House of Commons Hansard #251 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ukraine.

Topics

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jasraj Singh Hallan Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, after eight long years, the Governor of the Bank of Canada confirmed that the Prime Minister and his scam of the century, the carbon tax, are not worth the cost. Scrapping this scam would put a massive dent in inflation and help lower interest rates faster, all at a time when Canadians are choosing between eating and heating their homes, because of Liberal inflation and the carbon tax.

Will the finance minister accept our Conservative leader's common-sense ask to axe the government's plans to quadruple its carbon tax in tomorrow's false-promise update, yes or no?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

November 20th, 2023 / 2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am truly glad to hear the Conservative member opposite be so excited for tomorrow's fall economic update.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance will be in the House at 4 p.m. tomorrow to reveal our books and to show the plan we have prepared for Canadians. This is an important moment of transparency for Canadians to see where we are at and where we are going. It is an important moment as well for Conservatives to actually see the numbers and use the facts in order to have intelligent debate in the House.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Jasraj Singh Hallan Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Mr. Speaker, more photo ops are not going to help anyone here in Canada. What we will not do, as a Conservative government, is create two classes of Canadians like the Liberal-NDP government did by giving 3% of Canadians in Atlantic Canada, where the Prime Minister's poll numbers were tanking, a break while the rest of Canadians get absolutely nothing and have to freeze and starve in the dark. Two million Canadians are visiting a food bank in a single month. The Prime Minister is not worth the cost after eight years.

Will the Liberals cancel their plan to quadruple their carbon tax in tomorrow's false-hopes update, yes or no?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalMinister of Energy and Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member says is both factually incorrect and grossly misleading. We have put a price on pollution in this country, one that actually helps us to address the existential threat that is climate change, but have done so in a manner that is affordable. Eight out of 10 Canadian families get more money back than they pay in the carbon price. It is a manner that is affordable for Canadians while at the same time taking on and addressing what is a clear threat to the future of our children. It is such a shame that in this country, we still have a political party that does not believe that climate change is real.

FinanceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Adam Chambers Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, after eight years of out-of-control spending by the Liberal government, experts at Scotiabank now say that two percentage points of interest rate increases are due to government spending. An extra 2% on mortgage costs means over $8,000 a year for Canadian borrowers. Canadians are realizing the Prime Minister is not worth the cost. When Scotiabank says, “You're richer than you think”, it did not mean spend like drunken sailors.

On what date will the government balance the budget?

FinanceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us speak about balance, because our government believes that we can balance compassion with fiscal responsibility, and that is what we have shown to date.

Canada continues to have the lowest deficit among all G7 countries. Canada continues to have the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio among all G7 countries. The very report that the member is citing states that the major drivers of interest rate increases were COVID supports and provincial spending. It was not federal spending, but provincial spending.

We will not apologize for having Canadians' backs while being responsible.

FinanceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Adam Chambers Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, my message for any provincial premier is the same as the message for the Prime Minister: Take responsibility for government spending because it is driving inflation and making interest rates unaffordable for Canadians.

The Bank of Canada says that all governments need to spend less than 2% growth in order to keep inflation under control. The government's own projections in the budget in the spring says that the government will spend over 3.5% growth next year versus this year.

When are Liberals going to get that they are part of the problem and they have to balance the budget so Canadians can keep their homes?

FinanceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite talks about responsibility. It is this government that took its responsibility seriously. When times were tough, when COVID hit and even today we continue to have Canadians' backs. We do not just talk about compassion, we act in that manner by being there for vulnerable Canadians, by being there in order to lift over 2.3 million Canadians out of poverty, by ensuring over one million more Canadians have a job today than before COVID.

We are there for Canadians while being fiscally responsible, and I am certainly looking forward to tomorrow's fiscal update.

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, all we have been seeing for the past eight years is out-of-control spending by the NDP-Liberal government, with the help of its Bloc Québécois friends. That has created the following problem: Experts at Scotiabank have calculated that the government's excessive spending has added two percentage points to Canada's interest rate. That represents more than $8,400 a year in interest on the average mortgage. The government can help Quebeckers deal with the cost of living by getting its spending under control.

Will the government listen to the experts? Will it stop spending? Will it announce a plan to balance the budget in tomorrow's budget?

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to see how enthusiastic members are about tomorrow's economic statement.

However, I would like my colleague from Quebec to tell us what his austerity plan looks like. Will the Conservatives make cuts to the child care spaces we just created or do they want to cut support for seniors? I think the time has come to be specific, and we are listening with great interest.

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the first thing we are going to cut is wasteful spending, like the $54 million for ArriveCAN, the $200 billion in COVID-19 spending, since the Parliamentary Budget Officer cannot even tell what that money was used for, and the $135 million that Frank Baylis got for nothing.

The government has done a lot of spending over the past eight years. There is a long list of things it has spent money on. If we start by cutting that, we will get back to a balanced budget and Canadians will be much better off.

Does the minister plan to return to a balanced budget in tomorrow's economic update, yes or no?

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our colleague here has just told us that he intends to cut COVID spending. I think it is important to inform him that COVID spending is over.

He also wants to make cuts in other areas because that is the Conservative policy. Where are they going to cut? Day care? Seniors? The fight against climate change?

Some things are clear. They want to set us back on everything: firearms, women's rights, fundamental rights. They want to send us back to the Stone Age.

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, we need to talk about the federal government's management of the borders. Radio-Canada has reported that Mexican cartels are taking advantage of the government's lax border control to make a fortune. They are forging Mexican passports and using them to smuggle people into Canada and the United States.

Both the RCMP and CSIS alerted the Minister of Public Safety in the spring. What has the government done since then to get its borders back under control?

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we obviously share the concerns of all Canadians when it comes to the integrity of our borders.

That is precisely why we have invested additional funds in strengthening our border security posture. This is why I visited Washington a month and a half ago. I spoke with the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security about specific ways that we could collaborate more. I also had an important discussion with my colleague, Quebec's public safety minister. We are going to keep increasing personnel as required to ensure that the border remains secure.

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me say it again. There is a human trafficking network being run by Mexican cartels at the Canadian border, all in full view of the federal government, which was told about it by intelligence services.

The Government of Quebec is worried. It says that Ottawa needs to wake up. It also says that the federal government is unfortunately not doing its job, and Quebec is being left to shoulder the burden.

When will this government regain control of its borders?

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to disagree with my colleague, but we have not lost control of our borders.

On the contrary, we are working with Canada's intelligence and security services. We share as much intelligence as possible under Canadian law so that our partners, whether American, Mexican or Canadian, including those in Quebec, can explore what more we can do to secure the border. I look forward to continuing my very positive discussions with Minister Bonnardel on this matter.

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of the people who want to leave Mexico.

They are prepared to go to great lengths to get out of their country, not least because of the cartels. These cartels have tentacles all over the place and no respect for human life. Now imagine how these people must feel when they realize that even in Canada, those same cartels are controlling the border. Even in Canada, those same cartels are still getting rich at their expense.

When will this government show some humanity and take back control of its borders?

Border SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I said a few moments ago, as a government, we have been taking action since the first months of our term to ensure the integrity of our borders. We have spoken with our partners in the U.S. and Mexico about the importance of controlling irregular migration.

We have invested more in border security and in our intelligence services so we could do whatever it takes to keep our borders secure. Obviously, we are always open to good ideas for further enhancing this important responsibility.

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the NDP-Liberal government and two years of its housing accelerator, photo ops are up exponentially, but investment in housing construction is down 14%.

The Prime Minister promised to make housing more affordable. What has he delivered? Nothing but photos of suits in boots. Canada has the lowest number of housing units per capita in the G7. The Prime Minister is not worth the cost.

When will he put aside his photo-op obsession, and focus on roofs over heads and keys in doors?

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalMinister of Housing

Mr. Speaker, it is an excellent question, if only it were based in fact.

The member has claimed that in fact investment in housing has gone down. I read from the Stats Canada report issued just this morning that multi-unit construction rose 8.2% to $6.6 billion in September with all provinces reporting gains. Residential builds are up 7.3% to $12.9 billion. With respect to the housing accelerator fund, we have deals with Kitchener, Calgary, Kelowna and cities across the country totalling, over the next 10 years, more than 175,000 more homes. The Conservatives promised to cut it.

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry-Lynne Findlay Conservative South Surrey—White Rock, BC

Mr. Speaker, photo ops do not build homes. We need more homes in Canada, a lot more, not less. Fourteen per cent less year over year is what failure looks like. We need homes, not bureaucracy.

Since this housing minister took over, investment in housing construction is still plummeting, down 14% year over year. After eight years, rents and down payments have doubled and mortgages are up 150%. When will this Prime Minister stop the photo ops and let builders build so Canadians can move into homes they can afford?

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalMinister of Housing

Mr. Speaker, I hate to delight in such a moment where the hon. member, in good faith, tries to pose a question but just does not have the facts. She has claimed that investment has plummeted literally on the day that Stats Canada has indicated that it has increased by 7.3%.

When it comes to the strategy we are going to use to build more homes, we are going to change the math to make it work for builders by reducing taxes. Conservatives plan to raise them. We want to change the way that cities build homes by putting money on the table. Conservatives plan to cut it.

We will make the investments necessary. We will engage with the sector and other levels of government to get more homes built, whatever it takes.

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Philip Lawrence Conservative Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, after eight years of this NDP-Liberal government, millions of Canadians can never afford to buy a home, and millions of Canadians cannot afford to keep their home. According to a recent Scotiabank report, the cost of the average mortgage is going to go up by more than $700 because of the Liberal's profligate spending. When will these Liberals stop blaming everyone else and finally take responsibility for the housing crisis they caused?

HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalMinister of Housing

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member wants to do something to help with the housing crisis right now, he can talk to his leader and tell him to stop blocking the cut to the GST that is going to unlock hundreds of thousands of homes across this country.

We are cutting taxes for home building. The Conservatives plan to raise them. We are putting money on the table to get more cities to change the way they build homes. The Conservatives want to cut it.

If the member's concern is around spending driving inflation, I would ask him to imagine a world where we decided not to support households and not to support businesses through the pandemic. We would be dealing with millions of Canadians who would have lost their homes years ago. We are going to make the investments to build millions in the years ahead.

HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Lori Idlout NDP Nunavut, NU

Uqaqtittiji, if the Liberals say that they will do whatever it takes for housing, Nunavut needs $250 million.

One-third of Nunavutians live in homes needing major repairs and over 50% in my riding are in overcrowded homes. The situation is so bad that TB outbreaks in two more communities were announced earlier this year. Last year, the Government of Nunavut asked the Liberals for $200 million to build urgently needed housing. So far, they got zero.

Will the Minister of Finance announce tomorrow the housing funding that Nunavut desperately needs?