House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services may respond if he wants. I am not sure what this question has to do with the administrative responsibility of the government.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I will gladly respond to that non-question. The fact is that this government is committed to getting the best possible value for the Canadian taxpayer, which is why in the Department of Public Works and Government Services, through our changes to real estate practices and our strengthening governance, we will save over a billion dollars over the next five years for the Canadian taxpayer by adopting businesslike practices within our department and managing our real estate portfolio more effectively.

We are walking the walk over here, defending the interests of Canadian taxpayers. They are just talking the talk over there.

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has just announced a number of federal government interventions, in the areas of education and skills training in particular.

How can the federal government justify taking advantage of a reinvestment in education to meddle so obviously in areas of responsibility that belong wholly to the Government of Quebec?

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would again encourage the Bloc members to re-read the economic update. There is absolutely no question of getting into areas of provincial jurisdiction. It is a matter of continuing what is already being done under agreements with the provinces.

We have a country-wide loan and scholarship system. Quebec has its own and can continue to opt out. A trust fund will be set up that Quebec will have access to.

As for skills training, they may have forgotten, but my colleague here has even signed a skills training agreement with Quebec.

We in this Canadian federation are working together.

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has announced its intention to intervene with social assistance recipients and even to repair class rooms in educational institutions.

How can the federal government claim to be respecting the jurisdiction of the Government of Quebec when it is going so far as intruding into our very classrooms?

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I challenge the hon. member to show me exactly where it says that we were going to intervene directly in the classrooms of Quebec. No way would that be the case.

What we have said is that a trust fund would be in place and accessible to all provinces, who would then determine their own priorities and have access to the trust fund as needed. Our federation is extremely flexible.

Economic Statement
Oral Questions

November 15th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite figures to the contrary, the government continues to deny the existence of the fiscal imbalance. Instead of resolving this issue once and for all, it showed, yesterday, that it is more interested in buying votes for the next election than in resolving the fundamental issue.

How can the government claim to have learned from the sponsorship scandal, after yesterday's exercise in blackmailing the public, again using our money to benefit the Liberals.

Economic Statement
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously, nothing makes the Bloc happy. It complains, criticizes and objects but it will never admit that the Canadian economy is in good shape and that this is good for all Quebeckers. This is exactly what my colleague from Finance told Canadians, including Quebeckers, yesterday. Canada is lucky to have a strong economy and every one of us will benefit as a result.

Economic Statement
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc, like the people of Quebec, is not happy about being blackmailed: if you fail to vote Liberal, you will not get a tax cut. We have heard this song and dance before.

Is not the attitude of federal ministers proof that nothing has changed in the land of the Liberals? They have the same mindset that they did during the sponsorship scandal. The end justifies the means. That is the reality and that was what we saw yesterday.

Economic Statement
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, nothing has changed in Bloc land. They continue to see themselves as victims, they continue to complain and to object. It is quite clear that the Bloc will never be able to offer Quebeckers tax cuts, because they will never lead this country; they will always be the opposition. I do not know how this will benefit Quebeckers.

Unlike them, we are in a position to tell Quebeckers our vision for the future, what we see for them, and how we can face the challenges of the global economy. This is what being a real government is all about.

Airports
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Pearson Airport, Air Canada's major hub, will see its airport taxes to Ottawa increase by 14%, up to $151 million this year. This tax increase will be passed on to travellers with a new fee that was announced today. Pearson is already the world's most expensive airport and it just became even more expensive.

How can the Liberals justify increasing taxes on what already is the world's most expensive airport, hurting air travellers, hurting the air industry and putting at risk 70,000 people who work at Pearson Airport?

Airports
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, rent represents 14% of the airport's budget. The debt load will go up to 51% by 2009. The problem is not with the rent. The problem is with the debt load. Also Pearson Airport uses less of its concessions. Concessions all around the country represent 40% of revenue. At Pearson it is only 20%. It has to smarten up on that too.

Airports
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is often hard to lower debt when the government comes in year after year with increased taxes. Since 1998, landing fees at Pearson Airport have increased 298%. The cost of landing a 747 at Pearson Airport is $13,000. At Tokyo Airport, the second most expensive airport in the world, it is $7,300.

Liberals are taxing Pearson Airport into the ground. Every stakeholder in the city of Toronto wants taxes lowered. The government has done nothing, and Toronto wants to know why?

Airports
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we know that the rent is only 14% of the expenses at Pearson. The rent is going to go down by $5 billion over the course of the lease. That lease was signed by the same administrators. Now $5 billion less for rent at Pearson Airport is pretty good news to me.

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives have been fighting for a fair equalization deal for Saskatchewan for years, but all along the Liberal finance minister has been fudging the surplus numbers and telling the people in Saskatchewan that they do not deserve a fair deal.

We want the same fair deal as Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. We want the Liberals to stop clawing back over 90% of our oil and gas revenues. That money should benefit the people of Saskatchewan, not a Liberal government trying to spend its way out of scandal.

Why is the finance minister still refusing to give a fair deal to Saskatchewan?