June 4, 2019

CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Speaker, those are typical Liberal talking points, nothing more than that. They are the usual huff and bluff sunny ways we are talking about.

He should come down to the ground. He should come down to Alberta and Saskatchewan and talk to the people there who are suffering from job losses. They cannot put food on the table. I do not know which figures the member is talking about. Let us go and talk to them.

The member should walk on the ground and listen to them. He is all about reading Liberal talking points.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet

New Democratic Party

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague whether he believes the budget implementation bill should have included a clause to eliminate stock options for CEOs, who tend to be quite well-off already. Rich CEOs are still being protected, unlike less wealthy Canadians.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Speaker, the difference between the Conservatives and the NDP, and of course, the NDP is similar to the current Liberal government, is that we allow businesses to make their own decisions. We allow the business community to run businesses out there. Governments do not like interfering in business affairs. We will only interfere if it is in the interest of the public.

In general, businesses in this country, under our government, when we were in power, had a free hand to make proper business decisions, which is why I read the report, and I am going to read it again. Under the Liberal regime, we fell in the world competitive ranking from 10 to 13. During our regime, Canada rose from a ranking of 10 to five, something the Liberals should wake up and smell.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
CPC

Kevin Sorenson

Conservative

Hon. Kevin Sorenson (Battle River—Crowfoot, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have had the pleasure of hearing many speeches from my colleague. I was there for his Petro-Canada speech, one of the truly fine moments in Parliament, as well as what I call his wake up and smell the thing speech, which, again, was wonderful.

Our economy is based on exports. The member knows the problem we have been having with China, India and so many countries where we have really lost our position internationally. I would ask my friend, who for so long served as a parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, if he would talk about the importance of Canada in the world and the importance to our economy. Why was that not addressed in the budget?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Speaker, it is simple and straightforward. The government's priority is not the economy. The Liberals have other priorities and have put money in other areas. The economic advantage Canada had and will continue having is not on their agenda.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
LIB

Yves Robillard

Liberal

Mr. Yves Robillard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to address the Chair and our fellow citizens on the subject of the latest budget.

Over the past four years, our government has repeatedly proven that investing in the middle class pays dividends for society as a whole. Once again this year, Canadians can be sure that the government's priorities mirror their own.

Over the past four years, the cause dearest to my heart has been seniors. Meeting the men and women who live in phases I and III of the Domaine des Forges and Manoir Thérèse Casgrain has been such a pleasure and has strengthened my dedication to our fellow Canadians in their golden years. That is why it is an honour to belong to a party that, since 2016, has repeatedly demonstrated its dedication to the well-being of our seniors through measures such as increasing the guaranteed income supplement for seniors living alone and restoring the age of eligibility for old age security to 65.

The concerns of our seniors go beyond that. Many of our young retirees still have a lot to contribute to our society, including by extending their career. We have to reward the efforts of those who have already given so much to our country. That is why I commend the decision to increase the GIS exemption. To all those who continue working after they retire, our government is showing that it stands by them and will protect their place in the working world.

In an ever-changing world where automation and digitization threaten so many jobs, we must be proactive to help those who still have a long career ahead of them. Professional training is a fundamental challenge of the upcoming decade. Whether we are talking about skills development or career change, continuing education will help keep the Canadian workforce at the top. The Canada training benefit is a key step toward that goal. It provides money to workers to pay for training costs.

I know how important our skilled workers are. A few weeks ago, I toured the Mecaer Aviation Group plant located in the riding of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin. It made me realize that the quality of a machine counts for nothing without a skilled worker to operate it. These workers are the backbone of our economy and always will be. Canadians are our government's top priority, no matter what sector they work in, and that will never change.

Besides our economy, health is a central theme in this budget. In the short term, we need to focus on the many Canadians who are still being forced to choose between food and medicine. There is no denying that the path to national pharmacare will be rocky, and we cannot allow ourselves to hasten a process that will change people's lives. That is why I commend the creation of the Canadian drug agency, which represents a decisive step towards fair and equitable access to health for all.

Canadians' health is an urgent issue in the short term, but we also know that the effects of climate change are imminent. Doing nothing now costs more than taking action. The key to a successful ecological transition is to change our consumption habits while maintaining our economic gains. The only way we can afford to make a successful ecological transition is by staying on the path to prosperity that our government put this country on.

Transportation is a key issue because it is both an environmental challenge and a pillar of our economy. Millions of Canadians travel by car every day. With this budget, our government will contribute up to $5,000 to the purchase of zero-emission vehicles and expand the network of charging and refuelling stations for them.

I want to tell all Canadians that I have full confidence that our government will keep Canada on the path to prosperity. Based on the fact that 900,000 jobs have been created and 825,000 people lifted out of poverty, I am convinced that this budget will only improve their daily lives.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
LIB

Fayçal El-Khoury

Liberal

Mr. Fayçal El-Khoury (Laval—Les Îles, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I really want to thank my colleague for his speech.

He spoke about environmental protection and zero-emission vehicles, the creation of a drug agency and how to support and help the average family.

Can he explain the effect all these elements have had on Canadians in general?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
LIB

Anthony Rota

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mr. Anthony Rota)

Before I give the floor to the hon. member from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, I would like to remind members that they must be in their own seats to ask a question or to speak. I realize that the Chair, too, can make mistakes.

The hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
LIB

Yves Robillard

Liberal

Mr. Yves Robillard

Mr. Speaker, our government is ensuring that Canadians are ready to play a key role in tomorrow's clean economy, notably by helping them purchase zero-emission vehicles. Budget 2019 provides a financial incentive worth up to $5,000 for the purchase of a zero-emission vehicle. We are reducing greenhouse gas emissions while optimizing our talent and our technology to accelerate the commercialization and adoption of zero-emission vehicles.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
NDP

Guy Caron

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, I have a very simple question for my colleague. This question gets repeated with every budget and every budget implementation bill.

In 2015, his party promised to put an end to omnibus budgets. Year after year, actually, twice a year with budget implementation bills, it has become clear that the Liberals have adopted the Conservative practice of including just about anything in omnibus budgets.

In this particular case, we have changes to the status of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, measures pertaining to the Hazardous Products Act and amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. That all should have been examined separately, but the Liberals included it in the same bill.

I am trying to understand how my colleague can say that his party fulfilled that formal commitment, made in 2015, to not use omnibus budgets, when they do introduce bills that include items that have nothing to do with the budget.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
LIB

Yves Robillard

Liberal

Mr. Yves Robillard

Mr. Speaker, I do not have time today to explain our position, but I can say that we have created one million jobs in Canada since 2015. We know that some people do not have access to the training they need to benefit from these new good-paying jobs.

Our government is therefore launching the Canada training benefit to help workers find the time and money they need to upgrade their skills. Our government believes that Canadians should be able to gain new skills and take their future in their own hands at any stage of their professional lives.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
NDP

Guy Caron

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, I have just 10 minutes to talk about Bill C-97, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures. I would have liked to have my colleague answer my question, since he had the time and it was not too complicated.

When the Liberals were in opposition and during the 2015 election campaign, they promised to stop this trend of including measures that have absolutely nothing to do with the budget in the budget and budget implementation bills. This is an undemocratic measure and practice. It forces us to vote on the budget, which is a confidence vote, and on measures that should be considered separately from the budget.

The Liberals were critical of this practice for four years, but they continue to utilize this undemocratic process.

I would like to talk about Bill C-97 and the budget in general, not necessarily about what is in the budget or the bill, but about what is not there. Over the past four years I have raised some very important issues highlighting how the Liberals did not keep their promises.

The first thing that I wanted from Bill C-97 was to see that the Minister of Finance was keeping his promise to address the issue of tax transfers for businesses and farms. The tax transfer issue is important because, at present, an individual who owns a small business or family farm and wants to transfer it to his children or a family member must pay more tax than if he transferred or sold it to a stranger or someone who is not a family member. There is a very simple reason for this. Selling to a stranger triggers a capital gain with a set of exemptions. However, the profits from the sale to children are treated as dividends and fully taxed.

In 2016, I introduced a private member's bill, Bill C-274, to address this issue. The bill sought to ensure that these two types of transactions received equal treatment and that individuals would not be at a disadvantage when selling their assets to their children.

I spent a year working on Bill C-274. I visited many areas of Canada, particularly the maritime provinces, which are represented by 32 Liberal members. I did not go to speak with MPs, but rather to speak with representatives of chambers of commerce and organizations that advocate for fishers and farmers. Everyone agrees that this legislation is necessary. I would even say that the tax treatment involved when businesses and family farms are sold or transferred is one of the top concerns of small business owners.

I worked on this for a year. At the end of that year, when it was time to begin debating the bill, I had the support of about 25 Liberal members. I had the support of the Conservatives, the Bloc Québécois and the independent members of the House. The only thing missing was the support I needed from the Liberals. I was able to get the support of at least 25 members after making citizens aware, citizens who then spoke to their MPs about it.

The bill made it through its first hour of debate, but then, before the start of the second hour, the Minister of Finance made a surprising announcement. He said that the bill was going to cost the government between $800 million and $1.2 billion in lost revenue. It was surprising because the tax specialists we hired to study the impacts of the bill estimated the tax loss at between $90 million and $100 million, which is hardly peanuts, but still an acceptable cost to insure that we level the playing field, so to say.

Clearly, these are two different price ranges. The Minister of Finance took his department's figures and successfully convinced a string of Liberal MPs that, though he understands how important this bill is for SMEs and family farms, they had to vote against it because losing $1 billion in tax revenue would be irresponsible. He promised that, by the end of this Parliament, there would be a tax measure in the budget that would truly meet those needs. He promised that.

In the meantime, there have been three budgets and five budget implementation bills. There is still nothing to deal with this inequity, this injustice that exists for owners of small business, family farms, and fish companies who want to transfer their business to their children.

I am appealing to the Liberal members who represent rural and farming regions and who have a lot of SMEs in their riding to think about the consequences of voting against Bill C-274. Once again, there is no measure in this budget bill to address the tax inequity and unfairness. That is the first thing I wanted to note. The Minister of Finance broke the promise he made to his own caucus, to correct the situation in a later budget. The election is fast approaching and this still has not been addressed. My colleagues can be sure that this issue will be raised in a number of ridings come election time. Liberal candidates will have to defend the finance minister's position, as well as his failure.

Another issue that is very important to MPs from rural areas is cell coverage. We hear a lot about investment in high-speed Internet, and clearly, there has been some. Not everyone has access, but there has been some investment. However, none of the new Liberal or Conservative programs have included measures for cell coverage, even though it is so important. In my riding, Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, 13 of the 39 municipalities I represent have little or no cell coverage. Over 1,000 people live in the municipality of Squatec, and they have no cell coverage unless they find exactly the right spot on top of a little hill or on the second floor of the high school.

We have raised this issue repeatedly in the House. The member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue has brought it to the government's attention many times during question period. The government's answers always focus on investment in high-speed Internet. Those are two different things. Investing in high-speed Internet does not mean investing in cell coverage. Essentially, telecom companies are not interested in investing in rural regions without adequate population density. Individual companies will not risk making that investment because it could end up benefiting all the other companies. The government needs to intervene because the market has failed, but the Liberal government has done nothing for four years now.

Several members are concerned about this issue. I am thinking of the member for Laurentides—Labelle and the member for Pontiac, who represent large rural areas and who tentatively bring up this issue from time to time. We voted on a motion moved by the member for Pontiac that emphasized the urgent need for action. That is the problem right there. The government talks about the urgent need to act, but it never does, even though it is in a position to do so. If the government does not want to make the necessary investments so that rural regions and rural residents are no longer treated as second class, then concrete action needs to be taken.

If the government does not want to make real investments, it needs to think of another solution to take the responsibility for making investments away from the companies and give it to an independent Canadian agency, for example. That agency would be funded by the companies as a condition of licence, and it could make investment decisions and acquire the necessary spectrum to do so. That would ensure coverage in all of the regions that would not otherwise have it, and all of the companies that made investments could also benefit from the new coverage. That is one solution that the government could implement. Another solution would be for the government to invest in cell coverage as it did for high-speed Internet.

There are solutions. All it takes is a little goodwill. However, since we began raising this issue, I have not seen any goodwill from the Liberals in this regard.

I will not have much time to talk about the third item, but I brought it up in my question to my colleague earlier. It is the fact that the Liberals did not keep their promise to table budget bills that actually focus on budget-related issues. Instead they chose to play petty politics and try to speed through their legislative agenda by throwing in tons of measures that have nothing to do with the budget. This Liberal tactic is as politically cynical now as it was when it was first used by the Conservatives from 2011 to 2015.

For all of these reasons, I find myself unable to vote for this bill. I am happy to have had a chance to explain why.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
CPC

Garnett Genuis

Conservative

Mr. Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, obviously, I respect the work of the member, but we have some pretty significant disagreements about the approach in terms of the budget. Therefore, I would ask the member for his perspective on the issue of budget balance, because we hear from the government, essentially, an expectation that the budget would never need to be balanced, it seems.

With the NDP in the last election, we had more discussion of balanced budgets, but we do not hear as much about that now. I am curious about the member's view on whether it is important to balance the budget, what the timeline would be and how that should inform the kinds of spending commitments that are made.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
NDP

Guy Caron

New Democratic Party

Mr. Guy Caron

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

There are indeed some considerable differences between our respective visions. However, I think his question was interesting, and I will answer it as the economist I am.

When a business wants to borrow money, it assesses its decision to borrow by comparing the rate of return on the planned investment with the amount of interest it will have to pay. If the rate of return is better, it borrows and invests the money. It goes into debt in order to invest and grow, because its investments will be positive.

The same principle applies to a government. If the government can increase productivity and economic growth at a greater rate than the interest it has to pay on its loans, that is not a problem. The problem with the Liberals is that most of the deficit they have run up was supposed to be invested in infrastructure, yet many reports, including those from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, say that there has been far less investment in infrastructure than anticipated and that the returns have not really materialized. A lot of money is being invested, but are we seeing a return, and is it worthwhile?

Those are some of the questions the Liberals will have to answer.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
LIB

Kevin Lamoureux

Liberal

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP say they are not too sure whether or not the investments that have accrued the deficit were worth it.

The member in essence was referencing infrastructure and there is no doubt that plays a role in it but so does the Canada child benefit program, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty, the increase to the guaranteed income supplement and the tax break to Canada's middle class. Combined, this has all contributed towards a much healthier economy that has ultimately generated over one million jobs since we have been in government and working with Canadians in all regions.

As we get closer to an election, I am wondering if the member could be clear on whether or not we can anticipate the NDP will take the same approach they took in 2015, when they said they would balance the budget.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
NDP

Guy Caron

New Democratic Party

Mr. Guy Caron

Mr. Speaker, I see that the member is taking the same approach he took in 2015, that is, giving the government full credit for creating jobs, just as the Conservatives did in 2011 and in 2015.

The government can take action to facilitate certain things, but all economists agree that taking full credit for job creation is utterly absurd.

The member mentioned infrastructure. I hope he is reading the Parliamentary Budget Officer's reports, because, in terms of infrastructure, the money is quite simply not there. One of the Liberals' most important promises was to create an infrastructure bank. The infrastructure bank was supposed to support the creation of infrastructure.

For us, it was clear that the bank would be a tool to help privatize infrastructure revenue. In fact, the bank, which was established four years ago and is already weighed down by cumbersome bureaucracy, has managed to make just a single investment. It granted Montreal a loan for its light rail project. That has been its only investment. Actually, it is not even an investment; it is a loan that will be paid back.

I am listening to the Liberals talk about their plans for the upcoming election campaign. They say they are going to do this and that thanks to the infrastructure bank. It makes no sense. It is a huge empty shell. The only reason the infrastructure bank would ever come to fruition would be to satisfy shareholders and their investment funds. We will have to start charging tolls or user fees. Canadians will end up having to pay for their own infrastructure, which they already invested in.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
LIB

Randeep Sarai

Liberal

Mr. Randeep Sarai (Surrey Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, when our government was elected in 2015, we promised Canadians that we would fight for the middle class. We have kept that promise. We have created over one million jobs since being elected and an overwhelming majority of those jobs are well-paying, full-time jobs.

Recently, Canada saw its lowest unemployment rate in over 40 years. Recent numbers also show that Canada saw a decrease in the number of people living in poverty, from 10.6% to 9.5%, between 2016 and 2017. That means over 900,000 people have been lifted out of poverty, including 300,000 children, over 150,000 seniors and many adults.

Since we were elected, we have seen a rise in the median after-tax income of Canadians, to $81,500. In Surrey Centre, our infrastructure investments are paying off, from the $125-million Simon Fraser sustainable energy and environmental engineering building, completed now with $45 million from the Government of Canada, to the $61-million brand new RCMP forensic lab that is about to open, to the over $900 million given for public transit funding to help renovate Surrey Centre SkyTrain stations, buy new energy-efficient buses and replace the 1976 expo-era SkyTrain cars with new comfortable and quiet cabins. Our plan is working.

The multiplier factor is evident everywhere. Dozens of new IT and health care innovators have opened up. Kwantlen Polytechnic University has built a new urban campus. The Fraser port is growing on a rapid scale and the city is firing on all cylinders. Our transit ridership is the highest in the world, and last year, ridership went up by over 15%.

I was 15 years old when I designed my first home, and by the time I was 16, I was designing homes as a business and for others. Beginning in 1991, I designed over 700 homes in a seven-year period, from the age of 16 to 23. Those were the years of opportunities that helped me launch my career and secure my livelihood. As I see the willingness of young people to work equally hard today, it upsets me to know that they are undoubtedly faced with more barriers to initiate and secure their housing dreams.

The average price for a detached home in greater Vancouver exceeds $1 million, while the average price of an apartment or condo is $660,000. These prices often take the prospect of buying a home off the table. In turn, many young people and families are compelled to rent instead of buy. For those who do rent, the prices have become incredibly high as well. Everyone needs a safe and affordable place to call home, but today, too many Canadians are being priced out of the housing market.

As the member for Surrey Centre, I am all too familiar with constituency concerns about housing insecurity, as well as the impact this insecurity has on the overall quality of life of my constituents. Whether they are young persons hoping to start their careers or a couple looking to start a family, buying a first home remains a challenge, with many young people believing that home ownership is increasingly becoming an unattainable goal in their lifetimes.

Recently, I held a round table in my riding of Surrey Centre with the Minister of Finance's former chief of staff and director of policy. Housing affordability, the stress test and mortgages were the three main points brought up by the Homebuilders Association Vancouver, mortgage associations, the construction industry, home builders, real estate trade organizations and other trade organizations throughout the Lower Mainland. The round table sparked positive conversations on how to mitigate pressure and make home ownership affordable and easier.

By listening to the needs of Canadians and encouraging dialogue, I am proud to say this government has continued its commitment to improving housing affordability in this country, and this is exemplified in budget 2019. The inclusion of the first-time homebuyer incentive will drastically change the housing prospects for current and prospective Surrey Centre residents.

The first-time homebuyer incentive targets young families who wish to enter the market and buy their first homes. This will help people like Karina, from my office, or Julian, who will be able to buy their first homes when this program is implemented. Those with a household income of less than $120,000 will be eligible to have a 10% reduction in their down payment with the help of CMHC.

In addition, the homebuyers plan helps with the down payment and costs associated with the purchase of a first home. Paying a lower down payment, new homebuyers will pay reduced monthly mortgage payments. The new homeowners, in turn, will require smaller loans and new homeowners will not be beholden to the CMHC for any kind of repayment until the place is sold.

This incentive is inclusive in its objective of making a new home affordable for all Canadians. This includes new Canadians, single parents and youth who could greatly benefit from this break and form of security.

Division 19 of the national housing strategy recognizes the importance of housing to the well-being of all persons in Canada, reflects the key principles of a human rights-based approach to housing and focuses on improving housing outcomes for those in greatest need.

In 2017, the government launched the rental construction financing initiative, which is a four-year program that provides low-cost loans for the construction of new rental housing for modest and middle-income Canadians. To provide more affordable rental options for middle-class Canadians, budget 2019 proposes an additional $10 billion over nine years in financing through the rental construction financing initiative, extending the program until 2027-28. With this increase, the program will support 42,500 new housing units across Canada, particularly in areas of low rental supply.

The government is also committed to working in partnership with the province and the municipality to ensure a tri-levelled affordable housing strategy for Surrey residents. In conjunction with British Columbia's affordable B.C. plan and Surrey's affordable housing strategy, the government's new homeowner incentive is a proactive measure to ensure that a future in Surrey is possible for young people and families.

In addition to the measures announced on March 15, 2019, the ministers of finance for Canada and British Columbia announced their intention to create an expert panel on housing supply. The panel will examine factors that currently limit housing supply and recommend the actions governments can take to ensure that together we are building better, more affordable and more inclusive communities.

These new incentives add to an already existing, ambitious national housing strategy that was released in 2017. Our government committed over $40 billion over the following decade to help Canadians from coast to coast to coast with housing affordability. This strategy considers the distinct housing needs of Canadians such as seniors, women and children fleeing domestic violence, indigenous people, persons with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addiction issues, veterans and young adults.

Our goal is to cut chronic homelessness in half, remove 530,000 families from housing need and invest in the construction of up to 100,000 new homes. However, our government knows that these changes cannot, unfortunately, take place overnight. This is why our government has introduced new measures in budget 2019 to help relieve the pressures on Canadians.

Throughout this government's time in office, we have taken significant steps forward in terms of backing the middle class, and budget 2019 is another step in the right direction. From achieving the lowest unemployment rate in years to instituting the first-time homebuyer incentive, we have shown that we want to invest in Canadians and their families. Additional projects that were established to actively help Canadians hoping to get into the housing market are the rental construction financing initiative and the national housing strategy.

We will continue working hard to ensure that for middle-class Canadians home ownership is not a pipe dream, but rather, an achievable goal.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
CPC

Gérard Deltell

Conservative

Mr. Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I was quite impressed by the fact that my hon. colleague started his speech talking about his own life as an entrepreneur. I do not want to fight about age, but at a young age he had a great talent for creating wealth and I congratulate him.

My question is about the current situation, rather than about when he was young. Four years ago, he was elected on a promise that in 2019 the deficit would be zero. What is the deficit today?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
LIB

Randeep Sarai

Liberal

Mr. Randeep Sarai

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for making nice comments about my earlier career.

When we were elected, we promised Canadians that we would invest in jobs, infrastructure and the middle class. We have delivered on those promises. We have created more jobs than ever in the history of this country. We have brought the unemployment rate down to the lowest ever recorded in this country. We are the best economy in the G7 when it comes to growth and are the envy of the world currently.

My constituents are extremely happy, as I see that investment and growth right in Surrey Centre with new companies and new businesses opening up. The biggest complaint I ever receive is about not being able to find enough employees. I have yet to receive a complaint about someone not being able to find a job. That is the best indicator of a great economy.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink
NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet

New Democratic Party

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that a budget is always about making choices.

The government is currently making choices by leaving stock option deductions for CEOs in place and subsidizing big oil companies with its pipeline purchase. We are losing billions because of this, while there is a housing crisis going on across the country. The hon. member talked about the crisis in his riding. There is a crisis in my riding too, but it is a hundred times worse in the north, especially in indigenous communities.

The government is putting all sorts of things in the budget, so why did it not take advantage of this latest budget to introduce a targeted housing strategy for indigenous people that includes much-needed funding?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
Sub-subtopic:   Report Stage
Permalink

June 4, 2019