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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was affordable.

Topics

DemocracyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, let us compare the facts and talk about the reality of the situation.

Under the Liberals, budget implementation bills were rarely over 100 pages long. With this government, they have been 420 pages, 528 pages and 644 pages long—all huge documents.

Why does this government pretend to allocate enough time to talk about democracy, when really, its utter contempt for democracy is clear?

DemocracyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, as I said, the time set aside for debate on this budget bill is much longer than the average amount of time set aside by any Liberal government.

This is the longest debate on a budget implementation bill in at least the past two decades, perhaps the longest ever, but the Liberals are against it. Why? It is because that party is led by someone who does not recognize this kind of budget because it does not increase taxes, something his party did 32 times when he was premier of Ontario. It does not result in a massive deficit. It works, in fact, to balance the budget, which is something he never did when he was in--

DemocracyOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. The hon. member for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Madam Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is killing the understanding Canada program, throwing away 30 years of Canadian study.

With little means, this program generated Canadian study centres globally, thousands of articles, books, Ph.D.s and M.A.s on Canada.

The government will not save money. For each dollar invested, $14 are spent in Canada by the international Canadian studies community.

Will the minister keep open this world window on Canada?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Speaker, we are making some decisions to ensure that we live within our means and that we return to balanced budgets and fiscal sanity in this country.

We have made decisions in the Department of Foreign Affairs on how we can best spend our valuable taxpayer dollars and we believe this is the right decision toward that end.

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

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

Madam Speaker, when the government wants Canadians to accept unpopular measures, it always ends up ramming these measures down their throats.

Yesterday, the government invoked closure for the 18th time, in this case on the budget implementation bill, which is full of measures that Canadians did not vote for.

Why are the Conservatives so set on cutting short any debate on their controversial measures? Is it because their budget does not add up?

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Madam Speaker, that was very much a fact-free question. I do recall campaigning on jobs, the economy and long-term prosperity for the country. That is exactly what we on this side of the House campaigned on. This is the opposite of the NDP members, who were campaigning on higher taxes to kill jobs.

In the budget we extended the hiring credit for new hires and a benefit for young people. The youth employment strategy, raised in the House many times, is funded in this budget.

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

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

Madam Speaker, if the Conservatives like to approve 425-page bills without reading or analyzing them, where is their rigour?

We know that the devil is in the details, and Bill C-38 has many details that are perplexing, such as amendments to the Bank Act that will infringe on provincial powers. This is not at all acceptable to the Government of Quebec.

Why is the government insisting on interfering in provincial jurisdictions?

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Madam Speaker, this gives me the opportunity to point out the strength in Canada's financial sector. Four years in a row the World Economic Forum has said that Canada's banking system is the best in the world. That is something to be proud of.

We do need to make sure that these rules that are under federal jurisdiction are enforced all across the provinces. That is why we continue to make sure that the banks follow the regulations that we put in place, so we can maintain that incredible record that is the envy of the world.

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Madam Speaker, this is the 18th time that the Conservatives have invoked closure, a record that this government should be ashamed of.

The government is ramming a 425-page monster bill down Canadians' throats, a bill that is replete with measures that will set us back dozens of years, measures that will endanger our environment, harm our health system and make Canadians' lives more precarious.

What does the government want to hide from Canadians by preventing this debate? What are the Conservatives afraid of?

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeMinister of State (Finance)

Madam Speaker, we are trying to highlight what we are trying to provide to Canadians.

The NDP members stood barely moments after the budget was tabled in the House and said they would be voting against it. They have had somewhere up to five weeks to discuss and debate that. However, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster stood in the House and took away the privilege of every other member in the House to publicly and openly debate the budget. I believe he is an NDP member?

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel NDP Hull—Aylmer, QC

Madam Speaker, despite everything that has happened, it is clear that the Conservatives do not like debates.

All too often, their arguments fall apart upon close scrutiny, as in the case of the census, the F-35 jets and the eligibility age for old age security.

Canadians deserve better.

If this government were serious and had an iota of rigour, we would study each element of the budget in the appropriate committee.

Why is the government not taking this seriously? Is it because their budget cannot be justified?

Budget ImplementationOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, one of the reasons we have set aside a record amount of time for this budget to be debated is because we want to know who really speaks for the NDP. Is it this member, the party whip, who says that moving to balance the budget by reducing the size of the bureaucracy is bad for the economy? Or is it their leader who said that one of the ways that we will succeed is by reducing the size of the bureaucracy? That is what he said when he was in government. Canadians have a right to know who really speaks for the NDP. That is why we want a lengthy budget debate.

National ParksOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Madam Speaker, they are stuffing these changes into the budget bill to avoid accountability. However, it will not work. New Democrats will hold them to account.

We created national parks to protect our natural heritage. Conservative changes will mean fewer reviews of park management plans and will reduce the ability to keep up with changing conditions. On top of this, the minister is sending layoff notices to hundreds of parks staff. Why is the minister ignoring his duty to protect Canada's natural spaces?

National ParksOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Madam Speaker, my colleague opposite is quite right. Our government has done more to protect Canada's natural heritage and park space than any other government in history. We have protected over 150,000 square kilometres of parkland. We have funded these measures to ensure that they are sustainable. These are budget measures my colleagues opposite voted against.

We will continue to ensure that front-line services are provided and that visitors across this country can enjoy Canada's great natural heritage.

National ParksOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle NDP Nickel Belt, ON

Madam Speaker, what the Conservatives are ensuring is less access for Canadians and a decline of tourism dollars. Communities across Canada are slowly learning the details of the changes hidden in the Conservative budget bill: no more interpreters to connect visitors with our natural heritage, shorter park seasons and hours slashed, less ecological management and fewer tourist dollars for local businesses.

Why is the minister cutting access to our public spaces and pulling money out of our local economies?

National ParksOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Madam Speaker, tourism is certainly an important part of Canada's economy. Members of the tourism industry will say that during peak demand, staff is ramped up. What we are trying to do with Canada's parks is ensure that during peak demand times Canada parks are staffed by front-line services. Those services will continue to exist under our well-funded parks plan. I would ask my colleague opposite to actually look at the budget bill and examine these changes in detail. This will continue to ensure that our parks are well serviced and that Canadians can enjoy them for years to come.

EmploymentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Madam Speaker, the budget bill that the Conservatives are afraid to debate with the opposition proposes repealing the provision under which a worker who is looking for a job is not obligated to accept one where the working conditions, including the rate of pay, are less favourable than those offered by good employers. In short, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development wants to lower both salaries and purchasing power in this country.

Why are the Conservatives attacking the workers who are the lifeblood of our economy?

EmploymentOral Questions

11:35 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

Madam Speaker, the government's top priority is job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity. The government is making improvements to employment insurance to ensure that it is fair, continues to meet the needs of Canadians and is responsive to local labour market demands. As we face unprecedented skills shortages across the country, it will be critical that we work directly to help Canadians find available work more quickly. We are looking to make sure that Canadians have jobs and are able to keep them. Why is the NDP not interested in supporting that direction?

EmploymentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Madam Speaker, lower salaries mean that people will be spending less money in local businesses. Less spending means less income for business owners. Everyone will pay the price if the Conservatives continue to race to the bottom.

Why did the Conservatives decide to hide these changes in an omnibus bill? Why do they not address the real problems in the employment insurance system, such as wait lists that are too long, instead of risking slowing down our economic growth?

EmploymentOral Questions

11:35 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

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned before, we are focused on job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity. We want to make sure that every Canadian has access to a job.

We are facing unprecedented skills shortages across this country. We want to make sure that the employment insurance program focuses on making sure that Canadians have access to jobs in their local labour markets. That is why we are making sure we have fair changes that are focused on making sure Canadians have access to jobs.

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

May 4th, 2012 / 11:35 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Madam Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of National Revenue rose to speak about an unacceptable video that was produced by the Canada Revenue Agency. I sent a letter to the minister about this several months ago.

My question is simple: was the minister aware of this video before I sent her the letter or is she unaware of what is happening in her own department?

Canada Revenue AgencyOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Madam Speaker, as soon as the minister was made aware of these videos, she took action and stood in the House to inform Canadians. These videos are disrespectful to Canadian taxpayers. This is not how CRA officials are trained. The minister has asked senior officials to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary measures. She has asked the Taxpayers' Ombudsman to review all CRA training videos to ensure they respect taxpayers' rights.

National ParksOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Madam Speaker, perhaps my question should be directed to the Minister of Health, as the actions of the government really carve the heart out of the community in my riding.

In the cuts by Parks Canada to Louisbourg, St. Peter's and the Canso area, it is not only the 170 people who lost their jobs and their families. It is also those who depend on the tourism industry. This will cripple the tourism industry. Hotel owners, campground owners and restaurant owners will feel the pain.

These are reckless, senseless, stupid cuts. Why has the Conservative government turned its back on the national parks system?

National ParksOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Madam Speaker, I would remind my colleague opposite that his government did not protect as much park space as we have done in the last six years. There are 150,000 square kilometres of parkland protected under our government.

Furthermore, we provide support to Canada's parks through things like the My Parks Pass system, and tourism support systems for marketing and promotion. We are going to ensure that front-line services continue to be provided in a very robust way during peak times. I certainly hope my colleague opposite will support these measures.