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House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let us look at some of the things that the Leader of the Opposition did when he was minister of intergovernmental affairs for seven years.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

It's a pretty short list.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Answer the question.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, but that is nothing because nothing was done on that.

Now there is $17.6 billion in base funding for municipalities through this government. That includes a full GST rebate of $5.8 billion, $11.8 billion for gas tax fund until 2014 and $2.3 billion in equal per jurisdiction funding over each year. It goes on and on.

This government is getting the job done. We are implementing changes and we are getting positive results for Canadians.

Fisheries ActOral Questions

June 4th, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week the Liberal motion to hoist the new Fisheries Act was defeated. The hoist accomplished nothing besides 96 days of delay, time wasted at the expense of modern and accountable conservation measures and the protection of fish and fish habitat, and much needed stability for Canada's fisheries.

Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans assure this House that he will continue to lead on behalf of Canadian fishers and deliver this badly needed legislation?

Fisheries ActOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

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

Conservative

Loyola Hearn ConservativeMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me tell the hon. member what others say about the need to bring this act forth. “We cannot afford, quite frankly, to lose this new Fisheries Act” said the Liberal member for Mississauga South. “It is very simple. Bring it before the committee”, that is what committees are for, said the Liberal member for Sydney—Victoria. “With minor changes, it will be an excellent bill”, said my good friend, the Liberal member for West Nova.

We need the new act and we will get it.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the infrastructure minister spoke to more than 2,000 municipal leaders at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference on Saturday. He should not have bothered, after all, he had nothing to tell them. The minister's big announcement on public transit was that he planned to get a plan and in the same breath said that there would not be one new cent to support it.

Who does the minister think he is fooling? It is not our municipal leaders. It is not transit users and it certainly is not anyone who cares about the environment. He is not fooling anyone.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what the question was but it gives me a great opportunity to talk about some of the things we are doing.

We are taking concrete steps. We are supporting our military families. The party over there says that it is supporting military families but it is not. It votes against every opportunity to support them. It says that it supports police officers but it does not. It says it supports the environment and the other party says that it supports the environment but they simply do not. Both parties vote against every initiative for Canadians that we bring forward.

We are trying to work cooperatively. We are listening to stakeholders and we are getting the job done.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that answer was as much a slap in the face as the minister's speech on the weekend. Not only did the minister refuse to offer some funding for transit but the minister arrogantly decreed to mayors and councillors that transferring a share of the gas tax to municipalities for seven years is the same as permanent funding. Well, it is not. Many big municipal projects take two to three years just to plan and another eight to ten to complete.

How can municipalities serve their constituents responsibly if they cannot even get funding for a few short years?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I guess the member is not satisfied with the record amount of funding that we have actually allocated for infrastructure, because that is what it is. After 13 years of neglect by the previous Liberal government--

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

I know it is shameful and I know the Liberals are still ashamed of that, and so they should be, but we are taking a step forward. We are getting results for Canadians. In a short period of time, if they can hold their breath that long, we will be coming forward with some really good programs. We are listening to stakeholders and we will get results.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister assigns blame and exaggerates the sins of first nations people for his government's blatant human rights violations. It provides no support for: children with disabilities; replacing burned down schools; people dying from black mould; and, worst of all, it is denying children their rights.

First nations people have a right to be angry. They are being blamed for the government's human rights violations.

The minister is clearly playing games with first nations funding. Why is he providing funding for first nations only until the end of June? Oh, right, that is when the national day of action is scheduled.

Why is the minister playing games with first nations funding? Is he afraid of the truth?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 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 am not entirely sure what the hon. member is speaking to but perhaps he could direct some of the same vigour, enthusiasm and zeal toward Bill C-44, which is currently before the aboriginal affairs committee of the House.

The operative clause of the bill is nine words long. The bill has been at the committee for 20 weeks which has allowed the committee, on average, 10 days to study each word, including complicated words such as “is” and “the”.

The member and others have had 20 weeks to study the bill. Perhaps he should get on with protecting human rights.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is classic deflect and blame. We do not need to wait for section 67 to be repealed.

The minister has the power today to protect people from black mould. He has the power today to help people who have children with disabilities. He can help people today to rebuild the school in Deschambault. That is why first nations are frustrated.

I will be very calm here. I ask first nations across the country to hold peaceful demonstrations on June 29 and I ask the minister if he will stop threatening first nations with this childish behaviour.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:45 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, once again it is worth pointing out to the hon. member that no one has threatened anyone. We simply pointed out that we respect the law and we expect that people will respect the law on June 29.

In terms of the record of this government compared to the previous government, I point out for the edification of the hon. member that it was the former Liberal government, over the course of 13 years, that did absolutely nothing to resolve land claims in the country and allowed an accumulation of over 800 backlogged land claims. That is the cause of frustration in the aboriginal community. If he wants to know who is responsible, he need only look in a mirror.

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, it looks like the cat is finally out of the bag. The Conservative member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley said on Friday, “I believe that the budget does amend the Atlantic accord in a way which it shouldn’t”.

We know the PM is a pro at muzzling his MPs and ministers but he can only hide the truth for so long. With his own members turning against him, will he end his betrayal of Atlantic Canada and honour the accord?

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, budget 2007 for the first time laid out a principled basis for equalization in Canada.

Two provinces in Atlantic Canada had special situations with respect to the accords. The O'Brien expert panel recommended that the accords be capped. Our government decided not to do that so that the accords could be honoured.

They are indeed being honoured and, in the case of the province of Nova Scotia, it asked for the opportunity to opt into the new formula, the new modified O'Brien program, for one year to have a look at that. Yes, it is a benefit of $95 million to the people of Nova Scotia this year.

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the hard truth is that the PM's own caucus now admits that the budget does not honour the accord.

Finally, one of them is standing up for the interests of his constituents. A Nova Scotia Conservative MP said this issue is:

--important because of the amount of money the province could lose or gain depending on the outcome.

That MP wants the accord honoured.

We want the accord honoured. Nova Scotians want the accord honoured. Why will the Prime Minister not do the honourable thing and restore the accord?

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the government were to listen to the member opposite, the people of Nova Scotia would receive $95 million less this year than they will receive under the O'Brien formula. Not only that but next year they would receive $59 million less.

I ask the member opposite how is that a benefit to his constituents and the people of Nova Scotia who want good education and health care? Why would he want to deprive them of $95 million this year?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, Quebec's Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Benoît Pelletier, reiterated the request made by the Government of Quebec and the National Assembly to withdraw the electoral representation bill, a bill that reduces Quebec's weight in the House of Commons. In the minister's words, “as a nation, Quebeckers must have effective representation to ensure their voices are heard”.

If the House's recognition of the Quebec nation really means something, then when will the government withdraw Bill C-56, as requested in the unanimous motion passed in Quebec's National Assembly on May 16?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our bill is based on principles, such as the principle of representation by population and the principle of proportional representation of the provinces. This approach is needed to ensure fairness in Canada and to protect the provinces whose population has grown, such as Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, given answers like that one, Quebeckers can be expected to wonder if recognition of the Quebec nation was nothing more than Conservative politicking. There is another principle at work here: a balance between the Canadian nation and the Quebec nation. This bill does not recognize that balance.

When will the government finally accept the consequences of having recognized Quebec as a nation and honour the decisions made by the National Assembly by guaranteeing our nation a 25% share of membership in the House, thereby ensuring that Quebec's voice will always be heard?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-56 contains absolute protection for all Quebec seats. The province of Quebec will keep its 75 seats. That will continue to be the case once Bill C-56 has been passed.

Summer Jobs ProgramOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, we still do not have the information the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development promised to provide to the House on his bungled Canada summer jobs program.

Today there is no way that Canadians can access this list to show which organizations qualified for the program funding for this year.

The minister promised in the House that the information would be made public by the end of May but he has broken his promise. What is the reason? What is he trying to hide? When will the unaccountable minister tell Canadians how he is distributing the funds?