House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 22, 2006, the Minister of Finance said that the budget statement planned for early October would report on the progress of negotiations with the provinces concerning the fiscal imbalance, and that there would be an indication of the direction that everyone is taking, in his own words. Yesterday was November 23. The minister made his budget statement, which included nothing concrete about the fiscal imbalance.

How can the minister justify this spectacular flip-flop in just one month?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think the Bloc is confused about what a fiscal update is. A fiscal update simply gives the figures as they are halfway through the fiscal year so that Canadians can see how the government is doing.

In this case we put together a long term economic plan which has been widely supported across Canada. The member knows there are ongoing discussions on the fiscal imbalance. The next one will take place on December 9. She will just have to be patient, because we are getting there in a way that is respectful of the provinces and fully consults with everyone.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to rake in surpluses and is obviously trying to bury the issue of the fiscal imbalance among other budget issues.

Can the minister assure us that he is not simply trying to buy time so that, at election time, he can say that he wanted to but was unable?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know the Bloc members would like to think that they are in charge of solving the fiscal imbalance. The fact of the matter is they have no power. They will always be an opposition party, a small party. All they can do is quibble and complain because they do not have a meaningful role. I feel sorry for them, but they are simply going to have to accept that this is a program and a process that respects all Canadians and will be conducted in a way that will get to a solution that is fair and reasonable for everyone.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

November 24th, 2006 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, another damning report on poverty among first nations, Métis and Inuit was released today by Campaign 2000. It is another stinging indictment on the Liberal and Conservative records.

It has been 10 years since the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples gave us the road map to alleviate poverty, yet the Conservatives are ignoring RCAP. Aboriginal people were not even mentioned in the fiscal update.

Why does the government have billions for corporate tax cuts but nothing for child poverty in aboriginal communities?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately it is true that this government inherited a shameful situation from the previous Liberal government. We can look back over the last 10 years since RCAP came out. The AFN issued a failing grade of F, and it was well deserved by the previous government.

We have done much since that time. We have entered into the first modern treaty with British Columbia. We dedicated $300 million for northern housing and $300 million for off reserve housing, as well as signed the residential schools agreement. We are taking real action for aboriginal people.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have had 10 months, yet Pikangikum children do not have access to running water. Kuiper Island has limited access to medical care. North of 60 over 50% of children have experienced violence in the home. One in four first nations children on reserve live in poverty. Off reserve 40% are living in poverty. Does anyone need to hear more? Nearly 50% of first nations houses in all of Canada are contaminated with mould.

How long is the government going to say that children will have to wait for clean water and stable houses? How long?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, immediately upon taking office, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development began to address the shameful state that the government had received. Water was at the top of his list. Since that time, he has put forward a plan and brought forward an expert panel to look at the issues facing first nations people in relation to water.

Thankfully, we are taking real action and we are seeing real results.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, deception, unfairness and off-loading are three words to describe yesterday's economic update. For one thing, the statement offers grandiose plans without intending to back any of it. Worse, it takes billions away from low and middle income Canadians.

Possibly the most blatant deception in this document is the alleged elimination of the debt by 2021. In fact, under the Conservatives' plan the federal debt will not be paid off by 2021, but in 160 years.

Why is the government tying its debt reduction targets to its greenhouse gas emission plans?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member well knows that the net debt has been mentioned in every single Liberal budget and that there is an objective for the very first time, a commitment to get rid of the net debt.

We want to be the first OECD and G-7 country to get rid of the net debt. This is important because the debt puts a heavy weight on the shoulders of young Canadians. We want them to have a strong future, not one where they have to pay off the debt of former generations. The member should be getting behind this program to pay off Canada's net debt.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are laughing right in the faces of Canadians. The Liberal government always set aside $3 billion to reduce the debt. There is nothing new in yesterday's proposal. Yet, the minister claims that the debt will be eliminated 140 years earlier. This proposal cannot be achieved without the help of the provinces, as the minister well knows.

What will happen if a finance minister finds himself facing a $6 billion deficit, as Mike Harris did in Ontario?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member knows that reducing debt is a matter of fairness. In fact in reducing the net debt we are adopting the accepted international standard used to benchmark debt reduction from country to country. For example, Australia has recently celebrated the fact that it has eliminated its net debt.

We can eliminate Canada's net debt by 2021. We expect all Canadians to be part of this. We know they want to do this. They are proud that there is at last a benchmark and that we will put all of the unanticipated surpluses toward the debt, as we did this year, paying down $13.2 billion on the national debt.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's economic understatement was a massive exercise in unfairness.

In 2005 the Liberals provided $29 billion in tax relief for all Canadians, particularly the low and middle income earners, but that is all gone and in its place a scheme that would make George W. Bush proud. The government's update laments the fact that those poor souls who are earning more than $120,000 are treated unfairly. Imagine that.

Why do the Conservatives always favour the six figure income earners over regular Canadians?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, lowering the GST especially helped low income Canadians who do not pay any other kind of tax. Yet that party did not want to support that. I wonder why it does not want to support tax relief for low income Canadians.

In this fiscal update, we will be giving Canadians a tax back guarantee. That means there will be more money in the pockets of Canadians, because every time we pay down the debt, we save interest, and that interest will go right back to Canadians in the form of reduced taxes. By 2011, Canadians will see each and every year an additional $1.4 billion in tax relief--

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for York West.