House of Commons Hansard #94 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was investment.

Topics

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Wright will follow all of the high ethical standards that this government introduced in the Federal Accountability Act.

In 1993 where was the member opposite on the first day the government was sworn in? Why did she not demand that Paul Martin relinquish all of his holdings in Canada Steamship Lines? Where was she, as a member of the Liberal caucus, when Belinda Stronach became a minister and still retained all her earnings? Where was she? She was missing in action.

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, for the record, they did.

Cosmetic companies constantly lobby the government about how their products should be regulated. Literally billions of dollars are at stake here. Meanwhile, Nigel Wright is allowed to keep his stake in a cosmetics company. Worse, he is allowed to be lobbied on the file to help amend those very regulations.

Junior ministerial staff require a brief cooling off period when they leave their jobs, but Mr. Wright can go back to his job in the time it takes him to fly to Toronto. Why does the Prime Minister allow this double standard?

Office of the Prime Minister
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the independent Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner has been very vigilant on these issues. Mr. Wright is working with her and will continue to follow her guidance. She is independent and has the independence to do her job properly.

Let me say what people in Vancouver need. They need someone to stand up for $500 million of investment in Avcorp, an aviation company. Where is the member opposite? Why will she not stand up for $500 million of investment in the city of Vancouver?

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

November 4th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has again told us that talks about the $2.2 billion he owes the Government of Quebec for tax harmonization are progressing.

I would like to believe that talks are progressing, but Quebec harmonized its sales tax 18 years ago.

What is going on? What is progressing? What is holding things up? When will we find out who is ragging the puck? Eighteen years is too long. Get it done.

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, discussions with Quebec's finance minister are ongoing. We have made progress, but there are still a number of important issues to deal with, including true harmonization of the two taxes, the federal sales tax and the provincial sales tax.

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, this has been going on for 18 years. It is time to get on with things.

The government has all kinds of excuses to delay paying Quebec $2.2 billion. The minister even attacked Quebec's fiscal autonomy by challenging the way the two harmonized taxes are collected.

Can the minister at least confirm that he is dropping this ridiculous condition and that he does not intend to collect harmonized taxes? That is Quebec's job and one it does very well.

Can he tell us that at least?

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the goal is to have a true harmonization of the taxes, if there is to be harmonization at all. We have been discussing four or five variables, a couple of which we have been able to reach agreement on. This past week, I spoke with the minister about it. But there are still some obstacles, and we are working on them.

Hydroelectricity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance hides behind a crown corporation when anyone asks if the government plans to help fund an underwater cable that would allow Newfoundland and Labrador to bypass Quebec and export its electricity directly to the United States. Given that it is the federal government that finances and appoints administrators to PPP Canada, the minister cannot evade the issue so easily.

Will the minister ensure that Quebeckers' money is not used to compete unfairly with Quebec?

Hydroelectricity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, PPP Canada Inc. is a crown corporation. It has a strong board of directors, and the board has strong representation from Quebec. I am confident that its decision-making process will be fair and reasonable, taking into account all variables.

Hydroelectricity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is hiding behind PPP Canada to conceal the federal government's intentions. The government wants to accommodate Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia in order to bypass Quebec. Otherwise, it would have already said no to that request.

How can the minister justify such an accommodation when he did not pay a single cent to help develop Quebec's hydroelectric infrastructure?

How can he justify such a double standard?

Hydroelectricity
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, PPP Canada Inc. has a mandate to review all applications objectively. It does that whether the applications come from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador or from the province of Quebec. Recently, it has been dealing with one from the province of Quebec.

I am sure that the members opposite would want an independent crown corporation that looks realistically, fairly, and objectively at all applications that are received.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the likelihood of the government's latest plan to balance the budget by 2014 is effectively nil. He forecast an $11 billion deficit in 2015, compared with the government's projected surplus of $2.6 billion. He also concluded that the government's fiscal structure is not sustainable, a view that the C.D. Howe Institute, the TD Bank, and the Bank of Nova Scotia did not disagree with.

How can we trust the government, which just blames others when it has no credible plan?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, people can trust the 15 independent economists that we consulted before we prepared the fall economic update. They can trust the mission statement and the mission that was here from the IMF this past month, which reviewed our economic projects and agreed with them. Or they can trust the Parliamentary Budget Officer who said, in August, “the sharp rebound from recession could put the federal government on the road to balancing its books a year ahead of schedule,” which is a lot different from what he said yesterday. The member could ask him why.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer uses the same departmental budget and economic forecasts.

The mandate of the Parliamentary Budget Officer is to provide independent analyses to Parliament on the state of the nation's finances, and he has a legislative right to access all information necessary to fulfill his responsibilities. Despite repeated requests for information, the finance minister has refused, claiming cabinet confidentiality, and now Conservative MPs are issuing veiled threats that the Parliamentary Budget Officer's budget will be cut.

Why will the government not respect the law and give the Parliamentary Budget Officer access to all the information he needs to do his job?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have the lowest deficit and the best overall fiscal position in the G7. Our deficit this year is lower than was originally forecast. Both the IMF and the OECD are of the view that Canada's fiscal position is the best in the G7. We are on track with our budget projections, we are on track with our fall economic projections, and we will stay the course. We will maintain the track that we are on.