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House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the government is preparing to plunder the employment insurance fund because it stacked the board of directors with employer representatives carefully chosen by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. Not one person nominated by the commissioner representing workers was retained by the minister to sit on the employment insurance financing board.

How can the government continue to deny that it has set everything up to plunder the fund?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

Jean-Pierre Blackburn ConservativeMinister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, once again, with respect to the employment insurance account, premiums paid by workers will depend of course on the various services to be provided to all unemployed workers. An independent board will look at the costs associated with the services provided to those who lose their jobs. At present, that is not what Canadians are concerned about. What they really want to know is when the longstanding bill to help the unemployed will be passed. When will the Bloc stop opposing it and help those people who need it?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, a new report by the Investment Funds Institute of Canada shows the shocking impact of the HST on people's retirement savings. Let me quote: “An Ontarian saving $5,000 each year will lose $42,000 over a 35-year career--”.

Maybe the Prime Minister thinks that imposing this new tax on Canadians is small change, but for people who are struggling these days to put some money aside for retirement, this new Conservative tax is going to eat up the equivalent of five years of savings.

Why is the Prime Minister going after retirement savings with his HST?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everybody knows the leader of the NDP is talking about a provincial tax. Why would he not talk about a provincial tax? He certainly does not want to talk about federal taxes.

When it came to the very cause he is talking about, this government lowered the GST twice. He and his party voted against it twice. It was the wrong position for Canada. He should be for lowering the GST not raising it.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister says that it is the provinces' fault that sales taxes are going up.

The government started pushing for this tax hike in 2006. The finance minister told the C.D. Howe Institute that he would be pressuring “the remaining provinces that have not harmonized their PST with the GST to work with us”. That is a direct quote.

The finance minister's signature is the first one on the deals. He is dangling $5.9 billion in front of the provinces to try to convince them to come in the door.

The paternity test is in. How can the Prime Minister--

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The right hon. Prime Minister.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the NDP keeps trying to run away from his own position which is, of course, to hike the GST, to hike the sales tax on ordinary people, one of the most regressive taxes in this country.

When this government lowered it, the NDP went to the wall to try and fight us every step of the way because the NDP never saw a tax it did not like and never saw a tax it did not want to hike.

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, he should check the recent voting record.

This most regressive tax, and I am using his words, is going to hurt families.

Here is another example. In the finance minister's riding, the Whitby Minor Hockey Association is opposed to the HST. If he were to log on to the whitbyhockey.com website here is what he would read:

[The HST] will raise the cost of a list of goods and services...including minor hockey registration fees. Parents who want to register their kids for minor hockey is just one group of many that will be negatively impacted--

Why is the Prime Minister raising taxes on hockey?

Tax HarmonizationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the only taxes the NDP seems to want to fight are taxes that are not before this Parliament. Instead, it wants to fight taxes in other jurisdictions.

The fact of the matter is this government lowered the GST for those kids. The NDP fought us. This government brought in a tax credit for kids' sports. Guess who voted against it. The NDP.

The leader of the NDP should apologize to those working families for his position on the GST.

AfghanistanOral Questions

October 8th, 2009 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

There is some confusion on the government's position with respect to the military mission in Afghanistan post-2011. For the second time in as many weeks the Minister of National Defence has talked about this. I would like to get the minister again on record. I tried to get him last week on this question.

Could the minister confirm that the Canadian military mission in Afghanistan will be over in 2011, yes or no?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it seems the only person who is confused is the hon. member on the other side of the House.

Let me be perfectly clear. Canada will end its military mission in 2011. Do I have to repeat it to him in French?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not the one he needs to repeat it to. He needs to repeat it to his colleague, the Minister of National Defence. The problem is that when he speaks in committee or elsewhere, he says the exact opposite, and that is important.

I will ask the minister the question again. How will the government ensure that the House of Commons is consulted before any changes are made to the military mission in Afghanistan?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me quote the hon. member who said, this week, in the House:

I do not believe that Canada's commitment to Afghanistan can, in any way, shape or form, end in 2011. I do not believe our commitment to the region can end in 2011.

Then he went on to talk about development.

Our position is clear. The military combat mission will end in 2011.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the Suaad Hagi ordeal, the Prime Minister claimed on national television on August 18 that he first became aware the week before, yet ATIP documents confirmed that my letters and phone calls in June and July had raised the file to the top of political ranks. They further show that he was in charge of the messaging from July 1.

Is the Prime Minister's position now that neither of his ministers for foreign affairs or CBSA had brought him into the loop as they piloted action against Suaad Hagi at his direction?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, let us be perfectly clear. The decisions in this matter were made by officials on the ground, Canada Border Services Agency officials.

These were not political decisions. These were decisions made by officials who were doing the job we asked them to do, to protect the integrity of our immigration and citizenship system by ensuring that people did not attempt to use documents fraudulently to enter this country.

We had in the first eight months of this year over 4,000 cases where officials successfully prevented people from doing exactly that. They were doing the job we asked them to do, and we should thank them for their work.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court forced the Prime Minister to authorize a DNA test, which, on August 10, proved Ms. Hagi's identity beyond any doubt.

His ministers had to drop the charges in the Kenyan courts, hand over her travel documents and allow her to return to Canada.

Now, the same ministers have launched a smear campaign against her, by releasing an affidavit from July that was invalidated by this DNA test.

What does he have against this Canadian?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the officials in question deposited a sworn affidavit laying out in evidence in a court of law the questions that they asked, the answers that they received, and the reason they made the decisions they made in this matter. That is there for everyone to see, including the hon. member. I think it will answer any questions that he has.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the National Assembly of Quebec, the Quebec nation's supreme governing body, unanimously condemned the federal government's plan to reduce Quebec's political weight in federal institutions. The Bloc Québécois has been defending the Quebec consensus in this House, but Conservative members from Quebec have made a poor showing by scornfully dismissing our National Assembly's demand.

My question is for the Quebec ministers. Why are they incapable of standing up for the consensus expressed by the Quebec nation?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the number one objective of the Bloc is to ensure that Quebec has zero seats in the House of Commons. This government will ensure that the seat count in the House of Commons is protected for Quebec. These Quebec ministers do more in one hour each day than the Bloc has done in 18 years.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is why the Conservatives lose in Quebec every time we have an election.

Not even the Minister of Public Works, a Quebec minister, has made any attempt to block this bill. Instead, he said that Quebeckers should just make more babies, and that he himself did his part by having three kids. We do not really care what the minister does at home; we care about what he does in cabinet, which is nothing.

Why did the Minister of Public Works refuse to defend the interests of the Quebec nation?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois wants Quebec to have zero seats in the chamber. All the federalists in this chamber want to ensure that Canada and Quebec are fairly represented and that Quebec has a seat count that is protected in a united Canada. I think all federalists in this House will stand up and agree to strong representation for Quebec in the House of Commons.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is opposed to veiled voting. That is why it introduced a bill to ensure that all voters identify themselves. During the debate on the government's bill, the Liberals changed their position and stopped insisting that all voters be equal under the law. The Conservatives also backed down, claiming that there was no consensus.

Will the government take up the Bloc Québécois' challenge and accept its full support for this initiative by introducing a bill requiring voters to show their faces when voting?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, I think we all agree that Canadians should have confidence in the political system. If we can get agreement from the opposition parties, including the Liberal Party, to deal with this issue, we will bring in legislation to ensure that there is integrity in the voting process when it comes to visual identification.

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's bill created exceptions to the principle of the neutrality of the state. By ordering election officials to accommodate voters, the Conservatives are emulating the SAAQ, which accommodates clients who, for religious reasons, want to choose the gender of the person giving them their test.

Why are the Conservatives insisting on making the functions of the state a matter of gender instead of addressing the real problem? We have offered our support, so when will they introduce a bill?

Democratic ReformOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

Mr. Speaker, the government did bring forward a bill in the last Parliament, but we received resistance from the opposition parties. If the opposition parties are agreeable in this minority Parliament to support the government bringing forward a bill to deal with this issue, we will bring in a bill because we believe in Canadian democracy.

I am pleased, actually, that the Bloc is starting to buy into Canadian democracy, too.