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House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-27.

Topics

Business Development Bank of CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP has failed to confirm the Prime Minister's allegations that a document showing him in direct financial conflict of interest was indeed a forgery. Some of the best forensic investigators in the country have refused to endorse our Prime Minister's story. The cloud of suspicion continues to hang over the Prime Minister. What will the Prime Minister do? How will he clear his name?

Business Development Bank of CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the suspicion and the clouds are obviously only in the mind of my hon. friend.

The Prime Minister's Office, the Prime Minister and the Business Development Bank of Canada say this document is a forgery. This document was in the files of the Business Development Bank of Canada. When the document came to light it was turned over to the mounted police, who are investigating.

My hon. friend ought to get a fan to blow the cloud of fog away. He is the one who is in a daze, not the Prime Minister.

Business Development Bank of CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Business Development Bank of Canada have worked for the past eight months to prove to the RCMP that indeed the document was a forgery. They have been unable to convince the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Will the Prime Minister admit either that he was in a conflict of interest or bring forward the necessary documents that will prove his version of the story?

Business Development Bank of CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is one of the basic principles of Canadian and British justice that those who assert must prove. It is not up to the Prime Minister to prove that he was acting in the right way, although in fact he was. It is up to the hon. member and those who have these fanciful, wrong allegations to bring forward their evidence.

The hon. member is wrong. The RCMP has not found any wrongdoing. The member ought to withdraw his unwarranted assertions if he has any decency at all.

Tax ConventionsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the auditor general, while the government is depriving 270,000 of the most disadvantaged members of our society of $3.2 billion, Canada is maintaining its tax convention with Barbados so that 53 of the richest members of our society can claim more than $800 million in capital gains deductions.

Will the government listen to the demands of the auditor general, which echo those of the Bloc Quebecois, and end its tax convention with Barbados?

Tax ConventionsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, we have more than 70 such conventions, the purpose of which is to prevent double taxation.

What the auditor general basically says in her report is that we did intervene. We were vigilant. She even mentioned certain cases where our intervention produced extremely good results. She also admits that when we had to amend the legislation in the past, we did so.

In this case, if we must intervene to amend the convention or the legislation, we will do so to protect our tax base, as we normally do.

Tax ConventionsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not possible to avoid double taxation with Barbados since the rate of taxation there is zero, by the way.

While the Minister of Finance merrily helps himself to the money in the EI fund, while the government is depriving seniors of $3.2 billion, this same minister is encouraging people to avail themselves of the tax convention with Barbados, which is a boon to eight of the eleven subsidiaries of his own shipping company.

My question for the Prime Minister is this: Is this not a real conflict of interest?

Tax ConventionsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this sort of personal accusation is inappropriate in the House of Commons. The Minister of Finance placed all his assets in a trust when he took up his job. He has served the country very well.

This sort of attack shows only too well how desperate the opposition parties are.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the sole purpose of Hamas is to destroy Israel. The organization uses charitable work as a public relations tool to recruit members, to generate sympathy for its terrorist cause and to even run kindergartens for terrorists. The Prime Minister says that is okay, but Canadians know it is not okay. Canadians are puzzled and in disbelief at the Prime Minister's lack of resolve in the war against terrorism.

The Canadian Alliance wants to shut down terrorist organizations. Why does the Prime Minister insist on giving them tax receipts?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, Canada condemns all terrorist acts and any organization that supports terrorists. Like the British, we added the military ring of Hamas to those groups with assets that were frozen in Canada. We will continue to take any appropriate action.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to seeing tax breaks for terrorists in red book four. It will be a good plank for members opposite.

Yesterday the Prime Minister refused to condemn Yasser Arafat for condoning terrorism and harbouring terrorists. Today in Geneva, a one-sided United Nations declaration singling out Israel for censure was passed. Sadly the government supported that resolution. This spineless position will allow opponents of peace to undermine the bilateral peace process. It will be used by terrorist groups to legitimize their attacks against Israeli civilians and it will jeopardize Canadian neutrality.

Is that what the Liberals mean by a balanced approach?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we were present but some decided not to be there. We believe in the policy of being present. Our representative there made it clear that the resolution, as far as it concerned Israel, was completely unacceptable. We believe it is better to be present and speak than not to be there and let the resolution go without anybody talking against it.

VolunteersOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of Treasury Board. Today is International Volunteer Day, the closing day of the United Nations International Year of Volunteers

What has the Government of Canada done to fulfill its commitments made in the 1999 Speech from the Throne to improve relations with volunteers and the community sector?

VolunteersOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Prime Minister of Canada signed an accord with the volunteer sector and announced funding of $50 million over five years for the Canada volunteerism initiative.

This accord will help enhance our relationship with the volunteer sector, a relationship of co-operation, trust and partnership.

We all value the contribution of volunteers in our communities. I would encourage all members of parliament to volunteer themselves and to support voluntary organizations in their communities.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

December 5th, 2001 / 3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the transport minister and the government, Air Canada has a virtual monopoly on air service in this country on the domestic side. In response, the transport minister said yesterday “It is untenable from the point of view of government and parliament; I would suspect it is untenable from the point of view of the public who want a choice”. His policy to back up that statement and the idea that he floated yesterday was that Air Canada should be given a monopoly for domestic service on major routes.

Why is it untenable for Air Canada to have 85% of the market, but the government now supports giving it 100% of the domestic service in this country? How does that work?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am getting used to the hon. member uttering false statements in his questions.

The fact of the matter is that the policy of the government, endorsed by his party in the year 2000, was working before September 11. On September 11 there was an incident which caused grave harm to the airline industry not just in Canada but around the world. I would hope that he would work with us to try to find a solution instead of making those false accusations in the House.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, part of the solution is certainly going to be a new transport minister, which is something the government will not agree with.

The transport minister, rather than blaming September 11 which his government does for everything, needs to look in the mirror and blame himself. He gave $100 million to Air Canada for its out of pocket costs. It took that money, launched Air Canada Tango and knifed Canada 3000 out of business.

It is because of the transport minister and the government that airline competition is dead in two-thirds of the country. Why does the government not take responsibility for its own actions in the death of competition in our skies?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, one would think the member would be on his feet praising the government for bringing in tougher measures with respect to the Competition Act, to allow airlines like WestJet from western Canada to come into eastern Canada and give the service that people deserve.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the fine words of the Minister of Transport concerning the respect of the Official Languages Act by Air Canada, the government set us straight yesterday with the statement that there is no specific penalty relating to non-compliance with this legislation.

Does the Minister of Transport not agree that, in actual fact, there is no political will to enforce the law and that this situation will have to change if there is any real desire to protect French, in particular its use on Air Canada?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Air Canada is required by law to comply with the Official Languages Act. This is not negotiable. Thanks to the determination of the Joint Committee on Official Languages, the President of Air Canada has said that he would have an action plan in place for March and has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Commissioner of Official Languages to ensure, in conjunction with the unions, that complaints are handled better.

The government is determined to keep close tabs on the reorganization of Air Canada from the official languages point of view.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the amount of energy generated by renewable low impact sources, such as water, wind, solar, biogas, biomass and others is increasing every year in Canada. National associations have asked the federal government for a certification program to identify power generated from renewable energy sources.

Could the minister tell the House what the government is doing to help consumers identify eco-friendly power?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the government supports the development of renewable and environmentally sound alternatives to power generation. The new guidelines will be released on December 8. They will establish criteria for the certification and the licensing of renewable low impact energy. That will further encourage the diversity in the marketplace and, of course, renewable, low impact energy sources.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, well, it is hurrah for Hollywood. It fooled this government, but it certainly did not fool the auditor general. She says that the revenue minister turns a blind eye while American millionaire movie stars evade paying millions of dollars in Canadian income taxes.

With the government there is no money for troops, no money for health care, there are billions for boondoggles, but it forgives taxes for Hollywood movie stars.

It took until this June to finally close that loophole, but the question is this. When will the government bring the curtain down further on all waste and mismanagement?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, that problem was there and has been there for decades. That problem was there when the Conservative government was in power back in the 1980s. It closed its eyes on that problem, which affected our tax base.

We on this side of the government have been able to fix the problem in consultation with the finance department and the whole industry. Actually, those people will have to pay their dues to Canadian society.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among parties in the House and I believe, if you would seek it, you would find unanimous consent to put to the House and immediately vote on the ways and means Motion No. 11.