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

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Can you believe this, Mr. Speaker? We are talking about a Canadian who was brought to the attention of the Prime Minister but neither he nor the Minister of Foreign Affairs are interested in responding today.

Ms. Hagi spent more than two months at the mercy of the Kenyan courts and yet, according to ATIP documents, members of the Prime Minister's staff were vetting all media lines from as early as June 5. Those same documents confirm a meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, his officials and his staff on July 14.

When they made the decision to let Suaad rot in Kenya, were they acting on their own or were they following the Prime Minister's directions?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as this matter is before the courts, I cannot divulge details. The government said that it would undertake a review and a review has been undertaken.

Let me repeat it once again. We get thousands of requests for consular assistance and most of these requests do not reach the political level at all.

CINAR
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we asked serious questions about the CINAR case to which we received highly unsatisfactory answers. There were many irregularities in the RCMP's initial investigation. Mr. Robinson fought against all odds to shed light on this whole affair, the Bloc Québécois did its part in the House and Mr. Robinson recently won his case. Nonetheless, some questions still remain in all this.

Can the Prime Minister explain why Justice Canada intervened directly to block the RCMP's second investigation?

CINAR
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc is asking me questions about things that happened under the previous government.

These allegations are serious and I encourage him to hand over his information to the appropriate authorities.

CINAR
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is the type of answer the Prime Minister railed against during the sponsorship scandal.

I am telling him that the current Department of Justice was asked to hand over Mr. Becker's memos. I received a pile of blank pages and not one word.

The Liberal government hid things from us. Why is this government also hiding the truth?

CINAR
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian public does not think I am covering up Liberal scandals.

The reality is that last week the Leader of the Bloc voted with the Liberals to replace the government. Now he finds that his allies are corrupt. Let him explain that contradiction.

CINAR
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, Martin Cauchon, revenue minister at the time, made a big deal about the voluntary disclosures program, which CINAR took advantage of when it signed an agreement with his department. It is difficult to justify calling it voluntary disclosure when CINAR was being denounced publicly and making the front page of the newspapers.

Was it a case of voluntary disclosure or was the leniency shown CINAR more a question of returning a favour to Micheline Charest, a Liberal friend?

CINAR
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, again, this is a matter that took place completely under the Liberal watch.

We are part of a government that is committed to accountability and transparency. That is why three years ago we set up the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, to handle all prosecutions like this.

I appreciate that, since the Bloc members' interest in justice issues is only about three days old, they would not be aware that that has been in place, but if they have any evidence, they can direct it toward the appropriate individual.

CINAR
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, will we then have an answer to the next question?

We have learned that CINAR was fudging the figures and committing fraud to receive tax credits. By lying about the real percentage of its financial participation, CINAR obtained government funding. Another case of white collar crime.

Why are the Conservatives copying the Liberals and refusing to prosecute CINAR and recover the funds obtained fraudulently? Do they, too, have something to hide?

CINAR
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if they have any evidence of Liberal corruption, they should turn it over to the appropriate authority.

However, since they are so interested in fraud, I want them to get up and make sure to indicate that they will be supportive of the new legislation we will be bringing in to crack down on white-collar crime, which will include mandatory sentencing. I wonder if the Bloc members will support that for a change.

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, winter is fast approaching. For many families in northern Ontario, this will be the last winter that they will be able to properly heat their homes. Next winter, they will have to pay HST, which will mean an 8% increase in heating costs. Heating bills will reach up to and beyond $3,000 per household.

How can the Prime Minister justify such an increase in taxes on heating costs for families?

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, twice now, this government has lowered the federal GST for Canadians, and twice now, the leader of the NDP and his party have voted against these measures. Our position is to lower taxes, and I hope that we will have the support of this new anti-tax party in the future.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

October 6th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP was opposed to the GST when it was first brought in, and we have opposed the HST for a long time. Other members of the House used to oppose the HST as well. Let me quote from a member who is an economist:

This harmonization of the GST, this tax collusion between provincial and federal governments, is not the way to reverse the economic decline of this country.

Who said that? That is a quote from the Prime Minister during the inaugural debate on the HST.

Why does he now think that this collusion to impose a new tax is a good idea?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, there are conditions under which provinces can opt into an HST. Those conditions are the same for every province. We do not discriminate.

In this government, our position is that sales taxes should be coming down. That is why twice we lowered the GST even though the NDP fought us every step of the way.

If people want to raise the GST back up to 7%, they can vote for the NDP or any of its friends over there, but if they want to keep it at 5%, they can vote for the Conservatives.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not get it. The HST is unfair and it is an 8% increase that is too expensive.

The same is true for the EI premium increase, yet he is planning to increase EI premiums by $15 billion, which will mean employers will have to pay $884 more per year per employee, and workers will have to pay an extra $632 per year. He does not want to call it a tax increase, but that is what it is.

Economist Dale Orr says, “If it quacks like a duck, it's a duck”.

Why is the Prime Minister intent on discouraging employers from hiring Canadians in a recession by talking about raising a payroll tax?