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House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-10.

Topics

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, who was approving the money then? This is about a minister who misused the taxpayers' dollars, used his BlackBerry to get a friend a job, used his office to run a slush fund, and relied on the Prime Minister to grease the wheels.

The Gravenhurst project blew the budget. People were fired. The cops were called in. Does the minister think that is an appropriate way to abuse the public trust? It has been 111 days. Will he please stand and take accountability for his actions?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. Not one G8 project involved the construction of a hockey arena in the town of Gravenhurst, not one of the 32 projects. I cannot be any clearer than that. The member opposite has the right to his own opinion, but he certainly does not have the right to create his own facts.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, speaking in Lima, Peru, in November 2009, the Prime Minister told that gathering that Canada was not going to make the mistake of balancing the books at all costs, even if it meant raising taxes and slashing public spending. These were the mistakes that led to the Great Depression, he told the gathering.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, if those words are correct, and I think most economists around the world would say that they are correct, does he not now recognize that circumstances have changed once again? The world is on the brink of a major recession, and slowdown is all around us.

What will it take for the government to change course once again?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to run a significant deficit, as is appropriate at these times, but we are taking steps to ensure the budget will balance as the economy grows.

The difference between our position and the position of the hon. member, especially when he had premier responsibilities, was that no matter what circumstances we have, his position was we always increase the deficit. If times are good, we increase the deficit. If times are bad, we increase the deficit, and in the times in between, we increase the deficit.

Obviously, we use a steadier and more prudent judgment in managing the economy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the last five years, the government raised spending, on average, by 18%, by $70 billion. The Prime Minister is in absolutely no position to lecture anyone in Canada on the subject of finances or anything else.

The question the Prime Minister has to answer is this. What is he going to do when the circumstances change? A payroll tax increase of $1.2 billion is now planned for January 2012. Would he at the very least cancel that payroll tax?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member gets on his feet to say, “You're spending too much money. Why don't you spend more?” That is the kind of position we have come to anticipate from the member. Of course, this government's economic record has been mandated by the Canadian people and praised by analysts around the world.

Frankly, everybody in this country has the right to lecture the hon. member about how he managed the Ontario economy.

President of the Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board admitted publicly to the press that he was willing to appear before a committee of this House to answer some questions.

I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister. If the minister would rather answer questions before a committee, why does he still refuse to provide any information or answers to the very clear questions asked in this House during question period?

President of the Treasury BoardOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has already responded to all of these questions here in the House of Commons. I am surprised to see the Liberal Party continuing on this path, after the election results. The Auditor General examined this issue. The government accepted her recommendations, and we have answered all of the questions.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government, which is out of touch with reality, continues to boast about its record, but its failure to act speaks volumes. The job situation is worse than it is letting on. Since the recession, 200,000 more Canadians do not have jobs.

When will this minister stop twisting the figures? When will this out-of-touch government take action and start creating jobs?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the figure is very clear. The figure is 600,000 net new jobs. Those are the jobs that have been created in the Canadian economy since the end of the recession in July 2009.

It is also clear, if the member opposite wants to look at the figures in the G7, that is the best job creation rate in the G7 since the end of the recession.

Can we do more? Yes. Are we doing more? Yes.

There is a hiring credit for small business. It will be in the budget bill next week. I hope the member opposite votes for it.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government likes to talk about its job creation record, but the numbers just do not add up, so here are the facts. There are 500,000 more people available for work since the recession. Only half that number of jobs have been recovered. That is one job for every two unemployed people, nothing to brag about.

Unemployment is rising. Canadians are tired of talk. When will the government stop spinning the numbers and start taking some real action on job creation?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member can speak louder, but it is still wrong. There are 600,000 net new jobs, 80% of them full-time jobs in Canada, the best job creation record in the G7.

We anticipate having the strongest growth in the G7 in the next two years. That is what the IMF says and that is what the OECD said, and Moody's has just renewed Canada's top credit rating in the world, triple A.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is bad enough that the finance minister is out of touch with everyday Canadians, but it seems that he is out of touch with his Ontario buddies too. The finance minister claims jobs are being created in Ontario, but at last night's debate, the Ontario Conservative leader said that over 300,000 good manufacturing jobs have been lost in Ontario alone.

Could the finance minister tell us whose math is wrong, the federal Conservative or the Ontario Conservative?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will not get involved in provincial politics. I will get into trouble at home.

We have had substantial job creation across the country, 600,000 net new jobs, and that includes participation of the people of Ontario.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the simple fact is good manufacturing jobs are being lost and the government refuses to act. Mill closures, boarded-up factories, more and more jobs flying overseas. That is the reality for working families in Ontario.

New Democrats have long been calling for action. Now even the Ontario Conservative leader sees it is a problem. When will this out-of-touch government finally take real action and create jobs? Where is the jobs plan?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are following an expansionary economic policy. If we look now at what we are doing in terms of transfers, they continue to increase. Transfers are very important for the provinces for health, education and social services. That is just the opposite of what was done in the mid-90s by the previous Liberal government that cut transfers unilaterally to the provinces.

We are following an expansionary fiscal policy. We are going to return to a balanced budget. We think that is important, and I am sure the member opposite would agree, looking at the trouble that some other countries in the world have gotten into by accumulating substantial deficits over time and building up large public debt.

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the scandals involving the President of the Treasury Board keep piling up, while services for Canadians are being cut. People do not understand why there are some rules for his friends and other rules for ordinary people. There is going to be less help available at Service Canada centres, and some are going to close altogether. I am talking about services that directly affect the public and not just his friends.

In the meantime, the minister responsible for the cuts is refusing to answer questions in the House and refusing to talk to journalists. Am I going to have to send my questions to him on Twitter to get him to respond?

Service CanadaOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, there will be no Service Canada offices closing and no impact on in-person services offered. Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to complete Canada's economic recovery, create jobs, and return to balanced budgets. Improving the way we deliver EI services to Canadians by modernizing the way we accomplish this is one of our goals.

Our government is committed to effective and efficient use of taxpayers' hard-earned dollars.

G8 SummitOral Questions

September 28th, 2011 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for that brilliant response.

Every day we learn about new projects in which the minister was personally involved with the help of his constituency office staffers. He told his friends not to worry, that whatever could not be included in the G8 budget would be included in the economic action plan. That is serious.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs keeps telling us that the Auditor General had access to all the information in order to conduct her investigation. Now that we know that is not true, are we going to start getting real answers?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General presented a report.

The government has fully accepted the advice that she provided on ways we can improve the reporting to Parliament in the years to come. We thank her for her work. We have aired all of the responses to the questions that have been brought up on this issue.

What Canadians expect their members of Parliament to be doing is to be focusing on their priorities: the creation of jobs, economic growth, hope and opportunity. That is what the government is doing, focusing like a laser on the priority of Canadian families, the economy.

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we need investments urgently to reduce congestion and avoid further thickening of our border. Our prosperity and our economy depend on this, things like a modern rail tunnel, improved Nexus, and border infrastructure that will reduce wait times.

The Prime Minister's own guidelines say that Treasury Board should “provide oversight of the government's financial management and spending”.

Could the President of the Treasury Board explain why money was siphoned from important border infrastructure projects to get himself re-elected? Why is he more important?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government has made unprecedented financial commitments to support border infrastructure, nowhere more anywhere in Canada than in Windsor, Ontario, apparent where the government has a strong partnership with the provincial government, a strong partnership with the State of Michigan and a strong partnership with the Obama administration in Washington.

We are working tremendously hard to ensure that trade can flow better across that border. What we need is for New Democrats to stand in their place and say that they support free trade, that they support free trade with the United States, and that they support NAFTA.

Will the member opposite do that?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is tolerating ministers who fail to understand their role or why they are entrusted with money. A $50 million fund was set up for projects that supposedly were related to the G8 summit. I want to remind the ministers and the government that this money was meant to be used to improve border infrastructure, including what is in my riding.

Will our government finally allow the truth to come out on this waste of public money?

G8 SummitOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the member that this government under this Prime Minister brought forward an $8 billion building Canada infrastructure program to support economic growth, to support the expansion of the Canadian economy, and all $8 billion of that fund were voted against.

New Democrats voted against every single dollar of that fund. Shame on the member. Shame on the New Democratic Party.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week Canada's first nations kicked off national efforts for first nations education. Their message is simple every first nation child must have equal access to quality education under control of first nations. This was Shannen Koostachin's dream. Evidence shows education is crucial to breaking cycles of poverty and hopelessness.

Will the government commit today to end the 2% cap on funding, and provide full and adequate support for first nations education?