House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was acadian.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, by saying that he wants to invest in education, health and municipalities, the father of fiscal imbalance, the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard and future prime minister, is proving that there really is such an imbalance. If there is a surplus to invest, it is because cuts were made somewhere, and he was the one responsible for those cuts.

Consequently, does the Minister of Finance not believe that the best way to ensure future investments would be to give the money directly to those responsible for providing the services, meaning Quebec and the provinces?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Oak Ridges
Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when this government inherited a $42.5 billion deficit the Bloc never mentioned fiscal imbalance. Now that we have recorded six balanced budgets or better, suddenly the Bloc talks about a fiscal imbalance.

I would like to point out that the IMF has just announced that Canada will be one of the top performers in the world in 2003-04 because of the fundamental principles that this government has adhered to with regard to the economy. For that we should be hearing kudos from that side, not the nonsense we often hear.

Voyageur Colonial Pension Fund
Oral Question Period

September 19th, 2003 / 11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party's Prince Charming cheated Voyageur bus drivers out of millions of dollars. OSFI, which is supposed to be a regulatory body and is supposed to protect employees, answered the minister directly. Political pressure was applied and the drivers lost up to 30% of their pension.

Why did OSFI not do anything in a case that saw the biggest pension losses in the history of Canada?

Voyageur Colonial Pension Fund
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered that question.

Voyageur Colonial Pension Fund
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are giving the government the chance to remove the cloud of suspicion from their heads, to remove the cloud of suspicion from the former finance minister. They refuse to do so. In doing so, they have stiffed hundreds of Canadians out of millions of dollars.

How can they live with themselves? How can they sleep at night? I do not understand it. How are Canadians supposed to trust a Liberal government that allowed the former finance minister to shortchange the average person out of their pensions?

Voyageur Colonial Pension Fund
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I should inform the hon. member that I, and I am sure my colleagues on this side of the House, sleep very well at night, knowing that we give the country a very good government. That very good government will continue with the new Liberal leader.

When the hon. member starts talking about heads in the clouds, it is obvious the Alliance members have their heads in the clouds because they are so afraid of a change of leadership that they are willing to attack the integrity of one of the members of the House.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, citing difficulties accessing venture capital, yesterday the former finance minister suggested that pension funds should be tapped into, as they are in the U.S. We all know what that means.

Rather than putting workers' pension funds at risk, as the former finance minister did with Voyageur, does the government not think it would be better to recoup the money lost to tax havens and invest it in the economy?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Oak Ridges
Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, the member knows that the responsibility of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is to oversee all pension funds. This government does not comment on specific cases.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the first budget tabled by the Liberals after they came into power in 1993, 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”.

Indeed, measures were taken, but rather to promote tax avoidance and the use of tax havens, particularly the one where the former finance minister had interests.

What is the government waiting for to implement the measures announced nine years ago?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Oak Ridges
Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, predicting the Canadian tax base is the number one concern of this government. Obviously we monitor it on an ongoing basis. The member, rather than making cheap innuendoes against the member for LaSalle—Émard, should be talking about the fact that we have a competitive rate internationally. There are 1,700 companies in the one jurisdiction this member talked about yesterday. The fact is, we continue to update our treaties we have with those countries. We have 79. I would suggest that is an ongoing activity of this government.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP review committee concluded that the RCMP failed to properly investigate allegations of widespread corruption at the Canadian High Commission in Hong Kong. This resulted in Asian organized crime figures entering Canada.

What is at issue is whether or not the RCMP deliberately failed to investigate incidents that suggested a fraud ring was operating in the Hong Kong mission.

Will the minister immediately convene a public inquiry so Canadians can have an answer to this very disturbing question?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the member across the way knows very well, our RCMP is well respected in this country. There is an ongoing internal disciplinary hearing. We will not comment in order to ensure that it is fair.

In terms of foreign affairs, we work closely through the RCMP to ensure that any threat to national security is properly investigated.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, the external review committee concluded, and I quote, “For reasons that are not entirely clear, the Force has consistently demonstrated a reluctance to investigate the activities of locally engaged staff at the Mission”.

This government has repeatedly refused to deal with this situation. Again, will the Solicitor General arrange a public inquiry to dispel any misconceptions that the RCMP deliberately failed to do its job and determine who has been pressuring it to drop this case?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I find it amazing that the member across the way would cast aspersions on a police force, a law enforcement agency like the RCMP which is well respected here in Canada by ordinary Canadians and across the world.

This country, this government and our national law enforcement agency takes seriously any threats to national security and our force properly investigates when there is reason to believe that there is a threat to national security.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment. With great foresight, the British government has adopted a reduction target for carbon dioxide emissions of 60% by the year 2050. Could the minister inform the House as to whether a similar and needed target will be set by the Canadian government so as to repair the climate and reduce the increasing damage to Canada's economy caused by climate change?