House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated I am prepared to meet with the Ontario minister and his officials when they are prepared to approach this in a serious manner. This dispute is one that has taken place in the province of Ontario. It began with an Ontario company building on Ontario land with the approvals of the Ontario Municipal Board, all under Ontario law. It then became an Ontario policing issue. There is no doubt that policing is an Ontario responsibility, so Ontario will need to face up to its jurisdiction and its responsibility.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Constitution makes it perfectly clear that land claims issues are the sole responsibility of the federal government. For the last eight months, the Minister of Indian Affairs has been missing in action on the Caledonia dispute. The situation remains very tense in Caledonia. It is costly. It has been going on for far too long.

The minister committed to speeding up the land claims issue if the blockades came down. The blockades came down months ago. Why is the minister not living up to his commitment?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I can inform the House, and I think my colleague knows this, that over the course of the last five weeks I have met with Ontario's representative, Jane Stewart, a former privy councillor. I have met as well with the federal government's representative. I have sat down personally and met with Chief David General, the elected chief. I have met with their hereditary chief.

We continue to work on this issue. We are making progress at the negotiating table and part of the message that Ontario needs to receive is the seriousness of this issue. Dealing with it at the table is what has to happen, not political grandstanding.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, local residents are demanding action from the federal government and from their own member of Parliament. Despite calls from the area and the fact that the Minister of Indian Affairs hired Barbara McDougall, a former Conservative cabinet minister with no land claims experience, to handle the issue, the Conservatives pretend they should not deal with the issue.

Why does Caledonia's own member of Parliament, the member for Haldimand—Norfolk, refuse to take any action to help in the situation, despite the fact that she is the region's representative at the cabinet table?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North
Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Haldimand—Norfolk is involved in this issue. She meets with me regularly. We have complete discussions about the conduct of the file. Her thoughts on this matter guide me in the instructions that I provide to Ms. McDougall and to Mr. Doering. We will continue to work together at the negotiating table with the elected chief and the hereditary chief.

I would point out, for the assistance of my friend, that this government, myself as the minister, is the first government in Canadian history to recognize the Haudenosaunee Council and to sit down and talk to them.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Finance announced that Canada's new government would increase the age credit for seniors and allow pension income splitting. These major decisive measures will help seniors, especially those in the low and middle income tax brackets.

Can the Minister of Industry explain the details of this announcement and how it will benefit all Canadians?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by congratulating my hon. colleague, the Minister of Finance, who announced his tax fairness plan for Canadians today. This plan confirms that we have kept our Budget 2006 promise and that we have increased the basic personal exemption for seniors by $1,000 as of fiscal year 2006. Furthermore, beginning in fiscal year 2007, we will allow income splitting for seniors.

After 13 years of the Liberal Party's inaction and laissez-faire attitude, our government is recognizing its responsibilities and acting, which is something the Liberals did not do for 13 years—

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, despite the fact that the income trust announcement yesterday is a flip-flop that could only make a Liberal proud, it is an important direction for everyday working families. The finance minister has set an important precedent by closing this tax loophole. As he said yesterday, income trusts are a growing trend to corporate tax avoidance.

Considering the minister's statement, will he today commit to shutting down all loopholes in Canada's tax laws including the Barbados tax haven?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, certainly, we are interested in tax fairness as a fundamental principle and expanding the tax base. We believe, unlike the former government, that all Canadians, including corporations, should share in the tax burden fairly. That includes, legitimately I think, review of treaties with respect to taxation as well to ensure that all Canadians are accepting their fair share of the tax burden.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I remind the minister and all members that tax havens cost Canadian taxpayers billions in revenues every year.

If we look at just Barbados alone, it is hiding an estimated $23 billion annually from Canadian tax collectors. This is all at a time when we have a homelessness crisis, child and senior poverty is on the rise, aboriginal Canadians live in third world conditions, and millions of average Canadians cannot get the health care they need.

Will the government commit today to building on the income trust announcement by closing other loopholes and cracking down on tax fraud and unlawful tax avoidance?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is an important issue in terms of having fairness in the tax system. I am happy to review those issues.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

November 1st, 2006 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, this meanspirited minority government has turned its back on vulnerable Canadians. It slashed programs that would teach people to read and write and would have provided day care spaces for our kids. Destroying their dreams was not good enough; it had to insult them too.

Yesterday, the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development said the hurt imposed by the cuts to her budget was the equivalent of having to do without a cup of coffee.

Will she apologize for her spiteful statement that demeaned the most vulnerable in our society?

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the government cares about the vulnerable in our society. That is why we are spending so much money on them. However, we also have the responsibility to all Canadians to ensure that all of their dollars are well spent.

Yes, there are cuts to our programs. We are cutting programs that are not delivering results for Canadians. On a scale though, it is very small. It is two-tenths of 1%. We are going to deliver results for Canadians. We will fund programs that are good for Canadians.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Saskatchewan Literacy Network is closing its doors. Yukon is losing its literacy coalition. The Canadian Labour and Business Centre is already closed. Employment equity offices in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are closing. The 25,000 summer jobs for students are gone. Some cup of coffee.

Is the minister unaware of how hurtful her cuts are because she did not bother to consult any of these groups?