House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was housing.


Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2Government Orders

1:35 p.m.


Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to share my time this afternoon with the member for Richmond—Arthabaska.

It gives me great pleasure to speak to bill C-29, the budget implementation act. Seven months after tabling the budget, Canadians are beginning to recognize the consequences, and the picture is not pretty. Being as it is Halloween, it is appropriate that we refer to the budget as downright scary. It is like a vampire sucking the blood out of most Canadians. The Liberals love spinning the budget into a huge spiderweb to catch people. Small businesses are upset, thinking it is Frankenstein who has come back from the dead.

Even with the low Canadian dollar, the Liberals have generated 20,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in our country. I thought for a moment it was Houdini, because these jobs just vanished. My province of Saskatchewan has lost 4,000 jobs in August over the same period from last year. The trend continued in September with 6,000 fewer people working during the same period as the year before. We have 42,000 unemployed in Saskatchewan currently.

Doug Elliott, the publisher of Sask Trends Monitor, says that going back to 1986 this is the highest number of unemployment in the month of August. Saskatchewan could very well see its first year of negative job growth since the year 2001, and that is scary. We have not seen unemployment levels like this in over two decades. Small business owners do not want the trick or treat, they want an opportunity. They know how best to grow the economy. The Liberals promised a reduction in their tax from 11% to 9%, and we have yet to see that.

Then we have Dracula with his fangs out ready to suck more out of the economy with the proposed carbon tax. This dark cloud hanging over this haunted house will not help with job creation in our country. It is hard to suck blood out of a stone, but the Liberal government seems determined to try. The carbon tax was never mentioned a year ago during the election, and now we know it always was behind one of its trap doors.

To quote Marilyn Braun-Pollon of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the state of business health in our country has deteriorated. Hiring plans remain very weak, with only 10% of business owners looking to hire full time, while at the same time 17% are foreseeing layoffs. This is deeply concerning as we head into the holiday season where generally more opportunity exists, mainly though for part-time employment. Retail spending is effectively flat in our province this year, a broad category that includes everything from automobiles, to clothing, to furniture and food. When we adjust for inflation, that means the total sales volumes in the province have declined by more than 2% over last year at this time.

Even thefinance minister was quoted as saying that Canadians should get used to the so-called job churn. No wonder our youth were upset last week at the Prime Minister during a briefing. Our youth right now are experiencing record unemployment, and it is not what was promised to these millennials by the Liberals a year ago. It was all about sunny ways. Now we find out the clouds have rolled in and the government has no answers.

The full moon though has returned. The Liberals have gone back to their old ways of pay to play. Have they not heard from their previous skeletons in the closet? There are more ghosts and goblins as the Bank of Canada has determined more bad news for this economy, downgrading the country's growth outlook yet once again.

Ted Mallett, who is the CFIB's chief economist, says that employment is a big area of concern. While employment plans tend to experience, as we all know, seasonal fluctuation, this October's downward turn was sharper than we have ever seen it in the past. Investment plans have also dropped to a post-recession low.

Nearly 50% of Saskatchewan's small businesses plan to freeze or even cut salaries. We have not factored in the cost of a CPP increase or the much talked about carbon tax. This is more evidence that now is not the time for this carbon tax. I guess it is like CETA. The Liberals played a disappearing act and now they want to be Casper the Friendly Ghost, but I want to remind the House that it was the Conservative government that did all of the heavy lifting for this CETA agreement.

While the Liberals promised a modest deficit of $10 billion to stimulate the economy, it looks like they were dead wrong. They continue to throw more deficit dollars at this problem. Let us remember that a year ago, the Liberals promised they could simply spend their way into prosperity. By most measures, I would say Canadian families are worse off than they were a year ago. Good jobs are in short supply and the vast majority of these new jobs created under the current government are really part time, which explains why weekly earnings for the average worker in this country are lower.

On the weekend, I was home in my riding of Saskatoon—Grasswood and had an opportunity to talk to several young people. Many said they had two and three part-time jobs just to make ends meet. Saskatchewan people, as many know, have always had a work ethic, but there comes a time when they see no light at the end of the tunnel.

Instead of growing the middle class, the government is breaking the middle class. Just last week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that our Conservative budget would have resulted in a $2.9 billion surplus for the year 2015-16, but we all know that a surplus is not in the Liberals' vocabulary. They continue to run massive debts. Where it will stop, no one knows. When will this circus stop?

The child care benefit will not be indexed until the year 2020. The PBO has estimated that indexing, in fact enriching, the CCB would cost over $42 million over the next five years. Where, then, will the Liberals get this money? This program would cost more than double the original amount budgeted if indexed over this five-year period.

The current government reminds me of the show a way back called The Munsters. It was televised back then in black and white. I ask the current government to step out of the dark ages and realize it is spending our children's and grandchildren's money, with no hope of ever balancing the budget.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I would remind the member to address his comments to the Chair and not the government.

Questions and comments, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec


François-Philippe Champagne LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, for all of those watching and listening to us, what is really scary is that the Conservatives just do not get it. They voted against the middle-class tax cut, they do not believe in climate change, they do not believe in investing in Canadians, and they do not believe in a plan for growth. That is really scary. That is why people watching should be scared of members who voted against the tax cut for the middle class.

Our plan to invest in growth in this country, in Canadian families, in innovation, and in infrastructure was not only applauded by Canadians, it was applauded around the world. The IMF managing director said that she wished Canada's plan would go viral around the world. The front page of The Economist this week said that Canada is an example to the world.

My question is simple. Why did the member, for whom I have enormous respect, vote against the middle-class tax cut for Canadians in this country?

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Speaker, it is interesting that Liberals talk about nine out of every 10 Canadians benefiting. However, I should mention, because I am a former sportscaster in my city, that they eliminated the sports tax rebate and arts tax rebate. The middle class was what the previous government believed in. Families cherished those two programs, in particular. It provided a chance for kids to get off the couch and participate. Those are two programs that sorely need to be reinstated in this country right now.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's words. They were very haunting. Some of the statistics he mentioned were bone-chilling. It is quite spooky when we look at the horizon.

I am from Ontario and the member is from Saskatchewan. We see that the same staffers from Queen's Park who ran the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals have moved all the way up to Ottawa. We paid their expenses. They are welcome. When we look at their 12 years of massive Liberal spending, we see more taxes, more government red tape, and more jobs leaving. He listed a bunch of statistics about how his province is hurting, too. Maybe he could tell us how and why this type of thinking does not work.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Speaker, yes, our province was the driving engine of this country for years, and now we are not. We are hurting, along with Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador. We have seen commodity prices go down, but at the same time, the government wants to impose a carbon tax. Would our previous government in 2008 have imposed a tax against the auto manufacturers of Ontario? No, we did the right thing back then. We propped them up, because we knew the economy of Ontario was in serious trouble back in 2008 and 2009.

Here we are with a government that wants to impose a carbon tax against our province and the rest of Canada at a time when Canadians, and my province of Saskatchewan, simply cannot afford it.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Madam Speaker, we are trying to address an ever-increasing child poverty rate. The last 10 years of the previous government saw this rate increase. I wonder if the member could comment on why today we find a poverty rate for children of over 11%.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Saskatoon West. In her former job as director of United Way in our city, she did a lot of work helping our community for years and years.

She knows, as well as everyone in our city, that we have a poverty issue with children in our city and in our province right now. The food banks are used more than ever before. However, with a strong economy we can hope that this poverty issue can get dealt with in our province.

Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 2Government Orders

1:50 p.m.


Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, when my finance critic colleague asked me whether I wanted to speak today to the government's budgetary measures in Bill C-29, I jumped at the opportunity. I would even say that I am pleased to speak to this bill today.

Those familiar with my political career know that before being elected to the House of Commons, this grand institution, I tried my hand at provincial politics and was the mayor of Victoriaville. They know why I am in politics and what my motivations are. Those have not changed since 2003, when I first considered entering politics. They are also shared by many Canadians.

One of the reasons I got into politics was my concern over how the government is managing public finances and the debt burden it is placing on future generations, our children and our grandchildren. I see every level of government taking the easy route and spending money, which always leads to Canadians paying more taxes, even if those taxes are sometimes used to fund investments.

The other very important reason I got into politics is the cynicism that people have about politicians. I will elaborate on that a little later in my speech. When I asked people what they thought about my going into politics, they told me that politicians never keep their promises. That seems to be true of those across the way, the Liberal government having failed to deliver on a number of its promises. I will name a few, but first I want to talk about federal public finances.

How many times have the Minister of Finance and his colleagues refused to accept here in the House a report from the parliamentary budget officer in which he confirms what we in the official opposition have been saying, specifically, that we left the House in order when we were voted out of office in the last election? Canada had sound public finances and was in the black.

Despite all that, at every possible opportunity and in every forum, the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister kept saying that we left the country in disarray and in massive debt. I invite those listening to consult the archives or even simply Google “Minister of Finance” and they will see the minister was in denial.

When he appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance on October 24, 2016, the parliamentary budget officer confirmed that the Conservative government left a surplus of $2.9 billion in the 2014-15 budget. For those who may not know this, the parliamentary budget officer is neutral. He is neither Liberal, Conservative, NDP, nor a member of the Green Party. He works independently to analyze Canada's public finances.

One of the government's first promises, which set it apart from the second official opposition party, was that it would only run up a small deficit of $10 billion. On the contrary. Today, as we can see, the deficit stands at more than $30 billion and it is spiralling out of control. It is not the official opposition pointing this out. The economists at Canada's major financial institutions have been telling the government for weeks to stop spending. TD Bank and the Bank of Montreal have told the government that enough is enough, and that it has lost control of its finances.

We are not against borrowing to stimulate the economy. There are times when we must. Everyone agrees with that. The problem with the Liberal government is that it does not have a repayment plan. I will use an analogy for the people watching at home. If a person wants to buy a house, goes to the bank, and applies for a loan to purchase a house worth about $200,000, what does the banker do? He evaluates the borrower and looks at his income to determine whether he can make the payments. Then with the help of a spreadsheet, the banker calculates the number of monthly payments it will take to pay the mortgage, which is the loan that makes it possible to create wealth, be a homeowner, and have access to a home for his family and children.

The government is borrowing money. The problem is that it does not have a plan to pay that money back. It is like me going to the bank and saying that I need $200,000 to buy a house but that, unfortunately, I do not have enough money to make monthly payments to pay back the loan and I have no plan to do so. I would have to ask the bank to wait four or five years before we revisit the issue and figure out how I will pay the money back. What would happen if I did that? They would send me packing and ask that I do my homework next time and present them with a realistic proposal. It makes me tear my hair out to watch this government continue to lie to Canadians by not giving them the real numbers, by telling them lies about the situation, and by not being straight with them.

When they voted for this government a year ago, Canadians had very high expectations. Today, no one knows how the government is going to pay back this out-of-control deficit.

We might ask ourselves what options the Liberal government has for repaying that money. It so happens its recent announcements shed some light on the matter. The Liberals intend to tax and tax some more. What is more, they are offering no constructive measures to stimulate the economy.

They claim to have provided tax relief to families. I am sorry, but the people that I talk to who want their children to be active or to get involved in cultural activities had their tax credit cut.

They even had the audacity to reduce the amount of savings that a father or mother can set aside and watch grow tax-free, money they can use one day when they need to purchase something, thereby keeping our economy going.

The Liberals are implementing a system that will make Canadian families pay more for the Canada pension plan. I think that once Canadians realize this, they might revolt and demand that the government not change the CPP, because everything the government touches seems to turn into a deficit later on.

What we need is not a government that runs deficits, but rather a government that creates wealth. Spending more and taxing Canadians is not the way to create wealth. Instead, we need to help businesses by lowering corporate taxes and introducing job creation and R and D programs.

When we look at the situation, we see that major institutions like the IMF, the OECD, and the Bank of Canada have downgraded their forecasts for Canada. It has become very clear that this government's approach is not working.

Today I ask this government to do its homework. I ask this government to stop taking more taxes and more taxes and more taxes from Canadians, and to listen to leading economists who are urging the government to stop spending in order to stimulate the economy. There are other ways to achieve that.

This brings me to my closing remarks. The Prime Minister broke his promises immediately upon taking office. He broke his promise of running a modest deficit by borrowing three times more than he said he would. He broke his promise to lower the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%.

He broke his promise to offer a revenue-neutral fiscal plan. He even said that family benefits would be cost neutral, but that did not happen, either.

I am pleased to have had the opportunity to speak to this issue.

Canada GooseStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Marco Mendicino Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, winter is coming, yet we, the true north strong and free, are not afraid of winter. We embrace it and keep warm with glowing hearts and world-class brands like Canada Goose.

This business, one of whose flagships is located in my riding of Eglinton—Lawrence, started nearly 60 years ago. Since then, Canada Goose has become a significant innovator, jobs creator, and one of the most recognized winter apparel clothing companies around the world.

Last week, in recognition of the excellent work this local company is doing, the Prime Minister came to talk to the employees about their work.

Like the Prime Minister, I would like to recognize that for the past 60 years, Canada Goose has been a trailblazer on how to develop a made-in-Canada brand that is a success the world over, one that we can all be proud of.

Winter is coming, but we will all be warm.

New Link between Lévis and Quebec CityStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, after 10 years of excellent Conservative governance, the people of Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis have a big problem.

For months now, I have been swamped with resolutions not only from municipalities in my riding, but from others in Montmagny, Côte-de-Beaupré, and even Gaspé. Why? Because of traffic congestion. What is the solution? A third link between Lévis and Quebec City.

We have the skills and expertise to make this project happen. In light of the Liberals' promise to invest billions in infrastructure, it is time to invest in a third crossing east of Lévis and Quebec City to improve urban mobility.

A third link will accelerate our region's socioeconomic development. As an engineer, I would like the Liberals to show some leadership for once and work with the Government of Quebec to set up a project office dedicated to building this vital piece of infrastructure for the development of our eastern Quebec communities.

Andrée P. BoucherStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this last day of Women's History Month, I want to talk about a wonderful woman who inspired me a great deal.

The theme of this year's Women's History Month was “Because of Her”. Because of her, I fought my first political fight to prevent the closure of the Myrand ski hill, where I would go snowboarding. I was eight years old. Because of her, I fought my second and third political fights, with her in fact, against the forced municipal mergers. Because of her, I enjoyed Plage-Jacques-Cartier park during my entire childhood, and I still enjoy it today. Because of her, thousands of children back home in Sainte Foy have enjoyed affordable playgrounds. Many have also benefited from affordable housing because she thought it was better to invest in families than in bricks and mortar. She inspired me to get into politics. She knew how to navigate a man's world.

I am talking about mayor Andrée P. Boucher. Unfortunately, she left us too soon. She was a generous, kind, and genuine woman to whom a owe a great debt, as do all citizens of Quebec City and Sainte Foy.

Thank you, Mayor Boucher.

Hospital FundraiserStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, as you can see, I am proudly wearing a moustache bow tie in support of the “Une moustache pour mon CH” campaign. For the past four years, this outreach and education campaign on men's health has been raising funds to give urologists in my regional hospital the best, most cutting-edge tools for diagnosing and treating male cancers.

I would like to thank David Nollet, who is himself fighting testicular cancer, for agreeing to be the campaign spokesperson. Our regional strongman not only has a large physical presence, he also has a big heart.

Whether we participate by creating a Facebook profile and posting our best moustache photos to raise donations or by buying promotional items related to the campaign, the goal is the same: to raise enough money to fill the coffers to overflowing.

To those who cannot or do not want to grow a moustache and to those ladies who prefer their men with a clean upper lip, I would say be creative and find another way to support this cause.

Let us give generously to the “Une moustache pour mon CH” campaign.

Canadian HeritageStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, between 1952 and 1992, the CBC produced, in-house, thousands of hours of Canadian content, now archived.

As a young immigrant, the CBC helped me understand my new country and its people. I remember with fondness a B.C. series, the Beachcombers, launched in 1972, telling a unique west coast story of salvage loggers.

For 19 years, Nick, played by Bruno Gerussi, entered my home and heart with his unsavoury rival, Relic, played by Robert Clothier, and the hapless RCMP Constable Jackson Davies, who met each other at the local cafe, Molly's Reach.

I never missed an episode. The series was syndicated globally and sparked a tourism bonanza for Gibson's B.C. that is still alive today, 44 years later.

That is where my love affair with British Columbia began. On our 150th anniversary, let us replay those stories and reclaim our heritage.

Agri-Trade ExpoStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer—Mountain View, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a stressful time for many western Canadian farmers as they struggle to get this year's crop in the bin.

Getting together with industry leaders in agricultural manufacturing, farm business analysts, and fellow producers at Red Deer's Agri-Trade Expo, November 9 to 12, would be an excellent time to either celebrate the harvest or discover new management strategies to address whatever new twists Mother Nature may bring.

Agri-Trade Expo is also an opportunity to help build and bridge the rural-urban divide by showcasing “agvocates” who tell the story of Canadian farmers, a story that champions the safest, most ethically produced and managed food available on earth.

I am also looking forward to speaking at the Western Canadian Wheat Growers event on Thursday night to highlight new opportunities in agriculture and to celebrate Wheat Growers' commitment to Canada's new marketing freedom system.

I am inviting everyone to come join us for an innovative, informative, and exciting 2016 Agri-Trade Expo at Red Deer's Westerner Park.

Burnaby Task Force on HomelessnessStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand in the House today to share the exceptional work of Wanda Mulholland and the Burnaby Task Force on Homelessness.

This month I was proud to host the task force at our constituency office with representatives from all three levels of government, including the member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

Our team is making important progress at every level of the housing continuum, but homelessness is a reality still faced by far too many Canadians. While the national housing strategy is being developed, our government is investing an additional $111 million in the homelessness partnering strategy. This is the single largest investment in the program since 1999. From this, $12.5 million will fund innovative projects submitted by Canadians that aim to tackle homelessness.

I look forward to continuing our work in the riding and to creating better housing outcomes for families in Burnaby and North Vancouver.

Ahmadiyya Community 50th AnniversaryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Ahmadiyya community in Canada on its 50th anniversary and to thank His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, for his visit to Ottawa. Through his advocacy and the community's motto, “Love for All, Hatred for None”, the community is helping to spread the message of peace.

The Ahmadiyya community is recognized worldwide for its outreach and humanitarian aid programs through its Humanity First organization. It provides assistance to those less fortunate via thousands of volunteers across the globe. In my riding, the community has helped to settle Syrian refugees, run a food bank and a homeless shelter, and raise over a million dollars to support the new Vaughan hospital.

I thank the Ahmadiyya community for all it does and for spreading the message of peace in a troubled world.

Congratulations on the community's 50th anniversary in Canada.

Taylor FieldStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Mr. Speaker, green is the colour and football is the game.

It was a glorious sendoff for Taylor Field on the weekend in Regina. Rider nation said goodbye to their home as they prepare to move over to the new Mosaic Stadium.

Taylor Field has played host to 611 professional CFL games and three Grey Cups: 1995, 2003, and the much celebrated 2013 classic, when the Roughriders hosted Hamilton. Many called this the greatest game in Roughrider history.

Fans came this weekend from all over the world to witness the closing of this iconic site. A 30-minute tribute to the stadium had many in tears after the game. The final tribute was when Rider greats George Reed, Roger Aldag, Gene Makowsky, and Darian Durant passed the Grey Cup to each other, signalling the team's four championships.

Goodbye, Taylor Field, and thanks for all the memories.

Hi-Speed InternetStatements By Members

October 31st, 2016 / 2:10 p.m.


Bill Casey Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, Internet access in rural economies is just as important as transportation infrastructure is in urban Canada. It is absolutely essential if rural economies, like my area of Nova Scotia, are to survive and prosper.

This year's successful phase 1 of the infrastructure program focused on clean water and waste water. In the next phase of the funding program, I urge the government to make rural broadband service a priority and to use the same successful approach for broadband funding to ensure that rural communities are able to access this necessary mode of communication.

United Way of Peel RegionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour Shelley White for her incredibly hard work and dedication to improving lives in my riding and in many neighbouring communities.

As president and CEO of the United Way of Peel Region over the past 13 years, Shelley has focused on the prevention and eradication of poverty by mobilizing local residents as well as the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Shelley also believes that there is a clear link between mental illness and poverty. Through the United Way, she and her team have focused on eliminating the stigma of mental illness and on investing in community-based mental health programs and services.

As Women's History Month draws to a close, Canadians have celebrated the profound impact women and girls have had and will continue to have on our society.

It is because of Shelley White that our communities in Peel Region have been greatly enriched and that meaningful social progress has been achieved. I thank Shelley for her vision, her leadership, and her inspiration.

Phoenix Pay SystemStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, today the Liberals have missed their self-imposed deadline to fix the Phoenix pay system. Sadly, my riding of Prince Albert is one of many that have been affected by Liberal incompetence.

Last week, unpaid workers employed at the Prince Albert penitentiary protested in front of my office. Their message was loud and clear. They want the Minister of Public Services and Procurement to take this issue seriously and to take action.

My office has reached out to corrections workers who have contacted me on this issue. I have personally met with union representative Boyd Ward to discuss the plight of many families who are suffering as a result of this Liberal mess.

Take, for instance, the plight of one corrections worker who is owed thousands of dollars in back pay while on maternity leave, or the plight of another who has yet to be compensated for the months of May, June, July, August, or September.

Every single federal government worker deserves to be paid the money that is owed. On behalf of the corrections workers of Prince Albert and federal workers across the country, I demand that the Liberal government stop setting meaningless deadlines. Instead, pay them what they are owed.

Diwali and Bandi Chhor DivasStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Salma Zahid Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists in my riding of Scarborough Centre and across Canada celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, and Bandi Chhor Divas. I had the pleasure of taking part in several Diwali celebrations this weekend in Scarborough.

Diwali is a time of happiness and joy, of togetherness, community, and family. It is a time of pageantry and entertainment, and of course, of great food, although the sweets really are too tempting.

More than anything, Diwali is a time of community and of coming together. Our diversity is our strength, and the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist communities are part of the diversity that makes Canada strong.

To all those celebrating, I wish them a very happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.

Windsor-Detroit CrossingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Halloween is the perfect time of year to talk about the Windsor-Detroit border, because under the current government, it keeps getting scarier and scarier.

After stirring up old Liberal ghosts to lead Canada's most important infrastructure priority, the project seems to have slipped into the twilight zone. Whether it is spooky backroom conversations with the ghouls at the Ambassador Bridge or a zombie-like approach to property acquisition, the government appears to be lost in a haunted corn maze rather than on track to build a new crossing.

When we patch together the missed deadlines, terrifying confusion around tactics, and a creepy coziness with the company working to suck the lifeblood right out of Windsor, the government appears to be building its very own Frankenstein and is just waiting for a lightning storm to flip the switch.

The Liberal approach to this project is becoming a house of horrors for our bilateral trade capacity and for businesses that rely on surface trade between Canada and the U.S., and the businesses are scared stiff.

Let us resurrect accountability for a happy Halloween.

The Liberal PartyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, on the night of All Hallows' Eve, Canadians have a reason to be afraid
The Liberals promised treats, but have only provided tricks to date.

The Liberal legion of doom seems intent on stealing our tax dollars,
This is enough to make anyone run or holler.
Instead of handing out candy or treats, they are giving out creepy carbon taxes,
which will only lead to jobs facing axes.
Whether dressed up as a fisherman from New Brunswick or Newfoundland,
or a logger in B.C., they can all expect to have less in hand.
This terrifying tax is nothing more than a Liberal trick,
The only Canadians getting treats are the preferred, the top picked.
They are dressed up as Liberal lobbyists attending pay-to-play fundraisers,
Doctors, lawyers, or Liberal Party chasers.
While dressed up as a treat, it is plain to see,
The Liberal plan is a frightening trick being played on members and me.
It is raising the deficit to scary new levels,
So we know it is not those dressed up as ghouls, ghosts or Tasmanian devils
That Canadians have a reason to hide this day,
It is because the Liberal legion of doom seems intent to haunt our jobs and growth away.

Ronald MayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Bryan May Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, my father, Ronald Lloyd May, loved Halloween. Dressing up in beat up old mechanics overalls and my mom's 1970s fur hat, he would entertain the trick or treaters. He was amazing at recognizing when the younger goblins and ghosts were apprehensive. He would encourage their bravery and praise the quality of their costumes. I would watch with glee when he would scare the teenagers who may have been a little too old to be going door to door.

When I was 12 years old, my father passed away from a very rare form of bone marrow cancer, and I took up the responsibility of manning the door on Halloween. Today is the first time 30 years I will not be handing out candy for the kids at my home in Cambridge.

This day always reminds me of my dad, and I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to stand up and praise the man who taught me respect, honesty, caring, and responsibility.

From Ron May and me, Happy Halloween, everyone.