House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, last week the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador asserted that changes to the equalization formula, which affects Atlantic accord payments, would gouge the province of up to $1.6 billion over the next three years. Other estimates are being tossed around.

Clearly, there is a need for transparency and openness. Sadly, that transparency and openness is lacking.

Will the finance minister put everything on the table and release his detailed calculations and projections that show the full impact of his changes?

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is welcome to come to my office right after question period for a briefing by finance officials. He can have all the details he wants about equalization in Canada.

What he will not get is unequal equalization. Across Canada we are restraining the growth of equalization so that it does not grow at 15%—

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

So O'Brien got it wrong. Is that what you are saying? O'Brien got it wrong.

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Whitby—Oshawa, ON

The member is screeching over there, Mr. Speaker. I know screech is a product of Newfoundland, but my friend should relax. He is being a bit noisy. I can hardly speak.

The member for Labrador is welcome to come to the office at 3 o'clock and look at all the data.

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, the question is simple. Is he or is he not changing the provisions in the 2007 budget that allows a province to choose to exclude either 50% or 100% of the value of its natural resources from equalization, yes or no?

Equalization Payments
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

The answer is simple, Mr. Speaker. Newfoundland and Labrador cannot choose unrestrained O'Brien. If the member wants to know more, if he wants to study the data, he can come to my office immediately after question period.

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the ongoing presence of illegal drugs within our federal prisons is a serious problem. The only way to eliminate drugs from our prisons is to provide Correctional Service Canada with the resources it needs to first stop the smuggling of drugs into prisons and to find those drugs that make their way into the prison community.

Could the Minister of Public Safety tell the House how this government is making meaningful strides to eliminate drugs from our federal prisons?

Correctional Service Canada
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Northumberland—Quinte West for his hard work and interest in crime and justice issues.

Substance abuse and addiction are the root causes of many of the reasons why individuals are in prison. Furthermore, illegal drugs in prisons undermine rehabilitation and increase the likelihood to reoffend. That is why we have invested significantly to increased security to prevent the smuggling of drugs into our corrections facilities.

As part of Correctional Service Canada's new anti-drug strategy, we are using a tough approach to keep our prisons safe and, by extension, to keep our communities safer.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, this budget fails the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. This Conservative budget will cut the equivalent of $3,000 for every man, woman and child in the province.

After years of struggling to stand on our own, the Prime Minister, with the complicity of the Liberal Party, is sticking it to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Will the finance minister confirm that Newfoundland and Labrador will be short-changed over $1.5 billion, $415 million this year alone?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Not at all, Mr. Speaker. The reality is Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the more prosperous provinces in Canada today. This is a good thing and I think the member opposite would agree.

We have also seen growth in the transfers, particularly to equalization, grow at an unsustainable rate for our country, particularly during a global synchronized recession which is affecting our country.

If what the member is asking is for unrestrained growth in one province in Canada, the answer is no.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the truth of the matter is the government broke its word on equalization and now it is breaking its word on health care by cutting back the Canada health transfer. British Columbia loses $106 million, Quebec, $83 million, Newfoundland and Labrador, $78 million, Alberta, $38 million and in my home province of Manitoba, $13 million have been lost in health transfers. This means more lineups for surgery, more hallway medicine, more doctors and nurse shortages.

Will the government do the right thing and restore the Canada health transfer?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there will be no reductions in Canada health transfers as I said in the House. In fact, a big difference between now and back in the 1990s, as the government faces a difficult financial situation, a difficult fiscal situation, we are not reducing the Canada health transfer. It remains at 6%, the same with the Canada social transfer at 3%. This is a marked changed from what went on 10 years ago. We will not finance the challenges that we have during a recession on the backs of the hospitals and universities—

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert.

Culture
Oral Questions

February 2nd, 2009 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages got a lot of people's hopes up when he came to Quebec in January to meet with members of the cultural community. He was supposed to be a good listener. Today, though, Le Devoir is reporting that the minister pulled the wool over everyone's eyes, because he has not restored the $5 million he cut for foreign tours by artists.

Will the minister admit that he is trying to make something new out of something old, because most of the money he is announcing will go to extending existing programs?

Culture
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, what I said was that the Trade Routes program was a $7 million program where it cost $5 million to produce $2 million in benefits. That is an unacceptable waste of taxpayers' money. We therefore eliminated the program, but reinvested the $7 million in arts and culture programs. This year, our government is investing $2.3 billion in arts and culture. The Bloc Québécois always, always votes against our country's artists.