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House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was loans.

Topics

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon., and obviously very popular, Minister of Foreign Affairs is rising to answer the question but we need to be able to hear the answer.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I dare say that in a decade or more we have not seen more clear, unequivocal support for the Canadian armed forces than we have seen for many years.

We have a very clear, decisive policy with respect to our foreign affairs commitment in Afghanistan. We have a very clear level of support for our Canadian Forces. This Prime Minister, this defence minister and this government have been unequivocal in our support for the important work that is being done militarily and on the development and reconstruction side in Afghanistan.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government does not understand that without leadership in Ottawa, we will fail in Kandahar. The NATO secretary general said earlier this week: “The final answer in Afghanistan will not be a military one and cannot be a military one”.

When will this government finally balance our defence, development and diplomacy efforts?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition clearly does not understand the current mission. This government has taken a very balanced approach. It has increased its support for the mission in Afghanistan by more than $200 million.

We have taken a very balanced approach, with development and reconstruction well under way. Our provincial reconstruction team is doing admirable work in the field. All of this takes place under the secure environment being provided by our military.

TaxationOral Questions

May 9th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the Standing Committee on Finance, government experts did not deny that $4 billion in profits are repatriated from tax havens annually without a penny paid in tax. This was made possible through section 5907 of the income tax regulations, which allows Canadian companies to be exempt from paying tax on profits they bring back from their branches in Barbados.

Will the Prime Minister abolish section 5907 once and for all, to put an end to this scandalous tax loophole?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is a very detailed question on corporate tax law.

However, I will repeat the message from the Minister of Finance, who has promised to make sure that Canadian companies pay their share of taxes in Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not a very detailed matter. It is quite simple. It is a matter of abolishing section 5907 because otherwise the rest of the population has to carry a $4 billion tax burden.

When the Prime Minister was in opposition, he clearly stated that we should get rid of this tax agreement with Barbados. He was clear then. Now that he has the power to do so, what is stopping him? When will he have the courage to take action? Did he have a change of heart?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc will know that in fact the House finance committee is studying these very issues right now. I compliment the Bloc because it has supported this study.

In this government, we have a huge commitment to tax fairness and we have taken a lot of heat for it, so we are very glad to have the support of the Bloc in tackling a fair tax system.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality of tax havens is not hard to understand. Tax havens allow companies to pay practically no tax on profits declared in Barbados and to bring these profits back to Canada without paying tax.

Does the Minister of Finance think it is normal for a company that makes profits not to pay any tax and for the tax burden to end up on the middle class? This is one of the indecent aspects of the tax havens that need to be corrected as soon as possible.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure my hon. friend opposite, being the finance critic for the Bloc, has read the budget in detail. There he will see the government's commitment to achieving a fair tax system for all Canadians so there can be tax reductions for all Canadians and all Canadian businesses.

The member also will know that in the budget the government committed to setting up a panel to study this, and he also knows that the House finance committee is studying it. We are moving very vigorously on this front. Again, we do appreciate the support of the member opposite.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that by keeping section 5907 of the income tax regulations, which allows the use of Barbados as a tax haven, the Minister of Finance, year in and year out, accepts that companies avoid paying tax on $4 billion in revenue every year. A solution exists and the Minister of Finance knows it. All he has to do is abolish section 5907 to get these companies to finally pay their taxes here.

When will he do it?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure we are going to hear more representations along these lines, both to the House finance committee and to the government's panel on tax fairness.

As the member knows, this government has shown a tremendous will to address tax loopholes to make sure that we do not have tax evasion in this country. The government has shown extraordinary courage in tackling these issues and will continue to do so.

IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada recently lost several Canadian businesses. Russian, Chinese, Swedish, American, Indian and Brazilian companies grow richer while the workers' families grow poorer. The government has done nothing to prevent the current situation and to ensure that our economic jewels remain in Canadian hands.

When will the government take this fire sale seriously?

IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no fire sale. In accordance with legislation, a review of major acquisitions is carried out to ensure that there is a net benefit to Canada before the transactions are completed. That is the government policy.

IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Actually, Mr. Speaker, what the government is doing is putting a great big sign on the lawn. It simply says, “Canada for sale”.

We are losing our identity with the takeover of companies like Molson, The Bay and Van Houtte. We are losing jobs with the sell-off of companies like Abitibi and ATI Technologies. We are losing our ability to chart a course for our future with the takeover of companies like Falconbridge and now Alcan.

When will the Prime Minister start standing up for Canada and Canadian jobs?

IndustryOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is the old economic nationalism of the NDP. The NDP does not want Canada to be part of free trade or part of the global economy.

The fact of the matter is that there is foreign investment in Canada. At the same time, Canadian investment outside of Canada has been growing.

Yes, there are job losses from time to time, but there are a lot more job gains under free trade and under our participation in the global economy. That is one reason why we have the lowest unemployment rate in over 40 years.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is pathetic about the Afghan detainees scandal is not only the inconsistency and incompetence of this Conservative government but the fact that we have opposite a former military lobbyist and arms dealer who no longer has the right to speak because his own Prime Minister realizes that he embarrasses Canada every time he utters a word. However, he is the one responsible.

Can the Minister of National Defence confirm that, despite what the Prime Minister is telling us, negotiations are underway with NATO to withdraw troops from Kandahar in January 2009?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in a recent national poll I obtained twice the level of support of the Leader of the Opposition. The reason I obtained that support is that he continues to show poor judgment. Recently he suggested that we would bring the Taliban back to Canada, maybe on a Taliban sponsorship program, but the worst example of his judgment is picking a buffoon as the defence critic.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Maybe, Mr. Speaker, it takes one to recognize another one. I do not know.

What we need--

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I know people are in very good spirits today, but it is question period now and we must have some order. The hon. member for Bourassa has the floor.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, our troops need a defence minister. They do not need a seat cushion.

What we need right now are answers. We do not want to know how the polls are going, because I think that if we were talking about polls the Prime Minister would have some problems.

The question is clear. We want to know if there are negotiations with NATO right now, because the government is negotiating with NATO--

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!