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S'enregistrer au Flux RSS Le Sénat du Canada

‘Economy’ category

My last stand against Bill C-38 before the final vote!

29 June 2021 at 15h53

 Honourable senators, before sharing my thoughts on the budget with you, I would like to remind the Senate of certain facts — not propaganda — about the Liberal government’s last three budgets.

In 2003, Canada enjoyed a $9.1 billion surplus; in 2004, a $1.5 billion surplus; and in 2005, a $13.2 billion surplus. I am talking about the facts, the reality and responsible people who managed the country’s affairs.

Let us now look at the last three budgets of the Conservative Party. In 2009, Canada was running a $55.6 billion deficit; in 2010, a $40.5 billion deficit; and in 2011, when we did a little better, a $29.6 billion deficit. All of that is to say, honourable senators, that Canada now has a national debt totalling $586 billion. Before this bill is passed, it is important to understand the direction Canada is heading in and what the current trend is. I think these numbers give us something to think about: the difference between a responsible government and one that does not know where it is headed.

It might also be worthwhile to point out the real title of the bill: An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2021 and other measures.

The part I have a problem with is the “and other measures.” As my colleagues mentioned, this bill amends 70 laws. It is 425 pages long and contains 753 clauses that require close inspection. The government would have us believe that this bill is about jobs, growth and prosperity.

I will show how the government’s lack of transparency, lack of integrity, and lack of consultation and collaboration with the provinces and the people are threatening Canada’s national unity, economic future and international reputation.

I believe that Bill C-38 is a virulent attack on provincial jurisdiction. Consider employment insurance. For all intents and purposes, the government is introducing subjective rules about suitable employment and what workers will be required to do. Of course, this will not typically affect workers earning $100,000 or more per year. During my speech, I will refer to conversations I have had with Canadians who have shared their concerns with us. (more…)

Transpacific Partnership: will Canada suffer dumping to the detriment of our food safety?

21 June 2021 at 15h42

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. The announcement that the Government of Canada will be participating in free trade negotiations with the Pacific Rim countries raises not just the issue of protecting our supply management system, but also the issues of environmental dumping and social dumping, which could plague Canada even more.

Dumping occurs when goods are imported at a price lower than their value because production standards in the country of origin are lower than those for goods produced in Canada. Some countries sell competitive goods on the Canadian market because their minimum wage, if it exists, is lower than ours, their labour rights provide less protection for workers than what is afforded to our workers, and their health and environmental standards are lower than Canada’s. Thus, not only does our agri-food industry face unfair competition, but our societal model and food safety are also threatened.

Can the leader tell us if, as a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canada would strongly oppose imports of products that could erode the working conditions of Canadian workers and lower the quality of the products they produce?

(more…)

Goodbye Equity: Conservatives eliminate employment equity obligations for federal government contractors

5 June 2021 at 14h25

OTTAWA, June 5th, 2012 – Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette denounces article 602 of the Conservative omnibus budget Bill C-38 which removes a clause in the Employment Equity Act (EEA), requiring contractors to comply with employment equity in the Federal Contractors Program (FCP).

This will have a negative impact on the employment access of women, the disabled, Aboriginals and visible minorities and demonstrates the conservatives’ desire to destroy any progress gained by these groups since Confederation.

“With their majority in the House of Commons and the Senate, the Conservatives have both hands on the wheel, their foot on the gas pedal and the transmission stuck in reverse” said Senator Hervieux-Payette. “We will lose 25 years of economic and social progress. This is a regressive and archaic decision that goes against common sense,” continued the Senator.

(more…)

Loss at JPMorgan: the conservatives are still opposed to reforming the financial system

16 May 2021 at 20h54

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. You have certainly heard the recent news of JPMorgan posting over $2 billion in losses in two weeks after speculating on credit derivatives.

After that debacle, U.S. President Barack Obama said that this incident only underscores why it was so important to reform the rules that apply to Wall Street and all financial sectors, and why those rules need to be fully enforced, not just on an ad hoc basis.

A few weeks ago, I asked a question about the fact that Canadian banks had received secret loans totalling billions of dollars in order to prevent some of them from going bankrupt at the beginning of the crisis in 2008.

When will the Prime Minister work with President Obama — for once, I believe that we, on this side, agree that they should work together — in order to regulate the financial system and prohibit Canadian banks from making any speculative investments, considering that the banks are funded for the most part by Canadians’ pension funds? (more…)

Conservatives secretly bailout Canadian banks for $114 billion

2 May 2021 at 18h28

Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette: Honourable senators, let us continue with financial matters. We might wonder if the government should take remedial Math 101.

This morning, as I was studying a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, I read the following:

The Conservative government secretly lent more than $114 billion to Canadian banks, although the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance boasted around the world that the federal government did not have to bail out Canadian banks at the beginning of the financial crisis.

I have raised the issue a number of times but without mentioning the amount of $114 billion, which includes amounts from the United States and various other sources. This secret loan represents almost $3,400 per Canadian, which amounts to more money per taxpayer than the U.S. provided to American banks.

In the U.S., the figures were made available to journalists and the public whereas in Canada many documents had to be closely examined and studied in detail in order to arrive at this conclusion.

How can the government expect Canadians to believe that the financial system does not need reform and oversight when it secretly lends money to banks to prevent their bankruptcy? How can this government continue to pay millions of dollars annually to the CEOs of Canadian banks? (more…)

 

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