IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Taking the Conservatives to task for their economic failures

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

    The Speaker: Oral questions, the hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the OECD warns of troubled global financial markets and family debt levels of Canadians are bad news for our economy. They say that the outlook for the Canadian economy has worsened significantly. OECD predicts growth for next year almost one full percentage point below budget predictions and below the minister's recent revision.

    Canada lost 72,000 full-time jobs last month. Canadians have plummetting wages. How much more evidence does it take for the government to act? How much more evidence does it take to make the next budget an investment budget for Canadians?

    Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, first of all the OECD's projections are actually very close to the government's in the economic and fiscal update. The policies we followed have created nearly 600,000 jobs in Canada. It is one of the best records in the world and that includes some significant investments that the NDP voted against.

    Let me be very clear, the things the NDP advocates for the Canadian economy, raising taxes, shutting down industries, blocking trade, will never be the policies of this government.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, bogus figures do not help.

    Slumping growth is not the only wake-up call today. Canada has a whopping record deficit in its balance of payment. It is among the worst of all industrialized countries. This is evidence of a failed export strategy. Canadians have already borrowed more than $39 billion from offshore this year to finance that deficit.

     The government does little to boost our value-added exports to create good jobs right here in Canada. No wonder we are in trouble. Canadians work longer for less under the Conservative government.

    Where is the plan to turn things around? When are the Conservatives going to learn from their mistakes instead of covering them up? Where is the jobs plan? Where is the value-added--

    The Speaker: The hon. minister of state.

    Hon. Ted Menzies (Minister of State (Finance), CPC): Mr. Speaker, in fact there was a plan. I would remind the hon. member that he voted against it. In fact, every time we bring a plan forward to help create jobs, to help reduce taxes for businesses that actually do create jobs in this country, the NDP members stand up and vote against it. Then they stand up and ask us to extend the programs that they voted against. I am a little unsure of what they are going to ask next.

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, on va dire qu'on a voté contre les échecs de ce gouvernement, et il y en a beaucoup. Sous les conservateurs, malheureusement, le déficit commercial du Canada est passé de 16 milliards de dollars à 81 milliards de dollars — échec; l'endettement des ménages a atteint un niveau record — échec; on a perdu 72 000 emplois le mois dernier — échec; deux millions de Canadiens sont sans travail —  échec; les salaires baissent — échec.

    Est-ce que le premier ministre va entendre l'alarme? Va-t-il enfin se réveiller pour s'occuper des familles canadiennes et créer un plan pour l'emploi et faire des succès plutôt que des échecs de ce gouvernement?

    Hon. Ted Menzies (Minister of State (Finance), CPC): Mr. Speaker, the only alarm that Canadians are hearing is when the opposition vote against things. Two Mondays ago, they voted against job creation tax credits for small businesses. That is a failure. They voted against the family caregiver tax credit, another failure of the NDP. They voted against the children's arts tax credit. I could go on and on of all the things the NDP has voted against.

    There are almost 600,000 more Canadians working then there were at the end of the recession. That is success for those people.