IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Why does the Harper governement act like Santa to Bay Street and like Scrooge to the rest of us in Canada?

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, le gouvernement est lamentable. Les familles canadiennes n'ont jamais été aussi endettées que sous les conservateurs. Les salaires des travailleurs et des travailleuses ont diminué de 2 p. 100 depuis un an et 90 000 familles canadiennes ont perdu leur gagne-pain cet automne. Et que fait ce gouvernement? Il fait des beaux cadeaux aux pétrolières et aux banques le 1er janvier et il hausse les primes d'assurance-emploi pour les familles.

     Pourquoi un autre gros cadeau de Noël à Bay Street? Pourquoi passer un sapin aux familles canadiennes?

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we have continued to caution Canadians about over-extending themselves on credit, whether it is residential mortgage credit or credit card credit.

    With respect to residential mortgages, we have tightened the rules three times in the past several years, including this year. We have seen Canadians now increasing their activity in terms of paying off mortgages. However, we have low interest rates and some Canadians are taking advantage of those to take on some larger mortgages.

    Again, we need to caution Canadians not to over-extend themselves because interest rates eventually will go up.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, this government needs to caution itself. It plays Santa to Bay Street by giving corporate tax cuts to banks and oil companies that are awash with cash. It plays Scrooge to Canadian families by cutting public investment, cutting services that middle class and poorer Canadian families depend on and it talks about cutting health care transfers that Canadian families need.

    The Canadian economy needs public investment. Canadians need a jobs plan to pay down their record levels of debt under the current government. Canadian families need their health care system.

    Why act like Santa to Bay Street and like Scrooge to everyone else?

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the economy, Canadians know that the NDP does not have a clue.

    Here is what the The Province from Vancouver had to say yesterday in an editorial:

Time and again, either through unaffordable election promises or capricious plans to hike taxes, New Democrats act as though there is a magic money fairy somewhere who sprinkles government with endless supplies of cash. It's why voters often fear giving the NDP the keys to the treasury.

    I know it is Christmas time, but I am at best a mere elf. I am no magic money fairy.