This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was measures.

Topics

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member opposite that yes, there are some corporations that are not paying their fair share as a result of their use of tax avoidance loopholes, and yes, there is more work to be done.

I hope that the member will support the work we are doing so far. For the first time since the reports of the Auditor General and since the report of the Mintz committee, all of which were ignored by the Liberals opposite, as they did nothing for 13 years, we have a government that is protecting Canadians and their families for a fair share of paying taxes in this country and not subsidizing corporations.

Film IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, recent studies published in the past few days clearly show that Canada, like China, Malaysia and India, is being lax when it comes to the issue of films pirated in movie theatres. The Canadian industry and the Government of Canada have suffered estimated losses of several million dollars.

What is the government waiting for to legislate, to rein in this piracy industry and to bring the traffickers to court in order to bring an end to this illegal market of pirated products?

Film IndustryOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated to the House, we recognize the situation with regard to piracy and we are working on it. We will be bringing the actions we plan to take before the House for consideration.

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, when will the government introduce its long-awaited bill on reforming the Copyright Act, an outdated piece of legislation if ever there was one, which should be modified as soon as possible for it to meet the needs of Quebec and Canadian authors and be in line with the two WIPO treaties Canada ratified in 1996?

Copyright ActOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my hon. colleague that we are working on this matter and when we are ready, we will introduce a bill in Parliament.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has finally listened to the Leader of the Opposition and has backed down on his budget plan to eliminate interest deductibility. Unfortunately, the finance minister has already caused damage as a result of his act now and consult later approach.

It is clear that the finance minister's budget is unravelling. How can Canadians trust a government whose strategy on complex issues can be summed up with these three words: ready, fire, aim?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear a question, but I assume that comment was about interest deductibility and the use of tax havens.

Let us hear the position of the Liberal Party through its critic the member for Markham—Unionville. Once again, this is classic Liberal doublespeak. On May 7 he said, “When [the finance minister] says that we should go after abuses by tax havens and double-dipping, we agree”. What did he say in the Globe and Mail this morning? He criticized the minister's attack on double-dipping.

The problem with the Liberal Party is that it does not have the courage to take a stand in favour of ordinary Canadians.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we will see what happens when Canada's unemployment rate goes up as a result of some of the decisions the government is making here.

This is not about tax havens. This is about a Minister of Finance who is out of his league. Today's flip-flop is another admission of that. First we saw it on income trusts and now we see it on interest deductibility.

When will the minister learn to think about the consequences of his actions before he decides to drop a bombshell on another sector? Why did he “spend some time on it” only after he caused such a disaster?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, here is the Liberal position on income trusts: first of all, when those members were in government they did nothing, and then when they are in opposition they say we should do nothing. Then we do something and they say, “Oh, my. I guess we should tax it too”. That is the current position of this government.

What do those members say about tax havens? When they were in government they received all the reports on tax havens. What did they do about them? Nothing. There were 13 years of nothing.

Liberal members do not care about Canadian taxpayers. All they want to do is defend tax havens for their corporate friends.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, on page 241 of his budget the finance minister eliminated interest deductibility. This morning, the minister defended interest deductibility, saying that it “gives Canadian businesses a competitive edge”.

Canadians expect flapjacks at breakfast, not flip-flops. Will the minister admit today that for breakfast he ripped up a page of his own budget, that he ate his own words, and that he swallowed himself whole by finally supporting interest deductibility?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I do not know any more what the position is of those members opposite. They were against double-dips. Now I think they are in favour of double-dips.

They seem to think that not only should ordinary Canadian taxpayers subsidize these large multinational corporations that are using tax loopholes, but of course they also believe that Canadian taxpayers should subsidize the Liberal Party of Canada.

EqualizationOral Questions

May 14th, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, killing interest deductibility was not the only big mistake the minister made in his budget. In his budget speech, the minister said that “the long, tiring, unproductive era of bickering between the provincial and federal governments is over”. That comedy lasted about 10 minutes, until Premier Williams and Premier MacDonald had a chance to listen to the speech.

Now that the minister has flip-flopped on interest deductibility, will he finally see the light and reverse his disastrous decision to kill the Atlantic accord?

EqualizationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, our government and our Prime Minister are totally committed to the Atlantic accords and the provinces can continue with the Atlantic accords if they choose to do so.

However, I am reminded of the income trust issue. As the member opposite well knows, his reaction to that was to demonstrate that he has the fastest thumbs in the east.

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Friday it was reported in the media that a Transport Canada security inspector at Pearson airport was charged.

Can the Minister of Transport provide more details on this case?

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that on May 3 a Transport Canada employee was arrested by Peel Regional Police and charged with alleged fraud and being in possession of a prohibited weapon. The employee was suspended without pay.

This is an ongoing example of how as a government we are much more vigilant today in terms of our safety and security. We have done it with the passenger protect program that we put in place last week. We have done it also with the restricted access cards to enable employees who must go into those restricted areas to be properly identified.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, never mind the flip-flopping of the leader of the Bloc. The real whopper today is the Minister of Finance.

Do members know what he said on April 17? He said:

If everyone doesn't pay their fair share...individuals and families have to make up the difference because we have to pay for fundamental services one way or the other.

Today the minister bows under the pressure from Bay Street and the Liberals by handing them a billion dollar tax break. How do working families pay for this? Will it be with higher taxes, cuts in services or, like it was under the Liberals, both?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the clarification must have it about right, because we have the Liberals supporting corporate Canada and the NDP supporting another point of view.

Our point of view is a balanced one, that is, we want to reduce taxes overall and continue to do that in Canada. In two budgets so far, we have reduced taxes over the course of three fiscal years by almost $38 billion, taxes of all kinds, including personal taxes, corporate taxes, excise taxes and consumption taxes in Canada.

We want to continue to do that. For that, we must have a level playing field. Everybody must pay their fair share.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives listen to the Liberals, it is the NDP that is standing up for working families and ordinary Canadians.

The minister says he does not have money to help people deal with drug costs. He says he does not have money for manufacturing and resource jobs. He cannot close the prosperity gap because there is supposedly no money.

Lo and behold, the government found a billion dollars for Bay Street at the snap of a finger. Why is the minister choosing Bay Street over Main Street? Why is he widening the prosperity gap in this country instead of closing it?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know the member opposite wants us to take on the corporations. She wants us to take on the corporations when they take a double deduction and claim an interest deduction in this country and an interest deduction somewhere else.

That is exactly what we are doing, because Canadian taxpayers, ordinary, hard-working Canadians, should not be indirectly subsidizing corporations in this country. I am sure the finance critic for the NDP will support this initiative by the Government of Canada.

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the Minister of Transport announced the imposition of a no fly list, which does nothing to protect air travellers.

How does the minister's preposterously named passenger protect program safeguard privacy rights and Canadian sovereignty if he is obliged to share such a list with homeland security and defence in the U.S., but not with Canadians on the list?

Will he now admit that his initiative does nothing to combat terrorism and that it is nothing more than a capitulation to American demands that he comply with their no fly list?

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would invite my hon. colleague to read the regulation before casting aspersions. Basically, this regulation that has been put in place was put forward and of course did meet a number of conditions put forth by the groups the member is speaking of, and it did go through a consultation process.

Today, Canadians have a right to be able to fly safely and securely.

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is always the wish of all Canadians.

The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is solely responsible for the names added to the no fly list, not Canadian security organizations. He can consult anyone at all, including his cronies, any far right ideologues or anyone he appointed to the transport commission.

What guarantees or mechanisms can he give us today to ensure that any Canadian added to this list by mistake or upon American recommendation can have his or her name removed and any damage to his or her reputation repaired?

Airport SecurityOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I explained, the system we have established obviously comes as a result of extensive consultation with the security community. Of course, it is not something that we just pulled out of a hat. The hon. member knows perfectly well that the system in place allows everyone the right to challenge the legitimacy of their name being on the list. There is a mechanism they can use to do so and this means greater security for everyone.

Pesticide ManagementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Prime Minister demonstrated that he was willing to roll over again instead of standing up to the U.S., this time on pesticide regulations.

The health minister claims that increasing the residue levels somehow represents the highest of standards when it comes to protecting the health of Canadians. Why has the government increased pesticide exposure for Canadians instead of insisting that the United States come up to our standards?

Pesticide ManagementOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, Canada's government is committed to protecting the health of Canadians. We will continue to have among the highest standards in the world. Any changes that will be made in the future will be based on the best scientific evidence.