House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was million.

Topics

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, unlike the defensive Ontario members of Parliament from the government, I think Tuesday's do-nothing budget is bad news for Ontario and is failing middle-class Ontarians.

During these tough economic times, the government is leaving Ontarians out in the cold by cutting another $641 million in transfer payments; money that could have helped support the people of Ontario.

This insulting budget comes on the heels of years of cuts that have undermined Ontarians' quality of life. The government has slashed funding for programs in health care, environmental protection, community safety, and skills development and training. Funding has been eliminated for the patient wait-times guarantee trust, the HPV vaccine trust, the federal-provincial transportation action plan for the Greater Toronto Area, and a number of other critical programs Ontarians relied upon.

Now the government is planning on running roughshod over the objections of provinces to implement their flawed, year-old Canada job grant program, which remains a non-existent fantasy to this day.

How can the Minister of Finance, who is an elected representative for Ontario, justify the abject failure of his budget to address the needs of Ontario?

FirearmsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week I rose in this House to point out the shameful scheme that the Liberal leader was cooking up to confiscate rifles and shotguns from law-abiding Canadian hunters.

The media party and other Liberal elites seem to have taken issue with the fact that on this side of the House, we always stand up for law-abiding hunters, farmers, and sport shooters.

While the media party looks down their noses at us common folk who enjoy hunting and sport shooting, we can see that the Liberals are feeling the pressure. The Liberals removed public references to their Canada-wide gun grab, but law-abiding gun owners will not be fooled by the “now you see it, now you don’t” Liberal convention website cover-up. They know Liberals are trying to bring back the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. It becomes clearer and clearer every day that only the Conservative Party will stand up for the rights of Canadian gun owners.

In a rush to cover up his party's attempt to run roughshod over law-abiding firearms owners, the Liberal leader, like Quick Draw McGraw, has just shot himself in the foot.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Pétain, a citizen concerned by the state of our economy, said, “In times like these, it is hard to establish a proper finance system. The minister is certainly not the right person for the job”.

Well, he was right. This budget attacks the provinces and workers. Otherwise, there is nothing, nada: nothing for rail safety despite the Lac-Mégantic tragedy that occurred while this government was twiddling its thumbs instead of issuing fines to a delinquent company; nothing for creating jobs for our young people even though their unemployment rate is twice the national average; nothing for climate change; nothing for health; nothing for our seniors; and baseless attacks against workers who organize to improve their living conditions.

Yesterday, during question period, the Minister of Finance did the same thing as his budget: absolutely nothing. He remained seated, on automatic pilot, while his boss ate away at his credibility, question after question. Today they would have us believe that they are pals. I do not think so. Canadians deserve better than a government that takes a year off. Canadians deserve an NDP government.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Communications Security Establishment's independent watchdog, Judge Jean-Pierre Plouffe, confirmed that the agency was behaving lawfully. This assessment marks a significant humiliation for the CBC, which lined the Brazilian bank account of a former porn executive in order to pay for its so-called news scoop.

All the media that repeated so breathlessly Glenn Greenwald's slandering allegations about Communications Security Establishment Canada will probably ignore the hon. Jean-Pierre Plouffe's report, and they will also continue ignoring the scandal of the CBC paying “porno spy” Glenn Greenwald for news.

However, while the media avoid correcting the stories about CSEC's activities that they initially reported on, Canadians can rest safe in the knowledge that Communications Security Establishment Canada continues to fulfill its mandate of protecting the safety and security of Canadians from threats and that it continues to respect Canadian laws.

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, in 2011, the Conservatives promised to bring in income splitting, which would benefit less than 15% of the population.

Yesterday, the Minister of Finance cast doubt on that promise and then, right after, the Minister of Employment and Social Development said that the promise would be kept. The Prime Minister said that we would see.

Will they abandon their promise to bring in income splitting, keep it, or will we have to see?

TaxationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once the budget is balanced, which it is not yet, once we have a surplus, which will be next year, our government is committed to greater tax relief for Canadian families.

Only Conservatives, as a matter of act, can be trusted to reduce taxes to Canadian families. In fact, we introduced pension splitting for seniors, which the opposition voted against.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's answer, but the Conservatives are flailing around in confusion and the finance minister is directly contradicting Conservative policy. Under the Conservatives' tax plan, 86% of Canadians will get absolutely no benefit—86%.

Does the Minister of Finance stand by his criticism that a plan that does not benefit the vast majority of Canadians does not benefit Canada?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, because of our government, Canadians enjoy the lowest taxes they have had in 50 years. We have done something that Liberals and NDP people do not do anything about. That is, we have reduced government spending. We have reduced government spending for three years in a row.

I know this is a foreign concept to the members opposite, but we have done it without reducing transfers to the provinces for health and education and transfers to individuals, including persons with disabilities.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the NDP people, power to the people.

This morning, the Minister of State for Democratic Reform was at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, but he did not explain his attacks on Marc Mayrand or his refusal to consult Canadians outside the Ottawa bubble. I would like to give him another opportunity to explain himself.

Why does he refuse to travel to the various provinces across the country to consult all Canadians about his electoral reform plans?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

February 13th, 2014 / 2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, I always travel outside Ottawa to speak to all Canadians.

I have spoken to Canadians about the fair elections act. For example, I spoke to organizations that represent persons with disabilities who have a hard time voting with the methods we use now.

We will develop better information for these people, so that they can learn about the special services available to help them vote. That is just one example of the ideas I heard from Canadians that I included in the fair elections act.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader left today's committee meeting on the unfair elections act to say he was against cross-country hearings, and said that meeting with Canadians would be a “gong show”. Does the Minister of State for Democratic Reform agree with the parliamentary secretary? Is that why they will not have cross-country public hearings, or are they just afraid to face Canadians?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, obviously the committee will hear from Canadians. The member merely has to provide a list of witnesses and they can all be brought to the committee for testimony. They can share their views. We will take them into consideration. I know the learned members of the committee will consider those views as they improve the bill, which has been described by the former CEO as an A minus. Hopefully the committee can work with the government for a change to turn it into an A plus.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary said he was opposed to cross-country hearings on the unfair elections act because it would influence public opinion. Is that what the minister is afraid of, Canadians having the audacity to exercise their democratic right to express their personal views on this bill?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. The member and his party declared their opposition to the fair elections act before they had read a single word of it. Now they are trying to obstruct further examination of the question with an attempt at holding a costly circus that will distract from the work the committee needs to do, which is to study how we can keep everyday Canadians in charge of democracy by putting special interest groups to the sidelines and rule-breakers out of the game altogether.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the ministers of finance, transport and small business all expressed reservations about the income-splitting campaign promise. The employment minister rebuked them, saying that Conservatives “always keep campaign commitments”.

Well, in the 2006 election, the Conservatives—

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. I have asked members before to hold off until members are finished asking the questions before they applaud. I know they are eager to applaud the member, but they will be free to do so when he is finished asking the question.

The hon. member for Papineau.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the 2006 election, the Conservatives promised Canadians a patient wait times guarantee.

My question is for the Minister of Health. It has been eight years. When can we expect this promise to be kept?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in fact, we have invested over a billion dollars in the patient wait times guarantee. According to the Canadian Institute for Health information, there have been excellent results on the wait time guarantees, which we are working on with the provinces.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

They are still working on it eight years later.

Mr. Speaker, in the 2008 election, the Conservatives' most expensive campaign promise was to reduce taxes on diesel fuel by nearly a billion dollars each year.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. It has been over five years. Has he reconsidered that promise as well?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have reduced taxes in more than 160 ways since we were elected in 2006. We will continue to keep taxes low and balance the budget.

We do have a plan for a balanced budget. Unlike the members opposite, we will stick to our plan and the budget will be balanced in 2015.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the 2008 election campaign, the Conservatives promised to introduce emission regulations for the oil and gas sector. This Prime Minister even boasted that it would be the equivalent of a $65 price on carbon. That was over five years ago.

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. When can we expect this promise to be kept?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our budget is committed to protecting our environment, as well as keeping our economy strong.

Building on our record of protecting historic amounts of land, budget 2014 is investing a significant amount of money in urgent areas, including nearly $400 million to fix dams, bridges, and highways through the national parks that are in urgent need of repair.

I have a question for the other side of the House. Why, after a decade of being in power, did the Liberals do nothing to maintain the infrastructure in these parks?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that the finance minister and the employment minister are at odds over income-splitting. They are also at odds over working with the provinces. While the employment minister claims he is committed to negotiating a deal on job training, the finance minister is delivering threats and an ultimatum. He is uniting the provinces in opposition to this budget. The premiers of Ontario, Quebec, and even Saskatchewan are calling out the finance minister.

Will the finance minister start to listen to premiers like Brad Wall and maybe start working with the provinces?

Intergovernmental AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what the budget says, if the hon. member cares to read it, is that negotiations are continuing with the provinces, the employment minister is continuing his discussions with the provinces, but that we want to move ahead by April 1.

The reason is that we have thousands of Canadians who are not matched with the thousands of jobs that are available. This matters to these young people in this country, and that is why we are moving ahead.