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House of Commons Hansard #172 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was income.

Topics

Income Tax Amendments Act, 2006Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, this budget has so many victims it is hard to keep track. The premiers are victims and the provinces are victims. There are income trust victims and MP victims. Some are still sweating over there. There are students, businesses and trust unit holders who are victimized by this budget.

Does the hon. member think that before the next budget comes forward, Parliament should pass a victims bill of rights so the minister does not continue to dump on the poor Canadian people in such an incompetent and dishonest way?

Income Tax Amendments Act, 2006Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is correct. It is a meanspirited budget with victim after victim after victim.

The other problem is that it is full of broken promises. When the Conservatives break their promise to Newfoundland and Labrador, when they break their promise to Saskatchewan, when they break their promise to Nova Scotia, and when they break their promise to the millions of income trust holders across the land and deprive them of some $25 billion in wealth, Canadians are going to ask who the next victim will be.

How can anybody believe what the government tells them, given all of these examples of promise after promise after promise being broken?

A victims bill of rights would be a great idea. This is the most incompetent, most dishonest budget in living memory, which is why we on this side are proud to oppose it.

Income Tax Amendments Act, 2006Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

To avoid problems, I will allow one more question because I do not want to interrupt the hon. member for Jeanne-Le Ber's speech.

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre with questions and comments.

Income Tax Amendments Act, 2006Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about broken promises and budgets. I want to ask him a couple of things before I get on to Gwyn Morgan.

There was a government that talked about pharmacare, a government that talked about child care, a government that talked about the GST, a government that talked about free trade. It would be important for the member to look in the mirror and honestly account for the broken promises of the Liberal Party when it was in government. I agree with him about the broken promises of the Conservative Party, but Canadians will be confused as to why he is getting up on his soap box and preaching from his perspective.

On Gwyn Morgan, is he saying that the Liberal Party now is using Gwyn Morgan to write its policy on financial arrangements? He might want to take a look at Gwyn Morgan's record in third world countries. I would ask him to look up Andrew Nikiforuk who has done some research on this before he uses Gwyn Morgan as the Liberal Party's chief adviser on financial affairs.

Income Tax Amendments Act, 2006Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is not well placed to moralize and pontificate on these matters because were it not for the NDP, Canadians today would have child care, and aboriginals today would have a Kelowna accord. We have no time to listen to the NDP on matters such as that.

As for Gwyn Morgan, the point is that we had already presented our proposal. After that, Gwyn Morgan came out with a carbon copy of our proposal. In deference to the Prime Minister who does not like the Liberal label, we offered to relabel it as the Gwyn Morgan plan. It happens to be the same as the plan that we had already proposed.

SclerodermaStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, sufferers of scleroderma endure such things as their skin becoming like parchment paper that tears at the slightest bump, internal organs shutting down, weeping ulcers, and joints seizing, a symptom that appears much like leprosy.

June is the month that scleroderma societies choose to have focused educational and fundraising events to get the word out to Canadians regarding this diabolical disease.

Scleroderma victimizes those between the ages of 30 and 50, four out of five of whom are women. More people endure the hardship of scleroderma than either multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy.

There is good news on the horizon with two new substantial research projects now under way. Researcher Dr. Johnson at Toronto Western Hospital and Dr. Baron at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital are bringing new hope to the community of scleroderma sufferers.

We are hopeful that these research projects, and efforts by local champions in Hamilton such as Peter Woolcott, will be joined by others so we will soon see the day when scleroderma is defeated.

SeniorsStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, since this is Seniors Month, I would like to pay tribute to the volunteers who dedicate themselves to maintaining a living environment that supports relationships with family and the community.

Jean-Guy Girard, founding president of Fondation La Belle-Aide, was awarded the Dunamis 2007 trophy for community involvement by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Laval.

Le Partage Humanitaire is dedicated to improving the conditions for seniors living in homes. It plays an essential role for some 1,000 residents who have physical or cognitive limitations.

And thanks to its 127 regular volunteers, La Place des Aînés offers 150 activities to its 6,200 members over the age of 50. Raymond Monette, president, is very proud of this unique meeting place in Canada.

I would like to pay tribute to our seniors, who have contributed to our country's economic prosperity. I thank all the volunteers who work to ensure that seniors can maintain their autonomy and dignity.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Laurentides—Labelle and I recently presented petitions with a total of 2,868 signatures from 105 women's groups.

The petitioners are demanding that the Prime Minister keep the promise he made on January 18, 2006, when he committed to taking action to support the human rights of women. He can do this by reopening the 12 offices of Status of Women Canada, bringing back the court challenges program and restoring the original criteria for the women's program.

Women are being betrayed by this government, which is setting their cause back and violating their rights. If women are so important to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, why has she allowed these cuts to be made?

This government needs to listen to women if it really believes in justice and fairness.

Omar KhadrStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, 25 current and former MPs, including 16 sitting NDP MPs, nine NGOs, and over 110 academics, lawyers and human rights activists signed an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on the government to bring Omar Khadr home to Canada without delay.

Omar Khadr is the only Canadian and the only minor detained by the United States at Guantanamo Bay after allegedly killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old. He has been held for over five years without conviction. Two attempts to convict him using the flawed American military commission system have failed. Serious concerns exist for his mental and physical well-being.

Britain, France, Australia, Russia and Kuwait, among others, have got their citizens out of Guantanamo, but not Canada. A Canadian citizen deserves Canada's support for a fair and just trial no matter how unpopular his actions or how much we may disagree with the political opinions of his family.

Omar Khadr must be returned home and the legal consequences of his alleged actions adjudicated in our criminal justice system.

Stroke Awareness MonthStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, June is Stroke Awareness Month.

Every year, nearly 15,000 Canadians die of a stroke and nearly 300,000 Canadians suffer the effects of a stroke.

A stroke is caused by a lack of blood to the brain that can lead to irreversible brain damage, often resulting in long hospital stays and extensive rehabilitation.

The Government of Canada is promoting health and healthy lifestyles.

Some concrete examples that Canada's new government is taking action include the introduction of Canada's new food guide as well as funding the development of a health heart strategy and action plan.

Please join me in wishing the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Stroke Network, and their volunteers success for this year's Stroke Awareness Month.

Fetal Alcohol SyndromeStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, prenatal consumption of alcohol is the leading known cause of mental retardation in Canada.

The latest Environics research study found 87% support for requiring health warning labels on the containers of alcoholic beverages. However, only 42% knew that fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS, was a group of physical and mental birth defects caused by consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.

There is no safe level of consumption and the most vulnerable period is during the early weeks when most women do not even know that they are pregnant. Since 50% of pregnancies are unplanned, those in their birthing years who are sexually active and not using protection should abstain from consuming alcohol to totally eliminate the risk.

As the health committee has called for a comprehensive prevention strategy, I urge Health Canada to step up and take action on fetal alcohol syndrome. After 12 years of talking, it is time to get the job done.

SeniorsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Conservative Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, today, June 15, 2007, Canadians join together to recognize the second annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Elder abuse exists in many ugly forms. We know elder abuse exists because we hear about it all the time but many seniors do not report abuse. Many feel isolated and afraid to speak out. As a result, elder abuse remains largely hidden behind closed doors.

This government is reaching out to our seniors population. We are showing Canadians that elder abuse exists, and that there is help available within our communities. In March, the Secretary of State for Seniors, the Minister of Human Resources and the Minister of Health announced the creation of the National Seniors Council. One of the first priorities of this council as announced in budget 2007 is a new horizons for seniors program expansion from $10 million per year to $35 million.

This government will establish programs to educate seniors on elder abuse and fraud. We are actively working with the federal-provincial-territorial group on safety and security for seniors. This group promotes awareness to help crack down on criminals and scam artists who prey on our most vulnerable.

Our government is taking real action to stand up for those who built this country and made it what it is today.

Tourist Events in DrummondStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the riding of Drummond, in the heart of Quebec, is the place to be this summer because of the many diverse and unique activities that are going on there.

The 26th edition of the Mondial des cultures will once again bring together colourful dance troupes from many different countries.

AO, the new production of the Légendes fantastiques, is an outstanding multimedia show that takes place on the shore of the Saint-François River. It features 150 people from the community who transport the audience to a world of wonders.

The Quebec Village of Yesteryear, which this year marks its 30th anniversary, is a must-see. Visitors to this reconstructed 19th century village can relive bygone days and the history of Quebec by interacting with the dozens of volunteers who spend the summer living in the village.

A myriad of other activities await people who visit Drummond this summer. I am proud of my region, its vitality and the warm welcome the people give visitors.

AgricultureStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, this past Wednesday the people of Saskatchewan learned that their provincial NDP government would be providing the so-called Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board with $30,000 of their hard-earned tax dollars to sue the federal government over removal of barley from the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly.

Not only is this a gross misuse of taxpayers' money, it is a slap in the face to our farmers who will finally have the opportunity to market their own grain on August 1 of this year.

Mr. Calvert and his NDP government are truly in desperate times, but even still the premier completely ignores the majority of agricultural producers who want an end to the Wheat Board's monopoly on barley.

Could it be that he feels that farmers do not deserve the opportunity to market their own grain, or could it be that he just does not understand the needs of the people of Saskatchewan and that it is time for a change in his NDP monopoly government as well?

Canada's new government has put into motion a real plan for our farmers in the way they market their grain. If spending taxpayers' money to sue against the will of the people is what Premier Calvert wants, then he is truly out of touch with the needs of Saskatchewan.

Michael FortierStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has invested a lot of political capital in Michael Fortier. Mr. Fortier was the Prime Minister's Quebec campaign manager and party bagman.

With those qualifications he appointed him to the Senate and gave him a big job. That is primarily because the good people of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver had the good sense not to elect any Conservative MPs.

Then the Prime Minister and his flunkies went on a rant for 16 months about the Senate, all the while trying to impose an ill-conceived reform package on the upper chamber.

Is it too much to ask whether Mr. Fortier could at least come to work? Is this how he pays back the Prime Minister?

November 9, 2006 marked the first day that Mr. Fortier showed up in the chamber in order to vote. Pity the poor parliamentary secretary who has to carry the can for the minister. I wonder whether the minister checks in every few months with his parliamentary secretary just to see how things are going.

Apparently Mr. Fortier is going to run in the next election as a Conservative Party candidate. I wonder whether his work ethic will allow him to show up.

The BudgetStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, just as they did on Senate term limits, the unelected, clearly unaccountable Liberal senators are trying to hold up passage of Bill C-52, which could cost Canadians almost $4 billion, money the region of Waterloo and my riding of Cambridge desperately needs, money for our environment, spinal cord research, and our labour training initiatives.

It is bad enough that the Liberals and NDP members voted against money for women and girls with cervical cancer in Cambridge and North Dumfries, but in doing so they said no to their own women and girls. They also said no to firefighter training in their own ridings. They said no to money for school boards in their own ridings.

The Conservative government has clearly delivered for Canadians. It is time the Liberals and the Liberal senators do the same. I urge the Liberal interim leader to stand up to his Liberal senators for Canadians and stop these selfish political games for power.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, with the Conservatives asleep at the environmental switchboard, residents in Trinity—Spadina are taking action and making a difference.

Thanks to the phenomenal leadership of the Harbord Village Residents' Association, Palmerston Area Residents' Association, Seaton Village and the neighbours of St. Alban's Park, thousands of local area residents are learning about solar, electric and hot water systems. These neighbourhoods are bulk purchasing to save money and are reducing their energy use.

The Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park have organized a farmers market and are promoting local food. They want to get Canadians off their SUV diets and are hosting a 100 mile dinner. We should think global and eat local. These downtown residents are taking action on climate change, but our government is failing them with its ecoenergy plan.

Thousands of condo residents are excluded, so are the thousands of people living in low income housing, and low income families cannot afford to dish out thousands before finding out if they are even eligible. When will the government get serious about climate change and take real action?

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

June 15th, 2007 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's decision to withdraw support for the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples is of great concern. In 2005 Canada was fully supportive of the declaration and was actively encouraging other countries to sign on.

Documents obtained by Amnesty International show that bureaucrats at foreign affairs, Indian affairs and defence have all urged the government to support the declaration.

The Conservative government, in a betrayal of this country's position, has been one of the most aggressive opponents of the declaration. In so doing it has abandoned the concept of universal rights and damaged Canada's reputation.

I am proud to represent many Micmac First Nations, such as Elsipogtog, Bouctouche, Fort Folly and Indian Island. These men and women deserve better from the government.

How can the government say it is a protector of human rights when it opposes the rights of indigenous people around the world?

Public Service WeekStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, June 10 to 16 is Public Service Week. First launched in 1992 by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, its purpose is to celebrate the contribution of public service employees with respect to both service delivery to the public as well as administration. This celebration helps to enhance the work environment and create new ties among the men and women whose work is essential to the federal government's operations.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to commend the work, professionalism and initiative of the employees of the departments, government agencies and crown corporations.

Happy Public Service Week to all.

Prince Edward IslandStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Liberal Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, a new era has dawned in Prince Edward Island, the cradle of Confederation, with the swearing in of a new Liberal government under Premier Robert Ghiz.

Robert, son of outstanding Premier Joseph Ghiz, will continue in the longstanding tradition of the natural governing party of P.E.I., the Liberal Party, to introduce innovative programs to usher P.E.I. into the new century.

I would like to congratulate the new premier and his team, and wish them all the best as they outline their plan for the years to come. They now have the opportunity to mould the future of the province and I am confident they will do it in the best interests of all islanders.

I would like to extend an invitation to all members of Parliament, the Senate and all Canadians to visit P.E.I. this summer. The beaches will be warm, the golf courses will be green, their putts will run true, and the people of the island will welcome them with open arms.

The BudgetStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week Bill C-52, legislation implementing budget 2007, passed third reading in the House.

This is a great budget that stands to benefit all Canadians in all provinces. There is $1 billion in health care funding, $1.5 billion in clean air funding, $225 million for the nature conservancy of Canada, $614 million for federal-provincial infrastructure projects, $30 million to protect British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest, $30 million for Rick Hansen's foundation, and $133 million in new aid to help the people of Afghanistan rebuild their lives and their country.

A majority of democratically elected members passed this legislation. Why then is an unelected Liberal dominated Senate holding up the passage of Bill C-52, a bill that Canadians want and need?

A leader gets the job done. Why can the Leader of the Opposition not get the job done by insisting his Liberal senators approve this great budget?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the second time the Red Cross has been forced to correct statements made by this minority government. The Conservatives stated that the Red Cross was involved in investigating allegations of torture in Afghanistan, but the Red Cross says that that is completely false.

We already knew that the Minister of National Defence was incompetent. Why does the Prime Minister tolerate the same incompetence on the part of his Minister of Foreign Affairs?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, all members of the House know that we have an agreement with the government of Afghanistan regarding detainees. As for the International Committee of the Red Cross, I would like to read an excerpt from an article on this issue: “In 2006, the Red Cross visited 2,400 detainees held in the 80 Afghan prisons, primarily to ensure that human rights are respected”. It is doing its job.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Red Cross has a mandate to monitor detainees but is not at all involved with the Afghan authorities investigating specific allegations of torture, but that is what the government is suggesting to cover its own flawed agreement. We have seen this story before.

Was the foreign affairs minister not paying attention when the Minister of National Defence had to apologize for misleading this House about the Red Cross? How can the minister not know what the Red Cross is doing?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the agreement that we entered into is actually one that is significantly enhanced from the flawed agreement that the Liberals entered into, where they relied on the Red Cross as the only source of protection for detainees.

The Red Cross does good work, but we went farther than that and the reviews are very good. I read Paul Koring in The Globe and Mail, who writes of the Conservative agreement with the Afghan government:

The new deal transforms Canada into the standard-bearer for all foreign countries in the monitoring of transferred prisoners in Afghanistan...In several key aspects, the deal exceeds the safeguards in other NATO arrangements, including the much-vaunted British and Dutch agreements.

Not only are we doing better than what the Liberals did. He says we are doing better than what everybody else did.