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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservatives.

Topics

The BudgetOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives promised to create jobs. Instead, they slashed the vital services that Canadian families rely on, such as old age security and health care. They promised jobs and growth. Instead, they delivered reckless cuts. In the Conservative budget there is nothing on jobs, aside from the title, and nothing on growing inequality.

Why did the Conservatives table a budget so out of touch with the priorities of Canadian families?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we tabled a fair and balanced budget yesterday, focused on jobs, economic growth and the long-term prosperity of Canada. We are excited about this initiative. It is all about how we can build up the private sector and create more jobs so there is more hope and more opportunity. We need the NDP to finally agree to support plans and proposals that will actually create jobs in this country. Let us challenge the NDP to join us in building a better Canada.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, if they had any credibility on jobs, they would ask the 2,600 workers at Aveos who are out of theirs.

The reality is that in this budget the Conservatives are actually forecasting that unemployment will go up. Everybody can see this budget for what it is. It is penny-wise and pound foolish. Conservatives are cutting jobs and services to Canadians and ignoring growing inequality. How can they fail so badly to create jobs for Canadians when even their own numbers project that unemployment will grow in Canada this year?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. Since the bottom of the recession, we have seen the Canadian economy create 610,000 net new jobs. Since this Prime Minister came to office in 2006, we have seen more than 1.1 million net new jobs created in this country. This economic action plan is working. It is creating more hope and opportunity. Just this week we got more good news: 400 well-paying manufacturing jobs at Toyota. Will the member opposite stand up and join those of us on the government side and congratulate those 400 people who are getting jobs in the manufacturing sector at Toyota?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, will the Conservative members demonstrate solidarity with the 2,600 Aveos workers and the hundreds of workers in New Brunswick who have lost their jobs? Thanks to this government, Canadians will have an even harder time making ends meet than they already do. Instead of helping families by protecting public services and pensions, it has bestowed an austerity budget upon them. It is cutting public services, breaking its promise about old age security and eliminating 19,000 jobs, which will actually result in the loss of 40,000 jobs. Why is this government forcing its ideology on Canadians instead of—

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, economic growth and job creation in all regions of Canada are key priorities for this government and this Prime Minister. That is why we have done our utmost to support job creation. Over the past two years, over 600,000 new jobs have been created in Canada. This week, we learned that Toyota will be creating 400 new jobs here in Ontario.

Canada is making great progress, and that is why we will continue working very hard to promote economic growth and create even more new jobs in Canada.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the reviews are coming in and Canadians are not happy with this budget. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities—

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour has the floor.

The BudgetOral Questions

March 30th, 2012 / 11:20 a.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities says the budget failed on housing. The United Food and Commercial Workers union called it a blow to Canadians. The Canadian Association of Retired Persons said that it will hurt the next generation. Conservatives ran an entire election campaign less than a year ago and never said a word about this plan.

In response to our former leader, Jack Layton, the Prime Minister pledged not to cut pensions or health transfers. Why does the Prime Minister not keep his word?

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us listen to what the Canadian Federation of Municipalities really had to say about this budget. It stated, “Canada's municipal leaders welcome today's commitment by the federal government to continue working with cities and communities to rebuild the local roads, water systems, community centres and public transit that our families, businesses, and economy depend on.”

A number of stakeholders have said this is the right budget at the right time for all Canadians across this country. We need the NDP to stick with us on this and create more jobs, more prosperity and growth here in our country.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming clear to Canadians that this Prime Minister will not stand up and keep his word. If he had come clean with Canadians about his plan to cut pensions and health care, even more people would have rejected the Conservative plan in the last election and we would have an NDP government creating good jobs in this country. It is not too late. Conservatives can still listen to Canadians because New Democrats are willing to work and fix this budget. Will they work with us and—

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

The BudgetOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry but I heard him say the NDP had a plan. Well here is its plan. The NDP wanted to double CPP. The NDP wanted to raise taxes on corporate businesses. The NDP wanted to raise taxes on the average Canadian family by increasing the GST. This is not a plan that would create jobs. However, the budget that we just released yesterday is a budget concentrated on jobs, economic growth and prosperity for this country. I am pleading with the NDP to please do the right thing and vote for this budget.

PensionsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the question of the change in the old age security, the government never told the Canadian people that this was in its plans a year ago. If there was a demographic crisis, which the Conservatives are now pointing to, they would have known about it six months or a year ago. Why would the government introduce this change which is going to cost those who are eligible to receive OAS and GIS $30,000 for each person who qualifies? Why would the government do that, flying in the face of every major study which says Canada has—

PensionsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

PensionsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Let me explain this to my friend from Toronto Centre. In the 1970s there were seven workers supporting every retiree. By 2030, there will only be two workers to support every OAS recipient. This is a fair, balanced and reasonable position. We are giving plenty of notice so it would not affect any retirees or people who are going to retire soon.

If it is so unreasonable, then why are Australia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom all doing much the same thing?

PensionsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister is giving examples of countries that have done the same thing. The problem with the minister's argument is that he is the one who is most likely to tell Canadians bluntly that there is no crisis in Canada, that the deficit has been taken care of, that we have no deficit problem, that there is no budget crisis, that we are different than other countries and that we lead the G7.

If that is all true, why punish the poorest Canadians? Why punish those who are most vulnerable?

PensionsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, these changes are part of a plan to balance the budget. These proposals will not come into effect until over 10 years from now, in 2023. We can make these decisions and give taxpayers plenty of notice. That is what all the other OECD countries—including Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, the United States and the U.K.—have done. All of those countries have done the same thing, because the program needs to be protected for future taxpayers.

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one small item that struck me in the budget was that of all the cuts that were put forward, most were what we would call back-end loaded. That is to say, their full impact would take place in the next two or three years. The one exception to this was the cuts to Elections Canada which are up front in the first year, $7.5 million.

At a time when the Chief Electoral Officer has told us he has to deal with 800 complaints in 200 ridings, an unprecedented investigation is under way and never before in the history of the country have we had such an investigation, why would the government be cutting that budget?

41st General ElectionOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Chief Electoral Officer said he has all the resources he needs to do his job. We commend the Commissioner of Elections Canada because he has actually come forward with his suggestions on how he can do his part, as part of a government-wide effort to save taxpayer dollars and do things more efficiently. These are the numbers that he has provided to us as part of his plan for reducing expenditures. We commend him for contributing to a government-wide effort.

PensionsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives promised not to touch old age security.

For months they refused to tell Canadians anything, but yesterday, they finally told the truth: they are going to push the age of retirement from 65 to 67. That is bad news for a lot of people. It is an unfair decision that is going to jeopardize the future of today's young people and seriously harm the most financially vulnerable people in our society.

Why are the Conservatives attacking seniors' incomes? They can do better than that.

PensionsOral Questions

11:25 a.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, current seniors will not be affected by this. Yes, starting in 2023, this will be phased in. We are doing that so young people in this country will actually have access to OAS in the future.

Seniors in my riding have told me that they want to ensure their grandchildren have opportunities to receive these benefits. They will not if we have nothing.

I strongly encourage the NDP to please support our budget because there is a lot of great opportunities in it to ensure individuals are supported.

PensionsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, those arguments are misleading, and the parliamentary secretary knows it.

Experts agree that our old age security system is sustainable. The truth is that the Conservatives are trying to balance their budget on the backs of the most vulnerable seniors and on the backs of the provinces.

The Canadian Medical Association maintains that the provinces will have to pay more for health care because the most vulnerable seniors will no longer have the means to pay for their drugs and will therefore become sick more often.

Will the Conservatives do their job and protect seniors instead of making them poorer?