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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition wants to trigger an election in the middle of a recession. The Liberal leader is prepared to jeopardize the economic recovery just to advance his own interests. The Liberal leader is thinking only of his political career. What a lack of wisdom. It is not surprising that the member for Papineau also thinks that his leader is lacking the necessary clarity and wisdom.

The member for Papineau said out loud what a number of his colleagues are thinking.

On this side of the House, we are rarely in agreement with the member for Papineau, but this is one exception.

The Leader of the Opposition absolutely does not have the necessary wisdom to lead Canada.

Festival of WordsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, an event known as Moulin à paroles was held to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Biz and Batlam of Loco Lacass and Brigitte Haentjens organized the event to share their perspectives on the consequences of the historic battle.

As Ms. Haentjens said, “For five centuries, words have been spoken, shouted and whispered [...] We will give those words new life; we will sing them once again”. Poet and singer Raôul Duguay described the momentous gathering as “—a victory for words. There would be no show, no rock'n'roll, without words”.

While some detractors predicted that things would get out of hand, this “literary marathon” attracted the enthusiastic participation of members of the public and everyone, both audience members and presenters, enjoyed the event. It brought people together to learn about the history and consequences of the conquest of 1759 while celebrating Quebec's literary heritage.

Thank you, and congratulations on this wonderful event.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have learned over the past four years that if they want to know the Prime Minister's real agenda, they have to listen to what he says behind closed doors.

In public, his comments are an inconsistent mess. First, it was no recession and no deficit. Now we know he has the biggest deficit in the history of this country. However, in private, when the Prime Minister knows the cameras are not rolling, or thinks they are not rolling, he is completely consistent. Recent video has exposed his real agenda.

He needs absolute power so he can teach his enemies a lesson, and he makes it clear just who his enemies are: women, minorities, anyone who dares to fight to protect their charter rights.

Regarding the courts, the Prime Minister had the audacity to characterize one of the most independent and impartial judiciaries in the world as “left-wing ideologues”: Conservative Party in public, Reform Party in private.

Liberals will stop accusing Conservatives of having a hidden agenda when Conservatives stop talking about it behind closed doors.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Conservative Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians do not want an election. They want politicians to put their differences aside and focus on economic recovery. Two recent polls make that point very clear.

A Canadian Press Harris/Decima survey shows 73% of Canadians are against having an election. An EKOS poll shows more than 70% of Canadians are against a fall election, yet the Leader of the Opposition is intent on forcing one.

Our economic action plan is working and forcing an election would interrupt our work on the economy. We cannot risk our progress and our recovery with an unnecessary election now. The international consensus is that no country should get sidetracked on its stimulus plans.

The government wants to fight the recession. The Leader of the Opposition wants to fight the recovery. This just proves that he is not in it for Canadians. He is in it for himself.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today we pay tribute to Pte. Patrick Lormand, who was killed in Afghanistan yesterday. We pay tribute to his sacrifice.

Last week, behind closed doors, the Prime Minister stated that if there were an election, he would like to teach Canadians a lesson. Those are his own words.

After four years of failure, after a record deficit, a record unemployment rate and a record bankruptcy rate, does he really feel he is in a position to teach Canadians a lesson?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition began by mentioning the death of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan.

These soldiers are doing a great job for us. They are protecting our values and our world from great dangers. Our prayers and our thoughts are with their families and comrades.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I find it curious that after weeks of berating the idea of a coalition, the Prime Minister seems to be hard at work forming one himself and with people whom he referred to, until this morning, as socialists.

I am just wondering whether the Prime Minister could confirm his new-found love for socialism and does he not think it prudent to change his attack ads?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is flailing around trying to invent reasons why Canadians should have another election in less than a year, four elections in five years.

The fact of the matter is that Canadians do not want an election, Canada does not need an election and an election is not in this country's best interest. We have important economic measures before Parliament. All the parties in Parliament should be focused on those measures and on the economy. The Leader of the Opposition should focus on our country's best interests.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, just a year ago, the Prime Minister promised Canada five years of surplus and then told us that his recession would be a great buying opportunity. He then slapped Canada with a $32 billion deficit. Whoops, that went to $50 billion and now it is $56 billion and he will make Canadians pay for it with higher payroll taxes.

How can Canadians trust a government with this record? The problem of instability, Mr. Prime Minister, is you.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The Leader of the Opposition knows not to make direct references to other colleagues.

The right hon. Prime Minister.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been affected by the global recession that has affected every country. At the same time, Canada's performance has been admired by many around the world. Canada is in a very strong position. Our deficits, while large, are, nevertheless, some of the smallest in the developed world. They are necessary to help people, but our stimulus spending must end at the end of this recession and we must return to surplus.

I would invite the Leader of the Opposition, since he has yet to table any comprehensive economic agenda at all, which I have invited since the budget last January, if he has anything to say on the economy to bring it here so we can debate it.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Prime Minister.

In light of the extraordinary attacks on our health care system by the people who apparently have given the Prime Minister such spiritual inspiration over the years, I would ask the Prime Minister if he is proud of our health care system?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Yes, Mr. Speaker. It is the only system my family has ever used and we are depending on it in the future.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in light of that answer, perhaps the Prime Minister could explain the astonishing silence of the Government of Canada when our system has been under consistent attack for several months by right-wing forces in the United States. In particular—

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The Speaker is having a very difficult time hearing the question and I would appreciate some assistance from my colleagues. The hon. member for Toronto Centre.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Prime Minister a very simple question. Does the government plan to launch a significant defence of the Canadian system in light of the attack that is being made on it in the United States of America?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we intend to let the United States make its own decisions on domestic debates.

I will say that the Canadian health care system will not only survive attacks by right-wing commentators in the United States but has even survived one by left-wing incompetents in Ontario.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, as Vincent Lacroix's trial gets underway today, and as the number of victims of white collar crime continues to grow, concrete action is desperately needed to tackle corporate crime. Today the Bloc Québécois is introducing a bill to remove the provisions that allow white collar criminals to be released after serving only one-sixth of their sentence. With a little political will, our bill could pass in one day.

Will the Prime Minister finally put his words into action and support the Bloc Québécois bill so it can passe by Tuesday?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I should point out that this is a major shift in the Bloc's position. When this government proposed the elimination of house arrest and allowing white collar criminals to serve their sentences at home, the coalition of the Bloc, the Liberals and the NDP opposed it and quashed those proposals in the House of Commons. Now the Bloc has introduced a bill. We will examine the bill carefully. We will consider it and submit our proposals soon.

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister never proposed eliminating the possibility of release after serving one-sixth of a sentence. What he just said is completely false. Our bill addresses only release after one-sixth of a sentence. Thus, there is no poison pill here, as there usually is with the Conservative government. Furthermore, there is consensus in Quebec concerning this proposal.

Will the Prime Minister act in good faith on Tuesday and support this Bloc Québécois bill aimed at eliminating the release of criminals after only one-sixth of their sentence?

JusticeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no need for parole when the offender is under house arrest. That is why we proposed eliminating the latter. I recently met with Quebec investors who asked not only for tougher sentences for white collar criminals, but also for a national securities commission to prevent such incidents. That is what we are proposing, and the provinces can participate in that system on a voluntary basis.

TaxationOral Questions

September 14th, 2009 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is necessary to go after tax havens to ensure that white collar criminals cannot hide there the money stolen from small investors. The Liberals and the Conservatives have shown absolutely no desire to go after tax havens.

In the most recent budget, for example, which the Liberals supported, the Conservatives reneged on their promise to go after the practice of double deduction and continue to refuse to go after the tax schemes involving Barbados.

Will the minister finally establish measures with teeth to deal with the problems of tax havens?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Jonquière—Alma Québec

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as we know, the issue of tax havens is a concern of our government. We are working on the matter. Recently, we have seen the UBS file resurface. For the information of the hon. member, I point out that, since we have been making progress in this direction, 12 people of 38 who use tax havens abroad have made a voluntary disclosure, which means revenue of $4.5 million for the government. People know already that we are headed in the right direction. We want to make progress in the matter of tax havens and ensure that people who evade taxes know we will catch up with them.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Bloc Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, tax havens are responsible as well for the erosion of government revenues. This is a matter for the minister. Instead of dipping into the pockets of the unemployed, as the Liberals so often did, the government should begin by going after those who are not paying their taxes.

Will the Minister of International Trade commit to not signing free trade agreements with the countries accused by the OECD, as is the case at the moment with Panama?