House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was restitution.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the Canada Revenue Agency's latest report card, every dollar invested in its employees yields a return of $4 to the government.

Unfortunately, the same report also talks about the job cuts planned for the unit that fights tax evasion.

The government wants to cut 200 positions over the next three years, even though the scourge of tax evasion is undermining our economy.

How can the government justify cutting jobs in the unit responsible for recovering money from those guilty of tax evasion?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government is taking very aggressive action, both domestically and internationally, to recover money owed to hard-working, law-abiding Canadians. In fact, under this government, CRA has uncovered 10 times the amount of unpaid taxes in the year 2009 compared with the previous government's record in the year 2005.

We are very proud of the work we are doing, and we will continue to do it.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, does the government understand that tax havens are a problem, that tax evasion is a serious crime?

We know that billions are sent offshore to the sunny Caribbean to hide underneath beach blankets and avoid Canadian taxes.

The current government's solution is to reduce the number of investigators at CRA who are looking for tax cheats.

How can the government justify cutting jobs at Canada Revenue Agency? Why is it making law-abiding tax-paying Canadians foot the bill for these tax cheats?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Conservative

Keith Ashfield Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, in the year 2009, over $1 billion was uncovered in unpaid taxes. Almost 3,000 involuntary disclosures were received with over $138 million in unpaid tax revenue identified, and just five months into this fiscal year we have already surpassed last year's disclosures.

We are taking this very seriously, unlike previous governments.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the registry of lobbyists, it appears that access to the Prime Minister is not equal for everyone. While the Prime Minister's door is always wide open for lobbyists for the oil patch, environmental groups have very limited access to the Prime Minister.

How can the Prime Minister claim to care about the environment when he only listens to the views of big oil?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government's number one priority, for the past year and a half, has been the economy, so it should not come as any surprise that the Prime Minister meets with people whose fundamental priority is the economy.

The Prime Minister has also demonstrated that the environment is tremendously important. That is why he attended Copenhagen, and that is why he has appointed one of his most capable ministers as Minister of the Environment.

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

October 4th, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is putting himself in an awkward position by allowing his new chief of staff to retain his ties to Onex, especially since Onex is refusing to divulge the conditions for loaning this employee. Given that Onex has its fingers in many projects involving the federal government, it is troubling that the most powerful unelected official in Ottawa may still be under its control.

Does the Prime Minister acknowledge that his chief of staff must break all ties to his former employer?

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wright has sought counsel and advice from the independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. He is following all the rules that are in place and following all her counsel. I am pleased to report to the House that he will continue to do so.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, as part of the southern Ontario development program, the minister gave a company in his own riding $5.2 million and stated, “This investment will create jobs”. Well, it did not.

In fact, that same company took that $5.2 million and later fired 81 of its employees, nearly all in Canada, using $3 million of it for severance payments.

Can the minister tell us when he became aware of these job cuts, and how many other jobs have been lost at firms that received FedDev funding?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to report that FedDev Ontario has been created for years. Not just the government of Ontario but the people of Ontario want economic development initiatives for southern Ontario.

This government has provided some $200 million a year for the next five years to support job creation and economic growth. We are very pleased with the work that has been done initially in the early years of this initiative, and I would be very pleased to take the inquiry and the specific question back to the minister upon his return.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, U.S. Steel indefinitely closed its Stelco facility in Hamilton, thereby breaking its commitment to the government.

Neither the Prime Minister nor the industry minister is suffering because the government entered into this shoddy agreement. We can be sure that the people of Hamilton who lost their jobs are suffering.

Lawsuits to restore these jobs have failed, and the symptoms of weak-worded contracts the government is prone to entering into are glaring.

Why is the government so impotent in ensuring that promises are kept and that jobs are protected in southwestern Ontario?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Of course, Mr. Speaker, we are disappointed to learn that U.S. Steel will idle its blast furnace in Hamilton, but we are encouraged by the company's statement that it will not lay off staff as a result. We will continue to closely monitor this situation.

With regard to the ongoing litigation between the Government of Canada and U.S. Steel, of course, I cannot make further comment.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the Minister of National Defence revoked an invitation to a moderate imam to speak at defence headquarters at an Islamic history month event. The minister went over the heads of his own officials to arbitrarily cancel this speech at the last minute.

Dr. Delic is known as a bridge builder who promotes peaceful dialogue between different faiths. Canadians from all backgrounds benefit from such open dialogue.

Will the minister reinstate the invitation as a show of good faith?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the member in the House that this internal event that took place this morning at national defence headquarters was to celebrate Islamic heritage month and to recognize the positive contributions that come from Muslims within the Canadian Forces and within the entire defence community.

The organization in question has been associated with comments in the past that, in fact, do not reflect the positive roles and significant accomplishments of the Muslim Canadians in the Canadian Forces.

This event was to focus on inclusiveness, diversity, bringing Canadians together and noting Canada's contributions to the world. I am pleased that this event provided an accurate and informative portrayal of what Muslims do for our country.