IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ Canadians deserve a responsible approach to governing

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Question

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): The results, Mr. Speaker, 300,000 more Canadians looking for work. Canadians deserve better than that. The government has been repeatedly warned that failing to protect the environment will have economic costs. Now it is being challenged by our closest ally to take action on climate change. How many jobs will Canadians miss out on while Conservatives get their act together? How many countries will shut their doors to our resources because of the government's irresponsible policies. When will the Conservatives stop stalling, defend the Canadian interest and take real, effective action on climate change?

Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC): Of course, Mr. Speaker, we have taken action on climate change, and as a matter of fact, we are already halfway toward our goal to reduce emissions by 17% for 2020. The action is before us. As a matter of fact, the Commissioner of the Environment made very clear testimony about the fact that he has confidence in our government's approach. What Canadians do not have confidence in, of course, though, is the NDP way, and we know what the NDP way is, which is to tax and to regulate into the ground industries and whole economies of this country. The leader of the NDP thinks that Alberta's energy sector is a disease in the country. The NDP supports carbon tax. We will continue to fight them and stand up for the environment at the same time.

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): The NDP way is to get the job done, Mr. Speaker. What the Conservatives have done against the environment, they are doing against manufacturers. This has been the worst government in our nation's history for loss of manufacturing jobs. The Conservatives have lost 500,000 family-sustaining jobs on their watch. The latest figures are even worse, a 3.1% further decline in manufacturing sales, and that is the largest decline since May 2009. Will they start fixing what they have broken? Will they change their policies in the next budget to get back the manufacturing jobs they have lost?

Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC): Mr. Speaker, what we will do on our budget is what we have done in our previous budgets, which have seen success for the Canadian economy. I do not know where the hon. member gets his job numbers from, but the truth is, through Stats Canada, that the Canadian economy has created 900,000 net new jobs since the worst part of the recession. Our plan is working. The hon. member talked about the manufacturing sector. Here is what the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association has said: The government's policies with respect to taxes, technology, trade, training and transformation are extremely important at setting the stage for growth of advanced manufacturing industries in Canada. The association's members are the experts, they agree with us and the opposition members do not know what they are talking about.

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, Canadians know what they are talking about. While they are losing their jobs, the Conservatives' never-ending gravy train in the Senate is continuing. After Senator Duffy, Senator Wallin, now Senator Patterson of Nunavut cannot say where he lives. He calls it a complex matter with many facets. It is not complicated. He is required to live in Nunavut, yet he claimed a homeowner's grant for B.C. residence. It is a simple question of disclosure. Will the government now demand the disclosure of already completed audits into the expenses of Senator Wallin, Senator Duffy and other senators?

Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Senator Patterson is a former territorial premier. He is a former MLA for Iqaluit. He in fact was involved in a 20-year fight in order to create the territory of Nunavut. Northerners know that he is a northerner. He has a residence in the territory. He has fought long and hard, indeed, for the people of the north. He always has. However, what is really laughable is not just this attack on Senator Patterson, but also frankly the NDP's approach to Senate reform which is to express a sentiment but to have no plan whatsoever. New Democrats have never tabled reforms before the House. They have opposed all of our reforms. They do not even write candidates in Senate elections when we hold them in Alberta and now they pretend to actually have a plan. It is truly laughable.