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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

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, driving people to despair is no way to make friends. The Prime Minister said that income trusts were here for good. He said over and over again that he would preserve income trusts and that he would never impose new taxes on them.

People believed him. They invested their savings based on the Prime Minister's word.

How can he justify his disdain toward those who believed him?

How can he justify the losses caused by his false promises?

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition and his party have a choice. They should support income splitting for pensioners, they should support higher income for seniors and they should support fair taxes for large corporations.

It is up to them. We have made our choice and we do not have to explain it to the RCMP.

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the last election, the Conservative Party lied to retired Canadians, to widows and to grandmothers and the consequences are enormous.

Canadians invested in good faith in income trusts in order to make their savings grow, so that, when they retire, they can spoil their grandchildren, pay for drugs and even pay the rent.

How dare the Prime Minister allow his Minister of Finance to do the exact opposite of what was written in black and white in his campaign platform?

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in response to the member's comments, I am pleased to inform her that there is substantial provincial support for this initiative, including by the minister of finance of the province of Quebec with whom I spoke last evening.

This is an issue of national importance, not only with respect to the Government of Canada but also with respect to the provinces. It is a question of tax fairness. Should corporations pay their fair share of taxes in Canada or should we shift the balance more and more onto individual taxpayers?

It is an issue--

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie.

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance was like a bull in a china shop with his announcement yesterday of radical tax changes for income trusts. Today, people are watching their savings melt like snow on a sunny day as the stock market plummets.

Does the Prime Minister realize that many Canadians now have to think about working a few extra years to compensate for their losses on the stock market, for which he is responsible?

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it has been said:

The fact of the matter is this is an important public policy question. It has to do with revenue to all governments, including the provinces. It has to do with fairness in the business system of this country, and it has to do with productivity and growth for the future. We would like to get the policy right for the long term....

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

An hon. member

Who said that?

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Conservative Whitby—Oshawa, ON

I did not say that. It was the member for Wascana in this House on September 27, 2005.

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie has the floor and we need order.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, a former World Bank economist stated that climate change will have disastrous consequences and will cost the world $7 trillion. By signing the Kyoto protocol, 164 nations recognized that we must act now. Meanwhile, the government has done its best to renege on its commitments and introduce a bill designed to please its friends, the oil companies.

How can the Prime Minister have the nerve to send his environment minister to co-chair an international climate change conference with the goal of destroying the Kyoto protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc leader has changed his mind. First he insisted on our participation in the Kyoto protocol, and now, he does not want us to be there. It is the responsibility of this government and the minister to be in Nairobi, and we will be there. I would add that our plan includes mandatory targets for all industries, including the oil industry.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I agree with Greenpeace, the David Suzuki Foundation, astrophysicist Hubert Reeves, and the Canadian Auto Workers, who have all criticized the lack of a real plan to fight climate change.

Given that the United Kingdom and Germany have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 14% and 17% respectively, what credibility will the Minister of the Environment have as co-chair of an international climate change conference?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it would be irresponsible not to attend the conference. That is why the minister will be there.

I should note that last weekend, Mr. Boisclair said that he wanted a mandatory clean air strategy for Quebec. The federal government is providing that strategy. He should talk to the leader of the Parti Québécois.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of the Environment was counselling Alberta, the fiefdom of oil companies, Quebec for its part was rolling up its sleeves and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

How can the minister oppose the Quebec plan when, to date, Quebec has the best record in Canada for greenhouse gas emission reductions?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have always supported Quebec's green plan, but we must do more than just propose incentives and voluntary measures. We believe that corrective measures and penalties are needed in order to obtain tangible results from industries. For that reason we have adopted a strict national regulatory framework for all major industries.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is rather ironic that the Montreal Exchange has reminded the government—formed by a party that says it is in favour of the free market—that the absence of specific targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases makes it impossible to set the price per tonne of CO2 and is compromising the launch of the Montreal Climate Exchange.

Does the minister realize that her approach is detrimental not only to the natural environment but also to the economic environment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we met with the promoters of the Montreal carbon exchange. In order for this market to be truly effective and flexible, it requires the support of the House for the clean air act. This legislation will establish the responsibilities and the review required to obtain real reductions.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the threat of climate change is the number one challenge facing everyday Canadians and we as parliamentarians have a responsibility to act on the matter and to act immediately.

Will the Prime Minister confirm today, for this House and all Canadians, that the standoff has come to an end and that the clean air act will be sent to a special legislative committee prior to second reading so that Parliament can get on with the job of reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and get some results for Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I would characterize anything here as a standoff. The leader of the NDP asked me in my office yesterday if the government would put this bill to a committee before second reading and I told him that was under consideration. I called him 20 minutes later after consulting my colleagues to confirm that we were willing to do that. The House leader will consult with the House leaders of the other parties on the best way to proceed.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is very important that we reach an agreement on this issue as soon as possible and that the legislative committee be put in place. I am asking the Prime Minister to state that he will take these considerations seriously and implement a constructive approach.

I am asking the Prime Minister, whether he is serious or not, to change direction and take a positive approach in order to achieve concrete results in the fight against climate change.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader has again asked me to refer Bill C-30 to a committee before second reading. We are prepared to do so, and I hope that the opposition will contribute positive and constructive ideas to such a process.

The NDP leader has tried to do that with a private member's bill, and I am waiting for members of the other opposition parties to do the same. When criticizing a plan, it is important to have a plan of one's own.

Income TrustsOral Questions

November 1st, 2006 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Canadian seniors and other investors, as a consequence of the government's broken promise, saw $25 billion of their hard-earned savings go up in smoke in two hours of trading. In comparison, the government's pathetically small tax relief is $1 billion over a whole year.

With the loss in two hours of trading 25 times bigger than the tax relief that the government is providing, how can the government claim that this day of infamy, this black Wednesday, is anything other than a total disaster for those who--

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!