House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Harmonization of Sales Taxes
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, I hope that we will soon see results.

We know that the Government of Quebec uses tax policies to successfully combat tax evasion, for example, by taxing clothing and tobacco. However, it seems that Quebec's tax policy for these products is inconveniencing the Conservative government.

Can the Minister of Finance tell us what his problem is? Why does he take issue with Quebec's tax policies on contraband and tax evasion?

Harmonization of Sales Taxes
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our discussions on harmonization issues take place with other governments, not with opposition parties here.

We are continuing our discussions on this harmonization issue with the Government of Quebec. There has been some progress, but there is a long list of issues that need to be resolved and worked through, and that is what we are doing. I do not anticipate an early resolution.

Telecommunications Industry
Oral Questions

February 3rd, 2011 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2006, the Conservative government bragged about giving instructions to the CRTC on how to manage Internet billing. Just recently, it had nothing to say about the CRTC decision. Then, the Conservatives said that they would review the decision. Now, they are thinking about reversing the decision if the CRTC does not do so.

Why not reverse that decision right now? Will they admit that they were wrong?

Telecommunications Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the decision made by this commission is unacceptable. We said that it was important to protect consumers, innovators and small and medium-sized businesses.

We have been very consistent in that approach. I say to the hon. member this is our position. It is unacceptable that this decision stands, and we will reverse the decision, or the CRTC will reverse the decision.

Telecommunications Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is important, but the Conservatives will not act now.

If we cannot go to Service Canada's 800 number, the government tells us to go online. Well, the government still has no plan to ensure broadband is available in rural communities. It lacks an open-government policy that would open all government spending to scrutiny by the public. Now it wants to stifle competition, restrict the openness of the Internet and have consumers pay more.

Does someone need to tweet the minister to tell him that he can reverse it right now?

Telecommunications Industry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I make no apologies for our program of rural broadband. We have put over $200 million into rural Canada. This has meant that over 250,000 households in this country have access to broadband they did not have before. This is a Conservative government policy. We are for broadband access, we are for the Internet, we are for the consumer.

The members on the other side can produce all the sound and fury they want, but it simply signifies nothing.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians need to be able to trust that their government will not sell out their privacy or sovereignty in negotiations with the United States. However, instead of building trust and instead of consulting Parliament, the government is scheming to keep the deal secret. Even if a deal affects privacy and trade measures, under the Prime Minister, the Canadian people always seem to be the last to know.

How about a little transparency this time? How about bringing a deal before Parliament, and how about the Privacy Commissioner being able to see it as well?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have always indicated that our first priority is to be able to defend Canada's interests. The Prime Minister has been very clear on that.

We have also indicated that it was extremely important to be able to maintain our levels of economic growth, to maintain our open borders and to make sure as well that those borders are closed to those who would wish harm upon both the United States and Canada.

We are working very closely with our American counterparts and we expect to be able to defend Canada's interests once again.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are acting like the American government's doormat. American politicians continue to slag Canadians as terrorists and they go uncontested every single day.

Every deal this Prime Minister has made has led to a thicker border, not a thinner border. Canadian businesses in places like Windsor are being hit hard by increases in fees and longer delays. Countless other communities along the border, like Trail, Welland, Fort Erie, and St. Steven rely on the quick delivery of goods.

Will the government, at the very least, tell this House what demands it will make to address the serious shortcomings at Canada's border with the United States?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the efficiency and security of our shared border remains our priority. We are always concerned to have decisions that impact appropriately not only on staff and costs but, indeed, also on the goods and travellers we want to see cross and those we do not want to see, because they are illegal or otherwise inappropriate.

The Economy of Quebec's Regions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservative government is focusing on the economy, the real priority of Quebeckers, and continuing to help people in the regions, the head office of the Parti Québécois in Ottawa is at it again and wants to trigger a needless election.

Can the Minister of Natural Resources tell this House what action the Conservative government is taking to help the people in Quebec's regions?

The Economy of Quebec's Regions
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his excellent question. Our government's priority is the economy, and we are helping people in every region of Quebec. That is why we cannot accept the CRTC's decision on billing for Internet services. By reversing that decision, our government will ensure that people and businesses in every region of Quebec have affordable Internet access. Our Conservative government is acting consistently to help all sectors of the Quebec economy and all regions of Quebec.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's first act towards Prince Edward Island when he became Prime Minister was to cancel a signed agreement providing for an energy cable to New Brunswick. As stated by the province, the cable is critical for its energy accord plans. However, the Minister of Transport, when he was in Prince Edward Island, made light of that request.

Will he now reconsider and right the wrongs of his leader's past and commit to that funding required? We know moneys for similar projects have been committed in B.C. and the Yukon.

Will he commit to the energy cable today?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, what I can tell the House is that I had an excellent meeting before Christmas. The Minister of Fisheries, from Prince Edward Island, had arranged a meeting with the provincial ministers of Prince Edward Island. At that time, it was made very clear that this was a priority for the province. We understand that. It was not a priority, as I mentioned, when I was there for the provincial–territorial fund, but they have put it in as a priority under the green infrastructure fund.

We are looking at and examining options. We are looking at the Confederation Bridge as a conduit. We are looking at an underwater cable. We are looking at all options.

However, the one thing we are looking at as well next time is trying to find a way to get the member involved in this issue, because he has been nowhere.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to data released by Environment Canada, the Conservative government will not meet its own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have also learned that the Prime Minister will take advantage of the crisis in Egypt and the meeting with President Obama to promote the oil sands.

Instead of taking advantage of international tensions to encourage the export of dirty oil to the United States, why does the Prime Minister not put forward a real plan to combat climate change and reduce the use of fossil fuels?