House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regard.

Topics

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's Minister of Finance, Raymond Bachand, recently stated that compensating Quebec for harmonizing its sales tax requires the political will of Ottawa. What is the Prime Minister waiting for to put an end to this unfairness and use the next budget to provide fair compensation to Quebec?

Sales Tax Harmonization
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government favours sales tax harmonization. However, the final decision rests with the provincial governments, which have a choice about joining us. To date, the Quebec government has chosen to retain a single sales tax, but we are currently negotiating this matter. We still hope to arrive at a solution that respects the agreements we have signed with the other provinces.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the last two budgets, Quebec's loss was Ontario's gain. The federal government owes Quebec more than $5 billion according to Quebec's finance minister. This is beyond negligence by the federal government. It is contempt. In addition to the $2.2 billion for the harmonized sales tax to match the compensation given to the other provinces, there is the $1.5 billion for equalization and Hydro-Québec, $800 million for post-secondary education and $127 million in stabilization payments.

When are they going to pay their debts?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Bloc finance critic is welcoming us back with a question that is rather redundant. It has been answered many times before.

Let me remind him that actually the transfers to Quebec have increased 44% under this government. That is the plain and simple answer. I am not sure what his question is all about other than just to remind Canadians how much we do support Quebec.

Finance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the junior finance minister should do his homework: these disputes have been going on for years. It is high time these matters were resolved.

The stabilization program issue has been dragging on since 1991-92. Even though two courts ruled in favour of Quebec, in 2007 and in 2008, we are still waiting for the federal government to pay Quebec its fair share. How can the government give billions of dollars to Ontario and nothing to Quebec?

It is Quebec's turn now. Does the minister understand that?

Finance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, I can certainly understand that. I also understand there were no math lessons on the beach in Mexico, where the hon. member was getting his wonderful tan.

Let us go back to the facts. Quebec will receive $7.6 billion in equalization this year alone. That is a 60% increase over when the Liberals were in power. Once again, I am not sure what he is complaining about.

The Economy
Oral Questions

January 31st, 2011 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, since Parliament last met I have been travelling across Canada talking to Canadian families who are still struggling to get by in the context of the recession. While the Conservatives are declaring today, once again, mission accomplished on the economy, Canadians who are still trying to make ends meet know that is just hogwash.

Statistics Canada came out and showed very clearly that the full-time jobs that had been lost in the recession had not fully recovered and that the growth in employment, such as it is, was in low-paying part-time jobs. People cannot cover their bills that way.

Will the government commit to practical proposals by the New Democratic Party to help the middle class deal with the recession?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, since the recovery began, the Canadian economy has created nearly 400,000 jobs, which is frankly unmatched by virtually any other developed country.

This does not mean mission accomplished. There is still much to do to get the employment situation to the point where we want it. However, this government's conviction is clear that maintaining low tax rates for our employers is critical to continued job creation and to continuation of the recovery. Obviously we are not going to raise taxes on employers.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has a choice to make: help families or call an election. The NDP is prepared to work to help retirees and future retirees, for example. A number of them have seen their pensions shrink because of the recession. The government could help these people by increasing the guaranteed income supplement. That is simple and easy to do.

What does the Prime Minister choose, helping our seniors or helping the banks yet again?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our government did help Canadian families, not only by cutting taxes, but also by expanding benefits such as the family allowance and by increasing employment insurance benefits during the crisis. Our government sees only one choice: helping families. And I encourage the leader of the NDP and the other opposition parties to not think about an election, but instead about helping families.

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister wanted to help out families, he would be doing something to deal with their health care concerns. We have emergency rooms that are overcrowded. We have prescription drug costs going through the roof. Home care is completely inadequate. Four million people do not even have a family doctor. One practical step that the Prime Minister could take would be to support the NDP proposal to train more family doctors and nurses so no family has to go without that primary health care on which they count.

Why is the government refusing to help Canadian families with something such as health care, which is so basic to all of them?

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is refusing to do no such thing and always encourages positive suggestions on things like health care.

We operate in a federal system in which health care is the primary responsibility of the provinces. However, we have been working constructively with our provincial colleagues. In spite of the recession and in spite of the budgetary challenges of this government, we have increased the health care funding for our provinces by 30% and intend to ensure that funding increase continues into the future.

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are worried about the rising health care costs in our aging population. They know that we must prepare to invest more in the health care that Canadians need.

With a record deficit, rising health care costs and on the eve of negotiations with the provinces on health transfers, why are the Conservatives going ahead with their reckless corporate tax cuts? Why are they putting our health care system at risk by gutting our capacity to invest in it?

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, that is an interesting question coming from the hon. member who I believe has actually run on promoting private health care. However, that is not the plan of this government.

Our plan is to get back to balanced budgets. However, part of that is reducing the costs for businesses in our country. Those are the job creators. Those are the people who drive this economy. By reducing their costs, they hire more people and it helps build our economy. It is that simple.

Health
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government increased transfers and put $41 billion of new money into health care. The Liberals cut corporate taxes in times of surplus when Canada could afford it, giving Canada the second lowest corporate tax rates in the G7.

However, now that the Conservatives have spent Canada into a record deficit, Canadians do not want the government to borrow more money to pay for more corporate tax cuts.

Why will the Minister of Finance not listen to Canadians and cancel his reckless scheme to cut corporate tax rates on borrowed money?