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House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are fed up with supporting the Conservatives, who are borrowing $6 billion to offer tax breaks that do not benefit 95% of our businesses, and at the same time, making cuts to the arts, culture and assistance for newcomers, to name just a few areas.

Canadians are fed up with the Conservatives, who want to build megaprisons but refuse to say how much that will cost.

Do the Conservatives understand that Canadians do not share their priorities?

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, here is what we do understand.

We understand that the Canadian economy has created 460,000 net new jobs. We understand that a lot of Canadians are still looking for work and we must remain focused on job creation in the economy. We believe that a competitive environment for Canadian business will be very important to that job creation.

We are making Canada a magnet for jobs, for investment, and for opportunity. That is why Catherine Swift, the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, supports our economic plan on taxes.

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are looking at a $56 billion deficit, yet Conservatives want to borrow another $6 billion just to give Canada's wealthiest corporations a tax break they obviously do not need because tax rates are already low.

Meanwhile, small businesses, those who employ more than half of all Canadians, get hammered with higher payroll taxes. Not a single child care space gets created and Canadians caring for ailing loved ones are told to go it alone.

Can the Conservatives not see that Canadians are fed up with their misguided priorities?

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, these tax policies have already been legislated by this Parliament. Who supported those tax policies? The Liberal Party of Canada.

Let me be very clear. We are going to do everything we can to create jobs, hope and opportunity. That is why a competitive tax structure is so important.

Something is going on in Canada that is simply not happening in other parts of the world. That is why Canada is creating so many jobs, but the work is not done. We must remain focused. The very best social program for Canadians is full-time employment. That is why we are staying focused.

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the government would rather spend our money on prisons and punishment instead of on policing and prevention, on an irresponsible purchase of jets to please the Pentagon and on tax breaks for large corporations, while they raise taxes for SMEs.

When will this government understand that Canadians need us to invest in them and that good social policy is at the heart of good economic policy?

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the member for Papineau talks about justice policy. Our government believes that dangerous offenders should be locked behind bars. People who sexually abuse children and who do serious crime should face serious time.

We strongly believe that community safety is an important priority for this country. For far too long, lax policies brought in by the previous Liberal government have not ensured that our communities are safe. We are putting victims first and we make no apologies for that.

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are facing stark choices. It is the government's deep deficits and increasing debt that are forcing those choices.

We care about families. The Conservatives prefer fighter jets.

We prefer to be tough on the causes of crime. The Conservatives prefer to spend billions on U.S.-style megaprisons.

We prefer to see Canadians retire with dignity. The Conservatives prefer to give billions to a mere 5%, the wealthiest, the biggest companies.

What do the Conservatives not get about what Canadian families really need?

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, what we get is that Canadian families need to have mom and dad working. They need to have health care. They need to have important quality services. That is why this government made a really stark decision.

Back in the last recession, the Liberal Party eviscerated public health care in this country. It cut back health care by $25 billion. I know that because the Liberal member for Toronto Centre was the biggest critic of that Liberal government when it cut health care.

That is why we are putting more money in the hands of provinces, so they can hire more nurses, doctors, and deliver better health care for Canadians.

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are breaking the law to protect their own law and order agenda. What irony.

They have seen the facts. They have seen the projections for their crime legislation, but they will not let anyone else see them, even though the law says they should. The same thing for corporate tax projections.

Excuse us if we have gone a little past accepting, “Just trust us”.

Why do the Conservatives not just come clean and admit that they cannot afford their own reckless agenda?

Government SpendingOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, can we afford to let down victims of crime? The answer is an unequivocal no.

Just before question period, the Liberal Party was working to obstruct criminal justice legislation that would help Canadian victims.

Let me give members an example. A while-collar fraudster can steal the retirement benefits of literally thousands of Canadians and be eligible for parole after only one-sixth of his or her sentence.

The Liberal Party wants to stand behind these white-collar fraudsters. I can tell members this government, this party, will never do that. We are fighting hard for victims and we make no apologies.

Gateways and Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives are determined to use the St. Lawrence as a highway to ship nuclear waste from Ontario and the United States, they are investing heavily in the Pacific gateway.

Instead of threatening the environment and the economic development of the St. Lawrence and its banks, why does the Conservative government not give Quebec its fair share of the gateways and border crossings fund?

Gateways and Border CrossingsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak to the premise of the member's question.

The decision concerning nuclear waste is based on science from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The Minister of Natural Resources received a technical briefing about the safety of people and the environment, which he found to be reassuring. He also instructed the commission to give technical briefings to anyone who wanted reassurance about the decision that has been made.

Climate Change AdaptationOral Questions

February 11th, 2011 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the Conservatives were listening to Quebec rather than threatening the St. Lawrence shoreline, then they would create a climate change adaptation fund to fight shoreline erosion, among other things. They would also help the victims of the high tides that occurred in the Lower St. Lawrence and Gaspé regions in December.

Are the Conservatives going to abandon their plans to make the St. Lawrence a highway for nuclear waste and invest in the priorities of Quebeckers and Quebec's regions?

Climate Change AdaptationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government's objective is to protect our citizens and the environment. The Minister of Natural Resources was very clear yesterday. He received a technical briefing that reassured him regarding the decision that was made. He has offered all stakeholders the opportunity to attend a technical briefing session about the decision.

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives repeat ad nauseam that it takes Conservative MPs to move matters forward in Ottawa.

In the case of the multi-purpose arena, they even donned hockey jerseys to make us believe that the Conservative government would fund Mayor Labeaume's project. However, when the time comes to foot part of the bill and return part of our taxes, it is all hot air.

Will the federal government finally undertake to do its fair share?

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government has not changed its position on the sports arena. We have asked for all the information, including information about private sector investments. As for the Quebec members of the Conservative caucus who wore Nordiques jerseys, I would like to say this to the member for Québec: we represent citizens who wanted to show that they care about the Nordiques, and the caucus participated in the blue march demonstration with these citizens.

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the multi-purpose arena proposed by Mayor Labeaume is a major engine of economic development for our national capital. It will attract important international events. In addition, it is part of a larger project to revitalize the neighbourhood.

When will the government undertake to do its share to complete the financing for the Quebec City multi-purpose arena? When will it show up with some money?

Quebec City ArenaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner ConservativeMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I realize that the member for Quebec City is asking for money because her party will never be able to resolve this matter on its own. It will never be able to make any sort of contribution to any promising economic projects for the Quebec City area.

The reality is that we are waiting for all the information required. Mayor Labeaume has promised to send it. We will examine the file when we receive it.

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were hoping that the Conservatives learned a lesson after the potash affair, but with the takeover of the TSX by the London Stock Exchange, it seems all they have learned is political caution. Three days later, they are still ducking the issue, fiddling, while Bay Street is burning.

When will the Conservatives announce a full public review of the takeover of Canada's biggest capital market?

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, last week we learned that the Bloc Québécois wanted to work with the government to strengthen criminal legislation. I thought that was remarkable. Now we are getting questions about capital markets and capitalism from the New Democratic Party. It appears that the New Democratic Party is now standing up for big banks on Bay Street. That is quite interesting.

Here is what we will do. We will follow the existing legislation that the government is mandated to do. If it requires a review, the Minister of Industry will conduct one. The one thing members can count on with the Minister of Industry is that he will do the right thing for Canada.

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I do not think Canadians can count on anything. Apart from losing a key institution in the Canadian economy, a serious prospect in itself, there are some 300,000 jobs at stake: traders, financial analysts, consultants and yes, even Bay Street lawyers.

Why the complacency? Canadians are expressing concern over our future ability to control our own markets. When will the Conservatives take responsibility and stand up for the Canadian economy?

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government stands up for the Canadian economy each and every day, but will follow the law accordingly. The Minister of Industry will always stand up and do the right thing for Canada.

I wish the New Democratic Party would join us in bringing the economy into an even more competitive shape by cutting taxes, cutting regulations and making Canada a magnet for jobs, investment, and opportunity. We need the NDP aboard. Let us hope it will do the right thing on the budget.

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting that the minister does not want to answer the question. We all know it was not the government that did the right thing on potash. It was the Canadian public that pushed the Prime Minister to drop his blind support for that hostile foreign takeover. The Canadian public also wants a say on this takeover.

When will the government commit to a full review and public hearings so Canadians could hear the full implications of this deal? Why will the government not let Canadians have their say? What is the problem with that?

SecuritiesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we will follow the letter of the law that requires the Minister of Industry, with certain financial transactions, to conduct a review. We have said in the past that we believe the act needs modernizing so it can be more transparent. The Minister of Industry can be counted upon to do the right thing. He did the right thing on potash and he will do what is required on this important issue.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are trying to hide the real cost of their prison policies, but now the cat is out of the bag. At yesterday's Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates meeting, the Commissioner of Correctional Service Canada, Mr. Head, said that at least 4,000 new prison guards would have to be hired in the next two years. In payroll alone, we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.

How many billions will the whole policy cost?