IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ Budgets are about choices, and Conservatives are making the wrong choices.

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question Period

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, les conservateurs continuent de tromper les Canadiens. Ils l'ont fait avec la fraude électorale et ils le font avec le budget. Ils publient les estimations des dépenses, mais refusent de nous montrer quelles sont les compressions majeures qu'ils planifient. On sait que ça s'en vient et on sait que les familles canadiennes sont inquiètes. Le ministre dit qu'il va couper. Il se fiche des familles. De notre côté, on dit que les familles canadiennes ont le droit de savoir quels services seront coupés.

    Pourquoi refuse-t-il d'être transparent? Pourquoi cache-t-il la vérité aux familles canadiennes?

    Mr. Andrew Saxton (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification, CPC): Mr. Speaker, our upcoming budget will build on our low-tax plan for jobs and growth, which has already created over 610,000 net new jobs for Canadians. Our government is working to reduce wasteful and inefficient spending across the government. Before the recession we paid down debt as we emerged from the fragile global recovery. We are on track to eliminate the deficit in the medium term. We want to avoid a debt crisis like the one that has paralyzed other economic zones in other countries.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, fake lakes, fake new citizens, fake election officials, and now fake job figures. At least they are consistent on that side of the House. They have lost 60,000 in a few months. They will not say what they are cutting, but we know from the estimates that food inspection, transportation safety, environmental assessments, veterans services, are all on the chopping block. Why? So they can pay billions and billions of dollars for failed jets and expensive prisons.

    Budgets are about choices, and Conservatives are making the wrong choices. When will they stop cutting services that families count on and when will they start putting Canadian families first?

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Finance.

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this is one of the more dramatic examples of the truth, that we know that the NDP members cannot count.

    The OECD can count. The IMF can count. The G-7 can count. The G-20 can count. The banks and the economists can count in our country, thank goodness. However, it appears the member opposite cannot count.

    We have 610,000 net new jobs, since the end of the recession in July 2009, verified by all these international parties.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the IMF can count alright, and it ranked Canada for economic projections in 2012 152nd worldwide. That is a failure. Now the OECD, Moody's, Fitch, and IMF all say the cuts will drive the economy back into recession. Yet the Conservatives want to steamroll their ideological agenda just over this fragile economy, slashing government services instead of investing in vital services that families need. Why will Conservatives not do what is right, protect our fragile economy and put Canadian families first for a change?

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the IMF and the OECD both project Canada to have the strongest growth in the G-7. The World Economic Forum rates our banking system the best in the world. Forbes magazine ranks Canada, not second or third, but as the best country in the world in which to do business.

    What do the credit agencies say? Just last month, Moody's said:

Canada is in that group of countries that are seen as not only safe because they are triple A rated, as well as having strong fundamental characteristics, we believe that to other triple As, Canada is seen as a haven.