IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ Conservative government cannot say how many jobs were created after having spent $47 billion of Canadians' money

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Question Period

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General's report speaks of "chronic and widespread" mismanagement that contradicts this government's claim about the economic action plan.

    This government cannot say how many jobs were created after having spent $47 billion of Canadians' money.

    The program was so badly monitored that no one knows if it was effective. We now know that 72,000 full-time jobs were lost last month thanks to the policies of this government.

    Now that the truth is out, when will this government put aside bogus and unsubstantiated job claims and take real and immediate action to create jobs here in Canada for Canadian families?

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the positive impact of the economic action plan which the official opposition voted against can be seen in the almost 600,000 net new jobs for Canadians since the end of the recession. It was a good plan. It worked. It is regrettable that the NDP chose to vote against it.

    Here is what the Auditor General actually said:

The government did a good job of monitoring progress and spending in three programs funded under the Economic Action Plan...

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is not bogus job claims that will get the government out of this mess.

    Here is what the Auditor General said:

The lack of reliable performance information on job creation will make it difficult for the government to assess...effectiveness in meeting one of its key objectives.

    The government and the Canadian public cannot compare the goals of the Conservative plan with the outcome.That is actually what good managers do: goals, outcomes, matching it up. They did not do it. There is no monitoring. There is no transparency.

    Why the lack of monitoring? Why the lack of transparency? Why did this government not get the job done?

    Hon. Tony Clement (President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague has indicated, this economy has created nearly 600,000 net new jobs under this government, under the economic action plan, which, as my colleague, the minister, indicated, has been praised by Auditors General, and of course Canadians agree with that.

    They gave us not only strong praise, but a strong mandate to protect and complete Canada's economic recovery.

    They, on the other side, of course, call for higher taxes that would kill jobs and hurt the economy. Our plan is to keep taxes low, to focus on jobs and to grow the economy. I think Canadians agree with us.