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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

PensionsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is a matter of joint jurisdiction between the provinces and the federal government, and I am glad that the member recognizes this. Many people do not.

We have had a broad consultation with Canadians on federally regulated pensions. We are in serious discussions with our provincial counterparts. There will be a finance ministers' meeting in December where we will hear back from the officials on their findings. After those findings are in, we will apply them in our efforts to help our seniors.

PensionsOral Questions

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, as important as this increase is, it does nothing to help the nearly 300,000 Canadian seniors who are currently living in poverty. Supporting these seniors is something that is doable and right. It would cost the government about the same as the corporate tax giveaways it is giving to the banks this very year.

These are the people who built this country and they deserve better. When will the government do the right thing and increase the guaranteed income supplement to lift all seniors out of poverty?

PensionsOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question and for his caring for seniors. He is aware, I hope, that since this government has taken office it has put over $2 billion more into the pockets of seniors through various measures such as pension income splitting, increasing the age credit, and many other measures. In addition, the OAS and GIS were raised in 2006-07. We have also put nearly half a billion dollars into housing for low-income seniors. There are many measures. The government continues, though, to look at ways to help seniors.

TaxationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government delivers over and over again for Canadians. Whether it is providing solid economic leadership through Canada's economic action plan or our principled foreign policy positions, this government does what is needed and it does it right.

Further evidence of our getting things done for Canadians is today's announcement of two new bilateral agreements with Switzerland.

Can the parliamentary secretary inform the House about the two special and very important agreements that we signed with Switzerland today?

TaxationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government has worked hard to tackle international tax evasion.

Last year our government recovered $138 million in previously unpaid tax revenue through voluntary disclosures. Just five months into this year, our collections have been even greater than they were during the entire 12 months of last year.

This week the government announced an agreement with the Swiss government of an updated double-taxation convention that will further facilitate the exchange of tax information, assisting Canada's tax authorities in cracking down on international tax evasion.

Access to InformationOral Questions

October 22nd, 2010 / 11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a federal government subcontractor wrote to us to congratulate our party for committing to publish details of government grants, contracts, and contributions online. The subcontractor said that our new policy would promote value for taxpayer money, because it would allow people to know when clients and subcontractors are being gouged.

My question is for the President of the Treasury Board. When will he drop the shroud around the Conservatives' secretive and wasteful practices in awarding grants and contracts?

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I think it is great that the Liberals are finally waking up on this file.

We have been on top of this for some time. The government expanded access to information to 70 new organizations. We have updated policies to ensure that public servants have the support they need to get these requests out the door.

Many government departments are already posting details of access to information requests online, and we are looking at some exciting initiatives to be rolled out shortly.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to an Environics poll, Quebeckers feel that the federal government is not doing enough to provide adequate retirement income for our poorest seniors. Eighty per cent of respondents support increasing the guaranteed income supplement. The results of this poll clearly show that people are worried. If the government does not act quickly, more and more seniors will be living in poverty.

Why is the government refusing to increase the monthly guaranteed income supplement benefit by $110, which is what the Bloc Québécois and FADOQ are calling for?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeMinister of State (Seniors)

Mr. Speaker, the government has done no such thing. In fact, the GIS was increased in 2006 and 2007.

As I just mentioned in answer to a previous question, since 2006 we have taken measures that have increased the money in seniors' pockets by over $2 billion a year.

We continue to look at these measures. We are proud that only 6% of Canadian seniors are at the poverty level. This is a great improvement over previous years. We will continue to make sure that—

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, small and medium businesses have long been the backbone of the Canadian economy.

Edmonton—Strathcona houses many small businesses, including numerous energy efficiency entrepreneurs. These businesses were dealt a double blow, first by the recession and then by the Conservative government's cancellation of the home energy retrofit program.

To celebrate this year's small business week, will the government restore the home energy retrofit program and help small businesses in Edmonton and across Canada?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

Noon

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we were clear in our Speech from the Throne that we will review the entire suite of programs.

On the home energy retrofit program, I must add that $300 million is flowing until the end of the fiscal year. According to the NDP, no money will be flowing out.

National DefenceOral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canada first defence strategy calls for the government to invest in equipment and defence infrastructure for our hard-working and brave men and women in uniform.

CFB Petawawa is the home of two great regiments, 1 RCR and 3 RCR, that have contributed so much to our efforts in Afghanistan.

I would like to invite the Minister of National Defence to tell this House and all Canadians what major equipment investments our government is planning for CFB Petawawa.

National DefenceOral Questions

Noon

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, these types of defence investments contribute greatly to local economies as well as to the Canadian Forces.

Last December, we announced that our new fleet of Chinook helicopters would be based at CFB Petawawa. Today I am pleased to announce that a contract of almost $135 million has been awarded to construct new hangars to house these new Chinooks. These hangars will include maintenance bays, training schools, a warehouse, and a command suite. This construction will be a major boost to the local economy and will create jobs.

This investment is good for the forces and for surrounding communities. I thank the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke for her work.

National DefenceOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville.

Access to InformationOral Questions

Noon

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, competitive nations are leaving Canada in the dust when it comes to using digital technology to unshackle the information needed for economic innovation.

Small businesses have the ingenuity to harness the economic potential of information in ways that government cannot.

How is it that the government can track 10,000 vanity billboards by GPS but it will not release government data to SMEs to spur economic activity, as Liberals propose in our open government initiative?

Access to InformationOral Questions

Noon

North Vancouver B.C.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, this government has expanded access to information to over 70 new organizations. We have updated policies to ensure that public servants have the support they need to get these requests out the door. Many government departments are already posting details of access to information requests online, and we are looking at some exciting new initiatives to be rolled out shortly.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

Noon

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, winter is almost here. Canadian families are worried about the cost of staying warm. The HST will raise the cost of home heating this winter.

Canadians know that home heating is not a luxury. Our government does not seem to. Even worse, the Conservatives cancelled the eco-energy home retrofit program, which helped families to save money and allowed new businesses to grow.

When will the government do the obvious thing and bring back the eco-energy home retrofit program?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

Noon

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we stated in the Speech from the Throne that we would review the entire suite of programs, and that until the end of the fiscal year $300 million would be flowing out to help people with energy retrofits.

Thanks to the NDP, however, no money will be flowing out. I ask the NDP members whether they will tell their constituents that they voted against all of these measures. This is what they did. Shame.

International Co-operationOral Questions

Noon

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the loss of the seat at the UN Security Council was a huge snub to the Prime Minister. This snub is not unrelated to the fact that this government cut funding for African countries, many of which are francophone. This purely ideological choice to no longer make Africa a priority for CIDA's bilateral development assistance was the main reason Canada was rejected by the international community.

Does the Prime Minister plan on reinstating funding for African countries, in particular the francophone African countries that have been hard hit by his ideological choices?

International Co-operationOral Questions

Noon

Kootenay—Columbia B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, I answered this question in response to a question from a Liberal member.

The Bloc, the NDP, and the Liberals keep on propagating this myth, this canard.

The fact is that the Government of Canada has doubled aid to Africa in less time than was required by the G7 nations. We are the only nation that did it.

We have to put a spike in what is actually, totally, and absolutely inaccurate information.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of Mrs. Catalina Parot, Minister of National Property of the Republic of Chile.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would also like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Honourable June Draude, Minister of Social Services, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, and Minister Responsible for the Public Service Commission and Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!