House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was norad.

Topics

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the shame of this year's federal budget is the opportunity provided by a record breaking economy that is squandered in a sea of undefined and underwhelming tax schemes, mostly targeted to those who need them least.

A real national child care program finally within reach will be gone, and investments in post-secondary education for students and institutions slashed. Personal tax rates will go up and a GST cut replaces it, proudly shown in a brochure for the benefit it gives to a $350,000 new home owner.

In our changing world we should be investing in education for all Canadians throughout their life. The economic update in November did exactly that, putting billions into direct assistance for students, especially those who need it most, billions for research, and more money for skills training. This budget fails to address the importance and the necessity of investing directly in our students and continuing to invest in research and innovation.

We all want to pay less tax, even MPs, but it has to be real tax relief and it should go first to those who need it most.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on top of the cut to the GST, tax cuts for small business, new millions for border security and policing, millions more for infrastructure, tax credits for amateur sports and transit passes, tax relief for seniors, money for students, and all the great news in the budget, this budget delivers for British Columbia like few others in Canadian history.

There is $591 million for the Pacific Gateway, $400 million over two years to fight the pine beetle, $171 million for public transit in B.C., an unexpected equalization cash windfall of $200 million, and the restoration of regular army presence in B.C. The Liberal finance minister in B.C., Carole Taylor, said the budget, “addressed virtually every B.C. priority”.

In the last election campaign, Conservatives promised to stand up for British Columbia. In this budget, the government has delivered for British Columbia.

The Budget
Oral Questions

May 3rd, 2006 / 2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, all the congratulatory S. O. 31s from the members opposite cannot hide the fact that yesterday the country saw its first neo-conservative budget, a budget that puts right-wing philosophy ahead of the good of the country and puts wealthy Canadians ahead of poor Canadians. It is a budget that attacks the future of our children, abandons our responsibility for the environment, and is designed to make sure that aboriginal Canadians come last. On top of that, the budget raises income taxes on those who earn the least and benefits those who earn the most.

Why did the Prime Minister not tell the country in his campaign that one of his five priorities would be to raise income tax for the poorest of Canadians?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is a rather sad spectacle to see a party which so disappointed Canadians for 13 years now criticizing the best news budget that this country has ever seen.

Taxes will go down for every single income class, for every single region, for every single group of Canadians. Every group of Canadians will benefit. In one year the Minister of Finance managed to do what the Liberal Party never did: produce a budget that matches the election platform we ran on.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

He should tell that to the aboriginal people of our country, Mr. Speaker.

It took 18 months for the Liberal government to pull together the provinces and native communities for a historic agreement. It took the Conservatives 18 words in the budget to rip it up. The Conservative premier of Alberta has condemned what they have done. He said he preferred the Liberal plan, that the Liberal plan was better.

Why has the Prime Minister given up on the aboriginal people, the first nations of our country?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in a few short weeks and a few short months the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the Minister of Finance have managed to deliver a residential schools agreement that the Liberal government could not.

The budget puts new money into the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. This budget puts more money into aboriginal housing off reserve and more money into aboriginal housing on reserve. The Minister of Indian Affairs has come forward with a program to improve water treatment on reserves, which was never done by the Liberal government. There will be more money for aboriginal housing in the territories. That is why the chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples said, “We are very pleased with this budget”.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is a budget that ignores a number of issues. Aboriginal peoples have been ignored by the government. Access to day care has been ignored by the government. Innovation and productivity have been ignored by the government. And environmental measures have definitely been ignored by the government.

The Minister of the Environment has clearly thrown in the towel. How can she explain her inability to find the funds needed to protect Canada's environment?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is wrong about the environment and everything else.

However, I will add that for the first time, we have a budget that recognizes the fiscal imbalance in this country and does something to address it. This is important, because the former government failed to do this.

I say only this to the Leader of the Opposition. If he and his party are so opposed to this budget, they can grandstand here but we will see what position they take over in the Senate where they have a majority. This budget should be passed for the good of all Canadians.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's comments were dead wrong because he was basing his comments on the faulty assumption that his government cut income tax when every Canadian knows he raised income tax. The Prime Minister knows that himself. If he had been honest in his comments, he would have acknowledged that lower income Canadians are indeed paying higher taxes than before.

Will the Minister of Finance come clean and tell us what every Canadian knows, that yesterday he raised the income taxes of Canadians?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question, as wrong as he is. I looked at the numbers again because I heard what he was saying yesterday and I thought that he had not had a chance to read the budget. Now he has apparently had a chance.

The personal tax cuts in the budget are $5.3 billion. In the fall update, which I think is what he was talking about, the figure was a little over $4 billion. Last time I looked, five is more than four, and I welcome the hon. member to have a look at that.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this pattern continues: partisan rhetoric rather than debate, spin rather than answers, ducks and dodges rather than openness. So much for their sanctimonious talk about accountability and transparency when the fact of the matter is that on the tax form filled out by every Canadian, the rate is rising from 15% to 15.5%. It says so in his budget.

Is the minister saying his budget is wrong?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canadians--

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The Minister of Finance has the floor to answer the question. I am sure he appreciates all the assistance he is getting but we want to be able to hear the minister. The minister did get asked a question and there must be, of course, an answer. The Minister of Finance has the floor.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the fact, as we are on this side of the aisle, that this budget reduces income taxes, reduces the GST, reduces small business taxes, and reduces corporate taxes. Ninety per cent of the reductions go to individuals and families in Canada, almost $20 billion over two years. Compare that to what the Liberals were proposing. They never passed it, but what they proposed was something less than $9 billion. I say again, 20 is more than 9, even to an economist.