House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:10 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Halton, ON

Mr. Chair, I rise on a point of order. I believe the rules state clearly the minister cannot answer for any longer than the duration of the question posed to him. He exceeded on that.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair Andrew Scheer

The responses are supposed to mirror the length of time but obviously there are times when the minister might take a little while to wrap up the answer. The hon. member for Halton.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:10 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Halton, ON

Mr. Chair, Dr. Mike Popovich asked this question, “Ask the minister why he considers RRSPs to be tax exempt in his calculations of tax leakage when it comes to income trusts, when Revenue Canada considers them to be tax deferred”.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Chair, as the member opposite knows, the income trust situation was one in which we had large Canadian corporations and the directors of those corporations looking at a situation where they felt that their duty to their shareholders to maximize value put them in a position where they would have to decide to change the corporate entity to income trusts. That was going to happen with a number of our--

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:10 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Halton, ON

Mr. Chair, on a point of order, the questions asked of the minister are simple, short, direct questions. We are here to discuss a very specific thing in a very specific forum. Mr. Chair, direct him to answer.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair Andrew Scheer

It is not for the Chair to decide whether or not the answer fits what the hon. member was expecting, but we will move on now to the hon. member for Willowdale.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

May 28th, 2008 / 9:10 p.m.

Liberal

Garth Turner Halton, ON

Mr. Chair, that was not enough time.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair Andrew Scheer

Maybe on that clock, but on this clock it was. The hon. member for Willowdale.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:10 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Chair, the minister made a statement earlier about certain governments raising taxes and entering into deficits.

I would like to ask the minister, can he tell me who was the last prime minister who inherited deficits and turned them into significant surpluses?

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Chair, that would have been in the 1990s. Without looking it up, I would think it would have to have been in the early 1990s when there was a change in government.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:15 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Chair, I will help the minister in case his memory seems to be failing him in terms of names. That would have been Jean Chrétien with Paul Martin, both Liberals.

I would--

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair Andrew Scheer

Order. I just want to remind the hon. member that in committee of the whole, the same rules apply about using members' proper names. She has an opportunity now for a follow-up.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:15 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Chair, a Liberal prime minister and a Liberal finance minister. My apologies. That was a new member's mistake.

I would like to ask the finance minister, who was the last prime minister who inherited large surpluses and brought government spending close to deficit?

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa, ON

Mr. Chair, if the member is criticizing the fact that we have reduced taxes in this country, she can go ahead and criticize.

If she wants to talk about Liberal premiers, I became a member of the provincial legislature in Ontario in 1995. Our government took over from the government of the member for Toronto Centre, who now says he is a Liberal, but he was a member of the NDP then. There was a massive deficit in the province of Ontario and we had to work many years to recover from that deficit just as we would have to here in the future with this new massive carbon tax and the big deficit that the Liberals intend to run.

Finance—Main Estimates 2008-09
Business of Supply
Government Orders

9:15 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Chair, I would like to see us adhere to the rule of the answer taking the same amount of time as the question.

I would like to ask the finance minister if he can tell me, who was the last Conservative prime minister to actually show a surplus?