IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ the widening gap between the rich and the rest of us

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

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, le dernier rapport de l'OCDE est accablant. L'écart entre les riches et les pauvres se creuse plus rapidement ici que dans d'autres pays développés. Les pauvres s'appauvrissent et les riches s'enrichissent. Les familles moyennes ont de plus en plus de mal à joindre les deux bouts. L'OCDE le dit clairement: les Canadiens ont besoin de bons emplois et d'un système d'impôt progressif et équitable. Mais ce gouvernement ne fait que des cadeaux aux entreprises bourrées d'argent.

    Quand est-ce qu'on va enfin avoir un plan de création d'emplois? Quand est-ce qu'on va revenir à un système d'impôt juste et équitable dans ce pays?

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the member opposite refers to the OECD report. He does not mention that the OECD stated employment is the most promising way of tackling inequality, and that the biggest challenge is creating more jobs.

    The government is focused precisely on the goal of economic growth and the creation of jobs in Canada with nearly 600,000 net new jobs, the best job creation record in the G7. The OECD and the IMF say that Canada's economic growth, job creation will be the best going forward.

    That is how we address inequity. That is what the OECD—

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, sadly the results are in on the so-called plan, the Conservatives lost 19,000 jobs in the month of November, and lost 72,000 full-time jobs in the month of October. And because of their policies, the gap between rich and other Canadians is growing.

    The OECD says that it is getting worse and worse. That is not surprising because at every turn these Conservatives put the well-connected first. Bank profits are at a record high, and so are food bank lineups in this country.

    Why do the Conservatives not care about middle-class and poor Canadian families, and the income gap? When will the Conservatives start putting everyday families first? When will they stop the hemorrhaging of good jobs in this country?

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the member opposite covered a lot of ground there. He is mad at the banks. He is mad at profits. He thinks we do not reduce taxes. Where do we start?

    Well, the government has reduced taxes on average by $3,000 for every Canadian family since we took office. How did the NDP members help with that? They voted against every tax reduction. They say they care about Canadians, but they are happy to keep taking.

    I heard it in the debate yesterday. The only question was, how much more should we tax Canadians? That is what we hear from the NDP.

    Do they care that we have bank profits? I care. It gives us a sound banking system, and they paid $8.3 billion—