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View Alain Rayes Profile
View Alain Rayes Profile
2020-06-17 15:19 [p.2491]
Madam Chair, today we are in the House for a relatively short amount of time since we have only four hours to talk about the government's $87 billion in spending.
Before getting into the questions I have for the government, I thought I would crunch some numbers. We are going to spend four hours discussing $87 billion. That represents $362.5 million a minute or roughly $6 million a second. That is how much time we have to talk about the Prime Minister's announcements and all the questions on the minds of Canadians, businesses, organizations and all parliamentarians across the country. I am sure the Liberals across the way get asked the same questions by constituents. Unfortunately, they are unable to provide any answers.
Earlier today, during the sitting of the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, I asked the Minister of Finance some questions on the economic update, or economic snapshot, as the Prime Minister calls it. Apparently the Canadian Parliament is incapable of doing as other countries or provinces have done and present a real economic update or a budget so that we can see where we stand after all of the announcements that have been made in the past three months.
In what little time we have every day to ask questions, we cannot even get basic information, such as the amount of the deficit or the debt, or the amount associated with a government announcement. I think that this shows a lack of respect for the parliamentarians here in this House and for Canadians who work hard to earn a living and support their families. Canadians pay taxes, which are used to provide services to the public and to those who are most vulnerable or in need.
Today I am relating the comments of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The Conservatives are not making any of this up. For weeks now, we have been asking for an economic update. We are going to vote supply without knowing any of the details. Actually, we just learned that we will get all the facts in a few weeks, on July 8, so we have a bit of time today to ask some questions.
Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said that the Liberals' estimates are incomplete. The Prime Minister is talking about some really big numbers, in the billions of dollars, on the steps of his cottage instead of convening Parliament so we can debate the issues and legislation or ask questions. We are being left on our own to do our work as MPs in our ridings and help our constituents. The last three weeks have been extremely frustrating. We have received little information and we cannot meet with anyone in the halls of Parliament to get some help to do our work as MPs in our ridings. We do not have the opportunity to speak with the right people who might be able to get answers for our constituents and the businesses in need.
My first question is rather simple and I hope someone will be able to answer it. A month ago, following pressure from the Conservative Party, the Prime Minister stood on the steps of his cottage and announced that businesses that have just one employee or that pay themselves in dividends would finally have access to $40,000 in loans through the Canada emergency business account.
As much as we have gotten some answers during briefing calls, we still do not know when this information will be communicated to the financial institutions and credit unions so that businesses can receive that emergency assistance.
When will those $40,000 loans be available to businesses with just one employee or that pay themselves in dividends?
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