House of Commons Hansard #240 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Langley—Aldergrove started off his speech by talking about travel and how committees wanted to travel and that the Conservatives were so good at putting their foot down.

At the beginning of this fall session, I had the opportunity to travel with that member to eastern Europe and Ukraine. We learned on that trip about the amazing work that our men and women in uniform are doing throughout the world. That member took great satisfaction out of that trip and learned from the experiences that we experienced as a committee together.

My question is: Is travel only beneficial when it is somewhere that he wants to go, or does he think that it is specific to a particular committee that he happens to be on?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, the travel to Brussels, Latvia, and Ukraine in nine days was a wonderful, edifying, educating experience. It was a brutal trip where there was no stopping. It was go, go, go, and many of us came back sick. Was it ever educational. It was an amazing trip that came on the recommendation of the shadow minister for defence. He serves on national defence committee that is somewhat non-partisan—

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

A Conservative wanted the trip.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the Liberal member to listen for a moment. He asked his question.

I appreciated that trip, but that travel does not happen every year. In the last Parliament we had a trip on accessibility and the Liberals wanted to travel some more. They did it last year and they said they wanted to do it again. Canadians are saying no, that if we already have the information, we do not need to travel anymore. We need to get to work and solve the problems.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend and colleague from British Columbia for bringing up “skategate”. Almost nobody from British Columbia ridings is going to use the temporary skating rink that will cost Canadians $5.6 million, or $215,000 a day, and located a block away from the world's longest skating rink, the Rideau Canal.

Groups that are looking for funding for salmon, an important resource for British Columbians, for our economy, for our food security, for our well-being are getting denied. I just received an email from the Clayoquot Salmon Roundtable. They received nothing from the coastal restoration fund and the oceans protection plan. West Coast Aquatic, a great group of stakeholders representing all sectors of the fishing industry, received nothing as well.

Maybe the member could speak to how important it is that we get funding for our fish if they are going to get a temporary skating rink here in Ottawa.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is a big question and the big answer is the Liberals are not spending wisely the dollars that are sent here in trust by hard-working Canadian taxpayers.

Canadians want Parliament to do a better job. They want this Parliament to vote against the way the Liberals are spending their money. It is not the Liberals' money. It is not the Prime Minister's money. It is not the finance minister's money. It is hard-working Canadians' money, and they are overtaxed and under-represented.

I challenge Liberal members to start representing their communities. When their constituents say they want them to vote a certain way, then that is what they should do. They should not discipline members who do not vote the way the Prime Minister tells them to vote.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

November 28th, 2017 / 6:30 p.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I consider myself very honoured to represent the people of Tobique—Mactaquac. I can honestly say that the people of Tobique—Mactaquac are very well represented. The people of Atlantic Canada spoke very clearly during the last election and they would also agree that Atlantic Canadians as a whole are well represented in the House.

We talk about what Canadians want. I had the opportunity to listen to my hon. colleague pontificate at length in the committee meeting just a little while ago. Does he think that the manner in which he represented himself and his constituents in that meeting represents the best interests of Canadians? Does he think that is what his constituents would want him to be doing here on their behalf in Ottawa?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, I believe all of us have a responsibility to be available to our constituents, to listen to our constituents, and to represent our constituents. I introduced a motion that a meeting be dedicated to study job opportunities for youth and taking care of our aging population.

It was turned down by the committee, a partisan committee, directed right from the Prime Minister's Office, and Canadians do not like that. The member knows that the Prime Minister promised that this was not going to happen, that committees were not going to be run by the Prime Minister's Office. However, that is exactly what is happening now. The Prime Minister is directing the desired outcome, and the members of the committees are making sure that what the Prime Minister wants is what the Prime Minister gets.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me start by saying that I have been in this Parliament for 20 years. During that period of time, members of Parliament were elected on this side of the House, on that side of the House, on every side of the House, and it keeps changing. I can assure the member that everybody represents their constituency very well, including that member. That is why he was elected. This is not about of the issue of representation. We are all representing our ridings, and we are all doing a great job for our constituents.

As my colleague said quite clearly, I have been in the government. I do know from experience, having been in the government, that policies and issues are made by the government, by the PMO, by those things, and they direct that.

During the summer, the Liberal government came out and tried to raise taxes on all these things, and it was spending money. There was a big push-back from Canadians. We could see them changing. There was a push-back because Canadians are worried. They are worried about their jobs, number one. They are worried about where the government is going with its economic agenda and with the TPP.

The government did not attend a meeting with our allies, and what a shame when the government is saying we are back on the world stage. Talking about NAFTA and where it is going, talking about pipelines not being built, not pushing to have pipelines built, this creates uncertainty across the country. Even the NDP leader in Alberta is talking about jobs and jobs.

The question that arises out of this is where the Liberals are taking us. We are concerned. Everybody out there is talking about the wasteful spending on the ice rink, the $5 million. Things like that really bother Canadians all across this country, and they are asking if the government is really in charge.

Canadians saw the Panama papers come out, and the Liberals' rich friends put money away so they do not have to pay taxes, while the government wants ordinary Canadians to pay taxes, while taking away the disability credit for diabetics and others. There is a big concern out there.

Today, while I am talking on that subject, Canadians want the government to address the issues in Canada. That is what they want. There are a lot of jobs being lost. The economy is not doing well—actually, it is doing well, but the Liberals are spending all the money.

The question that arises for Canadians is what is there for the future. In this bill—which really concerns us, aside from the fact of all the other money that the Liberal government is spending—is the $500 million going to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

In 1966, we joined the Asian Development Bank. The Asian Development Bank is another bank that is supposed to do infrastructure spending. Canada has contributed $7.5 billion during that period of time, up until today, not to say that in return Canadian companies have been awarded close to $715 million. However, there is a bank there that we have been associated with for such a long time, which has been doing the development assistance program in Asia.

Here come the Chinese—and I say to the Chinese, they are absolutely right, they are welcome to set up their infrastructure bank, but they should do it with their own money. They should not ask Canadians to pay for their foreign policy issues.

This infrastructure bank is designed to promote the foreign policy issues of China. Look at where the infrastructure bank has given its money. It has given its money to Bangladesh, it has given its money to Indonesia, it has given its money to Tajikistan, and it has given its money to Uzbekistan, countries surrounding China. That is because this fits into China's foreign policy.

I am not putting down what the Chinese want to do; they can go ahead and do it, but do it with their own money. Why would we, here, have our money go to promote the foreign policy of another country, when we could use that money here in this country to address the issues that Canadians want addressed? This is the big question that is being raised out there.

Let me say this again. There is a concern here. This policy of giving money to the infrastructure bank in China is something that is not well thought out, because we have a problem here with the Liberals, who are being over-friendly with China.

There is the concern about the free trade agreement with China. The previous government talked about a free trade agreement with India for years, a country that has similar values and is a democracy like Canada, but now the Liberals are going to sign a free trade agreement with China that is causing concern, because there is no level playing field between the Chinese and Canadians. The Chinese can invest here and we can go there, but there is no level playing field. Ask any Canadian business in China or Chinese businesses here. It is a common question.

The Prime Minister is going to China. The one big concern I have is that the Chinese government is saying that the Liberal government is biased toward China as opposed to other countries. When Conservatives were in government, we had a strategic dialogue with India, which has a democracy similar to Canada, to find common ground. The Liberal government has not done anything about it. It has had a strategic dialogue with China. A second dialogue was held with China. Our system of democracy is different. The Chinese have their own system, which is for the Chinese people to decide, and we have our own system. There is no compatibility. What is the point of having a strategic dialogue with a country that is pursuing its own foreign policy? Are we just riding its coattails? Do we not have our own policy? Can we not stand on our own feet and make our own decisions in this country? Why do we have to follow, just because the Prime Minister's father was a very big fan of China? That does not allow us to just close our books and look other ways.

There are big issues being raised in this country on the direction the Liberal government is going. The Prime Minister said we are on the world stage. For example, this afternoon, the Minister of International Trade talked about a historic visit to India. Imagine that, a historic visit to India. Before the Liberals came to this House, the prime minister of Canada visited India twice, the governor general visited India, and there were countless visits by other foreign ministers, yet for the Liberals, it is a historic visit. Come on, we need to get some sense of where the government is going and pay attention to what has been done, because thousands of bureaucrats and public servants have worked very hard over the years to ensure that we have very good standing around the world.

Of course, the biggest blowback was from the Prime Minister not showing up at the TPP negotiations. Imagine that. Other heads of government were there. Who are we? Think about that. Who are we to brush them aside? Let me get straight what the Prime Minister said. He said we are not ready. There is a department sitting there. The government has had negotiations on the TPP, so how can the Prime Minister suddenly say that we are not prepared? Liberals are not prepared, because they are looking for a free trade agreement with China. Is that why they are doing this? It is about time someone pointed out to the Liberal government that whatever direction it is heading, it is not the direction Canadians want it to go.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, it may have escaped the hon. member, but the relationship with our current largest trade partner is a little rocky, and the response we have had from the other side so far has been complete capitulation, that we should lie down, let them roll over us, and see if we can save something in it, as opposed to looking at a very large, very rich, growing market on the other side of the Pacific that has already demonstrated that it likes the products and services that come from Canada.

Compared with his strategy, does he not think developing new markets, especially in a country that wants to do business with us, as opposed to one that does not seem to, make sense?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, talking about NAFTA and the policy of capitulation is the Liberals' talking point. The fact of the matter is that we were negotiating the TPP, which is larger than anything else, and they walked away from it. When they want to look for new markets, they will take the opportunity to look for new markets, yet we are turning a blind eye to the fact that the Chinese have different rules. Their labour rules are different, their environmental rules are different, and the way they operate is different. They are not compatible with a free market. Why does the government want to open up Canada's markets to a country whose environmental and labour regulations do not match ours, giving it the advantage and us the disadvantage. That is not the right policy for trade.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to a great speech by my colleague from Alberta, one of the only guys in the Alberta caucus who has been here longer than I have. I certainly appreciate his wisdom. He has been here a long time.

He has been here so long, could he remind all of our colleagues in the House of the fiscal position the Liberal government inherited from the previous Conservative government? Based on the tax position at the time, we were going to be debt free as a nation by the year 2055 versus having about $1.3 trillion in debt based on the current government's strategy. Could he remind Canadians of the importance of that?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for bringing up our record. The Liberals always take credit for everything we did. We laid the foundation for a good economic base in this country, as my colleague said, and the Liberals want to say they did everything. They have only been in power for two years. All they have done is create uncertainty in the minds of Canadians.

We were going to balance the budget. Jim Flaherty was one of the best finance ministers Canada ever had, bringing us into account. I want to tell the other side clearly and simply that it was because of the base built by the Conservatives that we are enjoying economic growth today, yet the Liberals are putting us in jeopardy.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, somebody has to get up and say something. It is true that the member there at that time. I was in the previous Parliament too, and I can say that we often found the Conservative government's policies to be very tiresome and miserly with respect to many issues, especially social issues.

However, does the member not agree with me that the famous sunny ways of the government's election campaign have turned into a form of arrogance, or entitlement? The government has decided to set up a large skating rink in front of Parliament. It believes that China is really important. It is spending money hand over fist. It is accumulating a monstrous deficit. There is also the behaviour of the Minister of Finance, which has left everyone scratching their heads. How can they be so arrogant and believe that the rules do not apply to them? I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about that.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, of course, we are Conservative and they are NDP. We definitely have differences on the economy. There is no question about that. However, let me say that I agree with him one-hundred per cent that it is an arrogant government, a government that feels it is entitled to all these things. We see time after time the Liberals not listening to anyone. I one-hundred per cent agree with my colleague that in 2019, Canadians will speak.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to hear that the Conservatives have the nerve to bring up their economic record, every year of which they were in deficit except one, with the lowest growth since the Great Depression, and huge unemployment.

I was more shocked to see the NDP suggest cutting funds for the largest housing project in Canadian history, money for low-income seniors, money for low-income students, the national child credit that has brought 300,000 children out of poverty, and the working income tax credit. These are all investments that have created the highest employment record in a decade, with the highest economic growth.

Could the member talk about something that is not his talking points?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member is wrong. I do not know what he is talking about. He is talking from his talking points without telling us all he is reading.

Let me say very clearly that the member's government is putting a huge burden on Canadians with this deficit. The Liberals said during the election campaign there would only be a $10 billion deficit. At this time, we have no idea where the deficit is going.

The legacy of the former government is not as the member is saying, but the legacy that Canadians will carry for years and years is the high debt load that the Liberals are putting on young Canadians.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

It being 6:46 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the report stage of the bill now before the House.

The question is on Motion No. 5. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

The recorded division on the motion stands deferred.

The question is on Motion No. 6. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.