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House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

Topics

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I believe we will have the unanimous consent of the House to adopt the following motion. I move:

That, in relation to the debate on government business number 1 regarding Canada's involvement in the NATO-led mission in Libya, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, at the conclusion of the time provided for Government Orders on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, the Speaker shall forthwith put, without further debate or amendment, every question necessary to dispose of the motion.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

AsbestosPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition here signed by thousands of Canadians from all across Canada who call upon the House to take note that asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever known. In fact, they point out that more Canadians now die from asbestos than all other industrial causes combined. Yet they further point out that Canada remains one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world, and they note that Canada spends millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry, a move that they call “corporate welfare for corporate serial killers”. They also point out that Canada is blocking international efforts to curb its use.

Therefore, these petitioners call upon Parliament to ban asbestos in all of its forms and institute a just transition program for any asbestos workers who may be laid off; to end all government subsidies of asbestos, both in Canada and abroad; and to stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, such as the United Nations' Rotterdam Convention.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to present petitions on an issue that is of grave concern to residents of British Columbia, the protection of B.C.'s waters from an oil disaster.

The petition points out that the proposed Enbridge northern gateway pipeline would carry oil from the Alberta tar sands to the coast of Kitimat. This project would bring more than 225 supertankers the size of the Empire State Building to the north coast of B.C. each year.

The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to acknowledge the 1972 moratorium on oil tanker traffic off B.C.'s coast and strongly urge the Government of Canada to immediately legislate the moratorium on offshore drilling and oil tanker traffic on B.C.'s coast.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Search and RescueRequest for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise under Standing Order 52(2), asking leave to propose an emergency debate on the closure by the Government of Canada of the marine search and rescue coordination centres in St. John's and Quebec City.

The people of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec are still in shock over the decision to reduce the ability of these marine coordinating centres to do the work that they do in saving lives.

There is a failure of the government to consider the continuing need for the centres because they provide the necessary local knowledge of the conditions, and in the case of Quebec City, as was pointed out during question period, the knowledge of the language to be able to respond immediately to requests for coordination of rescue.

They have been called call centres and dispatch centres. These are rescue coordination centres. Experienced Coast Guard officers with many years of dealing with these instances are dealing with matters of life and death.

The government is moving with undue haste with respect to these centres. I understand that notices have already gone out. The government is moving very quickly before there can be proper consideration and debate of this issue.

We think this meets the conditions for the need of an emergency debate, to hear more information about the matters, including information that has come to light since then. And much more will come, as to the actual life-saving capacity of these centres because of the quick action and local knowledge that they have of the areas in which they serve.

This is something that is of grave importance to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. We have been struggling to improve search and rescue facilities and ability. This is a backward step.

It needs an emergency debate by this House pursuant to Standing Order 52(2).

Speaker's RulingRequest for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I thank the hon. member for bringing this matter before the House's attention. I do not find that it meets the requirements for an emergency debate at this time.

I will point out that we have had several days of debate on the budget and other similar items. There are two opposition days coming up before the end of this particular portion of the session, so perhaps there will be some time to raise this issue then.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government, and of the amendment.

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier was in the process of questions and comments when question period started.

Resuming debate. The hon. member for Brampton—Springdale.

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Conservative Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the House that I will be sharing my time with the member for Portage—Lisgar today.

I am honoured to address the House this afternoon and wish to thank the voters of Brampton—Springdale for allowing me to represent them here in the House as part of a strong and stable Conservative majority government.

The hard-working people of Brampton—Springdale welcome the reintroduction of the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, no differently than the rest of Canada. The people of Brampton were affected by the global economic downturn. The recession affected Bramptonians from all walks of life, including seniors, families, small business owners and new Canadians.

However, under the leadership and direction of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada's economic action plan has helped Canadians from coast to coast to coast. This initiative helped create—

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I hate to interrupt the hon. member during his speech, but I must remind him that it is inappropriate to use proper names when referring to colleagues. He should use riding names or titles.

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Conservative Brampton—Springdale, ON

The city of Brampton, like many other Canadian cities, was fortunate to receive direct benefits from the economic action plan. Thousands of jobs were created in the city and unemployment rates fell.

The partnership between the Government of Canada and the city of Brampton resulted in the revitalization of Chinguacousy Park, the development of Mount Pleasant Mobility Hub, and the renovation of nine recreation centres. These projects have allowed Bramptonians to witness the success of the economic action plan in their own backyards. Even with strong accolades and growing support, the global recovery remains very fragile and too many deserving Canadians are still looking for work.

The Government of Canada continues to focus on several key areas to help Canadians, their families and our economy. This low tax plan for job creation and growth will be instrumental for cities such as Brampton.

For instance, the city of Brampton has a large manufacturing base. This budget extends the accelerated capital cost allowance, which will help manufacturers make these investments in new machinery and equipment.

The riding of Brampton—Springdale is home to many small and medium-size businesses that help contribute to our local economy. These businesses will directly benefit from numerous initiatives within our new budget to retain workers and increase job opportunities

Further, this budget provides a one time credit of up to $1,000 to encourage additional hiring, providing incentives to companies to create more job prospects. Our tradespeople and students will also benefit from the decision to extend the tax relief for skilled certification exams and doubling the in-study income exemption. This will allow more young Bramptonians to attend school, pay for tuition and receive their credentials quicker.

The budget has focused not only on businesses but has placed emphasis on our youth who are undertaking schooling that will prepare them for well-paying jobs as they progress into the future.

The city of Brampton has benefited tremendously from the gas tax fund for municipalities. Brampton has received millions of dollars from this program, which has then been invested and allocated to transit initiatives. Our budget puts into law the permanent annual investment of $2 billion in gas tax funding for cities and towns to support infrastructure priorities.

Seniors across Canada were placed in difficult positions during the recession. I have spoken with numerous groups of seniors throughout my riding who have told me that they have trouble making ends meet. Thankfully, the government's budget helps provide the much needed tax relief that these hard-working Canadians deserve.

Eligible low income seniors living in Brampton—Springdale will receive an additional annual benefit of up to $600 for a single senior and $840 for couples. Low income Bramptonian seniors will be provided with assistance to ensure that they live a life of dignity not financial stress.

Families throughout Brampton—Springdale will be provided with several tax relief options. The new children's arts tax credit will allow for up to $500 in eligible fees for programs associated with arts, cultural, recreational and development activities. Brampton—Springdale has a growing youth population and this tax credit will allow more families to enrol their children in activities.

These strong tax relief initiatives build on numerous actions by our government to support families since 2006, which now save a typical Brampton family on average $3,000 a year.

The Government of Canada will provide $20 million to promote programs that help youth resist or exit gangs. Brampton has seen a dramatic rise in gang activities and youth violence over the years. This investment will help communities like ours develop strong partnership programs that provide young Canadians alternatives to a gang lifestyle. This tremendously benefits our families and our children while promoting a safe community for everyone to enjoy.

Many new Canadians decide to make my riding their new home. However, many immigrants have trouble with recognition of their credentials. Fortunately, and applauded by new Canadians in Brampton—Springdale, the government will introduce a streamlined immigration system that will better respond to the needs of the labour market and will develop a common approach to facilitate the recognition of foreign credentials.

Also HRSD Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada will test ways to help foreign trained workers to cover these costs, giving new Canadians brighter opportunities.

I am also very pleased to announce that the mayor of Brampton, Susan Fennell, has applauded a benefit Brampton has received through the economic action plan and is very eager to work closely with the government, which has a clear plan to tackle Canada's municipal infrastructure deficit and provide cities with the resources necessary to deliver the programs and services that residents expect.

Cities are the economic engines of our country, and as our economy continues to recover, Canada needs strong, healthy cities with quality infrastructure to create jobs to complete globally. The mayor of Brampton is thankful that our government has recognized these priorities.

As the member of Parliament for Brampton—Springdale, I am proud to support the next phase of Canada's economic action plan. It directly benefits families, children, seniors, new Canadians, and businesses in my community.

I look forward to work alongside Bramptonians as a member of a government that is focused on creating jobs, relieving financial stress, and providing the assistance every hard-working Canadian deserves.

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague on a very thought-provoking and encouraging presentation of budget 2011.

I am wondering if he could expand for us the effect that our economic action plan has had in terms of creating jobs in his riding. We know now that 580,000 jobs have been created since July 2009. Could the hon. member comment on the effects that the economic action plan and these job creation programs have had on his riding?

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Conservative Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. member on her re-election.

As I mentioned in my speech, Brampton—Springdale has a huge base of small and medium-sized businesses, and as our government in the last number of years has managed to reduce the tax burden on small and medium-sized businesses, it has really helped boost our economy and create jobs at the local level.

Whenever I go around, I talk to small and medium-sized businesses. All my constituents are very thankful for the approach that the Canadian government has taken and the help that the government has provided.

This budget and the next phase of our economic action plan means a lot. I am regularly getting many phone calls and emails congratulating the government and the Minister of Finance for doing such a wonderful job in the last number of years, and especially for the budget that was presented last week.

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to describe a typical family in Lac-Saint-Charles. This family has just had its fifth child, the father is unemployed and they do not have the means to send the children to private classes or schools or to sign them up for extra-curricular activities, in order to be eligible for the child tax breaks.

Could the hon. member tell us how these children will benefit from the new budget? The $100 the government wants to add will be taxable. Even the $100 that the government will give to families for one child will be taxable come income tax time. What will be left for our poor families?

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Conservative Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member opposite on her election.

As a father of three children myself, a $100 child tax benefit means a lot, not just for myself, but I believe for all Canadians. They all appreciate it. When I go around to speak to my constituents in my riding, people really do appreciate it, along with the other tax initiatives the government has increased.

We all know that since 2005, an average family now saves approximately $3,000 in taxes, along with the reduction in the GST and a number of other tax initiatives to help families make ends meet.

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I will begin by congratulating you on your election as the Speaker of this House. I also want to congratulate all members of Parliament, those who are newly elected, as well as those who have been re-elected to Parliament.

I also give a huge thanks to the people of Portage—Lisgar. It is an honour to represent them here in Ottawa and to be able to serve them in the riding. They have given me a very strong mandate. Personally, I had 76% of plurality in my riding and, therefore, thank the people of Portage—Lisgar for that support.

I also thank the volunteers because an effort like that never happens without tremendous volunteers who help me. I especially thank my official agent, Scott Beattie, who did a tremendous job in his role. I also thank my staff who has worked so hard over the last several years: Victoria Bendle, Teresa Friesen, Brittany Saunders, Laura Moran and Colleen Kyle. I thank them for all of their help and support.

Finally, I thank my family, especially my children. As all of us know, it is our families that, many times, sacrifice the most. I thank my children, Lukas, Delaney and Parker, so much for their love and support. I also must wish a happy 17th birthday to Delaney who had her birthday yesterday.

I am pleased to take a few moments to speak to the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, budget 2011, a low tax plan for jobs and growth.

As we all know, during 2008, a deep recession hit all of us, with virtually no country in the world being untouched. It was a recession that had the ability to destroy countries, and certainly there are countries that are still feeling the effects and are still trying to come out from underneath the deep recession of 2008.

However, we can proudly and gratefully say that Canada became a beacon. Canada became a ray of hope and a light. The reason for that was that Canada had a government, and has a government, that refused to put politics ahead of the interests of the Canadian people. We also came out of that recession because Canadian people stood tall, stood proud, worked hard and were tenacious. Because of that, we were able to come out of the 2008 recession stronger than ever.

In 2008, our government introduced Canada's economic action plan, a plan that included spending when spending was needed to help create jobs and a plan that included restraint when that was required. The economic action plan did work and it continues to work.

In fact, as I have already mentioned, I had 540,000 jobs written down but I had to change it to 560,000 new jobs created since July 2009.

Our housing market is stable, our dollar is strong and Canadians are hopeful for the future.

On May 2, Canadians gave this Conservative government a strong and solid mandate to move ahead with the next phase of our economic action plan, which is exactly what budget 2011 does. It is the kind of prudent fiscal management Canadians have come to expect from our Conservative government. It is a back-to-basics plan that will keep Canada's economy on track and disciplined as we work to the balance the budget by 2015.

I am so grateful for the mayors, the reeves, the farmers, the producers, the businesspeople and the mums and dads, the everyday Canadians in my riding and across the country who came out to town hall meetings and who met with me over coffee shop meetings to give me their ideas and give ideas to our government on the economic action plan.

There are so many great parts of this budget but I will highlight a few of the areas that really are benefiting and are very important to my riding.

One of those areas is agriculture. Some of the best crops in the world are produced in the riding of Portage—Lisgar. We have some of the best vegetables in the world, some of the best livestock, the best grain and the best edible beans and pulse crops. Agriculture is a very important part of my riding and, indeed, all of Canada.

Budget 2011 recognizes that to maintain the global competitiveness of the Canadian agricultural sector, we must constantly be looking for opportunities to grow, adapt and innovate. To ensure that Canadian producers remain on the cutting edge of science and technology, budget 2011 announced a two year, $50 million agricultural innovation initiative to support knowledge creation and transfer and increased commercialization of agricultural innovations. This initiative will have a positive effect on producers across Canada and especially in my home in Manitoba.

The Grain Growers of Canada, which I have so much respect and gratitude for the work it does on behalf of producers, said:

...are also pleased with the announcement of a $50 million fund for research and innovation. ... Farmers from across Canada have lobbied aggressively for the Government to invest in this area, and they have heard us.

Indeed, that is what this Conservative government does: we listen. We listen to our constituents. We listened to farmers and we have given them what they have asked for in order to have more successful businesses.

I am also very pleased that our government has indicated that we will be giving farmers choice when it comes to marketing their grain. This is an opportunity for a win-win. I believe that those in this country who support the Wheat Board can move ahead with this but there are also western farmers who want choice and they should be allowed choice. Instead of making this a political game or issue, which it has been, I encourage all sides, the Wheat Board supporters and the choice supporters, to work together. The monopoly will end but the Wheat Board does not need to end. This is something I believe in, our government believes in and western farmers support.

Another issue that I have heard a lot on from my constituents is reducing the deficit and cutting the fat from government. One of the reasons Canadians gave this Conservative government a strong mandate is because we understand that every dollar spent is a taxpayers' dollars and their dollars must be respected and used wisely. Returning to a balanced budget is the cornerstone of budget 2011. Part of the plan includes doing a strategic and operating review to cut inefficiencies and improve productivity.

I have travelled around to many businesses in my riding and businesses do this all the time, some on a daily basis. They go through their operations to see where they can be become more efficient and take even the smallest step to cut waste. If we ask businesses and families to do this, our government should be doing the same thing. We should be looking for fat and waste in the system, eliminating it and finding ways to do the business of nation as efficiently and effectively as possible.

That brings me to my next point, which is our commitment to end political subsidies. They have been a huge fat in the system. I am pleased to see that our Conservative government is taking action and phasing out the per-vote subsidies for political parties. We have always been opposed to forcing taxpayers to support political parties that they may not necessarily believe in. There is no excuse for political parties not to be raising their own money instead of forcing the taxpayers to pay their bill. I may be wrong, and if I am I look forward to being proven wrong, but there seems to be an aversion by some opposition parties to get out and pound the pavement, speak to their constituents, speak to the people who support them and actually raise funds.

As a political organizer and someone who has done a lot of work talking to people who supported Conservative initiatives, even before I was elected as a member of Parliament, there is no greater satisfaction than when people come up to any one of us to say that they support what we are doing, support our policy and give us a cheque for $25 to help along the way. That is so gratifying and we appreciate people who are so generous. However, people should not be forced to take their tax dollar and put it into a political party against their will.

I think there will come a day when the political parties that do not believe in this, the opposition, will probably thank us. It will make them become closer to their constituents and actually have to create policies that people will agree with. It is a good policy, it is good for democracy and it is good for all Canadians.

There are so many more things that I could speak to but I see that my time is running out. We are supporting families, seniors and volunteer firefighters. I have heard so much from the firefighters across my riding, which is a huge riding of 14,000 square kilometres. We have wonderful volunteer firefighters who are professional. The kind of service that some firefighters are giving in cities, my rural people are getting from the firefighters in Portage—Lisgar. That is another fantastic initiative.

I encourage all members to support this budget. It is a good economic action plan. Let us work together for the good of all Canadians.