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House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Medicine Hat.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Tax Freedom DayStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the voters of Calgary West for electing me to my sixth term in the House of Commons. It is a great honour and privilege to continue to serve them in this capacity.

Earlier this week, the Fraser Institute proclaimed tax freedom day. This is the day when the average Canadian family has earned enough money to pay all of their taxes.

This year tax freedom day fell on June 6. This is a significant improvement from 2000 when it fell on June 24. With this stable and reliable majority federal government, I hope to move closer to Alberta's tax freedom day of May 18 or, even better, the 1961 record of May 3.

With the help of my colleagues in this majority government, I hope we can continue to move tax freedom day significantly earlier. Let us have more freedom through less government.

EmploymentStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the voters of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles for placing their trust in me on May 2. I plan to work hard in the coming months to ensure that families in my region are well represented here in Parliament.

The people of my riding are worried about the announcement made by Nova Bus, which is going to lay off 135 workers from its plant in Saint-Eustache. I was very disappointed to learn that 200 buses intended for the Canadian market will be assembled in its plant in the United States.

I promise to do everything I can to ensure that our tax dollars will be used to help families and create jobs here in Canada.

Don Valley WestStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Conservative Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I rise for the first time in this auspicious House, I am compelled to remember my roots as eighth generation Irish who came to this fledgling nation in 1848 seeking relief from famine, poverty and hopelessness.

Here I am today, sent by the great Canadians of Don Valley West, sent by the residents of Canada's great city Toronto, the "meeting place", and I pledge to honour their trust.

First, I thank God for this opportunity of service. I humbly thank all the people of Don Valley West, all my volunteers during the recent election, my wife and children who have encouraged and supported me through my journey to Ottawa.

Most especially, I want to give my thanks and appreciation for the brave and valiant Canadians who have given their all for this great nation. I pledge to honour their sacrifices by my service in the House.

Microcredit ProgramsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, one year ago today the House of Commons unanimously passed my motion encouraging the government to increase funding for microcredit programs.

I have seen microcredit in action first-hand, and I can say that these programs are producing real results all over the world. These programs help the world's most disadvantaged people. Of course I was very disappointed that the budget presented this week does not contain a single new initiative on microcredit.

I am disappointed, but not surprised. The government has shown a lack of concern for people with low income, whether we are talking about tax credits for children taking music lessons here at home or whether we are talking about the poorest of the poor who depend on microcredit around the world.

Indifference to those less fortunate, whether at home or abroad, that is the common thread running through the government.

Cypress Hills—GrasslandsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, 10 and a half years go by very quickly. I am proud to be back again with the support of so many good citizens of Cypress Hills—Grasslands. They eagerly expect good solid leadership as we carry through on long time commitments.

The long gun registry, that thorn in the side of westerners, will be revoked. The taxpayers' subsidization of political parties will be reduced. Farmers will actually be able to make their own business decisions. This is why I came to Ottawa.

It was not that long ago that I went to my business partners, my sister and her husband Wendy and Wendell Patzer, to see what they thought of me running for election. They were supportive, so we went ahead.

Over the years my mother has questioned me as to why I am doing this, especially after some particularly biting letter to the editor, but through it all she keeps praying for us. Sheila has been my heart for almost 30 years.

Volunteers have helped us election after election after election. My exceptional staff has reached out to so many constituents so effectively.

Once again, I thank my constituents of Cypress Hills—Grasslands for the privilege of representing them here in this great institution.

VisasStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

François Pilon NDP Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to take advantage of my first speech in the House to thank all the people in Laval—Les Îles who voted for me and all the volunteers who worked for me, and to congratulate all my colleagues on their election. Let me add that I am proud to be part of the great NDP family and that I will do everything I can to help families in my riding.

I rise in the House of Commons today to tell the Conservative government that it is high time to relax the laws on obtaining visitor visas. In my riding, as in many others in Canada, families cannot come together for weddings or funerals of loved ones because of the challenges involved in getting a visitor visa.

Powell RiverStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the people of Powell River and all others in the magnificent riding that I represent.

Maclean's magazine recently honoured Catalyst Paper Corporation of Powell River as one of Canada's 50 most socially responsible companies and Corporate Knights magazine named Catalyst one of Canada's 20 best corporate citizens.

I am honoured to have been re-elected to represent the great riding of West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country. There we will find some of Canada's most innovative and hard-working people whose efforts benefit not only our community, but also those of Canadians across the nation.

I would also like to salute the city of Powell River, which yesterday received the prestigious 2011 Willis Award for Innovation for its pioneering partnership with Catalyst.

In this global economic crisis, Powell River has worked closely with Catalyst, easing the company's taxes and keeping Canadians at work.

The people of Powell River and Catalyst exemplify the winning spirit of Canadian entrepreneurs. It is Canadians like them who have made our economic action plan a world-leading success.

Small BusinessStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Conservative Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I rise in the House, I would like to thank the constituents of Etobicoke—Lakeshore for having placed their trust in me.

I also want to congratulate you on your election. You are a breath of fresh air for the House.

I rise today to speak to an important measure announced by my colleague, the finance minister, when he brought down the budget on Monday. Our government is giving small businesses a hiring credit of up to $1,000. More than half a million businesses will be able to benefit from this credit. That is a concrete measure to help create jobs across the country.

Our government is a firm believer that small businesses drive our economy and we will always support them.

Conservative GovernmentStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris NDP Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am truly honoured and humbled by the confidence shown in me by the voters of Scarborough Southwest by electing me as their representative in the House of Commons.

In stark contrast to the Conservative government, I intend to represent all the people of Scarborough Southwest. I intend to use my time in this chamber to pressure the government to work for all Canadians struggling to make ends meet and to live with security and dignity.

The Conservatives have missed a chance to work for all Canadians, including the millions who did not vote for them. They have missed the opportunity to make life more affordable, to lift seniors out of poverty and provide new Canadians with adequate settlement services.

The intense personal stories I have heard from my constituents will motivate me in my work as their MP. Voters in Scarborough Southwest voted for change, and I intend to voice that message at every opportunity.

Automotive IndustryStatements by Members

June 8th, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government is standing up for Canadian workers. Today, the Minister of Industry highlighted opportunities that lie ahead for the automotive industry.

Canada's economic action plan has helped create and maintain jobs and has helped firms modernize their operations. We will continue to strengthen our industries, such as auto parts manufacturing, with our low tax plan to protect the economy, continued deductions for modernizing plants and facilities and incentives for hiring new workers.

Our government is working with President Obama and his administration to deliver on the shared vision for perimeter security and economic competitiveness. We anticipate these new long-term partnerships will accelerate the legitimate flow of people and goods, while strengthening security and economic competitiveness.

With the restructuring of two of our key auto manufacturers and the worst of the recession behind us, the automotive industry is looking to the future. Now is the time to seize the opportunities that come with this upward momentum.

Plaisance Heritage CentreStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise in this House to represent the people of Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel. First, I would like to thank them for placing their trust in me in the recent election.

As I speak for the first time in the House, I would like to point out the exceptional work of the North Nation Mills Corporation's workers and volunteers, who are preparing for the new tourist season at the Plaisance Heritage Centre and Plaisance Falls. Their goal is to showcase the history of this village and its neighbouring communities. The Plaisance Heritage Centre helps keep the origins and the development of the Petite-Nation area alive in our memories.

Such initiatives contribute to the development and vitality of our villages and, therefore, I am proud to recognize the exceptional work done by all those involved.

We wish them much success in 2011.

International TradeStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise that our Conservative government is committed to expanding free trade because it creates new jobs and economic growth for hard-working Canadians. That is what we said during the campaign and that is what we are going to deliver.

We understand, as most Canadians do, that international trade is fundamentally a kitchen table issue. Almost 60% of our annual GDP and one in four Canadian jobs is directly or indirectly dependent on our exports.

Today the new NDP international trade critic is quoted as saying: “I don't accept that the NDP is opposed to trade deals.”

I think the record is clear. Our party is for creating jobs through free trade while the NDP has not supported a single free trade agreement.

New jobs and economic growth to benefit Canadians continues to be our focus. We ask the opposition parties to work with us to strengthen and build trade opportunities that will be crucial to Canada's long-term economic success.

HockeyStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the NHL will be returning to Manitoba as the hopes and dreams of thousands were realized on May 31 when it was announced that the Atlanta Thrashers would be relocated to Winnipeg.

There was a request that the team pre-sell 13,000 season tickets by June 20. After some initial ticket offers to Manitoba hockey fans, the season tickets went on sale to the public on June 4 at 12:00 noon and 17 minutes later they were all gone. A waiting list of 8,000 with a $50 deposit has now been fulfilled.

I am proud to call Winnipeg my home. In my opinion it is the home of the greatest hockey fans in the world. Like most, I want our team to be called the Winnipeg Jets and I look forward to watching my team compete for the Stanley Cup.

I look forward to being a part of the whiteouts, and some of the loudest and most energized crowds that the NHL will ever have.

Go Jets go.

SyriaStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada remains gravely concerned about the situation in Syria, and the ongoing use of violence and torture against innocent people. Syria's blatant violations of its own human rights obligations threaten the security of the Middle East, a region which is undergoing important transition.

On May 24, our government took concrete actions against Syria, including various sanctions and imposing a freeze on the assets of those associated with the violent regime. Furthermore, Canada has called in the Syrian chargé d'affaires to raise our concerns and to once again call on Syria to cease the use of force against peaceful demonstrations.

The actions this weekend in the Golan demonstrate a regime that is becoming more isolated and desperate. It is an attempt to distract both domestically and internationally from its own failures and shortcomings, and Israel has every right to defend itself.

Today we hear that Britain and France will be bringing forward a resolution to the United Nations Security Council condemning the repression, and demanding accountability and action.

We will continue to work with our allies in the hopes that the regime will change its ways and end its brutal assault against the Syrian people.

World Oceans DayStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark World Oceans Day, an international day to observe the challenges facing our oceans, and to celebrate and encourage conservation. This year's theme is “Youth: The Next Wave for Change”.

We know that young people care about the environment and are concerned for the future. The theme is intended to inspire young people to take action on environmental issues to effect lasting change.

Our oceans face serious risks. Climate change, pollution and overfishing have wreaked havoc on our oceans. The time to act is now.

Canada is lagging well behind in our duty to protect our ocean ecosystems. If we are to fulfill our 2012 commitment, we must dramatically increase the number of marine protected areas on all three coasts. We must also work to lower our emissions and use science-based conservation measures.

I encourage all members of the House to participate in World Oceans Day.

Betty AlbrechtStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend my thanks to the citizens of Kitchener—Conestoga for once again entrusting me with the privilege of serving as their representative and for entrusting our party with a stable, national, majority Conservative government.

As members know, on election night my wife, Betty, collapsed to pass away days later. Since then literally thousands of Canadians have reached out, offering prayers, compassion and solace. I thank them.

I thank my colleagues in this House for their support. While this House is sometimes known for a lack of decorum and civility, that image is a stark contrast to the genuine warmth and affection I have felt from my colleagues from all parties through these difficult days.

Betty and I were united as a team in all of our endeavours and Betty was my constant source of encouragement. I thank God for Betty's love and for giving us 39 joyous years of marriage, three fantastic children, Gavin, Benj and Arja, their spouses, and my nine grandchildren of whom I could not be more proud.

They share not only in my sorrow but also in the gratitude I extend to all members today.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, tax breaks for big corporations are costing us a lot of money. The government claims otherwise but the facts show that the results expected from such an investment have not been achieved. Large corporations are reinvesting only a small fraction of these big government handouts and are pocketing the rest.

Where is the job creation? Why is the Prime Minister pursuing this strategy, which is ineffective and yet so costly?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, since the recession, the Canadian economy has created over 500,000 jobs. That is one of the most impressive track records in the industrialized countries. For this reason, we are rejecting the NDP's proposals to raise taxes.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us look at a concrete example. Last year, the Prime Minister gave a gift of over $100 million to Esso Imperial Oil, a company that made over $2 billion in profit. It does not need help. Why then is it being offered such a gift?

Can the Prime Minister tell us how many new jobs Esso Imperial Oil created with this gift of $100 million? Where are the results? Where are the jobs?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in comparison to the other industrialized countries, the Canadian economy has one of the most impressive track records in terms of job creation. That is why we will continue to keep our taxes low, not only for big businesses but also for small and medium-sized businesses and for everyone. It is essential that we avoid the tax hikes proposed by the NDP.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, one would think the Prime Minister would want to know how many jobs were created if he just gave $100 million to a large corporation. One would think he would want to know that. Canadians do.

He refuses to bring in a job creation strategy. In fact, what we are presented with in the budget is a job reduction strategy and Canadians want to know what jobs, what services, what programs will his government cut.

My question is, will the Prime Minister commit today not to cut services that are key to Canadian families? They are counting on these services.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course we will not cut such services, but at the same time what we will not do to Canadian families is raise taxes, as the NDP proposes.

It is due in part to this government's reduction of taxes across the board many years ago, when we first took office, that the Canadian economy has one of the strongest job creation records anywhere in the industrialized world.

More than half a million jobs were created since the recession. That is the kind of policy we want to keep moving forward and that is why Canadians gave us a strong mandate.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

NDP

Jack Layton NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there are plenty of places that the government should be looking for cuts, but it is not. For example, subsidies to profitable oil companies is a start, cracking down on tax havens is another measure that could be taken, or ending corporate tax giveaways.

Instead, we have cuts to environment, to fisheries, to defence, to the National Gallery. It speaks to the government's priorities: the corporate fat cats get the gold and Canadians get the coal.

I am asking simply, what other cuts does the Prime Minister have up his sleeve? What else are we going to hear about in days to come with regard to services that Canadians count on? Tell us a little more about—

EmploymentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.