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House of Commons Hansard #164 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cfia.

Topics

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, today Canada's Minister of Finance introduced the second phase of our low-tax plan. What a contrast with the NDP's election promise to impose a $21 billion carbon tax. Our plan creates jobs, strengthens economic growth and ensures long-term prosperity. Theirs takes us back to high taxes, no growth and higher prices of absolutely everything.

Now the New Democrats do not want to talk about it. Even their pet bloggers will not acknowledge that they were very clear. On page four of the 2000 election platform, there it is, a proposal to bring in $21 billion in revenues with a carbon tax. The NDP leader mentioned his plan multiple times during his leadership campaign. He promised that if elected he would propose a system of carbon pricing that would produce billions. Now he wants to hide from it. However, last week the Broadbent Institute, already funded illegally by the NDP, backed up his plan.

The New Democrats are clear: Canadians must pay higher taxes. We are just as clear: our government will not support a job-killing tax hike and a backwards-looking carbon tax—

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

Oral questions, the hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are trying to shove another 450-page budget bill down the throats of Canadians. The finance minister once again showed total disregard for our democratic institutions, choosing photo ops rather than Parliament for his some 450 pages. The Prime Minister once criticized the Liberals for their omnibus approach. He was right then, he is wrong now.

Will the Prime Minister respect Canadians, respect the role of Parliament and split this omnibus bill to allow for proper study?

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians' priorities are focused on the economy. They remain jobs and growth. This government continues to move forward with the latest version of the plan presented in March to promote jobs and growth across this country and to continue the relatively superior performance of the Canadian economy.

What we, of course, will not do in all of our proposals is propose tax hikes and, more specifically, a carbon tax. Our goal is not to kill jobs, our goal is to create jobs.

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last spring, even some Conservative MPs criticized the government's mammoth bill.

But the Conservatives have learned nothing. They intend to introduce another 450-page monster bill just in time for Halloween, and not give members the opportunity to do their job and take the time needed to study the disparate elements.

This is the underlying question: What is the reason for the Prime Minister's contempt of parliamentary institutions? Why not do things the right way by splitting the bill and letting us study it properly?

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the NDP that has not learned anything.

Canadians' priorities remain the economy, job creation and economic growth. Those are our priorities. We now have the second instalment of legislative measures for our budget, which was approved by the House several months ago.

I urge the NDP to change its position. Our government wants to lower taxes, not increase them. And we certainly do not want to create a carbon tax, as the NDP is proposing to do.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this lack of respect for Canadians explains a lot of things, such as the complete lack of concern over the tainted meat crisis.

It was the American inspectors who were the first to sound the alarm. Again it was the Americans who forced the most recent meat recall just a few days ago. And now we find out that the American inspectors have been documenting glaring sanitation violations at XL Foods for years.

Why do the American inspectors know more about the serious problems at XL Foods than Canada's Minister of Agriculture does?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely not true.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reacted immediately to the information that was available and it took a number of measures, including closing the plant. Its priority is to keep the plant closed until it is safe to reopen it.

Canada continues to have one of the strongest, if not the strongest, food inspection systems in the world and we will continue to work with our partners around the world on that.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are worried about troubling news stories exposing deficiencies at the Brooks beef plant. During routine audits, the USDA documented proof of an ongoing pattern of mismanagement at Brooks, including cross-contamination, sloppy maintenance and bad record keeping. These are the very problems that led to this E. coli crisis.

Why does the minister not think it is important for CFIA to enforce food safety and why is he gambling with the reputation of our great and proud beef industry?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what CFIA does. We continue to build a robust food safety system. Of course, the NDP continues to vote against it. We saw a shameless display again this morning. New Democrats had the chance to expedite Bill S-11 to give the CFIA more powers, but they chose to sit on it rather than move it through expeditiously. That is shameful.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

The reality, Mr. Speaker, is that the government left it in the other chamber controlled by its Conservative senators.

The reality is that the more we learn, the more we find out that warning signs were ignored and that the minister has simply failed to act. In fact, he cut back funding for food safety, let plants regulate themselves and now refuses to clean up the mess. The agriculture sector and the beef industry need leadership and stability, but the minister's mismanagement is putting the livelihoods of communities, industries and farmers at risk.

When will he do the right thing and resign, step aside and let somebody do the job properly?

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan

Conservative

Gerry Ritz ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the latest OECD report is very commending of Canada's system, calling it superior. We certainly will not rest on our laurels. We continue to add resources to the CFIA to build a robust food safety system.

Every chance the NDP has had to help us along the way, it has come up empty.

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

October 18th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the omnibus legislation, which has been put before the House today, I would like to ask the Prime Minister if he would agree with us that we could separate out the sections of the bill with respect to members of Parliament pensions and if we could agree to pass those today by unanimous consent, because for our part, there is no disagreement with respect to that measure. In fact, we are even prepared to discuss the acceleration of the timetable of implementation.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister: Why lump all these things together instead of giving the House a chance to discuss them separately?

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will take that specific suggestion under advisement.

As the House knows well, this government committed to the Canadian public, both during an election and most recently in March, to move ahead with a comprehensive economic action plan. These measures in various forms have been before the House now for months. I encourage the opposition to use the remaining time productively to study them. I do not know what specific objections the opposition has to them, but they have been well received by the Canadian public and they are important to continue the superior performance of the Canadian economy.

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would be surprised if Canadians had the opportunity to read 400 pages of the government's proposals. If the government has the public's support, then the Prime Minister seems to be the only one in the loop.

I will repeat my offer: we on this side are prepared to pass all the measures having to do with MPs' pensions in one day. We have no problem with that.

Splitting up the bill that way will give us a chance to study the rest of it and pass the measures on MPs' pensions.

Budget Implementation LegislationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberal Party has already taken the time to read dozens of pages on changes to the pension plan and it is in favour of those changes, then I encourage it to adopt the same attitude to the rest of our plans.

This bill includes measures that were proposed in the budget last March. They are important to the economy and to continue the superior performance of the Canadian economy. I encourage the Liberal Party to support these measures.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, could I just now ask the Prime Minister if he is in a position to tell us whether or not the Minister of Agriculture was in fact aware of the reports from the United States with respect to the complaints at the XL plant? Is the Prime Minister prepared to tell us that? If he is not prepared to tell us that, why does the government continue to resist the very simple proposition that was made in the other place and that will be made by us here with respect to the Auditor General's responsibilities to have a look at the entire system and to know what went on and to give Canadians—

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which is responsible for dealing with the information at its disposal, reacted to this information as soon as it had it and took action as information continued to come in, up to and including shutting down the plant.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and others have indicated that it needs greater power to compel information. That is why the government has had before Parliament for some time legislation to give it that additional power. Rather than delay it by saying it wants the Auditor General to have powers that the Auditor General already has, let us give the CFIA the powers it is asking for.

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, today's omnibus bill offers nothing in terms of job creation.

Not only is this bill filled with non-budgetary measures, but it also does not do enough to stimulate our fragile economy. Youth unemployment is growing rapidly and our seniors' pensions are in jeopardy, as are essential services for Canadians. But the Conservatives are ignoring the public's concerns.

When will we see a meaningful employment plan?

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have a real plan for jobs. We had it in the first budget bill and the second budget bill.

The budget is a wonderful document. Here it is. We delivered it in March. There is nothing new. What is in the bill today is in the budget. If you have not read the budget, I say to my hon. friends on the other side, I do not know what you did all summer. You got paid. You had a good pension plan. So, do your work; do your job.

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I will just remind the minister to address his comments through the Chair and not directly at other colleagues.

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what this member did all summer. He clearly did not learn his lesson from the spring.

This is another massive budget bill jammed with non-budgetary items from overhauling the Canada Grain Act to gutting the Navigable Waters Protection Act, so only 10 heritage rivers will still be protected, and this is after exempting pipelines altogether.

Will the minister now agree to split up this monster bill and allow MPs to properly scrutinize these radical changes?

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, one of the pillars of the budget was the deficit reduction action plan. Part of that dealt with the issues at environment and the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

All of these matters are matters with reference to the budget that was delivered on March 29, many months ago. If members have not bothered to read it and have not bothered to pay attention, I suggest they ought to perhaps take the weekend and review it.

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. There is not a single practical measure in the budget implementation bill to help Quebeckers who are receiving employment insurance.

With their new mammoth bill, the Conservatives are once again going after environmental protection. Undermining the Navigable Waters Protection Act will once again jeopardize wetlands, which cover 10% of Quebec's land mass. Ten percent—that is not insignificant.

Why did they bury such a measure in the omnibus bill?