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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

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, a loan guarantee is not an allocation of taxpayers' money; it is the use of our credit rating, which reflects the government's strong financial performance. Last week, during my telephone conversation with Quebec's natural resources minister, Martine Ouellet, I reminded her that the federal government is prepared to support other major regional or Canadian projects that are economically viable and that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs said “that the member was not factual and has given a false report”.

I wrote to the minister on September 20 and I got a response back that said “quiet diplomacy”. I wrote to the minister on October 4 and again on November 8.

I wrote to the minister not twice but three times.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, during question period I witnessed the member for Mississauga—Streetsville make a gesture in the House that is truly unacceptable.

After the last question by the member of Toronto Centre, the member for Mississauga—Streetsville used his hand by forming a gun and putting the trigger to his head.

As you are well aware, Mr. Speaker, many families have had some of their loved ones fall victim to gun-related crimes and suicide. Such gestures have no place in the House of Commons.

I respectfully ask that the member for Mississauga—Streetsville apologize to the member for Toronto Centre and to the House.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Perhaps the member will come back to that. I do not think the member is here right now.

Federal Electoral Boundaries CommissionRoutine Proceedings

December 3rd, 2012 / 3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It is my duty, pursuant to section 21 of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, to lay upon the table a certified copy of the report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the province of Manitoba.

This report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 31 petitions.

While I am on my feet, I move:

That the House do now proceed to the orders of the day.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #521

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-45, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures, as reported (without amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Mississauga South has six minutes remaining to conclude her remarks.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, before question period, I started talking about the benefits in the economic action plan 2012 for small businesses. Next I would like to focus on the benefits for families and seniors.

For the most part, it is about our promise to keep taxes low. Unlike the high tax NDP and Liberals, our Conservative government believes in low taxes and leaving more money where it belongs, in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families. That is why we have cut taxes over 140 times since 2006, reducing the overall tax burden to its lowest level in nearly 50 years.

We have removed over one million low-income families, individuals and seniors from the tax rolls altogether. We have cut taxes in every way government collects them: personal taxes, consumption taxes, business taxes and more. This includes cutting the lowest personal income tax rate to 15%, increasing the amount Canadians can earn tax free, providing seniors with pension income-splitting, reducing the GST from 7% to 5%, putting nearly $1,000 back in the pockets of an average family.

We have also introduced the children's fitness tax credit and the children's arts tax credit, as well as the universal child care benefit offering families more choice in child care by providing $1,200 a year for each child under the age of six. We introduced the child tax credit providing personal income tax relief of up to $320 in 2011 for each child under age 18. This Conservative government's low tax record has provided tax savings for a typical Canadian family totalling over $3,100.

Also in order to help families, we are improving the registered disability savings plan to help ensure long-term financial security of children with severe disabilities. We introduced the family caregiver tax credit, a credit of up to $2,000 for caregivers of all types to infirm, dependent relatives, including spouses, common-law partners and minor children.

We are investing in small public infrastructure with $150 million to support repairs and improvements to existing community structures. This includes investments in my community, including the Clarkson Community Centre Pool, the Lions Club of Credit Valley Outdoor Pool, David Ramsey Outdoor Pool, Lewis Bradley Pool, as well as the Lakeview and Lorne Park public libraries. Thousands of children, their parents, students and seniors in Mississauga South use these pools and libraries every day.

With regard specifically to supporting seniors, our Conservative government recognizes that Canada's seniors helped build and make our country great. That is why economic action plan 2012 introduces new measures to improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for Canadian seniors, including the thirdquarter project, an innovative online approach to help employers find experienced workers over age 50 who want to keep using their skills in the workforce, improving flexibility and choice for senior workers.

For those who do wish to work longer, economic action plan 2012 provides the option to voluntarily defer take-up of old age security benefits. Those doing so will subsequently receive a higher annual actuarily adjusted pension on take-up. This builds on top of the tax relief our government has already provided to seniors and pensioners since 2006, including removing over 380,000 seniors from the tax roll, again, introducing pension income-splitting, increasing the age credit amount by $2,000, doubling the pension income credit to $2,000, increasing the age limit for RRSP to RRIF conversion from age 71 to 69, establishing the tax-free savings account, which is particularly beneficial for seniors, and introducing the largest GIS increase in over 25 years, helping more than 680,000 seniors across Canada.

I am also proud that we have taken steps to combat elder abuse in all its forms, including abuse awareness activities through the new horizons for seniors program and introducing legislation in March of this year to ensure tougher sentences for those who abuse seniors.

I was proud to serve on the Standing Committee on the Status of Women where our review and study of elder abuse did make this recommendation to the government for tougher sentences for those who abused our most vulnerable senior citizens.

Let me reiterate that Canada is leading the global economic recovery. Our Conservative government is squarely focused on the economy and jobs. In fact, Canada has created over 820,000 net new jobs since July 2009. Canada has, by far, the best rate of job growth in the entire G7 and has had that since 2006. Canada's unemployment rate is significantly lower than that of the U.S., a phenomenon that has not been seen in nearly three decades.

However, the global recovery remains fragile and we must secure Canada's recovery. While the NDP and the Liberals want to engage in a reckless spending spree, and maybe even a $21 billion carbon tax, our Conservative government is committed to returning to balanced budgets.

Budget 2012 focuses on jobs and economic growth, ensuring that Canada's small businesses, and families and seniors are our top priorities. I would encourage all members to support this jobs and growth bill, our second budget implementation act, and vote for Canada's economic plan 2012.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the speech given by the hon. member for Mississauga South.

As I demonstrated earlier with a very simple example, the Conservative government is completely incompetent when it comes to our economy, considering the staggering $550 billion in capital that Canadian businesses are hanging on to. This is a sign that entrepreneurs and business leaders do not have confidence in the future. They are refusing to invest their money, and who could blame them? If anyone is to blame, it is those responsible for this poor economic climate.

The fiscal imbalance, which is now huge, is another problem this government is responsible for. Approximately 80% of the tax burden falls entirely on the shoulders of individuals, while large corporations are enjoying tax breaks.

So I have a question for the member. Just how far will the government go to get out of having to support people and abandon them to their fate?

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wonder what Canadians would think if the opposition were the Government of Canada, whether they would even remotely consider investing in Canadian businesses if the NDP had its way and its high-tax agenda were implemented. Frankly, I think Canadian businesses are frightened of that prospect. They are frightened of the fact that the NDP is anti-investment and anti-trade.

Canadians deserve better than this radical opposition. Unlike the NDP, our Conservative government will not raise taxes or slash transfers to the provinces. In fact, just today PricewaterhouseCoopers said that Canada has one of the best tax systems, including for small to medium-size businesses to thrive. That is what the experts are saying. That is the confidence that Canadians businesses have in this government and how we are helping them.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

3:55 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, I want to thank the member for Mississauga South, knowing how dedicated she is to her constituents, particularly the families in her area. She has a young family herself. I know how important the services and other items are to both her family and constituents.

One of the things this budget really focuses on is small businesses. I know that in the member's riding of Mississauga South there are a number of small businesses, all of which are delighted with the direction this budget is taking and how it is going to help them become even more prosperous and to create even more jobs.

I wonder if the member could comment on the impact of this budget on small businesses in her riding of Mississauga South.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know that the member for Simcoe—Grey supports small businesses and families in her riding as well. I very much appreciate her question and the opportunity to talk about how this budget helps small businesses.

In particular, I have heard many businesses talk about how the reducing red tape initiative will be helpful to them. When businesses are spending time doing that, they are not being productive and growing as businesses.

We are also expanding trade around the world, which helps small businesses. I talked about the example of Electrovaya in my community, which makes lithium ion batteries and is contributing to energy efficient green technology.

Most of all, I think that small businesses in Mississauga South and across Canada appreciate the hiring tax credit. It is very unfortunate that the NDP voted against this very worthwhile initiative.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise and address the House this afternoon on the important reforms our government is making in budget 2012. Economic action plan 2012 is focused on what matters most to Albertans and all Canadians, building the right conditions for prosperity today and generations to come.

I want to highlight aspects of Bill C-45, the second budget implementation bill, that support research, create jobs and promote clean energy. Not only do these initiatives advance innovation in Canada and play a key role in achieving the priorities outlined in the economic action plan but they are also critical to who we are as Albertans and Canadians.

We know well that economic prosperity is not a given. It is the fruit of hard work and tremendous imagination. Investing in our students, entrepreneurs and researchers is our strongest guarantee that Canada's future will be bright, that we will break the confining limits of the past and open new opportunities for a long and prosperous future. Indeed, the OECD predicts that Canada's economy will lead the developed world for the next half century.

Since 2006, we have taken concrete steps to make sure that Canada is a global leader in research and innovation, and have invested nearly $8 billion in new funding for initiatives to support science, technology and the growth of innovation firms in Canada, including $5 billion for advanced research, education and training; $2 billion for post-secondary infrastructure; and $1 billion for applied research and financing.

For instance, budget 2012 directs $71 million over four years to further establish the Canada excellence research chairs to attract the world's best researchers to Canada, and over $600 million to support cutting-edge research throughout Canada via the Canada Foundation for Innovation. I am proud to say that the University of Alberta has been awarded more research chairs than any other institution in Canada.

We are confident that our government's support for research commercialization will help bridge the gap between Canadian innovations and the ability to bring these ideas to market. For instance, our economic action plan proposes $440 million to create centres of excellence for commercialization and research to help transform great ideas into concrete success in the Canadian marketplace.

Economic action plan 2012 also targets $470 million over four years to support strategic innovation projects in key sectors of the Canadian economy, including the automotive, aerospace, forestry and clean technology sectors.

Investing in Canadian research and innovation is not only fundamental to developing a robust competitive global economy; investing in innovation is not only about creating jobs and generating economic prosperity, though it does that too, but it is also the case that investing in great minds and pioneering approaches to science and technology affects every aspect of daily life in Canada. I will provide an example.

Marquis, a wheat variety developed at the sunset of the 19th century in Indian Head, Saskatchewan, led to an explosion of cereal production in Canada. The ingenuity of crossing two kinds of wheat to develop a grain that could thrive in prairie climates resulted in a wave felt in communities across the Prairies.

Great Canadian innovations have shaped the course of our history from Marquis wheat to insulin in the 1920s, the snowmobile and the electron microscope in the 1930s, canola in the 1940s, Research in Motion's BlackBerry in the 1990s, and the countless universities and businesses across Canada that are on the leading edge of research today.

While the private sector plays the leading role in research, innovation and commercialization, we know that institutions such as the National Research Council can be important partners in discovering these new engines of growth. This is why the 2012 economic action plan also proposes $67 million to support the National Research Council in refocusing on business-led, industry-relevant research.

Edmonton Centre is home to many world-class research institutions and companies at the forefront of the innovation economy. Earlier this month, I was honoured to join Ceapro, an Edmonton-based biotechnology company, to announce the signing of a letter of intent with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to collaborate in the development of a unique variety of oats. This new variety of oats will enable Ceapro to extract larger quantities of its flagship product, an active ingredient found in oats. Ceapro's team of chemists, biologists and engineers is developing cutting-edge ways of extracting natural ingredients from oats that have health benefits. These active ingredients are then used by major brands in cosmetic and therapeutic products. Ceapro's success, both as a corporate citizen and local employer, is a great example of the multiple benefits that economic innovation brings to communities like Edmonton and, by extension, to the rest of Canada.

Another example of how these initiatives are playing out in innovation capitals like Edmonton is the impressive work of a company named Synodon. Based in Edmonton, the company has developed a system that can remotely detect gas, enabling the monitoring and measurement of methane gas in the Arctic. The funding will allow this technology to be used by Natural Resources Canada to survey the vast Canadian Arctic. Synodon's proposal is one of over 60 that will be supported by the new program, Canadian innovation commercialization.

Public Works and Government Services Canada has been working with selected companies, like Synodon, to build partnerships that allow their innovations to be matched with federal government departments.

Companies, like Ceapro and Synodon, bring with them jobs and economic growth to Edmonton, to Alberta and to Canada. They also bring additional benefits. They advance the very science that the next generation of students will study. They achieve feats of human creativity that set the bar to which students, teachers, scientists and researchers aspire. Technological innovation underpins both the history and the future promise of Canadian economic development.

Budget 2012 regenerates and reinvigorates Canada's capacity to innovate and to play a leading role in global research. The first budget implementation plan, Bill C-38, outlined many of these initiatives. In addition, Bill C-45 also advances our ability to cultivate a competitive clean energy market in Canada.

For instance, through the economic action plan, the government initiated a clean energy fund. This fund is providing nearly $795 million to support research and development projects to advance Canadian leadership in clean energy technologies. This program is already off to a good start. To date, the clean energy fund is supporting two large-scale carbon capture and storage projects in Alberta totalling $150 million. The goal of the clean energy fund is to help create a variety of clean energy technologies and knowledge needed to ensure that these technologies are widely used in the future.

Our government is committed to sustainable resource development in all sectors. Bill C-45 expands the eligibility for the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment to include a broader range of bioenergy equipment, and phases out the corporate mineral exploration and development tax credit, and phases out the Atlantic investment tax credit for activities related to the oil and gas and mining sectors. These shifts will create a more level playing field for taxation in the energy sector and will support a new generation of clean energy producers.

We will continue to work hard to create the necessary conditions in the economy that will bring new jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Though we are on track for the Canadian economy and Canadian families, with over 820,000 net new jobs created since July 2009, we will work as hard as ever to honour our commitment to Canadians to be global leaders in economic stewardship. Against the backdrop of a fragile global economy, especially in Europe and the United States, our largest trading partners, we will continue to make economic stability and prosperity a bedrock priority.

The people who gave me the great honour of representing Edmonton Centre expect things to get done here in Ottawa. Budget 2012 and Canada's economic action plan are doing just that. This is not the time to rest on our laurels, to sit back and let partisanship get in the way of delivering results for Canadians.

I would like to speak for a couple of minutes to the nationwide economic benefits of activity in Alberta. Contrary to some recent regrettable remarks by a couple of members opposite, which I will not bother to dwell on, it is the job of Alberta MPs to represent all that our province is and all that it has to offer to the rest of Canada. That is no different from the job of MPs from every part of this country. At the same time, we all have a responsibility to be part of a much bigger picture and that is the picture of Canada.

While the resources in any province are technically the property of that province, Alberta MPs certainly understand that our natural resources are there for the benefit of the entire country. By an accident of geography and geology, Alberta and Saskatchewan have vast reserves of oil and gas to be developed for the national good. By an accident of geography and geology, Quebec is blessed with the capacity of hydro power, British Columbia with forestry and so on across the country. None of these accidents of nature make one part of the country better or worse than any other. What they do collectively is make us the richest country in the world in terms of natural resources. We should all be proud of that and we should all appreciate what each part of our great country offers to the overall good of each and every Canadian.

We should not be practising the politics of division. We should be preaching and practising the politics of unity and sharing a common bright future in Canada that is much more than merely the sum of its parts. All members of this House were elected to strengthen the economy and lay the foundation for jobs of tomorrow.

I am proud of our government's accomplishments to date but there is more to be done. I urge all members of this House to support the budget implementation act and allow it to continue to move forward in carrying out Canada's economic action plan.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

4:05 p.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeMinister of State (Western Economic Diversification)

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a document titled, “The Government's Response to Question on the Order Paper No. 988”.

Jobs and Growth Act, 2012Government Orders

4:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if that was a proper point of order. The time to have put that forward was in the period for routine proceedings which, by her own party's manoeuvres, was ended for today and we were prevented from putting forward petitions, reports from committees or any other routine proceedings.