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House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yea.

Topics

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Madam Speaker, I listened to my hon. colleague, who sounded a bit like a wounded bear. I would like to challenge him on some of the things he said and ask him a question.

This budget is really about building Canada and the vision he talked about so inappropriately of Preston Manning, his vision of smaller government, greater opportunity for the private sector, lowering taxes to enable that and to help the private sector make this country what it truly is, the greatest nation in the world, the one that has the most prosperous opportunity, as endorsed by the IMF, the OECD, other organizations, and Forbes magazine as well.

How could my colleague, as a supposed Rhodes scholar and an individual who ran Ontario into the ground, be a person of that stature and be so misinformed on Preston Manning, the Reform Party and what we on this side believe are the opportunities that Canadians should have and do have? How could he be so misinformed on those ideas and why—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order. The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, in response to the member for Yellowhead, I am an expert on Rhodes, which is why I am not a supposed Rhodes scholar, I actually am a Rhodes scholar.

I would say to the member for Yellowhead that I listened to Mr. Manning over many years and debated with Mr. Manning when both of us were out of Parliament. The one thing about Mr. Manning which always impressed me was that he was a servant of Parliament. He believed in the voice of Parliament. He believed in free votes. He believed in real openness in terms of discussions.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

An hon. member

Singular legislation.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

He believed in singular legislation which would deal with one subject at a time. He believed in the accountability of Parliament, the accountability of the executive to Parliament.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

June 13th, 2012 / 8:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Opposed closure.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

He would have opposed closure.

He would have opposed this legislation because it is legislation that abuses the power of the executive. The power of the executive is now only in the hands of the Prime Minister. There is no more governor in council. There is simply the power of the Prime Minister, and this is the issue that we are having to deal with. This is the first—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I regret to interrupt the hon. member, but I see many people rising.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Nanaimo—Alberni.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, I want to ask the member about his selective recollection. He talked about all these spirits that seem to be missing. I think he forgot to mention the spirit of Christmas past.

There was a lot of mythology about a former government that he wanted to recollect. I remember the days of good old Liberal freedom and some of the members over there do as well under a former prime minister.

In the 37th Parliament when I was first elected, I remember being at committee and seeing members who had heard testimony pulled when it came time to vote on the outcomes and conclusions of that committee hearing and replaced by members who had not heard the testimony. I also remember a former Liberal prime minister who wanted to override his members' freedoms of religion and conscience because he had made a decision on a moral issue that he wanted to decide for all of his members.

I want to ask the member if the good old days of Liberal government were actually the good old days of the member's selective memory.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I would say to my colleague from Nanaimo—Alberni that I could not help noticing it took a while for his light to go on.

We all have memories and whether they are selective or not, I do not know. I am sure he has notes to back up what he said and file books on the question.

I have led a government. Of course, when one is in government one has to make some difficult choices. We all recognize the discipline of Parliament. I say it with great respect to the hon. member that the Canadian people are increasingly infuriated by the inability of parliamentarians to talk to one another in a civil way, to have a civil dialogue about what they are hearing. The government cannot, in one single piece of legislation, get rid of the entire Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and change it whole-hog, change all the fisheries regulations—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. Unfortunately, time has run out.

Resuming debate. The hon. member for Oakville.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Conservative Oakville, ON

Madam Speaker, I was listening to the member for Toronto Centre and I would have liked the chance to ask him a question.

He said it is an authoritarian government now. I lived in Ontario under his government when he was premier of Ontario. He brought in the most restrictive, backward labour legislation in the history of Canada. It basically tore up every labour contract in the public sector in Ontario. I wanted to ask him how much freedom his caucus had at that time. How did he tie them to chairs, and why was it okay then?

The member talked about contracts. We should think about the social contract, his creation, a monstrosity that abolished the rights of collective bargaining. Then the member for Toronto Centre wrote a book and blamed it on the public sector unions. Then the Liberal Party appointed him as its interim leader. I do not know if someone wants to talk about that.

If we ask the NDP and the Liberals what they cherish most about being a Canadian—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. I would ask for order in the House and to allow the member for Oakville to speak without being heckled or interrupted. The member who spoke previously said that it is important to speak to one another in a civil way and allow for civil debate. For the remaining time, I would ask for some civility and some respect.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:10 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Conservative Oakville, ON

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—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:15 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. As a measure of respect, we ask that a member not use the name of a member in the House of Commons. He just referred to the Prime Minister as Mr. H.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:15 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I think the member is aware of the rule to not allude by name, but simply by title.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:15 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Conservative Oakville, ON

Madam Speaker, I am so glad the members across are paying such close attention. I thank them for that.

That formula is also the dream of our American friends whose deficit this year will hit $1.5 trillion.

Canada is leading the world under this government to grow our economy to ensure our social programs are sustainable. The budget must be implemented to do that. That is why every member of the House should vote for it. The opposition members should drop their House of Commons tactics and tricks now and vote for this bill.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:20 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Madam Speaker, I know that my colleague focused on the fact that this budget will spur job creation and growth in Canada, but I would like to ask him a specific question about employment equity, an issue that I hope he takes to heart.

Clause 602 of Bill C-38 deletes a section of the Employment Equity Act that required contractors to abide by the principle of employment equity in the federal contractors program. This will have an impact on access to employment for women, people with disabilities, aboriginals and visible minorities. Since 1986, over 1,000 audits have been carried out as part of this program.

Can the member tell me how deleting a clause that ensures fair treatment for women with respect to federal contracts will create jobs and promote economic growth in Canada?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:20 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Conservative Oakville, ON

Madam Speaker, our party's commitment to employment equity is unshakable and we have moved to improve employment equity. The best way to improve life for all Canadians is by improving the economy.

Day after day in the House we hear the NDP and the Liberals propose expansion of programs and new programs that are unaffordable, without taking more money off the paycheques of Canadians. There is always a good reason for every program, but we never hear any ideas about how to get things done without bigger spending and higher taxes. They are a one trick pony. They are against everything we do to build the wealth we need to pay for our social programs. They fight the trade we need. They fight development. They want to close down entire industries. They would shut down the oil sands, throwing 600,000 Canadians out of work.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:20 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Madam Speaker, you, parliamentarians and, frankly, the viewing public need to know that what has been said by the member opposite is completely inaccurate, particularly with respect to the Conservatives' investment in innovation.

Researchers are heading south now because of the government's lack of commitment to innovation. I have heard from farmers and industry across Canada, because it cut one of the most important programs, the Canadian agricultural adaptation program, tens of millions of dollars deployed to regions across Canada, given to projects that are identified by people in those regions. This program will be gone by 2014, and he has the gall to stand and talk about how the government is investing in innovation when in fact the opposite is true.

I would ask the member to stand and apologize for misleading Parliament.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:20 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Conservative Oakville, ON

Madam Speaker, we have heard many times in the House from the minister that no government in Canada's history has invested more money in research and development and innovation. In this budget, we want to add $1.1 billion to that investment.

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Madam Speaker, my colleague from Oakville talked about investment. I hope he is not so blinded by ideology and talking points.

The member is from Oakville and knows about the car business and the role of the unions. How can he say that the unions are opposed to investment? Was it not the auto workers who insisted that the car companies invest more money and asked the government to ensure that more money was invested? Did these unions even give up wages and benefits in order to encourage investment?

Could the member take off the blinders and recognize that what he has said is just not true?

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:20 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Conservative Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, realistically, what the unions in Canada are opposed to is change. Contrary to what most people think, the unions are the most reactive group in society. They are opposed to change. They see change as a threat. They should not.

I know the government invested money in the Ford plant in Oakville. It built a $1 billion Flex line four or five years ago. The Flex line is so busy at Ford now, the folks in the CAW are working 10-hour shifts a day. There are two 10-hour shifts going back-to-back every day, building the MKX, the Ford Edge, et cetera. The union members are doing extremely well in Oakville based on the investment from the auto innovation fund from this government.

The same has happened in Windsor. Ford came to the government and asked for some money to invest, $150 million, to create a new engine plant in Windsor—

Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity ActGovernment Orders

8:25 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. The hon. member's time has elapsed.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Hull—Aylmer.