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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was companies.

Topics

The BudgetOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We need to be able to hear the hon. member who has the floor and the hon. member for Bonavista--Gander--Grand Falls--Windsor has the floor.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, since the minister was so quick to get to his feet, I would like to remind him what he said since he thinks he read the budget.

He said, “We don't always have control of our own destiny. We all like to do things...So what do you do then, you make the best of the situation you have...”.

As a matter of fact, the member for Avalon said, “...politicians of all political stripes have made promises before...and many of them have broken the promises they have made, I mean it's not a new thing to a lot of people...”.

If two of his own members can admit to a promise made, a promise broken, why will the Minister of Finance not?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, since we are into quotes, let me quote from the document that those members waved around in the House yesterday, except I will read all the quote.

It reads:

The Conservative Party of Canada believes that offshore oil and gas revenues are the key to real economic growth in Atlantic Canada. That’s why we would leave you with 100 per cent of your oil and gas revenues. No small print. No excuses. No caps

That is just what we did in the budget.

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Fabian Manning Conservative Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, budget 2007 provides great benefits for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. It makes our strong economy even stronger.

Our government has kept its commitment to honour and respect the Atlantic accord. We are delivering 100% of what the accord promised, not 50%, without a cap.

Unfortunately, Premier Williams does not share our commitment to a strong economy and wants to pick a fight instead.

Would the Minister of Natural Resources explain the damage that Premier Williams is causing to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador?

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, Premier Williams is playing a very dangerous game with the economy for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. This year alone, Newfoundland and Labrador will receive over half a billion dollars in royalties from offshore resources but his reckless actions are not improving things like the south Hibernia expansion.

There are some hard examples that are hurting our economy. We have learned that the offshore Newfoundland petroleum trade show for both local and international suppliers has now been cancelled due to lack of interest.

We encourage Premier Williams to rethink his actions.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, by the time our country's top CEOs are sipping their morning lattes on New Year's Day, they have already earned more than the average Canadian worker makes in an entire year.

To add insult to injury, companies can write-off those stratospheric salaries against their business taxes. That means average Canadians who work hard, who play by the rules but are nonetheless struggling to make ends meet, are actually subsidizing the salaries of the wealthiest CEOs.

Will the Prime Minister close this outrageous tax loophole and amend the Income Tax Act so that salaries in excess of $1 million can no longer be deducted from business taxes?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I remind the member that this Conservative government has acted to ensure that corporations pay their fair share of income taxes.

We restored the balance and fairness to the tax system through our tax fairness plan by ensuring that income from business activity is taxed, whether it is through corporations or whether it is through income trusts.

Furthermore, we introduced international tax fairness initiatives by improving the way Canada taxes foreign source income and also plugging tax loopholes.

Why did the member vote against a budget that actually helped corporations pay their fair share?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not ask the minister about the budget, but if that is where she wants to go, I am happy to go there.

This budget did not save or create a single job in the steel, auto or forestry sectors, but it did save corporate Canada almost $9 billion in tax cuts. Even companies that are seeking bankruptcy protection from the courts are protecting the multimillion dollar salaries of their executives while they have no qualms about seeking wage and pension concessions from their workers.

Will the minister agree that it is not acceptable for tax dollars to subsidize the growing prosperity gap that has CEOs earning 240 times more than the average Canadian worker?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if she wants to talk about the budget, the budget actually funded the cleanup of Hamilton Harbour. Is she against that?

The budget assisted manufacturing industries including those in Hamilton and boosted skills training for labour. It funded the relocation of the CANMET Laboratory to McMaster University in Hamilton.

I would remind the hon. member that she herself is in the top 10% of income earners. If she believes in equity so much, maybe she should take a voluntary pay cut and put her money where her mouth is.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

March 29th, 2007 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, in 2005 the Liberal budget committed $40 million to improve the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes, including Lake Winnipeg with guaranteed annual investments to improve its ecosystem.

In 2006 the Conservative budget did not mention Canada's lakes and did not provide any new funding. This year's budget pledges a measly $7 million over two years for Lake Winnipeg.

The Minister of the Environment knows this is totally inadequate. Where is the money to clean up Lake Winnipeg?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party had 13 years to provide support for Lake Winnipeg and it did not deliver the goods. The Conservative members from Manitoba are delivering the goods for this government. We are also delivering money to Manitoba to help fight climate change.

Here is what the Premier of Manitoba said when we made that announcement. When asked how this government's ecotrust compared to the money provided by the previous Liberal government, he said that he did not get any, none, nada; he was not aware of a single dollar. That is the record of the Liberal Party.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's budget ignores infrastructure needs in southwestern Ontario. The finance minister's unfair infrastructure program means that Ontario, with 12 million residents, receives a mere $25 million.

Why is a government that inherited huge surpluses ignoring southwestern Ontario which is a vital part of our province's economy?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact there is nothing further from the truth. As I have indicated, we have put an unprecedented amount of money into infrastructure.

Not too long ago with the hon. Donna Cansfield, minister in the government of Ontario, we did have the opportunity of working together and launching the committee for a gateway in southern Ontario.

This government is committed to helping people in southern Ontario and certainly helping Canada to be commercially competitive in world markets.

TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a recent report the Canadian Chamber of Commerce sounded the alarm over the government's miserable performance with trade and investment with India.

It gets worse. Canada's reputation abroad is being severely damaged. The government has slashed millions from trade programs, eliminated the CAN-Trade initiative, and is closing consular services in key emerging markets.

Why does the minister have no plan to showcase Canada to the world and more importantly, why is he treating Canada's economic future with such neglect?

TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Conservative

David Emerson ConservativeMinister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is obviously another one from the party opposite who did not read the budget. In the budget there was a provision for a global commerce strategy, $60 million over two years, and a massive provision for infrastructure.

We just took a mission over to India. I am going to India in two weeks. The government is actually getting things done with the Asia-Pacific, with India, and with our trade performance.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, in order to create jobs, we have to help small businesses. The ACOA seed capital program is specially designed to help businesspeople with their funding and to create jobs. However, ACOA reduced the funds available for the seed capital program in New Brunswick by over 75% as of March 31, 2007. This cut will have a negative effect on jobs in rural regions.

Why did the minister abandon businesspeople and drop job creation in New Brunswick? Why did the minister abandon the citizens of the Atlantic Region?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities AgencyOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick

Conservative

Greg Thompson ConservativeMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have not done that. All he would have to do is read the budget. A lot of words, but he has not read the budget.

We have put more money into Atlantic Canada. In fact, in this year's budget over $200 million more was transferred to New Brunswick over the previous government of which he was member.

In terms of regional development and capital cost allowances, we are getting it done in New Brunswick. He should be ashamed of Liberal record. We are getting the job done.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, a devastating report by the American State Department mentions some unacceptable situations in Afghan prisons. According to the report prisoners are regularly subjected to torture, women detainees are regarded as slaves and children are sexually abused.

Does the Minister of National Defence realize that by turning a blind eye to such behaviour he is becoming party to these unspeakable crimes?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister of National Defence is hardly shutting his eyes to the situation. He has acted decisively. He met with individuals in Afghanistan to correct any perception or any reality that prisoners would be mistreated.

What we have in our Minister of National Defence is a man who has served his country honourably for 30 years, has led men and women in conflict situations, has served this country proudly as our defence minister, and we are very proud of the job he is doing.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, indeed there is more. The much talked-about Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, which the minister likes so much, reports that water, facilities and food are inadequate in these prisons. It also reports that there are not enough blankets and that infectious diseases are commonplace.

Why has the Minister of National Defence once again hidden these facts from the House and the Canadian people? What will it take for the minister to resign?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, there is hardly any attempt to hide the facts. In fact, quite the opposite. We are working with the Dutch and NATO allies to see that the situation, as far as Afghan prisons, is improved.

We continue to do that on every level, just as we do in areas of development, just as we do in areas of building infrastructure within that country by creating programs for vaccinations and creating programs to create new vocations for Afghan people.

We are there doing an important job on behalf of the entire NATO community. We are there putting more money into these programs. We will continue to do so and we will do Canada proud.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Indian Affairs has refused to acknowledge that an apology is as important as any other component of the residential school compensation package. He says an apology is not necessary because the government was trying to educate first nation Inuit and Métis children.

This is an insult to the survivors. The injustice, the indignity and the hurt the survivors endured is inexcusable. The Conservative government must act honourably and issue a formal apology.

When will he learn that, in his own words, it is not just about the money?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:55 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 would point out to the House that it was this government that negotiated the resolution of the Indian residential school situation. What is insulting is the fact that the former Liberal government never got the job done.

I was in the room when the final agreement was negotiated. There was no one from that side of the House in the room. It is a fair agreement. It is generous. It is a compassionate agreement. I intend to proceed to continue to implement it with the other signatories to the agreement.

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, after two weeks of strike action in February, negotiators for CN Rail and the United Transportation Union reached a tentative settlement in their labour dispute on February 24. The ratification vote will be known on Tuesday, April 10.

Can the Minister of Labour please inform the House what this means for Canadians across the country who depend on Canada's rail system?

Rail TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, on February 24, an agreement was reached between the members of the United Transportation Union, who are employed by CN, and their employer of course.

The results of the vote will be made known on April 10 . I nevertheless wish to be clear: Bill C-46 is still on the order paper, and the government would quickly take action if railway services were once again disrupted by this labour dispute.