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House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, clearly in a city as big and expensive as Toronto, the government's budget promises to the seniors of this country is wholly inadequate. The $1.50 or $1.60 a day, whatever it works out to, is offensive to the seniors of this country living in poverty.

I would like to take this opportunity to talk about other communities within Beaches—East York and across this country who are also living in poverty. What people need more than anything else are jobs, and what the government fails to provide to people in Canada are jobs.

The government's single job initiative, corporate tax cuts, has failed to provide jobs for Canadians. The government will be aware there are studies that show that the highest tax cuts occurred back in the 1980s, and investment in capital spending in this country has been declining since, irrespective of corporate tax cuts in this country.

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member opposite on his election.

I commend to him the budget that was presented in the House on Monday this week. It is an important document, as has been said by other members. It not only reflects fiscal matters, but it reflects the general policy of the Government of Canada.

I commend to him the measures to support job creation that are listed on page 15 of the budget. Perhaps the member would like to read that over the weekend.

I commend to him the fact that as set out at page 58 of the budget, that Canada has the best job creation among the industrialized nations in the world, since the great recession.

I commend to him also the graph on page 30 that sets out the quality of the jobs created in Canada, the majority of them being high paid jobs, and of course the fundamental facts set out page 14, that more than 540,000 new jobs have been created in Canada since the great recession ended in July 2009 which is, of course, a record in the industrialized nation.

For the new member to suggest with any seriousness that Canada has not done a very good job in job creation is an error.

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Minister of Finance for his commendations. I would point out that we have 300,000 more people unemployed in this country since before the recession.

In return, I would also commend to the Minister of Finance the website of the Department of Finance that shows the economic multipliers for various forms of investment. The website shows that the economic multiplier attached to corporate tax cuts is about 20¢ for every dollar invested. That very same website for the Department of Finance shows that other investments the government had the opportunity to make through its budget have multipliers that far exceed that, including investments in public infrastructure and fiscal infrastructure, which would be very useful in the city of Toronto as we severely lack in urban transit.

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year the House unanimously approved a motion put forward by my hon. colleague from Trinity—Spadina to declare June 10 Canada-Portugal Day. This Saturday's Portugal Day celebrations include a parade in Toronto through my riding of Davenport and Trinity—Spadina.

Parliament expressed gratitude for the great contribution of the Luso-Canadian community to Canada, a community whose roots in Canada date back to the 16th century. Today almost half a million people of Portuguese descent call Canada home.

On the streets of Little Portugal in my riding of Davenport in the communities north of St. Clair and the communities north of Rogers Road there is deep concern and consternation and I dare say there is anger at how the Conservative government is treating seniors in the budget.

Maybe in some areas of the country it is a little cheaper to live than others, but in Davenport seniors are barely hanging on. I have spoken to many Portuguese seniors over the last year. Many of them bought their homes in the fifties and the sixties and they raised their families in those homes. They are still living in the same homes and they are proud of that fact. Yet they can barely hang on. They can barely pay their heating bills let alone all the other utilities. If they were listening to some of the debates that have been going on in the House this week, they would be scratching their heads. They would be very concerned about the level of debate in the House around the real problems for seniors.

There are seniors in my community who have no home care, seniors who cannot get around. People say that if their home is too expensive then why not just sell it. Where are they going to go? Are they going to live in a gazebo? I do not think so. A gazebo is not a national housing strategy.

Many seniors cannot get around. We need a national transit strategy in this country. The purchase of fighter jets is not a national transit strategy. That is what we need here.

I hear time and time again from people in Davenport that there are just no decent jobs around. The government says that it has created jobs, but we need to drill down and ask it what kind of jobs it created. I can tell the House what kind they are. Seniors in my riding are working at very low paying, $10 an hour service jobs. They maybe at one point had a decent job with a pension but they do not have that job any more. These are the real issues.

People say that the economy is doing well, that the recession is over. Constituents in my riding tell me that the recession for many people is not over. The jobless problem has not been adequately dealt with by the government, certainly not in the budget.

One would think that if the government were reintroducing the budget, it might have taken some time to get a few of those things right, but that is not what happened. We are very concerned. My community of Davenport is concerned.

I started this off by talking about the Portugal Day parade. The reason I did is because so many in our Portuguese community are seniors and they are looking for some help from our government. They have contributed through their blood, sweat and tears to make this country the great country that it is and what they see from the government is a cold shoulder. This is--

Financial Statement of the Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order, please. I am pleased to tell the member that there will be five minutes remaining in his time when this question is next taken up before the House.

It being 6:30 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday at 11 a.m. pursuant to order made Monday, June 6, 2011.

(The House adjourned at 6:30 p.m.)