House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was military.

Topics

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite media reports that Ottawa was close to reaching an agreement with Quebec regarding compensation for harmonizing the QST and the GST, the Minister of Finance talked about modest progress. The QST and GST have been harmonized for 18 years now. We have been negotiating this issue for over 10 years. Ontario, British Columbia and three Atlantic provinces have already been compensated.

Can the Minister of Finance assure us that an agreement will be reached quickly on this matter, which the Government of Quebec wants to resolve with Ottawa as soon as possible?

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have had some positive discussions. I spoke with my colleague, the Quebec finance minister, just this week. We have made some progress, but there are some challenges. We will continue working together.

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has never been able to tell us precisely what problems are standing in the way of an agreement with Quebec regarding compensation for sales tax harmonization.

Can the Minister of Finance assure this House that Quebec's collection of the two taxes is not getting in the way of the agreement?

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the discussions that take place with respect to harmonization stem from the 1990s. The previous government had harmonization discussions with some of the Atlantic provinces that were successful. There were subsequent discussions more recently with some other provinces.

There are several principles involved, but the basic principle is that the systems must actually be harmonized with only a small degree of variation. This has been consistent for all of the provinces in all of the discussions and it is what we are trying to accomplish with Quebec.

Hydroelectricity
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's deputy premier has said she is willing to look at any possible way of preventing the federal government from funding a transmission line that would allow Newfoundland to compete unfairly with electricity from Quebec, which is produced without any federal assistance.

Instead of getting embroiled in a new dispute with Quebec, why does the federal government not just promise to reject this unfair request from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia?

Hydroelectricity
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is a proposal that, as I understand it, has been submitted to PPP Canada Inc., a federal crown corporation responsible for fostering and giving advice with respect to public-private partnerships in Canada, which is a good deal for Canadian taxpayers.

Newfoundland and Labrador has made a proposal that will be reviewed by the agency in the normal way, at arm's-length from government. Quebec is welcomed to put in proposals as well. In fact, there is a recent proposal for a public-private partnership in Quebec that I recently approved, and I look forward to that announcement.

Hydroelectricity
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, it would be extremely unfair for Hydro-Québec to face competition on the U.S. market from electricity subsidized by the federal government with Quebeckers' money. The Conservative government cannot hide behind PPP Canada. The federal government funds the agency, appoints its board and determines its mandate.

Does it not make sense for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to pay for their own electric facilities, as Quebec has always done?

Hydroelectricity
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I cannot comment on the particulars of any particular proposal because I do not know the particulars in any particular proposal.

If the Government of Quebec wants to make an application for a public-private partnership, it can do so. If Nova Scotia wants to, it can. If Manitoba wants to, it can. In fact, many have.

I welcome everyone who feels they have a good idea for a public-private partnership to go to the PPP Canada Inc. website and follow the procedure.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is good to hear the CEO of the TD Bank, Ed Clark, say what the NDP has been saying for years: that Canada's tax system is unfair. “The shape of the economic recovery will not leave Canadians equally well off”, he said. Since the banks are the big beneficiaries of the Conservatives' tax cuts, Mr. Clark sure knows what he is talking about.

Is it not time that the Conservatives took the advice of their friends at the TD Bank and tackled this unfair tax system that is leaving too many people worse off?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I listen, with interest, to the remarks of various bankers from time to time. I listened to the advice, and certainly the comments, of the chief economist of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, who had this to say. He said, “our economic performance was better than any other industrial nation”, which just goes to prove that sometimes the banks get it right.

I do not agree with the comment about tax relief. We have removed over one million low-income Canadians from the tax rolls. I do not understand why, every time we reduce taxes for low income Canadians, the NDP votes against it.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government cannot escape the reality that seniors poverty is rising again. Therefore, what does the government do? It tries to sneak in a change that will hurt seniors. Hearing the minister today, putting this mean policy on hold just does not cut it.

The fact is the Conservatives are wasting billions on useless corporate tax cuts, single-sourced jet fighter contracts and fake lakes. Why do they not change their priorities and raise the guaranteed income supplement to guarantee that no Canadian senior lives in poverty? That is the priority.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact is Canada has one of the very lowest rates of seniors poverty in the entire world, thanks to many of the measures that our government has brought in over the last few years, such as pension income splitting, raising the age credit, allowing people who are collecting the guaranteed income supplement to work and not get those dollars clawed back.

The unfortunate aspect of all this is the NDP members voted against every one of those measures to help lift seniors out of poverty. Shame on them.

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the number of seniors living in poverty increased by 25% between 2007 and 2008, and the situation is getting worse because of the recession.

By changing the law, the government is putting people in a bind. These pensioners count on the guaranteed income supplement. It is not fair to penalize them for using their own savings.

Why give big corporations $5 billion in tax breaks? Why not help our seniors instead, at a fraction of the cost?

Taxation
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, we have put an end to this policy. I have instructed my officials to get in touch with the people affected by this change and reassess their applications in keeping with the old policy.

But if members really want to do something for seniors, they should support our initiatives, such as pension income splitting and all the other things we have done for seniors, which the member voted against.

Taseko Mines Limited
Oral Questions

November 26th, 2010 / 11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, there are very serious and legitimate concerns that a leak from the government resulted in a stock sale of Taseko Mines Limited, which benefited a few connected insiders at the expense of many honest investors. So far the Conservatives have brushed off these concerns as speculation. That is not leadership. That is ignoring the facts.

Will the Conservatives do the right thing and launch an investigation into this matter?