House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, hockey aside, statements made by certain members of Congress are unacceptable. One member of Congress claimed that our immigration system is responsible for the presence of many members of al-Qaeda in this country. Canadians are justifiably proud of our immigration system, which is based on the values of acceptance and respect.

Since the government is so proud of being in with the Bush administration and has so much contact with it, as the Prime Minister said, how will he defend the values upon which our Canadian immigration system is based before the U.S. Congress?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, such statements were made out of ignorance and without correct information in both the United States and Canada.

I can tell the Leader of the Opposition that clearly, the United States is generally safer with this government's security policies than with those of the former government.

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. President--Mr. Chair--Mr. Speaker, last week the finance minister--

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, order. Hon. members are used to the Speaker getting incorrect names. It is quite satisfactory.

The hon. member for Markham--Unionville has the floor now and we will want to hear the question.

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, maybe I was getting into the nomenclature favoured by the Prime Minister.

Last week the finance minister graciously credited the Liberals with largely solving the fiscal imbalance through the $41 billion health accord, something the government is now trying to take credit for and is using to back out of campaign promises.

On the subject of promises, will the government honour its commitment that no province will be made worse off under the new equalization formula, and if not, who are the losers?

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I refuse to answer the question about anyone being a loser on the other side. I think that would be improper and I will not do that.

I think the question relates to the report that Mr. O'Brien and his colleagues have delivered. It is a very helpful report and I commend it to all members and Canadians to read. It makes various recommendations with respect to equalization. It is another report. There are other reports, as the member opposite knows.

All of those reports will be taken into consideration when the finance ministers meet at the end of the month and as discussions take place among Canadians. The reports are not conclusive with respect to the ultimate result. As the member opposite knows, there is a wide divergence of--

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Markham—Unionville.

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, even though he went over time, there was no answer on whether there would be any losers, and no guarantee.

Last week the Prime Minister invited provinces to occupy the tax room that he had vacated by cutting the GST. In plain language, he is inviting provinces to raise the sales tax paid by hard-working Canadians, totally cancelling out the effect of his GST cut. Why did he not come clean during the election and say that his solution to the fiscal imbalance involved provinces raising sales tax to replace the GST cut? That would have been honest.

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are many proposals on the table.

Speaking of being honest, I am sure the member opposite remembers some of his colleagues who actually look on the bright side, the sunny side of the budget, like the chief economist at RBC Financial Group, who said, “The pleasant surprises we saw--reductions in income taxes, continued reduction in debt and more focus on tax relief--are all positives in today's budget”. That is from the chief economist at RBC.

I thank the members opposite for agreeing with the chief economist at RBC and supporting the budget at third reading today.

Economic Development
Oral Questions

June 6th, 2006 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has promised many times to govern in a responsible and transparent manner. Yesterday on Radio-Canada we learned that the government was going to acquire over $3 billion worth of military planes without a call for tenders or spinoffs for the Canadian aircraft industry, which is concentrated for the most part in Montreal.

What is driving the Prime Minister to make a quick $3 billion plus purchase without a call for tenders and without any economic spinoff for Canada and Quebec?

Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has not made such a decision. When we do contemplate such decisions, we will have a purchasing process that is free of political interference.

Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like the Prime Minister to give a clear answer.

Does having a purchasing process free of political interference mean there will be a call for tenders and will this call for tenders include conditions with respect to economic spinoffs for the aircraft industry in Canada and Quebec, which is mainly concentrated in Montreal? Can he respond clearly to that question?

Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, such a decision has not been made at this time. If the government intends to have a purchasing process, it will be free of political interference. At the same time, our process will take into account the economic benefits for Canada.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, no decision has been made. This also tells us that there are risks involved. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

An untendered purchase over $3 billion is enormous. It is even more surprising because the government has not yet submitted its strategic procurement plan to the Standing Committee on National Defence.

Before throwing billions of dollars around to buy equipment such as these planes, without any economic benefit for Canada and Quebec, should the government not immediately submit its defence procurement plan to the Standing Committee on National Defence?