House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cuts.

Topics

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the last day for filing income tax returns. Canadians are providing sensitive information to an organization rocked by serious allegations of corruption. There is talk of hundreds of cases of falsified documents, fraud and abuse of authority. With all the ethics problems the government is having these days, it really cannot set itself up as an example.

People want to put their trust in a revenue agency that has the means to fight tax evasion. Why is the agency's budget being cut?

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I said before, employee wrongdoing will not be tolerated at CRA. We have increased our budget by 127%, and that has doubled the number of investigators. Employees are required to respect the obligations and laws of the system in which they are employed, and we will not take any less from them.

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, tonight is the deadline for most Canadians to file their taxes, and taxpayers who play by the rules are concerned to see corruption scandals at the Canada Revenue Agency. To make matters worse, the Conservatives have quietly removed oversight from the Canada Revenue Agency. The government's solution to internal problems is less oversight and less accountability.

Canadians deserve better. Will the minister respect taxpayers by strengthening oversight at the CRA?

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, we have strengthened oversight at CRA. As a matter of fact, as I just said, we have increased the budget by 127% and doubled the number of investigators. We have taken steps to ensure the integrity of the Canadian tax system and the professionalism of our workforce.

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, the opposite is true.

Canadians must be able to trust their revenue agency. They would also like it if the Conservatives were accountable. Unfortunately, all the Conservatives do is to cut services to Canadians by eliminating jobs.

The regional offices of Canada Economic Development are being closed and internal auditor positions are being eliminated. This work might be given to the Auditor General's Office, but reductions are being felt there already.

Why do the Conservatives want Canada Economic Development to be less accountable?

Regional Economic Development
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Mr. Speaker, we have found ways in the back-office operations of government to find efficiencies and better ways to deliver excellent services to Canadians. At the same time, we have given these responsibilities to the Comptroller General of Canada, who already has that oversight over 47 different departments and agencies. He has the expertise and the ability to do the right thing in terms of making sure that we can follow the dollars, and we do so in an efficient way so that we can concentrate on delivering better services to Canadians.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have seen how well the Conservatives have been following the dollars.

Canada's civil service delivers vital programs that Canadian families rely on. These are services that keep Canadians safe, such as protecting the food we put on our tables, yet Conservatives are cutting front-line service jobs such as food inspectors and border guards. The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed last week what we have been warning about. Significant additional details are missing on who is getting cut and why.

When will the government come clean and tell Canadians which of the services they rely on are being chopped?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

April 30th, 2012 / 2:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to say that this member is wrong. I will give a few examples from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Our food supply system remains safe. Our government is maintaining federal meat inspections and meat inspectors. Since 2006, we have hired an additional 733 food inspection staff, including 170 meat inspection staff. Clearly this member is in error.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that oil lobbyists changed this government's environmental policies. That explains the cuts. That explains why the government abandoned environmental protection. Future generations will pay for these bad decisions. They will pay for the fire sale of our natural resources and for the policies of a government that listens only to its lobbyist buddies.

Why is the minister still ignoring Canadians who are calling for the sustainable, responsible development of our natural resources? Why are the Conservatives so irresponsible?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government consults broadly with Canadian citizens, business interests and with environmental groups. For that reason, in that context we are opposed to the non-scientific and discriminatory fuel quality directive. We are opposed to the attempt to block the pipelines that will provide hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of revenue to governments to support social programs. We will continue to work on behalf of Canadians.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the government is acting on behalf of Canadians, it should know that Canadians want and deserve a government that conducts responsible environmental reviews.

The government's approach is irresponsible natural resources policy, irresponsible environmental policy and bad energy economics. To be sustainable over the long term and maintain access to markets, we have to responsibly manage the impacts of our natural resources sector, so why is the government changing the rules to exclude Canadians and exclude scientific experts from reviews around crucial issues such as pipelines?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, there will be every opportunity for a full, comprehensive, independent scientific review.

Furthermore, there will be an opportunity for those who have expertise to appear and to be heard at the hearings. Furthermore, those with a direct interest in the construction of the pipeline will have an opportunity to be heard.

There is a scope for these hearings, and those who have something to say about the scope of the hearings will have an opportunity to be heard. This is an overt and transparent policy.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the poorest countries are getting cut while wealthy countries are maintaining their aid levels.

This favouritism makes it clear the government is playing games with foreign aid, but what can Canadians expect from a minister who takes $1,000 limo rides to a conference called “Saving Children's Lives”?

Will the Conservatives end this malicious transformation of Canada's previously respected aid system and commit to reversing these inappropriate cuts once and for all?

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham
Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, our government wants to ensure that those living in poverty are going to have a great future over the long term.

That is why we want to make sure that our aid is effective and is going to make a difference. This means creating employment, making sure that unemployed youth have a great future. It means saving lives of mothers and children. By being focused, targeted and looking for results, we will succeed and we will help those living in poverty.

International Co-operation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Cooperation is getting a lot of attention, but for all the wrong reasons.

While she is spending thousands of dollars on limousines and lavish suites, her department is slashing aid to the poorest countries.

Zambia, Rwanda, Niger and Zimbabwe are among the poorest countries in the world, yet they are losing nearly all the assistance they were receiving from the Canadian government.

Can the minister justify the cuts in international aid, especially relative to her luxury lifestyle?