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House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was guns.

Topics

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised not to touch OAS, then he made up a false crisis and broke his promise. Then the Minister of Finance said OAS changes would not take place until 2020 or 2025. Then a government spokesperson said that the Minister of Finance is wrong.

How can Canadians trust the government when it clearly does not know what it is doing?

I will ask one more time, is the government going to raise the eligibility for OAS from 65 to 67 years, yes or no?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, Canadians do trust that their government will be there to look after them. That is exactly what we will do. We are not going to mislead them the way the NDP has been doing. We will not do that at all.

We are telling them that the current system is unsustainable in its given form and we will have to make adjustments, but we will do it in a fair way. We will make sure it is done in a responsible way.

We will make sure that those who are planning their retirement will have ample time to adjust their plans so that they too will be able to have OAS but also afford their own retirement.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think the growing issue in the country is really that we have two Canadas emerging. We have a Canada that is doing well, a Canada that is prosperous, a Canada that is succeeding, a Canada that is able to export, on the one side--

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. I have asked members many times to hold off on their applause until the member has finished asking a question and I would appreciate their assistance.

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the other side, we have a Canada that is falling further behind, a Canada that is worried in the face of the kinds of announcements made, even the announcement made by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development today.

Could the minister who is in charge of answering today give us a categorical assurance that the next budget will in fact address the concerns of those who see unemployment going up and not down, for those who see insecurity rising and not going down?

Would he--

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, his question started off so strong and then it zigged when I hoped it would zag, but there we are.

Since the end of the Christmas recess, our government has spent the month of January and this part of February consulting Canadians about what their priorities are for the coming budget.

Indeed, the concerns that the leader of the third party has raised are the government's concerns as well, which is why we have said from the return of this Parliament that our focus is on economic growth, jobs and the security of Canadians. That is what our focus will be. It has been the hallmark of our budgets in the past and will continue to be going forward.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we judge governments based on what they do, not simply on what they say.

The government on January 1 in fact increased taxes. The government did not lower taxes. It increased taxes. How does the government possibly equate what is happening in the real economy for literally millions of Canadians with the fact that you have raised taxes on those very same Canadians?

How do you possibly equate those two things, Mr. Speaker? It makes no sense.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I just remind the hon. member for Toronto Centre to address his comments through the Chair, and not directly at his colleagues.

The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians know that our government has lowered taxes in every single one of our budgets.

The leader of the Liberal Party also forgets that on January 1 of this year, we also implemented the lowest corporate tax rate across this country at 25%, giving Canada a remarkable advantage on the international stage in terms of attracting investment and spurring economic growth.

We have lowered taxes for Canadian families, for small businesses, for seniors. We have done so in a responsible and effective way that has led to economic growth, where Canada is now leading the G7 in economic growth and job creation. We have the lowest net debt to GDP ratio in the G7. We are going in the right direction. We are doing the right thing.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister mentioned the problem in his response: in fact, the Conservatives are giving gifts to corporations while threatening the security of the aging population. That is the government's position. The government is threatening the pensions of the future. At the same time, it is giving money to corporations, but no investments are being made for new employees. That is the problem.

The Conservatives are creating two Canadas: one Canada that works and one that does not. This is the division that the Conservative Party is creating, and that must change.

Will the minister finally commit to changing the government's policy?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, there is one Canada, which is on the best path in the world, throughout the entire world, to create jobs for Canadians and ensure that every Canadian benefits from economic growth.

What the leader of the third party here in the House is doing is dividing Canadians. However, we, as the Government of Canada, have the responsibility to develop policies and make commitments that will protect the interests of all Canadians.

These are the government's policies and we will continue in this direction.

The only division is in the Liberal Party. The only division we see in the House is in the opposition parties. Our government is focused on economic growth and going in the right direction.

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed, but certainly not surprised that this government refuses again and again to answer our questions about old age security. With a shrinking job market and poor economic prospects, Canadians are asking what is in store for future generations. They want security for seniors to be enhanced, not diminished.

Will the Minister of Human Resources finally spell out whether or not she intends to make Canadians work longer before they can retire?

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has a responsibility to ensure not only that the old age security system is viable for today's seniors, but that it is also viable for future generations. We take this responsibility very seriously. For that reason we are considering this issue and will ensure that there is an old age security system in future.

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, seniors are worried not just for themselves, but also for their children and grandchildren. The minister continues to say action will be taken with regard to old age security, but what action? We do not know. Now, the Minister of Finance is saying that changes will not be made for 10, 15 or 20 years, who knows when. However, the experts have been clear: old age security is viable in the long term.

Why does this government continue to fearmonger and cloud the issue? Will this government raise the eligibility age for retirement from 65 to 67, yes or no?

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, we want to ensure that the old age security system is viable not only for today's seniors, but also for future generations. Seniors currently receiving benefits will see no change. People approaching retirement will see no change. People planning for their retirement will have enough time to provide for their retirement.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Pentagon is slashing its purchase of the F-35s. This follows program cuts and concerns from Great Britain, Turkey, Australia, Italy, Norway and Israel. However, here in the House, the Conservatives are doggedly determined to say that everything is just fine.

The government is panicking and asking Washington for an emergency meeting, but here in the House it still will not tell Canadians the truth. The truth is the government does not have a plan B. Why can the government not bring that forward right now to protect our men and women who are serving in our military?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that premise is absolutely incorrect. The Royal Canadian Air Force plays an important role in protecting our sovereignty and developing the kinds of assets that are necessary in today's and tomorrow's predicaments.

Canada's CF-18s are nearing the end of their usable life. The meeting the member referred to is not an emergency at all. It has been in the works for a long time among all of the members.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, even Conservatives have to give up their fantasy that their billion dollar boondoggle is still on track. The U.S. is confirming it will delay its F-35 orders and it is going to cut $1.6 billion just as a start. The whole program is now in disarray, meaning higher costs for Canadian taxpayers. The Government of Canada has now called an emergency international meeting on the F-35 fiasco.

Will the government agree to finally apply common sense and put this matter out to tender for our men and women in the service?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vaughan Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino ConservativeAssociate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, at the risk of repeating myself, there is no emergency meeting. However, the rhetoric and the untruths seem to prevail.

Let me assure the member opposite that we are working diligently with all of our partners to ensure that our men and women in the military are given the tools they need and deserve to do the job we require them to do in our country.

TransportOral Questions

February 13th, 2012 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, in his report to Transport Canada, David Crombie recommended that all Oshawa port lands be handed to the city council. The city wants a clean and green development, with bike trails and cultural facilities, not an ethanol plant.

Instead of clean and green and civic pride, the Conservatives have taken over these lands. Why is the Conservative government trying to impose an ethanol plant against the wishes of the good people of Oshawa?

TransportOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is quite the contrary. The hon. member should know that the transition team in place was already at the helm of the port commission before the announcement last week. All the partners of course are going to collaborate on working to make sure that the new port authority is a successful undertaking for the people of the community.

I would also remind the member that the creation of this port authority is excellent news for the local workers and the local economy in the community of Oshawa and the surrounding area. It is this government that has undertaken that initiative. There is an excellent member of Parliament who is working to create jobs there. The member should celebrate all of that.

TransportOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the City of Oshawa and the mayor want control of their own port lands. They have never been consulted about this port authority. The Conservatives said no to their control and created a federal port authority. Who got the plum job of setting up this port authority? The Minister of Finance's riding association president.

Did the Conservatives create another patronage board just to reward the minister's friend, or did they do it so they could impose the refinery against the wishes of the people of Oshawa, or are they doing both?

TransportOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows much better than that.

The transition team in place was already at the helm of the port commission before the announcement last week. The partners of course are going to collaborate to put in place a successful new port authority. They are going to work with the city. They are going to work with community stakeholders. As part of our economic action plan for jobs and growth, they are going to continue to reach out and get the job done.

It is time for the NDP to get on board with this job-creating effort that we are leading in Oshawa and right across Canada.