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House of Commons Hansard #190 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lake.

Topics

Report StageJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his speech and for mentioning the famous research and development program known as SR&ED.

He rightly criticized the Conservative government's mistake of reducing tax credits that we know are going primarily to major corporations that make huge profits.

We recently received the Emerson report, dealing with the aerospace industry, a sector that is critical and very important to Quebec and other regions in Canada. This directly affects the manufacturing industry, which is part of the aerospace industry. These are good-quality jobs. Good jobs.

I would like my colleague to speak more to the damage that changes to the SR&ED program will cause.

Report StageJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. She does extraordinary work on this file.

I had an opportunity to talk to members of the business community in Sherbrooke, who also criticized these cuts and who spoke in particular about the benefits that this could have for them. I spoke a bit about our theory. The NDP's vision is to take advantage of this desire to innovate that is seen among manufacturing companies wanting to develop new technologies to ensure that emerging countries and their workers—who are paid less than workers here—do not come and take all these jobs or to ensure that our jobs are not sent there.

When companies innovate and develop new technologies, they can remain competitive and stand out among emerging countries. That is what will enable Canada to keep good, well-paying jobs, since emerging countries will not necessarily have the technology to take on such ventures. We must take advantage of that to ensure that we remain competitive and keep jobs here in Canada.

Report StageJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to speak today to Canada's economic action plan 2012.

Canada has one of the strongest fiscal positions in the G7. Fitch Ratings, Moody's, and Standard & Poor's have all renewed Canada's AAA credit rating. Canada has, by far, the lowest net to GDP ratio in the entire G7. Due in part to the government's low tax plan, Forbes Magazine ranked Canada number one in the world for business to grow and create jobs.

Indeed, with the help of Canada's economic action plan, Canada has emerged as one of the world's top performing industrialized countries.

However, too many Canadians are still looking for work and the global recovery remains fragile. That is why economic action plan 2012 moves ahead to secure jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canada by promoting job creation and helping small businesses thrive through reducing red tape, strategic investments, supporting seniors, families and communities, as well as ensuring long-term sustainability through investing in green technology, keeping taxes low and leading the global economic recovery.

My focus today will be on the impact of budget 2012 on small businesses, families and seniors.

With regard to small businesses, our Conservative government recognizes the vital role small businesses play in the economy and job creation. That is why we are committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed.

As someone who started working in my father's wholesale hardware business at the age of 12 on Saturdays and in the summertime, I understood at a very young age the importance of small business to the big picture of Canada and jobs, and ensuring that our economy is strong.

Budget 2012 includes a number of key measures to support the growth of small businesses, like my father's business, and to promote job creation, such as extending the hiring credit for small business. This is a temporary credit of up to $1,000 against a small firm's increase in its 2011 EI premiums over those paid in 2012. This temporary credit will help approximately 536 employers defray the costs of additional hiring. These employers will take into account these savings when hiring and, in some cases, it may even make the difference between whether to hire a new employee.

For small businesses, we are also reducing red tape, implementing the one-for-one rule and committing to develop a red tape reduction action plan to reduce unnecessary and ineffective regulations. This would small businesses to focus on what they do best, which is grow and create jobs. Ultimately, reducing the administrative tax burden on small businesses does help them create jobs.

Our government is also supporting entrepreneurs, innovators and world-class research. An excellent example of how strategic investment by government in a solid, local company can make a major contribution to our economy is Electrovaya Inc. located in Mississauga South. Electrovaya is an innovative company that designs and builds the next generation of environmentally friendly lithium ion battery energy storage systems for commercial and industrial use. Our government invested $3.6 million through Sustainable Development Technology Canada to this company to help it develop and provide clean energy technology and create high-quality jobs in Mississauga.

Members may have heard about Electrovaya recently because they were part of the Prime Minister's trade mission to India. Electrovaya signed a deal to provide an Indian company with its lithium ion batteries for electric bicycles that are being sold in North America and Europe. Companies like these create good, high-paying jobs for our community, as well as innovative products to export to other nations, and they do it in an environmentally sound way to protect the future for all of us.

Report StageJobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

2 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Joe Comartin

The hon. member will have 5 minutes and 45 seconds when we resume debate.

Gender SelectionStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, last June the CBC exposed a disturbing trend in private ultrasound centres around the country. It reported that a majority of clinics were willing to do a gender test in the early stages of pregnancy for people who were considering terminating their pregnancies because their unborn baby was not the right gender.

This followed upon studies that suggested that unfortunately when it comes to unborn baby boys and girls, it is unborn girls who are most discriminated against. They are terminated simply because they are girls.

Canadians are both shocked and upset that this is happening in Canada. When the CBC report was televised, the practice of gender selection pregnancy termination was condemned by all political parties, and by gynecologists, doctors and human rights groups across the country.

Canadians do not tolerate gender discrimination, particularly when it is directed against women and girls, and Canadians definitely do not support the practice of gender selection. I encourage Canadians to speak up, to write their MPs and to publicly voice their grave concern regarding gender selection.

Land MinesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the 15th anniversary of the Ottawa convention on the banning of land mines. Long after the end of a conflict, explosive remnants of war kill 4,000 innocent people each year. Thanks to the Ottawa convention, we have made huge strides in solving this problem over the past 15 years. There is 80% of the world's countries that have joined the convention, and tens of thousands of stockpiled mines that have been destroyed.

We celebrate this day as an example of Canadian leadership on the global stage. We also celebrate the Canadian consensus that has underpinned our foreign policy for generations, the understanding that by working together we can make tangible progress and concrete change for good.

Alas, when the world community looked for similar leadership on the issue of cluster munitions, Conservatives were not a willing partner. The Conservative legislation currently before the Senate undermines the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is an offence to Canada's good name.

Today we reaffirm our commitment to Canada as a leader in multilateral efforts for global peace and security.

VolunteerismStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

As the year comes to an end, Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize the tremendous contributions made by the volunteers of non-profit organizations and community associations in my riding of Calgary East.

Having served as the president of Monterey Community Association, I have seen how hard these great Canadians have worked for our communities. Let me give a few examples. At Albert Park Radisson Heights Community Association, volunteers spend time on cleanup events. They also organize the garden club, which encourages people to do home gardening. At Marlborough Park, there are the soccer programs, and at Forest Lawn, they are organizing Christmas for Kids.

I wish to offer a very heartfelt thanks to all of these volunteers. A merry Christmas and a happy new year to all the great Canadians who help our communities.

Neil JahnkeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, there was never a stronger champion for cattle producers than Neil Jahnke of Gouldtown, Saskatchewan. Colourful, forceful and fearless, Neil was a natural leader who worked his heart out for the industry he loved.

He rose to the top of the Saskatchewan Livestock Association, the Saskatchewan Stock Growers, the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, the Beef Export Federation, the Beef Information Centre and Agribition. As Minister of Agriculture in the 1990s, I saw Neil at work expanding markets in Asia, and our exports almost quadrupled. Then, in 2004, as Minister of Finance, I remember how well he fought for $3 billion to help deal with the fallout from BSE.

He earned the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and a lifetime membership in the Agricultural Institute of Canada. He was also inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Neil Jahnke was taken from us far too soon last week. Our thoughts and prayers are with Marilyn and his family.

Parliamentary StaffStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the unsung heroes in a parliamentarian's world, the staff who support us every day, both on the Hill and at home in our ridings. They support the families who are desperately trying to connect with a loved one who has encountered tragedy overseas. They share in the joy of those reunited, as they arrive in Canada through our immigration program. They worry about their own safety as they try to assist the troubled or mentally ill individuals who turn to our offices for help and do all they can to make sure they receive the care they need.

It is not uncommon for them to serve coffee to demonstrators as they listen to their concerns, or sit blurry eyed through all-night committee filibusters. In what other job does the simple act of opening a parcel provide both delight and sometimes fear, all the while sorting through hundreds of emails, often with complex questions and the expectation of an immediate response?

On behalf of all parliamentarians, I would like to salute and thank all staff, who truly are the wind beneath our wings.

International Day of Disabled PersonsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this International Day of Disabled Persons, the NDP is celebrating everything that these individuals have done for our country.

An estimated 4.4 million Canadians have a disability. A great deal of progress has been made in eliminating barriers for people with disabilities. However, too often, they are still expected to meekly accept the barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential and from participating in certain aspects of life that the rest of Canadians enjoy.

The NDP is aware of the difficulties that Canadians with disabilities face: greater financial insecurity, substandard housing, limited job opportunities and unequal access to the health care services they need. We are calling on the government to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as quickly as possible.

The NDP team is dedicated to building a fairer and more prosperous Canada where all Canadians can reach their full potential. The NDP is asking all members to work with us to improve the lives of Canadians with disabilities.

VeteransStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, veterans have sacrificed much for all that we have. By putting themselves in harm's way, they have helped to shape our country and defended the values we hold dear. As Canadians, it is important that we show our appreciation and thanks and honour their achievements and legacy every day.

Today I would like to recognize all veterans in Richmond Hill, and World War II heroes, such as: Captain Thomas McKeage, a driving force behind the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 375; Art Fortin, who fought on Normandy Beach; Bill Renwick, who parachuted into France on D-Day; Angus MacDonald, who helped to liberate Holland; and Albert Wallace of the Bomber Command. There is William Harris, who works tirelessly assisting other veterans, Jim and Muriel McAlister, Rudy Nardini, Jim Noble, Tom McRae, and, Korean war veterans Bill Robinson and Ron Norton. These and others are our Canadian heroes.

I am grateful to our veterans and know that all Canadians join me in thanking them.

Canadian Christian AssociationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, November 24, I had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Christian Association's annual Christmas banquet with some of my parliamentary colleagues. While there was some merriment, the bulk of the evening was spent recognizing volunteers for their great work in the community.

I would like to thank and congratulate the Canadian Christian Association's president, John Gill, and the association's entire board and all of the volunteers for their great work.

The Canadian Christian Association has tirelessly campaigned for human rights around the world. That night, it also paid tribute to two courageous young women, Malala Yousafzai, the young girl shot by the Taliban for championing girls education, and Rimsha Masih, a Pakistani girl who was falsely accused under the country's repressive blasphemy laws. They remind us all that we must renew our commitment to giving a voice to the voiceless and always strive for human dignity and freedom.

Civic ActionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, with Christmas fast approaching, I would like to commend the generosity of hundreds of Sherbrooke residents who are working hard to help those less fortunate have a nicer Christmas.

As it does every year, the Fondation Rock Guertin will distribute over 1,300 Christmas hampers. Meanwhile, the Sherbrooke firefighters will continue their tradition of distributing toys to hundreds of children. The Knights of Columbus will be serving a generous holiday brunch to hundreds of people in need.

For my part, as the MP for Sherbrooke, I invite the people of Sherbrooke to drop off food items at my constituency office to help respond to the many requests for food assistance that Moisson Estrie receives over the holidays. I would also like to invite my constituents to my annual blood drive, which will be held all day long on December 14 at the Centre Julien-Ducharme in Fleurimont.

I am appealing to everyone this Christmas: please be generous.

Unfortunately, because of the Conservatives' policies, there will be more needy people this year. Changes to employment insurance are one reason why.

That is why I wish to invite my constituents to come and discuss this with me at a public forum I will be hosting at 7 p.m. on December 12, 2012, at 187 Laurier Street in Sherbrooke.

International Day of Persons with DisabilitiesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 20th annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Today, among others, we honour our inspiring Paralympians, athletes and coaches with disabilities.

Our government is proud to support the Canadian Paralympic Committee and parasport, at record levels. No other government in Canadian history has done more to build an inclusive society. Whether it be funding the labour market agreements for persons with disabilities, which assist over 300,000 Canadians; extending the opportunities fund, which has helped 60,000 people overcome barriers to join the workforce; providing further support to the enabling accessibility fund, which has funded 835 projects to increase community accessibility across Canada; or the creation of registered disability savings programs that allows families to save for the future of their children with a disability which, to date, over 60,000 individuals have signed up for, we are getting the job done.

Unfortunately, the NDP and the Liberals voted against every one of these initiatives.

HIV-AIDSStatements By Members

December 3rd, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Djaouida Sellah NDP Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, December 1 was World AIDS Day. Even with prevention campaigns, more than 3,300 new cases are reported every year in Canada. In Quebec, an estimated 20,000 people are HIV positive, and 25% do not even know it. This is alarming and worrisome.

The global situation is even worse as 34 million people are infected. However, even though a recent study by the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS has shown that the best way to prevent the spread of AIDS is with the use of anti-HIV medications, the Conservatives have decided to prevent millions of people from having access to medications by defeating Bill C-398, which would have made medications available to everyone.

The campaign slogan of the Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida states that we should never forget that we must exclude AIDS, not HIV positive people.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, for days the person who claims to speak for the NDP on matters of foreign affairs has refused to answer the simple question of how his party would have voted on last week's unilateral resolution at the United Nations General Assembly. While the member for Ottawa Centre has been dodging important questions on NDP policy, his leader has been tellingly silent.

Canadians want to know, where does the NDP stand, and who is in charge of its foreign policy? Is it the wishy-washy critic from Ottawa Centre, or the deputy leader, who in the past has denied Israel's right to exist?

It is indeed disturbing that the official opposition cannot answer basic policy questions, such as whether it believes Israel has a right to exist, and at a time when the NDP's big union bosses are down in Rio, participating in a radical hate-filled conference.

When will the leader of the NDP be clear with Canadians on where his party stands on this most recent unilateral action?

Church of Our Lady ImmaculateStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, atop the highest point in Guelph is one of its oldest and most beautiful buildings, Church of Our Lady Immaculate, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. In 1827, Guelph founder, John Alexander Galt, gave the hill in the centre of the town to Bishop Alexander Macdonell, for his advice on the formation of Galt's Canada Company. Upon that hill, from 1876-88, Joseph Connelly, one of Canada's most notable architects, built the Church of Our Lady Immaculate, a masterpiece of the Gothic Revival movement.

Since then, the Church of Our Lady Immaculate has not only remained the physical centre of Guelph and the home of a dedicated and vibrant Roman Catholic community, it is also an important social and cultural centre. The church endures as a symbol of the importance we in Guelph, and Canadians as a society, place on heritage and culture, by understanding where we are going through where we have been.

I am pleased to congratulate Church of Our Lady Immaculate on 125 years as a Guelph faith and cultural landmark, and I wish it centuries more.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Aspin Conservative Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, in case you have not heard, the NDP leader's proposed carbon tax will raise the price of everything, from gas to groceries and electricity. This carbon tax plan is not simply a Christmas wish. In fact it was written in black and white on page four of its campaign documents.

If the NDP leader, Captain Carbon, has his way, Canadians will not wake up to Christmas joy, but instead to coal in their stockings on Christmas morning. The job-killing bah humbug carbon tax would stall the economy and make it more difficult for Canadian families to make ends meet.

Our government will always stand up against that Christmas grinch's proposed carbon tax. This holiday season, Canadians can sleep tight knowing that our government remains focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I had a dream this weekend. Well, maybe it was a horrible nightmare. I dreamed I was a Conservative MP, stuck on the assembly line of misleading statements and being handed script after script by those kids in the Prime Minister's Office.

Then my nightmare went on. Conservatives have been raising fees on Canadians. Over the last six years, 47 billion dollars in user fees have been imposed on men, women and children. The Conservative fees were raised on birthdays, on Thanksgiving, even on Christmas. I cried out, “When will the Conservatives stop raising fees on everything”?

It was horrible. It made me realize how bad I feel for my colleagues across the way who have to repeat, over and over, so many misleading statements.

I feel for my Conservative colleagues, but there is a solution. Instead of standing and making things up, try standing and repeating the facts.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have some facts. Under our Conservative government, Canada is finally seeing real greenhouse gas emission reductions. In fact, Canada is now halfway toward its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. That is a sharp contrast to the 27% increase in emissions that Canada saw under the Liberal government.

Not only is Canada realizing greenhouse gas emission reductions, but we are doing so without a job-killing carbon tax, like the NDP is proposing. While our motivation is achieving results on climate change, while ensuring our economy is protected, we know the NDP's motivation is $21 billion in new revenue to feed its out-of-control spending habit.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last quarter, Canadian economic growth slowed to a rate of just six-tenths of one per cent. Conservatives have now missed their own economic growth targets three quarters in a row. They have had to downgrade their economic growth forecast for 2012 by nearly a third and it is now widely expected that the Bank of Canada will have to downgrade its own economic forecast as well.

The Minister of Finance announced new economic numbers just three weeks ago. Does the minister still stand by those numbers today, or will we have to downgrade his economic projections yet again?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not first stand and extend our congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the announcement coming from Clarence House earlier today.

This government presented an economic action plan designed to build on the hundreds of thousands of new jobs that were created in the country. Before the House today, we have a number of very important issues which are being debated, such as extending the job-creating credit for small business, something that has helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians. We are expanding tax relief for investment in clean energy, among many things. Let us get the NDP on board.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that there are now 350,000 more unemployed Canadians than there were before the recession.

These people spend an average of 16 weeks looking for work. Over the past six months, the private sector has not created one single net new job. Not a single net new job. That is the Conservative record.

In light of these facts, how can the Conservatives keep telling us that everything is fine and dandy?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. Since the end of the global recession, over 800,000 new jobs have been created in Canada. We are very proud of that.

Our government has put an economic action plan, a plan for economic growth, before the House. That is our goal.

To date, nearly 400,000 new jobs have been created. Since the beginning of the global recession, the good news is that economic growth is on the way, and we will continue to work very hard on that.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives cannot replace high-quality manufacturing sector jobs with part-time McJobs and call it a win. Give me a break.

A CIBC study showed that disparities in Canada's labour market are making the country's economic situation worse. There are too many jobs without workers and too many workers without jobs. Those are not the NDP's facts. That comes from one of Canada's biggest banks.

When will the Conservatives realize that they have to focus on training unemployed Canadians rather than plug the gaps with temporary foreign workers?