House of Commons Hansard #168 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the promise was to keep the Atlantic accords exactly as they were signed. That is exactly what this government has done.

What we are being asked to do by some provinces is to sign new side deals. This government will not sign new side deals. That is not the way we are running this federation.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister could do the right thing. He could honour his promise. He could agree to sit down and make this federation work the way it should.

Instead, the moment that people start to stand up for the people of their province, he hauls out the court documents. He is ready to lay them on the table. It is a tactic of intimidation and it will not work to make our country strong.

When will the Prime Minister do the right thing, honour his promise and deliver to the people of Atlantic Canada and Saskatchewan what they have every right to expect because he told them he would?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, that is exactly what we have done. As I said, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were having good discussions with Nova Scotia. They are anxious to continue those discussions. They certainly have the full support of the government if that is what the Government of Nova Scotia wants to do.

The fact is equalization is an issue on which the provinces are divided. The NDP government of Manitoba wanted the inclusion of natural resources. The NDP government of Saskatchewan wanted the exclusion.

What is the position of the federal NDP? It has no position on this or any other important issue because it knows it will never run the country.

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

June 11th, 2007 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, first, we had the finance minister declaring peace in our time, even as he betrayed three provinces with his budget. Then we had the foreign affairs minister telling Nova Scotians, “We'll see you in court over the Atlantic accord”.

Now, today, we have the Prime Minister himself threatening Atlantic Canadians with court action. That is his answer to provinces that only ask that he keep his promises and honour a signed contract.

Why should Atlantic Canadians have to go to court to get the Prime Minister to keep his promise?

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the history of this is fairly well known. The member who has asked the question is a member of a party whose leader says that fiscal balance between governments does not exist in Canada. Yet he has the nerve to say that what is being done to redress fiscal imbalance between governments in Canada is somehow wrong.

Those members do not even believe, in the first place, that there is a fiscal imbalance in Canada. Therefore, how does one redress it? There was the O'Brien committee, appointed by the former Liberal government opposite, an expert panel that made recommendations to government, which we—

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Halifax West.

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley does not believe the Minister of Finance. The Premier of Saskatchewan and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador do not believe the Minister of Finance. Even the premier of my province does not believe this flim-flam act any more.

If the accord has not changed, how can he explain the 12 paragraphs of amendments in clause 80, 81 and 82 of his budget bill? Why will he not be honest with Canadians and honour the accord?

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I am sure the member opposite knows, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are in a unique position, together, because they had accords.

Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia can operate under the previous equalization system until their agreements expire, but can permanently opt into the new system at any time. That is the reason for the provision in Bill C-52, to create that option for those two provinces.

Corporate Takeovers
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, he does not answer questions, so let us try another tact.

Recently, the Prime Minister declared that he did not want to interfere with the market and say that one transaction would be allowed and that another would not, since this would be a disaster. So the Prime Minister must have been surprised when his Minister of Finance announced a review of such transactions.

Could the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister consult one another just a little before imposing their disastrous economic policies on Canadians?

Corporate Takeovers
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite asks about the economy. We have created 450,000 new jobs since this government was elected, a great record for this government. We have the strongest economic fundamentals in the G-7.

We have the best unemployment rate in about 33 years in Canada. We have the highest level of participation in the workforce in the history of Canada. All of this is since the election of this party to government just 16 months ago.

Corporate Takeovers
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I guess it was lost in translation, or as usual he is lost on the economy, but the issue is foreign takeovers.

These are important and that is why, in deference to the Prime Minister, we offered to stop calling it the Liberal plan on foreign takeovers and instead call it the Gwyn Morgan plan. There is a broad consensus across the land that what we need is not a return to protectionism but an urgent review of the Investment Canada Act to make sure we have the best tools to do what is best for Canada in the 21st century.

Will the government adopt the Gwyn Morgan plan for an urgent review of the Investment Canada Act?

Corporate Takeovers
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I could understand if the member opposite did not read the budget after it was presented, but it is now more than two months since March 19. If he bothers to read the budget, he will see that the government is appointing a committee to report to the Minister of Industry on competitiveness, including the issue to which he makes reference. He should get with the program and read the budget.

Africa
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, as with the Kyoto protocol, the Prime Minister is repudiating Canada's signature by not honouring the commitments made for humanitarian aid in Africa.

The Prime Minister may boast that his government is on track towards keeping its promises, but we know that Canada's contribution for 2010 should double the current amounts, which means it should be $2 billion instead of $1 billion. Oxfam Canada said this is just not enough, and so have all international observers.

Will the Prime Minister honour the commitments he has already made concerning aid to Africa?

Africa
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister clearly indicated last week, Canada is on track to honouring its commitment to doubling aid to Africa by 2008-09. No matter what the hon. member says, the Financial Times recently reported that Canada is the only G-8 country that is on track to meet its Gleneagles commitments.

Africa
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the minister's remarks, there is still a long way to go. According to Oxfam Canada, Canada spends less on AIDS than the average of the other countries, in relation to the size of our economy. We are talking about people who really need our help.

Will the federal government keep its word and reach the targeted 0.7% of its GDP in international assistance, as it promised for the achievement of the millennium development goals?