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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was security.

Topics

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

The economic action plan was in budget 2009, Mr. Speaker. It has resulted in the preservation and creation of about 420,000 jobs in our country, which is more than the 400,000 jobs that were lost during the course of the recession.

I thank the member opposite and her party for voting for Canada's economic action plan.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, governing is about choices and Conservatives have chosen to help out the largest corporations, while doing nothing for small businesses or Canadian families. Eight in ten new jobs are being generated by owners of small businesses like Remi Kassel of Javaroma in Yellowknife, yet the government is cutting taxes for the biggest corporations, while leaving the small business tax rate unchanged.

Why is the government cutting taxes for big corporations like Onex, while offering no relief to small business owners like Remi?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have reduced taxes for all businesses in Canada. This has been going on since 2007. We have been joined by most of the Canadian provinces in getting Canada to a place where we have a brand as one of the lowest tax jurisdictions for business investment, the lowest in fact in the G7.

Listen to what the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters said:

Canadian business investment needed to sustain an economic recovery is threatened by [the] Liberal Party...

“We are in a pretty tight situation financially in the business sector.”

“I don't think we can afford the uncertainty right now if you want companies to make big investments in Canada.”

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, 47% of small businesses are owned by women, yet the government seems blind to the needs of women entrepreneurs.

Liberals have proposed to lighten the burden by investing in quality daycare spaces and providing a comprehensive home care plan. The Conservatives are cutting taxes for the biggest corporations, while offering no relief to small businesses: no help at home, no help at work.

Why has the government turned its back on women in business?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have reduced taxes for all Canadians over the course of the five budgets. I thank the Liberal Party for even supporting some of them. I thank in particular its critic, who said:

—we cannot increase corporate taxes without losing corporate investment. If we lose corporate investment, we have a less productive economy....That means fewer jobs. That means more poverty.

Who said that? It was the member for Kings—Hants and he said it as a Liberal.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, for 10 years now, the Bloc Québécois has been proposing a free trade agreement between Canada and the EU, but not at any cost. The head of economic affairs for the Delegation of the European Union has said that everything is potentially on the table. The European Union opposes the cultural exemption clause proposed by Quebec and Canada, and is questioning the integrity of supply management.

Can the Minister of International Trade give us clear assurance that there will be no compromise on these two matters?

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we are engaging in free trade talks with the European Union because it represents a tremendous opportunity, a chance to boost the Canadian economy by some $12 billion annually. That means jobs for thousands and thousands of Canadians and that means a better standard of living for Canadians.

We have traditionally protected our cultural industries. That is one of the positions we are taking at the table. We are very confident that Canadians can compete. We know that the European Union, with 27 member states, is also interested in protecting its cultural diversity.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, midway through negotiations, the Europeans' goal is clear: access to government contracts in Canada. This translates into $26 billion a year. Unfettered access would have a profoundly negative impact on businesses and suppliers here.

Will the minister have the good sense to insist on incorporating into the agreement the same rules that govern access to government contracts among European Union partners?

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, we are a trading country, a small market of some 35 million that requires access for our most skilled workforce in the world to markets around the world. That includes public procurement.

In fact, we saw the folly of the decision of provinces and territories to stay out of that area in the 1980 North American Free Trade Agreement, when we were hit with buy American policies. We do not want the same thing to happen again. We want to ensure Canadian workers and businesses have access to markets around the world so that they can deliver, compete with the best and have jobs and prosperity that result from this kind of free trade.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, opposition from Quebec and the provinces forced the government to drop the deadline for joining its Canada-wide securities commission. However, while municipalities are calling on the government to push back the March 31, 2011, deadline for infrastructure projects, the government is insisting on imposing an artificial and irresponsible deadline.

If the government was able to push back the deadline for joining its securities commission, why can it not do the same for municipal infrastructure?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we continue to consult with the provinces and municipalities about the status of infrastructure projects across the country. There is a lot of good news out there. Nova Scotia said that 98% of its projects were on course. British Columbia said that almost 100% were on course and on budget. Alberta is about the same. Saskatchewan said that if the good weather continues it should get them all done as well.

Of course we are going to be fair and reasonable. We are working with the Province of Quebec as well to ensure that we get all the data in place so that we can be fair and reasonable on any dates and other adjustments that we can make to the infrastructure programs.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the municipalities are not asking for piecemeal solutions. They are asking for the March 31 deadline for all infrastructure projects to be pushed back. Otherwise, the municipalities will have to cover the federal government's share themselves. That is the case for Quebec City, which will have to cover the $5.5 million promised by the Conservatives for moving the Monique-Corriveau library.

Will the government stop cultivating uncertainty and push back the deadline, as Quebec City and everyone at the municipal level is calling for?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, when the provinces approached us about the Preco project, they had put forward a December 31 deadline. We did not know why that was necessary. We have always been in favour of the March 31 deadline but Quebec wanted an earlier one. Now it wants to delay it further. We want to be fair and reasonable.

There is an important question that we are asking ourselves on this side of the House. With all of these projects that the members of the Bloc Québécois are so concerned about, why did they vote against all of them when we brought them forward? I do not understand it.

We want to do good things in Quebec just like everywhere else in Canada.

Child and Spousal SupportOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, single moms, single dads, children and seniors are struggling to make ends meet. The federal government is adding to this burden by being delinquent in paying court-ordered child and spousal support from federal employees. The government has admitted to being severely late in almost 6,400 cases, representing millions of dollars. The results are mortgage payments are going past due, credit card bills are stacking up and families are going without food.

When will the government stop being delinquent and start making payments to single parents on time, every time?

Child and Spousal SupportOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we have looked at the report and I must say that we have some concerns. There have been some areas where this has not moved along quickly enough. Some of the areas involve employees who have left and are not that easy to find.

However, whatever the reason is, we have given very clear direction that we want this process expedited. We appreciate what has been brought forward in the report and we will be addressing it.

Child and Spousal SupportOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hope the minister realizes that the facts state that these single parents need these court-ordered payments to survive and pay their bills.

The Department of National Defence has reported late payments in 3,600 cases. Health Canada and Veterans Affairs have been late in over 38% of their garnishee cases.

When people are late for one payment, it can be an accident. When people are late for dozens, or sometimes thousands in this case, there is only one expression: they are deadbeats.

Why are kids and single parents not a priority for the government?

Child and Spousal SupportOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we can talk at length about a variety of programs that show the importance we place on families, single parents and care for children, even as far as having daycare available on site in many of our locations. There is a long list of clear demonstrations of how we care about these situations.

As I have indicated for the member, there have been some cases brought to our attention where it has been difficult to do the follow-up. However, our instruction to officials has been clear: be aggressive on this, close the gap in terms of the time and get these situations dealt with.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are rightly concerned when they hear Conservatives talk about health care funding because one particular Conservative has said that “each province should raise its own revenue for health care”, and we should “replace Canada health and social transfer...with tax points”.

I am not referring to the leadership candidate from Beauce. I am quoting the current Prime Minister.

The end of cash transfers would prevent enforcement of the Canada Health Act and put an end to medicare.

Could the Minister of Health admit that this is in fact the government's true agenda?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we respect the Canada Health Act and our government is committed to the universal public health care system. We will continue to work with the provinces and our territorial partners to ensure they have the necessary resources to deliver health care to Canadians.

We have also increased the transfers to provinces and territories by 6% per year to an all-time high of $25.4 billion this year so that they can continue to meet the health care needs of their residents.

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the leadership candidate and hon. member for Beauce said federal health transfers have to be abolished because they violate the Constitution.

He also said that the Conservative Party espouses that position. The federal government will be renegotiating its transfer agreement with the provinces very soon.

My question is the following: can the government assure Canadians today that it will uphold health transfers in order to protect the universality and public nature of health care services in Canada?

HealthOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as we have said repeatedly, unlike the previous Liberal government, we will not cut transfer payments to other levels of government as part of our efforts to balance the budget and we will respect provincial jurisdictions.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Conservative Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a trading nation. As we continue to recover from the global recession, Canadian businesses and workers seek new and open markets to export their products.

Would the Minister of International Trade please update the House on the efforts our government is taking to diversify trading opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on economic recovery and delivering jobs for Canadians. That is why this week we launched the fifth round of negotiations for a free trade deal with the European Union. Two-thirds of our economy is trade-based. That is one of the reasons that Canada has been successful in weathering the economic storm and posting the strongest economic growth of any major developed economy, any of the G7 countries.

We are focused on continuing that with trade negotiations under way with close to 50 countries right now, 8 deals already delivered and the 3 deals that the Liberals delivered in 13 years, we are improving them now and making them even better.

Government ContractsOral Questions

October 19th, 2010 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the renovation of the West Block is turning into a multi-million dollar fiasco: RCMP investigations, illegal lobbying, kick-backs and corruption. That is not good enough for one of our nation's finest heritage buildings.

Will the Minister of Public Works follow today's recommendation of the government operations committee and impose immediately an absolute moratorium on all contracting associated with the Parliament Buildings until our committee can determine that there will be no more corruption or influence peddling associated with the renovations of this building?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's motions and I can assure him that if any wrongdoing with any individual contractors are found they will face prosecution to the full extent of the law, including under the Federal Accountability Act, and we will ensure that taxpayer money will be recouped.

However, in terms of the specific contract to which he has referred, the government has no contractual relationship with this company. It is in fact a dispute between two private entities.