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House of Commons Hansard #199 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was criminal.

Topics

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's debt is by far the lowest of all the G7 countries, and our record on job creation is the best, with over 900,000 net new jobs created since July 2009.

We are working to improve the economy, but the NDP wants to impose a $21 billion job-killing carbon tax on Canadians.

The NDP's $21 billion carbon tax would have a devastating impact on Canadian families because it would raise the price of everything from gas to groceries to electricity and all other goods and services.

Our government has held over 200 economic consultations over the past six weeks, and it is clear that Canadians do not want an NDP-style carbon tax.

Our priorities are jobs and long-term economic growth, and that is why Canadians trust our government.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe NDP Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, a new year is a time for making resolutions. And the Conservatives had plenty of options.

They could have finally decided to be transparent, to stop selling off our natural resources to foreign countries at bargain basement prices, to manage public funds prudently instead of getting involved in the F-35 fiasco, to put an end to the series of ethical scandals or to respect seniors instead of slashing their old age security pensions.

Unfortunately, yesterday I saw that not much has changed.

In contrast, the NDP will use 2013 as an opportunity to continue our relentless efforts. In 2013, with a staunch defender of Canadian interests at the helm, with a united, solid, competent team and with an unyielding commitment to hold this irresponsible government to account—the NDP will prove yet again that it is ready to build a greener, more prosperous and fairer Canada.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Conservative Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, two days back and already the spinning begins.

Yesterday my NDP colleague from Scarborough Southwest said that his party will offer practical solutions. What he fails to mention is that the NDP solution is a new $21 billion job-killing carbon tax.

He says their solutions will be fair, but that is NDP code for “it will cost all Canadians dearly”. The NDP's job-killing carbon tax will raise the price of everything from gas to groceries to electricity. He said that their solution will build a more prosperous Canada, but that is code for “the NDP's $21 billion job-killing carbon tax will raise billions on the backs of hard-working Canadians”.

In fact, that is the entire purpose of the NDP plan and not some idea that has altruistic environmental goals. His leader said that he had proposed a system of carbon pricing that will produce billions. The NDP's job-killing carbon tax is simply bad for Canada. Our Conservative government will continue to stand up against this reckless and irresponsible job-killing policy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, one of the world's leading rating agencies downgraded the ratings of Canada's five biggest banks.

Today, another rating agency sounded the alarm. Fitch said that rising Canadian household debt is “the main domestic threat” to the stability of our entire financial system.

Does the Prime Minister realize that families in Canada carry more debt than those in any other OECD country? What is he going to do about it?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has already recognized Canadians' rising debt levels.

We have taken measures that have begun to produce positive results. Speaking of Canada's banking system, once again, the World Economic Forum has said that ours is the most stable system in the world. Yesterday, Moody's said that Canadian banks are among the most highly rated of those it tracks around the world.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, under the Conservatives household debt in Canada has skyrocketed to 167% of disposable income. Over the past three decades the income of the richest 20% of Canadians has increased, while for the other 80% net income is in fact down. The middle class is being squeezed as never before. Savings are down, and more and more families are relying on credit cards just to make ends meet. Household debt is not just hurting families; it is now threatening the stability of our financial system itself.

When is the Prime Minister going to start taking this problem seriously and acting?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have obviously felt in a position to take on greater mortgage debt. The government and the Governor of the Bank of Canada have indicated some concerns about that. We have taken some steps that have indeed moderated that particular trend.

However, when we are talking about the banking sector, I do have to point out that once again this past year the World Economic Forum has rated Canada's banking system the strongest in the world. Even yesterday, with the decision, Moody's said that Canadian banks still rank among the highest rated banks in our global rating universe.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

January 29th, 2013 / 2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the poverty of Canadian families, not about the banks. They made $33 billion in profit.

Today in Canada, first nations schools receive nearly a third less funding than the schools of other Canadian children. Canada and first nations are grappling with some difficult issues—resource royalties, treaty rights, rebuilding our nation-to-nation relationship—but the principle that our children all deserve an equal shot in life, that is basic, that is fundamental.

A year ago the Prime Minister promised to fix the funding gap for first nations schools. Funding is still at a third less. Why has the Prime Minister failed to act?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP did ask about the banks, but he did also ask other questions. In fact, under this government we have seen moderating of that income gap because of actions this government has taken, like cutting the GST for ordinary Canadians, something the NDP voted against, providing tax credits for families, something the NDP voted against, and specifically when we talk about aboriginal Canadians, building 260 new schools, something the NDP of course did not—

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Nanaimo-Cowichan.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, actually of the money that was announced in the last budget, virtually none of it went into classrooms. Even kids get this.

On Valentine's Day school children across Canada will take part in Have a Heart Day, demanding equal funding for on-reserve schools. On-reserve schools receive nearly one-third less per student in government funding than provincial schools.

Why will the minister not agree that the status quo must end now and equal funding must be provided for children on reserve?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to structural reforms. We cannot throw money at a problem. We need to make structural reforms.

In December I launched an intensive consultation process that will take place with first nations parents, students, educational leaders and educators from coast to coast to coast. The first of these sessions took place last week. I have written to every community to invite them to these sessions. Their input will be critical to the development of the national first nations education act.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are fed up with the status quo.

During the January 11 meeting with first nations, the Prime Minister said he would put someone in cabinet in charge of aboriginal issues to ensure that promises made during the meeting are kept.

Can the Prime Minister tell us who he put in charge of this file and whether that person will report to Parliament on progress with the talks?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as a result of the January 11 meeting at which the Prime Minister and I met with first nation leaders to discuss economic development treaties and comprehensive claims, there was a commitment for a high-level dialogue on the treaty relationship and comprehensive claims, enhanced oversight from the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office and meeting with the National Chief in the upcoming weeks to review next steps. We believe that working together with first nations is the best way to achieve our shared objective.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in November 2011, the House voted to approve a resolution that said we need to bring safe, clean, running water to all communities on an urgent basis. That was in November 2011, but since 2006 when the Conservative government took office, there has been a 23% increase in the number of first nation reserves that are living under boil water advisories, from 95 communities to 117. The problem the government faces is that the facts on the ground do not match the rhetoric in this place. That is the reason for the skepticism among first nations.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has made massive investments in first nations water, precisely to address these problems that had been ignored for so long. As always, the Liberal Party and the other opposition parties voted against these investments, but they are important and there is also legislation before the House on this specific matter, and I would encourage all the opposition parties to give that legislation their support.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is currently no legislation before the House of Commons about the resources needed to fix this problem.

In 2011, 73% of first nations water systems were categorized as risky. That was not in 2006, 2007 or 2008. That was in 2011. So the problem remains. The facts on the ground do not match the Prime Minister's rhetoric.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there were problems with water systems long before the Conservative government took office, and we have made massive investments to deal with those problems. Unfortunately, the Liberal Party voted against those investments. There is currently legislation before Parliament on this specific matter, and I would encourage the opposition to support that legislation.

Parliamentary Budget OfficerOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear after the Minister of Finance's attack on the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr. Kevin Page, that it is the Prime Minister's intention to turn the taxpayers' watchdog into his personal lapdog. That is the plan the government has.

The government having fired Marty Cheliak, Pat Stogran, Linda Keen, Peter Tinsley, Paul Kennedy, Adrian Measner, Munir Sheikh, Steve Sullivan and Rémy Beauregard, why is the name of Kevin Page being added to this list of people who are being thrown out of the bus because they had an independent opinion about something?

Parliamentary Budget OfficerOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course it was this government that created the Parliamentary Budget Officer to ensure that Parliament has independent and non-partisan information on the financial position of the government. We are committed to that and want to make sure in future that the office does credible and non-partisan work.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain NDP Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, after decades of inaction, it is time to walk the talk.

Over a year ago, the Prime Minister committed to build a new relationship with aboriginal peoples, but he has not kept this promise. If the Conservatives had honoured their commitments, there would be no Idle No More.

On January 11, the Prime Minister once again committed to begin high-level dialogue, but nothing has happened since.

Can the Prime Minister tell us what meaningful action will result from his meeting with aboriginal leaders?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the concrete steps we have taken to improve living conditions and economic opportunities for aboriginal communities. We have built or renovated hundreds of schools, built thousands of homes, invested in safe drinking water and introduced measures to create economic opportunities. While we have made progress, we recognize work still needs to be done. We will continue to work with aboriginal leaders who choose to work with the government to create jobs and economic opportunities.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Conservatives have not honoured their commitments to aboriginal peoples. If they had done so, there would be no protests in the streets here in Canada or around the world. Nor would there be an emergency meeting with aboriginal leaders.

In aboriginal communities today, one in four children lives in poverty. The suicide rate among young aboriginals is five to seven times higher than among young Canadians.

What exactly does the Prime Minister plan to do to address those two specific problems?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Island North B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan ConservativeMinister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned, we continue to work with willing partners on shared priorities including education, economic development and access to safe drinking water. Our government will continue to take action because we believe that first nations deserve the same opportunities as all Canadians.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, since he refused to discuss it yesterday, let me remind the Minister of Finance of yesterday's bad economic news: a downgrading of the credit rating of the major six Canadian banks, and today another report on the real Conservative record. Corporations now get a much better tax deal than everyone else. Conservative policies mean corporate taxes go down and household debt goes up.

When will the Minister of Finance stop putting his well-connected friends ahead of the rest of Canadians?