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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-7.

Topics

Economic StatementOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, these cuts will help companies, and they will help every individual and every family in this country. In fact, proportionally and percentage-wise, the cuts are higher for families and individuals than for companies. The cuts are also higher for the lowest-income Canadians.

Both the New Democratic Party and the silent Liberal Party are in favour of raising taxes. We are in favour of lowering them.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that the police have obtained documentary evidence indicating a meeting took place between the Ottawa mayor, Larry O'Brien, and the environment minister just before the last municipal election. That is when it is alleged that Mr. O'Brien was negotiating a parole board appointment in exchange for Terry Kilrea leaving the mayoralty race.

The minister denied the meeting and, guess what? He forgot to mention it when he was interviewed by the police. However, now there are documents that indicate otherwise.

When will he come clean?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. government House leader.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I am sure the hon. government House leader appreciates the enthusiasm with which his answer is about to be greeted but he has the floor and we need to be able to hear what he has to say. I cannot hear a word.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has been fully helpful in volunteering information to the authorities for their investigation. Nobody has ever suggested that he did anything improper. In fact, that is what the record shows clearly.

If the member is suggesting otherwise, she might want to take that allegation outside the House. However, she might want to consult a really good lawyer before she does because the record is clear. There were never any appointments offered, never any appointments entertained and never any appointments given.

What the Liberals consider a scandal is not making a patronage appointment.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Ottawa Citizen seems to think otherwise.

When the minister was questioned by the police on May 4, he mentioned telephone conversations with Mr. O'Brien, but he said nothing about their meetings in person. That is not considered cooperating with the police. Rather, it is considered a lack of transparency in a police investigation.

Could the minister tell us whether he was questioned again by the police after May 4, 2007?

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the minister has always fully cooperated and the Ottawa Citizen has made no such allegation. In fact, the Ottawa Citizen has verified that no appointment was ever offered by the minister and none was ever considered.

However, while I am on my feet here, and I have answered this question many times, I will observe this. In the last election, we ran on a campaign slogan of “Stand up for Canada”. In the next election, we will hear the Liberal slogan “Sit Down for Canada”.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems intent on dodging questions about this police probe, so perhaps he will answer this.

The environment commissioner's report exposes the government's refusal to take concrete action on any environmental front. The commissioner said that its strategy on sustainable development is “woefully lacking; no goals, no timelines”. Some strategy.

For 10 months now, the minister has been talking about taking action when all Canadians have seen is a lot of hot air. When will he stop masquerading as a climate change crusader?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, in the report yesterday, was very clear that the sustainable development strategies first introduced by the Liberal government in 1995 were never followed and were never done adequately.

I can only clean up so many Liberal messes at a time. The Liberals had 13 years of creating messes. At least give us 13 months for this minister to try to clean up some of their messes.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister handed the sustainable development file over to a committee of deputy ministers. And over the last year, this committee has not once addressed the issue.

Everywhere we look, we see the government making misleading public statements about the environment, but in private, it undermines any efforts to make progress.

When will the government stop hiding its true environmental agenda?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government and all of us on this side of the House are prepared to stand up for Canada and stand up for the environment. That is something we have not seen very often from members opposite.

Let us look at some recent reports by the commissioner. In 1998, “The federal government is failing to meet its policy commitments”. In 2002, “The federal government's sustainable development deficit is continuing to grow”. In 2005, “When it comes to protecting the environment, bold announcements are often made and then forgotten”.

That is the sad legacy left by the Liberal Party. We are working hard to clean up the mess. We believe we can get real results from the environment and we are delivering the goods to Canadians.

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this economic statement, the Conservative government left out a number of people: the workers in the manufacturing sector who have lost their jobs or who are in danger of losing them. Instead of helping the manufacturing industry, this government has chosen to abandon it.

In fact, the only ones they are helping are their friends the oil companies. A tax cut is great when you are paying taxes, but not when you are not turning a profit, as is the case with the manufacturing sector.

Does the government realize that the Quebec economy needs tangible, direct help for the manufacturing industry, as recommended by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology?

Manufacturing IndustryOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

In fact, Mr. Speaker, the province of Quebec has been one of the leading generators of new jobs in 2007. However, about the manufacturing sector, it is said best by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. Yesterday it said:

The reduction in the federal corporate tax rate is an extremely important step in sustaining Canada’s ability to retain and attract business investment. It keeps us in the game...[and] is important to the long-term competitiveness of the Canadian economy.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was nice of the Conservatives to acknowledge in the Speech from the Throne that there is a forestry crisis, but the fact remains that they are doing nothing about it. There was nothing in yesterday's economic statement to help this industry and the communities hard hit by the closures and layoffs. The government's answer to the workers is, “Wait for the next budget”, but they need help right now.

When will the government take action to help the forestry industry? Does it realize that lowering the GST by one per cent is meaningless to someone with no income to spend, and that cutting taxes will do nothing to reopen a plant that was not making a profit anyway?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. When we took office, immediately in our very first budget we committed $400 million to help the forestry sector across Canada: $72.5 million for targeted initiative to help older workers; $70 million to promote innovation; $40 million to expand market opportunities. The list goes on and on.

We are working with the industry. Members can listen to the Forest Products Association of Canada, which endorses our approach completely.

Again, there is another commitment in the throne speech where we recognize the troubles this industry is having. We are committed to working with it through this difficult time.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the economic statement demonstrates, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we still have a fiscal imbalance and that the federal government brings in far too much revenue in relation to its responsibilities. With surpluses expected to reach $100 billion over five years, the Conservative government had the flexibility to create, in a coordinated way, the tax room that Quebec so desperately needs to fulfill its responsibilities.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, once again yesterday, he reneged on his promise to Quebeckers to correct the fiscal imbalance once and for all?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we kept our word by cutting taxes, beginning with the GST. The Government of Quebec has also cut taxes, including income tax.

Only the Parti Québécois and the Bloc Québécois believe in tax hikes for Quebeckers.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, parents who see their child's school falling apart, patients who have been waiting for months for their surgery, people forced to drive on dangerous roads full of potholes, these Quebeckers do not think their taxes are too high, no matter what the Prime Minister says. They do think, however, that their tax dollars are going to the wrong place: to Ottawa.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to keep his promise and correct the fiscal imbalance, once and for all, by transferring the tax field from Ottawa to Quebec City, where it is needed?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government is not interfering in provincial areas of jurisdiction. On the contrary, this government is giving money to the Government of Quebec, this government is giving money to companies in Quebec, this government is giving tax breaks to individuals and families in Quebec.

It is the Bloc Québécois that wants to interfere and block these major benefits for Quebeckers.

AirbusOral Questions

October 31st, 2007 / 2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, several years ago, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, now an adviser to the current Prime Minister, sued Canada over the Airbus affair and received a $2 million award.

Under oath, he testified that he “never had any dealings” with Schreiber. We now learn that not only did he know him, but Schreiber paid him $300,000 in cash, the first $100,000 of it when he was still a member of Parliament. Therefore, the previous settlement now appears unjustified.

What steps has the Prime Minister taken to recover the $2 million?

AirbusOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the last time a Liberal spoke to this issue, as the member observed, Canadian taxpayers had to pay out $2 million because of false accusations. That was a settlement made by the Liberal government.

If the member is so confident, I am sure he will want to repeat his suggestions outside the House. However, we are more concerned about the $40 million we are still trying to recover, which the Liberals took in the sponsorship scandal.

AirbusOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, when that minister speaks, Brian Mulroney's lips move.

The Conservative government has abandoned efforts to launch an inquiry into the Airbus affair because it is afraid of the potential revelations. However, when in opposition, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the Minister of National Defence demanded an inquiry into the scandal.

The hon. member for Central Nova asked, “When will the government do the right thing, clear the air on this sordid affair and call a public inquiry into the Airbus scandal?”

Why is the Conservative government now afraid of such a public inquiry?

AirbusOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, when this took place under a previous Liberal government and the Liberals raised these accusations, Canadian taxpayers had to pay legal costs and a $2 million award, as he observed. If the Liberal Party wants to raise them again, let them do it outside the House and this time the Liberal Party can pay those costs instead of the taxpayers of Canada.

Canada Border Services AgencyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, in a damning report on the Canada Border Services Agency, the Auditor General concluded that shipments of goods and people who had been deemed “high risk” had been entering the country without being detained at their primary point of entry. This is absolutely unacceptable. The government talks a good game, but its actions do not match its rhetoric.

Why did the Minister of Public Safety allow it to come to this? Why is he sleeping on the job?