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House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, that question, from top to bottom, is laced with inaccuracies and falsehoods.

I have spoken to both our ambassador and to the ambassador of Mexico and I am assured that the Canadian now held in prison is receiving due process of law, and the case is proceeding. The case has been slowed because of the lawyer involved who has been appealing at every corner and delaying the process.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a very funny definition of due process.

Canadian citizen, Pavel Kulisek, has spent the last 13 months in a Mexican prison based on the sole testimony of an eye witness who never saw him commit a crime. Indeed, the same witness, Macos Assemat Hernandez, is a disgraced, corrupt and twice convicted former police officer.

More insidious, and the minister ought to know this, the lead prosecutor against Mr. Kulisek is currently in prison for allegedly taking bribes from another drug cartel. Is that what he calls due process?

Given this obvious travesty of justice, why has the government so utterly failed to protect and defend the rights of that Canadian?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the hon. member is basing his question entirely on the second-class journalism of a current affairs program--

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. minister of state has the floor.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the charges against the individual in question are very serious and we have cause to believe that the case should be heard in court. It is not helped by hon. members rushing to accept the flawed claims of a second-rate current affairs program.

Western Economic DiversificationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, while western Canadians are concerned that the Liberal leader said that he will raise taxes, the member for Newton—North Delta went one further and criticized our government for investing too much in the west.

This Conservative government will continue our investments in the west. In fact, British Columbia will take centre stage this summer from July 31 to August 9, attracting visitors from around the world and showcasing the talents of our first responders.

Could the minister of state tell this House how our Conservative government is investing in the west while supporting everyday heroes around the world?

Western Economic DiversificationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeMinister of State (Western Economic Diversification)

Mr. Speaker, together with my colleagues in British Columbia, our Conservative government's western economic diversification is supporting the 2009 World Police & Fire Games.

This Conservative government got it done. Our $2.3 million investment will attract more than 12,000 first responders and see $50 million injected into the B.C. economy. Asked why we are supporting these games, the answer is simple: support for our police officers, our customs and corrections officers, our firefighters and our emergency service personnel. That is what this Conservative government stands for.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced that it lost between $15 billion and $20 billion last year. Their base salaries are higher than the Prime Minister's, and in good years and bad, they each get multi-million-dollar bonuses.

Will the Prime Minister join us in making a clear statement that, in a time of crisis, in a year when they have lost billions of taxpayers' dollars, collecting a bonus is unacceptable?

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the issue raised relates to pension plans, which is a serious issue that we are reviewing in some detail.

My parliamentary secretary has been travelling across the country consulting widely with Canadians on this subject of pensions. It is something that needs to be addressed, part of it in the relatively short term and part of it in the longer term, and we are proceeding to do that.

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the issue raised relates to public trust. These people are already receiving base salaries higher than that of the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. They keep those. If we do nothing, they will also give themselves huge bonuses again.

What we are saying is that at public institutions, like the CPP Investment Board, people do not get a bonus in the middle of an economic crisis, especially in a year in which billions in pension contributions have been lost.

Does the government agree, yes or no?

Canada Pension Plan Investment BoardOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the government is in the middle of a review exercise with respect to all of the pension issues in Canada. These are complex issues and issues of significant importance for millions of Canadians, particularly given the market decline that we have seen which has affected the value of some of the pension plans. We are continuing to work on that issue.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2005, the Prime Minister said there was no danger in giving him a majority mandate because the number of judges, senators and other officials appointed by the Liberals would ensure checks and balances against any arbitrariness. In spite of that, this government continues to ignore the courts and refuses to repatriate Omar Khadr, even though Canada signed the convention on child soldiers.

Can the Prime Minister tell us how Omar Khadr does not fit the definition of a child soldier?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as we know, Mr. Omar Khadr faces serious charges. Mr. Omar Khadr has been charged with killing an American medic. In this capacity, we are waiting to see what President Obama will do.

However, as we have stated on many occasions, he is facing a very serious charge and we will await the outcome of the tribunal review set forward by President Obama.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary's response confirms that the organization Lawyers Without Borders is right to be worried about this government's strong tendency to minimize, if not trivialize, illegality. The government's stubbornness only fuels suspicions about its underlying motives.

Since the Prime Minister claims to respect the rule of law, why does he not abide by the decision and demand Omar Khadr's repatriation?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I have stated on many occasions, Mr. Omar Khadr faces serious charges. As the news reports have indicated, Mr. Omar Khadr was seen setting up the IED bombs that killed Canadians soldiers.

At this current time, this matter is being reviewed by President Obama's commission. We will await the results of the commission before we make any further comments.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, communities, agriculture and rehabilitation groups are outraged by the Conservative closure of six farms run by Correctional Service Canada. These farms are productive and profitable, selling produce to correctional facilities, stimulating local economies and providing offenders with important personal and job skills.

The government is cutting them. Why? Because it does not believe that agricultural skills are “relevant and practical employability skills”. Unbelievable.

When will the Conservatives reverse these insulting harmful cuts and make local farming and rehabilitation a priority?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, let me correct the hon. member on a few of his facts. First, the prison farms are not profitable. They lose $4 million a year. That may be how a LIberal government might run the country on a profitable basis. It would like to do that because it likes to raise taxes, not us. We prefer to run things on a more balanced basis.

In terms of employability skills, the prison farms are set up on a model of agriculture that really reflects the way it worked in the days of the old mixed farm in the 1950s. Today, capital has replaced labour, which is why virtually none of the inmates who work on the prison farms end up with employable job skills and makes them more likely to reoffend when they re-enter the community. That is bad for our communities.

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, Correctional Service of Canada currently manages six federal prison farms. In Dorchester, New Brunswick, the farm allows inmates to develop not just agricultural skills, but also administrative and personal skills.

We have now learned that the government plans to put an end to these operations across the country. This will deprive inmates of opportunities for rehabilitation and will cause job losses in the local economies.

Why is the government going ahead with this bad decision?

Correctional Service CanadaOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the agricultural operations of Correctional Service Canada lose $4 million a year. They are not viable that way and they are not viable as rehabilitation either. As any farmer knows, and I know there are not too many over in the Liberal caucus, setting up a farm these days requires millions in capital. This is not what a prisoner typically has when he or she leaves prison.

As a result, virtually none of the prisoners who go through the correctional farms end up with employable skills. We want rehabilitation that gives people skills so that they can become working members in society, not so that they are left without the skills to get a job and reoffend as a result.

Canadian Flag PinsOral Questions

April 28th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage seems incapable of taking responsibility for the fact that his department has outsourced a parliamentary flag pin to China. Rather than being accountable to the House, he subjected us to a whole series of bizarre obfuscations.

Let us try this again. Is he aware that his department is shipping out thousands of maple leaf pins emblazoned with “Made in China” and will he take any steps to send a message to our manufacturing sector that the Parliament of Canada does not outsource the maple leaf to China? What will he do about it?

Canadian Flag PinsOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this question a number of times. The pins purchased by the Department of Public Works must abide by all of the trade laws in this country, of course. The pins sold on Parliament Hill are by the direction of the Board of Internal Economy. If that member wants to purchase and sell anything, he is free to use his MP budget to do so.

However, we have purchased the pins through a process that was fair, open and transparent. Anybody could have applied for it. We have done our job. If the hon. member would just look at the facts and recognize what is before him, he would recognize that this government has done its job in standing up for Canada.

Canada DayOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have looked at the contract and it is with his department. The WTO provisions do not count the House of Parliament.

Let us see how he is now fudging the facts. On the celebrate Canada fund, he is now saying that the money that is being shipped to Quebec is somehow not happening. B.C. received $50,000, Ontario received $100,000 and Quebec received $3.2 million. We all want to celebrate Canada but what we do not want is a minister who refuses to take responsibility for what is happening under his watch.

Canada DayOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I am more than proud to take credit for what this government is doing for arts and culture, for Canadian history and for standing up for Canada on Canada Day. Our government is spending more money on arts and culture than any government in Canadian history.

With regard to the celebrate Canada fund, this is an important fund that supports communities across this country. We have improved the fund from when the Liberals were in government. When the Liberals were in government, 80% of this money went only to Liberal-held ridings. We are ensuring that this fund will continue to be improved so that money goes across this country on a more equitable basis.

I did not hear that member complaining when money went to his communities of Iroquois Falls, Kirkland Lake, Moosonee and Timmins. When it all went to his riding he was happy about that.

TaxationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, on April 14, the Liberal leader finally revealed his economic plan to Canadians when he said, “We will have to raise taxes”.

Does the government agree with the Liberal leader when he says “We will have to raise taxes?”