Charles HUBBARD

HUBBARD, The Hon. Charles, B.A., B.Ed., M.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Miramichi (New Brunswick)
Birth Date
October 29, 1940
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Hubbard_(politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=20900943-4d26-4f59-b0ba-6330e09cef71&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
school principal

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (January 13, 2003 - December 11, 2003)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport (October 7, 2005 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport (October 7, 2005 - February 5, 2006)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 44 of 46)


April 16, 1996

Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I will share my time with the hon. member for Carleton-Charlotte.

The budget debate over the last several days clearly indicates the dilemma the people of this country must perceive as they watch it on television. The Bloc criticizes the government for reducing spending and cutting back on programs. Reform, although somewhat inconsistent in its dissertations, generally condemns the government for not balancing the budget by reducing expenditures and eliminating programs.

As the only national party in the House, we the Liberals must reflect the concerns of all Canadians. We must have a program and a plan to direct our economy and create a climate that will stimulate growth, encourage investment, enhance consumer confidence and create jobs for the Canadian people.

The budget as presented by the Minister of Finance on March 6 has been well received across the country. It is the continuation of a long term plan with specific short term objectives. The finance department, like the Department of National Defence, has always been a very difficult portfolio for Canadian politicians. The tenure of many of them has been very short. The minister has done an excellent job. His vision, determination and perseverance are appreciated by most Canadians.

Canada's debt was and is a major problem. Nine years of Conservative mismanagement saw our national debt increase from approximately $168 billion to more than $500 billion during that period. Annual deficits were often in excess of $40 billion. With interest rates of nearly 8 per cent to 10 per cent, 25 per cent of government revenues are and have been directed toward interest payments to lenders both in Canada and abroad.

It is not easy to bring our financial house into order. Abruptly reducing spending within a budgetary framework where interest payments and legislated spending accounted for approximately

75 per cent of revenues would have created hardships for many Canadians and possibly bring havoc to the Canadian economy.

The prescribed cutbacks in the three budgets in 1994, 1995 and 1996 are a determined effort to gradually reduce government spending. The annual deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product will move from 6 per cent to 3 per cent to 2 per cent, and hopefully by the turn of the century we will have a balanced budget.

The 1996 budget proposes some very reassuring commitments to Canadians. Seniors, through benefits for those of age 60 and older, will have a definite plan for their retirement.

The Canada health and social transfer program will be guaranteed a five year commitment which will encourage the provinces to do their own budgeting.

There is a program of jobs and growth, especially for our youth, with emphasis on education, technology and international trade; a school network program for more than 1,000 rural communities; a partnership with provinces for food inspection and other government agencies; a concern for child support and programs to assist families with educational credits, child care expenses, credits for infirm dependents and a doubling of the working income supplement; all of these without any increase in taxation.

It is surprising that as I listen to the opposition we are not hearing a great number of positive comments and suggestions that could be brought to future budgets. The budget, for example, encourages the Department of Revenue to attack the underground economy. We also must continue to be concerned with loopholes and policies. They are unfair to many Canadians as they approach the taxation system.

We might ask, for example, if we can continue to permit large corporations that are concerned only with maximizing profits to avoid what might be a fair amount of taxation.

Can we look at bank machines that have replaced tellers, closed rural banks and eliminated thousands of jobs? Can we watch big companies such as General Motors lay off employees through outsourcing of work while making profits of more than $1 billion? Can we watch these large corporations pay their executives more than 50 times the salary of some of their yearly workers? Can we continue to permit those earning $1 million a year to pay the same tax rate as those who have taxable incomes of $60,000? These are some of the questions the opposition might be asking.

This to me is a good budget in terms of the financial problems the country has faced. We must not forget we have nearly a 10 per cent unemployment problem. It is especially a problem for our youth. All of us in the House must strive to make Canada a better place for young people as they seek to find gainful and meaningful work.

We must insist that employers be fair, compassionate and considerate. Business has a role to play. We are hopeful it will participate in programs that will assist our youth, our greatest resource, in promoting the future of the country.

The budget outlines the government's plans for revenues and spending. Its success depends to a large extent on the ability and willingness of our people and businesses to pay their fair share for the support of government programs.

I call today for all civil servants to watch their spending, to avoid spending if it is only to consume the allocations for their department, for their agency. Canadians must be assured of true value for their hard earned tax dollars. They have always been supportive and generous. We as politicians must encourage strong controls and insist that specific spending be justified.

We must not overlook the fact that many Canadians are hurting. Too many cutbacks by both business and government attack those in our society who are least able to defend themselves. We must ensure that downsizing of governments does not place the entire burden on those of low income or who are in difficult economic circumstances.

Atlantic Canada and many areas of other provinces are concerned with UI reforms and the concentration of activities in larger centres. As parliamentarians we must work to ensure compassion, fairness and understanding. In our committee work and in reviewing estimates especially we must be very diligent.

The budget reflects our Liberal principles and I am happy to support it.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Budget
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April 16, 1996

Mr. Hubbard

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians realize that we have to have a balance. We cannot continue to spend just because we have a certain figure today. The message which Canadians gave us in the last election, which they are still giving us on the streets today, is that somehow we have to bring our financial house in order. If we continue, as the hon. member says, to build programs and to spend more money, I do not think that is what Canada wants.

In reply of his comments on the UI program, the House of Commons committee has been reviewing the proposals. The minister, who comes from my province, will work with that committee to ensure that Canadians who are most in need will have programs which will enable them to continue to live in an economically healthy family unit.

I certainly appreciated his comments. I also appreciated the comments which were made by the hon. member from Rivière-du-Loup. However, we have to appreciate the fact that there are Canadians who are in need and as a government, we will continue to help those Canadians who are most in need.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Budget
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March 19, 1996

Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of National Defence.

The base at Chatham was closed in the budget of 1994. For the last two years local groups: Sky Park, the city, the premier of New Brunswick and the province have been working to determine optional uses for the base.

Would the minister please inform the House what has been the results of the negotiations?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Chatham, New Brunswick
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December 13, 1995

Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to draw the attention of the House to the journey of a young man from Toronto, only 12 years of age, Craig Kielberger, who left this week for the Far East to visit India, Pakistan, Thailand and other countries that use child labour.

Very often countries in the western world are appalled at human rights violations and the denial of political freedom in these backward countries.

Labour standards, and especially the abuse of young children in nearly slave-like conditions must be of serious concern for all Canadians. As a trading nation, and as consumers of products manufactured under uncivilized conditions, we must somewhere draw a line in the sand against those who profit from such practices.

Today, let us salute Craig in his crusade, Free the Children Campaign. Hopefully all of us can join with him in his venture.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Child Labour
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November 3, 1995

Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from my constituents concerning the methods our government might use in the area of furniture moving.

The petitioners indicate a concern that the proposed method, if adopted, could indicate that one company would have the entire system of moving furniture for all governmental departments. They petition that the former system, the one that has been in place for some years, be continued and that all companies across Canada be given some portion of that movement.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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