Question ~ Canadians’ finances

Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby)

Mr. Speaker, according to the Liberals, the economy is doing great, but Canadian households have the highest levels of debt of the 35 OECD countries. Why is that? It is because the Liberals chose to help their millionaire friends instead of families in need. Today, Jagmeet Singh is calling on the government to fund the basic income pilot project scrapped by Doug Ford in Ontario. It is an extremely important project.

Will the Prime Minister show he cares about these people and fund the last year of the project?

Joël Lightbound (Louis-Hébert)

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to my colleague, I am wondering where he has been for the past three years.

We lowered taxes for the middle class and raised them for the wealthiest 1%. We made the Canada child benefit more progressive than ever before. This summer, the OECD recognized that Canadian families pay the least in taxes of any G7 country and that, on average, they are $2,000 richer than they were under the Conservative government. What is more, child poverty in Canada has been reduced by 40%.

Our government is progressive to the core and is committed to reducing inequality across the country.

Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby)

Mr. Speaker, that is not what the OECD tells us. They tell us that Canadian household debt has skyrocketed out of control and that we are in the midst of the worst family debt crisis ever, the worst family debt crisis in the industrialized world. I do not understand the hesitation. Liberals love studies. They are studying child care and pharmacare to death. At least this study helps people now. There are ways to help these families.

Today, Jagmeet Singh called on the government to fund—

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

Hon. Geoff Regan (Halifax West)

Order. We are not in grade 7 folks. Come on.

Order. I heard it from both sides. Enough.

The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

Noise/conversations/heckling, interruptions ...

Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby)

Mr. Speaker, they should just call a by-election so Jagmeet Singh can be in the House of Commons. Jagmeet Singh called on the government to fund the basic income pilot project in Ontario that was abandoned by Premier Ford.

Why will the Liberals not step up, and why will they not do the right thing?

Adam Vaughan (Spadina—Fort York)

Mr. Speaker, we share the disappointment, and in particular the impact it has had on the families who participated in this critical experiment, because we know that it was going to produce results that all of us could benefit from as we put together government policy.

However, let me assure the members on the opposite side that since taking office, we have lifted 650,000 Canadians out of poverty, including 300,000 children. The Canada housing benefit, which kicks in next year as part of the national housing strategy, is also a form of income support. As well, EI reforms have been kicking in, which have also helped Canadians in this situation.

This government has not stepped back from supporting Canadians in need, and we will continue to work to make sure that we get them the help they deserve.

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