House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was united.

Topics

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I guess the answer to my question about letting Saddam go is yes.

Let me follow that up. Coalition naval forces in the gulf are on high alert for suicide attacks. We know that Iraqi boats packed with explosives have been intercepted in the gulf.

Does the minister understand that if the Canadian navy does not help intercept Iraqi boats coalition lives could be lost?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is precisely an integral part of the mission of our task force to seek out those who would place mines or in any other way damage allied shipping and merchant ships in the region. Indeed, we have boarded ships suspected of carrying mines and the citizenship of individuals on those ships was of no consequence to our navy.

We are entirely engaged in this matter. Should we find any such mines or other damaging equipment we will deal with it. That is what our navy has been doing and will continue to do.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

April 3rd, 2003 / 2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the former finance minister's company, Canada Steamship Lines, benefited from tax loopholes he helped to create. Those loopholes allow the former finance minister's company to transfer dividends back to Canada completely tax free.

Finance officials urged him to close those loopholes. A special taxation committee recommended shutting them down and the Auditor General said that these tax havens were unfair to other taxpaying Canadians, yet the former finance minister did nothing. He overruled their advice and plowed ahead with the same loopholes.

Why did the former finance minister maintain these tax loopholes when he knew that his shipping company would benefit from them?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am informed that the matter of the tax treatment of international business corporations operating out of Barbados is a matter of tax treaty. A tax treaty exists between Barbados and Canada. There have been discussions between Canada and the government of Barbados with respect to the treatment of the income of international business corporations and the repatriation of that active business income to Canadian firms.

However, at the moment the provisions of the treaty continue to apply and it would not be a matter for us to deal with unilaterally.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in his first budget speech the former finance minister said:

Certain Canadian corporations are not paying an appropriate level of tax. Accordingly, we are taking measures to prevent Canadian-based companies from using foreign affiliates to avoid paying Canadian taxes.

The former finance minister conveniently failed to close the loopholes that help the flags of convenience.

Will the current finance minister move now to close the tax loopholes used by companies like Canada Steamship Lines from paying their fair share of Canadian taxes?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member could be more precise about what loopholes he believes exist.

My understanding is that the matter respecting the treatment of dividends received out of active business income earned by offshore affiliates is dealt with under tax treaties. These are not changed unilaterally. They do require negotiation and I am sure he would agree with me that he would not take the rather remarkable step of cancelling it.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, even the United States has been critical of Canada's inconsistency. Canada says that it is against the war in Iraq, but only in words. In fact, Ambassador Cellucci said that with its ships in the Persian Gulf and its troops attached to foreign units, Canada was providing, and I quote, “more military support to this war in Iraq than most of the—countries that are part of the coalition”.

Given this comment, will the minister finally admit that Canada is taking part in the war in Iraq and that in order to be consistent with his statements, he should withdraw from the theatre of operations?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is true that Canada is making a very significant contribution in the gulf to the war on terrorism. There is a considerable philosophical difference between us and the Bloc Quebecois.

The Bloc Quebecois is not happy that we are making this contribution, but we, the government and myself, are proud of the fact that Canada is making a very important contribution in the gulf to the war on terrorism, and we are happy the Mr. Cellucci has recognized this contribution.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the greatest philosophical difference is that we are logical and that we tell the truth.

By way of its ambassador, the United States recognizes that Canadian soldiers and ships are helping the U.S. fight a war against Iraq. In fact, the only thing that the United States has not obtained is Canada's official support.

After George Bush's concept of pre-emptive war, has the Prime Minister not invented another new concept, that of unofficial war?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these philosophical differences are not what the member inferred. Rather, for those of us on this side of the House, we view Americans as our best friends and allies. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the war against terrorism. That is why we are proud of our significant contribution to the war on terrorism, a contribution that Mr. Cellucci recently recognized, and we are proud of this.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the American ambassador to Canada thinks that Canada's participation in the war in Iraq—not the war against terrorism but the war in Iraq—is good and even better than most of the 49 countries which support the war.

With such a positive report card from the ambassador, will the Prime Minister admit that his opposition in principle to the war in Iraq, for the purpose of pleasing the public, no longer holds water, since Canada's support for the war is being praised by the United States?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the issue of the war is not a philosophical issue. We have established our principles. We have stuck to our principles at the UN and these principles are still in effect.

The war has already begun and it is now clear that we want the war to be over quickly and that we want the Americans and their allies to be successful.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he can name a single sovereign nation, just one, which is officially against the war in Iraq and which has soldiers directly involved in the conflict on Iraqi soil, as Canada has in Iraq?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that among the ships in the Gulf there are some from France.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister says that the Liberal policy on the war is a matter of principle. I would submit that the Liberals have principles they have not even used yet when it comes to the war. One of them seems to be their alleged principle against cluster bombs. Yesterday the Prime Minister was asked about the use of cluster bombs in the war and he said that we would have liked to have had a treaty against that, but we did not get one, so it is okay to use them.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister or the Minister of National Defence. Would either one say that if it is okay to have an opinion on the war and it is okay to have an opinion on cluster bombs, what is the opinion of the Government of Canada with respect to the use of cluster bombs?