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 financial.

Topics

International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Boulianne Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, Henri Massé, the president of the FTQ, recently denounced the loss in Quebec of 25,000 jobs in the clothing and textile industries over the past year and a half. The government is not doing anything about this, yet it has the means to do so.

Can the government explain to the thousands of workers who have lost their jobs as a result of its inaction why, when it has the power to take action, it is sitting on its hands and refusing to put safeguards in place for the clothing and textile industries, as it has the right and power to do? It is a disgrace.

International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we are currently monitoring the effects of imports on the clothing and textile sectors very closely.

For the past three months we have noticed that imports have levelled off and perhaps it will stay that way. We will work very closely with both industries, as I already mentioned. That is why we gave them $1.2 billion to become more competitive.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, millions of people do not have a choice as to whether they drive their car today, but the government does have a choice. It can decide right now to quit ripping people off at the pumps with the tax on tax and the GST.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the Toronto Sun today delivered a petition with 35,000 names on it to Parliament, calling on the government to quit ripping people off at the pump. This is something that has taken $4.8 billion out of the pockets of taxpayers since 1991.

How does the government justify applying the federal GST to the federal excise tax at a time when people cannot afford to fill their gas tank?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that structure was devised in the 1980s by the Mulroney Conservative government. That is the way the GST system was originally structured.

The fact is there is no ad valorem effect that the hon. gentleman describes. There is no increased revenue from the tax on tax effect when the price actually changes.

What we have dedicated ourselves to do is to ensure that any incremental revenues that flow to the Government of Canada from the high price of energy will be returned to Canadians through the kind of initiatives we will announce tomorrow.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal energy plan lacks energy. This is a pre-election tactic that ignores, once again, the needs of average Canadians suffering the effects of higher gas prices every day.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation today submitted a petition signed by 30,000 Canadians who are calling on the government to take action.

What is the government waiting for to help the millions of average Canadians affected by the higher gas prices?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the technique proposed in the question would not go very far in alleviating the burden upon Canadians.

We have chosen a multi-pronged approach that will improve competition and transparency in the marketplace, that will improve energy efficiency and energy conservation and that will provide higher disposable incomes to those most vulnerable Canadians who need the help the most.

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

October 5th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the finance minister has been using Challenger jets as his own personal taxi service. On four separate occasions Challengers flew the minister home to Regina and then returned to Ottawa empty. The minister has cost the government and the taxpayers over $250,000, all the while commercial flights were readily available.

I know that Liberals are not very popular in Saskatchewan. Is the minister so afraid of the voters that he will not even fly with them any more?

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government's policy is very clear. Any use of Challenger aircraft must be approved. In each case that has happened. The Challenger aircraft are there for government business and they are only there when there is no other alternative that would allow government business to be discharged reasonably.

As far as the role of the Minister of Finance, the fact is he has saved our country millions in interest costs. He has brought forth a budget that was one of the most popular in the country. I have no difficulty defending what he has done.

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Perhaps we could carry on some of the conversations outside after question period, so we could get on with the business of the House. The hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London now has the floor. He wants to ask a question. We will need a little order, please.

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hope he gets a little bag of nuts with that.

After revelations of abuse of the flying limos by Liberal ministers, it was stated that the luxury jets were only for pressing government business. Unfortunately for Canadian taxpayers, the pressing business of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness occurs most often in her home town of Edmonton. As Challenger jet logs show, she has used the jet to fly home at a cost of $382,000 for five flights.

Could the minister explain the pressing emergencies requiring her to leave Ottawa and return home at taxpayer expense?

Government Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has taken her job very seriously. When we think of the crises that exit out there, whether it had been the bombings in London, which were incredibly well handled by the minister when it was worried about the aftershock here, when we take a look at the responsibilities she carries as Deputy Prime Minister, every use of the Challenger by the Deputy Prime Minister is justified and according to the role.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Once again, there seem to be an inordinately large number of private conversations going on in the House. Perhaps we could cut back on the volume and number. If members wish to have these discussions, they could sit on the same side and have a chat instead of yelling across the floor.

The hon. member for Davenport has the floor for a question. The House will want to hear the question.