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House of Commons Hansard #188 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was asbestos.

Topics

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

moved:

Motion No. 61

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 23.

Motion No. 63

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 24.

Motion No. 64

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 25.

Motion No. 65

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 26.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

moved:

Motion No. 74

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 27.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

, seconded by the member for Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, moved:

Motion No. 78

That Bill C-45, in Clause 27, be amended by replacing line 17 on page 35 with the following:

“(a.1) 19% of the amount by which the”

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

moved:

Motion No. 83

That Bill C-45, in Clause 27, be amended by deleting line 14 on page 38 to line 11 on page 39.

Motion No. 84

That Bill C-45, in Clause 27, be amended by replacing line 22 on page 38 to line 11 on page 39 with the following:

“scribed offshore region, and that is acquired after March 28, 2012, 10%.”

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

moved:

Motion No. 95

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 28.

Motion No. 96

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 29.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

moved:

Motion No. 97

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 30.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

moved:

Motion No. 99

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 31.

Motion No. 100

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 32.

Motion No. 101

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 34.

Motion No. 102

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 36.

Motion No. 103

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 37.

Motion No. 104

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 38.

Motion No. 105

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 39.

Motion No. 106

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 40.

Motion No. 108

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 41.

Motion No. 109

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 42.

Motion No. 110

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 43.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

moved:

Motion No. 111

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 44.

Motion No. 112

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 45.

Motion No. 113

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 46.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

moved:

Motion No. 114

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 47.

Motion No. 115

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 48.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

moved:

Motion No. 116

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 49.

Motion No. 131

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 50.

Motion No. 136

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 51.

Motion No. 138

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 52.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

moved:

Motion No. 139

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 53.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

moved:

Motion No. 140

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 54.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

moved:

Motion No. 142

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 55.

Motion No. 143

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 56.

Motion No. 144

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 58.

Motion No. 145

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 59.

Motion No. 146

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 60.

Motion No. 147

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 62.

Motion No. 155

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 63.

Motion No. 157

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 64.

Motion No. 158

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 65.

Motion No. 159

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 67.

Motion No. 160

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 68.

Motion No. 162

That Bill C-45 be amended by deleting Clause 69.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

moved:

Motion No. 151

That Bill C-45, in Clause 62, be amended by replacing line 26 on page 134 with the following:

“(b) 65% multiplied by the proportion that”

Motion No. 153

That Bill C-45, in Clause 62, be amended by replacing line 30 on page 134 with the following:

“(c) 65% multiplied by the proportion that”

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I stand today and raise the issue of what is before us, a seriously flawed budget bill. The Liberal Party has been consistent from the moment the bill was introduced to the point at which we sat for hours in committee, working to try to send a strong message to the government of the day.

We are disappointed in one sense because we understand what it is that the government is attempting to do with the budget bill and how it is being used to pass what many, including myself, would argue is a piece of legislation that should have taken into consideration a whole session of legislation. There are numerous pieces of legislation that should have been brought to the chamber, but instead the government—a majority, Reform Party-style government—has lumped all of the amendments and changes to legislation into one bill and tried to sneak them in through the budget. We within the Liberal Party believe that is undemocratic and is not the way the House should pass budget legislation.

We were disappointed when we tried to raise the issue in committee and we saw the New Democratic Party, which claims to be an opposition party, go onside with the government. It really surprised a number of people. I do not know how many times NDP members stood in their places and voted with the government on this legislation. I would suggest it was a thousand plus times. Time and again the NDP failed Canadians by not recognizing the importance of what was taking place in committee. Had NDP members understood what was taking place, had they understood what their role in the House really is, they would have opposed this legislation that was being brought in through the back door. The Liberal Party opposed it. I am very disappointed that the NDP did not fulfill its responsibility in terms of trying to oppose the budget bill.

That is why I was a bit surprised when the opposition House leader stood in his place to complain about the system. It was just a few days ago when the NDP was sucked in by the government. Those members overruled the chair in co-operation with the government in order to limit debate on the clause-by-clause discussion, which was critically important. It should have taken place. We would have expected that in finance committee, at the very least, the government would have recognized the need for debate on every clause. Every clause should have been debated on this budget during committee. That is what the Liberal Party wanted to see happen. The Liberal Party wanted to see a legitimate vote on each clause. We wanted to be able to point out to the government the many flaws within the budget.

I sat on the immigration committee. I did not like what was happening in that committee when we had the portion within the budget that would change immigration. It should have been a separate piece of legislation. That section went before immigration committee.

I had hoped for the opportunity to not only address it at the immigration committee but to also address it at the finance committee. That would have been the right thing to do because there is a need for amendments. In essence, what the government is intending to do through the budget bill with respect to immigration, which should require a separate bill, is establish three types of visitors who would come to Canada.

The first type of visitors are American citizens, who are welcome to come at any point, whether by hopping on a plane or crossing the border, as long as they have a valid passport. We all know that the Liberal Party is a very strong advocate of the easy access cross-border movement to encourage Americans to come to Canada. We want to see that.

The second type of visitors are citizens from countries where a visa is required, an area which creates all sorts of problems. We could have debated the issue of getting visas for hours and hours. It poses a serious problem. We need to do a lot more in that area. Parents and siblings are being denied entry into Canada, through visiting visas, to participate in events such as funerals, weddings, birthday celebrations, graduation ceremonies, bar mitzvahs and the like. Far too often they are being rejected. This is an issue that should be brought up in the immigration committee.

I will now come to the relevance of the creation of the third section within the legislation, the visitors. I suspect very few Canadians are aware of the fact that, now, no matter where people are living in the world—with the exception of American citizens from the United States or citizens from a country where a visa is required—they would be required to go online and acquire electronic approval before they could come to Canada. That is a significant change. That means people from London, Australia, many European countries and countries all over the world can no longer just board a plane with their passports and come to Canada. Rather, they have to be pre-approved before doing so.

One might ask what is wrong with that, but the biggest problem is that the government has not done its homework on the issue. The minister of immigration has no idea of the details of the program.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to ask some questions in committee, because we were able to get some of the stuff off to committees and ask some basic questions. The department could not provide the answers in terms of what the anticipated costs were of implementing the program. The government had no idea.

I wanted to be able to ask those questions at the finance committee. We know the department of immigration, through the minister of immigration, had no idea. I suspect and was hoping that the Minister of Finance and the finance committee would know the answers, but we were denied that because the Conservatives were in a hurry to pass this legislation through committee, in an underhanded way and with the support of the New Democratic Party. What is so shameful is that the NDP has collapsed like a stack of cards with a light breeze going through it.

The New Democrats should be ashamed of their performance. They say that they object to the bill and do not want to see it passed. Actions speak louder than words and their actions the other night are a complete abrogation of any sort of opposition to the bill.

However, not to worry, the Liberal Party of Canada will stand and defend—

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to point out that what was just said is completely inaccurate. The NDP does not support the bill.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Joe Comartin

That is not a point of order. I will stop you right away.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Chatham--Kent--Essex.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened with some interest to the hon. member across the way. He talks in defence of his party, how the Liberals rallied to the cause and fought for their constituents and the rest of Canada.

However, would he comment on this? It is a fact that we spent, I believe it was in excess of 50 hours, from 3:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday until 7:30 in the afternoon on Friday. The majority of that time was changes that the Liberals wanted to make to lakes and rivers and not just in a cluster, but one after another. We witnessed department people sitting there for who knows how long on the first day and then the rest of the time. All that time and money was spent for no apparent reason.

Could he comment on that and tell Canadians why the Liberal Party would waste that kind of time and taxpayer money?

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is the reality of what we do and there is a cost for that. Many civil servants are deeply offended by what the bill would do and appreciate the Liberal Party's fight to try to get the government to do the right thing. This is at the same time that the government and the NDP support increasing the size of the House of Commons by 30 plus MPs, at a cost of over $30 million annually. What about that cost?

In bringing together of all the legislation under the one budget bill, we spent a small amount of time on it. It should have been almost a complete legislative agenda, which normally would have had hundreds of hours of debate and questions and answers. Instead of that, the government chose to bring it in by sliding it through the back door of a budget debate.

It is historic. Never before in the history of Canada has there been such a huge budget bill presented to the House. That is one of the reasons why the Liberal Party opposes the legislation. We stand alone in ensuring that—

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Joe Comartin

Order, please. I would ask that we try to get three questions in each five minute session of questions and comments, which means you will have to limit your questions and answers to 45 seconds maximum.

The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has displayed not only inaccuracy, but quite frankly, embarrassing partisanship. The New Democratic Party is focused in holding the government to account and raising the substantive issues about which Canadians tell us they care. The partisanship and partisanship games that the member is displaying, frankly, are not fit for the debate on this important bill.

However, I will give him another opportunity and will ask the hon. member if he could comment on the very serious changes to the research and development grant cuts that have been made in the budget. This would seriously affect jobs, research and development, innovation and productivity in Canada. Could he answer a substantive question on that?

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, one could ultimately ask why she did not even stand and want to have recorded votes for her motions in committee. She should feel somewhat shameful of the NDP's behaviour because the NDP had a choice. It could have been in committee and fought with Canadians in recognizing that the bill was bizarre, it was historic and had no merit being in committee. The member, along with the New Democratic Party, caved. It was the Liberal Party that took the battle in committee. The NDP members did not do their job. That is why they might be a little sensitive on this issue right now.

I do not take any shame. We could have used the support of the New Democratic Party to oppose the legislation. It chose not to do that. You made the bed, now you have to sleep in it, is what I would suggest—

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

11 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Joe Comartin

We will not let this degenerate into direct contact between individual members and other members in the House. I insist in this debate for the rest of the day, as are other Speakers, that you address all of your comments to the Chair. If you do not, you will be cut off.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

November 29th, 2012 / 11 a.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we have a substantive and factual debate when it comes to important legislation such as the federal budget, so let me change the tone from never-never land to the facts.

We are facing incredibly serious challenges in our country. We have consulted with Canadians right across the country. We have held public hearings and we have heard first-hand the serious concerns that Canadians have, concerns about the all-time record high personal debt that Canadians face.

We have heard about the unemployment levels, where more than 300,000 Canadians are still unemployed than were before the downturn in 2008, where youth unemployment is double that of the rest of the country and so many of our young people cannot get a start in life. They are facing very high student debt. They are starting out with incredible economic burdens, yet they cannot find decent jobs.

We have also heard about the growing inequality in Canada, the fourth highest growth in inequality of the OECD over the last 20 years, a global scourge is what the Economist magazine has called growing inequality around the world and, sadly, in Canada as well.

We have heard about the impact on people's health that growing inequality creates. We have heard about the reduction in life expectancy. We have heard about the impact of other social factors. We have heard about the lack of housing, the lack of investment in child care, in mental health strategies, the lack of a program for child nutrition and the lack of investment in pharmacare, the fastest growing cost in our health care system.

We heard from boards of trade and chambers of commerce about the lack of investment in infrastructure and the economic drag on our GDP to the tune of billions of dollars each and every year because of the lack of an infrastructure strategy and concrete dollars invested in infrastructure.

We have heard about the skills deficit, where young people in certain communities, like aboriginal communities, cannot get the skills they need to take advantage of job opportunities because the government is failing, failing first nations, failing young people, failing those facing inequality and unemployment.

Yet we see a budget that not only does not invest in health care, for example, but reduces health care expenditures to the tune of tens of billions of dollars in coming years.

We have, with Bill C-45, another massive omnibus budget implementation act. This spring we had a huge Trojan horse budget bill. We complained about it, protested about it and opposed it. We called for more time. What did the government do? It brought in an even bigger omnibus budget bill this fall and gave us less time and less opportunity to debate it. We want to have a substantive debate about the serious concerns that Canadians face.

The budget overall reduces the opportunity for Canadians to get old age security, increases the age from 65 to 67, which means more people will live in poverty. It reduces the investment in research and development tax credits, the SR&ED tax credit.

We heard from manufacturers, exporters and other experts. Concretely, this will take millions of dollars out of the manufacturing sector, out of economic development. It will cost jobs for Canadians at a time when we already face high unemployment. It will change and cut public sector pensions, and we heard from the public sector on this, and it guts environmental protection.

We saw the Environmental Assessment Act attacked, gutted, this spring. Now we see this fall, changes to the Navigable Waters Act that will basically remove the majority of lakes and rivers in Canada from environmental protection. Instead of Navigable Waters Protection Act, it becomes the navigation act. In other words, it is to facilitate navigation, changes, construction, pipelines perhaps, rather than protect our valuable water resources.

With the budget implementation bill this fall, we see changes to over 60 pieces of legislation. There are some changes here that we, as the New Democratic Party, support. For example, there is a completely new bill included in the act, the bridge to strengthen trade act, which would create a new bridge between Windsor and Detroit. We support that and think it would be a positive change. There is also a very small tax credit for small business hiring, which we support. There are also some minor changes around environmental tax credits that we support.

However, these changes are all bound up with many other changes that we do not support. For example, the bill would continue the give-away each and every year to the oil and gas sector to the tune of $1.3 billion, which we do not support. It would also make changes to the Fisheries Act, which we do not support.

The bottom line is that we have not had the time to adequately examine this massive omnibus bill. Rather than it going to other committees where, in some cases, there were just one-day meetings on it, the bill should have been divided up and appropriately studied by the relevant committees, which could have drawn upon the expertise of witnesses and members of Parliament for a thorough examination and debate to make the best decisions possible on behalf of Canadians.

The bill and this budget pretend to be about job creation, a point that I want to address.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer is saying that this budget would directly cost Canadians some 43,000 jobs. Combined with other cuts, it would probably mean more than 100,000 jobs lost. He has said that because of the budget's austerity measures, it will be a drag on our gross domestic product.

Now we have the Minister of Finance saying that the government's projections were wrong. This year, next year, the following year and year after that, their projections will be wrong to the tune of $33 billion. They are supposed to be good economic managers, but, quite frankly, they are mismanaging what is a very serious situation for Canadians. This is costing people their jobs, and it will cost even more jobs with things like the changes to the SR and ED tax credit at the same time the government is gutting environmental protections in this country.

The budget bill once again raises serious concerns about transparency and accountability. Not only would it remove accountable commissions and boards and concentrate more power in the hands of ministers, the very act of cramming everything into this one omnibus budget bill means that we parliamentarians cannot properly hold the government to account.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer had to take the unprecedented step of taking the Conservative government to court. The Office of the PBO was created by the government, but the PBO is now having to take the government to court to get basic information that parliamentarians need to do their jobs.

I want to reassert in the strongest possible terms that we are against this omnibus budget bill and the process of cramming far too many things into one bill. We are against the fact that the Conservatives are not standing up for Canadians by investing in the programs and protections that Canadians need. They are not doing the job in terms of creating employment and job opportunities for Canadians.

We will oppose this bill in the strongest possible terms. Here in the New Democratic Party, we will stand up for Canadians. We will do the job on behalf of Canadians.

Motions in amendmentJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the member for the fine job she did as vice-chair of the committee.

In that respect, I want to give her an opportunity to respond to some of the allegations made by the Liberal member who spoke before her, just to set the record straight. It is important that the House and the people of Canada know of the important work that was done at committee and what really happened for those three nights. I wonder if she would like to respond to that, given this opportunity.