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House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, when I get up again after question period, I will pick up on where the member left off. The Conservatives talk about raising taxes. On EI, for example, they say they will not raise the premium a certain amount, but then turn around and raise it less than that amount. That is the same as a store that offers a special 50% discount, but it jacks up the price by 100% and then lowers it by 50%, and says that it is giving a 50% discount. That is what the Conservatives did with EI. Later on I will point out what they have done. The Conservatives have tried to pass it on to Canadians as a tax break, but in essence it is a tax hike.

We cannot support these initiatives. It boils down to a matter of trust. We simply cannot trust what the government says. The Conservatives say one thing but do another. For example, the Prime Minister promised in writing not to tax income trusts. He used that in his campaign. One of the first things he did when elected to office was to renege on that promise. I cannot use the word “lie” because that is unparliamentary language, but I can use the word “renege”. He reneged on his agreement. It boils down to a matter of trust.

With respect to EI premiums, I have a quote from the finance minister who said, “It's one of those job-killing taxes, a direct tax on employers and employees”.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

An hon. member

Who said that?

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

The current finance minister said that, Mr. Speaker. What has he done? Again, I cannot use the word “lie”, but he has reneged on his commitment. He said his government would increase it by $90 but then said it would only be increased by $30. He then told Canadians that it was a tax decrease. I do not know where the finance minister learned his math.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to continuing my speech after question period.

Sustaining Canada's Economic Recovery ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member will have about 18 minutes remaining in the time allotted for his remarks when debate on this matter resumes.

Commonwealth GamesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Conservative Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we speak, the 19th Commonwealth Games are moving into day four in Delhi, India.

Already, Canadians have been winning medals in events. Among them, in the men's team artistic gymnastics, Robert Watson and Jason Scott, both members of the Richmond Gymnastics Association, were part of a five member Canadian team that won the bronze medal. Congratulations to them. Richmond is proud of them.

Other athletes from Richmond include: athletics, Evan Dunfee; field hockey, Amanda Stone; gymnastics, Demetra Mantcheva; rugby sevens, Nathan Hirayama; table tennis, Andre Ho and Mo Zhang; and wrestling, Arjan Bhullar.

Richmond is supporting all of them and the whole national team. Go Canada go.

Diane WhalenStatements By Members

October 7th, 2010 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the Hon. Diane Whalen, a former colleague in the legislature of Newfoundland and Labrador, who passed away on October 3 after a courageous battle with cancer. She is being laid to rest today.

As colleagues in the provincial legislature, I saw Diane work diligently as a member of the House of Assembly and a cabinet minister. She was a woman of strength, tremendous integrity and an individual who garnered the respect of everyone for her work ethic. Although we served on opposite sides of the house, we shared the same objective of wanting to make a difference and there was a mutual respect for how we achieved that goal.

Whether as mayor of Paradise, MHA for Conception Bay East--Bell Island, or as a minister in three government departments, Diane's priority was always to do her best for those she represented and for our province.

All in Newfoundland and Labrador who were fortunate enough to work with Diane can attest to the positive attitude she brought to every task. Even through her battle with cancer, she continued to work when she could, determined to fulfill her responsibilities.

I ask all members of the House to join me in passing along our sincere condolences to Diane's family and friends as we salute this remarkable woman.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Bloc Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, during his recent—and first ever—visit to my riding, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada said that Abitibi needed a voice, not a ghost. And he is right. That is why we cannot understand why he and about 20 of his party colleagues dematerialized in Parliament last Wednesday during the vote on Bill C-308.

The goal of that bill was to improve the lives of the unemployed. So what is the Liberal leader's real plan? Does he hope his party returns to power so it can start diverting money from the employment insurance fund, as it did in the past?

Even with Halloween just around the corner, Abitibi does not need any ghosts, just as unemployed workers do not need any vampires draining their EI fund. In Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, as in the rest of Quebec, the Bloc Québécois has always defended the interests of the unemployed, and we will continue to do so.

Imam Zijad DelicStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to a great Canadian leader, Imam Zijad Delic.

Imam Delic is the former imam of the Masjid al-Salaam and Education Centre in Burnaby. He has taught at the B.C. Muslim School and earned a doctorate in education at Simon Fraser University. I was honoured to be present at his convocation. He has worked for the B.C. Muslim Association and currently works for the Canadian Islamic Congress.

Imam Delic is known here at home and internationally for his commitment to interfaith dialogue and peaceful conflict resolution. Like many people in Burnaby, I attended his Islam 101 lectures at the Burnaby mosque. Imam Delic has encouraged women and men, young people and recent immigrants in the Muslim community to take their place in Canadian society.

This week, the Minister of National Defence and the government tarnished the reputation of this good man. The minister must offer a full apology.

Imam Delic is known as “the people's imam”. I am proud to know him, to work with him and to call him “my imam”.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families will be gathering this Thanksgiving weekend and there is no doubt the economy will be weighing on their minds. They are reading media stories and watching economic indicators that show the economic recovery remains fragile. They are feeling uneasy. The last thing they can afford right now is a tax increase.

That is why I am pleased that the Minister of Finance has led the way at home and abroad to keep a lid on taxes.

I want to congratulate the Prime Minister and the finance minister for working so hard at the G20 and on the international stage this summer to stop the global bank tax. It would place a crushing and unnecessary burden on our economic recovery.

I am also pleased that the minister announced last week that we will limit potential increases in EI premiums next year; this, despite how badly the EI surplus was raided by the previous government for its pet political projects.

Taxpayers across the land have an advocate in the finance minister, and this government and people in my riding are thankful for it.

Bill Barber Sports ComplexStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, September 25, the Municipality of Callander in my riding celebrated the official opening of the Bill Barber Sports Complex.

The municipality's newest recreational facility has been named in honour of Hockey Hall of Famer Bill Barber, a Callander native who maintains close family ties to the community.

The multi-use facility is a roof structure which spans an existing rink surface and will allow for four seasons of sport, leisure and community events on the site.

Callander Mayor Hec Lavigne and council members were joined by Bill Barber at the unveiling ceremony, which included a celebrity ball hockey game with the two-time Stanley Cup winner and several other special guests.

The Bill Barber Sports Complex is an impressive structure and a facility that everyone in the community can take great pride in.

On behalf of all hon. members, I would like to congratulate the Municipality of Callander on the completion and dedication of the Bill Barber Sports Complex. May it bring enjoyment and pleasure to the people of the community for generations to come.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is ensuring Canada's economic recovery by limiting the increase in employment insurance premiums. The increase for 2011 will be limited to 5¢ per $100 of insurable earnings and 10¢ for subsequent years.

To help Canadian workers and employers overcome the 2008 global crisis, we froze EI premiums for 2009 and 2010 at their lowest level since 1982. To maintain Canada's economic recovery, we are now reducing the EI rate increase by two-thirds.

Every dollar counts to families, and this could mean almost $75 extra for the average Canadian family next year.

Our Conservative government is consulting with Canadian individuals and businesses to improve on how the EI rate is set going forward to ensure more stable and predictable rates.

We are working with business and we are working with labour to save and create jobs and help Canadians prosper.

40th Anniversary of the October CrisisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, more than 450 people were arrested when the government invoked the War Measures Act in October 1970. Today we know that all the known members of the FLQ and all those who were suspected of being members were released in the hope that they would lead the police to the places were Mr. Cross and Mr. Laporte were being held.

These people, who were arrested without warrant, usually in the middle of the night, kept in the dark about the new crimes that had just been created, and held incommunicado until they were questioned, were all finally released without charge. Some were let go several days after being arrested, while others were not released until months later.

It is disturbing to think that these measures were taken by politicians who had always claimed to stand up for human rights and workers' rights.

Events such as these show us how very fragile our lofty principles and our institutions can be.

Let us learn from such events. After all, Quebec's motto is “Je me souviens”, I remember.

Comments by the Assistant to the Hon. Member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—EeyouStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, an assistant to the Bloc member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou has posted some disturbing comments on her Facebook page. This House of Commons employee has the nerve to compare the October Crisis to the French Revolution where, I quote, “heads rolled” and she brags about having contact, in 2010, with the Front de libération du Québec.

I would like to remind Bloc members that René Lévesque himself unequivocally condemned the FLQ, which is a terrorist movement.

However, this Bloc Québécois staffer goes even further. She makes fun of the constituents and complains that they speak only English, one of our two official languages.

These statements are totally unacceptable, and I am calling on the leader of the Bloc and the hon. member to condemn these comments and to distance themselves from these unacceptable remarks.

Auditor General of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this day and age, when equality and freedom of speech should not be an issue in Canada, this Conservative government is again showing us that equality is a meaningless term.

Last week, in a job posting for the position of Auditor General of Canada published in national newspapers, the government specifically stated that it is looking for a chartered accountant.

I would like to say that CGAs and CMAs are recognized for their integrity, ethics and educational qualifications, including their audit capabilities.

It is unfortunate that these qualifications have not been included in this job posting, and that the Government of Canada has adopted this hiring policy that discriminates against 75,000 CGAs and 50,000 CMAs.

It should be noted that all accountants are accredited by provincial accounting organizations.

It is disconcerting that the Conservative government is ignoring three accounting designations recognized across Canada.

Child Advocacy CentresStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to supporting victims of crime, particularly the most vulnerable among us: our children.

Today the Minister of Justice, along with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, announced funding of $5.25 million for the creation and enhancement of child advocacy centres to help better serve young victims and witnesses of crime.

Child advocacy centres aim to minimize the trauma of being a child victim of crime. These advocacy centres are a collaborative team of professionals who work in a child-friendly setting to help a child victim or witness navigate the criminal justice system.

The work of the advocacy centre staff greatly reduces the emotional and mental harm to the child, and their approach often improves the quality of evidence brought forward in trials. Better evidence can lead to more charges laid, a higher rate of guilty pleas and convictions, and more appropriate sentences.

I would like my hon. colleagues to join me in congratulating our government for this encouraging announcement.

ThanksgivingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Thanksgiving I want to express my gratitude for the diverse, creative and caring community I represent: churches such as St. John the Divine working to alleviate homelessness; the talented students at the Canadian College of Performing Arts; the University of Victoria's NEPTUNE Canada and its pioneering research under the ocean; as well as the Dogwood Initiative fighting tanker traffic.

This being harvest time, I want to offer special recognition to Victoria's strong local food movement: dedicated organic farmers, chefs and co-ops, local food advocates such as Lee Fuge, and groups such as LifeCycles and CR-FAIR. Sadly, Canadian agriculture policy as it stands is biased against small producers.

In addition to giving thanks, let us adopt a new policy for food security, sovereignty and sustainability, and let us back Bill C-579 to make every Friday before Thanksgiving a national local food day.

Aerospace IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Conservative Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, with the economic recovery still fragile, hard-working men and women in Canada's aerospace sector can rest assured that our government is on their side. Thanks to our government's investment in the F-35 program, Canada's aerospace industry will benefit from highly skilled and well-paying jobs for years to come.

Already, world-class aerospace companies from across Canada are benefiting from our investment. Companies such as Avcorp, Magellan-Bristol, Héroux-Devtek, Handling Speciality, and Pratt & Whitney are already providing expertise to the F-35 program and creating jobs for Canadians. These benefits will only increase. As experts have said, this investment will create jobs and benefits for decades to come.

Shockingly, the opposition coalition is vowing to cancel this important investment and put in jeopardy hundreds of thousands of jobs in our aerospace sector. The coalition should put the country first, put the economy first, put jobs for Canadians first and get behind this win-win investment.

October CrisisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the following is an excerpt from a column written by René Lévesque the day after the death of Pierre Laporte on October 17, 1970:

The death of Pierre Laporte has devastated us all. This waste of a life is barbaric and atrocious.... We cannot imagine the distress his family members have experienced this past week, and the kind of pain they are feeling now.... They can be assured that all of Quebec shares in their grief.... Now, we must all do our best to erase this stain as quickly as possible.... It will be to Quebec's credit to draw from this ordeal a thirst for real progress so that we can eliminate any excuses for active or would-be terrorists, which we unfortunately have just as many of as any civilized society.... We must be strong in speaking out against what happened; we must take responsibility, but refuse to get caught up in the games of those who may try to use this situation to control us.

Government PrioritiesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the fact that we are dealing with a government for which lack of transparency and excuses are the norm, an analysis of speeches made in the House was quite telling.

After eliminating words common to all, openparliament.ca reveals that the word most commonly used by the member for Edmonton East is “war”. While we might understand the finance minister's overuse of the word “tax”, why the ministers for seniors and immigration favour “tax” too is beyond me.

Instead of having a global perspective, our Minister of Foreign Affairs is more than a little obsessed with the Bloc.

Among the words that Liberals prefer that do not appear from Conservatives are “development”, “respect”, “care”, “jobs”, “children”, “change”, and my own word, “young”, but the most telling contrast is that while our Leader of the Opposition is most focused on the interests of the public, the Conservative Prime Minister is instead obsessed with opposing Liberals.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal public safety critic continues to advocate for his soft on crime agenda. Yesterday, he went one step further and called the failed prison farm program one of the most successful programs for rehabilitation. We could not disagree more.

Here are the facts: Over the last five years, less than 1% of offenders released into the community actually found work in the agricultural sector, and this 1% success rate cost taxpayers over $4 million every year.

When will the member for Ajax—Pickering put public safety first? Does he think rehabilitation does not require ensuring marketable job skills post-incarceration? Does he think law-abiding Canadians do not deserve to feel safe in their homes and streets? After all, this is the member who proudly mused about reducing criminal sentences.

It has never been clearer that the Liberals and the public safety critic are not in it for law-abiding Canadians; they are just in it for themselves.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families are painfully familiar with the pressures of caring for sick or aging family members at home. Eighty per cent of home care services in Canada are provided by family members, three-quarters of whom are women, and two-thirds have household incomes under $45,000. Their home care work is unpaid, often at the expense of their day jobs. But it is a labour of love, with very little help.

Why does the current government put tax cuts for the most privileged corporations ahead of family care?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we put the well-being of Canadians first and foremost among our priorities. We pursued an aggressive agenda to create jobs and seek economic growth so that the government has the resources it needs to provide important services to Canadians.

One of the most important services to Canadian families when a relative becomes sick is a good health care system. That is why this government has made health care one of the biggest priorities for public spending. That is why we have honoured our transfer to the provinces and increased health care spending some 30% in just five short years.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, that increase was budgeted in 2004.

The total cost of tangible help for more than 600,000 family caregivers would be less than one-half of 1% of the current government's annual spending, to which Conservatives are now adding $16 billion for untendered stealth fighter aircraft. They provide no justification for this being the airplane Canada needs, no competition, no regional industrial plan, and no job guarantees.

Why is there a $16 billion blank cheque for that and nothing for caregivers?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government's priority is to ensure that we do the right thing for Canadians, and protecting our sovereignty and giving the men and women in uniform the best equipment we can to support them in their important work to keep Canada safe is something that is incredibly important. We do not apologize, after the decade of darkness, for standing up for our men and women in uniform to ensure that they have the tools to do their job. The planes we have will be more than 40 years old by the time they reach the end of their life. We need to ensure that the air force has new planes to keep Canadians safe after 2020.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, technology problems plague the F-35 program, commitments from some other countries are wobbly, even the U.S. Pentagon says the program is two years behind schedule, there is a cost overrun of 65%, the accounting system at Lockheed Martin is a total mess, and the Canadian government has no guarantees, not on price, jobs, quality, or value for money. Talk about reckless. The government is flying by the seat of its pants. Why is it gambling 16 billion tax dollars on stealth airplanes but will not invest a cent in caregivers?