Madam Speaker, if we ask the NDP and the Liberals what they cherish most about being Canadian, inevitably we would hear about our social programs: the Canada pension plan, OAS, our health care system, employment insurance and GIS. They fall all over each other taking credit for these programs. “We are the party of health care,” say the Liberals. The NDP say, “No, we are the party that created health care,” in talking about the former premier of Saskatchewan, Tommy Douglas, “We gave Canadians the health care system”.
Of course, it was Canadians who decided that they wanted to have a publicly funded health care system. No party gave them anything. Canadians work hard and pay taxes to support that system.
What we never hear about from members on the other side is that Tommy Douglas needed a partner in the federal government to finance public health care, someone who looked out for ordinary people. That partner was a small-town lawyer from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. They do not talk about that because it does not support their version of history, their myth that only the NDP care about people.
Members know who that leader was, and he was a Conservative prime minister. It was John Diefenbaker, the same man who cared about the rights of minorities so much that he introduced the first bill in Canada's history, the Canadian Bill of Rights, to protect equal rights for all Canadians, 22 years before our Constitution was adopted.
Being a Conservative, John Diefenbaker supported health care reform for publicly funded health care, but would never have allowed government spending to grow to a point where debt and deficit put that very system in jeopardy. That is what this budget is about. The only way to maintain the programs that Canadians cherish, our health care system, the Canada pension plan and the others, is to be absolutely certain they are fully funded. That means economic growth is no option for Canada.
My constituents in Oakville understand that. Economic growth is essential. It is critical to our future if we want to keep those benefits, if we want to maintain our health care system, if we want to hold on to our employment insurance program.
The opposition parties are opposing this budget, they say, because of the process. They are willing to play procedural games to attempt to force the government to back down on its major election commitments. What they are not telling Canadians is that when we vote in Parliament tonight for some 24 hours, they all do not have to be here. They can work in shifts and go for a good night's sleep, while the government members have to be either here or in the lobby with little or no sleep. That is our Conservative commitment.
What they do not realize is that this government will never back down on our election commitments to focus on building our economy and creating new jobs, the jobs of the future for this country. With all our natural resources, that must mean development of the resources, more trade and more innovation.
Canada is on the cusp of tremendous economic growth. This is Canada's time. We are leading the G7 in economic growth. We are leading the world in banking stability. The world needs what Canada has, and not just aerospace excellence, BlackBerrys, or telecommunications expertise; they need our nickel, gold, diamonds, uranium and rare earth metals.
This bill would provide for superior and predictable environmental reviews so that investors worldwide would know that Canada is the best place to invest. When they put $100 million on the table to open mines in parts of Canada, those mines would not be held in limbo while environmentalists from other countries did their utmost to hold things up for years and years on end. Those environmentalists, by the way, usually already have a job or a pension.
Trade is Canada's manifest destiny. That is where the wealth of the future will come from to pay for our social programs. There are over $500 billion in new projects coming to Canada by 2020, but there is a big if in that projection, and that is if the conditions for investment in Canada remain positive, if the budget bill is implemented, if it applies as well to our cherished social programs. They will only exist in 2020 if Canada's economy grows.
Yet, members of the no development party have voted against every single trade deal we have negotiated because their union bosses told them to. The NDP's debt of gratitude to the big unions is so powerful its members are voting against any measure that we introduce to bring in new investment, and that includes measures to improve productivity. The NDP are stuck in the old rhetoric from the 1960s, the old labour paradigms of us versus them, dividing Canadians east against west, union member versus private sector. They are the party of the past.
Our Conservative government is moving forward. Moving forward includes not just a balanced budget and new trade, but innovation. Once implemented, the budget will invest over $1 billion in innovation for our country, and there is no better way to increase our productivity that is essential to pay for the social programs the NDP claims to value.
Canada has been a source of innovation for over a hundred years. There is a list as long as my arm of Canadian innovations and inventions that have revolutionized the way we conduct business, communicate, heal the sick and create economic growth. The easiest example I can point to is the one that most parliamentarians carry around, the BlackBerry. I can remember when it first hit the market and the fanfare for its revolutionary design in conducting day-to-day business.
There are many other examples such as the telephone, the Canadarm, the zipper, the pace maker, and I have to mention two inventions that some Canadians value the most, the snow blower and the snowplow.
Canadians have proven time and time again that innovation can literally save lives and improve the way we live, while creating more jobs. Our government understands this and is taking action to plant over $1 billion of seed money into our scientific fields and help our innovators also deliver world-class research.
We are committing $500 million for venture capital. We are supporting innovation in science and technology by providing $37 million annually to Canada's granting councils. We are injecting $60 million to Genome Canada, $10 million to the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, $500 million to the Canada Foundation for Innovation and to the chagrin of the opposition, there are even more measures in the budget that would make Canada a pinnacle of innovation.
We are increasing our direct support for business innovation. That includes $110 million per year to the Industrial Research Assistance Program, administered by the National Research Council. The funding will also help expand the services offered by the NRC, like the industrial technology advisors.
There are $95 million dollars over three years and $40 million per year ongoing, which will make the Canadian innovation commercialization program permanent and a pillar of support for innovation businesses.
Finally, $14 million has been allocated to support the Industrial Research Development internship program, which would place hundreds more of our brilliant Ph.D. students into practical research internships with Canadian businesses.
What does all this demonstrate? It demonstrates that under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada is proving we can achieve economic growth, while balancing our budget without raising taxes.
That is the dream of every country in Europe, most of whom—