House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Securities
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker. That is not the intention at all. The intention is to try to make the Canadian economic union work as well as it can.

The IMF and the World Bank have looked at the issue and in their report they recommended that we, as governments in Canada, continue to pursue this option of making our capital markets more effective and more efficacious, which creates more liquidity in Canada, which creates more investment, more jobs for Canadians and more jobs in Quebec. This is all progress.

As I say, this is all about creating a common regulator to make the markets work more efficiently, not creating a national--

Securities
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Bourassa.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, after months of misleading Canadians, the Minister of National Defence was pushed into apologizing for general incompetence. He dismisses distortion on the role of the Red Cross in Afghanistan as inadvertent and that he only recently learned just how wrong his statements were. How can that be true?

The minister was briefed personally by the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross last September. That is right. Dr. Kellenberger gave the Minister of National Defence a personal briefing on the role of the Red Cross so that there would not be any confusion. Which part of the briefing did the general not understand?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we had a very broad discussion and in that discussion the president pointed out how much cooperation he has received from the Canadian Forces and he appreciated all our efforts.

The Environment
Oral Questions

March 20th, 2007 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a historic day in Canada's fight to reduce greenhouse gases and tackle Canadians' concerns regarding climate change. Budget 2007 invests $4.5 billion to clean our air and water, reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change, as well as protect our natural environment.

Could the Minister of the Environment please tell this House about some of the new and innovative programs in the budget that will help Canada in its fight to eliminate smog, reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change?

The Environment
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have to tell the House that I am somewhat shocked that no member of the official opposition has stood and asked any questions about Ontario in this budget.

I can tell the member opposite that there are a lot of very good initiatives in this budget. The Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister have heard the concerns. We are moving forward to work with the provinces with a $1.5 billion ecotrust announcement for the first time ever. As two premiers told me, they never received a single dollar from the federal government under the Liberals and now they are finally getting help to combat greenhouse gases and combat climate change. We are proud of it and the best is yet to come.

Transfer Payments
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, sending the NDP's gas tax transfer to cities is good news but the Federation of Canadian Municipalities says:

The bad news is that the Budget fails to deliver a long-term strategy to meet the challenges in our cities and communities, particularly to erase the $60-billion municipal infrastructure deficit, fix the municipal fiscal imbalance, provide Canadians with the transit options they need, or help new immigrants settle.

When will the minister start showing the same respect and commitment to our cities that he continues to show to his corporate buddies in the oil and gas sectors?

Transfer Payments
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it was about three weeks ago that a historic announcement was made in the greater Toronto area with respect to infrastructure. That is a commitment of about $1.5 billion for urban transit issues, public transit, subway in Toronto, subway into York region, city of Mississauga, city of Brampton, region of York, region of Durham. These are all major infrastructure investments in transit.

I think that is what the member for Hamilton Centre is talking about. There are $33 billion in infrastructure funding that is budgeted now and I am sure some of it will be spent in the area of Hamilton.

Comments by the Member for Markham—Unionville
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning, at around10:44 a.m. to be precise, during the budget debate the Liberal finance critic, the hon. member for Markham—Unionville, claimed that the NDP voted against the Liberal 2005 budget and caused the former government to fall. That was dead wrong. Further, he claimed there was new money for affordable housing in the Liberal 2005 budget. He was wrong again. The NDP actually added money for affordable housing.

I hope the member will stop misleading the House.

Comments by the Member for Markham—Unionville
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I think we are getting into a debate. It sounds like a disagreement as to facts. The hon. member for Trinity—Spadina knows she has the tremendous advantage of being able to ask questions of the hon. member for Markham—Unionville at the end of his speech. There are times allotted for questions and comments at the end of hon. members' speeches. I am sure she would want to have raised the matter then. It is perhaps a little late to do it now, but she has evidently made her point.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government, of the amendment and the amendment to the amendment.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Before question period the hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell had the floor. He has three minutes left in the time allocated for his comments.

The hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, just before question period I was speaking on our most excellent budget. Allow me to summarize only some of its key elements.

First, there were $7 billion in tax savings.

Second, having been married 21 years and being the father of five children, let me speak of our support for families. There is a $2,000 child tax credit for each child under the age of 18. Ninety per cent of Canadian families will benefit from this tax credit and 180,000 taxpayers will be removed from the tax rolls as a result of this measure. In addition, there is a working income tax benefit of up to $1,000 per family to help low income working families.

Third, we have eliminated the $4,000 limit on annual contributions to registered education savings plans. We have provided $6 million a year to combat the sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking.

Having personally served in the Canadian military for 20 years, I am pleased to reiterate that there are $3.1 billion for national defence over the next three years. There are $60 million for operational allowances for our brave men and women serving in operational theatres overseas.

We are appointing a veterans' ombudsman. We are providing $19 million in 2007-08 and $20 million a year after that to improve services to veterans. Not only do we salute our men and women in uniform, but we stand by them and are taking action.

As the MP of a rural riding representing farmers, there are $1 billion in new funding for farmers, $400 million paid directly to producers to help with the high cost of production and $600 million in federal funding to kick-start new producer savings accounts. We are increasing the lifetime capital gains exemption to $750,000 from $500,000, therefore increasing the rewards of investing in farming. This is the first time it has been increased since 1998.

As the Minister of Finance correctly stated, Canada's farmers do not just feed our country, they feed the world. It is time we provided the kind of support that these decent, hard-working people of integrity deserve. We have heard from our farmers and listened to them, but most important we have acted.

We are a government of action and our budget is a budget of action. There are two words that best describe our budget: it delivers. Canadians could not be happier. Finally, they have a government that is acting for them. That is our Canada. Voilà notre Canada.

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the budget delivers but not to everybody.

The member will probably know that the first $36,800 of pension income is already taxed at the lowest possible rate. Therefore, pension income splitting for seniors does not benefit people who make less than that amount of money. It does not benefit seniors who do not have partners, such as widowers.

It delivers but it does not deliver to all. Why do all seniors not benefit from the budget that was presented to the House?

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, what kind of a question is that? He should speak to the seniors in his riding and to the seniors in my riding. Pension income splitting is a huge tax initiative that our government has taken to assist our seniors. Not only that, he has asked about seniors who do not collect pensions. We have increased the age exemption amount from $4,000 to $5,000. That is great news for seniors.

We have delivered tremendously for seniors.