Ottawa – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo debated Bill C-45, the second Budget Implementation Act (BIA), on Oct. 25, in Parliament.
“There has been a lot of discussion over the number of pages contained in this document. Unfortunately, the opposition has taken a very simplistic view of this process. They are busy counting pages rather than reading them. They are focused on worrying about the number of statutes as opposed to looking at the current context and unique challenges we face as a country,” stated McLeod.
Mrs. McLeod used the example of changes to the MP pension plan to illustrate her point. “In Budget 2012 the commitment to make these changes represented 1 line in the budget, but it took 22 pages in the BIA to make the change. To be frank I do not think Canadians care how many pages it would take. What they care about is the outcome. They expect legislators to know how to make it happen,” said McLeod.
Another issue Mrs. McLeod highlighted in her speech was the expanding opportunities for aboriginal people to fully participate in the economy.
“I am really particularly proud of Tk’emlúps Indian Band which has shown real leadership in terms of a good economy for their people and using their land in ways that the band approves of. This legislation provides important amendments that would take away some of the government’s patriarchal land-ownership rulings and let the bands move forward in terms of important economic opportunities,” stated McLeod.
Further, she spoke about the merits of the Registered Disability Savings Plan. “The RDSP has been very well received, in which we would simplify the process to open RDSPs for individuals who have reached the age of majority and lack contractual competence. Essentially the technical changes would provide a vast improvement to the program,” said McLeod.
In conclusion, MP McLeod urged all Members of the House to support this technical piece of legislation that ensures many of the important measures in Budget 2012 are enshrined into action.
“Now is the time to ensure the sustainability of our public finances and social programs for future generations. International experience shows the importance of taking action now. Building a strong economy has to be our number one priority.
“With the ongoing global economic turbulence, especially in Europe and the United States, we have to act now. Delaying needed economic and fiscal reforms will only serve to put our financial house in jeopardy,” concluded McLeod.