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House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the facts remain that independent economists, Mark Jaccard and Don Drummond, have said, unequivocally, that the Liberal environment plan would have gasoline prices go up by 60%.

The Liberals can laugh, scream and yell but those are the facts and they know they are true. They have the NDP supporting them and now they are trying to cry foul. They should look at what they are promoting because they will actually hurt the Canadian economy and they know it.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, for more than 20 years my father worked for Alcan in the kind of good head office job that simply will not exist if today's foreign takeover bid goes through.

Prophetically, two weeks ago Alcan's CEO said that the government's interest deductibility proposal made it more vulnerable to takeover.

Since the Minister of Finance is so clearly out of his depth, will the Prime Minister order him to withdraw his interest deductibility proposal right now, today, before the Alcan board makes a decision?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is one of the most breathtakingly uninformed questions that has been heard in the House in a long time.

If the member were to read the background, which I am sure he has not, he would see that negotiations have been going on between Alcoa and Alcan for two years.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a breathtakingly dumb answer. He is clearly out of his depth.

A well-known business personality said that the Prime Minister should take out his whacking stick, clean up the department and find someone competent to do that job.

For the sake of all those head office jobs, will the finance minister withdraw his demented interest deductibility proposal today?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite promotes tax havens. What the member opposite says is that he wants to treat certain corporations more favourably and to prefer certain taxpayers in Canada over others. Tax loopholes and tax avoidance is what they believe in on the other side of the House.

On the other hand, we recognize that hard-working Canadians should be treated fairly and in that way we can reduce taxes for all Canadians, not just for his friends.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the business community is telling the finance minister that he needs a little more on the job training. It is outraged because the government started its competition process on the removal of foreign interest deductibility only after the policy was announced.

By disenfranchising Canadian companies, how are Canadians supposed to compete in emerging and established economies? Is this the minister's definition of advantage Canada?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the member opposite how Canadians want to compete. They want to compete fairly and on a level playing field. They do not need preferential tax treatment. All Canadians ask is that they be treated fairly and that the hard-working people in Canada who get T4 slips this time of the year and pay their taxes get treated fairly, not preferentially, which the Liberals want to do through tax loopholes.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. It would be helpful if we had a little more order in the House. It was very difficult to hear the minister's answer and now the member for Mississauga—Brampton South will want to ask a supplementary but I do not know how he could possibly have heard the response. I was having trouble. We will now hear from the hon. member for Mississauga—Brampton South with a little more order.

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has no problem with foreign companies taking over Canadian companies but he does have a fundamental problem with Canadians companies trying to expand abroad.

The Minister of Finance has been scrambling to reverse his policy for eliminating the interest deductibility tax. It has been called the worst tax policy in Ottawa in over 35 years.

Why is the minister insisting on a tax policy that will put our home grown Canadian companies at a competitive disadvantage abroad?

TaxationOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is suggesting that Canadian companies can only compete if they can deduct interest twice, if they can double-dip. I respectfully disagree with the member opposite. I dare say that taxpayers in Mississauga South, whom he represents, who get T4 slips every year and who pay their full share of taxes, would disagree with the member opposite saying that certain groups, certain corporations should be treated preferentially.

We are against tax havens. We are against tax loopholes. We are against preferential treatment.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the current crisis in the shrimp fishery is still quite alarming. This situation has been caused by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, who wanted to politicize the allocation of shrimp fishery quotas by favouring Newfoundland at the expense of Quebec.

Does the minister plan on taking action on this issue, reducing the cost of permits, reviewing the fishing quotas, and quickly introducing an assistance plan, as suggested by the Bloc Québécois, thus helping the communities that depend on this industry?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, this is an issue in which the member has been involved for some time.

I first want to clarify that there was no political involvement or manipulation in relation to the movement of any quotas, and the record shows that quite clearly.

Second, fishermen from Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick are involved in the same shrimp fishery. They are getting a good price for their product from the processors. The processors in Quebec are not paying the same price. This is a solution that industry has defined itself.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, because of the federal government's failure to take action, 400 factory workers are demonstrating today in Gaspé to express their dissatisfaction with the federal government's policy on fisheries.

When will the minister wake up and implement a plan to help the communities, who are tired of sitting powerless while he does nothing?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's frustration, especially when he sees the neighbouring provinces paying a much better price for shrimp. In fact, many of the people from Quebec are going to Newfoundland to sell their shrimp simply to get a better a price. His beef should be with the processors in Quebec.

However, it is a very serious problem that we will not dismiss. We certainly will look into it to see if there is any part we can play to make life a bit easier for the shrimpers.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Treasury Board requires that before recommending any regulation, departments and agencies must produce a full cost benefit analysis.

The environment minister keeps making claims about his plan that a growing list of environmentalists, scientists and economists simply do not believe.

Will the finance minister confirm whether his department signed off on the costs and penalties associated with this eco-fraud, or is this whole sham simply a solo tour de farce on the part of the environment minister ?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is ridiculous. Why does the member from Toronto not listen to the Liberal premier of New Brunswick?

I was reading on cbc.ca, which I read from time to time, and it says, “New Brunswick's Liberal premier has distanced himself from the federal Liberals' plan to cut greenhouse gases...”. Shawn Graham said Wednesday that he opposes the aggressive “cap and trade” policy favoured by the federal Liberals. Why? It may have a negative impact on our province's economy.

Why are the federal Liberals against economic growth in New Brunswick?

British Columbia Flood MitigationOral Questions

May 7th, 2007 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, communities in B.C.'s Fraser Valley are threatened by a large scale flood this spring. The potential for a crisis is very real due to last winter's massive snow pack which is beginning to melt. In fact, some residents of Abbotsford still remember the disastrous flood of 1948. If another flood occurs, damages will be significant. The Government of B.C. has asked for emergency assistance.

Would the Minister of Agriculture and the member of Parliament for Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon tell the House what the government is doing to address this urgent issue?

British Columbia Flood MitigationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member joined me, the Prime Minister and other MPs touring the potential flood zone in B.C.'s Fraser River Valley on Thursday.

As we speak, the province of B.C. is working on the dykes and other structural projects along the Fraser, including in my riding of Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, to help fight any flood waters that could come over the next number of weeks.

The government has listened to the needs of British Columbia. Following the tour, the Prime Minister announced $16.5 million to match the B.C. government's dollar for dollar in our flood mitigation efforts in British Columbia. We have announced another $4 million for dredging activities in the Fraser Valley to help both navigation and the flood problem.

We are getting it done in the Fraser Valley.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the richest Canadians have increasingly enjoyed very good fortune while, at the same time, 40% of Ontario families, more than 600,000 households, have seen little or no gains in their incomes in 30 years despite working longer hours.

Conservative and Liberal governments have failed working Canadians. Families struggle just to make ends meet. We need pay equity. We need a national child care program and we need an end to child poverty. When will the government take real action?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, in budget 2007, at long last, the government introduced the working income tax benefit for Canadians. This is a great step forward to help make things more equal for Canadians, to help Canadians get over the welfare wall and to join in the gainful employment that is available in Canada today in our strong economy.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why the Liberals opposite plan to vote against the workers income tax benefit.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not effective. Ordinary people are struggling to afford food. One time funding and tax tinkering does not solve long term hunger or homelessness.

Why does the government continue to give tax breaks to the rich and leave the poor to struggle every day? We have no national housing program, not enough child care spaces and women in Canada still only make 71¢ for every dollar a man earns.

We can afford to change it. Will the minister stop the big industry tax breaks and start thinking of ordinary Canadians?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned ordinary Canadians and she mentioned child care.

I think the NDP have a lot of explaining to do. Not long ago, the member for Trinity—Spadina went to the government operations committee and moved a motion to remove the universal child care benefit, which provides $100 a month to 1.4 million families every month, something that helps all Canadians.

When will the NDP members explain why they are against helping all those people? That is a shame.

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is now experiencing the worst ice conditions in decades.

Unable to get their fishing gear in the water, hundreds of families have been without any income for about a month and, as a result, many are unable to provide for their families.

The minister has stated that he is monitoring the situation but time is running out. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done right now.

Will the minister stand in the House and announce an ice compensation package for fishermen on the northeast coast?

Fisheries and OceansOral Questions

3 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right. The northeast coast of Newfoundland has experienced the worst ice we have seen in probably 30 years. It was evident by the number of sealing vessels trapped over the last few weeks.

We have had discussions with various ministers who would be involved in such a program. We are aware of it. Yesterday, I spoke to the president of the union and we had a discussion on possibilities.

We are monitoring the situation and, if help is needed, help will be provided.