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House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated I am prepared to meet with the Ontario minister and his officials when they are prepared to approach this in a serious manner. This dispute is one that has taken place in the province of Ontario. It began with an Ontario company building on Ontario land with the approvals of the Ontario Municipal Board, all under Ontario law. It then became an Ontario policing issue. There is no doubt that policing is an Ontario responsibility, so Ontario will need to face up to its jurisdiction and its responsibility.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Constitution makes it perfectly clear that land claims issues are the sole responsibility of the federal government. For the last eight months, the Minister of Indian Affairs has been missing in action on the Caledonia dispute. The situation remains very tense in Caledonia. It is costly. It has been going on for far too long.

The minister committed to speeding up the land claims issue if the blockades came down. The blockades came down months ago. Why is the minister not living up to his commitment?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I can inform the House, and I think my colleague knows this, that over the course of the last five weeks I have met with Ontario's representative, Jane Stewart, a former privy councillor. I have met as well with the federal government's representative. I have sat down personally and met with Chief David General, the elected chief. I have met with their hereditary chief.

We continue to work on this issue. We are making progress at the negotiating table and part of the message that Ontario needs to receive is the seriousness of this issue. Dealing with it at the table is what has to happen, not political grandstanding.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, local residents are demanding action from the federal government and from their own member of Parliament. Despite calls from the area and the fact that the Minister of Indian Affairs hired Barbara McDougall, a former Conservative cabinet minister with no land claims experience, to handle the issue, the Conservatives pretend they should not deal with the issue.

Why does Caledonia's own member of Parliament, the member for Haldimand—Norfolk, refuse to take any action to help in the situation, despite the fact that she is the region's representative at the cabinet table?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Haldimand—Norfolk is involved in this issue. She meets with me regularly. We have complete discussions about the conduct of the file. Her thoughts on this matter guide me in the instructions that I provide to Ms. McDougall and to Mr. Doering. We will continue to work together at the negotiating table with the elected chief and the hereditary chief.

I would point out, for the assistance of my friend, that this government, myself as the minister, is the first government in Canadian history to recognize the Haudenosaunee Council and to sit down and talk to them.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Finance announced that Canada's new government would increase the age credit for seniors and allow pension income splitting. These major decisive measures will help seniors, especially those in the low and middle income tax brackets.

Can the Minister of Industry explain the details of this announcement and how it will benefit all Canadians?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by congratulating my hon. colleague, the Minister of Finance, who announced his tax fairness plan for Canadians today. This plan confirms that we have kept our Budget 2006 promise and that we have increased the basic personal exemption for seniors by $1,000 as of fiscal year 2006. Furthermore, beginning in fiscal year 2007, we will allow income splitting for seniors.

After 13 years of the Liberal Party's inaction and laissez-faire attitude, our government is recognizing its responsibilities and acting, which is something the Liberals did not do for 13 years—

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, despite the fact that the income trust announcement yesterday is a flip-flop that could only make a Liberal proud, it is an important direction for everyday working families. The finance minister has set an important precedent by closing this tax loophole. As he said yesterday, income trusts are a growing trend to corporate tax avoidance.

Considering the minister's statement, will he today commit to shutting down all loopholes in Canada's tax laws including the Barbados tax haven?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, certainly, we are interested in tax fairness as a fundamental principle and expanding the tax base. We believe, unlike the former government, that all Canadians, including corporations, should share in the tax burden fairly. That includes, legitimately I think, review of treaties with respect to taxation as well to ensure that all Canadians are accepting their fair share of the tax burden.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I remind the minister and all members that tax havens cost Canadian taxpayers billions in revenues every year.

If we look at just Barbados alone, it is hiding an estimated $23 billion annually from Canadian tax collectors. This is all at a time when we have a homelessness crisis, child and senior poverty is on the rise, aboriginal Canadians live in third world conditions, and millions of average Canadians cannot get the health care they need.

Will the government commit today to building on the income trust announcement by closing other loopholes and cracking down on tax fraud and unlawful tax avoidance?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is an important issue in terms of having fairness in the tax system. I am happy to review those issues.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, this meanspirited minority government has turned its back on vulnerable Canadians. It slashed programs that would teach people to read and write and would have provided day care spaces for our kids. Destroying their dreams was not good enough; it had to insult them too.

Yesterday, the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development said the hurt imposed by the cuts to her budget was the equivalent of having to do without a cup of coffee.

Will she apologize for her spiteful statement that demeaned the most vulnerable in our society?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the government cares about the vulnerable in our society. That is why we are spending so much money on them. However, we also have the responsibility to all Canadians to ensure that all of their dollars are well spent.

Yes, there are cuts to our programs. We are cutting programs that are not delivering results for Canadians. On a scale though, it is very small. It is two-tenths of 1%. We are going to deliver results for Canadians. We will fund programs that are good for Canadians.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Saskatchewan Literacy Network is closing its doors. Yukon is losing its literacy coalition. The Canadian Labour and Business Centre is already closed. Employment equity offices in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are closing. The 25,000 summer jobs for students are gone. Some cup of coffee.

Is the minister unaware of how hurtful her cuts are because she did not bother to consult any of these groups?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on a day when Liberal Party members are standing up defending zero taxes for big corporations and opposing income splitting and tax breaks for seniors, they should be ashamed of themselves to ask that kind of grandstanding question.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development was repeatedly asked for details about $152 million in cuts to her department. Though the cuts were announced a month ago, she was unable to identify where the cuts are to take place.

The minister has had five weeks to disclose to Canadians what programs will be cut and how Canadian lives will be affected. Does she not know what is going on in her own department, or what is she trying to hide?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to tell Canadians just what we are cutting.

We are cutting programs that were approved by the Liberals. We are cutting programs that paid $71,000 to upgrade a website. We are cutting programs where one little group paid $66,000 for travel. We are cutting programs that the Liberals brought in where an executive director made $150,000 a year. That is even more than a Liberal senator.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, at committee yesterday the minister proved that she was very good at hiding from literacy groups. When asked to list the groups with whom she widely consulted, the minister was unable to name a single literacy group.

This must come as a surprise to those in her own riding who submitted an 800-signature petition against the cuts. And what about the petition signed by a coalition of literacy groups in Quebec? Were they consulted?

Will the minister now specifically name which literacy groups she met with prior to announcing these cuts?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the government consults widely with Canadians, but I want to list, on this first anniversary of the Gomery report, some of the people we do not consult with.

We do not consult with people by the name of Ouellet, of Dingwall, of Corriveau, or of Brault. We do not consult with people named Gagliano. We do not consult with people who put $7,000 of cash in envelopes on restaurant tables.

We hear the quieter voices of hard-working middle class taxpayers, and that is whom we will always listen to.

AgricultureOral Questions

November 1st, 2006 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec said he is very worried about the attitude of the government, which, along with the Europeans and the Americans, is questioning the very existence of the Canadian Wheat Board. He said he is dismayed that farmers are having their collective marketing tools taken away from them.

Will the minister admit that this attack on the Canadian Wheat Board leaves the door wide open to another similar attack on supply management?

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what we are doing, of course, is moving ahead with our campaign promise to a allow marketing choice for western Canadian farmers who want to have a chance to market their own products in a marketing choice world. That was a campaign promise, as was our support for the supply management system. We supported it during the campaign; we supported it at Geneva and international conferences. It receives the full support of this government.

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I invite the minister to read the latest editorial in La Terre de chez nous to get some idea of our concerns in Quebec.

The Canadian Wheat Board and supply management are based on the same principle. They are both collective marketing strategies.

I would like the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to explain to me how he can say he does not question supply management, while he does question the existence of the Canadian Wheat Board.

AgricultureOral Questions

3 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what we will be asking western Canadian farmers in this plebiscite is whether they want the same freedom of choice that Quebec farmers have to market their grain. It is no different. We are not going to ask them to do something we would not ask of or is not already available for farmers in Quebec. It will be a clear question on barley. We think farmers want to have that question put to them. There was certainly a demand by the opposition. We will have a plebiscite on that. I hope that farmers will decide to move forward on marketing choice on barley.

We said during the election that we would give them choice. We said that we would move on behalf of them. We are moving on behalf of farm families in Canada.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, Hayder Kadhim, a victim of the Dawson College shooting, said that when he awoke from his coma he was devastated to learn three things: one, his friend Anastasia was dead; two, he would have to live with bullets in his head; and three, his own Prime Minister was going to eliminate the gun registry. Hayder's question to the Prime Minister is, “I want him to explain to me why he wants to dismantle a gun registry proven to have saved many lives and which now costs next to nothing to maintain”.