Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to this important issue.
I hear some of the things the member has been saying with respect to poverty and that is why we have taken a significant number of steps to address this issue. There are a number of projects across the country, over 22,000, creating jobs. Our Conservative government believes that the best way to fight poverty is to get Canadians working and, thanks to the actions we have taken, that is exactly what is happening. In fact, since July 2009 we have created over 460,000 new jobs. In fact, 260,000 initial jobs were saved through job sharing. If the member and his party had their way, there would be a loss of 400,000 jobs.
We have made unprecedented investments in skills training which last year alone helped over 1.2 million Canadians transition to new jobs. We have introduced the working income tax benefit to make work pay for Canadians. We are trying to get over the welfare wall. In the first year alone, one million low-income Canadians benefited. In fact, the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour himself praised the government for introducing the working income tax benefit. We have introduced historic registered disability savings plans to help Canadians save for the long term financial security of a child with a disability. We continue to pursue our low tax plans so that Canadians have more money in their pockets to spend on what is important to them and their families. We have improved social transfers to the provinces so they now have access to predictable and growing funding.
Those are just a few examples. Time does not permit going through the long list of initiatives we have taken and introduced to help low-income Canadians and their families.
Our record is one of action, whereas the Liberals' record is one of empty talk and failure. They had 13 years to do it and failed to do anything or address any of the issues that the member raises. They are best known for their decision to slash social transfers to the provinces by a whopping $25 billion. That meant drastically less funding for health care, post-secondary education and programs to help low-income Canadians. What does the member have to say to that?
The Liberal member for Markham—Unionville admitted that these cuts had a devastating impact. He said:
I think, in hindsight, the Chretien government--even though I'm a Liberal--cut perhaps too deeply, too much offloading, with the benefit of hindsight. And there were some negative effects
Of course there were.
The Liberal finance critic, the member for Kings—Hants, echoed the sentiment when he said that the Liberal government made the wrong choices and slashed transfers to provinces. He went on to say, “The provinces are still scrambling to catch up on the lost Martin years of inadequate funding”.
Now the self-proclaimed tax-and-spend Liberal leader is pursuing a campaign to raise taxes on Canadians and job creators. Independent experts have stated that the LIberal plan will kill an estimated 400,000 jobs. This is not the way to proceed.
I will quote the Liberal member for Kings—Hants, who very nicely summed up the devastating impact the Liberal tax hike plan would have on low-income Canadians. He stated:
--we cannot increase corporate taxes without losing corporate investment. If we lose corporate investment, we have a less productive economy. That means lower paying jobs. That means fewer jobs. That means more poverty.
The member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour should listen to his finance critic and abandon the Liberal plan to raise taxes. He should speak to his leader. He should instead support our government's plans that are getting Canadians working and putting more money into the pockets of Canadians so they can address the issue of poverty. He should get behind these plans and convince his leader to drop his plan to hike taxes that would cost an estimated 400,000 jobs.