House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fishery.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it was the Prime Minister, when he was the minister of finance, who introduced over $100 billion worth of tax reduction for Canadians.

In every budget since we balanced the books in 1997, the government has reduced the tax burden on Canadians. We have steadily moved down that burden in order to increase the competitiveness and the productivity of the Canadian economy, and we will continue to do so.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Just ask Canadians if they think they are getting a fair tax deal, Mr. Speaker.

The limp deal-making Prime Minister promised the NDP to increase government spending in exchange for support for his corrupt government. Now the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is criticizing his recklessness with the finances of the nation. The chamber says, “The government has done a complete flip-flop. Despite the importance of having a competitive tax structure...the government's focus has turned away from tax reform”.

Like so many of his previous red book reversals, why has the Prime Minister again abandoned his commitment to future tax relief for Canadians to preserve his own political future?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, even with the revisions proposed with respect to Bill C-48, there remains over $7 billion worth of tax reductions in Bill C-43, particularly aimed at lower and middle income Canadians.

I would point out that Bill C-48 itself calls for the government to avoid a deficit. It calls for the federal budget to be in surplus. It calls for $2 billion per year to be applied on debt paydown. That is all consistent with the fundamental principles of fiscal responsibility.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is having nightmares about the Prime Minister's excessive spending. Its president, Catherine Swift, said, “Such irresponsible pre-election spending is a blatant breach of the commitment on financial prudence.”

Why has the Prime Minister engaged in this bout of reckless spending that could result in a significant tax increase for Canadians?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the difference in spending that is contemplated in Bill C-48 works out to about a 1% difference in profile. That spending is devoted toward more affordable housing, toward more post-secondary education, toward a cleaner environment and toward enhanced foreign aid. All those things are in perfect sync with what Canadians want.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

June 6th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, if it was in perfect sync that would be great, but it looks like it is going down the toilet.

I know the Prime Minister is a shipping magnate, but that does not give him a right to spend like a drunken sailor. In fact, even the Prime Minister's favourite magazine, The Economist , says that he has thrown caution to the wind. Another business leader has reminded the Prime Minister that “Gimme, gimme, gimme does not count as a national economic strategy”.

Will the Prime Minister withdraw from his deal with the NDP before he staggers off the gangplank?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, speaking of staggering, I wonder if the hon. gentleman will tell us just exactly why he opposes funding for affordable housing? Why does he oppose funding for post-secondary education and learning? Why does he oppose funding for urban transit and a cleaner environment? Why does he oppose funding for foreign aid after his leader wrote a letter demanding it?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, what is staggering is the hypocrisy of the minister. He is the one who said to the NDP that he could not afford to give those things. If they were so great, why were they not in the original budget?

All of this back of the napkin spending paves the way to waste, corruption and spending that will not get any results. When will the Prime Minister put prudence ahead of politics and tell the NDP to take a hike before he has to hike taxes to pay for everything?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the incredible flipping and flopping of the opposition is what created the controversy around Bill C-43.

I would point out to the hon. member that an arrangement was possible to invest more in housing, post-secondary education, the environment and foreign aid because we had the precondition that there would be no deficit, that the budget would be balanced, that we would run surpluses, and that we would pay down the debt at the rate of at least $2 billion per year.

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Prime Minister's chief of staff, whose conversations are not subject to the Ethics Commissioners' inquiry, negotiated at length with the member for Newton—North Delta and that a criminal offence may possibly have been committed during those negotiations.

On June 2 in this House, the Deputy Prime Minister answered as follows: “It is quite clear that the only thing the Prime Minister knew was that in fact the member for Newton—North Delta had approached our side of the House, interested in leaving the official opposition.”

Did the Prime Minister also know that a criminal offence might have been committed during the negotiating back and forth between his chief of staff and the member for Newton—North Delta?

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, I believe we ought to follow the recommendation read by the Speaker of the House concerning the request from the Ethics Commissioner.

All I can tell you is that, according to the experts who have examined these tapes, we are dealing with altered tapes. Their credibility, along with that of the member for Newton—North Delta, is open to question.

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we did in fact consult the Speaker of the House as to whether we could ask questions about Mr. Murphy. For the Prime Minister's information, the answer was yes.

My question is, therefore, justified and I will ask it again. Did Mr. Murphy notify the Prime Minister that a criminal offence had been committed? Mr. Murphy's line of defence in support of the fact that there was apparently no actual offer was that the member had approached them about selling his vote. That is his line of defence.

Was the Prime Minister informed by Mr. Murphy that an MP wanted to sell his vote? That is the question. I have the right to ask it and he has the duty to answer it.

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the member is basing his questions on tapes that have been proven by many audio experts to have been manipulated. Mr. Jack Mitchell, the forensic sound expert hired by the Globe and Mail , said:

These tapes have been edited. This is not a maybe. This is not something that's unexplained. This is not, “Oh, this is odd”. This is a definitive statement. The tapes have been edited.

That is what the hon. member is basing his questions on, on tapes that have in fact been edited as has been stated by experts.

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is based on these same tapes that Tim Murphy contends he made no offer, but that requests were made, which is an offence under the law. That is Mr. Murphy's version. The Deputy Prime Minister responded last Thursday that Mr. Murphy had never told the Prime Minister there were requests constituting a criminal offence.

I would ask the Prime Minister whether what the Deputy Prime Minister told me is true, that is, that Mr. Murphy never informed him? Let him answer me. It is his duty.

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, let me clarify for the hon. leader of the Bloc Québécois what I said. I said the Prime Minister was aware that the member in question was interested in crossing the floor. The Prime Minister at that point made it absolutely clear that no offer was to be made.