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House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:40 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I hate to be persnickety about this but there is absolutely nothing about the Rouge Valley National Park in Bill C-38. I just want to ask about relevance.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Members are given a great degree of liberty in terms of the ideas that they may wish to express in their remarks, and yes, the hon. member is right, that they would eventually bring those ideas back around to their pertinence to the question that is before the House. However, one generally gives the member time to connect those dots and bring forth ideas. I am sure the hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East is getting around to the point.

The hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2012 / 11:40 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, this park will allow our citizens from all over our great nation to experience the natural beauty of Pickering—Scarborough East as well as easy access to more than 30% of the Canadian population which is in its close proximity.

Alan Wells, chair of the Rouge Park Alliance has declared, “This is the best news I have heard. I'm glad it is quickly moving forward”. Toronto city councillor, Glenn De Baeremaeker, said, “To see the prime minister...saying loudly and clearly that they'll protect this land is a dream come true for us”. Jim Robb, general manager of Friends of the Rouge Watershed added, “It's wonderful the federal government is going to create a national park that's accessible by transit”. Finally, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society said that this “will help safeguard and restore the Rouge Valley's important ecological values, and enable millions of Canadians to develop a greater appreciation for nature”. I hope all Canadians will one day have the opportunity to visit this beautiful national park and share that excitement.

As I said before, today's act is very important for the Canadian economy. Our Conservative government's top focus is just that, creating jobs, promoting economic growth and ensuring long-term prosperity. We know what matters to Canadians and their families and we are getting results for them on that front with nearly 760,000 net new jobs created since July 2009, 90% full-time and over 80% private sector.

However, the global economy is fragile and challenges remain as we see with events in European countries like Spain and Greece. We all know that Canada is not immune to these global challenges and we need to be on guard. That is why we are working hard to implement economic action plan 2012 and why we, along with many Canadians, are so disappointed in the NDP and Liberals for refusing to put Canadians ahead of their own partisan agenda by delaying these important measures to help Canada's economy to keep its good momentum.

Indeed, I will again reiterate the main observations repeated several times by now but worth being emphasized by its accurate and pointed analysis from a recent editorial in the Toronto Sun. It reads:

As Europe stands poised on the brink of a disastrous economic wildfire that could blacken the world, [the] NDP leader['s] hypocrisy and self-obsession is in full flame.

...vowing to delay the passing of [economic action plan 2012]... playing...with amendments and procedure.... This is nothing but grandstanding.

This is a budget designed to create jobs and inspire economic growth, and it comes to the House of Commons at a moment that can only be described as the 11th hour of a global economic conflagration....

Right now, there is only one enemy in our fight to protect Canada from the repercussions of Europe's burning. And it's [the NDP leader]...

This is inarguable.

I agree, and would hope the NDP will listen to the words of that Toronto Sun editorial and many other Canadians.

As I have mentioned, economic action plan 2012 will unleash the potential of Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs to innovate and thrive in the modern global economy through targeted measures that support business investment, invest in Canadian workers and support families.

However, economic action plan 2012 does not do that heedlessly at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer. In fact, all of our efforts will be supported by responsible fiscal management. That has meant a careful review of how we spend money to ensure we are getting the best for our buck, much like most Canadian families would at the dinner table with their household budget.

It is a prudent approach that will see Canada return to budgetary balance in the coming short years, and that is important for many reasons, like freeing up tax dollars otherwise absorbed by interest payments, ensuring we can afford programs over the long run, and ensuring we can keep taxes low and much more.

Although this was a comprehensive review of government spending, it was targeted and effective, including eliminating the penny and getting rid of plastic SIN cards. The reductions reflect changes to refocus government and programs, make it easier for Canadians and businesses to deal with their government and modernize and reduce the back office.

In the words of a recent Ottawa Citizen editorial on our Conservative government spending review:

The overall attitude...has been that every dollar must prove its worth. The answer that “we've always done it that way” isn't good enough...The small and simple cuts have a significance beyond their individual dollar figures. They suggest the government is willing to turn out the couch cushions and come up with change. Good. The elimination of the penny, for example, is not a new idea. But it took a government to decide that now is the time. It's only $11 million a year, but $11 million saved is $11 million the government doesn't have to take from taxpayers or cut from services. The same is true...of the $1.5 million a year the government will save by simply telling us what our Social Insurance Numbers are, rather than issuing cards we never use and aren't supposed to carry with us. These little cuts are sensible...they're conservative in the sense of being fiscally prudent.

The measures I have highlighted today are significant examples of this government's commitment to a strong economy and responsible management in the name of all Canadians. The commitment represents our longer-term view of how we can become more efficient and more prudent with taxpayers' hard-earned money.

As our Conservative government has said all along, the global economic recovery remains fragile. That makes responsible management to return to balanced budgets even more important, and that is why it is the focus of Canada's economic action plan 2012. The steps we take today will give us the ability to withstand the global challenges from Europe and beyond. That is why our Conservative government's main focus has been and will remain the economy, including implementing Canada's economic action plan 2012, and why I do not support the NDP and opposition attempts to delay and defeat it.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's comments, but I want to correct him on something. He talked about the penny. We are glad the government is doing that, but it was an NDP initiative a few years ago.

Also, he mentioned the national park. I see that we got the rhetoric on the other side, but these were the guys who were complaining a little while ago. However, on the environment piece, we talked about the national park. With the gutting of the environmental legislation, I think members need to be concerned about that.

Let us see what the National Post had to say today.

The bill...makes it easier to gain approval to build pipelines under rivers, similar to the Plains Midstream Canada pipeline currently spilling oil into the Red Deer River. Under the existing legislation, there is prohibition on “the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat”.....

That is not the case under this bill.

Grassy Narrows and White Dog have been suffering from mercury poisoning for many years, as there was no strict environmental enforcement and protection. What will happen? Will we have more Grassy Narrows and White Dog situations coming forward?

We have asked the question, but would you eat fish from Grassy Narrows?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I remind hon. members to direct questions and comments through the chair.

The hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am a working person and I know how important the environmental assessment is. However, environmental assessment must not be a bargain to do the job.

We have very strong standards in this country. However, I would remind the member that there are provincial and federal standards, and these standards must be harmonized. If we are living in the same country and the same province, then we should not have two standards, we should only have one.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the member for Pickering—Scarborough East would not be the first Conservative to try and reinvent history.

Just for the record, the member should know that the Conservative government took a surplus, blew it and created a deficit. The Conservatives, in terms of the budget and their programs over the last number of years, are increasing the gap between the rich and the poor. In fact, they are increasing poverty in the country. That is the reality. That is not fiscal management for the good of the country.

My question really relates to the member's point on parks--

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order, order. Order. I am certain that the hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East would like to hear the question from the member for Malpeque. There is too much noise in the chamber.

The hon. member for Malpeque has the floor.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I am glad you tuned up the other side.

I am pleased that the member is happy about the Rouge Valley national park, but government policy on existing parks is destroying them. In my province, at the Prince Edward Island National Park, it has contracted out, laid off workers and have made full-time workers into seasonal workers. That is what is happening there.

That is not the way to build a national park system. In Bill C-38, why is the government eliminating the requirement for Parks Canada to table an annual corporate plan and financial report? What does it have to hide in terms of—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order. The hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:50 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I just want to tell the member one thing. We are managing the economy, clearly. We are managing it well and we are saving money. We are cutting red tape. If the member is looking at the parks, we are managing the parks. We are managing them well.

Maybe the hon. member does not agree with the good management by our government.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Before I call on the member for Trinity—Spadina, I will let her know that I will need to interrupt her at the 12 o'clock mark, this being the end of the time allocated for debate for today.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, my speech will describe the winners and the losers in this budget. Tonight I only have time to talk about the losers. To hear about the winners, members will have to wait until tomorrow after question period.

What does a job mean to an average Canadian? It means earning a salary to put food on the table, pay rent or meet the mortgage on time, buy Christmas presents and have money for pizza day at school for the kids. When a person loses a job, it is devastating. For some people it means losing their self-esteem, self-confidence, friends, and their community of work colleagues.

In the Conservative budget we are debating tonight, we are really talking about the lives of 43,000 Canadians who will lose their jobs directly because of this budget, and there are a lot more than 43,000 Canadians who are going to lose their jobs indirectly.

However, 43,000 Canadian workers will no longer have the money to contribute to the economy. They will suffer the humiliation of being laid off. Some will lose their house. Others will suffer depression. A few may not even recover from being unemployed or ever be able to find a job again.

Some lives will be destroyed. Those 43,000 Canadians are casualties of this terrible budget. The number of 43,000 was the number quoted by the Parliamentary Budget Officer in his analysis of this budget on April 26. He confirmed that this budget would slow the economy down. He confirmed that when combined with prior cuts, there will be a total of 103,000 jobs lost.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

An hon. member

From where?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

About a third of them are from the public sector, to answer the questions about where. The rest will be from the private sector.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

Jim Flaherty

Where? Which country? What are you talking about?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

Peter Julian

Let her speak. Let her speak.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Why does the Minister of Finance want to heckle?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

Jim Flaherty

Because she is making up numbers.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

The PBO's number points to the fact that this budget will create—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Why does the Minister of Finance want to heckle?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

Jim Flaherty

Because she is making up numbers. That is why your party is a joke.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order, order. Order. I can be patient with hon. members as well. We only have about a minute and a half left. The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina has the floor. Again I would ask members who wish to carry on conversations to take it outside.

The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

11:55 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the lives of more than 100,000 workers. This budget actually plans for unemployment to rise. It does nothing to train Canadians. It does little to create jobs. It is a job-cutting budget. It is a job-reduction budget. It is a job-loss budget. Who said more than 100,000 workers? Again, it was the Parliamentary Budget Officer on April 26.

If the Minister of Finance chooses not to listen, it is the same kind of behaviour as saying, “The F-35 is only $15 billion. Actually, it is $25 billion.” It is that same kind of math. This budget would lose 100,000 jobs. That is the problem with this budget.