House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was loans.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Questions

May 9th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the Standing Committee on Finance, government experts did not deny that $4 billion in profits are repatriated from tax havens annually without a penny paid in tax. This was made possible through section 5907 of the income tax regulations, which allows Canadian companies to be exempt from paying tax on profits they bring back from their branches in Barbados.

Will the Prime Minister abolish section 5907 once and for all, to put an end to this scandalous tax loophole?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is a very detailed question on corporate tax law.

However, I will repeat the message from the Minister of Finance, who has promised to make sure that Canadian companies pay their share of taxes in Canada.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not a very detailed matter. It is quite simple. It is a matter of abolishing section 5907 because otherwise the rest of the population has to carry a $4 billion tax burden.

When the Prime Minister was in opposition, he clearly stated that we should get rid of this tax agreement with Barbados. He was clear then. Now that he has the power to do so, what is stopping him? When will he have the courage to take action? Did he have a change of heart?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc will know that in fact the House finance committee is studying these very issues right now. I compliment the Bloc because it has supported this study.

In this government, we have a huge commitment to tax fairness and we have taken a lot of heat for it, so we are very glad to have the support of the Bloc in tackling a fair tax system.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the reality of tax havens is not hard to understand. Tax havens allow companies to pay practically no tax on profits declared in Barbados and to bring these profits back to Canada without paying tax.

Does the Minister of Finance think it is normal for a company that makes profits not to pay any tax and for the tax burden to end up on the middle class? This is one of the indecent aspects of the tax havens that need to be corrected as soon as possible.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure my hon. friend opposite, being the finance critic for the Bloc, has read the budget in detail. There he will see the government's commitment to achieving a fair tax system for all Canadians so there can be tax reductions for all Canadians and all Canadian businesses.

The member also will know that in the budget the government committed to setting up a panel to study this, and he also knows that the House finance committee is studying it. We are moving very vigorously on this front. Again, we do appreciate the support of the member opposite.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that by keeping section 5907 of the income tax regulations, which allows the use of Barbados as a tax haven, the Minister of Finance, year in and year out, accepts that companies avoid paying tax on $4 billion in revenue every year. A solution exists and the Minister of Finance knows it. All he has to do is abolish section 5907 to get these companies to finally pay their taxes here.

When will he do it?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary—Nose Hill
Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure we are going to hear more representations along these lines, both to the House finance committee and to the government's panel on tax fairness.

As the member knows, this government has shown a tremendous will to address tax loopholes to make sure that we do not have tax evasion in this country. The government has shown extraordinary courage in tackling these issues and will continue to do so.

Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada recently lost several Canadian businesses. Russian, Chinese, Swedish, American, Indian and Brazilian companies grow richer while the workers' families grow poorer. The government has done nothing to prevent the current situation and to ensure that our economic jewels remain in Canadian hands.

When will the government take this fire sale seriously?

Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no fire sale. In accordance with legislation, a review of major acquisitions is carried out to ensure that there is a net benefit to Canada before the transactions are completed. That is the government policy.

Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Actually, Mr. Speaker, what the government is doing is putting a great big sign on the lawn. It simply says, “Canada for sale”.

We are losing our identity with the takeover of companies like Molson, The Bay and Van Houtte. We are losing jobs with the sell-off of companies like Abitibi and ATI Technologies. We are losing our ability to chart a course for our future with the takeover of companies like Falconbridge and now Alcan.

When will the Prime Minister start standing up for Canada and Canadian jobs?

Industry
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is the old economic nationalism of the NDP. The NDP does not want Canada to be part of free trade or part of the global economy.

The fact of the matter is that there is foreign investment in Canada. At the same time, Canadian investment outside of Canada has been growing.

Yes, there are job losses from time to time, but there are a lot more job gains under free trade and under our participation in the global economy. That is one reason why we have the lowest unemployment rate in over 40 years.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is pathetic about the Afghan detainees scandal is not only the inconsistency and incompetence of this Conservative government but the fact that we have opposite a former military lobbyist and arms dealer who no longer has the right to speak because his own Prime Minister realizes that he embarrasses Canada every time he utters a word. However, he is the one responsible.

Can the Minister of National Defence confirm that, despite what the Prime Minister is telling us, negotiations are underway with NATO to withdraw troops from Kandahar in January 2009?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in a recent national poll I obtained twice the level of support of the Leader of the Opposition. The reason I obtained that support is that he continues to show poor judgment. Recently he suggested that we would bring the Taliban back to Canada, maybe on a Taliban sponsorship program, but the worst example of his judgment is picking a buffoon as the defence critic.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Maybe, Mr. Speaker, it takes one to recognize another one. I do not know.

What we need--