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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

Financial Statement of Minister of FinanceThe BudgetGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

Order, please. I regret that I must interrupt the member for Burnaby--New Westminster on his point in order to move to statements by members.

SportsStatements By Members

April 2nd, 2012 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, many families in my riding of Richmond Hill are involved in sport and fitness activities. Whether it is soccer, hockey, gymnastics, baseball or any other sport, our government recognizes the importance of these activities in building healthy and strong communities.

Our government stood up for Richmond Hill families when we brought in the children's fitness tax credit to help parents offset the cost of these programs. We stood up for families when investing in recreational activities and facilities, such as the new artificial field at Crosby Park and the rehabilitation of Elgin Barrow Arena.

Our government continues our support for healthy active living through investments in ParticipACTION, Special Olympics and Own the Podium programs.

This week, as sports groups, like the Richmond Hill Stars, wrap up their season and others, like the Richmond Hill Soccer Club and the Richmond Hill Phoenix Baseball Club, get ready to launch their summer sessions, let us salute all families and sport and fitness activities in Richmond Hill and across the country.

Juno AwardsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, excellence in Canadian musical expression was on display this past weekend in the capital region as it played host to the 2012 Juno Awards. I am certain I speak for my colleagues in recognizing the nominees and congratulating the winners, including veterans Feist and Terri Clark, as well as new-found favourites Dan Mangan and Lindi Ortega to name a few.

Through their creative passions, Canadians come to know themselves and make who we are open to the world. Whether singing in French, English or Urdu, these Canadian ambassadors have shown us why it is important that we support and stabilize Canadian arts and culture in the cultural community.

The legacy left by Pierre Juneau, the award's namesake and a native son of Verdun in my riding, is a forward-thinking cultural vision that saw culture as a pillar of our society. His vision of Canada with its own distinctive voice lives on in those who practise at art everyday. Judging by the crowds, I would say that Canadians have added their voices to our celebrated storytellers.

Let us, as members of this House and of government, commit to investing in our artists and allow them to continue the vision that Pierre Juneau believed in. Why? Because it is good to be Canadian.

HockeyvilleStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, West Kelowna is one of our country's newest municipalities. When it entered the Kraft Hockeyville contest, it did so as an underdog, a new municipality without previous decades to establish an identity as a hockey town. The organizing committee was undeterred and worked incredibly hard to put on a first-rate Hockeyville campaign and the citizens of West Kelowna came together in a way like never before. That is what is important for a new municipality.

This past Saturday, we learned, somewhat earlier than expected, that we could congratulate the township of Stirling-Rawdon in winning Kraft Hockeyville for 2012. Faced with the early arrival of this news, what would become of the West Kelowna Hockeyville celebration on Saturday evening? Would anyone show up? However, something amazing happened. The premier arrived, the mayors, the MLAS and, most important, the thousands of citizens from West Kelowna literally jammed the rafters. West Kelowna may not have won Hockeyville 2012 but it did achieve a sense of community pride that is far more important.

I send a special thanks out to organizers Adam and Andrew for making believers of all of us.

Member for PapineauStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday night the political arena moved to the boxing arena—a metaphor that reminds us of the sometimes merciless struggle of political life.

The Conservatives, true to their nature, were confident and attacked their adversary even before the fight began. Their combatant was impetuous, their confidence unshakeable.

The fight began with a solid attack from the man in blue, whose only strategy seemed to be to score a knockout. However, he failed to take account of the Liberal's ability to stand up to repeated blows and come back even stronger.

Like the Liberal spirit, the hon. member for Papineau showed his constancy, patience and perseverance. He came back strongly and showed everyone that brute force, intimidation and a simple strategy may count for something, but training, technique and resilience will always triumph in the end.

Congratulations to my friend and colleague from Papineau. Let this fight be a sign that Liberal strength is returning.

HockeyvilleStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, the sport of hockey is one of the cornerstones of our Canadian heritage, and nowhere is it more evident than in our small villages and towns.

I am proud to represent a riding where there have been many successes related to the great game of hockey. This year alone my own community of Centre Hastings won an unprecedented three Ontario minor hockey championships. The village of Stirling-Rawdon added one more to build upon its many past successes.

Only last week I stood here and congratulated the towns of Stirling-Rawdon and Bancroft in my riding on making it to the top 15 communities in the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville competition, with Stirling-Rawdon going on to make it to the top five.

Led by organizers like Cindy Brandt and a great team of volunteers, they continued to demonstrate their community's astonishing spirit and passion for the game of hockey while applauding all who participated.

Now I am absolutely thrilled to congratulate Stirling-Rawdon on the announcement Saturday evening that it had won the Hockeyville competition.

I ask my colleagues in Parliament and all Canadians to join me in congratulating Stirling-Rawdon on being named Hockeyville Canada and representing the ultimate in community spirit and love for the great game of hockey.

Health Care SystemStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest NDP Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, our health care system is sick. Recently, I had first-hand experience with our inadequate health care system. I went to the Granby hospital with my spouse, who had a persistent cough following a bout of flu. In a waiting room meant for 50 people, there were just 10 or so patients waiting to see a doctor. We waited over five and a half hours to see a doctor, who eventually diagnosed pneumonia.

In its budget, the Conservative government is going ahead with plans to cut health transfers to the provinces and territories despite the fact that Quebeckers and Canadians are asking it to commit to providing stable funding for health care. Given the government's misguided approach, what will happen to the aging Canadian population?

Pope John Paul IIStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Conservative Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the seventh anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.

During his papacy, he had a profound impact on people of all faiths and cultures all over the world, who continue to admire and revere him.

Many remember that Pope John Paul II was strongly committed to building understanding between the Catholic church and other faiths. His efforts, whether through his historic visit to the Great Synagogue of Rome or his meetings with the Dalai Lama, are seen as having opened new avenues for positive dialogue.

He played a vital role in inspiring Eastern Europe to resist Communist tyranny, which contributed to the success of the democratic transformation of that region.

As we know, blessed John Paul II is now on the road to sainthood. I would like to take this opportunity to remember the tremendous contributions that he made to the world and to the promotion of values that we as Canadians cherish.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Conservative Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week it came to light that the member for Toronto—Danforth had complained that a sitting judge had an anti-criminal bias.

Rather than realizing what an absolutely ridiculous stance that is and apologizing to Canadians, the member doubled down and said that it was our Conservative government that should apologize.

We have nothing to apologize for. We will not stand for a hug-a-thug rhetoric coming from that party. That is why Canadians gave us a strong mandate to continue our work to crack down and keep our streets and communities safe.

I call on the leader of the NDP to discipline that—

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek.

Old Age SecurityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only crisis for OAS is the one the Conservatives have chosen to create.

A review of Canada’s retirement income system by pension experts of the OECD had this to say:

Canada does not face major challenges of financial sustainability with its public pension schemes....Long-term projections show that public retirement-income provision is financially sustainable.

A report from Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, also agrees that OAS is easily sustainable

Prior to the May 2011 election, our leader Jack Layton and I announced the New Democrats’ retirement security for seniors plan. During that election, the New Democrats were clear on pensions. In fact, our very first platform plank was on pensions and increasing the GIS to raise seniors out of poverty.

One would think that if the Prime Minister was considering forcing Canadians to work two extra years before retiring, he just might mention it in an election campaign, unless of course he believed it would cost his party votes.

Human TraffickingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes that human trafficking is a despicable crime and that anyone who profits from the modern-day slave trade should face serious consequences.

In recognition of this crime, I recently introduced Bill C-310. Our crown attorneys desperately need this tool in order to prosecute human traffickers wherever they commit their crimes. Unfortunately, last Friday NDP members deliberately delayed the passage of Bill C-310. They deliberately threw it to the bottom of the order paper.

This has become a pattern that is very disturbing. When we look at the record, NDP members have already voted against tougher penalties for child predators, against tougher penalties for child kidnappers and against ending house arrest for serious crimes such as sexual assault.

Last Friday the only muscle that was shown was against the innocent victims of this horrendous crime.

Seal HuntStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year's seal hunt on the Magdalen Islands is a historic event. In an unforgettable collaborative project with hunters from the Magdalen Islands, the Micmac people of the Gesgapegiag First Nation have been able to rediscover traditional knowledge that had been lost for centuries.

Although their ancestors helped teach non-aboriginals to hunt for harp seals, the Micmac had this part of their culture taken away from them when the reserve system was created. Some 200 years later, the people of the Magdalen Islands were very moved to be able to return the favour and share their expertise on the pack ice.

Accompanied by an Inuit colleague from Nunavut, the Micmac conducted a harvest based on their traditions, combining respect for the animal and nature.

This event marks a new willingness to develop co-operation, dialogue and friendship between the communities of the Magdalen Islands and Gesgapegiag. We can only applaud the courage of the people who organized the event, which was an opportunity for growth between the founding peoples of this country.

EmploymentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority is job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Canada's economic action plan highlighted that we will be introducing new ways to further assist Canadians claiming EI to find jobs and help get them back to work.

The opposition is fear-mongering that these changes will force Canadians to uproot and move away to find jobs. This is simply not true.

In fact, we are increasing our efforts to ensure Canadians are made aware of the jobs available in their local areas, as well as providing incentives for taking all available work in their local community.

Our government recognizes that Canadians want to work. We are working to provide families with the tools they need to find gainful and meaningful employment in their communities.

Thrilla on the HillaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker,

Two men in the ring, 800 in the stands;
One wrote a cheque with his mouth, he couldn't cash with his hands.
The Tory Nation was cocky, they came out in full force;
But like the F-35 contract, they had backed the wrong horse.
Liberals must be defeated, that's known Tory credo;
They had nothing to hide, you could tell by the Speedo.
Brazeau came out hard and brought the Tories to their feet;
But in less than a minute, he looked pretty well beat.
The red onslaught of punches could not be contained;
Like those Tory attack ads, stinging and sustained.
The bombs came from everywhere, our boy pummeled and pounded;
It looked like the senator thought he was surrounded.
He was dazed and confused, the ref twice stopped the fight;
He got hit with so many lefts, he was begging for a right.
In less than six minutes it was all over and done;
A TKO victory, the good guys had won.
The Tories were devastated by this jaw-dropping blow;
Ezra's microphone went silent, his mouth stuffed with crow.
But the Tories aren't finished, they'll want a rematch I'm betting;
They'll find someone tougher, maybe Marjory LeBreton.

Members' BudgetsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the Board of Internal Economy's decision to find approximately 7% in savings from members' office budgets. It is important that members look for ways where we can save taxpayers' money.

Unfortunately, I have to question the comments of my hon. colleague from the NDP who said that it was “a big mistake to trim the MPs' budgets even the little bit they did because that could mean the difference between another staff position and serving people in the constituency”.

Last year that member spent over $42,000 on his accommodations, per diem expenses, hospitality, events and advertising. That is on top of his travel expenses which exceeded $162,000.

When asked to find approximately $21,000 in savings, I have to ask why the NDP member for Winnipeg Centre would not find savings in his own expenses rather than possibly firing a member of his staff.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is no laughing matter: with their Bill C-11 on copyright, the Conservatives are once again showing their total disregard for artists and the arts. If the Conservatives would open their eyes and actually look, they would see that arts and culture constitute a major driver of our economy.

Instead of supporting artists, the Conservatives are creating obstacles for them. Bill C-11 will deprive small record companies, musicians and small businesses of $21 million a year. What is most pathetic is that no one on the other side appears to be looking for a solution to the problem they have created with this bill.

It is not a big deal for the Conservatives because their strategy is always to give preference to big business, whether the subject is oil sands or culture. The NDP will not let them get away with it. Artists can rely on our support. In contrast to the Conservatives, we are here to defend creative artists.

AutismStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, today is World Autism Awareness Day. It also marks 14 years since my son, Jaden, was diagnosed with autism.

In many ways Jaden is like a 3-year-old or 4-year-old trapped in a 16-year-old's body. He is non-verbal, has trouble with abstract concepts, will cry when sad, and squeal loudly or giggle when happy. When something is on his mind, he will grab my face and inquire with an escalating “Bababababa” until he gets the explanation he needs to move on with his life.

He is obsessed with dogs, to the point where he will go nose to nose with any dog he sees, regardless of size or demeanour, something we must always be aware of when out in public. In some ways Jaden is very much like other 16-year-olds. He loves making chocolate chip cookies, working in the school library and bowling with dad on Saturday mornings.

I never dreamt I would have a son with special needs, but I can honestly say I could not be more proud of my boy. He is always quick with a high-five or a kiss, is never ever a bully and loves everyone without a hint of judgment. I think we could all use a little more of that.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, here in this House, his hand on his heart, the Prime Minister promised that he would not touch pensions, that he would not cut health transfer payments to the provinces and that he would not touch services to the public. However, the Conservative budget attacks services, attacks transfers, and attacks retirement income.

Why has the Minister of Finance brought down a budget that does exactly the opposite of what his Prime Minister promised Canadians?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to welcome the new Leader of the Opposition to his new responsibilities. We are very much looking forward to the new orange order over there. We will be expecting, though, to see some of the same things we have seen in the past, a clear contrast with the policies of this government.

Our policies are focused on job creation, economic growth and the long-term prosperity of this country so that we have jobs for Canadians, not just today and tomorrow, but indeed, for decades to come in the future. I expect they will be opposing all of those measures.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, job creation? We shall see about that.

Their plan for job creation is to throw 20,000 employees out of work. Wow, what a plan.

This is like the workers at Aveos who are waiting for the tiniest sign that the Conservatives are going to help them keep their jobs. The law is clear, but the Conservatives are doing nothing. The Government of Quebec is threatening to sue the federal government. A revitalization committee has been set up to try to save these jobs.

Are the Conservatives going to do anything at all to save the jobs at Aveos? My question is simple and can be answered with a yes or a no.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our economic action plan includes concrete job creation measures, such as a hiring credit for small businesses and measures to help young people acquire skills and experience through a youth employment strategy. Our strategy is clear. Our economic action plan has already produced 600,000 jobs for Canadians. Our plan is working well, and we will stay the course.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, abandoning the 2,600 workers of Aveos and their families is not a job creation strategy. Getting rid of 20,000 employees is not a job creation strategy. Cutting vital services is not a job creation strategy.

Cuts to housing, cuts to first nations, cuts to food safety, cuts to transportation safety, cuts to regional development, the Conservatives created the problem with their corporate tax cuts.

Is this their only solution now: service cuts?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is reading a very different budget from the one that was actually delivered in the House by the Minister of Finance last Thursday. It is a budget that focuses on the key priorities of Canadians while ensuring that we are on the path to deliver jobs.

His approach is one of increasing taxes. That is what he has asked for. He wants to make our workers less competitive than their competitors around the world.

If he wants to ask workers why they might lose their jobs, higher taxes is the number one reason why. That is why we are opposing those higher taxes. We will not agree with the opposition plan for higher taxes, bigger government and bigger deficits. That is the ticket to economic disaster for Canada.