House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Government Spending
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

As I have said, Mr. Speaker, that is our priority, to help Canadians.

All of us in the House remember what happened in the 1990s. The Liberals, trying to balance their deficit, passed that debt on to the provinces and the municipalities through cuts in transfers, somewhere around $25 billion in cuts.

We continue to increase social transfers to the provinces by 3%. We continue to increase health transfers to the provinces by 6%. It is their choice how they spend that money.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the company awarded the contract to renovate West Block here on Parliament Hill was not qualified. Observers were surprised to see the small company, once run by the Hells Angels, on the short list of eligible companies. In fact, apart from the $140,000 paid by LM Sauvé to a Conservative supporter, that company was not qualified to do the work.

Will the government admit that the process of awarding contracts is tainted, and that this mess is the result of partisanship and favouritism?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the company to which the member is referring has no contractual relationship with the Government of Canada. In fact, this is a dispute between two private entities.

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the proof that this company was not qualified is that it went bankrupt. If not for its connections to a Conservative lobbyist, it would never have been given the contract. Since then, a bond company that has funded the Conservatives has taken over the work, but problems persist. At least three subcontractors have not been paid.

Does the government realize that by awarding contracts based on a company's political stripe rather than its qualifications, it is responsible for the current mess in the West Block?

Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, this company has no contractual relationship with the Government of Canada. The dispute that she is talking about is a private dispute between two entities.

Conservative Party
Oral Questions

October 22nd, 2010 / 11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative riding association in Bourassa has folded. It had not produced any financial reports in a long time. In fact, it seems to have done nothing other than collect donations from contractors who were awarded government contracts. The Conservatives set up a bogus association, collected $35,000 from a few cocktail parties and fundraisers, then closed the books. It was a fly-by-night affair.

Is that more or less the story behind the dissolution of the Bourassa Conservative riding association?

Conservative Party
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that we always follow a process with a great deal of transparency and integrity.

I would like to quote an appointee of the Parti Québécois government, Marcel Blanchet, the chief electoral officer in Quebec, “A thousand dollars per individual per year; one cannot imagine that it could have a major influence on a political party”.

I agree with this appointee of the Parti Québécois.

Conservative Party
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party does not exist in Bourassa. The defunct Conservative riding association seems to have done nothing but collect donations from contractors involved in renovation work on Parliament Hill. How else to explain a businessman from Markham, Ontario, making a donation to an obscure Conservative Party candidate on the Island of Montreal?

Will the Quebec lieutenant recognize that the Bourassa Conservative riding association was nothing but an empty shell for collecting donations from contractors involved in renovation work on Parliament Hill?

Conservative Party
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec, the Conservative Party has 74 recognized riding associations. I understand that with Elections Canada, there are only 58 recognized riding associations that collect funds for the Bloc Québécois. That is an interesting fact.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this government is letting wealthy tax evaders off the hook. Today it is bragging about a tax treaty with Switzerland that will do little to recover billions of tax dollars hidden overseas by tax cheats and corporations. What little information we do have on Canadian tax evaders is the result of the efforts of other countries, France and the United States.

When will the government devote the necessary resources to stop this massive tax evasion scam?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families, Canadian corporations, the overwhelming majority work hard and pay their taxes fairly. They have every right to expect that their government will take every reasonable effort to ensure that those who evade paying their fair share face the full force of Canadian law. That is the commitment the Prime Minister and this government have made.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is the government is doing just the opposite.

In 2007, the finance minister pretended to be tough about tax fairness, but since then, the Conservatives have imposed the HST on Ontario and B.C. They have announced a new payroll tax on workers and employers. They have rolled back corporate income taxes and have left tax cheats a free field. After promising to beef up the CRA, the Conservatives have cut the compliance division by 16%, ensuring that tax cheaters are let off the hook.

How fair is that?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, with great respect to my friend from the NDP, having the NDP talk about fairness in taxes is a bit rich. It is this government that has taken unprecedented measures to reduce the tax burden on Canadian families. Tax freedom day in Canada arrives more than two weeks earlier than it did just five short years ago.

Whether it is cutting the GST, whether it is cutting income taxes, whether it is cutting taxes on job creators, every single time we stood to do that, the NDP voted against it.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives, in their fine tradition of negotiating with questionable regimes, have signed a free trade agreement with Panama. Panama is one of the most secretive tax havens in the world, and the Conservatives have done absolutely nothing to change the tax evasion practices there. In fact, there is not one word in the agreement on eliminating tax evasion.

Why do the Conservatives want to promote tax evasion by signing agreements with questionable regimes that encourage this practice?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, that very question was answered this morning in the debate on Panama. However, I will answer it again for the member.

The reality is that the Minister of Finance has written to his counterpart in Panama asking that Panama undertake its obligations. Indeed, the Government of Panama has made a commitment to undertake its obligations under the OECD.

I do note that the party that is speaking here is inclined to look for any excuse to avoid creating trade opportunities for Canadian workers, for Canadian businesses. On the other hand, we are interested in seeing our workers and businesses prosper.