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House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have always said that it is important to regulate the industry to reduce greenhouse gases. To do that, it is important to have numbers. We have had good consultations with environmental and industry groups. In a few weeks, we will release our numbers, our plan to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality in Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Alain Lemaire, the CEO of Cascades, said, “We want indications as to when we can expect a carbon exchange, when we will know where we are headed, and what standards will be in place.”

When will the government respond to Alain Lemaire and the business community?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is very important to act here, in Canada, to reduce greenhouse gases. For 13 long years, we had two things in Canada: the Liberal government and the Bloc Québécois here in Ottawa. Absolutely nothing was done. Now, we have a Prime Minister and a party in power that wants to bring about real greenhouse gas reductions. The member waited 13 long years. Now he has to wait 13 long weeks after my appointment to the portfolio. That is not much to ask.

Child CareOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives were in power in Ontario they made a practice of ignoring the reports from Dr. Fraser Mustard, who wrote about the importance of investing in early childhood development. Of course now, we have what he calls a chaotic mess.

Part of this is because the Conservatives have their own understanding of the ABCs. It is called anything but child care. No wonder our children are getting left behind, no wonder we are dead last on the OECD ratings, and no wonder our kids are having a harder time learning than kids in other countries.

When is the Prime Minister going to start to learn some lessons about all this and get us a serious child care program in Canada?

Child CareOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, supporting parents does not create a chaotic mess. The government has faith in Canadian parents which is why we have put $2.4 billion a year into the universal child care benefit.

In fact, today, all in, we contribute $5.6 billion a year toward early childhood development, including that funding to parents, the most of any federal government in history.

Child CareOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recall not too long ago when the members on this side were pointing fingers over to the other side, accusing them of having broken their promises and creating no spaces, which happened to have been true, and then they came in with their own plan. They said they would create thousands of spaces.

Well here we are a year later and what have we got? A big fat zero, and the fact is, there is no commitment here for serious child care whatsoever. In fact, we spend 0.25% of our GDP on early childhood. That is worse than the United States.

When is the Prime Minister going to take our young children seriously and their families, and make sure they have the child care that they need?

Child CareOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, again the member is wrong. No sooner had we announced $250 million in the budget for child care spaces, the government of Saskatchewan, an NDP government, announced in its budget it was going to create 500 spaces. Where the Liberals failed, we are getting the job done.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week's Conservative budget shows the government has completely abandoned tax fairness for the second time in two years. It is a disturbing pattern. Income taxes are going up every year under the government and the income trust disaster cost investors $25 billion overnight.

The minister somehow called this gross injustice his tax fairness plan. Taxes are up and private savings have been decimated. Where is the fairness in this?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is certainly tax relief for families in Canada today. There is a $2,000 per child tax credit for children under the age of 18.

Perhaps it is because we recognize, on this side of the House, something that the other side of the House fails to recognize, and that is there are lots of hard-working people in Canada who, at the end of the month, have trouble paying their bills. We are going to help them out with their children, with those expenses for children, with a sum of $310 a year on average per child.

The other part, which is very important and I am sure the member opposite wants to support this once she has read it, is the workers income tax benefit to get over the welfare--

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Don Valley East.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the plain truth is this. Taxes started going up the day the government took power. In 2005 the lowest income tax rate was 15%. After the 2006 budget, the rate was raised to 15.5% and last week's budget did absolutely nothing to reverse this inexplicable tax increase on those who earn the least.

Is this what the Conservatives consider fairness?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, may I remind the hon. member that for a budget to become law, it has to pass. Our budget last year passed. Both budget implementation bills passed. The provision that she refers to never passed in this House and never became the law of Canada.

What we have done in tax relief since budget 2006 is $37.8 billion for individuals and $3.5 billion for business which is total tax relief of $41 billion, Ralph. That is a lot of money for Canadians.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would remind the Minister of Finance that while it may be entertaining to address colleagues, he should address his remarks to the Chair.

The hon. member for Don Valley West.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

March 26th, 2007 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, a week before the budget, the Minister of Finance decided to subsidize General Motors vehicles with big engines, because they can also run on an ethanol E85 blend. The Minister of Finance is likely the only taxpayer in Whitby—Oshawa who can fill up his car at the only E85 fuel pump in the country, which is here in Ottawa.

Why is the minister subsidizing vehicles that in no way help improve the environment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government is very proud of the initiatives we have taken both on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and on bringing real measures to have Canadians involved.

We are very proud of the initiative, for the first time ever, to see the federal government provide incentives to get people to buy fuel efficient cars. We on this side of the House will not leave ethanol behind.

I can appreciate that with the Liberal Party opposite a lot of talk happened but very little happened on ethanol. The Liberals did not get the job done. This government wants ethanol vehicle fleets to be part of Canada's future. That is why we are very proud to put the Chevy Impala E85 on the list.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the Minister of the Environment that it looks like the finance minister decided to add a few gas guzzlers to the green car list.

General Motors vehicles that can also run on E85 are indeed eligible for a tax funded $1,000 rebate. The problem is the only pump where drivers can fill up in Canada with E85 is in Ottawa. What good does that do for a driver in Calgary?

Did the minister add these models to the list simply because they are assembled by people in his riding?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. the Minister of the Environment has the floor.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, again we are seeing more evidence that the Liberals did not read the budget.

It is unacceptable that only one station in Canada is offering 85% ethanol. That is why this government is investing in a biofuels and ethanol strategy.

If the hon. member checks page 71, he will see that Ottawa based Iogen is one of Canada's leading biotechnology firms. It is about part of the investment of $2 billion in cleaner fuels. This government is delivering where the previous government failed.

The real issue here is the Liberals do not like Chevy Impalas because they are a bunch of limousine Liberals.

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the company—

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. We will have a little calm in the House please while we proceed with the next question.

The hon. member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert has the floor.

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Pratt & Whitney in Longueuil is seeing its engine test flight operations in Saint-Hubert compromised, because the Saint-Hubert airport needs to extend its runways. Without such an extension, those operations face the risk of being exported.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, by refusing to commit to improving the Saint-Hubert airport, the federal government could be directly responsible for the loss of many jobs on the south shore, across from Montreal?

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to meet with executives from that company last week. We examined the various programs available from the Canadian government through the Department of Transport. In that regard, none of these programs meet their needs.

However, we are still examining the file, in cooperation with the company. My colleagues, the Minister of Industry and the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, are taking action.

TransportationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the Boeing file, the Bloc Québécois made a suggestion to the government that would be fair to the Quebec aerospace industry, namely, to guarantee a percentage of the spinoffs that reflects the importance of the Quebec industry. The government rejected our suggestion.

Will the Prime Minister agree, this time, to our suggestion to invest in the improvements to the Saint-Hubert airport in order to maintain Pratt & Whitney's operations at that airport? This is crucial to the greater Montreal region and to Quebec's aerospace industry.