets of an individual?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the member has never hosted international guests in his home. When one does that, accommodations are made for guests, especially when they are leaders of the great economies of the world. The important thing to remember is that every invoice was reviewed by professional public servants, as is always the case, before money went out the door.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the UN estimates that over 3,500 civilians have been killed in Syria during the government's crackdown. Today the Security Council is debating sanctions against Syria. For Canada, failure to win a seat on the Security Council is not an excuse for inaction.

Will the government reach out to Russia and China to join others in the international community working to end this regime's violence against its own people?