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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-27 16:59 [p.24091]
Madam Speaker, I will respond to that, because the Conservatives do not hide and we are not afraid of the truth.
The fact is that the MP for Papineau, the Liberals' leader, the Prime Minister presently, said during the last campaign that never in the world would he present an omnibus bill. There was no nuance. It was, “no omnibus bill, ever”. The fact is that it is the biggest omnibus bill we have ever seen in this Parliament. It is bigger than an elephant. Seriously, it is huge. It is over 800 pages.
The blunt fact is that we were not ashamed of putting forward omnibus bills, because Canadians wanted the House to be efficient. Canadians wanted the House to go forward to make changes when necessary. Sometimes, when we had to debate every article, it did not go fast enough for the quickly changing pace of the world and all the needs of the Canadian people.
Right now the member is trying to engage with people to try to hide the fact that the Liberals are doing omnibus bills. They are ashamed of it.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-27 17:01 [p.24092]
Madam Speaker, I personally believe we should ensure that workers pensions are protected when a company files for bankruptcy.
As a society, we cannot tell workers who have worked for 30 or 40 years and who were counting on a pension that, all of a sudden, for purely capitalist reasons, their pension will be slashed.
There are people in my riding who suffered a great deal when White Birch Paper almost went under. There were unbelievable cuts to employees’ pensions. The only comfort I could find when I met with the people on the board of White Birch Paper, which employed 400 people, was when they told me that their pensions had been cut as well.
The NDP is working hard on this. Good for them, because it is an important issue.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-27 17:16 [p.24094]
Madam Speaker, I am sure that the member must have skipped one of the paragraphs in his speech where he was intending to announce when the government would balance the budget. That has always been the case in Canada's history. Maybe he could check his speech once more. All of my constituents are calling non-stop every single day about when the budget will be balanced.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie should stop misleading the House.
The Prime Minister said that he has spoken with the Premier of Ontario about this critical situation GM employees find themselves in.
After playing partisan games on the backs of Franco-Ontarians for a week, did he at least address this language issue with the Premier of Ontario?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-23 11:55 [p.23821]
Mr. Speaker, the third link project is very important, not only for traffic, but also for the economic development of the greater Quebec City region.
I do not think I am mistaken in saying that the hon. member for Louis-Hébert has said on the radio many times that he supports the third link project. However, his leader has just appointed a new advisor, Steven Guilbeault, who is fiercely opposed to the third link project.
I would like to give the hon. member for Louis-Hébert the opportunity to tell us today whether he has concerns in that regard and whether he still supports the third link, as he has done on the radio.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-23 11:56 [p.23822]
Mr. Speaker, it is a shame the member for Louis-Hébert was unable to answer the question. The minister said he would take a very close look at it. This is no longer hypothetical. It is going to happen. It is on the CAQ government's agenda.
Will they support the project once it is ready to go? Can they tell us right now if they support it, yes or no?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-23 12:11 [p.23824]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order regarding the following statements made by the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. On Thursday, November 22, she said:
It has been seven days since Ontario's Conservative government cut services for Franco-Ontarians, but so far, no one in the Conservative Party has condemned what is happening in Ontario. That is unacceptable.
Page 63, 22nd edition of Erskine May, refers to a resolution passed by the U.K. House of Commons: ministers have a duty to Parliament to account, and to be held to account, for the policies, decisions and actions of their departments; it is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament. Erskine May then states that ministers must correct the record at the earliest opportunity.
I would also like to draw the Speaker's attention to the Prime Minister's message to his cabinet ministers in the document “Open and Accountable Government”.
[Ministers must] answer honestly and accurately about [their] areas of responsibility [and] correct any inadvertent errors in answering to Parliament at the earliest opportunity...
The Minister's statement fails to reference my public condemnation and that of the political lieutenant—
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-22 14:56 [p.23780]
Mr. Speaker, for the past year, the members for Québec and Louis-Hébert have been parading around Quebec City talking about how they are going to help create a third link.
Yesterday, the Liberals hired an adviser, Steven Guilbeault, who has said he is officially against the third link. A third link is important to Beauport—Limoilou, Quebec City, and the economic development of the whole region.
Are the Liberals for or against a third link in Quebec City?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-22 15:08 [p.23782]
Mr. Speaker, I have an obligation to tell you that the Minister of Official Languages misled the House today in question period when she claimed that no Conservative members of the House have publicly criticized the Ford government's actions in front of the cameras.
I did so, as did several members—
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-19 15:52 [p.23587]
Mr. Speaker, I must be mistaken, or maybe I went outside to the lobby, but I must have missed the part of the hon. member's speech when he was talking about when the government will balance the budget. I have never seen a budget speech that did not include a date, or anything like a date, confirming when the budget would be balanced. Therefore, I would like the member to rectify the situation. I must have been somewhere else or not listening. I am very sorry. When will the government balance the budget?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-19 16:03 [p.23589]
Mr. Speaker, as usual, I am very pleased to rise today.
Without further delay, I would like to inform the House that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Barrie—Innisfil.
As always, I extend my warmest greetings to the many people in Beauport—Limoilou who are watching us today.
Today's debate is very interesting. An opposition motion was moved in the House by the Conservative Party, of which I am of course a member. It reads as follows, and I quote:
That the House call on the government to tell Canadians in what year the budget will be balanced, and to do so in this week’s Fall Economic Statement.
Canadians may be wondering what is happening and how it is possible that we still do not know when the government will balance the budget. That has always been a basic concept for me, even before I got into politics.
It seems to me that any reasonable, responsible government, whether it be Liberal or Conservative—and I was going to add NDP, but that has not happened yet at the federal level—with nothing to hide should indicate in its policy statement, budget, and everyday political messaging a date on which it will balance the budget, or at least a concrete timeframe for doing so.
There are two rather surprising things about the Liberals' refusal to give us a timeframe for returning to a balanced budget. There are two historic elements with regard to the practice that they are currently using.
As the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent keeps saying, we have never seen a government run a deficit outside wartime or outside an economic crisis.
According to Keynesian economics, it is normal to run deficits. Keynes made some mistakes in several of his analyses, but there is one analysis he did that several governments have been adhering to for 60 years now. According to his analysis, when an international economic crisis is having an impact on every industrialized country in the world, it is not a bad idea for the government to invest heavily in its community, in its largest industries, in every industrial region of the country, to ensure that jobs are maintained and that there is some economic vitality despite the crisis.
For example, we Conservatives ran a few deficits in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 because the country was going through the worst economic crisis ever, the greatest recession since the 1930s.
Our reaction was responsible. Why? First, because there was a major global recession. Second, because even though we were a Conservative government, we embraced Keynesianism because we felt it made good economic sense. Through our strategic reinvestment plan, we managed to maintain 200,000 jobs. Not only did we maintain jobs across Canada, but we also repaired infrastructure, bridges and overpasses.
Two years ago, when I was a member of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, I read a report that noted this was the first time an economic recovery and stimulus plan had been implemented so quickly. In three or four years, we invested $80 billion in infrastructure to help Canada weather some rough economic times.
The first surprise from the Liberals was that they ran up massive deficits of $20 billion this year, $20 billion last year, and $30 billion in 2015-16, even though there is no major crisis or war going on.
There is a second surprising thing. Let us go back to the time when lords were waging wars against the king of England, which is in the 13th century. In 1215, the Magna Carta resulted from several confrontations between the lords, the capitalist bourgeoisie and the aristocracy, all pleading for their interests with the king. The idea was to create an assembly where they could present their admonitions and complaints to the king and could limit the outrageous sums the king wanted to spend on the holy crusades. That is when our parliamentary system was born.
When I was first elected to the House of Commons, I learned Parliament's primary function. My university professors knew I liked philosophy, but they said I would soon come to realize that, in the House of Commons, discussions are about money, the economy, the country's economic situation and public finances. I learned that, in the House of Commons, debates are almost entirely about public finances.
That is as it should be, since the philosophical and political foundations of the British parliamentary system are accountability and the principle of responsible government allowing citizens to know what their money is used for. In those days, it was the capitalist bourgeoisie who wanted to know, whereas nowadays all citizens expect it. Nevertheless, the process and the principle remain the same. We want to know what happens with our money. Why are there deficits, if any, and most importantly when is the government going to balance the budget? Deficits involve our money, and it is commendable and reasonable to know when the budget will be balanced.
My colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert was just saying how absurd this is. What would a government MP do if an ordinary Canadian asked him to simply tell him when his party would balance the budget? For three years, members of Parliament have not really been allowed to answer such a question, yet it is quite a normal question. They have to come up with foolish answers, think about something else or say that everything is fine because they have been cutting taxes, when in fact each citizen in Beauport—Limoilou pays $800 more every year in income tax.
That amounts to almost $2,000 per family, not to mention the tax credits they axed, the oil that is not being shipped out of the country, all the cuts in exports to the U.S., all the U.S. investment in Canada that has been lost while Canadian investment in the U.S. has increased, not to mention the fact that household debt is at an all-time high. The OECD remarked on this recently. In short, I could go on for a long time without even talking about the USMCA.
Nonetheless, there are some surprising things. What is incredible, and I repeat this every time I give a speech about Canada's economy, is that, in 2015, the Liberals were smart enough and had enough honour to explain why they were running a deficit even though we were not at war or in an economic crisis. At the time, the member for Papineau, under a gigantic crane in Toronto—I remember watching on television from my campaign office in Beauport—Limoilou and that it was partly cloudy and it rained a little—announced to Canadians that the Liberals would run a deficit of $10 billion in the first two years and then a deficit of $6 billion in the third year. He promised a deficit. Everyone was surprised that he was promising a deficit. It was a first.
He added that the Liberals would run a deficit in order to invest in infrastructure, which, he said, had been abandoned, and to invest more in infrastructure in general across the country. At least he was consistent in his comments once he was elected. He announced that they were creating a historic infrastructure plan—everything is always historic with them—worth $187 billion, which is not bad either. That was a continuation of what we had done. We had invested $80 billion over the course of the six previous years. It is only natural to continue to invest in infrastructure in Canada. Some even claim that Canada exists thanks to the railroad. Infrastructure has always been foundational here in Canada.
However, the Parliamentary Budget Officer—which, I repeat every time, as we must not forget, is an institution created by Mr. Harper, a great democrat who wanted there to be an independent body in Parliament to constantly hold the government to account—informed us in a report that, of the $187 billion invested in infrastructure, only $9 billion has actually been spent over the past three years. If I am not mistaken, $9 billion divided by three is $3 billion. The Liberals have invested $3 billion a year in infrastructure, and yet, they ran a $30-billion deficit in the first year.
Let us not forget that the $10-billion deficit was supposed to be for infrastructure. However, in their first year in office, the Liberals ran a $30-billion deficit and only $3 billion of that went to infrastructure. The second year, they ran a $20-billion deficit with only $3 billion for infrastructure, and they did the same again this year. Obviously, we have never seen a government put so much energy into spending so much money in such a reckless and dishonourable way while achieving so little for the economic well-being of the country and Canadians at home.
In closing, setting a deadline for paying off debt is something that Canadian families do at home all the time, for example when paying off their mortgages or their car loans. When people borrow money for a car, the dealer does not just say, “Have a good day, sir. See you around.” He tells them that they need to take out a bank loan and that they have four years to pay it back. There is a deadline for all sorts of things like that.
When will a balanced budget be achieved?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-19 16:15 [p.23590]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member completely misconstrued what I said. I was not talking about investments. These are deficits.
SMEs at the heart of job creation in my riding, Beauport—Limoilou, do not borrow money to invest in their projects, they use their profits for that. It is important to reinvest budgetary surpluses. In 2015, we left $3 billion to the Liberals when they came to power and they spent it all in just a few months.
If investment is truly what the government is after, then why did the Liberals say that they would run a $10-billion infrastructure deficit? Why are the deficits not being used to invest in infrastructure, as the Liberals claimed they wanted to do in 2015? It is because the Liberals' deficits are not being used to improve infrastructure or Canadians' lives. They are being used to please the lobby groups that have always supported the Liberals.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-19 16:17 [p.23591]
Mr. Speaker, I wish I could say the government could be more transparent, but that would surprise me. There is a lot of back and forth between the Liberals and the Office of the Ethics Commissioner. Transparency is not this government's strong suit.
My colleague talked about investments, but why is the army underfunded? According to another recently released report, the Canadian Forces had a $2-billion shortfall last year alone.
Also, why is the government not doing anything to reduce delays associated with the national shipbuilding strategy? The price tag for the 15 Iroquois-class frigates that are scheduled to be built in Halifax has gone up from $30 billion to $60 billion.
When will the Liberals give us the date the budget will be balanced? That is a simple question, and it boils down to being accountable to Parliament.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-08 14:08 [p.23496]
Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, November 11, thousands of Canadians will gather at various war memorials in Canada to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by so many of our ancestors and our contemporaries.
Our soldiers sacrificed their lives not only during both world wars, but also more recently, in UN peacekeeping missions and in Afghanistan, where Canada served to combat terrorism. Let us not forget the 158 soldiers we lost in this recent and major war in Afghanistan. Corporal Jean-François Drouin, from my region of Beauport, bravely served his country in Afghanistan and lost his life on September 6, 2009. Since then, his courageous parents have laid a wreath in Beauport every year in memory of their son. Let us keep them in our hearts and thoughts.
Let us never forget the ultimate sacrifice that Corporal Jean-François Drouin made for our great federation. Lest we forget.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alupa Clarke Profile
2018-11-08 14:49 [p.23503]
Mr. Speaker, it is not just a matter of investments. This goes beyond the government's broken promises to veterans. We are talking about red tape and a lack of respect within Veterans Affairs Canada itself for the calls it receives from our brave men and women in uniform. I have heard stories from people who, every year anew, have to provide proof of having lost their arm in Afghanistan.
Does the government think it is right or fair to do that to our dedicated soldiers who often continue to serve here or abroad?
The Prime Minister needs to understand and commit today to reduce the department's red tape and burdensome rules.
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