House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, clearly the government has to apply a certain measure of common sense, which is sometimes lacking over there. Perhaps the member will see, as the deadline approaches, some extensions given on some of these projects, whether the government does it on its own or is forced to do it.

I want to finish the resolution that the legislative conference in the United States, the 11 border states and 3 provinces, passed. It states:

RESOLVED, that the...Conference calls on President Barack Obama and [the] Prime Minister...to immediately examine a reduced fee for passports to facilitate cross-border tourism;

...we encourage the governments to examine the idea of a limited time two-for-one passport renewal or new application...

Half of Canadians have passports and one-quarter of Americans have passports. When it comes to multi-member families, the fees can be around $500 for passports, which is quite high, for Americans to come to Canada.

I believe letters have already gone to the President and the Prime Minister. We expect action in the future, starting negotiations on some sort of a reduction in passport fees for people on both sides of the border.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, I listened with great interest to my hon. colleague. He is pointing out what I think many Canadians are beginning to realize. When it comes to economic policy, the Conservative government and its finance minister are like the little old man in The Wizard of Oz. They throw around a lot of fear about coalitions, prisons and Russians flying by. Yet when we get behind the curtain, we see this ideological bitter little man with no vision. What we also see, when we start to look at the numbers, is how wasteful the Conservative government is and how much money it is blowing.

For example, the present industry minister racked up a lot of the $1 billion. He put in a fake lake in Toronto and drained a real lake in Muskoka. He shut down real lighthouses in the Maritimes and put a lighthouse in land-locked Muskoka. He even put heated sheets in the arena for his constituents.

The government uses federal dollars to heat the derrieres of Conservative voters, yet it tells our senior citizens in northern Ontario that the cupboard is bare, but this is not fiscal prudence.

What does the hon. member think about the derrieres of Muskoka Conservatives being warmed, while my senior citizens are living in the cold this winter because they are paying the HST?

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, that would be a great question for question period. I would love to hear it again.

The fact is the government favours private businesses. We have seen it with the corporate tax cuts. In 2009 the banks made a profit of $15 billion. I think people would be shocked if they knew how much the CEOs of these banks made. For example, the CEO of CIBC, Gerald McCaughey, made $6.2 million in a year. This is in a recession when people have lost their jobs and there have been cutbacks. This is the kind of money the CEOs are making.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Madam Speaker, I have two questions on the member's rare intervention in Parliament. They are related to the power.

First, he talked about the north-south and east-west grids. I agree with him in a lot of cases, but in our particular case in Yukon, the north-south grid is not completed yet. We would love federal government support to increase the B.C. grid north so it would join the Yukon grid and perhaps one day join the Alaska grid. It is the same with the Internet. We have been cut off a number of times in the last few weeks because there is only one access. If the pipeline for the Internet could be extended to join the Alaska grid, that would give us some redundancy. Could he comment on that?

Second is the issue of wind energy, which the member brought up. In the north we need an extra subsidy for wind energy. It used to be a great program at 1¢ per kilowatt hour. It was all used by southern Canada, because 1¢, when energy is 8¢, is a big proportion. However, in the north, if energy is 40¢, 50¢ or 60¢ per kilowatt hour, 1¢ does not mean anything. When we asked the government to increase the subsidy, it cancelled the entire wind energy program.

Would the member agree to support me in the campaign I have had for the last couple of years, of trying to have a special wind energy program in the north with a larger subsidy than in the south? In fact, that would apply to all renewable energies because the cost is higher in the north.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, the member raises a very good point. With regard to the east-west power grid, voters in Manitoba and Saskatchewan wonder why they supported Conservatives. In Saskatchewan they voted for 14 out of 14. In Manitoba they voted for 10 out of 14, and only one, the Minister of State for Democratic Reform, even brings up the idea with his caucus that we should have an east-west power grid. That is not very good service from those members.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I do not want to interrupt my hon. colleague's dissertation, but I know he is a stickler for accuracy and he is wrong. In Saskatchewan we only have 13 out of 14. We are working on the 14th—

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

Order, please. That is clearly a matter of debate.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Thunder Bay--Rainy River.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Madam Speaker, Bill C-9 is a very interesting bill in that there are some things in it that the government says it never does. Specifically I am talking about raising taxes.

I will not ask my friend from Winnipeg about raising the export tax on softwood lumber products by 10%. We will not count that as a tax. We have talked many times in the House about the HST and the government contribution to it.

However, let me ask about a tax in the bill about which my colleague knows quite a bit. I am talking about the airline tax that increases, by 50%, the security fees paid for in flights. Could he comment on that?

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, this is just one of many measures that the government put into the 880-page omnibus bill it brought in with its budget. It brought in the issue of post office remailers, which have absolutely nothing to do with the budget. This is just another example of the government adding on different charges.

In terms of the taxation on air tickets, Canadian airlines already had a competitive disadvantage to American airlines because our airline taxes were higher in Canada than in the states in the first place. The government has now raised them another 50% to make them even higher than the American—

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

Resuming debate, the hon. member Scarborough Centre. I can see by the clock that he can begin his comments but I will have to interrupt him.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, when I get up again after question period, I will pick up on where the member left off. The Conservatives talk about raising taxes. On EI, for example, they say they will not raise the premium a certain amount, but then turn around and raise it less than that amount. That is the same as a store that offers a special 50% discount, but it jacks up the price by 100% and then lowers it by 50%, and says that it is giving a 50% discount. That is what the Conservatives did with EI. Later on I will point out what they have done. The Conservatives have tried to pass it on to Canadians as a tax break, but in essence it is a tax hike.

We cannot support these initiatives. It boils down to a matter of trust. We simply cannot trust what the government says. The Conservatives say one thing but do another. For example, the Prime Minister promised in writing not to tax income trusts. He used that in his campaign. One of the first things he did when elected to office was to renege on that promise. I cannot use the word “lie” because that is unparliamentary language, but I can use the word “renege”. He reneged on his agreement. It boils down to a matter of trust.

With respect to EI premiums, I have a quote from the finance minister who said, “It's one of those job-killing taxes, a direct tax on employers and employees”.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

An hon. member

Who said that?

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

The current finance minister said that, Mr. Speaker. What has he done? Again, I cannot use the word “lie”, but he has reneged on his commitment. He said his government would increase it by $90 but then said it would only be increased by $30. He then told Canadians that it was a tax decrease. I do not know where the finance minister learned his math.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to continuing my speech after question period.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member will have about 18 minutes remaining in the time allotted for his remarks when debate on this matter resumes.

Commonwealth Games
Statements By Members

October 7th, 2010 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we speak, the 19th Commonwealth Games are moving into day four in Delhi, India.

Already, Canadians have been winning medals in events. Among them, in the men's team artistic gymnastics, Robert Watson and Jason Scott, both members of the Richmond Gymnastics Association, were part of a five member Canadian team that won the bronze medal. Congratulations to them. Richmond is proud of them.

Other athletes from Richmond include: athletics, Evan Dunfee; field hockey, Amanda Stone; gymnastics, Demetra Mantcheva; rugby sevens, Nathan Hirayama; table tennis, Andre Ho and Mo Zhang; and wrestling, Arjan Bhullar.

Richmond is supporting all of them and the whole national team. Go Canada go.