House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

Order, please. The hon. member for Kings—Hants.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is right. The voluntary approach has not worked. When we talk to the restaurant association or the retailers or the CFIB, they acknowledge that more needs to be done. Some of them point us toward the Australian model and potentially capping rates.

Just to show how perverse the current system is, if a persons goes into a store in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and buys a pair of shoes with a credit card, the merchant can be dinged with a 3% charge upon the sale of those shoes. The person takes the shoes home, finds out his spouse does not like them, brings them back and exchanges them. There is another 3% charge for the merchant. The merchant has been hit by a 6% charge and has not sold a pair of shoes yet. That is one of the best ways to illustrate how ludicrous the current situation is and how important addressing it is for the engine of Canadian economic growth: small business.

A mandatory approach may be the best way, but ignoring it with a voluntary approach certainly has not worked.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for a good speech. I know he only had a 20-minute opportunity to speak.

He talked about the lack of infrastructure investment the government has made and continues to make. In his conversations during the pre-budget consultations, did he consult his own mayors and the premier in his own province? What is their input? What are the discussions involving infrastructure?

Every time I talk to a local mayor or a local politician or somebody at the provincial level, it is always about lack of infrastructure. Whether it is in my province of Quebec or not, I hear that the Canadian government is not in partnership in any projects and that it is reducing investments in programs.

I wonder what the member thinks about the lack of money in infrastructure.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, when I spoke recently with Mayor David Corkum, the mayor of Kentville in my riding, he stressed the need for infrastructure investment. He also stressed the need for us to take investing in social infrastructure, such as housing, seriously.

There is a strong role for the federal government. This is certainly not the time for the federal government to cut by 89% planned infrastructure spending for next year. It is doing that, again, to pad the books on the eve of an election. It may be good politics. It is bad economics.

The reality is that, if we listen to David Dodge or the OECD or the IMF, with bond yields at historic lows, with real interest rates actually negative, we have an historic opportunity to invest in Canadian infrastructure, to create jobs today and to improve Canada's competitiveness tomorrow. We heard that from the former deputy minister of finance yesterday, Scott Clark, at committee.

Beyond that, we have the greatest concentration of expertise in the design, construction, and financing of infrastructure in the world resident in Canada in our pension funds. Let us work with them to invest in fixing Canada's infrastructure and create good jobs here in Canada.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, there was some debate before my colleague spoke about the changes to the temporary foreign worker program that exist within this omnibus bill. The reason I raise it is that there has been some dispute as to whose fault this all is between my Liberal and Conservative colleagues.

It was a program started by the Liberals some years ago. It was somewhat limited. It started to grow a little. There were some scandals with its use and application for professional dancers, exotic dancers, at one point under the Liberals that got some attention, if I recall correctly. Then the program was expanded massively under the Conservatives.

My question is from the briefing we had last night and from the speech earlier that said the new changes will make it so that the temporary foreign worker program is not a first option program for Canadian employers. There were some other revisions as well, a reporting mechanism, an outing and naming of those employers who chose to abuse the program.

It is not as if these concerns are new. We had concerns, particularly across the west but also in other parts of the country, that this had become a program of first resort rather than last resort for many employers. How could we have designed it this way?

I assume that is what the changes are meant to fix. There are design flaws in the DNA of the temporary foreign worker program. Were those flaws inherent in the program that was established by the Liberals? Were they newly incorporated when the Conservatives took over?

I want to understand when it was that the temporary foreign worker program became a first option for too many employers. The minister mentioned that it was 2002, when those changes came in. Perhaps my colleague, the member for Kings—Hants, can allow the minister some time to answer a similar question with some accuracy as to who was the most abusive of the temporary foreign worker program.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, if the temporary foreign worker program were ever being used to bring in professional dancers, I would certainly express concern, particularly if there was a lack of gender balance.

Beyond that, let us be very clear. The temporary foreign worker program, on a limited basis, worked quite well for a long period of time. It has grown massively under the current government and is being used in areas where it was never intended to be used. Historically, if we look at temporary foreign workers in the horticulture or agriculture side, it is something where everyone acknowledges, and not just in Canada but elsewhere, there is a legitimate role for temporary foreign workers.

What we have been troubled by and what makes no sense is the skyrocketing of the use of temporary foreign workers in areas of high unemployment, for example, in the Windsor, Ontario area, and the threat and the very real risk of it depressing wages in those areas. What we believe ought to happen is that we consider temporary foreign workers policy as part of an overall immigration strategy, and we restore the opportunity and the linkage between people who come here to work as part of our production chain of products, goods and services, with immigration.

If we look at Manitoba, it has done a great job of immigration. There were approximately 16,000 new Canadians who moved to Manitoba last year, compared to the 2,000 in my province of Nova Scotia. Manitoba has a whole-of-government approach. One of the things they do there is streamline the process and make it easier for people who come here to work to move on to permanent residency and then on to immigrate to Canada.

As a country, we ought to look at the Manitoba model. We need more new Canadians. We need to attract them, not just to work on a temporary basis but to become full partners in progress and citizens of this country.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sharing my time with the member for Vancouver South.

I listened this afternoon to all the speeches. The job of members opposite is to be the opposition. I listened to some of the speeches from the NDP side and I know it has never been in government, so it can pretty well say anything. As far as the Liberal side is concerned, it too is in the same position.

When in government we have to make sure everything is in balance. We expect criticism, which is fine. However, let us look at the global picture. Nearly 1.2 million net new jobs have been created in Canada. That is over 82% full-time jobs and 80% in the private sector since the end of the recession in July 2009.

When we look at our country, Canada is the envy of the world because Canadians as a whole live well, and as a whole we are safe. It is the best country in the world in which to live.

As parliamentarians and members on this side of the House know, as we went into the recession, the most important thing was to ensure that our country's economy was balanced so that there were jobs, so that people could live in their homes and buy their food. In any country, nothing is perfect. There are housing problems and other issues in all countries. However, in Canada, we have a lot to be proud of. Canada has one of the strongest job growth performances in the entire G7. That is quite incredible looking at the global economic problems that the world has faced. Canadians have also enjoyed one of the strongest income growth performances in the G7 and Canada's business investment performance has been the strongest in the G7 over the recovery. This is very important. Why? It is because this gives a sense of security to Canadians.

Since 2004 Canadians have put our government into power because they had the confidence that the economic part of their lives would be secure. That does not mean to say every single Canadian is secure. It means that we are the best country compared to others. Canada has a AAA rating in this economic environment worldwide. We also know that the middle class in Canada lives better than in the U.S. and many other countries. Also, we now have 180,000 children who are now out of poverty.

There is a lot to be proud of. For the sixth straight year the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada's banking system the soundest in the world. This means something. With all due respect, even though there are always things to improve and do better, this is indicative of Canada's standing on the world stage and indicative of its very sound economic planning and practices. Does that mean everyone is going to get everything they want, daily? No, that does not mean that. It means that the economy within the country is sound, jobs are growing, people can go to work, children can go to school, and our country is the best country in the world in which to live.

I listen to all these criticisms and all the hyperbole. In Parliament, hyperbole is something that we hear every single day on probably every single topic.

When Canada is leading the global economic recovery, that is something to be proud of. There needs to be a recognition that Canada and this government are doing something right. When we listen to members opposite, we hear all the talk of gloom and doom. They think they can do things better. The fact of the matter is that this is not what the Canadian public thought, because those members are not sitting on this side of the House.

Canada has the lowest overall tax rate in the G7 on new business investment. That is a red flag right there. It shows that this government is creating new business.

Canada is one of only two G7 countries to have a rock solid AAA rating, with a stable outlook, from all the major credit rating agencies, such as Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's. That is important. A lot of countries cannot claim that, because they have no plan in place. War-torn countries have not had the opportunity to put a plan in place. It is impossible for them to do that. This government has been able to meet that high standard.

There is a reason our government's top priorities are job creation, economic growth, and long-term prosperity. It is so people can have families, work, prosper, and have a future.

Our government has become aware of many issues that have presented themselves through businesses. For instance, small business is the engine of this country. It pushes out so much of the economy. Women are some of the top small-business owners, and that is a real change from 20 years ago.

More small business opportunities have been created through the small business job credit, and that has been a real asset to those women who want to start businesses. That is not often spoken about in the House. Some of these businesses are run out of the home. Some are run out of small offices. These businesses are providing income for families.

The budget implementation bill will make life more affordable for Canadian families. What is important to a family? A lot of children participate in sports. It was presented to our government that a lot of families could not afford to pay the registration fees for sports, such as soccer and other kinds of sports, so in this particular budget, our government has doubled the children's fitness tax credit to $1,000 and has made it refundable.

Paying attention to individual families has made a huge difference in balancing Canada's economy. We have heard today many instances of how families have been impacted. Unfortunately, because I only have 10 minutes to speak, I cannot list them, but they were listed earlier.

We should work collaboratively to give suggestions. When the bill goes to committee, amendments can be made, if need be. We should look at how we can build together and recognize the fact that this government has put in a strong economic plan.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I gather from the member's speech that she wants us to cut through the hyperbole and the usual rhetoric, so I will get right down to it.

One of the things that concerns us on this side of the House is that this is an omnibus bill. When the member sat in opposition, she had the same concerns about omnibus bills.

We are particularly concerned about refugee issues. We have seen cuts to refugee health. There is a notion that this would help out the provinces. I wonder if the member could name the provinces that requested this.

With regard to the bill itself, would she not agree with us that if there is a need for debate, amendments, and careful study, as she has suggested, we should not have an omnibus package in front of us? We should actually have these things separated and actually have a budget bill, not something of this nature.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, first of all, this particular bill is not unusual. I keep hearing that it is an omnibus bill, a great big bill with a lot of pages. Having said that, it is not unusual when we compare it to other budget implementation bills that have come forward over the years.

Also, we have had this bill for over eight months. I think it has been eight months and twelve days, actually, so there has been a lot of time to go through it. It does not take that long.

When we talk about temporary foreign workers, provinces all across this country have had challenges where the temporary foreign worker issue has been abused. Jobs for Canadians come first. Having had that collaboration across the country, we have had to look at putting Canadians first, jobs first for Canadians, and at the checks and balances that are long overdue in the temporary foreign worker program.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I get a little nervous when I notice the government House leader. I am thinking of the potential for time allocation.

Having said that, my question is for the member for Kildonan—St. Paul.

In terms of co-operation, we made the suggestion that the government consider EI premium breaks for all new hires. We have had many third-party stakeholders who have commented on just how valuable this recommendation is. It is an idea that would create thousands of jobs.

If we want to fight for the middle class when debating the proposed legislation, I think a big part of that would be fighting for jobs. Allowing EI premium breaks for new hires would go a long way.

Would the member not support initiatives that would cause employers to create literally thousands of new jobs at a relatively marginal cost? I would be interested in her thoughts on that.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the bill does go through committee. It is at committee where those suggestions are made and brought back.

Having said that, the whole bill is about creating jobs. The whole bill is about building business. The whole bill is about making the lives of families and business people better in this country.

I have to say that I look forward to the member for Winnipeg North sitting on committee and bringing those suggestions forward for a fulsome conversation.

Bill C-43—Notice of time allocation motionEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

October 29th, 2014 / 5:05 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise that an agreement has not been reached under the provisions of Standing Orders 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to the second reading stage of Bill C-43, a second act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures. Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for consideration and disposal of proceedings at that stage.

I might add that it is my intention to propose an additional three days to the second reading debate for a total of four days for that debate.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-43, A Second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Second ReadingEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Conservative Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to this budget implementation bill. This bill would put some of the measures contained within the 2014 federal budget into practice in Canada.

Before I address some of the specific measures in this bill, I would like to give an overview of what the international community is saying about Canada's economy and the success we have seen since the global recession in 2008.

Both the IMF and the OECD have stated that they expect Canada to be among the strongest-growing economies in the G7 over this year and the next. The New York Times conducted an analysis and concluded that after-tax middle-class incomes in Canada, which were substantially behind in the year 2000, now appear to be higher than in the United States.

Finally, with nearly 1.2 million jobs created since July 2009, the Canadian economy has had one of the strongest job-creation records in the G7 since the recession. As we move forward with this legislation, the international community can look forward to Canada continuing its role as a global leader with a successful economic record.

One of the reasons Canada has had such great economic success is that we recognize that the challenges we face in the global economy are not simple or straightforward. They are complex challenges that affect every sector in the Canadian economy. This is why I am pleased to see that this bill encompasses a broad approach to addressing the many problems we still face in the fragile global economy.

I know that the term “omnibus” does not sit well with some. However, we have to be realistic. Canada exists within a global economy, and because it is comprehensive, this bill would ensure that we address as many issues as possible to maintain our outstanding economic recovery and growth. Since Canada has had to move quickly to meet the challenges of the economic recession, Canadians have experienced that these bills have in fact been working very well for our economy. Furthermore, historically, it has been common practice to include various measures across many sectors in a budget and then in the budget implementation bills to follow. Ultimately, it reflects the central role a budget plays in addressing the wide range of issues Canadians need addressed.

Now I would like to highlight some of the measures contained within this bill that will be important to the residents in my riding of Vancouver South, and indeed to all Canadians.

The first measure I feel would greatly benefit the people of my riding, and particularly small-business owners in my riding, is the small-business job credit. Over the next two years, this credit would lower the payroll taxes of small businesses by 15%. It is estimated that this would result in savings of approximately $550 million for small businesses over these two years. As a previous small-business owner myself, I fully understand the importance small businesses play in driving the local economy. I know that this credit would go a long way in supporting the many small businesses in my riding and would promote job creation throughout Vancouver and Canada.

Another measure I was pleased to see in this implementation bill was the extension of the tax credit that currently exists for interest paid on government-sponsored student loans to include interest paid on Canada apprenticeship loans. As we know, apprenticeships are a vital link between high school and the workplace. Many students in my riding and across Canada take part in apprenticeship programs to gain the skills they need to be successful in the workforce. Furthermore, these apprenticeships can usually lead directly to full-time employment. I have met many constituents enrolled in apprenticeship programs who share how they thoroughly enjoyed learning their trades through hands-on experience and direct training from an employer. I am therefore very pleased to see that the government would extend the existing credit to loans students can take out to participate in apprenticeship programs. This would certainly encourage students to take part in these programs, which will contribute to a strong and skilled workforce.

Another tax credit I am pleased would be implemented as part of this bill is the doubling of the children's fitness tax credit. In 2006, the government introduced a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500 annually for fees related to the registration of a child under the age of 16 in an eligible program of physical activity.

This bill would act on an announcement that the Prime Minister made this month that would double this tax credit as well as make it refundable.

I know that many people in my riding and across Canada widely support this credit as it would enable children to enrol in sports like hockey, baseball and soccer, when they otherwise might not be able to afford it. As a previous soccer mom of twins, and recognizing that many families, like mine, have more than one child, I know how quickly fees can add up.

That is why I am very pleased to see the doubling of this tax credit in this implementation bill as it would help Canadian families support sport and activity for their children. This measure would ensure that parents can take advantage of this credit when they file their taxes for the 2014 tax year.

Finally, I was pleased to see that this implementation bill would end pay-to-pay billing practices in the telecommunications sector. This would ensure that those who prefer to or must receive their bills in the mail are not forced to pay additional fees just because they receive their bills in the mail.

This commitment was made as part of the government's 2013 Speech from the Throne. I am very pleased to see that it would now be implemented. Many seniors in my riding, as well as those who do not have access to high speed or any type of Internet, have been frustrated with these unnecessary fees. I know that they will certainly be pleased to see this practice end.

In closing, I would like to share that when I am in my constituency in Vancouver, I consistently hear from my constituents about how happy they are with the work of the Minister of Finance and what he has been doing to ensure that we will return to a balanced budget by 2015. Hearing from my constituents about how pleased they are has certainly made this a priority for the government and a priority for all Canadians.

I therefore urge the opposition to support economic growth, lower taxes and the many positive measures in Bill C-43.

Second ReadingEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech.

She does not seem to realize that columnists, editorial writers and even journalists—whether they lean to the left, right or centre—all seem to agree. They are opposed to omnibus bills that distort the parliamentary process when they include measures that have nothing to do with the budget. I have a simple and clear question for the member, in the hopes of getting a clear answer.

The member is bragging about a measure to eliminate pay-to-pay billing practices in the telecommunications sector that require consumers to pay to get their bills. However, consumers will still have to pay to get a bank statement.

If she is so proud of this bill, why did she not insist that her government include this measure to fully protect consumers against this practice?

Second ReadingEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Conservative Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we noted earlier, this bill was tabled in February, so members have had more than eight months to review it and talk about it. It has been debated in the House for a long time, so I do not think that omnibus is the word for it. Comprehensive, broad and meeting the needs of diverse Canadians are other great words for it.

As I said earlier in my speech, and to reference my constituents, whenever I see them in my riding of Vancouver South they are really happy with the Conservative government, with its strong economic performance and with the fact that it is balancing the budget by 2015.

Second ReadingEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to rise today to speak to this omnibus budget bill and I thank the member for Vancouver South.

However, I do need to correct the record. Omnibus budget bills are not something of long-standing or habitual use in this place. Up until 2005, the longest omnibus budget bill was a little over 100 pages. I think that it was in 2009 that the current administration put forward an omnibus budget bill of 900 pages.

My first question in this place, when I was elected, was asking the Minister of Finance if an omnibus budget bill was planned for 2011 because I had become so alarmed by them. There was not one in 2011, but we have seen, ever since 2012 and 2013, a spring omnibus budget bill and a fall omnibus budget bill.

My hon. colleague from Kildonan—St. Paul, who preceded my friend from Vancouver South, told us that we had months to study this but, in fact, we had days and it is over 400 pages.

Omnibus budget bills are an affront to democracy in this place and should not be allowed unless they pertain to the same purpose and the same effort. These are all over the map. They do not aid our economy or our democracy.

Second ReadingEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Conservative Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the hon. member across the way is using the word omnibus because that is her word. It is certainly not my word.

Bill C-43 supports our low tax plan for jobs and growth. I would like to note, if she is so inclined, that parts 1 to 3 are all tax-related, 281 pages are all tax-related. Part 4 contains the rest of the measures, 31 tax measures that we are giving to Canadian families, so that they will have this money in their pockets.

Some of the measures in part 4 are lengthy, such as the intellectual property changes that needed to be ratified, encompassing international treaties and such, so 35 pages.

Basically, the bill is related directly to a budget implementation bill, which is what is up for discussion here, and it is completely related to the budget.

Second ReadingEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on that point, this budget bill is 400 and some-odd pages, half in French, half in English.

The previous questioner has written a few books. They are likely over 200 pages. That member likely expects people to read her books, so I am expecting members of Parliament to read 200 pages.

The change to the child tax credit for physical fitness is becoming refundable. Since November is financial literacy month, there are only three other refundable tax credits. Refundable means that if individuals are not paying taxes, they still get their money back for that.

Why is that important to poor families who have kids in physical fitness programs in this country?

Second ReadingEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Conservative Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is an extremely good point. It is so necessary to put money back into Canadian families, so that they can afford to support their children in sports activities that are so important to Canadians.

Second ReadingEconomic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, since my time is limited and I will have to continue my speech tomorrow, I will split it into two parts. The first part will deal with the history of the government's budget bills, which are massive, mammoth omnibus bills. That is very disappointing, because all opposition parties feel that these bills are contrary to the spirit of Parliament and to the spirit of democracy that we should embody.

We do not have a problem with the tax measures, which make up the first three parts of this bill. These tax provisions implement the measures that were announced in the budget. We may or may not like these measures, but it makes sense for them to be included in a budget bill.

The other measures are the ones we have a major problem with. For example, how can they justify including changes to the electoral process in the Northwest Territories? What is that doing in a budget bill? Why would a budget bill include a measure enabling provinces to establish a mandatory residency period for refugee claimants applying for welfare? There would be no change to federal transfers one way or the other. Nothing justifies putting these measures in a budget bill.

I am outraged and offended that government members who want to be part of the government are not saying a word and are refusing to ask the government to be accountable to its citizens. The government, the executive, is made up of cabinet. The backbenchers and the rest of the Conservative caucus are not part of government.

When they stand up and say that their government did such-and-such a thing, they are failing to fulfill their duty as parliamentarians and MPs to demand accountability from their government about deeply undemocratic measures. I am not the only one saying that. Yesterday's Globe and Mail editorial perfectly summarized the unfairness and irregularity of these omnibus bills.

I truly hope that this bill gives them a chance to search their conscience regarding their own duty in terms of government accountability and transparency, which are essential to the work we need to accomplish here.

Bill C-43 is the federal government's second budget implementation bill. When we were studying the last omnibus budget implementation bill, I talked about a trend that seemed to be emerging in these omnibus bills. Indeed, I have noticed eight basic criteria that the government routinely adheres to when drafting these bills, and this trend continues in this bill.

The first criterion the government seems to adhere to concerns the huge size of the bills. This one is 460 pages long in English and in French. The bills introduced before 2009 that my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands was talking about were 100 pages in both languages. The Conservatives need to stop comparing by using the pretext that it is in both languages. We are comparing apples to apples.

We are therefore being asked to hastily review for adoption 460 pages and 401 clauses at the Standing Committee on Finance. This leads to many mistakes that later have to be corrected. Sometimes they are corrected in subsequent bills. In fact, this bill includes changes and corrections for mistakes that were made in previous bills. Sometimes these changes or corrections are made through the Senate.

These are mistakes that we pointed out in committee. We told them they would regret heading in this direction. I am thinking specifically about the bill that amended the process for appointing Quebec judges to the Supreme Court. We warned the government a number of times that it was heading in the wrong direction with this measure, which it tried to make retroactive in order to cover for the massive blunder it made in appointing Justice Nadon. The Conservatives did not listen.

This is the fifth budget bill that I have had the honour of studying and contributing to at the Standing Committee on Finance. We have studied more than 2,000 pages to date. We have moved hundreds of amendments, which were often constructive, but only one was adopted by the committee. Even then, the Conservative members made an amendment to the amendment.

This approach does not make sense. With such mammoth bills, which is the first criterion I mentioned, we cannot give every clause and every element of the bill the attention it requires, although that is a fundamental principle of how our government works.

The government's second criterion when drafting bills such as this one is that the bill amends at least a dozen laws. In this case, there are about 40 laws that are being created, eliminated or amended.

The third criterion consists of dealing with many subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with the budget process. This bill goes from the Judges Act to the Industrial Design Act to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and even amends the Criminal Code and the electoral process in the Northwest Territories, as I mentioned. That has nothing to do with the budget. These measures could have been introduced separately. Some of the measures are not being challenged at all and could very easily have been passed by the House and, subsequently, perhaps even by the Senate. However, the government has decided to bring together these bills, which adds to the confusion that can arise when studying other provisions that are more directly related to the budget process.

The fourth criterion is that a Conservative omnibus bill must create new laws that once again have nothing to do with the budget process. In this case, a law is being created to establish a high Arctic research station. Why did the government not make the effort to sit down and draft a proper bill to create this station? Furthermore, this bill corrects another Conservative government decision to close a similar station located even further north in the Arctic. We suspect that the station was closed for ideological reasons and in order to deny the scientific truth. The Conservative government did not seem to like that research station's findings, many of which had to do with climate change.

The fifth criterion is that a Conservative omnibus bill must include provisions that concentrate power in the hands of a minister. That has been the case in every omnibus bill passed, and it is also true of Bill C-43. In this case, the Aeronautics Act will give more power to cabinet. The provisions of the new Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act will also give more power to cabinet. Once again, it seems as though these bills must include provisions that give a great deal more discretionary power to cabinet ministers.

One of the last three criteria for a Conservative omnibus budget bill is that the bill needs at least one legislative amendment to restrict workers' rights. This bill has one such amendment. To qualify, the bill also needs measures to restrict the rights of unions and immigrants, and lastly it needs a law and order measure. This bill has them all. All of these criteria are met. The government has created a model that prevents us from doing the job our constituents elected us to do. Our job is to provide oversight and hold the government accountable through one of the most fundamental acts of our Parliament: approving the budget.

Once again, I do not understand how members of Parliament who are not members of cabinet but are on the Conservative side can allow this nonsense, which is condemned throughout Canada's political society. I hope that those members will think about this. I will stop there and resume my speech tomorrow.

The House resumed from October 23 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.

Opposition Motion—EbolaBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

It being 5:30 p.m., pursuant to order made Thursday, October 23, 2014, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion relating to the business of supply.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #257

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Joe Comartin

I declare the amendment defeated.

The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?