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House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

David DingwallOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

I do not know what the hon. member said but it sounded to me like cookie stuffing or something. I was not sure what he was referring to. Maybe it was turkey. If it was perhaps it is more seasonal, but even with that we do not need to go into this kind of description of the minister's abilities.

The hon. member for Central Nova has the floor to ask a question and I would invite him to move on with that.

David DingwallOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian public is not buying all of what he is saying because based on legal advice the government does not have to pay David Dingwall for quitting his job. With no contract, no law or a legal opinion requiring payment, the government should simply do the right thing and not give David Dingwall anything.

When will the Prime Minister just admit that what he is trying to do is keep David Dingwall and keep all of those ad scam skeletons in the closet? Why does he not just do the right thing and say no to David Dingwall and yes to Canadian taxpayers?

David DingwallOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman knows that Mr. Dingwall's expenses are being examined very carefully and we will receive that report in due course.

I wonder if we should also have an examination of the expenditures of Conservative candidates like John Baird and Jim Flaherty who continue to draw salaries from Ontario taxpayers while campaigning for the federal Conservative Party. Maybe that should be investigated.

David DingwallOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, continuing on the Dingwall mess, I think Canadians deserve better than hearing the Minister of National Revenue repeat the same thing over and over. He has been telling the House all week that he has been getting legal advice that when one voluntarily quits one's job that somehow one deserves a payoff. That is ridiculous.

Let me make a suggestion to the minister. First, why not fire the firm that is giving him that kind of ridiculous advice and finally do the right thing, give the money back to Canadians and stick up for Canadians instead of his Liberal crony friends?

David DingwallOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the government will pay to Mr. Dingwall only what legal counsel advises us we must. There is currently an independent audit ongoing and to the extent that any expenses charged by Mr. Dingwall are found to be inappropriate, I can assure the House that those moneys will be recovered dollar for dollar.

David DingwallOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Get better legal advice. Mr. Speaker, we have heard again and again from the Minister of National Revenue.

My question though is for the Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal. She has been listening to this nonsense all week and she is disgusted, as Canadians are, by the answers of her colleagues. Is that right? I bet she is.

David DingwallOral Questions

11:20 a.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. I would inform the House that there is an audit process ongoing by PricewaterhouseCoopers and to the extent it finds any of those expenses claimed inappropriate, then those moneys will be recovered from Mr. Dingwall, dollar for dollar.

Budget SurplusOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is preparing to introduce a bill setting out how surpluses will be used. Although we agree with this principle, which the Bloc Québécois itself had proposed on numerous occasions, we have questions about the way this bill will allocate the surplus.

Would it not have been more logical for the Minister of Finance to allocate, in the bill, the majority of his surplus to resolving the fiscal imbalance, by giving Quebec and the provinces access to the surplus funds so they can determine their own priorities and their own needs in their own areas of jurisdiction?

Budget SurplusOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should perhaps wait for the legislation which has not yet been tabled and, as you know under the rules of this House, I cannot anticipate that legislation.

However, I would point out that the government has followed over the last number of years a very considered policy to pay down debt, to reduce taxes, and to invest in the most important priorities of Canadians which include areas such as health care and education which are of interest as well to the provinces.

Budget SurplusOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, no matter what the Minister of Finance says, the lion's share will still go to paying down the debt, because $3 billion has been hidden in the contingency reserve which, in both good times and bad, goes directly toward paying down the debt. Once again, why is the minister refusing to attack the fiscal imbalance since his surpluses prove year after year that taxes are too high compared to the federal government's obligations?

Budget SurplusOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member seems to question the fiscal prudence of the Government of Canada.

I would point out to her that fiscal prudence, balanced budgets, surpluses and debt reduction have resulted in this country achieving a triple A credit rating. That translates into the lowest possible interest rates and across the board savings for every Canadian borrower including individual consumers, businesses, municipalities, the Government of Canada, and every province and territory in this country.

Budget SurplusOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 28, the Conference Board stated that the federal surplus should be around $10 billion or $12 billion this year and that it will greatly exceed this amount over the next few years. Once again, this is proof that the money is in Ottawa while Quebec and the provinces require additional resources in order to provide the public with services they need.

Will the Minister of Finance admit that it is high time to sit down with Quebec and the provinces in order to review the division of tax fields, so that they can have the resources they need to fulfill their fundamental mandate, specifically in the areas of health care, post-secondary education and support for the most vulnerable individuals in our society?

Budget SurplusOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would point out that 7 of the 10 provinces are currently reporting their own surpluses. Thanks to federal fiscal responsibility, the accumulated federal debt is coming down. However, I would point out that it remains almost twice as large as all the combined provincial and territorial debt taken together.

In this last year federal transfers to the provinces have reached an all-time record high, and on top of that, we have announced in the House increases over the next 10 years that will amount to $100 billion more.

Budget SurplusOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and the provinces are unanimous in demanding a substantial increase in federal transfers for colleges and universities. Again yesterday, the premiers reiterated this demand. When will the federal government recognize that it can more than adequately resolve the fiscal imbalance by transferring tax fields to Quebec and the provinces?

Budget SurplusOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is very proud to be investing in the learning and innovation systems of this country. That is extremely important to the future of every Canadian.

We provide $2.1 billion in cash transfers through the CST. We provide $1.7 billion in the transfer of tax points. We provide $600 million through the equalization system. We provide $5 billion in direct federal contributions in student aid, research and development and tax measures, plus early learning and child care, literacy, workplace training, immigration settlement, foreign credentials and aboriginal investments.

We are supporting--

Budget SurplusOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Vancouver East.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the trade minister.

The NDP has long called for linking energy with softwood so that Canada can protect our jobs and businesses from George Bush's attack.

Is it now government policy that Canada will link energy with softwood and have we told the Bush administration that Canada is prepared to do that or was the Prime Minister's speech yesterday just another in the endless list of tough sounding puff? Quite simply, what specific response do we have today that we did not have four months ago?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's message yesterday in New York was very clear. All countries must live up to their international agreements. The duties on softwood must be refunded and free trade must be fair trade.

The Prime Minister did not make a linkage between softwood and energy, but he did make the point that NAFTA itself is drawn into question when NAFTA's rules are obviously ignored. Energy is a part of NAFTA. That is a fact, just as market opportunities in China and India are a fact.

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the speech was not worth the paper it was written on because we have heard it so many times before with no action.

Similarly, that is the case with the unemployment figures that came out today. There were 8,000 more jobs lost in the month September in manufacturing and thousands of those were within the auto sector.

We have been asking the government, literally for years, for an auto policy. Where is it?

Automobile IndustryOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian auto industry is competing and succeeding globally because the government has been investing in the Canadian auto industry, and the benefits for that auto industry are in fact spread across the country.

We are working to develop a better Canadian auto strategy. The government and the industry minister are absolutely focused on making that happen. I am proud to be part of a government that is making the investments in the future of our country and in an auto industry that is a world beater.

Home Heating PricesOral Questions

October 7th, 2005 / 11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, this week the Liberal government came up with yet another pre-election gimmick. The last time the Liberals tried something like this, criminals in prison and deceased individuals received cheques.

This time the Liberal scheme leaves out 90% of Canadians. All Canadians need relief from the high cost of fuel. Why does this scheme leave most Canadians out in the cold?

Home Heating PricesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our plan involves $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion. That is obviously a significant amount of relief. We have invested primarily in the most vulnerable of our citizens, those citizens for whom we have a delivery responsibility in terms of the social services programs through the guaranteed income supplement and the national child benefit.

We invite the provinces to participate with us which some have indicated they intend to do. As I indicated on other occasions, there will be other measures taken by the government to improve the disposable incomes of all Canadians.

Home Heating PricesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government was quick to provide relief for politicians and Ottawa bureaucrats, but it continues to ignore the rest of Canada. The government is experiencing a revenue windfall on the backs of hard working Canadians. Will it do the right thing for once and provide GST relief on the high cost of fuel?

Home Heating PricesOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, criticism is fair enough, but I think the hon. gentleman should be careful with his facts. The mileage allowances that were discussed yesterday were in fact as a result of an automatic process quite independent from the government and over which the government had no discretion.

The deputy government House leader has indicated that he intends to take the portion of that, the part relating to politicians, before the Board of Internal Economy which, Mr. Speaker, you chair. All members of the House can then exercise their judgment on whether that is appropriate or not.

In addition to that, there is an income tax mileage allowance adjustment that the Government of Canada deals with, and we will be raising that allowance.

Technology Partnerships CanadaOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been over a year since the government ordered an audit of Technology Partnerships Canada and we still have no answers. The government told us that 11 of the 33 audits completed showed that $2.4 million was illegally paid out to lobbyists. Yet the government refuses to reveal the names of those involved in these illegal payouts.

When will the government tell this House who was involved in these 11 illegal payouts?