House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jordan.


Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.


Chungsen Leung Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it seems like the member is only focused on Australia. I would suggest that if he were to look at the provident fund of Singapore and some of the pension funds in Japan and Taiwan, he would find that there is exactly that, where they issue an array of products for employees to participate in.

One of the problems with a centralized mega-fund, as is the case with the CPP, is that one is confined by legislation and, therefore, must invest in very conservative investment instruments. When this is opened up to a more open society that reflects the way our changing world economy and financial system is moving, the individual professional investor who can take advantage of tools like derivatives, commodity investments, options and so on, would be in a better position to buy you better growth in your pension plan.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

Before resuming debate, I would remind all hon. members to direct their comments and questions to the Chair rather than to their colleagues.

Resuming debate. The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Mississauga—Brampton South


Eve Adams Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the hon. colleagues across the aisle and the NDP members just do not seem to get it. They continue to advocate for something that is neither feasible nor has the support perceived.

I am talking about their proposal to double the Canada pension plan. There are several problems with this proposal. I will outline them for the NDP and see if it can be convinced once and for all that doubling the CPP is simply not practical.

Any change to the Canada pension plan is subject to a formula specified in the legislation. In case the NDP did not know, I mean the legislation governing the Canada pension plan. The legislation clearly stipulates that the CPP can only be amended by a consensus of two-thirds of the provinces, representing two-thirds of the population.

At the 2010 finance ministers' meeting, a number of provinces had strong objections to expanding CPP benefits. However, the ministers made a unanimous decision. They unanimously decided to set up a framework for pooled registered pensions plans.

Unlike the NDP's proposal, which does not have the support of the provinces, the decision to move forward with pooled registered pensions plans was unanimous. That is not the only problem with the NDP plan. To expand CPP benefits or, in the NDP's case, to double them, we would have to raise contribution rates.

Higher contribution rates would mean higher payroll costs for small and medium-sized businesses and higher premiums for workers and the self-employed. Unlike the NDP, our government remains focused on the economy. This means focusing on job creation and economic growth and Canada's long-term prosperity. Our government does not believe that now is the time to jeopardize Canada's fragile economic recovery by imposing higher costs on job creators.

The House might be interested to hear that many other groups share our government's philosophy that expanding the CPP in these turbulent economic times is the wrong choice.

For example, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, CFIB, for every 1% increase in CPP premiums beyond the current 9.9% tax rate, it would cost 220,000 person years of employment and force wages down roughly 2.5% in the long run. For those who want to double the CPP, they might be interested to know that, according to CFIB calculations, to double CPP benefits would kill 1.2 million person years of employment in the short term.

All these so-called solutions proposed by the NDP would be detrimental to Canada's economic performance. They would result in lower economic growth and lower job creation. This would mean more unemployed Canadians, a sort of the NDP way.

Members can rest assured that our Conservative government will not engage in such a reckless plan. Our government has a strong record of job creation and job growth. In fact, I am pleased to say that, since July 2009, over 750,000 net new jobs have been created in Canada. That is a result that Canadians appreciate and a result that the residents of Mississauga—Brampton South appreciate.

It is important to remember that Bill C-25 represents the federal portion of the PRPP framework. In order to make this available to all Canadians, the provinces must put in place their own PRPP legislation. Once that happens, PRPPs will be a key element to Canada's retirement income system.

However, my constituents may be denied the opportunity to partake in a PRPP. Unfortunately, the McGuinty government has indicated that it may tie the introduction of PRPPs to an expanded CPP. Simply put, such a decision serves only to deny hard-working Ontarians of a low-cost, broad-based workplace pension plan.

Guess what? Many others feel the same way. This is what the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association think of Mr. McGuinty's plan. In their words:

We do not support the concept that PRPP implementation should be tied to CPP enhancements. Given the time and processes involved in making any changes to CPP, this would only serve to delay an initiative that, in its own right, is viable, innovative and beneficial to Ontarians.

They go on to say:

It is time for Ontario now to step up to ensure that Ontario residents, particularly those who work for small and medium-sized businesses, can reap the benefits of a low-cost, accessible pension plan.

Why is the McGuinty government denying Ontario residents and my neighbours the ability to save for their retirement? Perhaps it is because, like the NDP, it does not understand how PRPPs work.

Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

The time for government orders has expired. The hon. parliamentary secretary will have four minutes remaining for her speech when this matter returns before the House.

Olympic Games
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Bernard Trottier Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, in just under two months, Canada's finest athletes from all corners of our country will embark on a quest for goal at the London Olympics.

Today, I would like to recognize three world-class swimmers who live and train in Etobicoke and who will be carrying our banner proudly.

Sisters, Brittany and Heather MacLean, who were both active with the Etobicoke Swim Club from a very young age, will represent Canada in the relays, Brittany in the 4x200 freestyle and Heather in the 4x100 freestyle. Brittany will also compete in the 400 meter freestyle after setting a new Canadian record in qualifying.

Alexa Komarnycky, a Silverthorn Collegiate graduate, had an early start to her swimming career as she took public swimming lessons at the Etobicoke Olympium at the age of four. She will be representing Canada in the 800 meter freestyle.

Those three young stars of the pool will contribute to another great chapter in Canada's Olympic history. After an unmatched success in Vancouver, we look to our young athletes to once again own the podium in London.

I offer my sincere congratulations to all of Canada's Olympians and wish them the greatest of success this summer in London.

Fisheries and Oceans
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of people from the Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands have sent us reply cards regarding the Conservative government's cuts to the Coast Guard and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

They are calling on the Conservative government to make the security and the development of our coastal communities a priority by putting an end to the irresponsible and reckless cuts, by halting the rash closure of search and rescue centres in Quebec City and Newfoundland, by maintaining the Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre in Rivière-au-Renard, by preserving the current owner-operator and fleet separation policies, and by protecting fish habitat.

With their Trojan Horse, the Conservatives are showing complete contempt for Canadians by hiding all kinds of changes to environmental protection and to fisheries in its budget implementation bill.

The people of the Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands are angry about this government's choices. The Conservatives need to stop endangering the lives of our fishers, sailors and recreational boaters and stop attacking the way of life of our coastal communities.

Family Tragedy
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 17, a school bus dropped off 13-year-old Lydia Herrle in front of her home near St. Agatha. A garbage truck failed to stop and hit her. She has remained in a coma since then.

I will share some thoughts from the family's blog this past weekend.

It notes on May 31:

She battled fever for most of the afternoon.

Tomorrow we will take the boys to Toronto, to see the hospital, and to see Lydia. They have not yet seen her, so please join me in prayer, that this is a helpful and healing day for them.

It notes on June 1:

Lydia's fever spiked in the night, and she has another infection....

It notes on June 2:

The boys visit with Lydia yesterday went well.

For now, the boys have said they don't need to see her again until her eyes are open.

It notes on June 3:

Over all, Lydia has done well today.

The great relief came this evening when the Doctor wheeled the ventilator cart out of the room, indicating they did not think they would need to intubate Lydia to assist her breathing again.

Today we prayed a lot and invited others to pray for Lydia and for us.

I ask all hon. members and those watching at home to join in these prayers, to pray for the Herrles and to pray for Lydia.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's environment is being threatened by the government's destroying 50 years of safeguards through Bill C-38 and the 2012 economic action plan.

The Conservatives are severely cutting the budget to Environment Canada, gutting environmental legislation, cancelling the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, silencing dissent from environmental non-governmental organizations and continuing to muzzle government scientists, and, in so doing, impacting our economy today and in the future.

Anyone who disagrees with the Prime Minister is told to “sit down and shut up”. All Canadians should ask who will next be under attack for voicing their opposition. Silence is not an option.

It is time to stand up and speak up for democracy and the environment in Canada. That is why the Liberals stand in solidarity today with leading organizations across Canada that are committed to highlighting the Conservatives' persistent assault on democracy and the protection of the environment.

Game on the Hill
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Bob Zimmer Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I had the opportunity to participate in the “Game on the Hill”, a friendly game of rugby which took place on the Parliament Hill lawn. The game featured a few of my colleagues as well as local celebrities and members of Canada's national team.

As a former premier player and university coach, rugby has always been a passion of mine and I am pleased to see this sport's popularity continue to grow. I have no doubt that this is due in no small part to Rugby Canada and the rising success of our national teams.

Some of my fondest memories are from being on a rugby field, and I encourage all Canadians to get involved in their local leagues. It is a great sport for both children and adults and a great way to stay active. I cannot say enough about what rugby has done for me.

I look forward to seeing rugby return to the Olympic Games in 2016 and watching our National Seniors Men's Team strive to compete for gold.

I wish members of the National Senior Men's Team the best of luck as they prepare for the summer series and their game against the United States on Saturday.

Go Canada go.

Financial Institutions
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, administration fees charged to clients of Canadian banks for ATM and branch transactions totalled close to $6 billion in 2011.

During that time, large financial institutions vacated Stadacona, Saint-Charles, Giffard and Royale Avenue in the riding of Beauport—Limoilou. The exodus of service points toward “power centres” is a real tragedy for businesses and residents in the affected areas. As a result, local businesses have suffered and closed.

Combined with incredible and shocking transaction fee hikes, this phenomenon is condemning thousands of people in my riding to poverty and exclusion.

The Conservatives are leaving people out in the cold. Even though, in 2007, the Minister of Finance agreed that bank transaction fees were scandalous, he has not said a word to the powerful people in high finance. Shame.

The NDP wants to put an end to unfair bank transaction fees and credit card fees for consumers and small businesses. That is something that needs to happen. In 2015, we will have a government that protects all Canadians: an NDP government.

Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Chris Warkentin Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it has been a week since I stood in the House to demand an apology from the Leader of the Opposition for his outrageous and unfounded comments with regard to Albertans. Instead of apologizing, the NDP leader has made a sport of criticizing hard-working Albertans who play by the rules, pay their taxes and contribute to the national economy.

Every Canadian benefits from the efforts of Albertans who work in the resource sector. Health care, education, retirement savings, infrastructure investments and millions of jobs throughout Canada are dependent on the work of Albertans in the oil and gas sector. Hard-working Albertans deserve the praise of national leaders rather than the nasty and uninformed vitriol coming from the Leader of the Opposition.

The NDP leader has it wrong and Albertans deserve an apology.

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, almost 100 years ago, soldiers from communities like Osgoode went off to serve on another continent and never came home. Unfortunately, through error or omission, some of them were not included on our local community cenotaph in the community of Metcalfe. These omissions were discovered by local historian, Coreen Atkins-Sheldrick, who brought them to my attention.

Just last week, we were able to pull together a coalition, including the Osgoode Village Community Association and the Osgoode Legion, to begin to raise the funds in order to improve the cenotaph, making room to put those absent names where they belong so they will be permanently remembered and honoured.

I would like to thank Scotiabank for donating the first $2,000 and I call upon all members of our community to rally together to send the message that, though these great heroes might be fallen, they are not forgotten.

Agriculture and Youth Project
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Jonathan Genest-Jourdain Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, from June 4 until the end of August, eight teenagers, including two from the community of Pessamit, will be housed in the Centre jeunesse de Baie-Comeau, and, under the supervision of two trainers, will work quite literally in the field with produce growers and livestock farmers in the region, as part of a project called Prends le champ. They will meet dedicated farmers who will offer a summer alternative for these young people sent to the youth centre by court order.

This kind of initiative is particularly close to my heart, because in my legal practice, as a defender of young people, I have seen the positive impact that integration, personal support and a listening ear can have on young people who have been neglected by society and their families.

Thus, they will get to know themselves better by taking part in volunteer activities for certain events and by attending workshops to foster their independence. The eight teens will receive salaries and will be called upon to plan and manage their own budgets.

This innovative initiative attempts to integrate young people from marginal environments into society by allowing them to grow and develop outside urban areas, while ensuring they get a good tan before they return to school.

Statements By Members

June 4th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.


Lois Brown Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada strongly condemns the attack Sunday on a church in Bauchi State, Nigeria where at least 15 people were killed and many more were injured.

We are deeply saddened to see that Nigerians gathering to practise their faith have again become the target of terrorist acts. Canada urges all people in Nigeria to work with the Nigerian government to counter extremism and terrorism and bring to justice those responsible for these reprehensible crimes.

On behalf of all Canadians, I want to offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of these attacks and I wish the wounded a swift recovery.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs recently met with his Nigerian counterparts to assure them of Canada's solidarity with the government and people of Nigeria as they continue their fight against terrorism.

Toronto Eaton Centre
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House with a heavy heart full of sadness, sympathy and, I have to admit, anger over the outrageous shooting that took place in Toronto's Eaton Centre on Saturday.

Chances are, if people have visited Toronto, they have been there. It is the great meeting place of the GTA. It is where teenagers get their first jobs, it is where parents go to buy their kids' skates or new shoes for school. However, more than anything else, it is the place to go for those who want to witness Toronto in its glorious multicultural, multi-generational fullness, one of mutual respect and generosity of spirit. Then there are the tragic, criminal and fatal exceptions.

On behalf of the entire New Democratic caucus, to the innocent bystanders who were injured and their families, the 13-year-old boy struck by a bullet, the pregnant woman knocked to the floor, all of those traumatized by the shooting, whether they were there or not, and the family of the young man who lost his life, I want to convey our deepest condolences, sympathies and solidarity.