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House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we remain focused, of course, on jobs and economic growth. Those are the fundamental concerns of Canadians, ensuring that we have a sustainable path for social services in the country, whether it is health care, or social benefits or pension benefits to ensure that in the long term Canadians can look forward to having the benefit of those programs and not an irresponsible attitude like the member opposite demonstrates that only looks at tomorrow morning and does not look down the road.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the long term Canadian families are going to be a lot worse off under the government.

Conservatives gave Caterpillar $5 million. Now the Prime Minister was willing to use the workers as an election prop for his photo op. Now that those same workers are out on the sidewalk, he just drives right by in his limousine.

The government has thrown millions of dollars away. What we have are plant closures and jobs going south: White Birch, Mabe, AstraZeneca and now Electro-Motive.

Why is the government dropping the ball? Where is the jobs plan for our hard-hit communities across the country? Where are the jobs?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, my car is actually a Chevrolet Impala from Oshawa, Ontario. The member opposite will recall voting against our plan to save General Motors and the 400,000 jobs in the auto sector across the country.

I know my friend opposite is a student of parliamentary history and I know he wants to remember, he just forgot to say so and congratulate the Prime Minister's government on its sixth anniversary of being sworn in as the government of Canada, an excellent government especially.

PensionsOral Questions

February 6th, 2012 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government spent the last week trying to prepare people for a change in old age security, a change presumably in guaranteed income supplement. No one is quite sure exactly what the Prime Minister was talking about in Davos.

I would like to ask the government today if it could at least make a commitment that none of these changes that it is talking about will take place until after 2015, so, at the very least, Canadians will have an opportunity to vote on the changes being imposed on them by the government.

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and I have been very clear all along. Anyone who is currently accessing old age security or GIS benefits will not be affected by the changes. Anyone who is nearing retirement will not be affected by the changes. We have also reassured Canadians that anyone who is young enough, like myself, or people younger than I, will have time to adjust their plans for their own retirement. We are going to ensure that they do have the time to do that.

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not about to ask the minister how old she is.

At the very least, the minister should clearly state that the government does not intend to make changes to OAS, the GIS or other programs for seniors before the 2015 election so that people can vote for or against the government's plan.

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, I can assure Canadians who are currently receiving pension benefits that they will not be affected. I can also assure people younger than I that they will have enough time to adjust their retirement plans to deal with any changes.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to put an order paper question on that subject, but I do want to switch the subject slightly to the Caterpillar question, because it is a critical question.

I want to ask the government, first, whether it will table all of the decisions with respect to the approval of the foreign investment by Caterpillar in the Electro-Motive company. I want to ask the minister very directly how it could be that the government could have allowed such an investment without receiving guarantees from the company with respect to its future intentions, a hugely profitable company, a hugely profitable operation in London, shutdown, workers left to the side, all that intellectual property going down to Indiana. Where was the government? What—

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Industry.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, about Caterpillar, the member is talking about a deal American to American, so this transaction was not reviewable under the ICA.

However, in the London area, for example, we recently announced a contract with General Dynamics that protected 2,200 jobs. We will continue down that road. We will keep a low fiscal framework and we hope those members will vote with us to ensure we can ensure economic growth and job creation.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the closure of the Caterpillar plant in London proves that blindly cutting corporate taxes does not work. After making record profits in the last quarter, the company decided first to lock out its employees and then to put them out on the street. Some 450 jobs are going to the United States. In December, Electrolux closed its plant in Quebec and 1,300 jobs were lost.

What is the government doing for the laid-off workers, besides giving tax credits to create jobs abroad?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, first, we sympathize with the workers. We have empathy for them. What is happening to them is not funny. It is terrible. However, we must continue to take measures that can promote economic growth and create jobs. That is why we have adopted tax credits for hiring workers. We have also adopted an accelerated capital cost allowance rate of 50% to allow investment. We have put more money into workforce training and skills development. We continue to take measures to promote more openness on the markets in order to create jobs and economic growth. However, those members keep voting against such measures.

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, they say they are creating jobs, but those jobs end up going abroad.

The empty answers from this government do not change the situation for the Canadian families who are suffering as a result of the 40,000 manufacturing jobs that were lost in Canada last year. The Conservatives are standing idly by. When Mabe Canada pulled the same stunt in Quebec, the provincial government took a stand and asked for a $2 million reimbursement.

What are the Conservatives going to do to protect good jobs from the despicable and unacceptable practices of these companies?

Foreign InvestmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, let us be consistent here. Our economic action plan has created more than 600,000 net new jobs in Canada. When we make such targeted investments in order to make economic growth last in Canada, what do those members do? They keep voting against such investments. The hon. member can get all worked up here and cry foul.

We empathize with these families. What they are going through is terrible, but they can rely on the government to do the opposite of what those members are advocating, which is to increase taxes by more than $10 billion. That is irresponsible and it makes no sense.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate. The people of Homs continue to be shot and killed. What measures has the government taken to react to the most recent developments? In particular, why has the government not recalled our ambassador to Syria, which would send a clear message to the Assad regime?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government has sent a very clear message to the Assad government that the killing must stop now and to bring reconciliation, Mr. Assad has to go. That is the very clear message from the Government of Canada to the government of Syria. Our Ambassador there is passing on this message very strongly to the government of Syria.

However, Canada announced last week that we would reduce diplomatic staff at our embassy in Damascus to core personnel only. The safety of Canadian staff in Syria is our number one priority.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, reducing staff in the embassy is one thing but recalling the ambassador would send a real message.

The Prime Minister has a unique opportunity, over the course of his trip to China, to raise the issue of Syria with the Chinese authorities. What concrete action does the government intend to take to persuade China to get on board with international efforts, particularly those of the Arab League?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this government has sent a very clear message to the government of Syria. President Assad must go, Canada wants reconciliation and the killing must stop now. We are working with our allies to put pressure on the Syrian government.

As far as China is concerned, the Prime Minister will discuss a whole range of issues with our hosts, including the situation in Syria and Iran.

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, after the government's trade agenda in Washington collapsed, we all know it is desperate for a win. However, as Conservatives go to China, they should be mindful of their bad track record as trade negotiators.

Canada's manufacturing trade deficit has swelled drastically under the Conservatives, from $16 billion to $81 billion in five years, costing thousands of good quality Canadian jobs.

With the Prime Minister in China to talk trade, where is the Conservative plan for protecting our manufacturing sector?

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is our Conservative government that has aggressively pursued Canada's trade expansion in China. We have secured approved destination status for Chinese tourists. Two-way trade is now almost $60 billion. That is up from $36 billion under the Liberals.

I can guarantee one more thing. We will take no advice on trade from the NDP members. They have voted against every trade agreement we have brought to this place.

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, misplaced partisanship will not help unemployed Canadians. The reality is our trade deficit keeps going up and the unemployment rate keeps going up. Those Conservatives have not got the job done. Canada is more than just raw logs and unprocessed oil. Under the Conservatives, Canada's value-added manufacturing sector has been gutted, with more jobs lost every single month.

Will the government ensure any trade deal with China will help hard-hit Canadian communities that rely on a strong manufacturing sector? It is time to stand up for them.

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the real difficulty here is the NDP trade agenda has absolutely zero credibility. It is a heresy issue. We stand up for Canadian workers every day by pursuing a trade agenda abroad to guarantee--

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. There is far too much noise at that end of the chamber. The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor.

International TradeOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, we guarantee jobs here at home by pursuing a trade agenda abroad, which is something the NDP will never understand.