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House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was barbados.

Topics

David DingwallOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, from Dingwall to stonewall; the minister should flip the tape.

Let us recap the Ding-gate affair: ex-Liberal cabinet minister, illegal lobbyist, architect of the sponsorship program, expense account abuser, quit a patronage appointment at the Mint in disgrace. For this the government says that he deserves a big fat payoff, courtesy of hardworking taxpayers. His Liberal colleagues are scattering like headless turkeys before Thanksgiving, but even most Liberals are now demanding that the reward for quitting be abandoned. The member for Parkdale--High Park says it destroys their credibility.

Just who is insisting on the payoff? Is it Dingwall himself, or a nervous Prime Minister who sat with him in cabinet when they designed the sponsorship program?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

David DingwallOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. minister has the floor to give his answer. Order.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we will pay Mr. Dingwall only what legal counsel advises us we must. There is currently an independent audit re-examining his expenses under way. Further, should any discrepancies be uncovered by the audit, the government will insist upon a dollar for dollar repayment to the treasury.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board increased the per kilometre travel allowance for parliamentarians and public servants in order to offset the impact of the gas crisis. But clearly, many people were left out of the aid package announced by the federal government, such as taxi drivers who are also hard hit by this crisis.

Does the Prime Minister intend to help taxi drivers, as he did parliamentarians and federal public servants?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is of course a full GST rebate with respect to small businesses.

Further, I indicated this morning that while in the package we have announced today we have been able to address some of the most vulnerable in our society, we are more broadly concerned about the level of disposable incomes in Canada and we intend to take further action with respect to that.

On the matter of the mileage, I can tell the hon. member that with respect to all taxpayers, the Department of Finance examines the amount that businesses and business owners are allowed to deduct for mileage every year. We adjust that amount on an annual basis. That normally happens in December. I have asked my officials to do it within the next couple of weeks.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, although the Quebec government is giving taxi drivers a $500 tax credit, the federal government continues to refuse to introduce a similar tax measure.

Why is the minister refusing to follow the example set by the Government of Quebec and give taxi drivers a tax credit?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has raised an important point.

The provinces do have jurisdictional responsibility with respect to income support matters and with respect to energy matters. In many ways these are shared responsibilities and we welcome all the initiatives the provinces are intending to take to build upon the federal initiatives that we have taken.

We would specifically invite the provinces, on any income support payments paid by the Government of Canada, not in any way to claw any of that back.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's decision to implement measures in order to offset the fuel crisis, while inspired by the plan presented by the Bloc, falls short of our expectations. The government's plan does nothing for childless couples, single people under the age of 65 and a number of groups hard hit by the fuel crisis.

For example, since there has been a direct impact on farmers and since this increase in gasoline prices will cost farmers over $250 million, does the government intend to offer them specific aid or are they being left to their own devices?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Agriculture has pointed out on a number of occasions, there are support systems in place with respect to agriculture, which the Government of Canada is always looking to improve and to strengthen.

There are of course the full GST rebates that are available for all businesses in the country. As I said this morning, beyond this initial package with respect to energy and the impact that has on disposable incomes, we are looking for a broader range of ways in which we can assist disposable incomes of all Canadians. There will be some important news on that tomorrow.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, apparently, as far as I can see, there is nothing new for farmers.

Independent truckers, whose profit margins were already very small before the surge in prices, are now in dire financial straits. How can the government justify the fact that there is nothing in its aid package for them, when they are among those hardest hit by the increase in gasoline prices?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what we put before the House today in the new legislation is a package that amounts to $2.4 billion. That is a significant contribution to try to relieve some of the pressure of higher energy costs.

We are focused upon the most vulnerable where we have the delivery platforms already in place, in terms of the national child tax benefit and the GIS supplement for seniors.

We invite the provinces to participate with us. We are glad to hear that some provinces are willing to do that. As I said, we are looking for other ways in which we can improve the disposable incomes of Canadians and we will do that.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister is in New York today giving another speech. In fact, all this Prime Minister does is talk. There is nothing that makes him happier than sounding like he is about to act.

NAFTA ruled four months ago. Why in those four months has Canada done nothing to protect our jobs and businesses from George Bush's attacks? What good is another speech when everyone knows this Prime Minister does not have the gumption to stand up for this country, for jobs and for workers? What good is another speech?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is addressing the Economic Club of New York this evening. He has a number of very important meetings.

It is absolutely essential that our Prime Minister travel this world and carry the Canadian message. In terms of trade, it is a great story to tell. In terms of the NAFTA itself, the United States must respect the terms of the NAFTA. This is one of the messages he will be taking to the United States.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think it is safe to say George Bush will not be listening because he knows that this Prime Minister is all talk and no action.

I would now like to ask the immigration minister a question. When a relative who lives abroad tries to visit family in Canada, there are unbelievable delays and frustrations, yet when Martha Stewart gets out of jail and decides to race pumpkins in Canada, she gets her visa in record time.

Does this minister have any idea why people are so angry when they have to wait months to see law-abiding grandma while Liberals brag about how fast they will let a convicted felon in? This is not “a good thing”.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

What is a good thing, Mr. Speaker, is the fact that we have already moved on measures to improve the way that people can come into this country.

I am really surprised that the member from Vancouver has something against the Children's Wish Foundation and the good people of Windsor, Nova Scotia, who have invited someone to come and participate in a fundraising exercise for the benefit of the larger community. Is she objecting to that?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has failed to produce a single shred of evidence for a Dingwall payoff. There is no contract, no law and no legal brief, and yet he continues to persuade Canadians that there is a legal obligation there.

Let me quote the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development. It has an online Q and A pamphlet advising Canadians of their rights on termination. It asks, does this mean that an employee who quits or otherwise terminates his or her own employment is entitled to severance? The answer is no.

Let me ask the human resources minister to assure the House that she will brief the Prime Minister on this issue.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we will pay Mr. Dingwall only what legal counsel advises us we must. There is currently an independent audit—

David DingwallOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

David DingwallOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Minister of National Revenue has risen to answer the question that the member for Portage—Lisgar asked. How is he going to be able to ask a supplementary if he cannot hear the answer? The House has to be able to hear the answer. The Minister of National Revenue has the floor.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, there is currently an independent audit re-examining his expenses under way. Furthermore, should any discrepancies be uncovered by the audit, the government will insist upon a dollar for dollar repayment to the treasury.

David DingwallOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, they are both fantasies, but I like Harry Potter better.

Why do this minister and this government continue to try to defend the indefensible? Holy sinking ships.

We see it. Canadians see it. Even Liberal members see it now. The member for Whitby—Oshawa says “it destroys our credibility”. The labour minister says, “I'm ticked off...Give me a break. This is ridiculous”.

That is right. We agree and so do the members on the other side of the House, so why does this Prime Minister not give us all a break, say yes to Canadians, yes to the opposition's demands, yes to his own colleagues, and just say no to David Dingwall?

David DingwallOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we will pay Mr. Dingwall only what legal counsel advises us we must. There is currently an independent audit re-examining his expenses under way. Further, should any discrepancies be uncovered by the audit, the government will insist upon a dollar for dollar repayment to the treasury.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

October 6th, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is pretty pathetic.

Average Canadians are having great difficulty coping with the soaring gasoline prices. The government has done nothing to lower gasoline prices or gasoline taxes, but today it decided to increase the mileage rates for public servants and politicians.

Why is the government increasing these mileage rates for public servants and politicians? Why does it have the wrong priorities which do not reflect the real priorities—

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. President of the Treasury Board.