House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, even when it inherited a Liberal surplus the government cut those in need: literacy, women's groups, the court challenges program.

Now, with a Conservative deficit, the government again targets the vulnerable, just as the finance minister did as part of the Mike Harris gang in Ontario.

We have communities without clean water, women suffering from abuse, people with disabilities living in poverty, families that cannot feed their children, people living in the streets of our country, and we have a government that spends millions of dollars promoting itself and making videos of the Prime Minister.

Why should the poor have to pay for that? Is this even Canada anymore?

The Economy
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, part of the economic action plan is the working income tax benefit. The acronym is WITB, which is easy to remember.

This is a tremendous program. It is the most important social program change in the tax system for lower income Canadians since the introduction of the RRSP. This is an important tax change. What it means is that more Canadians who have been on social assistance are incented to work and helped to work, and they get to keep more of that money.

That is an important advance that helps real Canadians work in Canada.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

December 10th, 2009 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the constituents in my riding and Canadians across the country are suffering under the recession, The Globe and Mail is reporting that the CEOs of Canada's six largest banks are pocketing $8.3 billion in bonuses. This comes less than one year after the government propped the banks up with $75 billion.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, the governments are taking this on and restricting executive pay. Why will the Conservative government not do the same?

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. We have what is seen as the most sound banking system in the world.

This is not the United Kingdom. This is not the United States. We did not have to bail out banks. We did not have to nationalize banks. We did not have to use taxpayer money to bail out banks in Canada.

That is why we have the reputation around the world as having one of the most sound financial systems.

The G20 has guidelines. There are the Financial Stability Board guidelines. I have written to the financial institutions, requesting their compliance. If there is not compliance, there will be consequences in Canada.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the Minister of Finance needs a short course in mathematics. The $8.3 billion could support 101,000 families with children, 192,000 single parent families, or 293,000 seniors living alone. 293,000 seniors could live on the bonuses of the CEOs of the six largest banks.

What is the Minister of Finance waiting for to follow the lead of Great Britain and legislate against these excessive bonuses.

Financial Institutions
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government of the United Kingdom had to bail out banks. In fact, it had to nationalize banks.

On the contrary we have one of the best financial systems in the world, not only in our banking system but in our insurance system. Canadians can be proud that we weathered the recession and we are recovering with a strong system of financial institutions that employ tens of thousands of Canadians.

Building our financial institutions up is good for the country. It is good for employment. These are high-paying jobs.

Justice
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, drug production and drug trafficking is without a doubt the most significant source of illicit money for organized crime groups. Despite this, yesterday Liberal senators voted to gut our drug bill that aims to disrupt gangs.

Liberal amendments would not only weaken the bill, they would create a two-tier justice system, with aboriginals on the losing end. Exempting aboriginals from jail time would make them a target for drug dealers who know they will be back on the street sooner than non-aboriginals.

Police organizations from across this country have begun speaking out about the Liberal Senate amendments and the damage that would cause to our streets.

Would the Minister of Justice state why this is an important bill for Canadians?

Justice
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a bad day for Canadians worried about drug crime. However, it was a good day for people involved in the grow-op business. They received an early Christmas present from the Liberals in the Senate.

The Liberals think that people trafficking in up to 200 marijuana plants should not face mandatory jail time. Canadians disagree. I have been calling on the Liberal leader to show some leadership on this. The Liberals have no trouble fighting among themselves. How about fighting crime for a change? Would that be so bad?

Pensions
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, someone once said, “Key social programs such as public pensions are outdated”. He also said “There is no real reason for government to run it”. What was he talking about? The Canada pension plan. Who said it? The Prime Minister said it.

Is the Prime Minister's laissez-faire, “I do not care” attitude about pensions the real reason the finance minister cannot commit to a national supplemental CPP?

Pensions
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have done a great deal of work on the question of pensions this year. We brought in changes about a month ago now. The Province of Ontario brought in some changes yesterday.

The finance ministers are meeting later on next week, in Whitehorse. We will spend about half of our time talking about pensions. We commissioned the research work by Professor Mintz and his group. Other work has been done by the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and Ontario and Nova Scotia as well. We will be meeting next week, to review that and focus on what might be done with respect to improving retirement income in Canada.

International Trade
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, another Canadian mining company, Blackfire Exploration, is being blamed for reprehensible conduct in Mexico. It is accused of contaminating rivers and destroying livestock and crops. The local authorities also suspect that the company is linked to the assassination of an environmentalist.

When will this government put in place a legal framework to make Canadian companies working abroad accountable, as proposed by the Bloc Québécois for years?

International Trade
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, there are currently more than 8,000 sites in the world where Canadian mining companies operate. We have put in place a process to establish the best regulations in the world for mining companies. We also have an advisor who can provide advice to companies.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, residential school survivors struggle every day with the agonizing trauma of their experience.

The minister knows that the Aboriginal Healing Foundation has been critical in providing support in terms of counselling the survivors and their families. In my riding alone, 18 projects in 17 communities, depend on this funding.

Since healing is a key part of reconciliation, will the government commit to supporting the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and its programs beyond the March 2010 cutoff?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I share the broad support for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. As the member knows, that five-year segment was part of the Indian residential schools settlement, at which time the government is to work with the foundation to do a review of the efficacy of the program to see what improvements could be made and make sure it is getting the job done.

That evaluation is taking place. When that evaluation is done, it will be posted on our website. As of now the evaluation has not been completed, but as soon as it is I will be sure to get it to the member.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, just 10 months into our two-year economic action plan we have already committed 97% of the funding.

This adds up to 12,000 projects across the country, 8,000 of which have already begun. All across the country, from coast to coast, projects are up and running, jobs are being created and Canadians are seeing the benefit.

I would like to ask the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to advise this House about an important project that was announced this morning in British Columbia.