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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 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, she is quite right. The government cannot have it both ways. The truth is that the Prime Minister was advised on Monday.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Oral Questions

June 2nd, 2008 / 2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is threatening to play political games to stop Parliament from passing before the summer recess in June important legislation affecting all Canadians.

The budget 2008 implementation bill includes provisions such as a new tax-free savings account and new support for Canadian students, along with nearly $1.4 billion in key federal support that will be lost if the legislation is not passed prior to the summer recess.

Can the minister confirm this, and that the votes with respect to amendments to the bill are a matter of confidence?

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Bill C-50 is a budget bill. Votes with respect to amending Bill C-50 are matters of confidence. The member for Burlington is right. If the bill does not pass, the loss will be about $1.5 billion in key federal support in a number of areas, including $500 million for public transit, $400 million for new police officers, $250 million for carbon capture in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, $160 million to support genomics and biomedical research, and $110 million to help Canadians facing mental health challenges and homelessness.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a new study by Infometrica and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has reached a stunning conclusion. To quote FCM's president, Gord Steeves:

The conclusion is inescapable: Canada's broken tax system, which downloads on municipalities while keeping them dependent on the property tax, is a job killer.

Can the minister explain why the government's unbalanced tax agenda leaves cash poor municipalities holding the bag for the $123 billion infrastructure deficit, killing their local jobs in the process?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we cannot take credit for Liberal failures, but let us be clear. Gord Steeves also said:

Budget 2008 delivers good news for cities and communities....The permanent gas tax fund sets a new standard for the way the Government of Canada supports cities and communities. It will provide the kind of funding support our cities and communities need: significant, sustained and predictable.

We are getting the job done for Canadians.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government can try, but it is not going to change the channel. What FCM members heard this weekend was groundbreaking. For the first time, a study has demonstrated conclusively that more jobs are killed by property tax increases than by sales tax or income tax.

What should the people of Canada believe, the self-serving, sloganeering, bumper sticker spin of the government, or the credible, considered, collective view of our municipal leaders from coast to coast to coast?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta

Conservative

Brian Jean ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, how about believing the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities when he said:

[The] Prime Minister...[the] Finance Minister...and [the] Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister...have chosen to invest in our economic prosperity, our quality of life and our future, and for that we applaud them.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is clear from the previous responses of the Minister of Justice that the Treasury Board President is being considered for a judicial appointment.

Let us understand the process here. His application will be approved by a Manitoba committee that he appointed and then will be discussed and approved by the cabinet, of which he is a member.

The conflict of interest is insurmountable. When will the government assure Canadians that this patronage appointment will not proceed?

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the hon. member that all the appointments this government has made were thoroughly vetted through a judicial advisory committee.

I can tell the House that the 165 appointments made by this government were all done on the basis of merit and legal excellence. I can assure this House that the next 165 will be done on the same basis.

JusticeOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Justice that is less than gobbledygook.

The cabinet has the final word on judicial appointments and Canadians deserve to know that when this appointment is discussed the Treasury Board President will not be the one voting to get a job for himself.

The government should show some accountability and admit that appointing the Treasury Board President to the bench would be a blatant conflict of interest.

If the government were not so arrogant, it would never appoint that member to the bench. I bet it never would.

JusticeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the House that we take all judicial appointments very seriously. I think the thanks of all Canadians goes out to those individuals who are prepared to serve.

We will continue to take our responsibilities seriously. I appreciate that the Liberals are upset about the fact that they do not make the appointments anymore and I can assure the House that will continue for a long time.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, seven months ago, the Prime Minister promised Canadians a public inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber scandal. The government promised to appoint a commissioner soon. Every time we ask about it, the answer is “soon”.

When will the government stop covering for Brian Mulroney and appoint someone to oversee this inquiry?

EthicsOral 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, the government asked professor David Johnston to set out the parameters for an inquiry. We now have Mr. Johnston's report and are waiting for a public inquiry to begin.

EthicsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is not hard to see why the government is having trouble finding someone to lead the inquiry. The Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board said that the person to get that job is a poor soul. He implied that no sane person would take that job. That is quite a recruitment campaign they have over there.

Many have said that this inquiry is not a priority for the Prime Minister. We know the truth is not a priority for the government but protecting Brian Mulroney is a priority.

When will the government make a full inquiry a priority and name a commissioner, bientôt?

EthicsOral 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, I agree, soon.

Bill C-484Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Montreal on Sunday, some 1,500 people demonstrated against Bill C-484. Despite what the Conservatives say, this bill opens the door to the recriminalization of abortion. Everyone in Quebec is critical of it, and the National Assembly adopted a unanimous motion asking that this bill be withdrawn.

Will the government shed its ideological straitjacket and vote against this regressive bill that threatens women's rights?

Bill C-484Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has made it very clear that it has no intention of re-opening this debate. Apparently the hon. member is upset that private members can introduce private members' bills, but those are the rules that we have and each member can vote accordingly.

Bill C-484Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec, Dr. Gaétan Barrette, has also criticized this bill, in an attempt to avoid returning to a time when abortions were illegal and dangerous to women's health.

Will the Minister of Justice admit that this bill is nothing but an underhanded attack on women, and that it threatens their right to free choice?

Bill C-484Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, again I guess the Bloc does not understand. Maybe it does not like the rules of the House, but all members are entitled to introduce private members' bills. If it really upsets the Bloc, why does it not introduce a private member's bill to get rid of private members' bills, if that is what it does not like?

Human RightsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, two months ago, the member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre promised to make amends for his regrettable homophobic remarks caught on videotape.

The gay and lesbian community, specifically in Regina, accepted the member's apology on the condition that he was serious and that he showed concrete evidence of his sincerity. However, to date they are still waiting. There has been no response to their letters, no meeting, nothing in two months.

Could the Prime Minister tell us exactly what the parliamentary secretary will be doing to make amends and when he will do it?

Human RightsOral 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, when those comments came to light in what was, I think, a 19-year-old videotape, the hon. member took responsibility for his words and apologized. We heard it in this House and I believe we all agree that it was a heartfelt, sincere and genuine apology and this government has accepted that apology.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Minister of the Environment was in Montreal to launch the Montreal Climate Exchange to help Canada move forward on the road to a low carbon economy.

Can the Minister of the Environment tell the House how we are providing tangible results to Canadians who want us to take action to deal with climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for Montreal and I are working very hard with Luc Bertrand, the president of the Montreal Exchange. We were very pleased that he launched a new climate exchange, which was a very important part of our plan to reduce greenhouse gases.

We have a tough plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% and we are very proud that the former premier of Quebec said a few words about it.

Pierre Marchand wrote in La Presse, earlier this year, that “Canada entered the era of climate change in 2007.”

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister seems to be the only leader on the planet who would look at our Arctic's melting icecap and see an opportunity to drill for even more oil, putting more fuel on the climate change fire.

Imperial Oil, with a record $3.2 billion profit last year out of the tar sands, is now turning its eyes to the far north.

The Prime Minister has the legislation, the power and the responsibility to finally defend the environment. In 72 hours, he will make the decision on Imperial Oil's Kearl oil sands development. Will he do the right thing and finally stand up for our planet?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, when I became the Minister of the Environment, there was only one rule in place: a big fat tax subsidy brought in by the Liberal Party for the oil sands.

Not only have we eliminated that but we are actually doing something that is remarkable. We are actually forcing the big polluters to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Never before in Canadian history have they been required to do that.

We came forward with further mandates requiring carbon capture and storage, leading edge technology that is already at work in Saskatchewan.

We will ensure that every environmental law is respected so we can do the right thing for our planet and our future.