House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was women.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the six biggest banks in Canada made $25.5 billion in profit this year. To reward them, the Conservatives are giving them $1.4 billion in tax cuts. We know for a fact that these gifts do nothing. No jobs will be created.

In other words, while families are having difficulty making ends meet, they are paying taxes to give gifts to banks. What exactly does this do for Canadians?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, providing support to low-income Canadians has been a huge priority for our government over the past six years. Let us look at some of the initiatives we have taken: we have taken over one million low-income Canadians right off the tax rolls, so they are not paying a dollar of tax themselves; we have increased the basic personal amount Canadians can earn without paying taxes; we have introduced the working income tax benefit to support low-income Canadians; we have increased the guaranteed income supplement for our most vulnerable seniors; and, finally, we lowered the GST, one of the taxes that low-income Canadians pay the most, from 7% to 6% to 5%. The NDP voted against each and every one of these initiatives.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, to take just one example, we could certainly do a lot more for seniors.

We are all for a healthy, well-regulated financial sector in this country, but that does not mean we should pamper the banks. The Royal Bank of Canada made $6.7 billion last year. The Conservatives saw fit to contribute almost $400 million to that profit in tax giveaways. How does that make sense?

Why are the Conservatives putting the Royal Bank before out-of-work Canadians?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case whatsoever. The member opposite, and Canadians, would be interested to know that banks in this country pay more than $8.4 billion in taxes.

Let us talk about seniors. The member opposite talked about seniors. We are the ones who brought in substantial support, the biggest increase in the guaranteed income supplement in 25 years, and the NDP voted against that. We brought in income splitting to make retirement easier for couples; the NDP voted against it. We took more than a million low-income seniors entirely off the tax rolls; the NDP voted against it. These were good measures to support low-income seniors.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the big six banks might be celebrating under the Conservative government, but Canadian families are not getting any further ahead. Jobless numbers are going up, not down. Life is getting more expensive, not more affordable. The $1.4 billion the government just blew on tax cuts for profitable banks could have been used to create jobs.

The government sure likes to play Santa to the banks, but why are Canadian families only getting a lump of coal?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are gaining the benefit of the tax reductions that this government has put forward. As has been mentioned here earlier today, we have taken over a million low-income Canadians completely off the tax roll, which has help families in need. An average family of four in this country pays $3,000 less than it did when we came to government. That is what Canadians want to hear.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Bank completed the round of publication of results of large Canadian banks by announcing that it made a record net profit of $1.2 billion. Meanwhile, Canadians are having difficulty since job losses are piling up. A total of 19,000 jobs were lost in November and 54,000 full-time jobs were lost in October.

Since the Conservatives cling to the belief that tax cuts must be given to banks that are making billions of dollars in profit a year, here is a simple question. How many jobs will the Conservatives create with this gift of $1.4 billion for the banks?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the job number that matters to Canadians is that 600,000 more Canadians are working today than were working at the end of the recession. That is because of the policies we put in place. It is because businesses are paying less tax, so those businesses can reinvest in themselves and can hire more Canadians. It is simple economics.

The NDP has voted against every one of those plans that we have put forward. We will continue to support our businesses so they can hire Canadians and get them back to work.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

December 9th, 2011 / 11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we understand that at a press conference this morning the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development announced that he would be calling for yet another audit into the affairs at Attawapiskat.

I would like to point out to the government a simple fact, which is that it has not followed the recommendations of its own Auditor General with respect to its own activities, in particular having to do with the appointment of so-called third party managers.

There is no provision for a dispute resolution mechanism, there is no building of capacity for chiefs and councils, and there is no provision for any involvement by chiefs and councils in the selection of the third party manager

Why is there a double standard? Why not apply the standards of the Auditor General to the--

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government is taking responsibility for the real challenges that we are seeing in Attawapiskat.

I should note that there has been some public comment that resources allocated toward health care, education and housing would somehow be diverted to support band administration. This is not the case. Not a single dollar will be used for that purpose, and the money to support the third party administrator will come from money that is set aside for band administration.

We are concerned about the huge challenges facing Attawapiskat. That is why we are getting involved and taking significant action to support these vulnerable people.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot deny a very clear fact, and that is that since 2003, the Auditor General has been frank about the need for change in the very program that the government has just imposed on the Attawapiskat reserve. They have refused to follow the recommendations of their own Auditor General and, in the meantime, they are talking about the council's responsibility when they are not prepared to accept their own responsibilities. There is a double standard here, and that will create even more problems between the government and Indians across the country.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government is taking action to ensure that there is support for the families in Attawapiskat, who are facing a cold winter coming.

Immediately since the state of emergency, we have allocated $500,000 in emergency funding to renovate five homes for families in urgent need of shelter. We are working quickly to provide temporary and long-term housing for more than 20 families, and our government will be working with our partners.

We have already sent 10 composting toilets, 20 high-efficiency wood stoves and other basic necessities. More supplies will be flown in during the coming days. This is real action for families in Attawapiskat.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Canada had the unmitigated gall yesterday to refer to mismanagement on the reserve, when it is the government's own mismanagement that has been called to account on three separate occasions in three separate audits by the Auditor General of Canada.

When will the government take responsibility for its grotesque failure to apply the basic standards of accountability and responsibility to itself? That is where the responsibility lies. That is where the mismanagement lies. It always has and it always will, and the Conservatives will turn around and blame the victim every single time.

That is what they--

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The Minister of Foreign Affairs.