House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the opposition gives this government a lot more credit than is likely going to happen. We do not control the housing industry in the United States. The softening of prices in the United States has created more protectionism than we were expecting. It is this softwood lumber agreement that provides us the opportunity to sit down and discuss what the Americans feel are their concerns.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec forestry industry is going through an unprecedented crisis, but it cannot look to the incompetent Conservative government for assistance.

After abandoning the economic development of the regions of Quebec in their budget, the Conservatives have abandoned forestry workers for the benefit of the Americans and a bargain-basement deal on softwood lumber.

Just ask workers who have lost their jobs in Abitibi, in Mauricie or in the Outaouais.

Why is the Conservative government not doing something today to fix the mistakes caused by its incompetence and inertia on softwood lumber?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I wonder where my hon. colleague was a few months ago; since he certainly read the last budget, he could have seen that $400 million was allocated to help the forestry industry stay competitive. That is in addition to the softwood lumber deal, which will bring about long-term stability for the next seven years. That is what we are doing. That is what a Conservative government does. We keep our promises to Canadians and the softwood lumber industry.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, forestry industry workers deserve better than the flagrant incompetence of the Conservatives. In a recent letter, the Americans launched a frontal attack on the assistance programs operated by the Government of Quebec totalling over $1 billion. The Conservatives have created more problems than they have solved.

At the meetings with the Americans scheduled for tomorrow, instead of kowtowing, will someone in this Conservative government finally stand up for the interests of Quebec workers?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my hon. colleague that in Quebec, 98% of softwood lumber companies supported the agreement and still support it. And in Quebec the Fédération des travailleurs du Québec (FTQ) also supports this agreement because it is good for the workers and for Quebec. That is why they supported the agreement and why they still support it today. I wonder where my colleague was a few months ago.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its most recent ad, the Conservative Party admits that its solution to the fiscal imbalance is not definitive because, according to what the government itself says, the next government could try to take the money back.

Could the Prime Minister be consistent, acknowledge that the fiscal imbalance has not been resolved, and immediately transfer tax fields as suggested in the Séguin report in order to settle this question once and for all?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the formula that we have put forward for equalization within the budget has been broadly accepted by a majority of the provinces in Canada and by all of the territories. This is a formula that is based on the expert advice of the O'Brien committee that was appointed by the previous government, headed by a former deputy treasurer of the province of Alberta.

It is a principle based, forward looking formula, so that the provinces and territories will accurately know where they will stand from year to year over the next seven years. This is important in terms of being able to plan their fiscal futures.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the finance minister claim that the fiscal imbalance has been resolved while admitting that the transfers to Quebec depend on the mood of the government in place? Is that not speaking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time? Will the Conservatives go all the way in their commitment to resolve the fiscal imbalance?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the commitment in the budget is firm and it is incorporated in Bill C-52, which is the first budget implementation bill that is now before the House. I believe it is up for debate today as a matter of fact. The commitment is quite clear.

I congratulate the hon. member on his new appointment as the finance critic for the Bloc.

International Aid
Oral Questions

April 18th, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, Paul Gérin-Lajoie recently denounced the fate that awaits children living in poverty. His findings are most disturbing: child mortality is twice as high in developing countries; 12 million children have been orphaned because of AIDS; 30 million children in Asia are living on the streets. He describes as shameful the fact that Canada is in 14th place on the list of OECD countries in terms of public aid for development.

When will the Minister for International Cooperation present a credible plan for reaching the objective of 0.7% of GDP by 2015, to implement the Millennium Development Goals?

International Aid
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, I would like to remind my colleague that our government is committed to increasing international aid.

In the latest budget, we have included amounts that are meant to provide assistance to countries in need. I also remind her that she supported our budget.

International Aid
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister boasts about wanting to ensure that assistance is effective. Mr. Gérin-Lajoie insists that there has been significant progress in terms of the Millennium Goals, specifically, a 20% decrease in child mortality and an increase from 4% to 7% in admission rates for primary education. Contrary to the minister’s remarks, the problem is not just the effectiveness of our aid, but also the budget size.

When will the minister stop repeating the same message and start to show some leadership concerning the budget?

International Aid
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, I would like to remind my colleague that international aid sank to its lowest point, at 0.22%, under the former Liberal government in 2001.

We have increased international aid and we are committed to providing assistance to countries in need.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister raises income tax and every economist on the planet says that is wrong, it is clear the Prime Minister should spend some time on his economic files.

As for the finance minister and interest deductibility, anyone who is even slightly informed on this knows it has absolutely nothing to do with tax havens and everything to do with competitiveness and jobs.

Why did the finance minister not spend some time on this and think it through carefully before he presented his budget?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are more than $1 billion in tax savings in Bill C-52, which is before the House, including pension splitting for seniors, which the Liberals oppose. This is just one large tax reduction that they oppose.

With respect to the issue of tax havens, I understand that we are for tax fairness and the Liberals are for tax havens. In fact, they have been known to use tax havens in the past. They have lots of experience with tax havens. We do not support tax havens.

We think all Canadians should pay their fair share, including multinational corporations doing business in Canada.