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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was scotia.

Topics

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to be enthusiastic when the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister falsely claimed this week that the budget provides funding for the pine beetle.

The truth is that the government promised $1 billion for the pine beetle but it only put $400 million in the last budget and nothing in this budget. One does not have to be a math genius to know that is a $600 million broken promise and yet the Prime Minister is surprised when the British Columbia government complains that he has forgotten B.C. in his budget.

Why does he not just come clean and tell us why he has turned his back on British Columbia?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I just do not understand why the Liberal member is so negative and lacks enthusiasm for the budget like the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North, but let us not forget the Liberal member for Halton who says that ending the so-called marriage penalty is a good thing, a small tax cut but a worthwhile one. Is that not interesting? There is enthusiasm for the budget.

I also know that the member for Halton is an enthusiastic supporter of pension splitting, which we also have in this budget. I am sure he will vote in favour of that.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Garth Turner Conservative Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of this budget the Canadian dollar has soared by a full cent. The Conservatives might not get it but currency markets know that the minister's budget is inflationary and it will lead to higher interest rates. Higher mortgage rates threaten the housing market and can quickly wipe away the entire benefit of a year's cuts.

Does the minister not get it? Does he not realize the damage this can do to working families? What third rate economist did he consult with, the Prime Minister?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 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, there is somebody who does not get it. I am surprised that the member for Halton is still here to ask questions, after all, back in February of 2006 he said, “I think anyone who crosses the floor should go back to the people for ratification”.

We want to help the member for Halton stand by his word and stand up to his principles. He can resign and we will call a byelection right away.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Garth Turner Conservative Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, although that is not relevant to the question I asked, I did offer my resignation.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The BudgetOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Halton has the floor and we will have a little order, please.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Garth Turner Conservative Halton, ON

I think what Canadians want us to talk about is them, not us, Mr. Speaker, and I will do exactly that.

If the markets are right and if mortgage rates go up by just half a point on a $300,000 mortgage in Whitby or Calgary, the average payment per year will go up by $960, which more than wipes out the benefit for a family of four.

Does the finance minister not get it?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The BudgetOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

We are wasting a great deal of time. The hon. government House leader has been recognized and he now has the floor. We will have order, please.

The BudgetOral 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, we are happy to accept his resignation on behalf of the government and we encourage you to do the same.

After the member for Halton became an independent member, he held a town hall meeting in his riding to ask what he should do. Forty per cent of the people said that he should stay independent while others said that he should negotiate with the Conservative Party. Does the House know how many said that he should join the Liberal Party? Zero per cent.

AfghanistanOral Questions

March 22nd, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a mission such as that in Afghanistan, failure to respect international treaties and to ensure the full safety of prisoners places Canadian soldiers in an extremely vulnerable position.

Does the government not understand that, by neglecting the safety of prisoners, it is jeopardizing the safety our own soldiers, since this sends the message that international treaties are not important?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to protecting the Afghan detainees. As I have said previously, we have recently entered into an agreement with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission which is undertaking to monitor the activities of the detainees. If there is any abuse, the commission will report it to us.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of National Defence understand that, not only is our soldiers' safety compromised, but they are also in a vulnerable situation, because they could be brought before international tribunals for failing to respect international conventions? If the minister cannot understand that, when will he resign?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we will not take any advice from the Bloc on human rights. We stand by human rights, we believe in human rights and we are enforcing human rights. Our men and women in Afghanistan carry the values of Canadians. They do not abuse human rights. We are ensuring that the Afghan government does not abuse the detainees.

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the recent Senate report on security comes down hard on the state of security in Canada's airports. It says, and I quote, “What you may find shocking is that so many of the gaping security holes we drew attention to in 2003 are still gaping holes more than four years later”.

Will the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities admit that his government just talks about security, but does nothing about it?

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, we have taken concrete action. We have invested money to implement security systems that were not there in 2003, not there in 2004, and not there in 2005. However, thanks to the Minister of Finance, we have obtained the necessary funding to make security a priority.

The government is taking action and that is what Canadians expect from us.

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone should stick to what they know. The material security of planes, mechanical inspections and pilot competence are responsibilities of Transport Canada. However, preventing terrorist acts and protecting the public from organized crime is police business. The expertise is in the public safety department. It is time to transfer this important file to the department with the expertise and the will to take action.

Is the Minister of Public Safety prepared to accept the responsibility of making this important matter a true priority?

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as you know, this House adopted aviation security legislation, which required a legislative review. The review was done and the report was tabled in December.

The Liberal Senate, with senators from that political party, also tabled a report. We are in the process of reviewing the recommendations therein. It is important to note that we took action by investing money in order to correct the mistakes of the past.

Infrastructure and CommunitiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, for Canada to be globally competitive and prosperous we need our cities to be world-class and we need to reinvest in them.

Mayor Miller has said that this budget leaves our cash-strapped cities worse off than a year before and, for Toronto and other major cities, is a step backward.

Why is the government neglecting the needs of our cities by not giving them direct new funding?

Infrastructure and CommunitiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether the hon. member has had an opportunity to read the budget in detail. If she had looked into it a bit, she would have discovered, even without reading it in detail, that we have promised municipalities an unprecedented amount: $2 billion a year, which amounts to $8 billion. To this is added, of course, the money that will come from the transfers for infrastructure.

So what does she want? There is money there and the municipalities are quite happy.

Infrastructure and CommunitiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Liberal Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, the real issue of this budget is sustainability.

The FCM has also said that this budget does not provide real long term relief to the municipal infrastructure deficit.

The mayor of Aurora has even said that this budget does little to respond to the realities faced in Aurora, “there is no big leadership commitment in this budget”.

In June 2005, the Prime Minister promised to do more for municipalities. Why has he broken this promise?

Infrastructure and CommunitiesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I met with the representatives of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities, as well as a large number of provinces and territories. All of them asked for long term predictable financing and funding. Clearly, the government acted. We responded. The Minister of Finance presented an unprecedented amount, not only in gas tax but in infrastructure, $33 billion. That goes to our Canadian communities for projects. We are getting it done. They did not do it.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is the great divider. For him it is all about politics: create the wedge, then divide. On Afghanistan, he decides who is patriotic and who is not.

For aboriginals, the poor, the less educated, he decides who will get a chance.

Yesterday, he decided that it was not possible to support our troops in Afghanistan and to support the basic human rights of all peoples. It is one of the reasons we are there.

A prime minister is a connector, not a divider.

When will the Prime Minister start to act like a prime minister?