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House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on the priorities of Canadians. This week, the next phase of Canada's economic action plan was introduced in the House.

Unfortunately, the reckless coalition, led by the Liberal leader, has said it will force an unnecessary and opportunistic election.

As a member from the north, could the Minister of Health update this House on the new measures included in the budget to improve the welfare of Canadians?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am proud that our government has included in our budget new measures to forgive student loans for doctors as well as student nurses working in rural and remote communities.

In fact, our budget included a new family tax credit for caregivers of loved ones who are ill. As well, the plan also includes health transfers to the provinces and territories.

Unfortunately, the reckless coalition has said it will force an unnecessary and costly election that will kill measures that will help Canadians.

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, another day, another investigation into Conservative corruption.

Party insiders close to the defence minister have received senior jobs with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. One is even getting up to two years of French training on full salary before he starts work in P.E.I. ACOA is an agency of the Government of Canada, not the Conservative Party.

The Conservatives have appointed Conservative bagmen to the Senate, kept a known fraudster in their inner circle, and now there is more evidence of patronage run amok.

What happened to their promise to clean up Liberal-style corruption?

EthicsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to accountability and transparency. The minister's office does not interfere in the hiring practices of the agency.

Our government brought in the Federal Accountability Act, which tightened up the rules. Strict Government of Canada guidelines and practices are always respected.

The real concern is that we know the coalition members across the way would recklessly increase spending, raise taxes, and kill jobs not only in Atlantic Canada but right across this great country.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, any pretense of reform under the Federal Accountability Act has given way to the old, unbridled patronage and rum bottle politics of the Mulroney years, complete with a brand new parcel of rogues lining their own pockets by peddling their influence.

I know they think that the boys have to make a living, but trying to profiteer from the third world conditions of first nations goes beyond unethical. It is loathsome and reprehensible.

In the death rattle of this Conservative government, I want it to tell us one thing. What role did Bruce Carson play in writing the Federal Accountability Act?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

None, Mr. Speaker.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative budget does not meet Quebec’s needs as far as cultural development is concerned. The budget does not contain any direct assistance to increase artists’ incomes, nor is there any new money for Quebec's film industry. The Conservatives have demonstrated that they have no intention of restoring the international touring grant programs. Moreover, arts and culture program spending was cut by 7% in the last fiscal year.

Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage realize that his government’s indifference when it comes to Quebec and its culture may end up triggering an election?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the member is completely wrong. Our sixth budget was tabled in the House. There has been a nationwide increase in funding for arts and culture in each and every budget. Here is what the Canadian Conference of the Arts had to say in support of our budget: “In this version of the 2011 budget, we see the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan put into place to support culture and communities, and investing in innovation, education and training.”

Moreover, Étienne Alary, president of the Association de la presse francophone, said in support of our budget that they were glad to see that the voice of minority official language publications had been heard. As usual, we have delivered the goods when it comes to culture.

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Nicolas Dufour Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, for years everyone in Quebec has been asking for an $800 million-plus increase to post-secondary education transfers in order to restore them to 1994-95 indexed levels. Instead of continuing to encroach on Quebec's jurisdiction by announcing new research chairs in its budget, the government should transfer the long-awaited $800 million.

Does the Minister of Finance understand that it is his government's indifference towards Quebec and its post-secondary education system that could trigger an election?

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has the facts all wrong. We introduced the Canada student grants program to help students with the cost of their education, to allow them to attend a post-secondary institution and reduce their debt. We want to help them take advantage of training and have access to education. Unfortunately, the Bloc voted against all of our efforts, the same way they will vote against—

Post-Secondary EducationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the list of politically motivated Conservative appointments is long and broad, as was said earlier in the House, but none more concerning or egregious than those taking place in ACOA. ACOA P.E.I. has become a retirement home for old Conservative cronies.

Could the minister confirm to the House how many Conservative appointees are currently being investigated by the Public Service Commission? It is a simple question. How many are being investigated?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, again, I will reiterate my previous comments to the member across. We do not interfere in the hiring practices of the agency. Our government brought in the Federal Accountability Act, which tightened up the rules. Strict Government of Canada guidelines are always adhered to.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, he can tell that to the judge.

If the minister spent less time looking after his Conservative buddies and more time looking after Atlantic Canadians, maybe we would not have been shafted in the budget like we did this week. There is $85 billion dollars for Fisheries and Oceans; $35 million for ACOA; $7 million for Marine Atlantic. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul. They robbed Peter, they robbed Keith, they robbed Gail . Where were these ministers from Atlantic Canada when this robbery was going on? Where were they when they were taking money from Atlantic Canadians?

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso was talking about various names that sounded suspiciously like ministers to me and he knows he cannot refer to members in the House by their names.

However, the hon. Minister of National Revenue, I am sure, will avoid this.

EthicsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, through you, to the member opposite, with the utmost respect, I would ask him to give his head a shake.

In our budget, we have the responsibility as a government to conduct reviews of programs and practices to ensure we are delivering the best results for Canadians. Any responsible organization does that. Savings would be realized going forward and in a manner that will not negatively affect client services or program delivery.

The real concern is now we know that the coalition members across the way would recklessly increase spending and raise taxes that would affect Atlantic Canada as well as all of Canada.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, northern families are struggling to find doctors and nurses, yet this budget would do nothing to solve that problem.

Dr. Roger Strasser, the dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, said:

Just providing financial incentives are not enough to turn around the shortage of doctors and nurses in rural and remote areas.

Why are Conservatives ignoring health specialists and northern families?

Why did the Conservatives reject the NDP's practical plan to increase the number of family doctors and nurses in rural Canada?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, again, how ironic. The member claims to care about the health care of Canadians and the health of Canadians, but will be voting against the budget that addresses those issues he has just raised.

The vote against the budget is a rejection of the research funding that we are putting forward. The vote against the budget is a vote against doctors and nurses in rural and remote communities. The vote against the budget is voting against the increased transfers to the provinces and territories again. This is a vote against Canadians.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hated HST pushed by the government on British Columbians costs the average B.C. senior around $2.00 a day. Now Conservatives claim a measly $1.15 a day more for seniors would somehow address tragic levels of poverty.

Conservatives spend without limit every time a corporate CEO has his hand out with $60 billion in corporate tax cuts. However, what about the seniors who built this country? A loonie a day for them? How disgraceful. Canadian seniors deserve better.

Why will the government not give older Canadians the retirement security, retirement dignity that they deserve? It takes away too much. It gives--

The BudgetOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The President of the Treasury Board.

The BudgetOral Questions

March 24th, 2011 / 2:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, as far as my hon. friend's reflections on British Columbians, it is very clearly a matter of fact that the province of British Columbia is the level of government which is advocating the HST.

I would also say that the NDP members, federally, are the ones who have opposed every tax reduction that our good finance minister has proposed.

For British Columbians and for all Canadians, we have indeed brought in significant increases to low-income seniors to meet their needs.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources arrived in the House just a few moments ago. He is usually very punctual. He is indeed a bit late, but he has a very good reason. I would like him to inform the House of this excellent reason for all of Quebec.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce to the House that my counterpart, the Deputy Premier of Quebec, Nathalie Normandeau, and I have announced an historic agreement between our two governments on offshore oil development in Quebec.

The Government of Quebec has been calling for this for more than 12 years now and it took our government to answer that call. We reached this agreement despite the Bloc Québécois MPs' constant criticism of this industry, despite the Bloc MPs from the Lower St. Lawrence, the North Shore and the Gaspé who do not want to create jobs in this industry for their region.

The choice is clear. They have a choice between the whiners in the Bloc and the Conservatives who want—

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche.