Wayne EASTER

EASTER, The Hon. Wayne, P.C., Dipl.T., LL.D.(Hon.)

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)
Birth Date
June 22, 1949
Website
http://wayneeaster.com
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a76af2a6-7a43-4f8f-a887-0d10b3a0a3c1&Language=E&Section=ALL
Email Address
wayne.easter@parl.gc.ca
Profession
farmer

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (July 10, 1997 - August 31, 1999)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)
  • Solicitor General of Canada (October 22, 2002 - December 11, 2003)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food with special emphasis on Rural Development (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food with special emphasis on Rural Development (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
LIB
  Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
LIB
  Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)
October 19, 2015 -
LIB
  Malpeque (Prince Edward Island)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 589)


February 4, 2019

Hon. Wayne Easter

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what policy the government will be coming out with, if we are, but I will certainly tell the member where I am at personally.

I believe that pensions should be paid into in the same way as CPP and EI premiums. They should be put into a fund and guaranteed to be there for the workers who work in corporations and other companies. If the company fails in those obligations, then the board of directors should be responsible for those obligations to those citizens for the work they did for those companies over the years. That is where I stand.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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February 4, 2019

Hon. Wayne Easter

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely surprised that I have not changed the member for Simcoe—Grey's mind. She must have under her pillow at night the research from the Conservative Party of Canada, which has absolutely nothing to do with the facts that I have laid out.

I would ask the member for Simcoe—Grey to read the motion. She will see that the motion put forward by the member of Carleton is absolutely not factual. The member can go back and look at my remarks. Canadians are paying lower taxes today, but the 1% is paying higher, and we understand that.

We have also invested in research for science. We have put money into the Canada child benefit, which benefits many families in the member's riding.

We have had to get over the 10 years of cuts by the Harper government, of which she was a member when in cabinet. Canadians paid dearly for these cuts. Now we have to invest in Canadians' future, which is exactly what we are doing, and we are doing it while staying on track, managing our fiscal responsibilities well and keeping a lower debt-to-GDP ratio. Ours is the lowest in the G7. In fact, our unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in 40 years.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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February 4, 2019

Hon. Wayne Easter

Maybe the member heckling over there would like to pick up the tax code and check the facts instead of listening to the rhetoric that comes out of the research department over there. All the Conservatives know how to do is not talk about facts but attack and misrepresent.

In addition, this government introduced the Canada child benefit, which will help nine in 10 families. Better yet, we made it tax free. Those two measures will mean a typical middle-class family is now $2,000 better off per year than they were under the Harper Conservatives.

In fact, for the member for Carleton's riding, the Minister of Finance told him in question period today that 30,000 people in his riding of Carleton had lower taxes and 16,000 children in that riding benefited as a result of this government's measures with respect to the Canada child benefit.

The bottom line is that a majority of Canadians are paying a lower effective tax rate under this government as a result of the actions we have taken since 2015. Regardless of how the official opposition tries to confuse and fudge the numbers, those are the facts. Lower taxes for the middle class and better opportunities as a result for families moving forward are the facts.

On his third point, the member for Carleton talked about the government's higher Canada pension plan premiums and used an exaggerated number out decades from now. Do the Conservative members not meet with seniors in their ridings? Do they not understand the facts on the ground, that people without pensions can hardly afford to put food on the table? The Canada pension plan changes are all about that. It is not a tax, but an investment in the future of seniors so future generations of MPs in our positions do not have to see the agony of people coming through the doors when they do not have the money in their pensions to meet the necessary essentials of life.

The Canada pension plan is an important vehicle for retirement. Private pensions are disappearing across the country and around the western world. Pensions are a fundamentally important mechanism to ensure Canadians have security in retirement.

Again, pensions are not taxes but investments in the security of seniors in the future. Members who are worth their salt have seen those seniors come into their office without the money to meet their needs.

In their motion, the Conservatives came up with a number on cancelling the family tax credit. Again, they misrepresent the facts. We instituted, as I said earlier, the Canada child benefit, which has seen more money going to more families than before, stopped giving money to the highest-income families and has indexed that benefit to inflation. It is a more efficient model than the previous model, because it more effectively targets families and parents who need financial assistance.

As stated earlier, in the riding of the member for Carleton, 16,000 children will benefit from the Canada child benefit. Is the member and the leader of his party telling families in his riding that they want to do away with that and go back to the old system where their benefits were taxed? Is that what the member is saying? There are consequences to some of these points that members opposite make.

Conservatives talked about the cancelling of a couple of tax credits. Members on the opposite side maybe do not understand what a tax credit really is. Tax credits are only available to those who have the means to get them. In other words, they have to have a substantial income in order to benefit from them. That means that those who do not have that kind of income do not get the tax credits, and they are the ones who really need the chance to enter sports and other areas.

Tax credits like the ones mentioned are marginal at best, because tax credits are only helpful to people who can afford the goods and services in the first place. If people want to sign their children up for summer soccer, send their children to university and claim eligible books or any other eligible deductions, they have to have already had the money to acquire those things in the first place. Tax credits do not assist individuals who are the most financially vulnerable. There are people who live paycheque to paycheque. They do not get the benefit from those tax credits, because they cannot afford to send their kids to soccer in the first place. That is not effective tax policy. We need effective tax policy, and we need to ensure there is fairness in the tax system. That is why the tax credits were done away with and we moved to the Canada child benefit and other means.

The member's motion states that the government's higher employment insurance premiums lead to higher costs per worker. Do the members opposite believe they are telling the truth when they make that statement? Let me turn to insurance premiums in the documents from EI. In 2013 through 2016, the rate was $1.88. Today it is $1.62. Can members opposite not add and subtract? That is a lower rate: $1.88 down to $1.62. It means that the maximum annual employer premium has gone down from $1,337.06 to $1,204.31. That is not increasing premiums. Come on, folks. Let us at least lay out the truth in this place.

As a final note, we in this government invest in Canadians and the things that matter most to them. We are keeping a close eye on our fiscal track, carefully managing deficits and protecting Canada's long-term fiscal sustainability, with a steady declining debt-to-GDP ratio. Canada has, by far, the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio among the G7 countries.

Across Canada, more Canadians are working, and middle-class Canadians have more money to save, invest and grow the economy. We will continue to stand up for the middle class, while the only plan of the Conservatives is austerity and cuts. As we have seen in this motion, we cannot believe what they claim to be facts, because they are, quite honestly, not truthful.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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January 31, 2019

Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise to celebrate the life of former MP Mel Gass, who recently passed away. Mel, a businessman, was elected three times as a Progressive Conservative and served the riding of Malpeque for nine years with distinction. As a member of several committees, Mel felt truly honoured to lay a wreath at Dieppe as chair of the veterans affairs committee, and he especially enjoyed his time as parliamentary secretary to the minister of fisheries and oceans. I can sincerely say that he stood up for fishermen in Canada and in his community. In 1989, Mel served as leader of the provincial PC Party.

Returning to private life, Mel continued to operate Silverwood Motel and served as a local councillor. As well, he was president of the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island and was granted several awards for his work in tourism.

Afflicted with ALS in recent years, he retained his good nature and sense of humour. His love of life, people and community always showed through for the proud Canadian he was. Our condolences go out to his family.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Mel Gass
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January 28, 2019

Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, recently, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, along with the Premier of P.E.I., signed a framework agreement with Mi'kmaq people to address outstanding issues of Mi'kmaq rights and title.

The Mi'kmaq leadership see this agreement as the beginning of a process to determine how all P.E.I. Mi'kmaq, both on and off reserve, will benefit from their rights, today and into the future.

Beyond this one agreement, could the minister explain the government's progress on renewing relationships with the indigenous peoples of Canada?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Indigenous Affairs
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