House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provisions.

Topics

Finance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it only proves that the member of Parliament for Wascana worked very well when he was the minister of finance.

Before Ontarians fired it for making such a huge financial mess, Mike Harris's government massaged the province's numbers. It announced the sale of assets worth over $2 billion, but all they really collected was $132 million. They were off by 94%.

Currently, the Conservatives are getting ready to sell federal buildings.

Why is the Minister of Finance planning to make the same mistakes for Canadians that his government made in Ontario?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the budget will be balanced and we will continue our prudent economic management in Canada. However, there has been a big change in the past year, which is that taxpayers' money is being returned to the taxpayers of Canada. It is being returned to families for the benefit of children in Canada and not to the friends of the Liberal Party referred to by Justice Gomery.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

February 26th, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, through a concerted multilateral, multifaceted effort, Canada is helping to build a secure, democratic and economically viable Afghan state. This morning, the Prime Minister announced up to $200 million in additional aid funding for Afghanistan's reconstruction and development.

Could the Minister of International Cooperation share with the House how this funding will be used?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, these funds will be used to strengthen good governance, community development and the microfinance sector. They will also go toward demining and road construction. This new contribution is in addition to the money we have already spent on a number of programs that have produced tangible results.

Last spring, our government decided to do more to help Afghanistan, unlike the former government. This announcement reaffirms our commitment to development and reconstruction. With our whole of government approach and increased cooperation with our partners, we will achieve the desired results.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, there was no plan with the announcement on Afghanistan aid today to change this mission for the better. The recycling of old commitments and a change in the communication plan will not save Afghan lives.

What the government continues to ignore is the role that Pakistan is playing in the insurgency. What the Afghans need is more clean water, electricity and food aid for displaced people, not more tanks.

When will the government make real news and rebalance this mission?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, clearly, the member does not understand the meaning of our mission in Afghanistan. I will give a few examples of the tangible results we are achieving there.

This year, over 300,000 Afghans will receive microcredit. That is double last year's figure. Every month, nearly 12,000 Afghans access microcredit to start businesses and create jobs for themselves. Children are attending school. Nearly a third of these children are girls. Training is also being provided for women.

I repeat, clearly, the member does not understand the meaning of our—

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is really sad that even an announcement from the Prime Minister does not change the tired old lines from the government.

Sending leased German tanks to Kandahar will not improve Afghan lives. These are 30 year old tanks designed for fighting in European forests, not the deserts of central Asia. The chief of the land staff told me that the crews on these tanks will see temperatures of up to 60° Celsius by summer.

Why is the government sending Canadian soldiers into battle with tanks that overheat and armour that does not stand up to the new Taliban weapons?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are looking at all possible options to deal with this issue. I am quite confident that in the next few months we will have a solution. We send to Afghanistan the very best equipment we can for our forces and, yes, we intend to win the arms race with the Taliban.

Visitor Rebate Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, on December 20, Nova Scotia's minister of tourism sent a letter to the federal Ministers of Industry and Finance saying that the government's decision to cut the visitor rebate program will negatively impact the tourism industry.

Why did the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance mislead the House by telling it that Nova Scotia supported the decision when all provinces opposed the decision to kill the rebate program that will kill thousands of Canadian tourism jobs?

Visitor Rebate Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the evidence indicated only 3% of tourists used the GST rebate. It was a relatively inefficient program.

I can say, however, that we have heard various representations concerning the issue, particularly with respect to conventions and so on. These are matters that are being taken into consideration in our deliberations in trying to encourage tourism in Canada.

We have also heard representations on behalf of the Canadian Tourism Commission, another important aspect of building up tourism in Canada. These are all important issues, not only for Nova Scotia but for all of Canada.

Visitor Rebate Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister ought to read his mail from provincial ministers who are united in their belief that it is bad public policy to make Canada the only country in the OECD without a visitor rebate program.

On December 4, the industry minister met with all the provincial tourism ministers, all of whom expressed their opposition to the government's decision. The Minister of Industry agreed with their position and offered to champion their position at the federal cabinet table.

Has the Minister of Industry championed their position at the cabinet table or was he just telling them what they wanted to hear?

Visitor Rebate Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada, as the member opposite knows, is spending about $350 million this year to promote tourism in Canada. This is an important challenge for all of us. It is one of Canada's major industries.

We are working hard as we prepare the budget to try to further enhance the support we can offer for tourism in all regions of Canada.

Human Resources
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Garth Turner Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month, of the 160,000 people who entered the workforce, half of them found no work. In fact, the jobless rate has been rising since a low point reached during the last government. It is no wonder when more than $8 billion have been cut from programs such as workplace training, student employment and science and innovation.

The question is simple and direct. Where is the government's plan to train people for the jobs of the 21st century?

Human Resources
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I am very puzzled to see the member for Halton in the House today. I thought he had committed to Canadians that if a member of Parliament changed sides, himself for example, there should be a byelection. Perhaps he could go out and ask the people of his constituency the questions.