House of Commons Hansard #170 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Alberta Byelection
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the Alberta Progressive Conservatives lost a precious piece of political real estate last night. The seat held by former premier Ralph Klein went to Liberal Craig Cheffins in a byelection yesterday.

The loss of Calgary--Elbow should be considered both a symbolic and a political blow to the six-month-old Stelmach government. The PCs held this seat since they took it in 1971. Clearly, this would be a concern for Premier Ed Stelmach who is the only Conservative premier in Canada who is still on speaking terms with the Prime Minister.

Perhaps even more telling is the fact that part of Calgary--Elbow is in the Prime Minister's own riding, a Prime Minister who helped cause the defeat by his broken promise on income trusts.

On behalf of Liberals all across the country, I would like to extend our congratulations to Mr. Cheffins and Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft.

Maybe the winds that brought us Liberal governments in P.E.I. and New Brunswick are Alberta bound.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night, this democratically elected House of Commons overwhelmingly passed a budget that delivers tax relief for families and businesses: $1.5 billion to support clean air and climate change projects; $800 million more in predictable long term funding for post-secondary education; $250 million for the creation of child care spaces; $300 million to protect girls and women from cancer of the cervix; $612 million to implement wait time guarantees; and much more.

However, today, in the unelected Liberal dominated Senate, a Liberal senator is promising that he and his colleagues will delay the passage of this federal budget. Even the Liberal finance critic says that the Liberals will continue to fight the budget, presumably in the Senate.

The Leader of the Opposition, however, indicates that the Senate should respect the will of the House of Commons. Who is speaking for the Liberal Party? Is it an unelected Liberal senator? Is it the Liberal finance critic? Maybe it is the Leader of the Opposition but no one seems to ever listen to him.

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, too often, the Prime Minister has broken his election promises without apology. Today, I am giving him the opportunity to do the honourable thing and apologize for his broken promises, starting with the promise he made to two Atlantic provinces and Saskatchewan to honour the Atlantic accord and exclude 100% of natural resource revenues from equalization, a promise that was clearly broken in the latest budget.

Will the Prime Minister do the honourable thing and apologize to these three provinces?

Atlantic Accord
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have kept our promises regarding the Atlantic accord. These two provinces are getting the same amounts under the accords as before the budget. That is this party's commitment.

At the same time, thanks to a new equalization formula, Nova Scotia has gained another $95 million. In addition, the new formula excludes 100% of natural resource revenues, just as we promised.

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

June 13th, 2007 / 2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, with his broken promise, the Prime Minister made such a mess that Saskatchewan is now suing him.

Let us try it with income trusts now. The Prime Minister promised in his platform in the last election to “preserve income trusts by not imposing any new taxes on them”. Once in power, he brought in the punitive 31% tax. Thousands of citizens, especially seniors, lost billions of dollars.

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and apologize to these citizens?

Income Trusts
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we brought that policy to the House of Commons and we explained the reasons we had to do it. The House of Commons supported that measure and it also supported measures to help senior citizens who may have been adversely impacted, measures which the party opposite voted against.

The hypocrisy over there knows no bounds. I have a whole series of quotes here of the Leader of the Opposition opposing even signing the Atlantic accord in the first place. Therefore, I was not surprised when we improved equalization that they voted against that as well.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, no apology to the provinces or to senior citizens. Will the Prime Minister at least apologize to our veterans' widows?

In June 2005, he promised in writing to Joyce Carter of Nova Scotia, to:

...immediately extend Veterans Independence Program services to the widows of all Second World War and Korean War veterans....

After 16 months in power and two budgets, he did nothing. This is another broken promise.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to Joyce Carter and to our veterans' widows?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is well aware of its platform commitments and other commitments to Canadian veterans and we intend to act on those commitments.

I would point out that there were measures in this most recent budget to improve the lives of veterans, some important investments, and once again the Liberal Party voted against those benefits for veterans.

Equalization Formula
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, for months the finance minister has told Canadians, “no province will be worse off in Canada as a result of the new equalization scheme”.

A study released today by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council proves that the government is wrong. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador will lose $1.4 billion. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island will also lose under this formula.

When will the Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance finally stop misleading Canadians?

Equalization Formula
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, there is a difference between getting less money than they wanted and actually getting less money.

The fact is that under the new formula every equalization receiving province is receiving more money because the formula is an enriched formula. The only thing that can really change that in the future is if the economic circumstances of those provinces improve such that they move closer to the national average. That would be a good thing for all Canadians.

Equalization Formula
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the authors of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council report concluded that this government's budget violated both the letter and the spirit of the accords.

Even the former Conservative finance minister, John Crosbie, said that the Conservatives were changing the equalization formula in a way that would nullify the principles of the accord.

The only people who are refusing to admit that the government is undermining the accords are the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance. Why are they refusing to admit they are wrong?

Equalization Formula
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the new equalization formula is an enriched formula. That is why all the provinces that receive equalization payments are getting more money this year.

I think this debate is getting close to the level of the absurd. We were being accused of breaking the contract with the Atlantic accord. Now the premier of Saskatchewan, who has no accord, is going to sue us for breaking his accord. I do not even understand what they are saying any more.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised action on the environment. Yesterday the C.D. Howe Institute published a study that found that the government's so-called green plan is a total failure. In fact, according to economists who took part in the study, the government's plan will not even reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a single tonne by 2050. This is just another broken promise by the Prime Minister.

Will the Prime Minister finally admit that the intention of his green plan never was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but to protect his friends the oil companies?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, not at all. The Minister of the Environment proposed a number of measures to achieve this objective. We do not agree with the estimates in this study. We are in consultation and developing a regulatory system. We intend to revise all these figures in order to ensure that we meet our targets.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister insists on moving forward with intensity targets instead of absolute targets. Does he not realize that lowering greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of oil from the oil sands will have no effect if the production of barrels is quadrupled?

Will the Prime Minister admit that his primary objective is not to cut pollution, but to protect the oil companies that continue to rake in profits and create pollution?