House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regions.

Topics

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in fact, we are coordinated with the Americans because this is an integrated auto sector. We have been working with American officials and the Prime Minister has been working with the U.S. President to make sure that the Americans are aware this is integrated and that is why our response today was indeed integrated.

The hon. member stands in his place and talks about failed Liberal policies of previous governments and then in British Columbia on the weekend says he does not want to support the auto sector. So which is the real Leader of the Opposition?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister's capacity for misquotation never fails to astonish me.

Last week, GM testified to the auto subcommittee that it had committed all of its worldwide assets, including its assets in Canada, as collateral for U.S. loans to keep its American operations alive. That may mean that this government's loans to GM Canada are going to be unsecured and Canadian taxpayers are going to be on the hook.

The government was not at the table. It did not stand up for taxpayers. It did not stand up for Canadian workers. Why not?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the logical extension of the Leader of the Opposition's remarks is that he does not want to be there, he wants to have an unstructured bankruptcy where hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost, not only at GM or Chrysler but with the auto parts sector and the dealerships across this country. If that is the hon. member's solution, it is a solution that Canadians do not want.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I take this to be no, the loans are unsecured and I await contradiction.

The auto industry is not an Ontario industry; it is a Canadian industry. In Quebec, 125 auto parts manufacturers are in jeopardy and 11,000 jobs are at risk. In Quebec, a $3 billion a year industry could be lost.

Why did this government leave it up to Washington to save a Canadian industry?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is completely false. Of course, in partnership with the Americans, we are trying to find a North American solution. It is important to have the same action plan throughout the continent. It is a North American problem, not just a Canadian problem. It is a problem involving American buyers.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has failed Canada's auto industry. The minister failed to provide leadership for a real plan for the auto crisis when it began long before November 2008.

Today, President Obama announced that auto warranties in the United States will be backed by the United States government to avoid a crash in new car sales. If the government were at the table every step of the way as it claims, why is it only beginning to look at backing General Motors and Chrysler warranties now?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member, the ex-auto critic's intervention on this file, but the fact of the matter is these plans are progressing.

Obviously, the U.S. President has some new ideas and we are willing to take a look at those. Here in Canada we have been, as a result of this budget, on the side of the Canadian consumer, on the side of increasing credit and financing, and on the side of our auto sector. That is our record and we are proud of it.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, it would have been nice if he were at the table with them.

The Canada secured credit facility was announced by the government in December 2008, something necessary to make credit available to consumers through loans and leases. Conservatives keep referring to it but it will not be available until May.

Today the Minister of Industry said that we are very close to the fork in the road. We have been at this fork in the road since December. Why is the credit facility not available now? They have had four months.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the credit facility is part of the extraordinary financing framework that was announced in the budget on January 27. It is very important in terms of acquiring the commercial paper that is supported by loans with respect to vehicles and equipment. Unlike the opposition, we have actually consulted to create a plan that will work for Canadians and the plan will be implemented shortly.

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

March 30th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1991, Quebec was the first province to harmonize its sales tax with the GST. Ontario, which just harmonized its own sales tax, will receive $4.3 billion in compensation over the next two years. The maritime provinces got more than $1 billion in 1997. To date, Quebec has still received nothing, despite repeated requests.

How can the Minister of Finance agree to compensate all the provinces that have harmonized their sales tax with the GST, except Quebec? He should give us one good reason.

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the situations in Quebec and Ontario are completely different. Ontario is going to adopt a federal harmonization act. Quebec did not. Quebec chose to keep two separate taxes, the TVQ and the GST.

Yes, an agreement was signed in the 1990s by two other governments about this situation. Quebec has full control over administering its tax and also administers its own sales tax system and the federal GST system. And that is why Quebec has received $1.77 billion in compensation to date.

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it takes a token Quebecker to distort reality. Quebec receives $130 million a year to administer the GST because it does so for the federal government. The other provinces pay the federal government to administer their tax. That has nothing to do with harmonization.

I therefore call on the Minister of Finance or the token minister from Quebec to justify that to Quebec.

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, at a given point, unlike Ontario, Quebec did not pass the federal harmonized sales tax legislation. That is the point. We need to stop clouding the issue. Quebec also did not sign a comprehensive integrated tax coordination agreement. That is a fact.

Quebec's sales tax and the GST are still separate, and Quebec has chosen to administer them. That is why there are compensation payments. The member should stop deliberately muddying the waters to create division.

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the minister just said is totally false. There are just as many exceptions in Ontario.

The federal government has always refused to compensate Quebec on the pretext that provinces would only be compensated when harmonization cost them more than 5% of their sales tax revenues. According to Ontario’s budget, the change to a harmonized tax will actually increase Ontario’s revenues by 3.5% annually.

Can the minister tell us why he unilaterally changed the compensation formula if not for strictly partisan electoral reasons?

Goods and Services Tax
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing partisan about it. We are talking about two different agreements. There are two distinct taxes in Quebec, the QST and the GST, which the province administers with reimbursement from the federal government.

Things will be different in Ontario. It has decided to harmonize and the federal government will collect the tax. That is something else entirely.