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

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, a year ago today, the House of Commons unanimously passed Bill C-301 at second reading, thereby entitling eligible pensioners to full retroactivity for the guaranteed income supplement.

One year ago, all of the Conservatives voted for this bill.

One year ago, pensioners were given reason to hope that the government would give back the $3.2 billion it owes them.

Yet one year later, neither the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development nor the Minister of Finance has made an announcement. The Conservatives' silence belies their November 23, 2005, vote and abandons seniors.

One year ago, the Conservatives engaged in electioneering to get seniors' votes. It was all a sham. Once again, we have proof that the Conservative members from Quebec are not standing up for Quebec seniors. They have betrayed their trust, and we will not forget that.

The Economy
Oral Questions

November 24th, 2006 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, three words describe the government's economic statement yesterday: off-loading, unfairness and deception.

Conservative rhetoric about the debt is deceit at its worst. They have played with trick definitions to create a false illusion of greater debt reduction, but it is a fraud. The rate at which they will pay down federal debt stays exactly the same at $3 billion per year.

Will the government confess that under its plan federal debt will still total $436 billion a generation from now in the year 2021?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the former government certainly left us quite a legacy of debt, but the good thing is that we are now going to do something about it.

The good news as set out by the Minister of Finance shows that the economy is strong. Spending is under control. Taxes are going down. The hon. member should celebrate that and get behind it.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, we are ahead of them. The previous Liberal government slashed federal debt by more than $63 billion. We cut the federal debt ratio almost in half. We restored Canada's triple A credit rating, the best in the G-8.

Those Mike Harris retreads across the way cannot beat that record, so they want to change the rules of the game. How? By appropriating all of the assets of the Canada pension plan and all of the wealth of Alberta. What a fraud. Why can the government not just tell the truth?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member seems to want to have it both ways. On the one hand he is upset about everything we are doing, and on the other hand he wants to take credit for it. It seems to me that he cannot have it both ways.

The Minister of Finance has outlined a blueprint that I think all Canadians should be proud of and it shows that we are on the right track.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Conservative deceit about debt continues. They say it is okay for one's chequing account to be chronically overdrawn just as long as one can swipe the mother-in-law's RRSP to cover the loss.

On the tax side, they are also a fraud. Liberal personal income tax cuts to 2012 were booked at $25 billion, but Conservative personal income tax relief now stands at only $5.6 billion.

They take away $25 billion and they give back $5.6 billion. Why is that deceitful government reducing personal income tax relief by 80%?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member continues to be miserable about everything the government is doing, and I respectfully disagree with him, but yesterday was a very good day for the country. It was a day when we found out that we were going to continue to reduce debt, eliminate the net debt, use the money saved from the debt to reduce taxes, and improve competitiveness, productivity and innovation.

To make the day even better, now the Bloc Québécois says it wants to be part of a united Canada. What could be better than that?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, financial projections have always been prepared by private sector firms. This year, in an effort to fool Canadians, the Minister of Finance is touting his own projection, which is $2.5 billion higher than private firms' projections for the next two years.

Can the minister explain this huge difference? Does he not realize that by doing this, he is setting Canada up for a deficit situation?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government this year has become transparent, for the very first time. The party opposite, when it was in government, used fudge numbers. It did an averaging of different private sector projections. What we did is put all these projections side by side with the government's projections. Amazingly, they turned out to be almost all the same.

Canadians can see for themselves that we are not trying to hide anything and that all of these projections are clearly laid out. They are not melded together, averaged or any of those things. This is a new beginning for Canadians.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance, a past master in the art of creating deficits as Ontario's finance minister, should know that overvaluing profits is the best way to create a deficit.

By manipulating the numbers, the government is acting like a homeowner who has a $100,000 mortgage on a $200,000 home and claims to have no debt. That is ridiculous.

Did the Minister of Finance not learn his lesson after his Ontario disaster?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first, let us be clear. The finance minister of Canada never ran a deficit when he was the finance minister in Ontario, never. He inherited a deficit from the NDP and he cleaned it up in large measure.

Also, let us talk about net debt. Net government debt is the standard used by the OECD to compare countries' debt positions. In fact, when the Liberal Party was the government, in its last fall update, on page 67, it put in a table comparing Canada's net government debt with other G-7 countries.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Prime Minister promised Quebeckers that the issue of the fiscal imbalance would be settled. This was one of his major election commitments. When the Minister of Finance tabled the budget, in May 2006, he presented a relatively tight schedule to settle the fiscal imbalance. However, yesterday's economic statement shows that the minister is well within schedule, but the target dates are being postponed. We no longer know exactly what is going on.

I would like to know why the government is standing still regarding that important commitment.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, first, I think it is very important to congratulate the Minister of Finance on his excellent economic plan, particularly since this document shows that the Canadian economy is doing extremely well. Our economy is sound, it is creating jobs, and the long term forecasts are very optimistic. As for the fiscal imbalance, I should point out that the Minister of Finance said in this House that he will have the opportunity to meet with his provincial and territorial counterparts, on December 15.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will use the very words of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. If the economy is doing so well, if the situation is so extraordinary, if the administration is so good, what are the Conservatives waiting for to fulfill their commitments to Quebeckers? They promised they would settle the fiscal imbalance. The fact is that the target dates have disappeared, and this reflects a change in priorities.

I am asking the government to tell us why it has yet to fulfill its promise, when things are going so well, according to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows full well that, in recent months, we have consulted the provinces, territories and municipalities. The Minister of Finance did an exceptional job. We will settle the fiscal imbalance issue. I am asking the hon. member to be patient. We are getting there. We are committed to doing it and, as usual, we will deliver.