IN THE HOUSE – Debate – Budget 2021 – emergency pandemic supports

44th Parliament, 1st session

 Mr. Speaker, will the member actually recognize that it is obscene to provide $750 billion of liquidity supports to Canada's big banks, with absolutely no conditions, to allow them to increase service charges, to impose penalties and fees and to do all the damage they have done over the course of this past year by refusing to provide supports to so many small businesses and people who are actually relying on the banks to provide some support during this pandemic? The Liberals do all that, and then say they are going to cut CRB by $200 a week and they are going to cut other supports Canadians rely on.

Will the member acknowledge that is inappropriate, given how much the Liberals have given to the banks and billionaires and how they are cutting back on the needs of people?

 

Mr. Speaker, the member for Hamilton Mountain is a real fighter for his constituents and for people right across the country, like workers and seniors. I really want to thank him for his service to Hamilton and to the entire country.

He is right. The Liberal speech is nothing, until we look at where the money goes. When we look at where the money goes, it goes to banks and billionaires. There is $750 billion in liquidity supports. Without batting an eye, they did not announce it publicly, they just doled it out. Billionaires are up $80 billion in increased wealth through this pandemic, and the government steadfastly refuses to use any of the tools that other countries have put into place. There are enough vacuous, vapid Liberal speeches. We follow the money and we see where the priorities are, and the priorities of the current Liberal government are banks, billionaires and the ultrarich, and that comes to a real detriment of people.

 

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Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague a question about cuts to the emergency benefit.

So far, people who are out of a job and need an emergency benefit to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head have been getting $500 per week. Now the government is about to cut that back to $300 per week, which is below the poverty line.

How have my colleague's constituents reacted to this massive cut to the emergency benefit?

 

 

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Madam Speaker, I know the member for Abbotsford has constituents who rely on the CRB. Particularly in the tourism industry and a number of other industries, people will rely on it to put food on their tables over the course of the summer.

I would like the member to comment on the government's slashing of the CRB from $500 a week to $300 a week, which is below poverty levels. Does he feel it is in the best interests of his constituents to see the marked slashing of those benefits at such a critical time?

 

 

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Madam Speaker, the government moved immediately, within four days of the pandemic hitting, to provide an unprecedented $750 billion in liquidity supports for Canada's big banks, and, of course, we have seen record profits of $60 billion so far during the pandemic.

However, at the same time, with Bill C-30, we are seeing significant cuts in the CRB, ultimately from the $500 a week the NDP fought for down to $300 a week, below the poverty line for all those Canadians who still need the CRB over the coming months to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head.

I would like the parliamentary secretary to simply explain why the government is slashing benefits on which Canadians so urgently rely.

 

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