House of Commons Hansard #169 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Laval News
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 31, the weekly The Chomedey News changed its name to reflect its new reality. For a number of years, The Laval News has been distributed not only in Chomedey, but also all around Laval, for example, in Sainte-Dorothée, Laval-sur-le-Lac and parts of Fabreville and Laval-Ouest. This development is surely due to the excellent work of its employees.

On May 25, at its gala of excellence, the Quebec Community Newspaper Association recognized the The Laval News, giving it three awards.

Nancy Girgis won the top award for best environmental story and took third place in the best business story category. Graphic designer Bala Thanabalasingam won first place for the best advertising insert.

Congratulations to the recipients and to the whole The Laval News team for their hard work and their commitment to putting out a quality newspaper for our entire area.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Surprise, surprise, Mr. Speaker. Today another Liberal senator has said that he and his unelected, unaccountable Liberal dominated buddies will delay the passage of the budget past the June deadline.

Over $4 billion will be lost if those Liberals continue with their selfish partisan games: $1.5 billion to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution, lost; $225 million to conserve ecological sensitive lands, lost; $600 million to address patient wait times guarantees, lost; $30 million for the Rick Hansen Foundation to help those with spinal cord injuries, lost; $570 million to Ontario's labour market training, lost; and $135 million for developmental assistance in Afghanistan, lost.

The Leader of the Opposition should stand up right now and encourage his Liberal senators to pass the budget so that these investments in Canada are not lost. Canadians are waiting.

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is easy to make the case that the Prime Minister broke his promise to two Atlantic provinces.

Clause 4 of the Atlantic accord stipulates that “the equalization formula as it exists” is to be used in the calculations.

Yet, the budget introduces a new equalization formula that does not include the accord. Only the previous formula takes the accord into account.

In light of the evidence, will the Prime Minister—or anyone from the government—admit that he reneged on his promise and broke his word, which he gave to two Atlantic provinces?

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:15 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, this government respects the Atlantic accords in the budget so completely that there are absolutely no changes to anything that was signed in 2005, nor has anything been taken away from the provinces. Our consultations with Nova Scotia are to address the implementation process and the advantages of budget 2007. The budget offers many advantages.

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as I have proven to the minister, he is mistaken.

Yesterday, it was doublespeak again from the Prime Minister. Yesterday in question period he said, “What we will not do is provide a new, enhanced side deal for any province”. But in the press conference just before, he said the opposite. He said that he was “--somewhat surprised by the decision that Nova Scotia has taken to put an end to such discussions”.

That is doublespeak. Is the government now, or was it ever, negotiating a deal with Nova Scotia, yes or no?

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:15 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, let me be clear that what we have been discussing with the province of Nova Scotia are questions of implementation. It has options to consider, whether it wishes to proceed under the old Atlantic accord formula or the new enriched one.

It is really those negotiations and consultations on the new enriched formula that we had with the provinces that led to the correction of the fiscal imbalance.

That means that a province like Nova Scotia will be getting more than $2.4 billion in 2007-08 under that fiscal balance package including: $1.3 billion for equalization, $130 million for offshore accord offsets, and $639 million for the Canada health transfer, a lot of really good things for Nova Scotia.

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, so we do not have an answer. We do not know if the Conservatives are negotiating, yes or no, but we will know.

Earlier this year the Conservative member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre said, “If you want to say we didn't fulfill the commitment or keep our promise, fair enough”.

Will the Prime Minister say “fair enough”, or “I am sorry”? At the end of the day, it is a matter of trust. Three provinces have been betrayed. Who is next? Does the Prime Minister not realize that when he breaks his word to one region, or two, or three, he breaches the trust of all Canadians?

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:15 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 think the member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre was referring to the fact that unlike the previous government that did not believe there was a fiscal imbalance, fair enough. We had a government here that did and was looking to change the equalization program.

For that member's province of Saskatchewan, he saw that the federal budget does a lot for Saskatchewan, $1.4 billion in total including: $226 million under new equalization, $756 million under the Canada health transfer, and $324 million under the Canadian social transfer. There is more, and more, and guess what? None of it ever came from the member for Wascana.

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is a government in disarray, reeling from the fallout of its own dishonesty. Conservatives will not even show their faces in the House.

We have a powerless minister for Nova Scotia who cannot speak up for his province. We have a desperate Minister of Finance who will do anything to avoid yet another U-turn on his budget. We have a Prime Minister who has broken his word so many times he cannot be trusted.

This is not open federalism. This is open warfare. Why will the Prime Minister not take the first step to getting control over the situation and admit that he broke his promise to Canadians?

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:20 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, our government is very proud of always keeping our commitments. We are particularly proud of our program of open federalism, of correcting the fiscal imbalance, and of correcting the situation where the provinces were not well off.

Does the House know what it is? It is a real contrast with the program of the leader of the Liberal Party who said the following and I am reading from an old newspaper article here:

“Premier John Hamm's Campaign for Fairness on offshore royalties was flawed from the start”, [the] Intergovernmental Affairs Minister said Tuesday. “I suggested to stop arguing about the past,” [he] said after meeting with Hamm for more than an hour. “It's a mistake to link (the offshore) to equalization payments, because then other provinces want--”

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Etobicoke--Lakeshore.

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is supposed to be the voice of Nova Scotia in cabinet, but he was powerless when the Prime Minister's Office sabotaged negotiations with his province.

When the minister refused to sign the declaration of war written by the Prime Minister's director of communications, the Minister of Finance did so.

Is this the famous open federalism? It seems more like open war.

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:20 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, not at all. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is a strong voice for Nova Scotia. He has delivered the goods. For example, under our budget, the province of Nova Scotia will receive more than $2.4 billion in 2007.

In fact, the people of Nova Scotia will also do very well under the budget. They will get a new $2,000 child tax credit which will save Nova Scotia parents $39.6 million. A lot of Nova Scotia parents are thanking the foreign affairs minister for delivering on that.

Expenses of the Former Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
Oral Questions

June 12th, 2007 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reports of the two auditors general concerning the expenses of the former Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec confirm our worst fears: no accountability; no supporting documentation; meal and accommodation expenses claimed twice; skiing, golfing and fishing trips taken at taxpayers' expense; parties and receptions for friends. In short, in 10 years, Canadian Heritage paid $1.7 million to the former Lieutenant-Governor, including $700,000 for “questionable” or unjustified expenses.

Will the government comply with the main recommendation of the auditors general and demand that this money be reimbursed?

Expenses of the Former Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are deeply concerned by the Auditor General's report, and we are reviewing her observations and recommendations.

Of course, Canada's new government is committed to accountability and transparency. Its goal is to produce real results and ensure that taxpayers' money is well spent.