House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Budget Surplus
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member seems to question the fiscal prudence of the Government of Canada.

I would point out to her that fiscal prudence, balanced budgets, surpluses and debt reduction have resulted in this country achieving a triple A credit rating. That translates into the lowest possible interest rates and across the board savings for every Canadian borrower including individual consumers, businesses, municipalities, the Government of Canada, and every province and territory in this country.

Budget Surplus
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 28, the Conference Board stated that the federal surplus should be around $10 billion or $12 billion this year and that it will greatly exceed this amount over the next few years. Once again, this is proof that the money is in Ottawa while Quebec and the provinces require additional resources in order to provide the public with services they need.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that it is high time to sit down with Quebec and the provinces in order to review the division of tax fields, so that they can have the resources they need to fulfill their fundamental mandate, specifically in the areas of health care, post-secondary education and support for the most vulnerable individuals in our society?

Budget Surplus
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that 7 of the 10 provinces are currently reporting their own surpluses. Thanks to federal fiscal responsibility, the accumulated federal debt is coming down. However, I would point out that it remains almost twice as large as all the combined provincial and territorial debt taken together.

In this last year federal transfers to the provinces have reached an all-time record high, and on top of that, we have announced in the House increases over the next 10 years that will amount to $100 billion more.

Budget Surplus
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and the provinces are unanimous in demanding a substantial increase in federal transfers for colleges and universities. Again yesterday, the premiers reiterated this demand. When will the federal government recognize that it can more than adequately resolve the fiscal imbalance by transferring tax fields to Quebec and the provinces?

Budget Surplus
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is very proud to be investing in the learning and innovation systems of this country. That is extremely important to the future of every Canadian.

We provide $2.1 billion in cash transfers through the CST. We provide $1.7 billion in the transfer of tax points. We provide $600 million through the equalization system. We provide $5 billion in direct federal contributions in student aid, research and development and tax measures, plus early learning and child care, literacy, workplace training, immigration settlement, foreign credentials and aboriginal investments.

We are supporting--

Budget Surplus
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Vancouver East.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the trade minister.

The NDP has long called for linking energy with softwood so that Canada can protect our jobs and businesses from George Bush's attack.

Is it now government policy that Canada will link energy with softwood and have we told the Bush administration that Canada is prepared to do that or was the Prime Minister's speech yesterday just another in the endless list of tough sounding puff? Quite simply, what specific response do we have today that we did not have four months ago?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's message yesterday in New York was very clear. All countries must live up to their international agreements. The duties on softwood must be refunded and free trade must be fair trade.

The Prime Minister did not make a linkage between softwood and energy, but he did make the point that NAFTA itself is drawn into question when NAFTA's rules are obviously ignored. Energy is a part of NAFTA. That is a fact, just as market opportunities in China and India are a fact.

Automobile Industry
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the speech was not worth the paper it was written on because we have heard it so many times before with no action.

Similarly, that is the case with the unemployment figures that came out today. There were 8,000 more jobs lost in the month September in manufacturing and thousands of those were within the auto sector.

We have been asking the government, literally for years, for an auto policy. Where is it?

Automobile Industry
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian auto industry is competing and succeeding globally because the government has been investing in the Canadian auto industry, and the benefits for that auto industry are in fact spread across the country.

We are working to develop a better Canadian auto strategy. The government and the industry minister are absolutely focused on making that happen. I am proud to be part of a government that is making the investments in the future of our country and in an auto industry that is a world beater.

Home Heating Prices
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, this week the Liberal government came up with yet another pre-election gimmick. The last time the Liberals tried something like this, criminals in prison and deceased individuals received cheques.

This time the Liberal scheme leaves out 90% of Canadians. All Canadians need relief from the high cost of fuel. Why does this scheme leave most Canadians out in the cold?

Home Heating Prices
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our plan involves $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion. That is obviously a significant amount of relief. We have invested primarily in the most vulnerable of our citizens, those citizens for whom we have a delivery responsibility in terms of the social services programs through the guaranteed income supplement and the national child benefit.

We invite the provinces to participate with us which some have indicated they intend to do. As I indicated on other occasions, there will be other measures taken by the government to improve the disposable incomes of all Canadians.

Home Heating Prices
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government was quick to provide relief for politicians and Ottawa bureaucrats, but it continues to ignore the rest of Canada. The government is experiencing a revenue windfall on the backs of hard working Canadians. Will it do the right thing for once and provide GST relief on the high cost of fuel?

Home Heating Prices
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, criticism is fair enough, but I think the hon. gentleman should be careful with his facts. The mileage allowances that were discussed yesterday were in fact as a result of an automatic process quite independent from the government and over which the government had no discretion.

The deputy government House leader has indicated that he intends to take the portion of that, the part relating to politicians, before the Board of Internal Economy which, Mr. Speaker, you chair. All members of the House can then exercise their judgment on whether that is appropriate or not.

In addition to that, there is an income tax mileage allowance adjustment that the Government of Canada deals with, and we will be raising that allowance.

Technology Partnerships Canada
Oral Questions

October 7th, 2005 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been over a year since the government ordered an audit of Technology Partnerships Canada and we still have no answers. The government told us that 11 of the 33 audits completed showed that $2.4 million was illegally paid out to lobbyists. Yet the government refuses to reveal the names of those involved in these illegal payouts.

When will the government tell this House who was involved in these 11 illegal payouts?