House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-7.

Topics

Government Buildings
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a very sad day. Today, the sale of buildings belonging to taxpayers will be finalized even though the members in committee and public service unions are against it and despite the request for a moratorium on this sale. This government is transferring ownership, through a leaseback agreement, of seven very valuable federal buildings.

This transaction will cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and the government will lease the premises for 25 years. Two other buildings located on native land were to be sold; however, the federal court issued an injunction forcing the government to review its decision to sell them.

Studies were carried out over several months at a cost of $1.5 million and yet no one realized that certain buildings posed a problem. That is difficult to understand and the rush by this government to go ahead with this transaction is even more perplexing.

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services, who was not elected and is not present in this chamber, is determined to hide the cost and the information from members and taxpayers. We are entitled to ask who is profiting from this sale.

Income Trusts
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I was pleased to welcome the students from Mentor College in my riding of Mississauga South. I told them a little about my day, which actually included a rally organized by David and Lorraine Marshall, who had this rally here to protest the income trust broken promise.

I told them that the Prime Minister said in the last election that “there is no greater fraud than a promise not kept”, but he never kept that promise. In fact, he broke the promise, and 2.5 million Canadians, mostly seniors, lost $25 billion of their hard-earned retirement savings.

Before the finance committee, expert witnesses proved that the government's rationale to tax income trusts was based on flawed methodology and incorrect assumptions. Now is the time for the government to do the right thing and repeal the 31.5% tax so those seniors can live with respect and dignity.

Economic Statement
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is a great day for Canada. My Conservative government is delivering on its commitment to cut taxes and Canadians could not be happier.

Since coming to office we have cut taxes by $190 billion over this and the next five years. We have cut taxes in every way a government collects taxes: personal taxes, consumption taxes, business taxes and excise taxes.

We are reducing the tax burden to its lowest level in nearly 50 years and, unlike the Liberals, we kept our promise to reduce the GST to 5%. As one taxpayer remarked: “I guess the Conservative government is doing just what it promised. It would be good if more politicians were to do this”.

It is also good that we are leaving more money in the pockets of Canadians where it belongs and giving businesses more freedom to create jobs and make further investments. Unlike the opposition, our government believes in Canadians. We believe in putting their money where it belong: back in their pockets.

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

October 31st, 2007 / 2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in the last election the Prime Minister promised he would never tax income trusts. He did not have to make that promise, but he did.

A year ago today on Halloween, the Prime Minister lifted his mask and shamefully broke his promise. Many Canadians lost their savings. They paid a heavy price. Many of them are here today on Parliament Hill.

Will the Prime Minister apologize for his $20 billion broken promise?

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition discovered the strategy of voting against tax cuts and--

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Sorry, excuse me: of abstaining on tax cuts and everything else. He used to vote against tax cuts.

Last year when the Minister of Finance brought in the tax fairness package, he voted against increased deductions for senior citizens and increased pension deductions for senior citizens. He voted against income splitting for senior citizens. He voted against a general lower tax rate for Canadian businesses.

After doing all that, he and his finance critic admitted they would raise taxes on income trusts anyway.

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. I know it is Wednesday and I am aware there were caucus meetings this morning, but I urge hon. members to calm down so we hear the questions and the responses in question period today. It is very difficult for me to hear. Somebody might say something that is out of order.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, you did not hear the response because there was none.

Thousands of Canadians, who have worked hard their entire life and saved their money, saw their savings go up in smoke because a politician betrayed them. We are talking about $20 billion dollars.

Do they have any idea of the human drama that this figure represents? The Prime Minister should at least apologize for breaking their trust. Will he apologize?

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party should admit that he would tax income trusts. That is the Liberal Party policy.

I think we have to put this in context. Income trusts have not paid any taxes. They will not pay taxes for years.

In the meantime, there are generous rules to allow those income trusts to grow, tax free. When they are finally taxed they will pay the same low corporate taxes as everyone--

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in the last election, the Prime Minister told Canadians that “there is no greater fraud than a promise not kept”, but since being elected he has broken his word on income trusts, on the Atlantic accord, on accountability with his in-and-out scheme, and on so many others.

How can Canadians now believe anything he says?

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is quite an incredible question from the king of abstentions, who on Monday drew a line in his sandbox. The line was that he would never tolerate a decrease in the GST and today he is going to let one pass. Imagine lectures from a guy like that.

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, a year ago the Conservative government destroyed the retirement savings of more than a million Canadians. It also destroyed an investment vehicle that raised capital for the energy sector. Income trusts were left as sitting ducks, ripe for foreign takeovers, 32 in all.

As Americans take over income trusts, the tax leakage problem the minister wanted to fix only gets worse. Why does the Prime Minister refuse obvious remedies? Why is he doing nothing and what is he going to say to those who lost their savings? Tough luck?