June 15, 2015

NDP

Guy Caron

New Democratic Party

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech. I would also like to join him in wishing the member for Edmonton—Leduc the best of luck. I had the good fortune of working with him on the Standing Committee on Finance. He is highly regarded on both sides of the committee table.

With respect to my colleague's speech, at the end, he was boasting about initiatives like lowering taxes for SMEs from 11% to 9%. This budget also contains a measure that is basically a two-year extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance for businesses in the manufacturing sector.

I have a very simple question. I would like to know why, on February 5, 2015, when we put forward an opposition day motion dealing precisely with those two issues, my colleague voted against the proposal, only to turn around and boast about including those two NDP proposed measures in the budget.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1
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CPC

Mike Wallace

Conservative

Mr. Mike Wallace

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his comments as well as his congratulations to the member for Edmonton—Leduc.

People ask me what the main issue is I hear on the streets and in the coffee shops and workplaces in Burlington. The main issue I have heard is about balancing the books, that we not spend more than we bring in if we can help it. We did not face a recession, as did other countries around the world. We invested to make sure we got people back to work.

We also made a commitment on this side of the House. In budget after budget we made a commitment and a plan to get back to balance. That has meant that we have had to make tough decisions and have had to make them in an orderly manner. That is why this budget gets us back to balance. That is why there are a number of things in the budget implementation bill that we are now able to accomplish, because we made the hard decisions at the right time to get us back to balance.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1
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LIB

Scott Simms

Liberal

Mr. Scott Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member made the point that from the backbench he was able to talk to the front bench about how he wanted to make it more lenient for caregivers to access EI. I wonder if in the to and fro of the backbench and the front bench he was able to advocate not just for the caregivers but for the actual sick themselves, who only get 15 weeks of EI benefits. I think that should be expanded to more, and my private member's bill should be supported. I was wondering if he had that conversation as well.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1
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CPC

Mike Wallace

Conservative

Mr. Mike Wallace

Mr. Speaker, the answer is no. The point that had been brought to my attention by a number of organizations and individuals in my riding was about the caregivers. That is what I advocated.

So members across and people watching at home know, every year when there is a budget, members of Parliament are given an opportunity to talk to the Minister of Finance about the issues and items they think are important to Canadians and important to their riding. I had a number of them on my list this year. It was the same as every year, 11 or 12. In actual fact, a number of them were included in the budget.

It would be erroneous for me to say that I can do it once and it happens. It has been a number of years of advocating for these changes. That is my job, advocating for my riding, for my constituents and for Canadians. I hope to continue to do that after October 19.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1
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NDP

Guy Caron

New Democratic Party

Mr. Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that the member for Burlington did not really answer the question I asked him. I asked him why the Conservatives included measures such as cutting the small business tax rate from 11% to 9% and extending the accelerated capital cost allowance. Those two measures were in the opposition motion that we moved, that the Conservatives opposed, and that they voted against.

I am going to talk about Bill C-59. I will be splitting my time with the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.

I spoke to this bill at second reading. I was a member of the Standing Committee on Finance for three years. That was my first love. Not much has changed with Bill C-59. It is yet another random collection of laws being amended, abolished and even created by an omnibus bill, and it makes no sense. Many of these measures have nothing to do with the budget. Like many of the previous omnibus budget bills, this one contains measures that I would call unconstitutional and that will not survive a Supreme Court challenge.

That has happened before. I clearly remember when the Conservatives introduced a bill two years ago to retroactively amend the rules for appointing Quebec judges to the Supreme Court in an attempt to extricate themselves from the mess they made when they tried to appoint Justice Nadon. This latest bill contains two measures that will most likely be deemed unconstitutional and overturned by the Supreme Court.

The first measure amends the provisions dealing with the gun registry. We are not talking about the registry itself but access to the data it contained. The Ontario Provincial Police is currently conducting an investigation into the RCMP's failure to comply with the provisions of the Access to Information Act on the gun registry. I am not accusing the RCMP of anything at this time. We do not know what happened. An investigation is under way. However, this budget bill attempts—and I have never seen such a thing before—to retroactively amend provisions of the act to exonerate the RCMP and put an end to the investigation. That goes against all of the rules of law that we have in this country. The Conservatives should be ashamed of themselves for resorting to such a measure, which, if it is passed and not overturned by the Supreme Court, will certainly set an extremely dangerous precedent for our country's legislative process.

What is more, this measure is not set out in a public safety bill and was not examined by the committee that deals with the Access to Information Act. This measure is set out in a budget bill.

I sat in for one of my colleagues at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance, where two RCMP officers were called as witnesses. Honestly, I felt uncomfortable for them because they were asked to appear but could say nothing. They could not comment on the precedent that it would set or on the Ontario Provincial Police investigation. In fact, they could not talk about anything, except for the question about the Access to Information Act. That issue was not included in the bill. The subject was really the process of amending legislation and they had nothing to say about that.

That clearly shows that the Conservatives are abusing the budget process. That worked well for them in the first budget bills. Everyone was offended, but no one could do anything because it was actually not illegal to do it. It simply was not ethical and, above all, it was not transparent.

I will end with the second measure, before I am allowed to resume my speech. This measure gives the government the unilateral authority to limit the health care plan and the public service sick leave benefits, and to impose changes on these two systems. Negotiations must involve two consenting parties. If the government uses its weight and legislative authority to legislate changes to a contract, which really should be negotiated, the process will be perverted.

Once again, this creates a dangerous precedent that jeopardizes the right of the public sector, as a unionized body, to conduct negotiations freely.

I will be pleased to come back to this after question period. I will have many other things to say to the House.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1
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CPC

Barry Devolin

Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Barry Devolin)

The time for government orders has expired. The hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques will have five minutes remaining when this item is next before the House.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1
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CPC

Kelly Block

Conservative

Mrs. Kelly Block (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this fall will mark seven years that I have had the honour of representing the great riding of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar.

For some reason, the boundary commission in Saskatchewan decided to do away with the urban and rural blended ridings in Saskatoon, and, as a result, Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar will be no more once the writ is dropped.

As this may be my last statement in this Parliament, I want to thank the people of SRB for the confidence they placed in me in these past two elections. It has been a pleasure meeting with constituents, attending riding events, and just getting to know the many wonderful residents in the riding.

Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, and indeed all of Saskatchewan, has experienced tremendous growth and prosperity in recent years. This, in no small part, is due to the joint focus of our federal and provincial governments on the priorities that matter most to Canadians: jobs and economic growth.

In Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, and all of Saskatchewan, we have proof that prosperity comes through the focus on trade, training, and tax cuts.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar
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NDP

Irene Mathyssen

New Democratic Party

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and New Democrats would like to take a moment to bring attention to this human rights issue.

According to the United Nations, approximately 4% to 6% of elderly persons face some form of maltreatment that can affect them physically, emotionally, and financially. Their perpetrators are typically those closest to them, and these acts of abuse often go unreported. This tragic cycle must be broken.

Just as they rely on their caregivers, our seniors look to their government for protection and support. We need to fully address the underlying problems of elder abuse that continue to plague this growing segment of our population.

The NDP plan for a national strategy on aging will protect vulnerable seniors by giving them the resources and financial stability to maintain control over their lives. We will ensure that every senior citizen is afforded a life of comfort and dignity.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Elder Abuse
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CPC

Mike Allen

Conservative

Mr. Mike Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and their South Korean counterparts, the Korean Institute of Certified Public Accountants, announced a memorandum of co-operation that strengthens relations between the Canadian and South Korean accounting professions. It identifies areas of joint interest for future collaboration, such as professional education and best practices in member regulation.

This memorandum of co-operation was proposed during the Minister of International Trade's latest trade mission in South Korea. It partly evolved from the Canada-Korea free trade agreement that was implemented earlier this year. The two accounting organizations believe that the profession can play a positive role in business relationships between the two countries.

As a CPA myself, I am proud that those in my profession are capitalizing on our government's aggressive pro-trade agenda to seek global opportunities, and I want to congratulate them on their efforts. I encourage other organizations and businesses to carefully consider the tremendous opportunities available to them under Canada's free trade agreements and our global markets action plan.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   International Trade
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LIB

Frank Valeriote

Liberal

Mr. Frank Valeriote (Guelph, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on some of our older generation.

Elder abuse often occurs in private settings and affects the health and human rights of millions of older people around the world. It leads to serious physical injuries and long-term mental health impacts. Tragically, the incidence of elder abuse is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly aging populations.

Let us remember that it is our seniors who built Canada and that they continue to play a vital role in our future. Let us recognize that elder abuse happens in communities across Canada, and that seniors from all walks of life remain vulnerable. Let us combat elder abuse by refusing to ignore this problem, keeping our eyes open and alert to its occurrence, and knowing how to provide help.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Elder Abuse
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CPC

Keith Ashfield

Conservative

Hon. Keith Ashfield (Fredericton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is with heavy heart that I rise in this House today to pay tribute to a dedicated, respected, and endearing community leader from Fredericton.

Robert “Bob” Kenny passed away on June 6 at the age of 72. Bob spent countless hours championing community-led initiatives and serving on various boards throughout Fredericton and New Brunswick.

While his passing leaves a hole in our community, the inspiration and vision he left behind speaks to his legacy of community service, selflessness, and a passion for bettering the lives of those around him.

In 2012, I had the privilege of presenting Bob with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his exceptional contribution to our community.

On behalf of all Frederictonians and New Brunswickers, we thank him for his truly exceptional contribution to our great community.

I ask all members to join me in sending Bob's wife Joan, and his daughters Brigette, Natalie, and Mary Ellen, our most sincere condolences.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Robert Kenny
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NDP

Isabelle Morin

New Democratic Party

Ms. Isabelle Morin (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Unfortunately, elder abuse is a reality that is quite prevalent and that affects a significant segment of our population. We must remain vigilant and watchful, and we must do everything we can to combat this injustice.

Today is the perfect opportunity to express our solidarity with all those who have been victims of abuse in the past and to express our commitment to ensuring that our seniors can have a better quality of life and live with dignity, one of the most fundamental rights.

It is both disturbing and tragic that elder abuse, be it physical, psychological, sexual or financial, remains mostly underestimated and ignored by societies across the world. At the same time, there is increasing evidence indicating that elder abuse is an important public health and societal problem. Canada is not an exception. Canadian seniors are vulnerable to elder abuse, and it is happening in communities across the country.

Let us pay close attention to this serious issue and take responsibility to better protect our seniors and ensure they age with dignity and security.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
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CPC

Peter Goldring

Conservative

Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton East, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, 18 years ago I entered this arena we reverently call the House of Commons, commoners serving together for the betterment of all.

As I reflect upon our party's promises in 1997, I find it to be significant to compare the outcomes of today: veterans' issues resolved; the homeless helped; the military strengthened; effective foreign development aid; criminal justice improved; taxes lowered; the long gun registry cancelled; the GST cut twice; Turks and Caicos a work in progress; and, Canada's unity greatly improved upon.

I depart this chamber in the fact that the promises made are all promises that were kept. We have made Canada a better place for our children's children, for my grandchildren, Katelin, Alexandra, and Eleanor.

May this august chamber of commoners continue its good work, further showing that Canadians too are caring citizens of the world, for the world.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member for Edmonton East
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CPC

Joe Preston

Conservative

Mr. Joe Preston (Elgin—Middlesex—London, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I prepare to leave this place after more than a decade of serving the people of Elgin—Middlesex—London, all I can say is what a ride.

I thank the voters of Elgin—Middlesex—London who kept sending me back to this place, and for their trust and kind words over the years.

I thank my wife Geri and my children, Adam, Kate and Neil, for helping me be strong and for sharing me with so many others.

The shining dedication of my team, Karen, JoAnna, Kimberly, Cathy, Kaylie and Jena, and many more before them, has made me look brighter.

I thank the friends I have accumulated in this place from all parties and all parts of Canada for the many memories that will last me a lifetime.

At what became my other home here, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, I will miss Marie-France Renaud, Andre and all of the members, and the egg salad sandwiches of course.

When my grandson Elliot asks Bubba about Parliament, I will tell him that I am happy I had this great opportunity. I made no enemies and I will truly miss my friends.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member for Elgin—Middlesex—London
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NDP

Jinny Sims

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, I stand with pride today to congratulate the graduating classes of Princess Margaret, Tamanawis, Panorama Ridge, Frank Hurt, Delview, North Delta, Seaquam and Burnsview secondary schools in Surrey, Newton and North Delta. As a teacher, I am delighted to know that these young people have worked diligently to achieve their goals. I wish them a lifetime of continued success.

I would encourage all levels of government to invest generously in quality public education. It is a cornerstone of our democracy, and our kids are worth it as they are our future.

I also congratulate and commend the parents, guardians and teachers who have supported these students throughout their journey

I know I speak for everyone in Surrey when I say that our graduating classes have done a great job and we hope they enjoy their well-earned summer. They have made us very proud.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Graduating Classes
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CPC

Jacques Gourde

Conservative

Mr. Jacques Gourde (Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is working hard for all Canadian families.

We recently brought in the family tax cut and the universal child care benefit, which will benefit all families with children, since they will be able to save money and spend it on their priorities.

The Liberal leader has a different plan for Canadian families. He wants to eliminate the family tax cut that our government implemented and replace it with another tax on families. That is unacceptable.

Canadians do not want that and they will reject these plans based on tax hikes. We reject them as well.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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NDP

Dan Harris

New Democratic Party

Mr. Dan Harris (Scarborough Southwest, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by once again thanking the great people of Scarborough Southwest for their support in 2011. It has been an honour and a privilege to represent them in the House for the past four years.

My bill, Bill C-597, which would make Remembrance Day a legal holiday, is finally back from committee after 205 days and studied by two parliamentary committees. The bill would add exactly one word to the Holidays Act. No new changes were made to the bill during this committee odyssey.

This Friday, my bill will be back before the House. Now we can finish the great work that began last November when the bill passed second reading 258 to 2.

This Friday, let us end the 41st Parliament on a high note and elevate Remembrance Day to the same status as Canada Day and Victoria Day by passing Bill C-597, making Remembrance Day a legal holiday.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Remembrance Day
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CPC

Mark Adler

Conservative

Mr. Mark Adler (York Centre, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the middle class of York Centre rejects the Liberal leader's plan to impose a mandatory $1,000 tax hike. By promising to bring to Ottawa the Ontario Liberal plan to hike payroll taxes on every employee and employer, the Liberals would force businesses to cut jobs.

According to Meridian Credit Union, the majority of small business owners believe the Ontario registered pension plan “would be their greatest challenge ever faced”.

Instead of reckless, high spend-and-tax plans, which the Liberals and the NDP propose, our government believes in helping hard-working Canadian middle-class families prosper. Therefore, we have reduced taxes to the tune of $6,600 this year for a typical family of four. We have doubled the tax-free savings account so Canadians can save more tax free. However, the Liberal leader would shut these accounts down and raise taxes.

Now is not the time for risky tax hikes and untested leadership.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Joyce Murray

Liberal

Ms. Joyce Murray (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has spent almost a decade promoting a false record on national defence while the reality is it has failed the Canadian Armed Forces on so many fronts.

Recently, I launched a national campaign to bust five Conservative defence myths. For example, the Conservatives claim the men and women in uniform are a priority; they boast the best equipment will be provided; they say funding is stable and increasing over 20 years; they pretend northern sovereignty is a priority; and they argue only the Conservatives can be trusted on defence.

That is not so. The reality is the opposite. Too many forces members, veterans and their families suffer from serious neglect. So many major procurements have been delayed or cancelled that the military must raid museums and search eBay to to find obsolete parts. The Prime Minister has cut and clawed back billions of dollars to spend on election year tax cuts for wealthy Canadians.

Sadly, the government cannot be trusted on defence. On its watch, the Canadian Armed Forces' well-being and capability are in serious jeopardy and Canadians look forward to an end—

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Andrew Scheer

Conservative

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Defence
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June 15, 2015