House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was bankruptcy.

Topics

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I do not sense the same degree of enthusiasm on the other side of the House.

The Minister of National Revenue has said that, under the common law, Mint-breaker David Dingwall was entitled to a severance package for quitting his job. That of course was not true, so now the minister says the golden handshake is required by federal laws. Even his caucus colleagues, including the Minister of Labour and some who have practised labour law, do not buy that.

The common person knows that when we quit a job we do not get a bonus when we are walking out the door. Exactly what law or regulation requires the government to pay David Dingwall one red cent for quitting his job? Just what is the minister's authority and will he table it?

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I have explained several times, it is the combination of three pieces of legislation, case law, and a policy framework. The fact of the matter is that without a mutually agreed separation package, even if someone resigns voluntarily, there is certainly the risk--and the government has to consider risk--of a long and expensive lawsuit.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, we hope the minister will table it. The Liberals' practice is very common for looking after themselves, courtesy of the taxpayer.

Canadians are outraged by the suggestion that a severance package is even being contemplated for Mr. Dingwall. He had a quarter of a million dollars a year in salary, a huge expense account and the audacity to bill for a pack of gum. Only a dingbat would now defend Dingwall.

The minister has finally revealed the real reason. He said that there may be a long protracted lawsuit. To avoid what? Will the Prime Minister now confess that the real reason he will not table the documents is that he is trying to hide the payoff that is being paid to David Dingwall?

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, this speculation about hush money is in fact typical of the Conservative Party.

Let me quote from Conservative leader Preston Manning's book on page 379 where he wrote that the member for Calgary Southeast in speaking about the dismissal of a Conservative staffer, informed one of his colleagues that “$40,000 buys a lot of silence”. That was the Conservative Party. I suggest that the Conservatives step down from their high horse on this subject.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, the Bloc Québécois proposed a whole slew of measures to counter soaring gas prices. Now, the government is about to announce an assistance plan largely based on these proposals, which includes helping low income families, giving more teeth to the Competition Act and creating a petroleum monitoring agency. However, it seems there are a few measures missing in this package.

Does the Prime Minister intend to include in his plan support measures for farmers, independent truckers, taxi drivers and the whole forestry sector?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance will be announcing the details of that plan. However, I can say that it will help the poor, while also recognizing the need to conserve energy. It is a comprehensive plan that meets the needs of Canadians.

I am very proud of the efforts made by the minister, by all ministers and by our whole caucus. I am anxiously waiting for this initiative.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in order to fund the assistance plan, the Bloc Québécois had proposed that a surtax be imposed on oil companies which, as we know, are generating huge surpluses.

Does the Prime Minister intend to look to the oil companies to do their part, so that his aid package is not funded exclusively by taxpayers?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is not the government's intention to raise taxes in an effort to deal with the issue of energy prices. In fact our focus, I would think, would need to be in the opposite direction. Tomorrow I hope we will be able to provide further and better detail. That will be the first step in an ongoing plan.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, by playing with their refining margins, oil companies have lined their pockets. This margin went from 8¢ per litre before the crisis to more than 40¢ during the crisis. This is one of the ways oil companies were able to increase their benefits.

Does the Minister of Finance realize that taxpayers should not be the only ones funding the assistance plan that he is about to announce, and that oil companies must also do their part? Does he intend to make them contribute by imposing a minimum surtax of $500 million?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the tax revenues of this country are contributed by all sectors of the economy and by individual Canadians. The energy sector in fact is one of the largest contributors to the tax revenues of not only the Government of Canada but all the provinces and municipalities. At the last check on that revenue it was something in the order of $16 billion per year.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, as gas prices were soaring, the Minister of Transport continued to insist that the government had nothing to do regarding this issue and that we had to let market forces play out.

Now that the government has got the message, it seems to agree with some of the proposals made by the Bloc Québécois.

Does the minister intend to round out his plan by proposing, among other measures, incentives to encourage consumers to buy more energy efficient vehicles?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in the House on many occasions, there will be at least three parts to the plan that we propose. The first will focus on greater transparency and more competitive forces in the marketplace. The second will focus on energy efficiency and energy conservation to help all of us save energy and money. The third component will be to provide income assistance and greater disposable incomes to the most vulnerable of Canadians.

Home Heating Prices
Oral Question Period

October 5th, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the details emerge of the assistance program, people are concerned that some who need help are not going to get it. For example, a working couple earning $40,000 a year is not going to be able to get any help. Someone working at Tim Hortons is out of luck in terms of getting help. Someone who works at the Mint on the other hand gets $1 million and the Prime Minister stands up and says perhaps the person deserves severance pay.

Could the Prime Minister explain why David Dingwall deserves to get help when a working couple facing high oil prices does not?

Home Heating Prices
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the energy efficiency measures that we are going to propose will be broadly available to Canadians. We obviously need to focus on the most vulnerable. In addition to that, there are other ways in which we can improve energy efficiency among Canadians more generally.

We also intend to improve the disposable incomes of Canadians. What we have to offer on that subject tomorrow will be just the first step of a number yet to come.

Automobile Industry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am still waiting for the Prime Minister to explain why David Dingwall deserves to get so much help, but a working couple will not when they will be trying to heat their homes this coming winter.

The minister references efficiency. Efficiency is incredibly important if we are going to solve the problems that face us, especially now that we have smog season running all the way from February to October in this country. That party voted against standards that would require auto manufacturers to produce fuel efficient cars. The words ring rather hollow.

When are we going to see fuel efficient standards as part of this plan?