House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I said, it is important, as we move forward, that we independently validate the new cost estimates that the Department of National Defence will table in Parliament.

We have also asked, through the secretariat, that annual updates to Parliament on the performance schedules and the cost estimates are also made public. We think that is very important. We have put in place as much accountability in this framework as we can.

To the point the members made about the secretariat, this will be managed by a committee of deputy ministers, but, again, we will look for independent validation.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, last fall, when the government knew full well its F-35 plan was in a tailspin, the Associate Minister of National Defence repeatedly told Parliament everything was just fine and dandy. He said, “Our plan is on track. Things are working. The aircraft are coming off the production line”.

My question for the Associate Minister of National Defence, now the minister without portfolio, is this. Will he resign for misleading Canadians?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan
Ontario

Conservative

Julian Fantino Associate Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in actual fact, no such thing has happened. Let me go back to what is relevant and important.

We accept the conclusions of the Auditor General. His recommendations are the very things we are acting upon. We are moving forward to ensure that diligence, oversight and transparency are fully embedded in the process to replace Canada's aging fighter aircraft. That is why we have frozen funding. We have, in fact, moved to ensure that the very things the Auditor General has recommended are actually done.

National Revenue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General estimates that millions of Canadians systematically avoid paying taxes without worrying in the slightest about Revenue Canada. The agency does not have the necessary resources to go after these tax cheaters. Instead of helping Revenue Canada, the Conservatives are once again cutting its budget. The government is letting billions of dollars slip through its fingers.

Instead of cutting services, why are the Conservatives not getting tough on tax evasion?

National Revenue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General found that CRA has identified suitable methods to address filing and registration non-compliance and identified some areas for improvement. We agree with the recommendations contained in the report and we are taking steps to address the issues that have been identified.

I would also like to make the House aware that the Auditor General also stated, “The agency gets a good return on investment from this program”.

National Revenue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Hoang Mai Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, why cut funding from the agency that catches tax cheaters?

Tax cheaters cost Canadians billions. However, Conservatives are attacking the people trying to get the money back. Over the past two years, $2.8 billion was recovered from tax cheats, but more can and should be done to reverse the tax on OAS, to invest in health care and create jobs.

Instead of cuts, why will the government not invest more in CRA and help it find more tax cheats?

National Revenue
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, since 2006, the CRA has audited thousands of cases of tax evasion, identified more than $4 billion in unpaid taxes through our efforts on aggressive tax planning. This is compared with just $174 million in the final years that the Liberals were in office.

Because of the measures taken by our government, the number of Canadians coming forward with previously undisclosed assets have soared every year since we have been in office. The number of voluntary disclosures in 2011 increased by an astounding 238%.

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, so much for a jobs-based budget. The Conservatives think they are going to stimulate the economy by cutting 19,000 jobs out of the public service. The first public servants affected by these cuts will be notified today. What the government is not saying is that the cuts will also lead to the loss of 40,000 jobs in the private sector. These cuts will not only affect the national capital region, but will have a domino effect across the country.

Do the Conservatives realize that they are hurting the economy?

Employment
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2012 is our plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, keeping taxes and debt low, while returning to a balanced budget. We have found fair, balanced and moderate savings measures to reduce the deficit, which would reduce the size of the federal public service by about 4% over the next three years. Departments will be informing unions and employees about specific changes and will communicate accordingly.

A leaner, more affordable government is good for Canadian taxpayers.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives can say whatever they want, but Canadians are going to lose the services they need. We already know that the Conservatives' cuts would affect aviation safety and now food safety. These cuts would put the health and safety of Canadians at risk.

We know the consequences of the Conservative cuts at Service Canada. What other services will Canadians find are gone tomorrow? Canadians have a right to know and they need to know. What is it?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

North Vancouver
B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, budget 2012 is our government's plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Savings measures contained within the budget are modest. We will continue to improve necessary services to Canadians moving forward.

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry once and for all. This is a measure that has burdened law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters for 17 years. According to the CBC, it has cost Canadian taxpayers over $2 billion and has not stopped a single crime or saved a single life.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on the progress of ending the long gun registry? Does she have some good news for us?

Firearms Registry
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Portage—Lisgar
Manitoba

Conservative

Candice Bergen Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to report that today the Senate will vote for the last time on ending the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

We are all counting the hours until the moment comes when law-abiding Canadians will no longer have to register their long guns. We committed to Canadians that we would end the long gun registry, and they gave us the mandate to do so. We are grateful that we will be able to follow through on our commitment and end the long gun registry once and for all.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, how a four time convicted fraudster gets an all-access pass into the Prime Minister's office remains a mystery. However, we know that wherever Bruce Carson goes, he leaves a lot of ethical violations and unanswered questions.

Speaking of unanswered questions, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has been ducking some fundamental questions about his relationship with Bruce Carson. He would know that his office was at the centre of the Bruce Carson scandal.

Would the minister stop hiding behind his staffers and stand and tell the House what he is hiding about his relationship with Bruce Carson?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the member for Timmins—James Bay knows full well that this is under investigation. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for me to comment.