House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am raising it.

In 2006 the Prime Minister said, “$132,000 is a lot of money.... It represents the total taxes paid by 27 single working Canadians earning $40,000”.

His finance minister did not get the message or he would not have given his friend a $122,000 contract to write a budget speech. What does the finance minister have to say to those 1,200 Canadians who lost their jobs today about that big fat untendered contract?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member makes the assumption in her question that the work was not done for the money paid. That suggestion is wrong. The evidence is publicly available. I invite the hon. member to look at and review the evidence of the work done for the money paid.

Election Financing
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, in spite of our government's implementation of the toughest anti-corruption law in history which bans corporate donations, the Liberals insist on finding ways around the rules to raise funds from corporations and wealthy insiders.

Tomorrow they have an event auctioning off time with key Liberals where the sky is the limit and individuals, partnerships, corporations and associations are free to bid as high as they want. As my colleague from Essex said, this is Liberal love in all the wrong places.

Can the Minister for Democratic Reform remind the Liberal leader and his colleagues about the new rules of campaign financing?

Election Financing
Oral Questions

2:45 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, when it comes to illegal fundraising, the Liberal Party refuses to change. Although individual contributions are limited to $1,100 and corporate contributions are now banned, the Liberal Party is trying a way around that, an auction for lobbyists.

Tomorrow night here in Ottawa with the Liberal leader it is possible to buy special access, lunch with the deputy leader, the industry critic and more. How much? It says that the sky is the limit, that a successful bid will not affect one's annual political contribution limit, and that corporations are free to bid as high as they want.

The party of the sponsorship scandal is alive and kicking. The Liberal Party just will not change.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Vanier Institute of the Family has just published disturbing statistics. Canadian families have record debt levels with an average of $80,000 per family, or 131% of their disposable income. More and more they are paying their bills with credit cards that have usurious interest rates charged with impunity by our banks.

We know that the Minister of Finance failed miserably on the issue of ATM fees. Will he at least take action on credit cards?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the best social program is a job. This government in two years has created more than 750,000 excellent social programs in Canada.

With respect to low income Canadians, we have removed 650,000 low income Canadians completely from the income tax rolls in Canada. We also have the working income tax benefit which the members opposite talked about but never did, which we introduced and which is now law in Canada. We also have a working families tax plan and a registered disability savings plan to help Canadians.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the finance minister were listening to Canadians, he would know that families are getting ripped off at the bank, ripped off at the gas pump, ripped off by cellphone companies and ripped off on their cable bills. But the rip-off does not end there.

The finance minister is personally ripping off taxpayers. He paid a friend $200,000 for a 20 page speech. Does he even know that $200,000 is the average family's income for three years? This is unjustifiable. He has no moral authority to talk about budgetary matters or anything else. Why does he not just resign?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would know, if he bothered to review the material, that the work done was extensive. It was done by two people over an extensive period of several months. It related to policy and communications and not as the member just suggested. It is plain that the member has not bothered to review the documentation which is publicly disclosed.

Bulk Water
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has said that water is about to become commoditized and traded as a futures contract, along with pork bellies, oranges and lumber.

Former Alberta premier Peter Loughheed has said he expects lobbying efforts from the United States aimed at prying bulk water out of Canada to intensify over the next decade.

Last week at the Munk Centre a panel of water policy experts called on the government to create safety net legislation to effectively ban Canadian bulk water exports, now, today, before there is a crisis.

When is the government going to act and close the door once and for all on bulk water exports--

Bulk Water
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of International trade.

Bulk Water
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, under NAFTA there is no obligation on the part of Canada or any of the NAFTA partners to export bulk water in any form. In fact, there is legislation in place that protects against the commoditization of water, as long as water remains in its natural state, and on boundary waters, it cannot be removed without the permission of the federal government under law, for export or for any other reason.

There is good legislation in place. If the Munk Centre study has something new to tell us, we will certainly study that.

Bulk Water
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, “water was not exempted from NAFTA”. Who said that? The MP for Calgary East, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The problem started when prime minister Brian Mulroney removed from the last draft of the free trade agreement the exemption for water that had been included in earlier drafts, to the surprise of his international trade minister.

Why does the government always have to be dragged kicking and screaming to face the truth that everyone else knows? Why will the government not do something to protect our environment, our natural heritage--

Bulk Water
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of International Trade.

Bulk Water
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the partners to the North American Free Trade Agreement actually came together and signed in 1993 an agreement that water in its natural state was not covered in any way by the North American Free Trade Agreement. It is against the law to export bulk water, to remove bulk water from its natural state, from its water basins. That party was in power for a long time and it said the same thing.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, in December the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration shamefully boasted that the government was “very proud” and “was delivering” on its record of immigration. The grim reality is that under the Conservative government, people are waiting longer than ever before to enter Canada, 20% longer. We need immigrants desperately to help this country grow, but the government has no long term plan to get them here.

Why has the Conservative minister neglected to get the necessary resources from her government to look after Canada's failing immigration system?