House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, instead of fighting to get the necessary funding to reduce the backlog, the minister wants unilateral authority to pick and choose who can come to Canada. New arrivals will have to wait one year to find out whether their application will be accepted or not.

When will the minister admit that her plan undermines the integrity of the system and tarnishes Canada's reputation?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it was the Liberal government that tarnished the reputation of Canada when it comes to immigration. It promised a lot but delivered very little.

The Liberals are the ones who capped the number of people who could come here by overburdening a system to the point now where it is crumbling around itself and where we are losing valuable, much needed talent to other countries where the processing time is three to six months. Here it is three to six years.

If we do not do something significant right away, which is what we are proposing, it will take immigrants 10 years to get here. That is not fair to them, not fair to their families here and not fair to Canada.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has tried to hide sweeping immigration reforms in the budget bill and has denied Parliament and all Canadians the opportunity to have an open and honest debate.

Is the government afraid that such a debate will force it to abandon these discriminatory and unfair reforms to Canada's Immigration Act?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we put these measures into the budget bill. I am pleased to say that it will be announced tomorrow. It will be debated tomorrow and every member in this House will have the opportunity to address it at length. It also will be discussed at committee, giving full air to everyone's views.

If the Liberals are suggesting that this is discriminatory, I assure all members that all of these things will be in compliance with the charter. For them to suggest that we would break the charter, break the law, is simply more fearmongering. It is irresponsible because they are only after power, not after helping people.

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the facts are clear. The legislation would give the minister unilateral powers to refuse to process applications and to discriminate against newcomers based on background, region or skill sets.

Will the minister admit that these reforms remove equality from Canada's immigration system and give her the ability to close the door on those she does not want?

Immigration
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member really should listen a little better. We want more immigrants to come here and we want to get them here sooner. We want them here sooner than the six years it now takes, thanks to the previous government's actions.

All of our instructions will be charter compliant and the charter does not allow discrimination by race, religion or ethnicity. The hon. member should know that by now. We want more people to get here sooner. We will get the job done.

Communications Security Establishment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have already been three reports asking the federal government to clarify the law governing the Communications Security Establishment, the CSE, to better protect the privacy of Canadians who communicate with parties outside the country. Since May 2007, the CSE Commissioner himself has urged the government to act as quickly as possible.

How can the Minister of National Defence justify his inaction? Is it not because, in the end, he is perfectly comfortable with the potential invasion of Canadians' privacy?

Communications Security Establishment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, questions about Canadians' security are very important. That is why the agencies, including the agency mentioned by my colleague, are included in the process that allows us to access information, to protect our citizens and also protect our citizens' privacy. Those two things are very important.

Communications Security Establishment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, if it is important, he would already have acted. But it has been over a year and still nothing has been done.

It is currently the Minister of National Defence himself who can approve the interception of these kinds of private communications, as opposed to an impartial, competent judge. Given the importance of the rights we are talking about, will the minister agree that CSE should obtain the authorization of a judge to be able to intercept private communications of Canadians, even if they are with parties outside the country?

Communications Security Establishment
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the security of Canadians is paramount to this government, and CSEC is another tool the government employs to ensure that. CSEC directs its intelligence activities at foreign targets located outside Canada and is prohibited by the National Defence Act from targeting communications of Canadians. Section 273 of the act requires the authorization of the Minister of National Defence to intercept communications of foreign targets outside Canada, even if those communications originate or terminate in Canada.

I would also like to point out that the CSE commissioner, former Supreme Court Justice Gonthier, has confirmed the lawfulness of the CSEC activities review.

Finance
Oral Questions

April 2nd, 2008 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the budget tabled by the Minister of Finance on February 26 opened the door to compensation for tax harmonization in Ontario. It states, “The Government is willing to work with the five provinces that still have [retail sales taxes] to help facilitate the transition to provincial value-added taxes harmonized with the GST.”

Is the Minister of Finance preparing to help Ontario, as he has already helped the Maritimes?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.

In the budget we have indicated to the provinces that do not have harmonized sales taxes with the GST that we would be prepared to work with them to accomplish that. Some discussions have taken place with some of those provinces, in the same way I might add, that in the budget last year we provided an incentive for those provinces that still had capital taxes to eliminate those capital taxes. Several provinces have taken steps in that regard. I am pleased to see that the province of Ontario took that step in its budget last week.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, Quebec harmonized taxes in 1992-94, and did not receive a cent from the federal government to do so. Quebec estimates that it would have been entitled to $2 billion if Ottawa had made a similar offer for harmonization.

Will Quebec finally receive this $2 billion in compensation?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we work with the provinces continually with respect to tax matters and the integration of tax initiatives, tax policies, including the registered disability savings plan which we created, with thanks to the Bloc for its support on that, including the working income tax benefit to help people enter the workforce. There is regular facilitation of tax policy with the provinces.

The province of Quebec has also taken up the incentive with respect to capital taxes, moving toward their elimination in Quebec.

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages and the former vice-president of the advertising firm, LXB.