House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Diwali
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, Diwali, or the festival of lights, is one of the highlights of the year. It represents hope and renewal. It is a time for traditions to be shared with family, friends and community.

During this very special time, the spirit of Diwali provides us with a chance to increase our understanding of one another. We share a country where race, religion, colour and language are not barriers, but reasons for us to celebrate our diversity.

The Indo Canadian community has made phenomenal contributions to Canada from coast to coast to coast, and Diwali is only one of its many gifts to us all.

My community of Burnaby—New Westminster is privileged to enjoy the outstanding contributions of institutions like the Shri Guru Ravidass, the Khalsa Diwan Society (Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar), the Arul Migu Thurkadevi Hindu Society, the Canadian Ramgarhia Society of British Columbia and the Vishva Hindu Parishad of British Columbia.

For all Canadians celebrating Diwali throughout our community of Burnaby—New Westminster, I wish them and their families happiness, prosperity, good health and peace.

Diwali mubarak. Happy Diwali.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians do not want an election. Constituents of mine, like Brian Patterson from Pottageville, have said that they want the parties to put their differences aside and focus on Canada's economic recovery.

That is what members on this side of the House are doing.

However, the Liberal leader does not care what Canadians think. His party is intent on forcing an unnecessary and opportunistic election. While we are fighting the recession, the Liberal leader wants to fight the recovery.

We will continue to implement Canada's economic action plan. Our plan is working. There are signs of recovery but the situation is still fragile. Our government is committed to staying on course. We remain focused on the economy and helping Canadians.

The Liberal leader can continue to try at every chance to force an election, that is his prerogative, but we will continue to fight the global economic recession.

This is just more proof that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians. He is in it for himself.

4th Annual Sisters In Spirit Vigils
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, dozens of sacred ceremonies, vigils, walks and gatherings were held simultaneously in 65 communities on Sunday. These ceremonies honoured the lives of some 520 aboriginal women who have been murdered or gone missing over the past 30 years.

Sunday's vigils were organized for the fourth consecutive year by the Native Women's Association of Canada. I salute the courage and determination of these women. Violence, whether it is physical, verbal or psychological, is absolutely unacceptable and reprehensible.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I denounce the fact that although the Conservative government has been called upon to take action many times, both nationally and internationally, it has not conducted any investigations or taken any action to give these women the help they need. It is high time that the government do something.

Labour
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, workers at Vale Inco's Canadian operations have been on strike since July. This labour dispute involves workers in Sudbury and Port Colborne, Ontario, and at the Voisey's Bay mine in Labrador.

The protracted strike has had a serious impact upon the economies of the affected communities, regions and families. It comes at the worst possible time, as Canada faces the most serious recession in decades.

Along with several of my Liberal colleagues, I met striking workers on the picket lines in Sudbury in September. I have also offered my solidarity with Voisey's Bay employees in my own riding. I share their concerns over working conditions and their desire to share in the company's financial success.

In the current economic climate, there can be no better stimulus than to get one of our major industries back in action in Labrador and northern Ontario.

I urge the parties to return to good faith negotiations and to work toward a fair, equitable and speedy resolution of all issues. I ask the Conservative government to show some leadership and support these workers.

Finance Minister of the Year
Statements By Members

October 6th, 2009 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government is delivering results. Through Canada's economic action plan, we are helping the economy, creating and protecting jobs and safeguarding Canadians during the global recession, and the world is taking notice.

Canadian banks were again named the world's soundest by the World Economic Forum. The International Monetary Fund predicts Canada will lead all G7 countries in economic growth next year.

And now Canada adds another economic award to its trophy case. We are happy to report that Euromoney magazine, a worldwide publication considered a leading voice on global financial markets, has named its annual finance minister of the year. No Canadian has ever won this award. That changed today. The finance minister of the year is none other than Canada's finance minister, the hon. member for Whitby--Oshawa.

The magazine notes that Canada's finance minister has enhanced his country's reputation for sound fiscal policy. That is something that he and Canadians can be very proud of.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for months, senior economists have been saying that the government's deficit numbers are off the mark by billions of dollars and that we will be in a hole much longer than the Prime Minister is prepared to admit.

These economists assert that the government has led us back into a structural deficit, one that will persist long after the stimulus spending has been exhausted. Yesterday, in this House, the transport minister denied it, so I will ask the Prime Minister: Are we or are we not heading into a structural deficit?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, of course we are not, but I think the House would note that Canada's fiscal situation and the relative strength of our fiscal situation has been praised by experts around the world. In fact, I see today that on behalf of the country and on behalf of the government, Minister Flaherty is accepting an award for fiscal management. I think that is something that all Canadians will be proud of.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I think the Prime Minister was referring to the Minister of Finance and he will know that he must not refer to him by name like that, unless it is someone else he is talking about.

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the winner of the brokerage award that year was Lehman Brothers.

What the Prime Minister is saying is that all the country's independent economists are wrong.

I therefore have this question for the Prime Minister: if he is so sure of his figures, why does he not want to give the Parliamentary Budget Officer appropriate funding so that he can conduct an independent assessment of the current status of this country's public finances for Canadians?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is this government that created the office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. He works independently, but as I just said, the Minister of Finance is accepting an award today on behalf of the government for sound fiscal management. That is something the world recognizes. Everyone in Canada should be proud of our fiscal performance.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on another subject, Suaad Mohamud is a Canadian citizen who was wronged and abandoned by her government.

Yesterday, the parliamentary secretary told the House that her case did not reach the political level but that contradicts the Prime Minister's own assertion that he found out about it around August 10. However, email traffic, we found out, makes it clear that as of July 1 media lines were being prepared by the Prime Minister's Office for the Prime Minister himself.

Could the Prime Minister please tell us who is telling the truth--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to deal with the member's comment on the Lehman Brothers. It always pains the Leader of the Opposition to say anything good about this country. Canada has a strong fiscal performance that he and everyone else should recognize, just as the world does.

On the case in question, I have been very clear. There are thousands of consular cases. It is extremely rare for the Prime Minister to become personally involved in a consular case. I did in early August. I asked that Ms. Mohamud be brought back to Canada and she was.

The media asked me for the first time sometime after that. He asked me for the first time today.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think Canadians want the Prime Minister to be concerned about Canadians.

Access to information documents tell us that the Prime Minister knew on July 1, not August 18, about Suaad's problems.

The communications director for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, at 8:57 in the morning, in an email marked urgent, said:

“I need lines for the PM right away.”

Seventeen minutes later she repeated, “Lines for the Prime Minister, please”.

Is the Prime Minister telling us today that he did not receive this briefing, that he was not paying attention or that he just did not care about Canadians' safety?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just answered that question from the Leader of the Opposition. He should listen very carefully to what the Prime Minister said.

He said that the Government of Canada receives thousands of consular cases every day. Not every day, but in fact for every one minute there are three requests for assistance and most of these cases do not reach the political level.