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House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was french.

Topics

Opposition Motion--Closure and Time AllocationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I am going to make a statement that I am sure has never been heard before in this House. Canadians actually gave our government a strong mandate to fulfill our commitments to Canadians, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Despite what the opposition would have us believe, each of our bills has been extensively debated in the House of Commons and at committee hearings.

Bill C-13, the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act is an example that I can speak to personally. As the Minister of State for Finance, I have been deeply involved in that.

We have heard that there have been 12 days of debate on the measures in Bill C-13 in this House. It should also be noted that there have been almost 120 speeches and over 32 hours of debate on Bill C-13 itself in this House.

I would remind hon. members, as was mentioned by my colleague, that the budget was actually tabled on March 22. It was debated extensively throughout the election campaign. I would say it was passed by Canadians, a term that is not often used in connection with elections, but it actually passed because that is what we ran on. The finance committee studied it, including all of its other studies which it had started in 2010 to discuss what was going to be in budget 2011.

We will not allow the opposition to continue playing political games and delaying our important legislative agenda, especially our budget proposals, in today's economic climate.

On Monday, the opposition voted against Bill C-13, despite all the important job-creating measures that are included in this bill and which were extensively debated. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the proposals in Bill C-13 that illustrate clearly just how the government is keeping our commitment to Canadians and just why we needed to take swift action.

As we all know, Canadians have weathered some very difficult economic times over the last couple of years. Our government has taken unprecedented action to help them through this challenging period, and we are seeing some reassuring signs of economic recovery.

The next phase of Canada's economic action plan builds on the government's record by announcing new measures for families and additional support for communities. This includes encouraging hiring by providing a temporary hiring credit for small business of up to $1,000 against a small firm's increase in its 2011 employment insurance premiums over those it paid in 2010. We are almost in 2012. Clearly the time is here to implement this hiring credit.

The economic action plan also includes an extension of active or recently terminated work-sharing agreements by up to 16 weeks, so that companies can avoid layoffs by offering EI benefits to workers willing to work a reduced work week while their company recovers.

The government is focused on supporting Canadian families with a range of targeted measures that will help Canadians find and hold onto good, high-paying jobs while improving Canadians' quality of life in big and small communities all across this country.

Lower taxes support businesses by providing them with the freedom to grow and invest. Reductions in corporate taxes increase incentives for firms to invest in new equipment, to undertake innovative research, and to continue creating jobs.

Bill C-13 builds on actions taken by our government by continuing to keep taxes low. We cannot afford to further delay this.

For example, to promote the exploration and development of Canada's rich mineral resources, Bill C-13 proposes to extend the temporary 15% mineral exploration tax credit for an additional year into 2012. The credit helps companies raise capital by providing an incentive to individuals who invest in flow-through shares issued to finance mineral exploration.

Similarly, investments in clean energy technology and innovation are essential to realizing economic opportunities, creating employment and enhancing the Canadian advantage. Canada is an energy superpower with one of the world's largest resource endowments of both traditional and emerging sources of energy. Canada is increasingly looked to as a source and dependable supplier of a wide range of energy products.

Bill C-13 proposes to expand eligibility for accelerated capital cost allowance treatments for clean generation equipment to include equipment that generates electricity using waste heat. The government will continue to invest in Canadian capabilities, the drivers of our economic growth.

As a trade-dependent economy, Canada benefits from having an open and efficient trading system. As part of the economic action plan, Canada's trade instruments, notably the customs tariff, will be simplified and streamlined in order to facilitate trade and lower the administrative burden for businesses as well as government.

More specific, Bill C-13 proposes to reduce the customs processing burden for businesses by reducing the number of tariff items contained in the customs tariff to facilitate the classification of imported goods. By ensuring that Canada's trade instruments are modernized and streamlined, these measures will lower customs processing costs for Canadian businesses, making them more competitive at home and abroad and supporting their participation in global supply chains.

We want to get rid of this red tape now, not later. It is important that we move on with many of these initiatives.

There are many more that I would like to have talked about, but I see my time is up. I could go on and on about all the initiatives the NDP are trying to block, initiatives that businesses and Canadians need now.

Opposition Motion--Closure and Time AllocationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member will have three minutes left after question period to conclude his remarks.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements by Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe Conservative London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada was built by immigrants and our economic future depends on our ability to quickly accept and integrate newcomers.

I am pleased to be a member of Parliament from such a diverse riding. Because of Liberal neglect and empty promises, a massive backlog accumulated in every immigration category. We are working to fix this problem. Right now, parents and grandparents can expect to wait eight years or more before they receive a decision on their application. This is unacceptable and unfair.

My constituents were pleased that the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism recently announced that the government would increase the number of parents and grandparents admitted to Canada next year. From about 15,500 in 2010 up to 25,000 in 2012, this is the highest level in nearly two decades.

The new super visa for parents and grandparents will allow families to reunite quickly. As of December 1, visiting parents and grandparents who meet basic criteria of financial support and medical clearance will now be eligible to visit Canada for 24 months without renewing their visitor status.

My constituents of London North Centre

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

Aerospace IndustryStatements by Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the aerospace industry in the Laurentian region has seen significant growth in the past 20 years and now includes about 20 companies and 4,000 direct jobs. The riding of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles has a number of world-class small and medium-sized businesses working in this sector. I am thinking of Patt Technologies and Metcor in Saint-Eustache, as well as DCM Aerospace and TMH Canada in Boisbriand.

Although the aerospace industry is booming, it is nevertheless a cyclical industry that must face foreign competitors with better government support. The NDP has long proposed that we develop a concerted industrial strategy for the aerospace industry to better support innovation and promote the modernization of equipment. While this government is handing over a blank cheque to Lockheed Martin, it is avoiding coming up with a real policy that would secure the future for Canadian and Quebec workers in the aerospace industry.

EgyptStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Maikel Nabil is a young Egyptian blogger, one of the early voices of the Tahrir Square revolution, whose words, “the army and the people are of one hand”, symbolized the hopes of the Egyptian Arab Spring. When the military started oppressing civilians, Nabil wrote, “the army and the people are no longer of one hand”, for which he was sentenced by a military tribunal to three years in prison in a process devoid of any legality.

Maikel is now on the 95th day of his hunger strike. He has become a symbol of hope and betrayal of an Egyptian Spring turned Winter, his life hanging by a thread.

I know all colleagues will join me in urging the Egyptian authorities to immediately release him and vindicate the original hopes of the Egyptian Arab Spring.

JusticeStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Conservative Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightfully concerned when the practice of polygamy is exposed in the country.

Polygamy has been linked to a consistent set of harms, including: physical and sexual abuse; physical, reproductive and mental health harms; economic deprivation; lower levels of education; inequality, including both gender inequality and marginalization of young men; decreased political rights and civil liberties; and the commodification and objectification of women. The harmful effects of polygamy justify the criminal law ban.

That is why our government has vigorously defended the prohibition against polygamy in the Criminal Code. It is a practice which inevitably leads to the exploitation of women and young girls. This is unacceptable to our party and to our government. We have already acted to raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 and currently have legislation before the House that will crack down on a wide variety of child sexual offences.

I would like to assure all Canadians that they can count on our government to stand up for these important values.

Natural ResourcesStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week we have some great news for workers in Canada and the United States. The state of Nebraska and TransCanada Pipelines have agreed to find a route for Keystone pipeline through Nebraska.

Keystone, when approved, means 20,000 immediate construction jobs in the United States and tens of thousands of jobs in Canada. It will be the safest transportation method for oil in the world, oil from an ethical, safe, democracy that believes in equal rights for all and the rule of law for its citizens.

Yes, the NDP asked the Americans to stop the pipeline and kill tens of thousands of Canadian jobs. It is hard to believe the NDP would work to kill Canadian jobs and would encourage the purchase of oil from countries that do not allow women to vote, do not believe in individual rights and have many of their citizens live in fear and poverty.

Why would the NDP members do this? It is obvious they want to play politics with the lives of Canadians. They are not in it for Canadians; they are in it for themselves. They are not fit to govern.

Global Buy Nothing DayStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin NDP Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is Global Buy Nothing Day.

We wish to recognize this day as an opportunity to reflect on the issue of overconsumption and how consumerism in wealthy countries affects the planet as a whole in terms of its social, economic and ecological impact.

At present, 20% of the world's population consumes 80% of all global resources. In every country, people are suffering because they cannot get the basic resources they need to live comfortably. In certain regions of the world, some people do not even have access to food every day and many children are suffering as a result.

Global Buy Nothing Day is not meant to hurt the economy, but it is an opportunity for people to reflect on how lucky we are to be able to buy things every day without even thinking about it.

I would like to congratulate an organization in my riding, the Coop la Maison verte, which is marking this event on Sunday by inviting its members to gather at the co-op to raise awareness, without buying anything. It is very important that we all pay attention to our consumption habits and make responsible decisions.

Grey CupStatements by Members

November 25th, 2011 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday millions of Canadians from coast to coast to coast will turn their eyes toward beautiful British Columbia for the 99th Grey Cup. This annual sporting event is one of the oldest in the world.

However, as millions of Canadians know, the Grey Cup is about more than just football. For almost 100 years, the Grey Cup has helped bring our country together. Serving as Canada's unofficial fall festival, the Grey Cup affords an opportunity for all Canadians to come together to celebrate an event that is uniquely Canadian.

I have had the opportunity since 2004 to be a member of the B.C. alliance family as a member of the support group, the “Waterboys”. The Lions, which had its first season in 1954, is the oldest professional sports team in British Columbia and is a valuable and important member of our community.

This weekend, along with millions in British Columbia, I will be cheering on the team members of the Lions as they attempt to win their sixth Grey Cup. Go Lions go.

Religious FreedomStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, from November 16 to 19, I joined the Governor General on a state visit to Vietnam. This visit was the first ever state visit to Vietnam. This visit was to continue establishing our growing relations in trade, education and cultural ties.

While these ties are growing, nevertheless our concerns regarding human rights, the rule of law, religious freedom and promotion of democracy remain. During our bilateral meeting with the president, I emphasized these principles as a major platform of our foreign policy. I also informed him of our plans to open an office of religious freedom.

The next day, on our visit to Ho Chi Minh City, I then paid a visit to the parents of Nguyen Tien Trung, who has been sentenced to 16 years for advocating more democracy. I inquired about Mr. Nguyen's well-being.

Canada recognizes the desire of Vietnam to be a member of the international community. However, it needs to show that it has taken concrete steps to address its shortcomings in human rights, the rule of law, religious freedom and promotion of democracy. Canada is ready to assist.

Grey CupStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday the big blue machine will descend on the hapless and unsuspecting B.C. Lions and regain its rightful ownership of the Grey Cup.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a great history and tradition of triumph and victory. In 1935 it was the first team west of Ontario to ever win the Grey Cup. Since then, it has contested for the championship no fewer than 24 times, one of the best records in the league. The 1950s and 1960s were golden years for the blue and gold, with four Grey Cup victories in five seasons, and we christened “The House that Jack Built”, the stadium that our team has called home until this very season.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the pride of the Prairies, with the most devoted and passionate fans in the league. We love our team and our team has always made us proud.

I know that Sunday, November 27, the 99th CFL Grey Cup will be a great day and a historic event, as the big blue machine brings the Grey Cup back where it belongs: to the corner of Portage and Main.

Violence Against WomenStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Today also marks the beginning of 16 days of activism to combat violence against women here in Canada and around the world. This period of activism will end on Human Rights Day on December 10.

Violence against women affects everyone. It destroys families, undermines our social fabric, harms our communities and hinders our economy.

Our government made this problem a priority in the Speech from the Throne. Since 2007, the government has invested more than $39 million in projects to address this situation.

These 16 days of activism remind us to do everything we can to eliminate violence against women and girls, today and always.

Tadoussac Song FestivalStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Jonathan Tremblay NDP Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Festival de la chanson de Tadoussac has been celebrating French song for 28 years. This event features emerging artists who perform various types of music and it attracts people from everywhere, close to 38,000 in 2010. The festival's economic spinoffs exceed $1.7 million. This shows how the festival has expanded over the years.

During the Canadian Tourism Awards Gala, which took place on November 24 in Ottawa, the Festival de la chanson de Tadoussac was a finalist for the national award for cultural tourism. I want to acknowledge this recognition, which is the result of the hard work the organizers and volunteers have put in to make this festival a model to follow.

Congratulations and long live the Festival de la chanson de Tadoussac.

Tim Hortons in KandaharStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, a piece of home for Canadians serving in Afghanistan is now coming home.

The Tim Hortons outlet at Kandahar airfield is closing after boosting soldiers' spirits for over five years. Civilian personnel hired by the Canadian Forces poured over four million coffees and half a million iced capps and served over three million doughnuts. Many of these civilians did multiple tours in Afghanistan.

The Tim Hortons on base provided a meeting place for soldiers from all nations. It was a place to sip on some coffee and have some good conversation. For many, it was a home away from home.

How many Canadians know this: all the proceeds from the Kandahar Tim Hortons went to support our troops and their families.

We salute and thank Tim Hortons for its support of our men and women in uniform.

We salute and thank the civilian personnel whose commitment made life a little easier for those for serve.

We salute and thank our brave men and women of the Canadian Forces who answer the call to duty each and every day.

A Hare in the Elephant's TrunkStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Jan Coates is a children's author and teacher from Wolfville, Nova Scotia, who has been writing for children since 2000.

This year her book “A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk” was one of five finalists for the 2011 Governor General's Literary Award--Children's Text.

The novel for young adults is based on the life of Jacob Deng, who as a seven-year-old in southern Sudan embarked on a journey of survival. Jacob fled from a civil war, lived in a refugee camp, endured hunger and aspired to an education as a path away from violence.

In 2003 Jacob arrived in Nova Scotia as a refugee. He has since studied at both Acadia University and St. Mary's University and has established a charitable foundation, Wadeng Wings of Hope, to build schools in Sudan. Forty per cent of the proceeds from the sales of Jan's books is donated to Jacob's charity.

Jacob's life is a story of courage, and Jan's book about it is a lesson on life for all of those who read it.

Congratulations, Jan and Jacob.

TaxationStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the member for Vancouver Quadra is calling for Canada to impose a European-style carbon tax. The member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville wants a global carbon tax. The Liberal scheme for a job-killing carbon tax on everything is back on the table.

If the Liberals had their way, Canadians would be paying substantially more for gas in their cars, electricity for their homes and everything else they buy.

Canadians must not forget the Liberals' hidden agenda of imposing a massive new tax on everything if they get their chance.

It is not just carbon taxes. Recently their interim leader called for the end of tax credits for children, transit users and workers, and despite the current global economic uncertainty, the Liberals continue to call for higher taxes on job creators.

It is clear that the Liberal Party still has no new ideas other than higher taxes for Canadian families.

G8 SummitStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives were elected on a promise to clean up Ottawa. Instead, the Muskoka minister gets his hands on a $50 million slush fund. He runs the program through his constituency office. He hides the documents from the Auditor General. Then, when he is pressed for an explanation by committee, he claims that he had no role in the review of the projects. Two hundred and forty-two projects magically became 32. That is simply not true.

We have his letters of rejection to the municipalities. He said in the House that he handed all of the documents to the Auditor General. That is not true. The Auditor General told committee that she was given only a few unrelated documents.

Where is the outrage from Conservative backbenchers on behalf of Canadian taxpayers? Why are they sitting on their hands? Those Conservatives came to Ottawa to change Ottawa, but instead Ottawa changed them. They are now worse than the party they replaced.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, while our Conservative government is focused on creating and protecting jobs with our low-tax plan and job-creating measures such as the hiring credit for small business, the NDP is constantly opposing them and thus opposing helping Canadian families.

In the coming months, Canadians will endure countless NDP leadership debates. The candidates will each be looking to lead Canada's socialist movement. However, even before the debate, we already know what most NDP leadership candidates want to do for the economy and Canadian taxpayers, and workers everywhere should be very afraid.

First, they want to kill jobs by hiking taxes on employers by nearly $10 billion a year. Second, they want to impose a new tax on everyday financial transactions. Third, they want to increase personal taxes. Fourth, they want to hike taxes on everyone by implementing a higher GST. The list of tax hikes and ill-considered schemes goes on and on.

When it comes to the NDP and the economy, Canadians know that means three things--

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

Oral questions, the hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, this government should be attacking the twin deficits in the job market—the deficit of 2 million Canadians left out of the workforce and the deficit of quality in the jobs being created. The few jobs that have been created are of lesser quality, pay less, are less stable and have fewer benefits. The question is simple. When will the government have the courage to face reality? When will this government change course? When will it create high-quality jobs such as the ones families have lost?

EmploymentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the federal government, our priority is economic growth and job creation. We set out new measures in this fall's bill, but the NDP voted against every one of our proposals aimed at creating jobs. It voted against efforts to help small businesses and measures to lower taxes and make Canada the best place in the world to invest. Economic growth is our priority. We have already created 600,000 new jobs over the past two years. That is a good start, and we will continue to work on economic recovery.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, we voted against policies that created 72,000 lost jobs in the month of October alone. We voted against policies that have left two million Canadians unemployed. We voted against policies that have forced down average wages in this country by 2% over the last year. We voted against a program that has left a million Canadians going to food banks just to make ends meet. We have lost 600,000 well-paid manufacturing jobs on the Conservative watch. That has led to a decrease in wages.

It is very clear that the government does not know where it is going. Where is the real job creation plan? Why—

EmploymentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are pleased with the 600,000 net new jobs created since the bottom of the recession, but we are not declaring victory. We remain focused on the Canadian economy. We remain focused on ensuring that every single Canadian who wants to work has a job.

Let me remind the member opposite of what the NDP voted against. It voted against the family caregiver tax credit, the children's arts tax credit, the volunteer firefighters tax credit and tax relief for the manufacturing sector, something he purports to support. Why will he not stand up and support the good measures that would help job creation and economic growth?