This page is in the midst of a redesign. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was indian.

Topics

Lyme DiseasePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 25th, 2013 / 12:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to rise to present two petitions. The first deals with Bill C-442. It is a private member's bill calling for a national Lyme disease strategy. I happen to be the person who tabled it, but I like to think it comes from all members of the House.

I have heard from many members of Parliament who have, as I do, constituents who are suffering from this terrible disease. This strategy will be of assistance to people who have Lyme disease, and significantly, will help with prevention and greater awareness.

Foreign InvestmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition comes from residents of Kingston and Toronto. It is calling on the government to avoid, refuse, and stop the ratification of the Canada-China investment treaty, which would bind future governments for 31 years to allowing the People's Republic of China's state-owned enterprises superior rights to bring arbitration cases against Canada if they do not like the laws we pass here.

Rail TransportationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, I present to the House a petition signed by constituents in Vaudreuil-Soulanges who are calling upon the Parliament of Canada to ask the Canadian Transportation Agency to review the regulations pertaining to the speed of trains and to make it mandatory to install integrated command systems on trains.

This petition is signed by many of my fellow citizens, who are calling upon the Parliament of Canada to ask the Canadian Transportation Agency to review train speed regulations and to make positive train control systems mandatory in Canada.

Cell TowersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table yet another petition on behalf of several hundred more constituents in Guelph with regard to their health concerns about cell towers.

The petitioners reference the World Health Organization, which has classified cell towers as a class 2B carcinogen. They also reference a National Research Council press report that cell towers should not be placed within 500 metres of residential properties, schools, hospitals, and day cares but should be at least 1000 metres away.

My constituents call on the Government of Canada to revise the Health Canada Safety Code 6 and enforce a moratorium on all new installations of cellular and wireless antennae and base stations until there are more studies. They also call for the immediate implementation of unbiased, non-industry-funded scientific research and ask the government to adopt the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health's report, entitled “An Examination of the Potential Health Impacts of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation”.

The indiscriminate installation of cell towers at just any location must stop now.

Prince Edward IslandPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of a large number of people from Prince Edward Island who wish to draw the attention of the House of Commons to the fact that the Northumberland Ferries Limited contract ends on March 31, 2014.

The economy of eastern Prince Edward Island depends heavily on the ferry service. It helps maintain the three industries on Prince Edward Island, namely farming, fishing, and tourism. Therefore, the petitioners wish to direct the Government of Canada to negotiate a new contract that is equal to or greater than the previous three-year contract with Northumberland Ferries Limited, taking into account the increase in the consumer price index, and to provide public funding to ensure that the infrastructure meets or exceeds the level of today's standards.

Old Age SecurityPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, since I do not see any other members rising, and we have a bit of time left, I hope that you will allow me to introduce two petitions today.

First, I am pleased to be able to rise in the House to table yet another set of petitions, with hundreds of signatures, about protecting old age security. I know that the government had hoped that this issue would go away, but there is no such luck.

The petitioners want to remind the government that the changes to OAS hurt the poorest seniors the most, that they disadvantage younger Canadians, and that there is no need to make these changes, since OAS is fully sustainable in the long-term without these punishing changes. For all of these reasons, the petitioners call upon the government to maintain the retirement age of OAS at 65 years and to make the required investments in the guaranteed income supplement to lift every Canadian senior out of poverty.

While I know that the rules of Parliament do not allow me to endorse a petition, let me just say that I am delighted to have had the opportunity to present it in the House today.

Income Tax ActPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month I was in Nanaimo, where I had the opportunity to meet with a large number of labour activists from all over Vancouver Island, alongside my colleague from Nanaimo—Cowichan. One of the issues we discussed at length was my private members' bill, Bill C-201, which will be debated in the House for the first time next week.

I am delighted to say that the second petition I present in the House today was circulated as a result of those conversations. It is signed by almost 100 people from Vancouver Island, who are all urging the government to support Bill C-201 so that tradespersons and indentured apprentices can deduct travel and accommodation expenses from their taxable income when they work at a construction site more than 80 kilometres away from their homes.

I very much appreciate this expression of support from the west coast, and I am pleased to be able to table this petition in the House today.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-4, A second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 21, 2013 and other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to speak to economic action plan 2013 act no. 2.

This act would implement key measures from economic action plan 2013. It would also implement certain previously announced tax measures that will help create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and secure Canada's long-term prosperity.

Canadians have come to rely on our Conservative government to remain focused on the priorities that matter most to them: creating jobs for hard-working families and economic growth for local economies in all of Canada.

Since the depth of the global economic recession, Canada's overall job growth record remains the strongest among all G7 countries. Our government's plan for jobs and growth has helped contribute to the creation of more than one million new jobs, and we are on track to keep creating jobs and balance Canada's budget by 2015.

However, we also recognize that the global economy also can be volatile. We sympathize with those who are still struggling to find a job and we realize we are not immune to what happens outside our borders. That is why our government is working hard to implement positive job-creating measures from economic action plan 2013. These includes tax breaks to help small businesses create jobs, the Canada job grant to help get more Canadians trained and into skilled jobs, the largest-ever federal investment in job-creating infrastructure, new tax relief to help our manufacturing sector, and much more.

Nowhere is it more apparent that we need more skilled Canadian workers than in my riding of Prince George—Peace River. In fact, several local employers have come to me to express their increasing frustration with their inability to fill jobs because they cannot find workers with the right skills. Meanwhile, there are also far too many Canadians out there looking for work. That is why so many employers within my riding are looking forward to the full implementation of the new Canada job grant.

The Canada job grant would provide $15,000 or more per person in combined federal, provincial, territorial, and employer funding to help Canadians get the skills they need for in-demand jobs. Once fully implemented, the grant will help nearly 130,000 Canadians each year to access training at eligible institutions such as community colleges and trade union centres. This new program will ensure that Canadians have the skills employers are seeking and that employers are able to fill those key jobs.

In addition to the new Canada job grant, economic action plan 2013 is investing in skills and training for Canadians by reducing barriers to apprenticeship accreditation, supporting the use of apprentices in federal projects, and strengthening training support for persons with disabilities.

Building on these important new job-creating measures, we continue to remain focused on Canada's long-term prosperity by introducing economic action plan 2013 act no. 2. As we all know, small business entrepreneurs are big job creators, responsible for nearly half of all private sector jobs in Canada, and are a key driving force in making Canada a leader on the world stage.

We also know that to help create jobs, we must also help businesses. That is why Bill C-4 introduces more positive job-creating measures for small business entrepreneurs. One important measure is extending and expanding the hiring credit for small business for one year to help employers with the cost of new hires.

In addition, we will promote stability and predictability for employers and their employees by freezing employment insurance premium rates for the next three years. This will leave $660 million in the pockets of job creators and workers in 2014 alone.

We have also included measures that will increase the lifetime capital gains exemption to $800,000 from $750,000 and index it going forward. This positive measure will increase the rewards of investing in small business by making it easier for owners to transfer their family businesses to the next generation of Canadians.

Manufacturers and processors are also major contributors to our economy, employing approximately 1.8 million Canadians in a wide range of industries across Canada. A strong manufacturing sector also helps create jobs among suppliers and contributes to innovation throughout the economy. That is why in economic action plan 2013 act no. 2 our government is strengthening the competitiveness of this sector by expanding the accelerated capital cost allowance to further encourage investments in clean energy generation. This measure will allow businesses in Canada to face current economic challenges and improve their long-term prospects by adopting new and innovative technologies to increase productivity, thus helping businesses to compete globally while creating jobs in all regions of Canada.

These initiatives demonstrate our government's clear commitment to support small-business entrepreneurs to create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for all Canadians in all communities, like those in my riding of Prince George—Peace River.

At the same time, we understand that we must also respect Canadian taxpayers' dollars. Whether on job creators, hard-working families, or any other Canadians, low taxes are a crucial part of our economic success. Our Conservative government has cut taxes over 150 times, including income taxes, the GST, and business taxes, and we are justifiably proud of that record. Because of our actions, the average family is now saving over $3,200 a year. Economic action plan 2013 would take further action to support Canadian families by eliminating tariffs on babies' clothing, sporting goods, and athletic equipment.

Canadian seniors are also benefiting from a low-tax plan. In fact, the average senior pays $2,260 less in taxes each year as a result of our tax reductions. The average single senior can earn almost $20,000 a year and the average senior couple almost $40,000 a year without paying a single nickel of federal income tax, one thing that definitely affects my parents.

Small businesses as well are benefiting from our government's tax reductions. A small Canadian private business with a taxable income of more than $500,000 now pays 34% less federal tax than in 2006, equivalent to a tax savings of $28,000 that can be reinvested to fuel growth and job creation.

Bill C-4 would take further action to ensure Canadian taxpayers' dollars are respected by introducing measures to improve the efficiency of the temporary foreign worker program by expanding electronic service delivery.

Economic action plan 2013 also includes measures that would modernize the Canada student loans program by moving to electronic service delivery, as well as plans to phase out the labour-sponsored venture capital corporations tax credit.

Meanwhile, we remain on track to balance Canada's budget by 2015. Earlier this week, the annual financial report of the Government of Canada for 2012-13 was released. It shows the continued downward track of Canada's annual deficit. In 2012-13, the deficit fell to $18.9 billion. This was down by more than one-quarter from the deficit of $26.3 billion in 2011-12 and down by nearly two-thirds from the $55.6 billion deficit recorded in 2009-10.

Our government's responsible spending of taxpayer dollars has played an important role in these results, with direct program expenses falling by 1.2% from the year prior and by 3.8% from 2010-11. This is just further proof that we are finding savings within government and are refusing to spend recklessly. We will find these savings without raising taxes or cutting transfers to Canadians or the provinces and territories.

These initiatives demonstrate our government's clear commitment to support small business entrepreneurs to create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for all Canadians while respecting Canadian taxpayers' dollars. That is why I am pleased to support this bill, Bill C-4.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed the comments from my colleague from the west.

However, he did talk about creating opportunities in the trades, and if he would go to the front page of the economic action plan website, he would find a link called “creating opportunities in the trades”, where there is a link to a video in which 90% of the people who are getting education in the trades are men and the only education being given to women in the trades is for cutting hair, applying fingernails, and cutting food.

Over on this side of the House, we think that women can do anything that men can do. Why do the Conservatives not think so?

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am a tradesman myself. I was a carpenter for many years before I got this job, and one thing I will say is that trades are open to both males and females. It is just up to them to decide which trade they would like to enter.

I notice that in my particular trade, carpentry, there are many more females on the work sites today than there were before. Things are changing. Our government would like to see both males and females becoming skilled tradespeople in all types of trades, and we would welcome that in our current economic job market.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Conservative

Bernard Trottier ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member for Prince George—Peace River could expand on measures in Bill C-4 that build on the budget and address investments in communities and infrastructure. We know it is very important.

I know the member has some communities that are very challenged with respect to building up infrastructure. There is a lot of growth and there are some big needs when it comes to moving people and goods around. If the member could expand on that aspect, I would like to hear his comments.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, infrastructure is a big deal for us in the northeast of British Columbia. I always tell my constituents that we have a big economic engine in the northeast and we need more resources and more infrastructure to keep that engine working efficiently.

The gas tax transfer fund has been well received in British Columbia. We are seeing some changes within our municipalities in the way that funding is being designated, but it is being well received within our part of the province and our part of the country, as I am sure it is across the country. It will provide the much needed infrastructure to keep this economic engine running at full capacity.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the debate began, I have heard a number of government members talking about employment and the economy. This always leads me to the same question, and I still have not managed to get an answer.

I am trying to understand why this omnibus bill contains a provision regarding the appointment of Supreme Court judges. My own theory, which many of my colleagues on this side of the House share, is that the process was bungled for the most recent appointment in Quebec. The problem is ongoing and still has not been resolved.

With that in mind, it seems the government tried to create a catch-all budget implementation bill by including provisions concerning the Supreme Court. I still do not see how that is relevant.

Can my colleague tell us why these measures were included? If not, can he tell me whether the government will support a motion that we plan to introduce to separate this aspect from the rest of the omnibus bill?

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, a colleague from this side of the House said earlier that we are a government that likes to get things done. Including legislation in budget bills is often a way for us to get a lot done in short order.

That has been our Conservative mantra over the last few years: we are a government that does get things done, instead of just having endless debate over issues that we know Canadians want answers for right now. That is why we do what we do in terms of getting legislation through. We see it as an efficient way of passing legislation, as opposed to what the opposition would say.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member and I are both from the west coast. I would appreciate it if he could give us some insight on how the provisions we are discussing this morning would impact the west coast.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on the economy and on keeping the Canadian economy in general chugging along. Among the things we talked about, the job skills grant is going to affect us greatly and will answer the need, especially in the west, for skilled workers in our workforce. We are already being hit by that need. It is going to hit us even more, and we are responding to that need.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-4, which was to be a budget implementation bill but it is much more. It is that much more that has a bunch of us on this side of the House worried about what the government really intends to do. For example, this budget implementation bill includes a redefinition of what constitutes a danger in the workplace.

The definition has been in the Canada Labour Code for many years and is well understood now by the health and safety officers, workplace safety committees, employers and employees and to change it in a manner that will not allow us to have full and fulsome debate is a dangerous practice in itself.

We will not know what the new definition means. The old definition talked about any existing or potential hazard or condition, or any current or future activity that could reasonably be expected to cause injury or illness to a person exposed to it.

The new definition requires that this danger be imminent or serious. What the heck does imminent or serious mean? To find out, we have to ask the minister. The minister is the only person who is now able, under this legislation, to determine whether something is an imminent or serious threat to an individual, because the government has taken out health and safety officers across the country and replaced them with one individual.

Each and every declaration of a danger to a person in a workplace in Canada now has to be determined by the minister himself or herself. I do not know if the minister has enough time to get to all the workplaces in Canada. The minister is pretty busy legislating companies back to work, so I do not know if he or she has enough time to do that.

It is a very serious measure that is being taken in a budget implementation bill with very limited time for discussion.

The other thing that is happening in the bill is that for the public service the definition of what can be arbitrated, in terms of what we call interest arbitration processes, has changed dramatically. The definition of what constitutes an essential service is now in the head of the minister. It is not in a jointly agreed to by both parties system.

The minister can decide what is an essential service in the civil service. For example, the minister could decide that his or her driver is an essential service and therefore that person would be prohibited from taking any action.

The danger with this kind of tinkering with the existing well-known and well-understood legislation is where it may lead in the rest of Canada. We have police forces, fire departments, ambulance services and paramedic services across the country that rely on an arbitration system to feel as though they are getting paid appropriately for their work and that their terms and conditions of work are dealt with. They are not allowed to go on strike. They are not allowed to exercise what the rest of Canadians have, which is the ability to withdraw their services.

All of those other folks across the country have to be wondering where the heck the government is going and where it will lead the provincial governments that deal with these things as well.

The government has not only redefined what is an essential service and just basically said that the minister can pick and choose what he or she wants it to be, but it has redefined what constitutes the terms under which an arbitrator can decide a collective agreement.

As members will recall from a year and a half ago, or maybe two years, the former minister of labour actually set the conditions under which an arbitrator was free or not free to decide a collective agreement. When it came to Air Canada, Canada Post and CP Rail, those agreements were decided by an arbitrator, except the arbitrator's hands were tied.

If I were in the police force or if I were a firefighter, I would be worried about where this federal government was leading us, down the road of re-defining what could and could not be done by an arbitrator.

I want to talk about this issue, because I am the deputy critic for persons with disabilities. The member for Winnipeg South Centre talked in glowing terms about the fact that the government had made the enabling accessibility fund a permanent feature of future budgets, which is a good thing. The problem is that fund is a Conservative slush fund, unfortunately. I do not mean that any of the groups that receive the money are somehow complicit in this, but 85% of the money goes to Conservative ridings.

Conservatives do not represent 85% of the population of Canada. I think something like 24% voted for them last time. How is it that 85% of the enabling accessibility fund goes to Conservative-held ridings, or if a group or organization is turned down for money under the enabling accessibility fund, all it has to do is have a friend like the Minister of Foreign Affairs and that minister will grease palms or whatever it is he has to do to change the decision by whoever made the decision so a group or association can get money out of the enabling accessibility fund?

We do not have any objections to there being an enabling accessibility fund. In fact, it should be bigger than it is, but we would like to see it distributed fairly across the country. I have groups in my riding that have been turned down for enabling accessibility money and cannot fathom the reasons why, because they are not given. There is no sudden decision that a group did not get it because of X, Y or Z. The decision is made that they just did not get it. When we hear that groups in Conservative-held ridings have no trouble getting money, we wonder where the money is coming from.

The other thing I want to say about the budget implementation act is that the government has determined it can add new stuff that was not in the budget. Not only were the issues dealing with the redefinition of what constitutes a danger, the removal of health and safety officers and replacing them with the minister, the changing of the arbitration for the civil service, but a redefinition of what constitutes a Supreme Court justice has been added, someone coming from Quebec. How is that in a budget bill? How is that something that we can think costs money? The Conservatives response, and I understand where they are coming from, but I do not like it, is that it is something that came up just recently, that they have to fix it really quick and that they can rush this thing through and get it done in a hurry.

There are a whole bunch of other things that came up just recently that have not been included in the bill but have to do with money, that have to do with budgets, that have to do with taxpayers and their pocketbooks. The Conservatives talked about them in the throne speech, but they are not here.

The throne speech talked about “pay to pay”. For those who do not know what that means, a cable TV or a cellphone subscriber with any of the big carriers in Canada has to by $2 to get a paper bill. If they do not have Internet to get their bill, they have to pay $2 and the government collects tax on that $2. No wonder it is delaying it because it wants to keep collecting that tax.

Most of the people affected by that are seniors who do not have access to the Internet, who do not have ready accessibility to electronic forms of payment. Not only that, even those people who have opted to get it electronically are now being told that if they want the detailed billing, they have to pay $3 to get it electronically, and the government will tax that. Therefore, there will 15¢ federally and in Ontario another 8¢ provincially going into the coffers of the government every time people pay their bill or accepts the bill in paper. The Conservatives promised to do something about that in the throne speech. Where is it? If they can do things really quick like this, why can they not put this in the budget implementation act?

There is no help for airline passengers. The Conservatives voted almost unanimously, if not unanimously, against Bill C-459, which would have provided a system to help airline passengers from the vagaries of the airlines bumping them off a flight. There was talk about that before the throne speech, but there is nothing in the throne speech or in the budget bill.

There is nothing in the budget bill that is a relief for the 200% increase in cable TV fares that have cable and satellite fees that have taken place since it was deregulated completely by the CRTC. In the throne speech the Conservatives did not even talk about that. They said that consumers would be able to pick and play whatever they want, but at a cost. If I pick a channel, it would cost me an arm and a leg. There is nothing in here for the pocketbook of the ordinary Canadian. If the Conservatives want to talk about pick and play, let us apply it to this legislation. We would like to pick and play those things that are good for Canadians and not have to vote against them, while we can vote against those things that are not good for Canadians. That is the kind of pick and play I would like to see.

We have no relief for bank fees. People from the Syme Seniors' Centre in my riding told me that just recently the banks told them that in order to get a printed statement of their bank account they would have to pay. It is a not-for-profit seniors centre that is trying to struggle through with whatever little money it can get from grants and the rest. It now has to pay to get that statement. It did not used to because it was a seniors centre. Now that it has to pay to get the statement, there is no relief. There is nothing in the budget bill that actually reduces those exorbitant bank fees.

We need to rethink how we do these budgets and not put things in a budget that have nothing to do with budgets.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Dan Albas ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I would like the member to answer a question in regard to essential services. He mentioned firefighters and police officers would be subject to this. The Public Service Labour Relations Act is legislation that only applies to those who come under it. Could he explain how he would square the two? It seems to me he is creating some confusion for the people who are watching. I look forward to his answer.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:35 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is not in fact what I said. What I said was that there were groups of individuals in the country who were bound by the definition of an essential service, and I referred to police, firefighters and ambulance attendants. Those individuals, seeing a change at the federal level, ought to be worried about where that will take us at the provincial level. When the federal level starts re-deciding what can be arbitrated and how badly an arbitrator's hands would be tied, those kinds of indications at the federal level will spring up at the provincial level. We get, “If the feds can do it why can't we?” Those individuals ought to be worried about where the government is taking us.

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the government members mentioned that it created these omnibus bills to get things done. I want to ask my colleague if he would comment on this ends justifies the means type of attitude, particularly in terms where the Conservatives seem to divide Canadian workers from Canadians. Canadian workers are the bulk of Canadian citizens. Thus, the attacks they are making on these workers are attacks on Canadians. Would my hon. colleague comment on that?

Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the comment that the government tends to attack working Canadians. It does this more than any other I have ever seen. The attacks that we find in this omnibus budget bill are attacks on ordinary Canadian workers. I use the term “budget bill” lightly because it really is not a budget bill when the government includes redefining the definition of a danger in a workplace. Those attacks take place in the context of something that the government is saying is a necessary part of the budget bill.

The government wants us to think, and wants Canadians to think, that this is ordinary, regular business, that it is ordinary for governments to throw everything into a budget, including the kitchen sink. It is not ordinary. It is extraordinary and it is extraordinary to limit debate on it. We, as parliamentarians, will not be given the opportunity to say our piece on the matters that the government has added to the bill.