House of Commons Hansard #168 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservatives.

Topics

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, they made the law and we are asking them to start respecting the law.

The Conservatives were forced to come clean on their $10 billion cuts to old age security. They have not learned their lesson. They are still trying to avoid oversight by the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The law clearly gives the PBO access to all government financial data but the Conservatives are hiding behind excuses worthy of a kindergarten playground, not of the Parliament of Canada.

Why will the Prime Minister not co-operate with the Parliamentary Budget Officer? What does the Prime Minister have to hide?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is necessary to remind the opposition that there are no changes to old age security until the year 2023. In fact, seniors' pensions are being fully protected.

In terms of the second question on the role of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, it was established by this government and we understand that role very well. All information is given to Parliament through the normal channels and all that information is available to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are hiding information from the Parliamentary Budget Officer; they are hiding information from the members of this House; and now, they are hiding information from Canadians regarding the environmental impact of weakening the Navigable Waters Protection Act. They have even deleted a government web page about this.

Instead of deleting a web page that indicates what the law should protect, why not tell Canadians what the law will no longer protect?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Transport Canada website has always indicated that the Navigable Waters Protection Act is an act respecting the protection of Canadians' right to navigate. I repeat, to “navigate”. That has not changed. The department reviewed its website and removed some erroneous information.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, even the minister's own department knows that this bill plays an important role in environmental protection, despite his late night website rewrite to purge references to the environment. The Conservatives have snuck a raft of changes into the bill that were never mentioned in the budget. They are taking money from the pockets of Canadians and taxing health benefits. All these components need to be studied by the appropriate committees and not some kind of look but do not touch type study.

Will the government allow amendments to its massive omnibus bill to change and fix the problems that are in the bill?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as members know, as a matter of process, there was a willingness on the part of the opposition to take the pension part out, and we voted on that the other day. If there are some other areas of the budget where there is unanimous consent, where the opposition members wish to ask the government to take something out and pass it unanimously, right away, then we can look at that.

Pensions
Oral Questions

October 24th, 2012 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party hid its plans to change old age security from the people of Canada during the last election. It hid the impact of the cost from the Parliament of Canada since the time it was introduced.

Now that we finally have the report of the Auditor General, the Auditor General tells us that by the year 2030, the full savings, the full impact of the cuts the government will make will be three-tenths of 1% of the gross domestic product of Canada.

Is it really worth it?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the sustainability of the pension plan for Canada's seniors and future seniors is always a matter that is worth our attention.

As the member well knows, in the process of balancing our budget, we are ensuring that the pension benefits of seniors are protected. We are also ensuring that changes are made for future generations to ensure that these programs will be in place and will be sustainable for many years to come.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General's figures clearly demonstrate that the crisis that the government proclaimed is not a crisis at all.

The numbers clearly show that there is no crisis in the system and that, contrary to what the Prime Minister is saying, the government is not protecting pensions and old age security for Canadians.

The government is simply reducing benefits, while it continues to proclaim that there is a crisis.

There is no crisis.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote the Auditor General's report, which states:

Analyses by the Department showed that the OAS program was one of the factors that could cause a deterioration in budgetary balances in the long term...

That is why, in order to protect seniors' benefits, we have taken action to ensure that this crucial program will be in place and will be sustainable for future generations.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the government were really interested in dealing with the financial situation, why would it not be looking harder at the HSBC case, which is a documented case of tax evasion?

The government has the name of 1,785 accounts of Canadians. There have been no prosecutions in this case. There were no prosecutions in the Liechtenstein case, where 96 cases were dealt with and no one was prosecuted, no one was fined, and nothing has taken place with respect to this situation.

How can the government tolerate this kind of tax evasion by the wealthiest of Canadians?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, the government tolerates no such thing. Tax evasion is a very serious crime.

Revenue Canada has mechanisms to thoroughly investigate and to try to recuperate any moneys that are illegally sheltered. The government will continue to take these measures, because we expect all Canadians, including the wealthiest Canadians, to pay the taxes they owe.

At the same time, on this side, we endeavour to ensure our taxes are as low as possible and keep our economy growing strong.

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am going to try again to clarify the confused, muddled position of the Conservative government on clarity in the Investment Canada Act. One minute, it says that clarity is not needed. The next minute, anonymous sources are saying that Conservatives want to redefine the net benefit test.

Apparently the Conservatives want a two-track system. This is worrisome to anyone who saw them run their single-track system off the rails last Friday night at midnight in the Petronas decision.

Two-track, single-track, off-the-track, are the rules going to be in place before the decision on Nexen, yes or no?

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, we improved the rules in 2007. We put in new guidelines for the state-owned enterprises. We put in a national security provision in 2009 and tools to communicate, also.

As I said in regard to the proposed transaction, this will be scrutinized very closely. Each decision taken by the government is taken in the best interests of Canadians.

Foreign Investment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is not the interests of Canadians the Conservatives have in mind; it is the best interests of the Conservative Party and its friends. That is why the Conservatives keep mishandling these issues. It is no way to run an economy. Clarity on net benefit should have been in place years ago. We did the work and the government dropped the ball.

The NDP has been pushing for a clear and transparent net benefit test for years and the government has mishandled decisions on Canadian—