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House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Western Arctic is from a resource region but he is always very conscious of the importance of ensuring that we are creating good quality jobs in Canada.

The reality is that we are seeing an erosion of those fundamental Canadian values of putting in place an economy that works for everyone, that builds on those strong communities and where we are not exporting raw bitumen and raw logs. The hewers of rough wood. We are not hewing any wood. We are cutting trees down and shipping raw logs and minerals overseas.

We heard earlier in question period the member for La Pointe-de-l'Île talk about the federal government buying buttons that were not even made in Canada. The Conservatives have done this repeatedly.

The problem is that the Conservatives just do not get how to build a modern economy. It shows from the loss of job figures and from the poor quality of jobs that they have managed to create, which are part-time or temporary. It also shows with the overwhelming erosion of Canadians' quality of life under the Conservative government.

I believe that 102 New Democrats sit in this House because Canadians want to see an economy that makes all Canadians prosper. That is why so many of us were elected and I am convinced that there will be many more of us in 2015.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his description of the last few years of so-called economic growth and the turmoil we have been through under the Conservative government.

I would like him to explain how, over the past few years, Canada has lost its reputation as a leader and innovator and why our industries are having a hard time innovating and being industrial leaders.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for LaSalle—Émard. She has a strong presence in the House of Commons when she talks about resources and development and how important it is for Canada to invest in tomorrow's economy.

As we all know, the truth is that we are at the bottom of the list of industrialized countries when it comes to public investment in research and development. We are in last place thanks to the Conservatives. We are in last place when it comes to developing patents internationally. Among industrialized countries, Canada is at the very bottom of the list. As for the number of PhDs produced in Canada, we are now second-last because of all the shutdowns and all the obstacles that students face.

That is a poor record, a record that led to the collapse of the Canadian economy on the Conservatives' watch. Clearly, they have failed utterly. Still, we know that more and more people across Canada are looking to New Democrats for leadership in creating tomorrow's green economy. And that is what we will provide.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster is a hard act to follow. I always learn a lot from what the member has to say. I think we all do.

This past weekend I had the pleasure, as did many of the residents of Halifax, the south shore, Bridgewater and Queen's County, of speaking with the member for Burnaby--New Westminster. He talked at some length with us on Friday night and again on Saturday afternoon about what he and the official opposition thought needed to be done with respect to the economy. He also talked at some length about the wrong-headed priorities of the Conservative government, which we found to be quite interesting.

He and I also took the opportunity to listen to a number of constituents. They talked about some of their concerns with respect to the economy and some of the things they were doing.

A business development officer from Lunenburg-Queens talked about how the economy of that region is changing and what people are doing to try to deal with those changes. He talked about what could be done at the federal level by the government, or by the NDP government that will be formed in 2015, in order to properly support the south shore of Nova Scotia and other communities throughout the country.

The people who attended those meetings were very comfortable with the information. They were inspired by the member for Burnaby—New Westminster. I thank him for that.

The report of the Standing Committee on Finance is on the prebudget consultations. As the member for Burnaby—New Westminster mentioned, there is a minority report attached to the report. The official opposition members on the committee did not think that the majority report properly reflected some concerns. Some ideas and concerns that witnesses had were not properly reflected in the report, and therefore, opposition members on the committee presented a minority report.

It was an important consultation. It gave Canadians an opportunity to bring to the attention of the committee important issues that affect the economy, their communities and families. There is no question that the consultation was a good thing.

We go through the prebudget consultation process to inform the House, the Minister of Finance and his officials about what Canadians think should be reflected in the budget. However, after that happened, the Prime Minister of this country, while on a sojourn across the water to attend a think-tank session in Davos, Switzerland, announced that a critical program for seniors in this country was going to be changed. I do not know what he was drinking at the time, pop or Chardonnay or whatever, but he mentioned it in passing.

The committee had already heard from senior citizens. The committee had already talked to seniors. While it is not reflected in the main report, in the minority report we talk about senior Canadians' concerns about income security and the lack thereof when they reach retirement. WIthout question it is a very serious concern. Had they known that the government was going to change the OAS, which preponderantly advantages low-income seniors, they would have been outraged. They would have lined up to attend the meetings that were held across the country.

What troubles me is this facade of having consultations. We ask Canadians to contribute to this chamber's understanding of their concerns and what we should do. Then the government unilaterally announces what it is going to do, and it is going to affect hundreds of thousands of seniors across the country.

Another example is health care. It is fundamental to the lives of Canadians and the success of many organizations and businesses in this country. The Minister of Finance unilaterally announced to the first ministers of the provinces what the funding formula is going to be over the next number of years. There was no discussion or consultation. There was no talk about how the government is going to work with the provinces in order to ensure that health care is not only maintained but restored, reinvigorated, modernized and properly funded. On an issue which is very important to the people of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, the people in all of Nova Scotia, indeed the people across the country, there was no attempt to have those discussions. The finance minister and the government unilaterally determined that they were going to make this funding change.

Once again, outside of the prebudget consultations, this information was announced and blindsided Canadians. Without question, it causes us some concern.

Another thing that happened this week was the government's attack on veterans. The member for Sackville—Eastern Shore moved a motion to ensure that the programs and services to support the women and men who represent, fight for and defend our country are not cut. The government did not support the motion.

I am sufficiently troubled about this that I would suggest the government and members of the House need some time to reflect. Therefore, I move:

That the House do now adjourn.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

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

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

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

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

FinanceCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

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

Vote #145

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion defeated.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

March 7th, 2012 / 4:20 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I know that you will have noticed that the Minister of Citizenship took his seat after you began to put the question, and I would ask that his vote not be counted.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

In fact, I did not notice if the hon. minister did that.

Does the Minister of Citizenship want to clarify when he took his seat?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I suppose I did arrive after the row was called. I apologize.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The Table will make sure that the votes reflect that fact.

It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry, international trade; the hon. member for London—Fanshawe, seniors.

There are five minutes for questions and comments for the hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed the presentation by the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour on the economic failures of the government, which are many. I know that he could not in 10 minutes fully spell out all of the failures we have seen: the job losses, including the manufacturing job losses. I would like him to speak, if he could for just a moment, on how the NDP addresses these kinds of economic considerations. The average Canadian family, struggling with a record debt load and lower income and poorer than ever before under the Conservatives, needs grounds for hope.

Could the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour spell out why it is so important, with the NDP moving forward to 2015, that we can move in and repair what has been a badly tattered economy under the Conservatives?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear about this. I think the reason that the member for Burnaby—New Westminster enjoyed my presentation was that I complimented him so many times about what a great job he was doing as the opposition finance critic.

Try as I might, I know that I would not be able to lay out in the same detail as that member could the steps that an NDP government would take from one end of this country to the other, but let me try.

We would certainly listen to the communities, like the ones in Nova Scotia that we met with this weekend, who talked about the need to support funding programs like community economic development, which the government will reduce through devastating cuts to ACOA. We would focus on reversing their priorities, which we believe are wrong, including the corporate tax cuts. We would reverse those so that we would have the revenue to be able to direct money to veterans, to seniors, to the people who desperately need support.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the things we have witnessed under the current government is the climb in the manufacturing deficit from about $16 billion in 2005 to $80 billion now. We have lost value-added jobs as a result.

I would ask my colleague about what effect that has had on Canadians as we become more of a service and natural resource nation, versus one with good manufacturing jobs, which are actually being won in the United States, where there is a plan to rehabilitate manufacturing and where these jobs are actually on the rise and taking some of our Canadian jobs.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member is the international trade critic who stands here repeatedly and talks about the failures of the government and its ability to negotiate fair deals with other countries, deals that would properly protect Canadian workers, protect jobs, and enhance opportunities for our businesses and communities to prosper.

In response, the government has said that the NDP has never supported any trade deal. Our response is that we want to see trade deals that protect and encourage Canadians jobs and not devastate communities. That is what the member has been doing.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have heard this presentation. As the industry critic, I have some specific concerns about industry. The hon. member drew attention to the manufacturing sector, but many other sectors such as agriculture and forestry are having problems. One of the major problems is that our economy relies far too heavily on the exportation of our natural resources. This puts upward pressure on the dollar, a phenomenon known as the Dutch disease.

The government's lack of reaction to this very specific problem affects not only the manufacturing sector, but also a number of Canadian industrial sectors. Can my hon. colleague say a few words about that?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his extremely important question, because in the past 20 years, and especially over the last six years under the current government, we have increasingly been moving back to the situation we faced in the 1950s and 1960s when we were very much hewers of wood and drawers of water. We were sending raw logs out of Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and other provinces, including Quebec, completely unprocessed. All of those jobs were going to Europe and the United States.

We are doing the same thing with raw bitumen. It is a problem that has to be addressed. Thank heavens that in 2015, there will be an NDP government to begin to—

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order, please. Resuming debate, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.