House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East.

[Members sang the national anthem]

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's budget was an insult to Quebec. Gone is open federalism. Instead, Ottawa has opted for predatory federalism and delivered a direct blow to Quebec.

Despite the unanimous refusal by Quebec's economic players to allow a made-in-Ottawa job training program to be shoved down their throats, the federal government keeps pushing and has signed off on it. It has even gone as far as threatening to implement its reform as of April 1, whether or not a deal is reached.

This morning, saying that he will do what he likes, when he likes, the Minister of Finance proved just how harmful Ottawa's attitude is to Quebec.

The fact that the government was able to find $250 million per year for the automotive industry in Ontario, while leaving nothing but crumbs for Quebec's forestry industry, makes the Quebec Conservative ministers' accusations that Quebec is not supportive enough of its economic growth all the more shameful.

The federal government is the one that does not care about the Quebec economy and wants to pick a fight.

Youth EmploymentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is in everyone's interest to help ensure that first nations youth receive the education, support, and job skills training they need to get good-paying, long-lasting jobs. The New Prosperity mine will provide just that support and training. Skills training is desperately needed to provide good jobs for our first nations youth.

I asked the leadership of the Tsilhqot'in nation to recognize that its young people need this training to get those jobs. I asked the leadership to visualize how its communities could benefit, if good-paying, long-lasting jobs could be filled by its young people. I urged the leadership to take advantage of this once in a generation opportunity that will provide jobs for their citizens that will last for more than 25 years.

The New Prosperity mine wants first nations youth to take advantage of its skills training to fill those good-paying mine jobs. This is an opportunity that must not be missed.

City of LavalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, this month, Laval was proud to be recognized as a senior-friendly municipality.

This recognition was the result of a long process that began in April 2010 and the combined efforts of many organizations in our wonderful region, including the Table régionale de concertation des aînés de Laval, the Laval volunteer centre and food bank, and the Laval committee on abuse and violence against seniors.

Laval now has a specific action plan that details the needs expressed by seniors and promotes social inclusion. These measures relate to public transit, community support, health services and more.

The NDP believes that seniors' quality of life is a priority. That is why we have proposed specific measures, such as a plan to improve the CPP and the QPP and lowering the age of eligibility for old age security to 65. All seniors are entitled to spend their retirement years in dignity.

Congratulations and thanks to all of the people who have made Laval into a senior-friendly municipality.

The BudgetStatements By Members

February 12th, 2014 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2014 demonstrates our government's commitment to fiscal responsibility and prosperity. It is our launch pad to success, reducing the budget deficit to $2.9 billion and forecasting a $6.4-billion surplus for next year, all without raising taxes or slashing transfers.

The economic action plan includes billions for B.C. for health care and social programs. It would close tax loopholes, control the size and cost of government, invest in skills training, cut red tape for small business, strengthen Canada's food safety system, and launch the Canada job grant.

Our government has piloted Canada through economic troubles and chartered a course for greater prosperity, stability, and growth. Thanks to Canada's economic action plan, Canada is one of the best places in the world to live and do business.

Budget 2014 is good for Fleetwood—Port Kells, good for B.C., and good for Canada.

Central African RepublicStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Central African Republic is in free fall, and we must act now, together and decisively.

The United Nations ranks it among the top three humanitarian emergencies and warned of the following:

It has all the elements that we have seen elsewhere, in places like Rwanda and Bosnia. The elements are there, the seeds are there, for a genocide.

Approximately 4.5 million people have been affected, half of them children, and 838,000 have been displaced. Attacks against children have sunk to atrocious, indefensible levels. Such attacks violate international humanitarian and human rights laws, and they must stop immediately.

Concrete action is urgently needed to prevent further violence. A recent UN appeal received only 11% of a $551-million target.

What we do now, or fail to do, will have an impact on society for years to come, and we will be judged on how we choose to act.

Youth ForumStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bryan Hayes Conservative Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, in January I hosted a round table discussion in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie with the community's youth. The attendees provided their perspective on several pieces of current and pending legislation, including my own private member's motion.

All participants supported the government's pending bill on cybercrime, as well as Senate reform as opposed to Senate abolishment. The overwhelming majority do not support the third party's intent to legalize marijuana. However, all of them supported my pending private member's motion on domestic violence prevention.

Jobs were also discussed. I am proud to say that since 2006, the Conservative government has helped more than half a million young Canadians develop the skills they need to help them succeed in the job market. Economic action plan 2014, announced yesterday, builds upon this record by providing $55 million toward paid internships, as well as $100 million for interest-free student loans for apprentices.

This government recognizes that youth are our future, as do I , and I look forward to hosting more youth forums in my riding.

Consumer ProtectionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the cost of living in rural and northern communities is much higher than in urban communities. For many, the cost of keeping their homes warm has reached a tipping point.

As Teresa from Atikokan wrote to me recently:

The propane truck just drove away after filling our tank. It was the first time we've filled it since last May. You can imagine my shock when we discovered the price had risen 80% since our last fill up.

That is right, the cost of heating her home has risen 80% in less than a year.

There are many stories like Teresa's. Brian in Nolalu, Kathy in South Gillies, and many others living in Thunder Bay—Rainy River, are hurting.

The Canadian Propane Association insists that there is no shortage in Canada.

Well, if there is no shortage as the industry claims, then it must be yet another case of price gouging by an industry that targets a captive consumer during a time of need.

The Minister of Finance will not notice the price spike until he goes to fill up his barbecue tank at his cottage this summer, but the Canadians he serves are suffering today and deserve action.

If the Conservative government turns its back on rural Canadians on this issue, as they have on so many other issues, then Canadians should know that the NDP is ready to get to work and make life more affordable for them, beginning in 2015.

Killarney Seniors CentreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Conservative Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, for over 15 years, southeast Vancouver's 25,000 seniors have identified the need for a local seniors centre to improve their quality of life and provide an accessible space for wellness, recreation, and socialization.

Previous Liberal governments did not get it done.

Last month, our government delivered. I was honoured to announce a $2.5-million federal contribution to finally build the Killarney seniors centre. In partnership with the City of Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia, this 15-year dream is now a reality.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the thousands of constituents who worked so tirelessly to make their voices heard. I especially acknowledge the leadership of Lorna Gibbs, Mohinder Sidhu, Shin Wan Hon, and Keith Jacobson for their tremendous efforts over so many years.

This is yet another example of how our government is delivering for Canada's seniors. We have enacted stronger measures to combat the abuse of seniors. We have provided seniors in need with the largest GIS increase in 25 years, and we have reduced senior's annual taxes by—

Killarney Seniors CentreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Edmonton Centre.

Kingsway Legion No. 175Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, for almost 10 years, a small band of dedicated Edmontonians from Kingsway Legion No. 175 have faithfully trekked to the Edmonton International Airport at all hours of the day or night, and in any weather, to say farewell or to welcome back our troops from their tours of duty in Afghanistan. Many of them wear Legion dress and medals. They are supported by others who value and salute the service and sacrifice of Canadians in uniform. They offer Tim Hortons coffee, donuts, cell phones, and unbridled thanks and admiration for folks who put it on the line.

I have been privileged to join them on many occasions and can attest to the gratitude of the troops for the reception they receive, for the occasional escort home by CF-18 fighters, for the police escort through the city to their garrison, for the fire trucks with lights flashing, and for other first responders and citizens who line the streets to say thank you.

I have never seen a city embrace the military like Edmonton does. Thankfully, the duty of providing this 24/7 welcoming committee is coming to an end.

I want to thank and salute Vicky, Mac, Wayne, Betty, Jim, Kate, and many others, for their service in days gone by, and for their dedication to honouring those who serve today.

You may now stand easy.

Olympic Winter GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Sana Hassainia NDP Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to rise in the House today to warmly congratulate speed skater Charles Hamelin, who on Monday won a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics in short track speed skating. On behalf of everyone in Verchères—Les Patriotes, way to go Charles.

Nicknamed “the locomotive of Sainte-Julie”, Mr. Hamelin enjoyed a nearly perfect season on the World Cup circuit. We wish him the best of luck in his three remaining events, which will give him the opportunity to add to his already impressive record.

I would also like to wish the best of luck to his brother, François Hamelin, as well as Charles Cournoyer. Everyone in my riding sends you their support and is very proud of all of you.

I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage all our Canadian athletes in Sochi and congratulate them on the remarkable number of medals they have already won, and the ones still to come.

Furthermore, I would like to recognize the 30th anniversary of Maison des jeunes de Varennes. For the past three decades, this organization has been providing our young people with a friendly place where they can develop their talents and express their creativity. Thank you for your exceptional work and your remarkable commitment.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I joined the Prime Minister, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo in Alberta for the announcement of a historic agreement and a financial commitment of over $1.9 billion to reform the first nations education system and at long last give first nations control of first nations education.

New legislation will provide first nations students on reserve with previously unavailable supports, minimum standards, and opportunities for a high-quality education. It will introduce statutory funding that will allow for first nations to provide vital language and cultural programs unique to their communities while operating in a responsible and accountable manner.

Our Conservative government has engaged in extensive consultation with first nations leaders, parents, and educators, and we will continue to work tirelessly toward ensuring that first nations children have access to a quality education and full participation in the Canadian economy.

As the Prime Minister noted, this agreement is “good for First Nations, it is good for Canadians, and it is good for our country’s future”.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, since 1999, the government has been committed to doing full, gender-based analysis of its budgets. We have yet to see this work done by either Liberal or Conservative governments. Now another budget is before us that does almost nothing for women.

Women make up over half the workforce in this country, yet the cards are stacked dangerously against them. There is not a drop of money in the budget for child care. There is no money for improvements to parental leave. There is no money for housing security for women who badly need it. There is no money for a national action plan to end violence against women, even though the throne speech promised action on this front. There is also no money for a national inquiry into the deaths and disappearance of over 600 indigenous women, whose families are still waiting for justice.

The budget fails the women of this country. Canadian women work hard, bear the burden of discrimination, and deserve much better than this budget.

AdoptionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was proud last year when our government expanded the adoption expense tax credit, which recognizes some additional costs borne by adoptive parents.

It is estimated that 2,000 children are adopted from within Canada every year, yet, 30,000 children who are in the care of child welfare agencies across the country are also waiting to be adopted. This means we need to do more, and that is exactly what we are doing through economic action plan 2014.

Currently, eligible adoption expenses related to the completed adoption of a child under the age of 18 may be claimed up to a maximum of $11,774. Economic action plan 2014 proposes to increase the maximum amount of eligible expenses to $15,000. This is fantastic news for prospective Canadian families who are looking to give a deserving child a loving home.

EmploymentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today in light of the decision to idle all operations at the Cliffs Wabush mine in Labrador, a mine that has operated since 1965. The decision will put over 400 hard-working Canadians out of work and will provide a major challenge for a community that is so reliant on the success of this particular mine.

Let me say to all those affected that my colleagues and I will continue to work hard to do what we can to mitigate the impact of this decision on them, their families, and their community.

I also call upon the federal government to assist these highly skilled mining workers to integrate into new jobs and help transition and grow the local economy to create new opportunities in western Labrador.

Now is the time for all of us, including the Government of Canada, to invest in skilled economies like that in Wabush and Labrador City. The people are waiting and they would welcome such action.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, like all members of the House, I looked forward with great anticipation to the good news that our Minister of Finance would deliver in budget 2014, and I was not disappointed.

Not only would economic action plan 2014 continue to create jobs and opportunities, it also commits to cutting red tape for an industry that is near and dear to my heart, that of craft beer.

Whether it is made using blueberries, strawberries, or pumpkin, I think all members would agree that the choice is clear: we best not interfere with Canada's craft beer.

Representing over $14 billion of economic activity, hard-working microbreweries like Forked River Brewing Company in London, Ontario, and those across Canada, work hard to produce quality products. I am proud to stand with a government that is delivering for these talented entrepreneurs.

I encourage my friends opposite not to waste their votes along partisan lines but to vote in support of good taste.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have finally kept a budget promise. They promised they would do nothing, and their budget delivered nothing. For people facing record household debt, there was nothing to make life more affordable; for veterans, nothing to keep support offices open; for young people, nothing to deal with the youth unemployment crisis.

We were happy to see they finally agreed to act on pay-to-pay fees. This was long overdue. However, the budget only talks about banks. What about other companies, like telecom companies that are already forcing seniors and others to pay to get their bills in the mail?

Yesterday's budget was about an election in 2015, not what Canadians need today.

The NDP knows it can do better. New Democrats know that Canadians work hard and they deserve a fair deal, a fair break. Canadians know they can trust the NDP to fight for middle-class families, to fight for young people, to fight for veterans, to fight for seniors and for all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, economic action plan 2014 was announced and demonstrates our government's commitment to growing the economy and creating jobs, opportunity, and prosperity for all Canadians.

Following the Minister of Finance's announcement, the Liberal leader had some very interesting and telling exchanges. During an interview, the Liberal leader refused to answer a question on whether he would run deficits or not. I am not making this up. His answer was: “The commitment needs to be a commitment to grow the economy and the budget will balance itself”.

I am sorry, but any good economist knows that a budget does not just “balance itself”.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I would ask hon. members to wait until the member for Peace River has finished his statement. Then they can feel free to applaud.

The hon. member for Peace River still has the floor.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal members know that this is obviously a faulty assessment, and Canadians would agree and expect more from a G7 leader.

What we all know, what we are all convinced of, and what we would ask the Liberal leader is, why will he not just admit that he is in over his head?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there were some interesting criticisms this morning from the finance minister about the Prime Minister's plan for income splitting. Does the Prime Minister agree with his finance minister that the Conservative plan is of no help to the vast majority of Canadian families?

PensionsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is the finance minister and this is the government, against the wishes of opposition members, which brought in income splitting for our senior citizens, something from which they benefit every day and every year.

This government, in the last election, made a commitment that when we balance the budget—the budget is not yet balanced—one of the highest priorities of this government will be tax reduction for Canadian families. I know that their plans would be tax hikes on Canadian families, but we in this party believe we should cut taxes for Canadian families.

Food SafetyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, to be fair, there is good news in the budget with regard to food safety, including the hiring of 200 new food inspectors. Because it is such a good idea, and we agree on that, can the Prime Minister just answer one simple question: Why is it that he fired 300 food inspectors over the last two years?