House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been affected by the global recession that has affected every country. At the same time, Canada's performance has been admired by many around the world. Canada is in a very strong position. Our deficits, while large, are, nevertheless, some of the smallest in the developed world. They are necessary to help people, but our stimulus spending must end at the end of this recession and we must return to surplus.

I would invite the Leader of the Opposition, since he has yet to table any comprehensive economic agenda at all, which I have invited since the budget last January, if he has anything to say on the economy to bring it here so we can debate it.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Prime Minister.

In light of the extraordinary attacks on our health care system by the people who apparently have given the Prime Minister such spiritual inspiration over the years, I would ask the Prime Minister if he is proud of our health care system?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Yes, Mr. Speaker. It is the only system my family has ever used and we are depending on it in the future.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in light of that answer, perhaps the Prime Minister could explain the astonishing silence of the Government of Canada when our system has been under consistent attack for several months by right-wing forces in the United States. In particular—

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The Speaker is having a very difficult time hearing the question and I would appreciate some assistance from my colleagues. The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Prime Minister a very simple question. Does the government plan to launch a significant defence of the Canadian system in light of the attack that is being made on it in the United States of America?

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we intend to let the United States make its own decisions on domestic debates.

I will say that the Canadian health care system will not only survive attacks by right-wing commentators in the United States but has even survived one by left-wing incompetents in Ontario.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, as Vincent Lacroix's trial gets underway today, and as the number of victims of white collar crime continues to grow, concrete action is desperately needed to tackle corporate crime. Today the Bloc Québécois is introducing a bill to remove the provisions that allow white collar criminals to be released after serving only one-sixth of their sentence. With a little political will, our bill could pass in one day.

Will the Prime Minister finally put his words into action and support the Bloc Québécois bill so it can passe by Tuesday?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I should point out that this is a major shift in the Bloc's position. When this government proposed the elimination of house arrest and allowing white collar criminals to serve their sentences at home, the coalition of the Bloc, the Liberals and the NDP opposed it and quashed those proposals in the House of Commons. Now the Bloc has introduced a bill. We will examine the bill carefully. We will consider it and submit our proposals soon.

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister never proposed eliminating the possibility of release after serving one-sixth of a sentence. What he just said is completely false. Our bill addresses only release after one-sixth of a sentence. Thus, there is no poison pill here, as there usually is with the Conservative government. Furthermore, there is consensus in Quebec concerning this proposal.

Will the Prime Minister act in good faith on Tuesday and support this Bloc Québécois bill aimed at eliminating the release of criminals after only one-sixth of their sentence?

Justice
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no need for parole when the offender is under house arrest. That is why we proposed eliminating the latter. I recently met with Quebec investors who asked not only for tougher sentences for white collar criminals, but also for a national securities commission to prevent such incidents. That is what we are proposing, and the provinces can participate in that system on a voluntary basis.

Taxation
Oral Questions

September 14th, 2009 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is necessary to go after tax havens to ensure that white collar criminals cannot hide there the money stolen from small investors. The Liberals and the Conservatives have shown absolutely no desire to go after tax havens.

In the most recent budget, for example, which the Liberals supported, the Conservatives reneged on their promise to go after the practice of double deduction and continue to refuse to go after the tax schemes involving Barbados.

Will the minister finally establish measures with teeth to deal with the problems of tax havens?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma
Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, as we know, the issue of tax havens is a concern of our government. We are working on the matter. Recently, we have seen the UBS file resurface. For the information of the hon. member, I point out that, since we have been making progress in this direction, 12 people of 38 who use tax havens abroad have made a voluntary disclosure, which means revenue of $4.5 million for the government. People know already that we are headed in the right direction. We want to make progress in the matter of tax havens and ensure that people who evade taxes know we will catch up with them.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, tax havens are responsible as well for the erosion of government revenues. This is a matter for the minister. Instead of dipping into the pockets of the unemployed, as the Liberals so often did, the government should begin by going after those who are not paying their taxes.

Will the Minister of International Trade commit to not signing free trade agreements with the countries accused by the OECD, as is the case at the moment with Panama?