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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was bankruptcy.

Topics

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, at least five companies have been found to be in breach of their Technology Partnerships Canada contracts because they used lobbyists to secure grant money. The Minister of Industry is responsible for both this program and for the Lobbyists Registration Act, but he is still not going after the lobbyists to recoup the money they owe to the taxpayer.

My question is for the Minister of Industry. Has the RCMP been called in to investigate David Dingwall or any other lobbyist who has been caught in this scandal?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member knows that we have recovered the money from the companies. That is with whom we have the legal relationship. Where there are unregistered lobbyists, they have either been referred to the RCMP or to the Registrar of Lobbyists and action is taken where we can still do so, given the two year statute of limitations in the act.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister is excusing Dingwall by saying the government cannot go after lobbyists who have defrauded taxpayers through this program. It is taxpayers' money and the government has a responsibility to act. The fact is the lobbyists have kept the money.

Dingwall received $350,000 and does not have to pay it back. Another lobbyist received $3.7 million and does not have to pay it back.

Is it not true that the real reason the government is not forcing these lobbyists to pay this money back is that it is just fine with paying off its friends?

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty disgusting when those members can talk about defrauding taxpayers when in fact we have a relationship with the company and where there has been a breach of contract we are recovering the money.

It is that kind of language that brings the House into disrepute and brings the level of debate right down to the gutter.

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Bloc Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has accumulated a $4 billion surplus, at a time when there is a major shortage of social housing. I introduced a bill, which will be voted on at second reading this evening and which calls for a significant share of CMHC's surpluses to go to Quebec and the provinces to encourage the construction of social housing.

Does the government intend to support this bill?

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, CMHC belongs to the Canadian people. In fact, it belongs to the people who are able to buy homes, to build co-ops, to live in social housing. That is to whom it belongs. It does not belong to the provinces. It belongs to the people of Canada and for those who want to buy homes.

Maybe the member should support Bill C-48 which is about building more housing for social income people.

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Bloc Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister needs to stop blowing smoke. I am not talking about Monopoly money and Bill C-48. I am talking about the $4 billion in CMHC's coffers.

There are 150,000 homeless people. Does he intend to do something with real money? It is not Monopoly money.

Social HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois voted against Bill C-48 which would have helped the homeless.

In fact we have moved to have more flexibility. We have waived premiums for new home buyers. We have waived premiums for co-ops. We have waived premiums from the surpluses of CMHC. We intend to use CMHC surpluses to build housing for the people in Quebec and all across the country who need it.

International TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Boulianne Bloc Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has the right, under WTO rules, to impose safeguards to protect the clothing and textile industries from Chinese imports. It can also allow clothing made offshore with Canadian textiles to enter duty free.

Why is the government refusing to take action?

International TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. member that we are working very closely with these two industries. We are well aware of the challenges and the future prospects of these industries.

Over the past 10 years, we have invested $1.2 billion in measures to help these industries become competitive on the global market.

International TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Boulianne Bloc Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, Henri Massé, the president of the FTQ, recently denounced the loss in Quebec of 25,000 jobs in the clothing and textile industries over the past year and a half. The government is not doing anything about this, yet it has the means to do so.

Can the government explain to the thousands of workers who have lost their jobs as a result of its inaction why, when it has the power to take action, it is sitting on its hands and refusing to put safeguards in place for the clothing and textile industries, as it has the right and power to do? It is a disgrace.

International TradeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we are currently monitoring the effects of imports on the clothing and textile sectors very closely.

For the past three months we have noticed that imports have levelled off and perhaps it will stay that way. We will work very closely with both industries, as I already mentioned. That is why we gave them $1.2 billion to become more competitive.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, millions of people do not have a choice as to whether they drive their car today, but the government does have a choice. It can decide right now to quit ripping people off at the pumps with the tax on tax and the GST.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the Toronto Sun today delivered a petition with 35,000 names on it to Parliament, calling on the government to quit ripping people off at the pump. This is something that has taken $4.8 billion out of the pockets of taxpayers since 1991.

How does the government justify applying the federal GST to the federal excise tax at a time when people cannot afford to fill their gas tank?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that structure was devised in the 1980s by the Mulroney Conservative government. That is the way the GST system was originally structured.

The fact is there is no ad valorem effect that the hon. gentleman describes. There is no increased revenue from the tax on tax effect when the price actually changes.

What we have dedicated ourselves to do is to ensure that any incremental revenues that flow to the Government of Canada from the high price of energy will be returned to Canadians through the kind of initiatives we will announce tomorrow.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal energy plan lacks energy. This is a pre-election tactic that ignores, once again, the needs of average Canadians suffering the effects of higher gas prices every day.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation today submitted a petition signed by 30,000 Canadians who are calling on the government to take action.

What is the government waiting for to help the millions of average Canadians affected by the higher gas prices?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the technique proposed in the question would not go very far in alleviating the burden upon Canadians.

We have chosen a multi-pronged approach that will improve competition and transparency in the marketplace, that will improve energy efficiency and energy conservation and that will provide higher disposable incomes to those most vulnerable Canadians who need the help the most.

Government AircraftOral Question Period

October 5th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the finance minister has been using Challenger jets as his own personal taxi service. On four separate occasions Challengers flew the minister home to Regina and then returned to Ottawa empty. The minister has cost the government and the taxpayers over $250,000, all the while commercial flights were readily available.

I know that Liberals are not very popular in Saskatchewan. Is the minister so afraid of the voters that he will not even fly with them any more?

Government AircraftOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government's policy is very clear. Any use of Challenger aircraft must be approved. In each case that has happened. The Challenger aircraft are there for government business and they are only there when there is no other alternative that would allow government business to be discharged reasonably.

As far as the role of the Minister of Finance, the fact is he has saved our country millions in interest costs. He has brought forth a budget that was one of the most popular in the country. I have no difficulty defending what he has done.

Government AircraftOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government AircraftOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Perhaps we could carry on some of the conversations outside after question period, so we could get on with the business of the House. The hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London now has the floor. He wants to ask a question. We will need a little order, please.

Government AircraftOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hope he gets a little bag of nuts with that.

After revelations of abuse of the flying limos by Liberal ministers, it was stated that the luxury jets were only for pressing government business. Unfortunately for Canadian taxpayers, the pressing business of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness occurs most often in her home town of Edmonton. As Challenger jet logs show, she has used the jet to fly home at a cost of $382,000 for five flights.

Could the minister explain the pressing emergencies requiring her to leave Ottawa and return home at taxpayer expense?

Government AircraftOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has taken her job very seriously. When we think of the crises that exit out there, whether it had been the bombings in London, which were incredibly well handled by the minister when it was worried about the aftershock here, when we take a look at the responsibilities she carries as Deputy Prime Minister, every use of the Challenger by the Deputy Prime Minister is justified and according to the role.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Once again, there seem to be an inordinately large number of private conversations going on in the House. Perhaps we could cut back on the volume and number. If members wish to have these discussions, they could sit on the same side and have a chat instead of yelling across the floor.

The hon. member for Davenport has the floor for a question. The House will want to hear the question.