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House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-38.

Topics

EuropeStatements By Members

June 11th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives reject NDP and Liberal calls to use Canadian taxpayer money to bail Europe out of its debt crisis. The opposition needs to explain to Canadians why their hard-earned money should go to the IMF to bail out European countries that have borrowed to the brink.

Economic experts agree. Professor Stephen Gordon, one of Canada's preeminent economists, said that the Prime Minister was right to dismiss the IMF's calls for Canadians to fund the bailout. Harvard's Ken Rogoff, a former IMF economist, agrees Canada should not participate in an IMF bailout.

Unlike the opposition, our Conservative government will not adopt the same fiscally reckless policies that exacerbated the debt crisis in Europe. We have a plan to balance our books, while securing the long-term prosperity of our country. Indeed, Canada's economy is creating jobs and is home to one of the world's most stable financial sectors.

Canadian taxpayers should not be penalized by debt-focused fiscal policies of European countries. They should not be on the hook for Europe's unsustainable accumulation of debt. This is Europe's debt problem and it needs to fix it.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, a budget bill is not a catch-all that the government can stuff with whatever it wants. Yet the Conservatives' Trojan Horse makes cuts everywhere: employment insurance, fisheries, pensions, science, the environment, immigration, and the list goes on.

No one is safe when the Conservatives get out their chainsaw. But the people of this country are not fools. They see everything the government is trying to make them swallow in this ill-considered bill. They hear bones cracking when the Prime Minister twists his backbenchers' arms to make them accept the unacceptable. And most importantly, they know that more and more of their fellow Canadians from one end of the country to the other feel that the Conservatives are going too far, that they are trying to pull the wool over Canadians' eyes with this shoddy, hasty process, and that enough is enough.

They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind, and the whirlwind is upon them.

When Conservative premiers, former Conservative ministers and even Conservative backbenchers all voice their opposition to a bill, this government is clearly going in the wrong direction.

This irresponsible government does not seem to realize that this whirlwind could turn into a hurricane that will cost it dearly in 2015.

Organ DonationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, late last year the House engaged in a debate regarding organ donation. Today, more than six months later, there are still about 4,000 Canadians in need of an organ transplant.

Last year I shared how Betty's final gift saved five lives. We discussed this last year after our friend Garry Kellar shared publicly his need for a new kidney.

I am pleased to inform the House that our prayers were answered. Last week Garry received a new kidney from a live donor. He is recovering well and maintains his sense of humour.

I challenge hon. members to encourage their constituents to register as organ donors. In Ontario, people can register at beadonor.ca.

On behalf of the House, on behalf of Garry and his wife Anna and on behalf of the 4,000 Canadians still in need of a transplant, I thank the donor who saved Garry and all Canadians who have taken the time to discuss organ donation with their loved ones. God bless them all.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' Trojan Horse budget will slash vital public services that Canadians rely on: food inspections, border security, research and development, housing, health care, employment insurance, old age security. The list goes on and on.

The Conservatives cannot even tell Parliament the details of their own proposals or how much they will cost. If the Conservatives are so proud of all these cuts, why are they hiding them? Why are they ramming them through? If they are so good, why not study them?

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, our government has been focused on the economy and on job creation, and doing that in the short term and the long term. As a result of our economic action plans, consistently opposed by the NDP, we have delivered for Canadians over 760,000 net new jobs so far.

Economic action plan 2012 continues on that path. It is a comprehensive plan to ensure our economic security through job creation, economic growth and indeed through balancing the budget so that we do not go down the path that we see in Europe, where the hon. Leader of the Opposition is suggesting we send Canadians' billions in order to bailout Spanish and Greek banks.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I will say it every time. That is an utter fabulation.

In addition to all of these cuts and services to the public, Conservatives are carrying out an unprecedented attack on oversight and accountability in all sectors, slashing environmental assessments, gutting the Fisheries Act, cutting back on air safety, weakening foreign ownership rules, scrapping the Inspector General for CSIS, eliminating oversight by the Auditor General and deep-sixing their own Accountability Act.

This is not the agenda the Conservatives campaigned on last year. Is that why the Conservatives are trying so hard to make sure Canadians do not see what is in the budget?

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, I am not sure what the words “utter fabulation” mean. I guess it means “I do not remember what I said last week”, because last week the leader of the NDP said in this House in a question to me:

At the G20 meeting in April the Minister of Finance led the effort to block an international plan to resolve the European economic crisis. He told European countries “to step up to the plate” and fix the problem on their own, as if our fate were not intimately connected to theirs....

He then asked when we would come up with a plan.

He wants us to send billions to bailout Spanish banks, to bailout Greek banks. We believe that our answers for the economy here via the economic action plan 2012 are delivering for Canadians right here in Canada, not Spanish banks.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, our fate is intimately tied to what happens in Europe. We are not Fortress Canuck.

When the Conservatives withdrew Canada's application for membership in the Security Council, they did not withdraw it because they were afraid we would lose. They withdrew it because they knew we would be humiliated at the UN. The Canada they are projecting onto the world stage is unrecognizable to Canadians and unrecognizable to the world. That is the shame of the Conservatives.

The reality is also that there is a drift away from democracy. The government has imposed 30 gag orders.

Why prevent a study of the mammoth bill?

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 Canada that we are projecting onto the world stage is that of an economic leader, a leader among developed countries. It is a country that has the lowest deficit of any of those major countries because we have taken measures here, and we will continue to balance our budget in economic action plan 2012. It is a country that has posted stronger economic growth and stronger job creation growth than any of those European economies because of the measures we have taken here.

The member opposes those measures. He wants to substitute sending billions over to Europe for those measures.

I appreciate he sees we are interconnected. I think the best way for us to help out the global economy is by ensuring the Canadian economy remains strong, not by sending our tax dollars abroad where good money is going after bad.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, in light of the growing economic concerns around the world, the Conservatives have chosen to present a Trojan Horse that attacks employment insurance, old age security and the environment. None of the bill's measures deal with growth.

The economic measures in Bill C-38 could have been adopted already if the Conservatives had agreed to split the bill. But in these times of uncertainty, they prefer Euro-bashing and cutting services.

How will this help the economy?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member would read the bill, she would learn that there is a hiring credit for small business, for example, that we are extending, which is vitally important for business across the country. That is a matter that is in the budget implementation act. It has direct economic consequences. It means jobs. It means people who are unemployed will become employed.

This is the bill that the opposition, the NDP opposition, wants to delay.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are six times more cuts than job creation measures in this budget.

When faced with an economic crisis in 2008, the Minister of Finance tried to deny the crisis, and he brought forward a budget that dramatically cut spending, attacked collective bargaining rights and destroyed pay equity. The only thing that stopped Conservatives was a threat of losing their jobs.

With today's shaky world economy, why is the minister so hell-bent on a budget that does nothing to help growth, but instead cuts services and creates austerity, services that Canadians rely on?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite wants to see austerity, then the member ought to look at the United Kingdom and other European countries. Because, quite frankly, of their failure to promote economic growth and their failure to achieve surpluses and balanced budgets over time, they are in the difficult situation, the crisis, they are in today.

We in Canada do not want to go to that place. We want to stay on track, stay on the economic action plan. We do not propose sending billions of Canadian tax dollars to Europe to support European banks, unlike the Leader of the Opposition.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance knows full well that any Canadian transfer to the IMF is not a tax transfer, it is not an expenditure transfer, it goes on our books as an asset, and the Minister of Finance knows that perfectly well.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. Order, please. The hon. member for Toronto Centre has the floor.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it may be a convenient cartoon for the Minister of Finance to say that anybody is suggesting transferring Canadian tax dollars to European banks. Nobody is suggesting that.

I would just like to ask the Minister of Finance: What makes him think for a moment that Canada is, in fact, the island that he talked about on June 7?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are an island of stability because we have been posting stronger job growth and economic growth numbers and lower deficit numbers than others, but the Liberal leader is conveniently leaving out the fact that his own party is arguing that it should also join the Leader of the Opposition and have us send money abroad.

In fact, the member for Markham—Unionville said the following about the Spanish bank bailout:

Well I believe Canada should make a contribution. ...Canada should contribute its share to this process.

...this is a question of putting massive funds into the scene.

With the greatest of respect, we do not agree. That might be the kind of approach that worked in Ontario to get them into one of the deepest debts ever, under the leadership of that member. We will not do it here in Ottawa.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, what has just been spoken reminds me very much of a distinguished Conservative predecessor of his, Neville Chamberlain, who said in 1938 at the time of Munich:

How horrible, fantastic, and incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.

That is the kind of isolationism—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. Order, please. The hon. government House leader.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in Canada's engagement in the globe on the economy, we have actually been leaders. We have been leaders through the G20 process, where the Prime Minister has led the way on preaching the importance of resisting protectionist measures, the kind of measures that member used to embrace when he was a member of the NDP, in resisting measures to see greater debt and in fact encouraging G20 commitments to see all governments work toward balanced budgets.

We see the importance of that, and the fact that Canada has been a leader in that is the reason why we have been performing better than others, the reason why we have more resources to focus on the Canadian economy to create jobs and growth here for Canadians for the future.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the sad reality is that the government has not been a leader in creating the new international—global—financial architecture that is needed to deal with the problems. There are no small problems in the world. We know very well that economic and financial viruses can travel from one country to another. No country is isolated, and it is ridiculous to say that Canada is an island in the world. Canada is involved in the world, and the government must start to realize that.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, when one looks at the track record of that member when he actually had a chance to govern, as he did in Ontario, one will see why we reject that approach to economic policy. When he was Premier of Ontario, he raised taxes some 32 times. That would kill jobs in Canada. He put Ontario on the track to record deficits of $10 billion, $12 billion, $11 billion, year after year, the highest ever in Ontario history. Of course, under his leadership, we saw that Ontario went to 10.9% unemployment, a stark contrast to our record of creating jobs to the tune of three-quarters of a million since—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. Let us have a bit of order. The hon. member for Hamilton Mountain.