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House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, their budget is increasing unemployment. I do not remember the government campaigning on a promise to put people out of work. It misled Canadians.

Because of this budget, thousands of Canadians who chose to serve their country will be fired, and families will pay the price. Economists predict that this budget will result in the loss of 50,000 to 72,000 jobs in Canada. Instead of creating jobs, the Conservative budget is cutting services, cutting the environment and cutting old age security for Canadian families, as well as putting thousands of Canadians out of work.

Why choose unemployment over jobs? Canadian families deserve better.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. This is a responsible budget for responsible management. It reduces the tax burden, and that is what stimulates the economy. We will stay the course. My colleague can talk about statistics all he wants, but one thing is clear: since we adopted this approach in 2009, 610,000 net new jobs have been created in Canada, 90% of which are full time. The facts speak for themselves. We are on the right track.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, according to Statistics Canada, 700,000 more Canadians are out of work today than before the recession. If the members opposite doubt that, they just have to ask the workers at Aveos, the workers at Brunswick Mines, the workers at Electro-Motive, the workers at Mabe. The government's answer is an insult to every one of them.

Things are getting worse. According to its own budget, unemployment will rise next year and our GDP growth rate will fall below the Americans'.

Why has the government put forth a budget that moves Canada backwards? Why did it not choose to move Canada's families forward in this budget?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I was hoping that the weekend would afford the members opposite an opportunity to read the budget, but it is apparent from the questions we are getting that they have not had an opportunity to read about the hiring credit for small business to encourage more than 500,000 small business owners to hire more people; to read about the youth employment strategy to assist more young people to gain work experience in the workforce and to join the workforce on a full-time basis; the opportunities for aboriginal youth that are in the budget; the opportunities fund to help persons with disabilities, young people and older people all across the country.

Why have they not read—

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

April 2nd, 2012 / 2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the Minister of Finance could explain to us why when he was in Toronto on Friday he took the opportunity to single out the Province of Ontario, accusing it of mismanaging its finances precisely at a time when it is the responsibility of the Minister of Finance to be speaking for all of Canada?

When are you going to speak for all of Canada and not just for the Conservatives?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I would just remind the hon. member for Toronto Centre to address questions through the Chair and not directly.

The hon. Government House Leader.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this is a budget that delivers on a jobs plan for all of Canada. I can understand why the leader of the third party is avoiding that subject. This is not his kind of budget; this is a budget that does not increase taxes. When he was premier of the Province of Ontario he increased taxes 22 different ways.

This is a budget that sets us on a track to a balanced budget, to eliminate the deficit in three years. When he was premier of the Province of Ontario, he set record level deficits.

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the question remains. The minister who just spoke is the same one who described the Premier of Ontario as the small man of Confederation. We are still seeing the same divisive spirit.

I will ask my question, which is very clear, once again: why attack one province and not others, such as British Columbia, Quebec or New Brunswick? Why is he attacking only Ontario? Why is he attacking the Ontario government like that?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I understand why the leader of the third party has a hard time hearing criticism about poor fiscal management, since we all know his track record. Our plan, however, will open up new economic opportunities through new free trade agreements. When he was the Ontario premier, the member fiercely opposed NAFTA. Our economic action plan focuses on job creation. We have already created over 600,000 net new jobs. When he was premier, the unemployment rate—

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member.

The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that this small-mindedness and mean-spiritedness has not left the government for one second with respect to what has taken place.

I would like to ask the minister one final question. One other comment the Minister of Finance made was that old age security was not a pension but a social program. I would like to ask the minister about another social program, the special allowance for the Prime Minister that comes, not out of any pension contribution, but out of general revenues. I would like to ask the minister, is the Prime Minister going to raise the age of that special allowance to age 67?

PensionsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this budget is clear. It sets us on a course that ensures that the retirement allowances of parliamentarians will be brought into line with those of the private sector. That means that as parliamentarians we will be asked to make contributions equal to those of the taxpayer. That is fair to the taxpayer. That is what is required.

Certainly, when there was an opportunity to deal with these issues in the past, the Prime Minister, of course, turned down the opportunity to receive an enriched pension of the past that was offered to him by the previous Liberal government when he once again became a member of Parliament. That is in contrast to the leader opposite who, when he was in Ontario, took a big payout from the Ontario government when he retired.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have tabled a mean-spirited budget. They missed a golden opportunity to help Canadians get working again. They cut off infrastructure. They introduced no plan for jobs and no plan for growth. In fact, the budget planned for unemployment to go up and for American growth to outstrip Canada's.

My question for the government and for the minister, whoever has the courage to answer, is why has the government tabled an economically irresponsible budget?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will try to summon the courage to respond to the question from the member opposite.

I can assure the member that if he wants to review this interesting book, it is 498 pages long, the largest of our seven budgets. In it he will see, in table 3.0 on page 50, expenditures of more $3 billion over the next three years to support jobs and growth in Canada. That is because we are trying to strike the balance between getting to a balanced budget in the medium term and supporting jobs—

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I hesitate to respond with a size joke, so let me just say that the budget fails to address the real issues facing Canadians and they are upset.

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters have said that the changes to research tax credits will harm capital intensive manufacturers. The Public Service Alliance of Canada has said that reckless Conservative cuts will leave many Canadians without the vital services they rely upon. According to economists, the budget may mean pink slips for as many as 72,000 Canadians.

Why has the government put forward such a—

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please.

The hon. Minister of Finance.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, of course, it is just the opposite. We are looking at the longer term. We are looking all the way up to 2020 and beyond, to make sure that we have a solid fiscal track for our country.

Our country is in one of the best positions in the entire world. We are leading the advanced economies in the economic recovery. We are leading in job creation. We have a brilliant future. The budget will help ensure that this future is brilliant, not just for the next year or two but for the next decade and beyond.

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the past, we have opposed Conservative budgets because they have been mean-spirited and not got the job done for Canadians, especially Canadians who are worried about their retirement.

Provinces are saying that the cuts to OAS will negatively impact the GIS, veterans' benefits, aboriginal benefits and even survivors' allowances. It will be harder for Canadians to prepare for their retirement, forcing many to turn to cash-strapped provinces for support.

Why is the Prime Minister forcing permanent cuts onto a retirement program that he knows is sustainable?

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 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, this government is acting responsibly through the budget. We are doing that because we are looking out for future generations of Canadians. We want to ensure that every Canadian has the opportunity to access these social programs in the future, and that includes OAS. That is why we are taking this bold move to make sure that future generations of Canadians are protected and can receive these opportunities and these benefits, unlike the NDP that does not have the foresight to think ahead.

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, playing games with misleading numbers is not fooling anyone. Economists and experts agree with the NDP that attacking retirement security is not the answer. It is clear that even many middle-class families will not now be able to look forward to workplace pensions. The provinces and experts all agree with New Democrats that improving the CPP and QPP is the way to go. It is affordable and accessible to almost everyone.

Instead of slashing retirement security, why will the Conservatives not listen to sound advice and strengthen public pensions?

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 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 beg to differ with my colleague on the opposite side.

Just so that we are clear, Jack Mintz has stated:

We do have a major issue down the road dealing with demographic pressures.... Hats off to Canada. We worry about this, as opposed to the United States, which has unfunded liabilities coming through their ears. So I think it’s going to be good that the government's willing to address these issues.

We are looking ahead to the long-term prosperity of this country. I encourage the NDP to do the same.

PensionsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, increasing old age security eligibility also means that seniors will have to wait until they are 67 to get their guaranteed income supplement.

They really need that supplement. Lower-income seniors will have to turn to social assistance, which is funded by none other than the provinces. Again, it will be the provinces that will have to pay for the Conservatives' bad choices.

My question is simple: do the Conservatives have a plan to help the provinces absorb these additional costs?

PensionsOral Questions

2:35 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, actually, we do. This government had the foresight to make sure that we were protecting seniors, because we value their contribution to Canada. That is why, when we increase from 65 years to 67—which is a long way out, giving people across the country 17 years to prepare for this—we will be compensating the provinces to make sure they can provide the social services seniors need.