House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance would be well advised to check page E26 of the Quebec budget speech. He would find it instructive.

The minister is very imaginative when it comes to helping the other Canadian provinces, but his unyielding attitude toward Quebec is legendary. This goes for protection money as well as for the GST.

He changed the equalization scheme for Ontario and British Columbia, but dismissed Quebec, telling it to go fry an egg, or better yet a dozen eggs.

How can the Minister of Finance be so accommodating for the other provinces and so hard on Quebec?

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it takes a lot of nerve to stand in the House and say that Quebec is being shortchanged by the federation. In fact, 17.4% of the Quebec budget comes from the revenues of Canada, the equalization transfers to Quebec. The minister of finance in his budget, the first statement he made about federal transfers, thanked the Government of Canada for not balancing the budget on the backs of the provinces by cutting transfers, like the Liberal government did.

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservative government has shown its lack of good faith and its contempt for Quebec. The principles of predictability and tax fairness among provinces are fundamental principles of any federation, but the Conservatives have decided to play politics at the expense of Quebec.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he has completely disregarded Quebec and that he has no intention of coming to an agreement with the Government of Quebec?

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the question is on the subject of harmonization, the member opposite should know, since his government was in power when the initial agreements were made with some of the provinces in Atlantic Canada, that the government is open to discussions, as we confirmed in budget 2010, with any province that wants to truly harmonize its sales taxes with the GST.

We are having those discussions with the Government of Quebec now. Those discussions continue, as the Minister of Finance of Quebec confirmed earlier this week at the time of his budget.

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives refuse to negotiate openly and in good faith with Quebec for purely partisan reasons. Their excuses change from day to day, and their position is as twisted and unpredictable as their position on maternal health. The Conservatives' behaviour is not what we would expect from a federal government. No province should be faced with this kind of intimidation.

Why does the Prime Minister not understand that it is unacceptable to force his own interests on the taxpayers of Quebec?

Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member opposite knows or ought to know that there are certain principles with respect to harmonization. One of them is that one actually has to harmonize the tax. This is key. I will come back to that. One has to harmonize the tax.

We are prepared to continue that discussion with the Government of Quebec, as we had previously with the Government of Ontario and the Government of British Columbia, and with other provinces that may be interested.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shell-shocked this morning to learn of the government's late-night decision to kill the ecoEnergy retrofit program for homeowners. Up until yesterday, the government was training energy auditors and even announced more money for the program in its budget.

Hundreds of small energy efficiency companies are now scrambling in the face of inevitable layoffs. At a time when we should be enhancing these programs, why are these Reform-Conservatives punishing Canadians who want to do the right thing and putting thousands of clean energy jobs at risk?

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, ensuring the program operates within its existing budget demonstrates the prudent fiscal management Canadians have come to expect from this government. This government's commitment to energy efficiency is clear. After launching the program in 2007, we expanded its budget under the EEP, allowing thousands more Canadians to take part.

While we are reviewing the program, Canadians will continue to undertake renovations and benefit from a grant, generating a further decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a desperate attempt to find the money it needs to make up for the waste of the past 50 months, the Conservatives are cutting Canada's top energy efficiency program.

Will they tell us that the Minister of the Environment took the money for his own projects, like last time? How can the regressive Conservative regime punish the citizens who want to do what is right? How can they be willing to sacrifice thousands of jobs in green industry?

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this program has seen unprecedented demand. It has been successful. A lot of money will continue to be invested over the next year. It is very ironic that a Liberal would talk here about waste. If he really wants to talk about waste, there was a spenders' conference in Montreal this past weekend. I would focus on that if I were him.

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government believes that, to the greatest extent possible, each Canadian's vote should carry equal weight. Unfortunately, the current formula has penalized the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and my home province of British Columbia. These three provinces do not have the number of seats in the House of Commons that they deserve.

Could the Minister of State for Democratic Reform tell the Liberal leader, wherever he is, what our government is doing to address this under-representation?

Democratic Reform
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, this morning I introduced a democratic representation bill. This bill demonstrates our government's commitment to ensure fairness for faster growing provinces while protecting the seat counts of the other provinces. Our government's bill would ensure that Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario are closer to representation by population, as promised in our 2010 throne speech.

This is very good for Canada.

Government Programs
Oral Questions

April 1st, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, perhaps we could try this a third time. The government announced in its budget 80 million new dollars to continue the popular ecoEnergy home energy retrofit program. Yet today, day one of the budget year, we learn that the government is set to pull the plug on billions of dollars worth of job creation, retrofit expenditures and energy savings for home retrofits. The result: higher energy costs, increased pollution and greenhouse gases.

Billions of dollars have been given to subsidize coal-fired power and tar sands but nothing for homeowners. Is this the government's concept of a green energy future?

Government Programs
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, if she is so happy about the $80 million in the last budget, I wonder why she voted against it. Her party always voted against that program.

Fortunately, a lot of money will be flowing for Canadians in the next coming year, and it is certainly not thanks to the NDP.

Fisheries
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, sea lice is a serious problem for west coast salmon. Around the world, fish farms have been identified as a major source of sea lice infestations.

The government has launched an inquiry but by the time the recommendations come out it may be too late to protect our wild salmon.

Will the minister admit that there is a problem, do the right thing and start addressing the sea lice problem immediately, or will she allow the Pacific west coast salmon to go the way of the Atlantic cod?