House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, in defence of my hon. colleague who is going to retire this year, I want to talk about the debt just a little more because the hon. member talked about one-third, one-third and one-third. Now let me think. That is $17 billion over one year, and $465 billion, that is one-third of a thousand years. Is that what he is advocating, that we pay this debt off in one-third of 1,000 years? I would like an answer.

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

The hon. member for Sackville--Eastern Shore has 20 seconds to respond.

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am speechless. The problem is that he is too addicted to his BlackBerry and he got the figures all wrong, but if I may say, in honour of my good Dutch friend--

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Scarborough--Guildwood.

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to direct the attention of hon. members to page 95 of the government's economic statement made on October 30. It is a statement of the government's priorities and it is also a statement of missed opportunities.

As members know, when the Liberals left office they left the country in pretty good shape, and the Conservatives are the happy beneficiaries of that hard work over 13 years. It is so strong in fact that it is hard for even this bunch to make a hash out of things, but government is more than just simply not making a hash out of things. It is about having a clear vision. It is about being able to anticipate political and economic challenges, so as to minimize the difficulties to citizens.

The statement starts with $60 billion worth of tax relief over five years. So far so good. It promises to reduce corporate taxes by $14 billion, a direct steal from a previous announcement made by the leader of the Liberal Party a full month before the economic statement was released.

This is really a government that did not see fit to give credit to the Liberal leader for his idea, but of course had it done so, it would have been an acknowledgement of the Liberal leader's obvious leadership qualities and his ability to project a vision for the nation.

Naturally, we in the Liberal caucus would support this particular measure, since it was ours in the first place, originally thought of by our party, and when we were in power, we started the general direction of reducing the corporate tax from 28% to where it is presently.

Budget and Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2007
Government Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

We will now have statements by members under Standing Order 31. When we return to the study of Bill C-28 after question period, there will be eight minutes left for the hon. member for Scarborough--Guildwood.

Freedom of Religion
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am very grateful that my grandparents chose some 85 years ago to make Canada their new home. They left the former Soviet Union because of grievous persecution, mostly because of religious beliefs. Three of my grandfather's brothers were executed at midnight just because they tried to live out their firmly held convictions of the Christian faith.

Canada is a country where citizens can choose how to believe, where there is a healthy debate, and where no one is forced to believe a certain way at threat of persecution and death.

In Canada people of all faiths are encouraged to express their views and beliefs, and to use the language of their faith which is then accepted and tolerated by all.

At this Christmas season I am happy that I can express without fear my celebration of the birth of Jesus, the son of God. Christians celebrate with great enthusiasm this pivotal event of history.

I invite all Canadians to respond in the words of the well known Christmas Carol, “Oh come, let us adore Him!”

International Day of Disabled Persons
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the International Day of Disabled Persons was established by the world program of action concerning disabled persons and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982.

Each year on December 3 this day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and generate support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

The day also aims to make people aware of the advantages of integrating persons with disabilities into all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life.

A new Statistics Canada survey reveals that one out of every seven people in Canada is living with a disability. We must continue to develop policies and attitudes of acceptance, and inclusion for differently-abled Canadians.

This year the theme “Decent work for persons with disabilities” is based on the goal of full and equal enjoyment of human rights, and participation in society by persons with disabilities.

I invite hon. members and all Canadians to take a moment to reflect on what they can do to honour this day and to bring us closer to full citizenship for all Canadians.

Older Workers
Statements By Members

December 3rd, 2007 / 2 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, when Olymel shut down on December 22, 2005, Nicole Lachance, a 58-year-old from Magog, lost her job after 24 years of loyal service. She received employment insurance for 39 weeks, during which she took part in the targeted initiative for older workers. Despite searching for jobs and facing the fact that she was 58 years old, Ms. Lachance did not find a job. She was without income for more than a year, until she turned 60 and was eligible for Quebec pension plan benefits.

Could the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development explain to Ms. Lachance that although his government's coffers are overflowing with surplus money, much like the employment insurance fund is, he will not make an effort to implement any financial measures to support older workers? He could just admit that his Conservative government could not care less about older workers.

Climate Change
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, delegates representing 180 countries will gather in Bali, Indonesia, today to craft a new agreement to combat climate change following the Kyoto protocol's expiry.

To our collective embarrassment Canada will bluster from the sidelines because the government is hellbent on abdicating its leadership and will keep Canada out of step with every progressive nation on the globe.

These Conservatives mouth platitudes about family values but what a legacy they leave to Canada's children. Over the past decade the Canadian government has marginalized itself on the climate change challenge. Both this government and its Liberal predecessors violated our international obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Conservative government heaps the burden for action on the world's poor while the largest per capita polluters, Canada among them, get off scot-free.

If the government was serious about engaging the developing world on climate change, the Prime Minister would not have axed the Canada climate change development fund. With all the hot air rising from members opposite, no wonder Canada's emissions continue to rise.

Ukraine
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, on December 1, 1991, the rebirth of the Ukrainian nation was confirmed when Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for independence. The next day Canada recognized Ukraine as an independent state.

Our bonds extend over centuries. Ukrainian Canadians nurtured the dream of Ukrainian independence over many years. Canada has helped Ukraine on its march toward democracy. Canadians have been election observers in Ukraine since 1997, most recently in September 2007.

Since 1991 Canada has provided over $320 million in assistance to Ukraine, an amount almost matched by Ukrainian Canadians. Our ties are growing dynamically, embracing every sphere of life: political, economic, cultural and personal.

Our Prime Minister has spoken of our special kinship. This has led to Canada recognizing in the international fora the 75th anniversary of the great famine, the Holodomor, in Ukraine.

Canada will continue to work with Ukraine to build on our already warm and close relations.

Accountants
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, having been a chartered accountant for 32 years, I rise on behalf of my profession to inform the House that World Accountancy Week is being held during the week of December 2.

This week commemorates the 30th anniversary of the founding of the International Federation of Accountants, the global organization for the accountancy profession. Canada's CAs, CMAs and CGAs are founding members of this group.

World Accountancy Week honours the valuable contributions of more than 2.5 million professional accountants around the world whose work collectively and individually helps foster the integration and efficiency of international business and the capital markets. The high quality of Canadian accounting standards and practices is the foundation of Canada's reputation as an excellent place to invest and do business.

As a chartered accountant, I am proud of my profession and the important role it plays in helping Canadians prosper in a global economy.

Abolition of Slavery
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Canada's early settlers brought slaves to Upper Canada and slavery expanded rapidly as British Loyalists brought their slaves with them.

In 1793, under Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada, which is now southern Ontario, became the first jurisdiction in the British Empire to limit slavery. A few years later, in 1807, some 200 years ago, Westminster passed a bill to abolish the slave trade in what was then the British Empire. The Slave Trade Act of 1807 marked the beginning of the end of the transatlantic slave trade.

This bicentenary gives us an opportunity to remember and pay tribute, and to demand to know why in some parts of the world today forms of slavery still persist two centuries after the argument for abolition was won, an issue the member for Kildonan—St. Paul has been working on and something the Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) will mark in Toronto this December 10.

The abolition of slavery marks an important point in our nation's development as we work toward a more enlightened society.

Landmines
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago, Canada launched into negotiations that resulted in the ratification, here, on December 3, 1997, of the famous Ottawa Convention, or the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction.

At the time, 130 countries had inventories of almost 260 million landmines; today, 46 non-signatory countries have almost 176 million.

A great deal has been accomplished but much work remains to be done.

Negotiations are currently underway for the ratification of a treaty on cluster bombs by 2008. Many countries, including several NATO members, have already stated that they are in favour of such a treaty and have adopted measures pertaining to their use, stockpiling and sales. It is disturbing and shocking that Canada, which led the fight against anti-personnel mines, did not support the draft treaty and has not yet adopted any measures in this regard.

Is it folly to believe that it will do so before the next Vienna conference being held this week?

International Day of Disabled Persons
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, today is the International Day of Disabled Persons.

Our government has made a very strong commitment to making sure that persons with disabilities can fully participate in society and can contribute to the community to their full potential.

That is why our government has acted to: commit $140 million over two years for the creation of a new registered disability savings plan; provide $30 million over five years for the Spinal Cord Injury Transnational Research Network established by the Rick Hansen Foundation; provide $20 million toward the operating costs of the 2010 Paralympic Games in British Columbia; and invest $233 million to support programs delivered by the provinces and territories that help people with disabilities find and keep meaningful employment.

I invite all members of the House to join me in celebrating this important day and encourage them to take the time to reflect on their awareness and understanding of disability issues.