March 10, 2015

CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

I have the honour to lay upon the table the 2014 annual report of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(e), this report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canadian Human Rights Commission
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CPC

Ben Lobb

Conservative

Mr. Ben Lobb (Huron—Bruce, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Health, entitled “Vaping: Towards a Regulatory Framework for e-Cigarettes”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report. I would also like to mention that the report was unanimous as well.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees of the House
Sub-subtopic:   Health
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LIB

Sean Casey

Liberal

Mr. Sean Casey (Charlottetown, Lib.)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-656, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (fetal alcohol disorder).

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to introduce this private member's bill, which will amend the Criminal Code to establish a procedure for the assessment of individuals who are involved in the criminal justice system and who may suffer from fetal alcohol disorder. It requires the court to consider a determination that the offender suffers from fetal alcohol disorder as a mitigating factor in sentencing.

A similar bill was earlier introduced and then withdrawn in this Parliament. This bill builds on the previously introduced bill by adopting some recommendations from the Canadian Bar Association that require Correctional Service of Canada to also recognize the existence of fetal alcohol disorder as a disability within that system.

At the justice committee we are currently engaged in a study of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It is clear that there is a need for legislation. It is also clear that the original version of this bill that was introduced had the support of all parties. My hope is that will result in the fast-tracking of this bill, which is an improvement on the earlier one.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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CPC

Tom Lukiwski

Conservative

Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 936 will be answered today.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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NDP

Craig Scott

New Democratic Party

Mr. Craig Scott

With respect to the government and activities in Sudan or South Sudan of oil and mining companies incorporated in Canada or of subsidiaries of such companies: (a) has the government provided any assistance of any kind, including via the Export Development Corporation, consular assistance or assistance of any other government officials, to a company called the State Oil Company Canada Ltd; (b) which Canadian oil and mining companies, or subsidiaries of such companies, does the government know to be operating either (i) in Sudan, (ii) in South Sudan; and (c) is it the policy of the government to encourage and facilitate the investment of Canadian oil and mining companies in Sudan and in South Sudan, (i) if so, in what ways, (ii) if not, does the government have a policy to counsel against, discourage and prohibit such investment and, if so, through what measures?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 936
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CPC

Ed Fast

Conservative

Hon. Ed Fast (Minister of International Trade, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, with regard to international trade, the Government of Canada does not have any records or information with regard to the provision of any assistance of any kind to a company called State Oil Company Canada Ltd. The Government of Canada is aware that State Oil Company of Canada and Orca Gold Inc. are operating in the mining and oil sectors in Sudan. This information is publicly available on their respective websites.

The Government of Canada has implemented a number of national measures against Sudan in response to the human rights and humanitarian situation. These measures include withholding commercial support services. In addition, Canada has implemented United Nations sanctions towards Sudan, UNSC 1591, in connection with the conflict in Darfur, including an arms embargo and an asset freeze and travel ban directed against designated persons. This does not, however, prohibit Canadians from facilitating or initiating business contacts with Sudan, so long as they act in accordance with international sanctions.

Since July 2011, the Government of Canada has offered trade services to Canadian companies wishing to do business in the Republic of South Sudan through the High Commission in Nairobi. Canada's commercial footprint in South Sudan is minimal, due in large part to concerns about political stability, the high costs of doing business and lack of up-to-date market intelligence. A private sector investment conference in Juba took place in December 2013, with Canadian funding to support a session on conflict sensitivity in investment.

The Government of Canada advises against all non-essential travel to Sudan. See http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/sudan. The Government of Canada advises against all travel to South Sudan. See http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/south-sudan.

Export Development Canada does not have any records or information with regard to the provision of any assistance of any kind to a company called State Oil Company Canada Ltd.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
Sub-subtopic:   Question No. 936
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CPC

Tom Lukiwski

Conservative

Mr. Tom Lukiwski

Mr. Speaker, furthermore, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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CPC
?

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions on the Order Paper
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

I am now prepared to respond to the point of order raised by the Chief Government Whip on February 19, 2015, regarding decorum during the taking of recorded divisions.

I would like to thank the hon. Chief Government Whip for having raised this matter, as well as the hon. House Leader of the Official Opposition and the members for Winnipeg Centre and Ottawa—Orléans for their comments.

In raising this matter, the Chief Government Whip sought clarification of acceptable practices during a recorded division, further to one that had taken place earlier that day. In particular, he requested that the Chair clarify each member's obligation to remain in their seats for the duration of a recorded division, from the time the question is put to the House to the announcement of the results.

The requirements of members during a recorded division are clearly laid out in Standing Order 16, which states:

When the Speaker is putting a question, no Member shall enter, walk out of or across the House, or make any noise or disturbance.

House of Commons Procedure and Practice, second edition, provides further explanation when it states at page 580:

From the time the Speaker begins to put the question until the results of the vote are announced, Members are not to enter, leave or cross the House, nor may they make any noise or disturbance.

Members must be in their assigned seats in the Chamber and have heard the motion read in order for their votes to be recorded.

In addition, successive rulings have provided sound guidance for the Speaker in this respect.

On the requirement for members to be present in the chamber to hear the question, the current Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole stated on June 5, 2014, at page 6257 of the Debates of the House of Commons:

In terms of who is or is not eligible to vote, the issue is that the member needs to be in the Chamber in order to hear the question. That is the test for whether they can vote or not.

However, and more directly to the point raised by the Chief Government Whip, each member's obligation does not end there, as they must also remain in their seats until the results of the vote are announced. As Speaker Milliken reminded the House on October 28, 2003, at page 8884 of the Debates:

I would urge hon. members that if they want to have their vote count, they must remain in their seats from the time the vote begins until the result of the vote is announced.

Where there is a question as to whether either of these requirements has not been met, our practice typically allows the member to clarify the situation for the House, with the House accepting the member's word, as it must. As Standing Order 1.1 states:

The Speaker may alter the application of any Standing or special Order or practice of the House in order to permit the full participation in the proceedings of the House of any Member with a disability.

Needless to say, the explanation given by the member for Winnipeg Centre, in which he indicated that he was temporarily disabled, self-inflicted though it may have been, was deemed satisfactory to the Deputy Speaker, and there the matter has ended. It would not be the first time that the House, in the face of a situation without known precedent, finds a way to accommodate a member in need.

I would like to thank all members for their attention in this matter and for their continued support in maintaining order and decorum during the voting process.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Points of Order
Sub-subtopic:   Procedure During Votes — Speaker's Ruling
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NDP

Nathan Cullen

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

moved:

That, in light of sustained high unemployment since the 2008 recession and the long term downward trend in job quality since 1989 under successive Liberal and Conservative governments, as documented by CIBC, the House call on the government to make the first priority of Budget 2015 investment in measures that stimulate the economy by creating and protecting sustainable, full-time, middle-class jobs in high-paying industries in all regions of Canada and abandoning its costly and unfair $2 billion income-splitting proposal.

Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to thank you for that very fair and justified ruling that you just gave to the House, which perhaps even set a new precedent for decorum. It was in fact brief and to the point, which was helpful to all members.

I would like to begin by saying that I will be sharing my time with my esteemed colleague from Newton—North Delta.

Canada's economy has a number of weaknesses. That is why we, the official opposition, feel it is essential to have a debate on our economy today.

I know that my Conservative colleagues would rather talk about something else—anything else, actually—but like the vast majority of Canadians, we want a debate and some answers about the economic realities we are facing, including a very high unemployment rate, a weak economy and the deterioration in employment quality over the past generation that is likely to be long term, according to a new report by CIBC.

We believe that the government does not have a plan B. Canadians know that the Conservative government is only interested in developing the oil sector of the economy. It ignores the rest. It is deeply obsessed with a very controversial pipeline and has nothing to say about other aspects of our economy. The NPD is in favour of a highly diversified and more just economy.

Let us put first things first. We have to understand that despite the Conservatives' current obsession with attempting to change the channel away from economic matters to just about anything else, there is a responsibility for us as parliamentarians to take on the challenges of the day. A clear challenge that is facing us as Canadians and Canadian legislators is the economy.

The statistics prove that we have not seen such worrisome trends since the 2008 recession. This was most recently highlighted in a report by the CIBC, which shows that job quality in Canada has fallen to its lowest level in a generation.

What does that mean? Job quality, as measured, has moved Canadians away from good-paying, middle-class, secure employment to increasingly part-time, insecure, and low-paying jobs that do not support families.

We would think that this would be a preoccupation for a Conservative government that claims to make such great strides on the economy, but, over a generation, we have seen the quality of employment and jobs in Canada steadily decline under both Conservative and Liberal governments. We would think that the government would seek ways to enhance the opportunities for Canadians and seek ways to solve some of the productivity conundrums that we have been having for far too long, yet the choices being made by the Conservatives are most perplexing because they do not address the needs of the economy.

Sure, the $2 billion income-splitting scheme that the government committed to, thereby spending a surplus before it had it, helps the top 15% of Canadian income earners. It is fine for the wealthiest Canadians under a Conservative government. Doubling the TFSA will overwhelmingly help that same group of Canadians. It has been demonstrated in report after report that there are not that many middle-income and low-income Canadians with an extra $11,000 burning a hole in their pocket at the end of the year. However, in a Conservative reality, the people who do have that kind of money, the people who can split their incomes and take advantage of the $2 billion Conservative scheme at the highest end of the Canadian wealth spectrum, are the priority for the government.

They are not the priority for the NDP.

We saw most recently in the Statistics Canada report in January that we actually lost full-time employment, even in a month when we supposedly did well. What was created, again, was part-time, insecure work.

Over the last year, we have seen the Canadian population rate grow at almost double the rate of job growth in this country. That should worry anybody, because the trend is unsustainable if our population is growing almost twice as fast as new jobs and those jobs being created are precarious, part-time, low-paying jobs. Not only are Conservative practices with regard to our environment unsustainable, but we now see that their practices with regard to our economy are unsustainable, and they are leaving a debt.

We know the Conservatives have added somewhere north of $155 billion to the Canadian debt in their tenure. We know they have lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs, just since the Conservatives took office. We know that 200,000 more people are unemployed today in Canada than before the recession, yet the Conservatives claim that everything is perfectly fine and there is nothing to do here.

In fact, things are so good, according to the Conservatives, that they have an extra $2 billion kicking around to help out the wealthiest 15% of Canadians. They have so much money right now and the economy is doing so well that the Conservatives were able to dump in more than $1 billion on these self-promoting ads that constantly interrupt every hockey game anyone has looked at in the last few years—to do what? They spend more money by far on these ads than they do on food inspection or rail safety. They do more in self-promotion than they do to help out Canadian workers.

We see youth unemployment doubling the rate of the national average. We know that has not only short-term impacts on young Canadians and their families, but it has long-term impacts on their prospects. For those young people entering into such a weak workforce, it means that they do not go into the professions for which they are trained, with the skills they have invested in. They have to take whatever job might be available in a tough economic market.

We see, in fact, that women's participation in the workforce is at its lowest rate since 2002. For women considering going to work, one of the main factors and principles are the family policies that exist around going to work.

This is why New Democrats highlight and put a circle around the stain of Conservative policies with regard to our economy; the economy that they just do not want to talk about anymore, if members have noticed. We cannot seem to get the Minister of Finance up on his feet in question period anymore. He has been benched and missing in action. Yet Canadians want to know where the solutions are coming from. Where are the ideas coming from? Where is the budget coming from?

Crossing their fingers and hoping things get better in the oil markets is not exactly a plan for the Canadian economy. In fact, over-focussing on just one commodity, as the Conservatives have done with regard to oil for the last 10 years, has put Canada in a precarious place when oil prices fell, as they inevitably do. Yet we have a government in panic mode suggesting that, “Well, we're just going to wait a few more months, and Canadians are going to have to wait with us”.

Well, New Democrats are not waiting. We are putting forward proposals that will actually address the needs of the Canadian economy.

Take, for instance, the New Democrat proposal put forward by our leader to lower the small business taxes in this country. Small businesses account for 40% of our GDP and involve 8 million Canadians. Almost 80% of all new jobs are created by small businesses. When we put forward that motion in the House of Commons, Conservatives voted against it, joined by Liberals for some reason.

When we put forward a motion that would help the manufacturing sector, because we have lost 400,000 jobs in that sector, Conservatives, again joined by Liberals, voted against it.

When New Democrats put forward the idea of an innovation tax fund to help us with our productivity and innovation, because Canada lags behind the rest of the world with respect to research and development, we saw Conservatives, again joined by Liberals, voting against it.

New Democrats are going to continue to support a $15 minimum wage, the $15 affordable child care to help Canadians get back to work, and an economy that works for Canadians, not against them. We will support an economy that will put Canadians back to work. We will form a government in 2015 that is focused on the interests of Canadians and not on the narrow partisan interests of a government just hoping and praying for re-election.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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CPC

Scott Armstrong

Conservative

Mr. Scott Armstrong (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister of Labour, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his speech. I listened to it intently.

One of the things the member talked about was a $15 national daycare program. I want to know how the NDP plans to put this big bureaucratic program together, which would not support people in the rural parts of the country, which would not support people on shift work, which could support people who are working during the day, and which would not support people in small businesses who have variable work shifts and variable times when they work and when they do not.

Also, part of the NDP plan involves the provinces contributing literally millions of taxpayers' dollars to this big bureaucratic program. However, we know that many of the provinces across the country are cash strapped and would not be able to participate.

I would like to know how the member can justify putting this big bureaucratic program together, which would only support a very small segment of society and would never be able to be implemented in many provinces, because the provinces would not be able to make their share of the payments.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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NDP

Nathan Cullen

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nathan Cullen

Mr. Speaker, suddenly, a small segment of society is every working parent in the country. We think that is a much larger one.

Listening to my friend, I think the Conservatives sometimes suffer from a lack of ambition. When the debate was on in Canadian politics about whether to create a public education system, Conservatives would have said that it is just some big, bureaucratic institution. When New Democrats put forward the idea of a public health care system, I am sure Conservatives of the day asked why we would possibly want a big, bureaucratic health care system. Why? It is because we on this side of the House believe in equality. We believe in opportunity.

I come from rural Canada. I ran a small business in rural Canada. The lack of perception from the Conservatives, saying that rural Canada cannot provide any affordable child care spaces, is a deep lack of ambition and a lack of understanding about rural Canada. That small business owners do not want access to affordable child care is a complete misunderstanding of the small business community in Canada, because they do. I know they do.

That is why New Democrats stand with the small business community. That is why the CFIB, the chamber, and the Canadian manufacturers association all got on board with our policies. I simply do not understand why Conservatives cannot see the light.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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LIB

Kevin Lamoureux

Liberal

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member is wrong in good part when he makes the assertion that small businesses support his leader's approach to reducing small business loans. The Liberal Party voted against it because it was somewhat of a “dumb policy”, to quote others. At the end of the day, there would be no incentive for small businesses to hire. This resolution is about hiring, getting more Canadians employed.

We can compare that approach to what the Liberals have proposed with the EI premium exemption, which would have generated tens of thousands of jobs in every region of the country. Independent, outside stakeholders acknowledged that would happen if the House had adopted that particular policy.

Liberals governed at a time when they inherited a 14%-plus unemployment rate and brought it down to 6%, and that was part of the equation.

Why does the NDP continue not to acknowledge good ideas that would get valuable jobs and get Canadians employed, as opposed—

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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NDP

Joe Comartin

New Democratic Party

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. I ask all members to keep both their questions and their answers to one minute.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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NDP

Nathan Cullen

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nathan Cullen

Mr. Speaker, who are we going to believe on this one: Liberals who say that the only solution to fix the Canadian economy is to raid the EI fund again? They took $56 billion out of it the first time around when they were in office. I guess they got used to the habit of just dipping into a fund and stealing from workers and employers, who put into it for employment insurance, to pad all of their schemes. I do not know how much sponsorship scandal money came out of the EI fund, but we know $56 billion came out.

We believe in lowering the small business tax rate, not a loan. Maybe the confusion the Liberal Party has is that it voted against something without understanding it, because the proposal from us was to lower it by 20%. Here is what Dan Kelly, the head of the CFIB said about it. He said:

Cutting the small business tax rate by nearly 20% will provide a big boost to small business owners across the country and help them create jobs.

Therefore, who are we going to believe? Are we going to believe the head of the CFIB or the Liberals with yet another EI ripoff scheme that would not create jobs and would only hurt workers and employers in our country?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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NDP

Jinny Sims

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims (Newton—North Delta, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to second the motion and thank my colleague for his very powerful introduction.

My colleague and I both have the great privilege of representing constituents from ridings in beautiful British Columbia. That is perhaps one of the reasons we are both so passionate about the motion before us today. Youth unemployment is inexcusably high in B.C., and the government is failing our young people. They cannot find jobs, and yet the government is focused on income splitting. It is almost a joke. That is why, with today's motion, New Democrats are suggesting a plan that would actually help working and middle-class Canadians.

I would like to invite the finance minister or the Minister of Employment and Social Development to Surrey-Newton, where I am from, and have them tell the young people there, who are desperate to get decent-paying jobs and cannot, about income splitting. They will see how much it resonates with them. They will not be surprised to learn that it does not resonate at all.

The fact of the matter is simple. Income splitting is not helping young people, it is not helping small businesses, and it is not helping middle-class families. Therefore, today New Democrats are calling on the government to take concrete steps to help create good quality jobs, protect and improve existing jobs, and more broadly address the challenges facing the middle class. We are looking for the government to support some practical first steps, including a better workplace minimum wage, fairer pensions, and investments in small businesses. Job quality is at an all-time low. Let us fix it.

Do members know that 98% of all businesses in Canada are small businesses that have fewer than 100 employees? They are the backbone of our country's economy. Surrey is full of small businesses. Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman is focused, as is the whole board, on helping businesses grow and thrive in Surrey, with the following goals: business attraction, business research, business training, policy and development advocacy, workplace development, and youth entrepreneurship.

Mr. Speaker, did you know that small businesses contribute almost 40% of Canada's GDP? Small businesses employ nearly 8 million Canadians and created 78% of all new private-sector jobs between 2002 and 2012. Therefore, why are the Conservatives ignoring Canada's small business owners in favour of supporting wealthier, more profitable corporations? They should help Anita and the Surrey Board of Trade grow our community and commit to creating and protecting sustainable, full-time, middle-class jobs in high-paying industries in all regions of Canada.

Since 2006, the Conservatives have cut the corporate tax rate for the wealthiest companies by over 25%, reducing the tax rate from 22% to 15%. Meanwhile, the Conservatives cut taxes on job-creating small business owners by only a mere 1%. Why are the Conservatives not investing more in job-growing businesses?

When I go home to Surrey-Newton and North Delta this weekend, I will be telling my constituents that New Democrats stood in the House of Commons this week and called on the Conservatives to take immediate action to boost job creation and grow our economy in budget 2015. I am going to tell them that we stood up for working and middle-class families and demanded that the Conservative government cancel its costly income-splitting plan and use those funds to invest in improving job quality for the benefit of all Canadians, not just the rich few.

We are asking the government to implement our plan to help create well-paying jobs in a diversified economy, because New Democrats want an economy that is fair to the middle class. This handout to the wealthy, the Conservatives' income-splitting scheme, will leave regular Canadians falling further behind, and it must be scrapped. New Democrats want a budget that focuses on diversifying the Canadian economy rather than putting all our eggs in one basket. I am very proud to be with a leader of the official opposition who understands this.

I truly hope that when I go home this weekend I can tell the people of Newton—North Delta that the Conservative government supported this motion. There are no more excuses for the government. It can try to change the channel all it likes, but it is failing on the economic grounds because there are too many people without decent-paying jobs.

Over the last decade of Liberal and Conservative governments, we have lost more than half a million manufacturing jobs. There are still nearly 1.3 million Canadians unemployed. Although employment increased in January, it was entirely driven by part-time employment with 47,200 part-time jobs created while close to 12,000 full-time jobs actually disappeared. As well, there has been a major decline in full-time employment for men in our community. We already know that it is very high for women.

Over the last 12 months, employment growth was a meagre 0.7%. Long-term unemployment is still close to its post-crisis peak. Average hours worked remain low, and the proportion of involuntary part-time workers continues to be elevated.

The participation rate, the number of people who are employed or actively seeking work, trended downward all through 2014 and hit its lowest level since 2000. This has been a major contributor to the decreased unemployment rate. As unemployed people give up on looking for work, they are no longer counted in the official unemployment rate, which can cause the rate to go down. The reality is different. The youth unemployment rate is still nearly double the rate for all workers at 12.8% across the country.

The Business Improvement Areas in my riding has a mission statement that goes like this: “Creating a vibrant, safe, and livable downtown; fostering positive community and government partnerships; supporting positive investment climate; collaborating for a safer community; promoting revitalization and community development.” In order to foster a vibrant community, we need jobs. In order to have jobs, we need investments in small businesses. In order to have government partnerships, we need a government that listens and responds.

I will conclude with a summary of what we want from the government. In light of sustained high unemployment since the 2008 recession and the long-term downward trend in job quality since 1989 under successive Liberal and Conservative governments, as documented by CIBC, the House calls on the government to make the first priority of budget 2015 investment in measures that stimulate the economy by creating and protecting sustainable, full-time, middle-class jobs in high-paying industries in all regions of Canada. We are urging the government to abandon its costly and unfair $2-billion income-splitting proposal.

At this stage, I also want to say that when we are in ridings, we have the privilege of meeting with our constituents. Our constituents include the business community. Right now, when I have discussions with the business community in my riding, they tell me that there are huge ways that we as parliamentarians could be helping them. We could be helping them by addressing issues like the transaction fees on credit cards. Every time a credit card is used in a store, the business has to pay a transaction fee that is incredibly high.

I was also surprised, but not really, that the much of the business community is supportive of the $15 minimum wage that we have supported for the federal sector. What I have heard is that businesses are willing to pay that much because then at least people will stay in the job. They know that $15 an hour is still not that great as a wage but it will allow people to buy their groceries. Businesses know that those people will spend the money in their communities.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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CPC

Phil McColeman

Conservative

Mr. Phil McColeman (Brant, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am so happy for the member's speech because it shows clearly what we are actually doing, which is reducing taxes for small, medium-sized and large businesses. Let me give an example that I hope she will tell the people in her riding about.

In my community, which is a proud manufacturing community historically, recently we helped a company do a $63-million expansion with a $10-million loan, creating some 500 well-paying jobs. This is heavy forging for the natural resource extraction industry.

We helped another company with a $500,000 loan that is completely paid back now to the government. It went from 23 employees to 136 employees within two years of that injection.

I gave those examples because small, medium-sized and large businesses need lower taxation to keep them here and keep them from moving to other jurisdictions. Let me say that, from a community that had 30% unemployment in 1980 to a community that had 6.7% unemployment, our programs are working.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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NDP

Jinny Sims

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague across the way for his passion at representing what happens in his riding. However, when I talk to businesses in my community and in other parts of Canada where I have travelled in my critic role, I hear from small and medium-sized businesses that they are not getting the support they need. We have lowered the taxes for some of the largest oil companies and the international corporations that made billions in profit. We know that they have certain offshore bank accounts and they are not reinvesting in our country and they are not growing jobs. What the small business community really needs is some tangible support and some real ways of supporting job growth right here in our communities. It is when we invest in small businesses that any increase in employment and the wealth that is earned get reinvested in our communities because that is where people live and learn and it does not leave our country and go into offshore accounts.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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LIB

Kevin Lamoureux

Liberal

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, whether it was Jim Flaherty or the leader of the Liberal Party, we have been very clear on income splitting and a small percentage of Canadians benefiting at a substantial cost. The middle class is subsidizing hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Jim Flaherty, the leader of the Liberal Party and other members of the House are right that we should oppose that measure.

Infrastructure is needed in every corner of our country. This is something that generates job opportunities and improves the quality of living for all Canadians. By building on our infrastructure, we are creating additional wealth in the long term. I wonder if the member might comment on the importance of investing in infrastructure today, unlike what the Conservatives are not doing by cutting back 90% of infrastructure dollars actually being spent this year.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic:   Opposition Motion—Government Investments
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March 10, 2015