House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Champlain Bridge
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities made a very important announcement for the greater Montreal area. This is crucial to this region's economy. I have seen very positive reactions from the mayor of Montreal, the president of the Conseil du patronat du Québec and the president of the Manufacturiers et exportateurs du Québec.

We will work with our partners in the public and private sectors to get the new bridge built.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, given the Prime Minister's notorious commitment to consulting this House, to transparency, and to openness, I wonder if the Prime Minister could give us his assurance today that, before any agreement with the United States on perimeter security is signed, the agreement will be tabled in this House and open to parliamentary scrutiny and debate.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the actions of the government are always open to scrutiny and debate. Because the opposition loses the debate does not mean we did not have a debate.

The government is still in discussions with the United States. However, unlike the other parties, we think it is critical to the Canadian economy that we have trade with the U.S., we secure access to our market, and we ensure our mutual security.

I know the NDP is against that and the Liberal Party has no position on it, but these are critical things for Canadians.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear an answer to the second question. Perhaps I could hear an answer to this one.

Could the Prime Minister explain why he would be signing this deal when the Obama administration is actively promoting buy America, which is in effect anti-Canada; when we are about to be hit with a ports tax in the United States, which again discriminates directly against Canadian economic interests; and when we still have not resolved the food labelling issue?

Why would the Prime Minister be signing this deal when all these issues are still very much on the table?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first of all, some of the things the leader said in his preamble are not correct. In terms of the specific negotiations with the United States, we do not have an agreement yet, but we continue to work on it.

Only a former leader of the NDP would say that when we face American protectionism, the solution to that is to cut our own access off to the American market.

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is now 118 days since the President of the Treasury Board vanished in plain sight, and little wonder. He ran a homemade paper trail through his constituency office, conveniently beyond the reach of the Auditor General.

The Information Commissioner says that she is worried about the use of private emails to cover the tracks of ministers. The government is a black hole of accountability and the President of the Treasury Board is at the centre of this hole.

Will he stand up in the House today and explain why the Auditor General was misled?

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General had full access to all of the information pertaining to 32 public infrastructure projects that all benefited municipalities, provincial and community infrastructure. She came forward and made some observations on how we could do a better job to be even more transparent to Parliament, and we have completely accepted her good advice.

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, if it were that simple the President of the Treasury Board would not need his big brother to stand up for him in the schoolyard every day.

This is about accountability. Accountable ministers do not try to pull a fast one on the Auditor General. Accountable ministers do not tell mayors to keep their mouths shut until they get their stories straight. Accountable ministers stand up in the House of Commons and explain themselves.

The Prime Minister knew the ethical lapses of the Muskoka minister. Why did he put the minister in charge of billions of dollars of taxpayers' money?

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, here are the facts: 32 projects were supported by Infrastructure Canada; 32 projects were built; 32 projects came in on time and on budget; 32 projects all in the public sector are now at the disposal and benefit of the province, the community and municipalities in that region.

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if only the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka were capable of defending himself.

We have learned that the mayor of Huntsville is clearly embarrassed by the email exchange between him and the President of the Treasury Board.

Can the minister stand and explain to us how these emails prove that the Prime Minister's Office was involved? How they prove that the minister wanted to block a spending review? Does the President of the Treasury Board agree with the mayor of Huntsville that Bell Canada stocks will go up when politicians like him learn to use the telephone to hide their unsavoury activities?

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak to the issue involving the mayor of Huntsville.

This government expanded the access to information laws. We tried to bring more light and more accountability to public corporations like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Canadian Wheat Board. The first time in Canadian history a party stood up and voted to bring the cloak of darkness back on a public corporation and it was the NDP that did that with the Canadian Wheat Board.

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs must be starting to get really tired of standing and answering questions about his neighbour's emails.

The mayor of Huntsville learned his lesson: if you are planning some funny business, make sure you cover your tracks. The Information Commissioner is justifiably worried about that statement and the fact that the minister is determined to cover his tracks.

Does the President of the Treasury Board believe that he, too, needs to learn how to better hide the truth?

President of the Treasury Board
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I never get tired of answering questions from the New Democratic Party in the House. It is always a great privilege to serve Canadians.

It was this government that expanded the access to information laws. There are access to information laws at the provincial and municipal levels. The fact that all of these email exchanges were released shows just how open and transparent things are.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, the United States is planning to impose a special tariff on Canadian businesses. This time, an extra $140 will be charged on each container carrying goods from British Columbia when cargo ships dock in the United States. This news came to light on the eve of the announcement of a co-operation agreement between the two countries.

Will the government stand up to our American neighbour and refuse this latest attack on our trade interests?

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Abbotsford
B.C.

Conservative

Ed Fast Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, any new tax is a bad idea as it raises costs on consumers.

Canada's ports and railways are competing fairly. The Asia-Pacific gateway initiative that the member refers to is working as intended.

We will defend Canada's competitive advantage wherever it is threatened. I have made this clear to FMC Commissioner Lidinsky as well as to my USTR counterpart Ambassador Kirk.