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House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Carbon Tax ProposalStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, my constituents will not be deceived by the Liberals' carbon tax.

We know that the Liberal leader's plan is to impose a permanent new tax that would hurt all Canadians. On farms across our country, fertilizer prices are already costly and will be more expensive if the Liberals get to launch their new tax grab.

There are sin taxes already on alcohol and tobacco, and now the Liberals want to apply a sin tax on rural and urban Canadians who are heating their homes in the winter and driving to work year-round. They want to tax electricity even if it kills manufacturing jobs, and hits seniors and everyone else on a fixed income. The Liberals are promising to almost triple the tax on diesel. This would also hurt farmers and increase the cost of everything transported by truck or train, including food.

My constituents know that every carbon tax imposed in Europe has hit gas prices hard, very hard. The Liberal carbon tax plan would be a dirty trick and would hurt all Canadians.

New Squadron in BagotvilleStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government has still not fulfilled its promise to form an expeditionary squadron at the base in Bagotville, despite the announcement made there in July 2007 by the defence minister at the time.

In light of the delay in completing this project, I recently submitted a brief to the conference of elected officials of the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region. I recommended that the region's elected officials join together to ensure that the Conservatives fulfill their promise and do everything necessary to bring in new soldiers as soon as possible.

The Conservatives must fulfill the promise they made to the people of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean during the last election campaign. The people of Chicoutimi—Le Fjord will not accept half-measures when it comes to the Conservatives' commitment.

I remind this government that a promise is a promise.

Carbon Tax ProposalStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in The Chronicle-Herald, the Liberal member for Cape Breton—Canso suggested that he too is worried about the massive Liberal tax hike. I quote:

When you cross the street and get hit by a car, it doesn't matter if you were in the crosswalk. You're still dead. If we don't get this right, politically, we'll pay.

How prophetic for the Liberal Party. But while the Liberal members are worrying about their jobs and electoral prospects, Canadians are worried about paying for heating their homes, getting to work and putting food in their children's mouths.

This deceitful tax grab is supposed to be revenue neutral, but in fact it bleeds income from students, families and small business and puts it in the grips of the Liberal Party.

I am not going to be fooled. The Conservative members will not be fooled. The good people of Prince Edward--Hastings will not be fooled. All Canadians will not be fooled. They know when they are getting the shaft and not the shift.

World Refugee DayStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of World Refugee Day, held annually on June 20.

It is a day to recognize the hardships that the world's refugee population faces, especially those who live without material, social or legal protection. It is also a day to celebrate the tireless efforts of all those striving to protect and improve the lives of forcibly displaced people, from the provision of food and shelter to support for those lacking legal status, or helping those who wish to return to their home country.

This year, World Refugee Day focuses on the fundamental need for protection. For some, protection means economic security. For others, this means freedom from violence, persecution or even death.

I ask my colleagues in this House and all Canadians to help protect refugees by raising awareness at the grassroots level, in local communities, workplaces and online. By forming a global network of supporters, we help ensure that protection is extended equally around the world and that the plight of refugees is in some small way improved.

Carbon Tax ProposalStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, a Liberal dirty tax trick by any other name, say, a green shift, is still a Liberal dirty tax trick.

The Liberal leader gleefully announced he would permanently up the cost of gas, electricity and everything Canadians buy, killing Canadian jobs. Peel back the green veneer and this permanent new Liberal tax is not about the environment. There are 40-plus pages about the crushing tax and not a single word about how many greenhouse gases this green shaft will reduce.

Polluting industries will not pay. They will pass on the tax to consumers. But truckers and farmers will pay. Canadians will pay on everything, including ultimately the price of gas. In fact, the only green shift that will occur with this Liberal tax is hard-earned money from Canadians' wallets to the Liberal leader's coffers.

The Liberals once promised to kill the GST. Now they are adding a tax as large as the GST, permanently, on virtually everything we buy so the Liberal leader can spend it all on programs, on special interests and endless priorities.

Under this punitive tax, the Liberal leader gets the green goldmine, while Canadians and the environment get the shaft.

Carbon Tax ProposalStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the people of northern Ontario will certainly take a massive hit from the Liberal carbon tax plan because the tax on home heating fuels will affect rural residents and seniors. They will be treated as if they were the Athabasca tar sands. There is nothing in this plan to deal with massive pollution.

I dealt with families and seniors in northern Ontario who were paying crippling heating bills last year and there is nothing in this plan to help them shift to more alternative fuels. When we talk about a green shift, it is really a blame shift. It is taking the blame away from the big polluters and putting it on the people who cannot afford to pay.

What we are dealing with is no plan from the Conservatives, a bad plan from the Liberals, or the plan that was actually seen as becoming the model, which is the plan supported by the New Democratic Party, the cap and trade system. This is the way they are going in Europe. This is being supported in the U.S. Unlike my Conservative colleagues, I do not attack the Liberals and believe the Liberal leader has a nefarious motion; I think he just does not get it.

Carbon Tax ProposalStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Leader of the Opposition launched a new debate. It is a debate about building a richer, greener and fairer Canada.

The Liberal Party believes that it is time we put a price on pollution and put every single penny back into the hands of Canadians. Polluters will pay and Canadians will gain. It is called the green shift and it is a good idea. It is a bold idea and Canadians are ready for this debate.

The Conservatives have done nothing for more than two years. They have no plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and no plan for the 21st century economy. Instead of engaging Canadians honestly, all the government can do is call us names, mislead Canadians and use throwaway cute phrases.

The time has come to do what is right, not what is easy, for our environment and for our future. We will fight fear with hope. We will fight lies with facts. We will build a richer, greener and fairer Canada.

Aboriginal PeopleStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, June 21, is National Aboriginal Day. The theme is the “encounter” between aboriginals and the Europeans. The Bloc Québécois favours a nation to nation approach based on mutual respect.

The federal government recently apologized to the victims of residential schools. In Kahnawake, in my riding, young Mohawks suffered irreparable damage.

Ellen Gabriel, president of the Québec Native Women organization, is calling for more action to correct the oppressive measures that are preventing aboriginal peoples from prospering socially, culturally, politically and economically.

If the Conservatives are serious about this apology, then I urge the Prime Minister not to wait any longer to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and thus make it clear that his apology meant something.

Government AppointmentsStatements By Members

June 20th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board is an embarrassment to his Conservative colleagues. His golden parachute eases him into a well-paying job as a judge in Manitoba but, alas, he is not finished embarrassing them yet.

In 2004 he complained about how much money judges were paid in this country, and I quote, “Despite the fact there are at least 10 qualified applicants for every position, the minister says he must boost the pay of judges...”. Where are the 10 qualified applicants for each judicial position? I wonder if the Minister of Justice will tell us the names of the 10 qualified applicants that are being passed over in favour of the President of the Treasury Board.

His soon to be honour once was quoted as saying, “I would not want to see the politicization of the process where judges run for office”. I am glad politics are being kept out of this appointment.

The President of the Treasury Board may soon go from the Conservative benches to the federal bench, but for the government and his colleagues, the embarrassment continues.

Carbon Tax ProposalStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am concerned. Yesterday the leader of the Liberal Party outlined his carbon tax plan. This plan would impose financial hardship on farmers and other rural Canadians.

Farmers cannot take the bus and the last time I looked, there was no subway under the cornfields of Elgin County. The only way to heat their homes in much of rural Canada is by heating oil or electricity. Should farmers be encouraged to huddle together and think green thoughts this winter to keep warm? Farmers are asking if they will be forced to take the hard-earned green from their fields and hand it over for huge spending promises.

I wonder if the leader of the Liberal Party would like farmers to carpool to their fields in the morning. I wonder how he would ever think that his rural green credit would make this plan okay with rural Canadians. One hundred fifty dollars a year. I know that John Deere is green, but on 41¢ a day, I am not sure they will be able to start their tractors.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the Conservatives came to power in January 2006, energy prices have skyrocketed. A litre of gas at the pump is 45% higher. A litre of diesel is 50% higher. Home heating oil is 72% higher.

The Liberal green shift plan will help Canadians to adjust to these new prices by offering billions of dollars in income tax cuts and other benefits. We are shifting taxes off income and innovation and onto pollution and helping Canadians.

How does the Prime Minister intend to help Canadians offset these massive increases in energy costs incurred on his watch?

The EnvironmentOral 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 way we are going to help Canadians cope with avoiding massive increases in energy costs is by ensuring that the Liberal Party does not get elected with its carbon tax plan.

As the Liberal leader told his party when he was seeking the leadership, “Elect me and I won't give you a carbon tax”. He told those members that. He tricked them. Then he gave them the green shaft yesterday. There they are, saddled with a carbon tax they never wanted.

That flip-flop is so dramatic that they have not caught up on the Liberal website. Today it still says “we do not favour a carbon tax”. I wish they would make up their minds.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have a plan to help Canadians reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and to mitigate the rising price of energy.

After his unproductive, pale green visit to Europe, the Prime Minister said that the economic models espoused by countries like Norway, Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands, with their carbon taxes, are just plain crazy.

Does the Prime Minister think that these European countries are crazy?

The EnvironmentOral 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 Liberal leader promised his party that he would not bring in a carbon tax, but that is not what we saw yesterday. He seems to have changed his mind.

I would like to quote the Liberal Party leader, who said, last fall, that “—there will be no carbon tax—” Clearly, when the Liberal Party leader says something, he is not to be believed.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the race is on to compete in the carbon constrained 21st century and, instead of leading, the Prime Minister has no interest in seeing Canada become the greenest and cleanest economy in the world.

Let me say what is truly crazy. What is crazy is a Prime Minister who will not act now to help ensure that future generations have a sustainable atmosphere.

What is crazy is a Prime Minister who is shutting Canada out of what Goldman Sachs describes as a $3 trillion environmental technologies market.

Why does the Prime Minister not understand that environmental leadership is economic leadership?

The EnvironmentOral 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, in the tax plan the Liberal leader released yesterday, a tax plan he said he would never have, he does not mention one single ounce of reductions in greenhouse gases. Those members can hide behind it all they want, but a tax plan is all it is.

Do Canadians know what else they said in the plan? They said there would not be any taxes on gasoline in it, but what did the Liberal finance critic say yesterday? The member for Markham—Unionville acknowledges that a full carbon tax would be “devilishly complicated, and that a Liberal government might begin with something a great deal more straightforward, such as a tax on imported oil”. Let us guess what that means: higher gasoline prices in Ontario, in Quebec and in all the Atlantic provinces.

Those members have already changed their minds in one day on that part of the policy.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in reference to our green plan, University of Calgary economics professor Jack Mintz said:

I don't think the plan will be negative on growth.

In fact, it will probably be quite positive.

Given the fact that the Prime Minister has a master's in economics from Professor Mintz's own department, does the Prime Minister also think that Professor Mintz is crazy?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 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 I know is that Jack Mintz went on television last night to say that he had nothing to do with the construction of the Liberal plan. Apparently he is embarrassed about a plan that says absolutely nothing about reducing greenhouse gases, a plan that the Liberals' leader promised he would never, ever implement, saying to elect him as leader and he would never give them a carbon tax.

A few months later, they have a carbon tax. That is why Canadians do not trust this tax trick. It is nothing but one great big tax grab from the Liberal leader.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

That was more fearmongering, Mr. Speaker, and they keep it up.

Doug Porter, deputy chief economist of BMO Capital Markets, believes that carbon taxes are “about as efficient a way as there is out there” to battle climate change

Economists know that when we cut taxes on income and investment, we get more jobs and increase productivity. That is our green plan. When we tax pollution, polluters will find cleaner ways to dispose of their waste. What is so crazy about that?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 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, I will say this much for the Liberal Party members. It is refreshing, after a year of those members debating anything else but policy ideas and issues, to see them finally raise an issue.

Unfortunately, it is an issue on which no Canadian believes them because their leader said he would never do it. He said last fall that there would never be a carbon tax. He said during the leadership campaign that it was “bad policy”. Guess what he said yesterday: I love my carbon tax policy and I love higher taxes. He did not say one word about one figure, one ounce of reduction in greenhouse gases.

It is nothing but a carbon tax trick and Canadians know that.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have learned that the former foreign affairs minister will speak next week in Saint-Georges-de-Beauce. To be certain that he will not be questioned by the opposition, the hon. member for Beauce decided to wait until the House of Commons adjourned for the summer. How very brave of him.

Does the government not agree that the refusal of the hon. member for Beauce, following the example of the Prime Minister, to come and testify before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security shows a lack of ethics, transparency and respect for parliamentary institutions?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 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, on the contrary, the member for Beauce, in this particular circumstance when he was found to have left documents in an unsecured place, tendered his resignation and took responsibility for that act. That resignation has been accepted.

That is the kind of ministerial accountability that I think Canadians want to see and want to expect from their representatives. That is the kind of responsibility that the member for Beauce took in this regard.

What is more, he recommended to the Prime Minister that the Department of Foreign Affairs conduct a full review of the matter. That is exactly what is happening.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is simply more empty rhetoric from the Government House leader. Furthermore, we are still waiting for answers in the Cadman affair, the Brodie affair, the Mulroney-Schreiber affair, the in and out scandal, and of course the affair concerning the former foreign affairs minister. In all those cases, there has been no end to the bad faith shown by the Conservatives and the Prime Minister, even to the point of obstructing parliamentary committees.

Does the government realize that it was elected under false pretences, promising transparency and ethics, but that those promises have been broken repeatedly?

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 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, after listening to the Bloc member's question, it is now clear that the Bloc Québécois and the Liberals have decided to join forces. The new Bloc Québécois strategy seems to be to align itself with the Liberal Party and push for centralization.

EthicsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to understand, hard to follow. Yesterday, the members of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics voted in favour of investigating the ethics of the Conservative Party's election financing practices during the 2006 election, their famous “in and out” scheme that caused the RCMP to raid their offices. The study will begin in the fall.

Even though they stormed out yesterday, and since this morning's point of order went nowhere, will the Conservatives accept the committee's decision and testify?