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House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

Quebec Cultural Association of the DeafStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday I attended an event held by the Société culturelle québécoise des sourds, and I saw how important it is to understand the reality of the 310,000 deaf and 2.8 million hard-of-hearing Canadians. Barely 20% of deaf people work full-time. Nearly 42% are underemployed and more than 37% are unemployed.

The UN recognizes how significant this is, given that the deaf community has a prominent place in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Although this convention was signed and ratified by Canada, the optional protocol that would enable persons with disabilities to complain has not been. The deaf must have ways to speak out against the government when it does not fulfill its commitments.

It is time to make an effort to support these people, many of whom may be confronted with challenges every day. Education is needed here.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the NDP member for Surrey North made the outrageous statement that our Conservative government was “callously jeopardizing public safety”.

The member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca said that we were playing fast and loose with the safety of the people of British Columbia.

These comments are ridiculous, coming from members who just yesterday put the safety of their constituents at risk by voting to give convicted arsonists house arrest, to keep soft sentences for those who sell drugs to children, to give a slap on the wrist to gangsters who run big marijuana grow operations and, even more shamefully, to allow child molesters to get pardons.

Unlike the opposition, our government has a strong track record of getting tough on crime. That is why this spring Canadians gave us a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe. It is high time the opposition stopped putting the rights of criminals ahead of the rights of law-abiding Canadians.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, I am deeply honoured today to draw attention to the difficult commitment undertaken by our Canadian troops on Afghan soil during Rotation 10 of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, which took place from October 2010 to July 2011. We ought to commend and applaud the sacrifices and efforts made during this mission.

In 2001, when Canada became involved in this mission, Canadians already suspected that our involvement would be long and arduous. In total, 10 years went by before we considered our work to be done.

Tomorrow there will be a ceremony at Valcartier to mark our soldiers' return. They lived up to the Canadian promise. We can all celebrate their work, be proud of it and honoured by it as well.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, on Monday morning, Corporal Kim MacKellar of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, serving in Yukon's small community of Haines Junction, was shot at while responding to a robbery at the town's grocery store. Store employee Frank Parent was pepper-sprayed and beaten by the assailants prior to the ensuing pursuit that resulted in the shooting.

The two accused are now charged with multiple offences, including attempted murder. One of the suspects was walking the streets while on a court-ordered condition and had a lengthy criminal history.

The NDP would have Canadians believe that the accused is the real victim. The NDP and the Liberals complain that the accused will be double-bunked and have no access to support in prison and would be further victimized.

Frank Parent and Corporal MacKellar are the victims, as is the community of Haines Junction.

This government makes no mistake about who the real victims are in cases like this. Our government has the resolve and commitment to see that necessary action to support victims of crime is protected in Bill C-10.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Frank Parent and Corporal MacKellar for a speedy recovery.

The EconomyOral Questions

September 29th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister wants to cut services instead of investing in infrastructure. The President of the Treasury Board, who has his own spending problems, has lost all credibility. He plans to cut hundreds of thousands of jobs by reducing public services. Economists are saying that is the wrong thing to do when we are on the verge of a recession.

Why is the Prime Minister insisting on cutting public services, yet in January he gave the most profitable corporations a gift of $4 billion?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has invested a record amount in Canadian infrastructure across the country. That is one of the reasons why analysts support our economic action plan, which is creating an impressive number of jobs in Canada. But again, when it is up to the NDP to make a suggestion, the only thing the leader of the opposition proposes is to increase taxes. This government is against increasing job-killing taxes.

Government MinistersOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is asking people to tighten their belts, to do without essential services, but his ministers are doing the contrary. The President of the Treasury Board thinks the consolidated revenue fund is all his and has wasted $50 million in his riding. The Minister of National Defence uses government aircraft for taxis and spends $3 million on private jets.

Does the Prime Minister see how his call for austerity lacks credibility when his ministers are behaving like this?

Government MinistersOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, as far as the Minister of National Defence is concerned.

The defence minister has used government aircraft 70% less than his opposition predecessors and, when he has used them, it has been for important government business. Half of those flights were for repatriation ceremonies, so he could meet the families of those who had lost their loved ones in the service of this country. He goes there to show that we understand their sacrifice, we share their pain and we care about them. That is why the Minister of National Defence is so highly regarded on this side of the House.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, high unemployment is costly to Canada and nowhere is it clearer than in aboriginal communities.

The National Council of Welfare says that the higher unemployment of aboriginals is costing Canada's economy more than $35 billion a year in lost production and billions more in lost tax revenue.

When will the government build the economy by investing in communities instead of cutting public services?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, in the government's economic action plan, we made important infrastructure investments in aboriginal communities, and in the most recent budget, the measures of which are still finding their way through this Parliament, we have made important investments specifically in training aboriginal people for the jobs that exist.

I think what aboriginal Canadians would especially support would be if the NDP would support those positive measures for aboriginal people.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are 350,000 more unemployed Canadians today than there were before the last recession, which the minister did not see coming, either. That means 350,000 more workers who are not bringing home salaries to provide for their families, and billions of dollars lost in salaries and economic incentives.

What does the minister have to say to those families? That it is their fault and that he will not do anything about it?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our government, as it has been for years now, remains focused on jobs and on the economy. The economic action plan arising out of budget 2009, which was a very difficult time for the global economy, resulted in the growth of about 600,000 net new jobs in Canada, which is a record in the G7. Our performance job-wise is that it leads the G7. We have strong fiscal and economic fundamentals in Canada. I know the NDP wants to raise taxes, but we think that is the wrong way to go.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, as for jobs being created, the government is afraid to tell Canadians the truth. We are just barely ahead of where we were in May 2008 before the recession, about 200,000 new jobs, which are far less than this minister claims.

The problem is that the labour force is growing. There are an additional 435,000 Canadians who need work. The truth is that the government has done nothing for most of them. Its job creation record is a failure.

When will the government stop cutting essential services and start--

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Finance.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we need to be concerned, if we pay attention to the world, as I am sure the member opposite does, about deficits and debts and accumulated deficits. We can see the harm that is causing in other parts of the world and the difficulties that populations will go through because of accumulated public deficits over time.

This is not what we want to do in Canada. We have a plan to bring us back to balanced budgets. We will stay on that track in the medium term to get back to balanced budgets in Canada, and we will not increase taxes to do it.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government's last economic statement was the budget in June, which was four months ago, and, during those four months, the IMF has downgraded Canada's growth, the TD Bank says that another recession is likely, Statistics Canada says that the economy is already shrinking, Scotiabank says that Canada may be the first to be hit again, and BMO says that Hoover-like austerity planning will only make things worse.

When will the government present an urgent economic update to acknowledge how things have worsened and that austerity alone is not the right path?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous member, when he was finance minister, we do not do multiple budgets in a single year.

The government, obviously, is looking at economic circumstances very carefully. The government already has an important number of proactive measures through the economic action plan to support the Canadian economy.

However, if the hon. member is suggesting that today the government should massively expand the Canadian deficit, I do not think the facts support that argument.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the June budget is already out of date. A summer full of economic decline has overtaken the small measures from that budget to be introduced only belatedly next week. It is all too little, too late and out of touch.

Will the government produce a new economic update before mid-October? Will that update include at least some new budget measures? Will it cancel its $1.2 billion in extra EI payroll taxes, which it will slap on small business beginning January 1?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government ran on an economic action plan just recently that was strongly supported by the Canadian people.

The Liberal Party forced an election over that and we know what the result was. After that result, the Liberal Party is truly out of touch when its members are back saying exactly the same things they were saying before the election.

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of the economy, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities keeps saying that his government is spending money on the Champlain Bridge. Let us be clear: that money is being spent to maintain a crumbling bridge, not to replace it.

What we want is to see the bridge replaced entirely, and heaven knows this is urgently needed.

Can this government immediately commit to launch a project to replace the Champlain Bridge and ensure adequate financing, yes or no?

Champlain BridgeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Champlain Bridge was certainly not of any concern to the previous government, which, for 13 years, did absolutely nothing for the Champlain Bridge.

Since coming to power, we have been taking the Champlain Bridge issue very seriously. Of course, before we can even think about a new structure, whatever that may be, we must ensure that the existing bridge continues to support the current traffic and that it remains safe. That is what we are doing and the Champlain Bridge is safe.

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians brace for another recession, we learn that our defence minister continues his ethically challenged ways. He has racked up nearly $3 million jetting around the country.

The government will not invest in infrastructure, in health care or jobs, but it will invest millions in making that minister the frequent flyer champion of government jets.

When will the government ground that high flying minister?

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised to get that question from the hon. member. As I pointed out, the minister uses the Challenger 70% less than his predecessors and half the time he does that it is for repatriation ceremonies.

What I would expect from the hon. member is for him to ask how he could join the Minister of National Defence and also participate in those ceremonies for Canadian families.

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, perhaps some facts can help the Prime Minister answer the questions more accurately. Most of the flights were not for repatriation of fallen soldiers, only nine of the thirty-five. There was a flight from a fishing trip at camp Crosbie to a lobster festival in Halifax and Challenger trips to photo ops for government spending announcements. He even took a jet to Vancouver to the same event to which another minister flew commercial.

When will the Prime Minister tell members of his cabinet that ethics rules apply to them too? When will he crack down on this out of control, jet-setting Conservative lifestyle?

Minister of National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the fact is the Minister of National Defence has participated in some 55 repatriation ceremonies for over 80 lost Canadian service personnel. The facts are also, as the House knows well and the member knows well, when he refers to the vacation, this was something the minister paid for himself.

When the member asks these kinds of questions and behaves this way, he reflects on his own character, not on that of the Minister of National Defence.