House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, not all of the G8 members have a military mission in Afghanistan.

We have been very clear that Canada's military mission in Afghanistan will end in 2011, but we will continue with a mission on governance, on development and on humanitarian assistance. We welcome the input of the opposition into those deliberations.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are more likely to hear the truth from Hillary Clinton than from this government.

The Prime Minister said it was the end of the combat mission, fine, but we do not know what, exactly, the government's plans are for the mission after 2011.

Will the Prime Minister commit to sharing his plans with Canadians and allowing a full debate and vote in this House?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have the same answer that I had last week, and it will be the same next week: Canada's military mission in Afghanistan will end in 2011, in accordance with a resolution adopted by Parliament.

We plan on remaining involved in Afghanistan in terms of development, governance and humanitarian assistance. We invite the opposition to share its ideas on the future of this mission.

Arctic Summit
Oral Questions

March 30th, 2010 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, on February 17, Liberals warned the government to include Arctic aboriginal peoples in its Arctic summit. It ignored the warning and now Canada is being embarrassed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Great Inuit leaders, such as former circumpolar ambassador Mary Simon and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier, have complained about the government's lack of engagement with Canada's Arctic peoples.

Why has the Conservative government again embarrassed us on the world stage and left us in the bizarre position of Hillary Clinton having to defend Canada's aboriginal people?

Arctic Summit
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, as I told the House yesterday, this meeting was called for those states that share a coastline on the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic Council chair, Denmark's foreign minister, will brief other members of the Arctic Council. The Minister of Foreign Affairs briefed Canada's indigenous people before the meeting and will be talking to them afterwards.

Arctic Summit
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the parliamentary secretary convinced Canada's Inuit Athabascan and Gwich'in people with that answer. They also live on the coastline.

The conference results get worse. Sweden, Finland and Iceland have all publicly rebuked the government about their exclusion. The Norwegian foreign minister has been openly critical of what he implies is the Conservative cold war mentality.

Why this disarray and embarrassment on the international stage?

Arctic Summit
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, the opposition's hand-wringing is completely unnecessary. Northerners play a very important role in determining the future of our Arctic waters. As I already explained, the Arctic Council chair, the foreign minister of Denmark, will brief other members of the council in due course.

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, from a letter sent on March 18 to the Quebec finance minister, we learn that the Conservative government is refusing to compensate Quebec for harmonizing its sales tax. Under the 1992 agreement to harmonize the GST, Quebec collects and administers the tax, and that works very well.

Why is the Prime Minister intent on scuttling an agreement that has been in place since 1992 and refusing to pay Quebec $2.2 billion in compensation?

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government respects the agreement signed in 1992. It indicates that there are still two taxes in Quebec. These taxes are collected by the Quebec government and every year we pay the Quebec government for that.

The Quebec government has expressed interest in true harmonization of sales taxes, like that agreed to by a number of other provinces. We are prepared to continue our negotiations to reach such an agreement.

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 1992 harmonization is not fake; it is true harmonization. It has been cited as an example by all federal governments since 1992.

The government's stubbornness is depriving Quebec of $2.2 billion that it really needs.

Why is the Prime Minister insisting on putting federal shackles on the Quebec nation?

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

What the Bloc leader has said is not true. Quebec has not harmonized its taxes the way other provinces have. Quebec collects two taxes for two governments.

In the other provinces there is a harmonization agreement and only one tax. We are seeking a similar agreement with the Quebec government. It is in the interest of all Quebeckers and Quebec industries.

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, on page 68 of his 2006 budget, the minister mentioned that five provinces had not harmonized their sales tax, and Quebec was not among them. This means that our tax has been harmonized since 1992. Now, the Minister of Finance is contradicting himself.

Is this just an excuse not to give the Quebec nation its due, while the Quebec Conservatives look on approvingly? Billions of dollars for Ontario, zilch for Quebec.

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the discussions with Quebec's finance minister will continue. We have made some progress, but we still face challenges to true harmonization, as it exists in Ontario, British Columbia and the Maritimes. Talks between the two governments are ongoing.

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, until the Conservatives were elected, the loss of more than 5% of the tax base was one of the conditions for compensation when a province harmonized its sales tax.

But the Minister of Finance, who was formerly the Ontario finance minister, dropped this condition in order to accommodate his own province to the tune of $4.3 billion.

Why can't the Minister of Finance be open-minded enough to let Quebec keep on collecting both taxes?

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, governments that have harmonized their tax have only one tax, not two. We are facing this sort of challenge in our talks with the Government of Quebec. There must be one tax, not two, for there to be true tax harmonization in Quebec.